Canon 1200D vs SX420
The Canon EOS 1200D (called Canon T5 in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2014 and January 2016. The 1200D is a DSLR, while the SX420 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (1200D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX420) sensor. The 1200D has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the SX420 provides 19.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 1200D and the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1200D and the Canon SX420 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SX420 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the 1200D is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX420 is considerably smaller (45 percent) than the Canon 1200D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1200D nor the SX420 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX420 has a lens built in, whereas the 1200D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 1200D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|2.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|3.||Canon 4000D||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX430||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||323 g||195||n||Jan 2017||299|
|5.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|6.||Canon 1300D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|7.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|8.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|9.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|10.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|11.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|12.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|13.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|14.||Canon 100D||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|15.||Canon 700D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|16.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|17.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX420 was launched at a lower price than the 1200D, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1200D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX420 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX420 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 5.6. The sensor in the 1200D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX420 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, the SX420 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the 1200D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX420 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the 1200D. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.19μm versus 4.31μm for the 1200D). However, it should be noted that the SX420 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the 1200D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX420 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Canon EOS 1200D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|9.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the 1200D provides a higher video resolution than the SX420. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the SX420 is limited to 720/25p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 1200D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX420 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1200D and Canon SX420 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|9.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1200D and the SX420 write their files to SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 1200D and Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|9.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the 1200D has a hotshoe, while the SX420 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the 1200D and the SX420 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1200D was replaced by the Canon 1300D, while the SX420 was followed by the Canon SX430. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1200D or the Canon SX420 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 1200D:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/25p).
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 195) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4+ vs DIGIC 4).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 1200D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 130x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 1200D).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 10 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1200D emerges as the winner of the contest (13 : 10 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1200D and the Canon SX420 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 1200D and the SX420 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon 1200D||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|2.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|3.||Canon 4000D||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX430||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jan 2017||299|
|5.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|6.||Canon 1300D||4/5||o||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449|
|7.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|8.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|9.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|10.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|11.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|12.||Canon SX610||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|13.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|14.||Canon 100D||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|15.||Canon 700D||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|16.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|17.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon 1200D vs Canon SX420
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 1200D||Canon SX420|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6|
|Launch Date||February 2014||January 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 449||USD 299|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1200D||Canon SX420|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||19.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||5152 x 3864 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||1.19 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||70.91 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||720/25p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||DIGIC 4+|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.9||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.3||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||724||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1200D||Canon SX420|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1200D||Canon SX420|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||0.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1200D||Canon SX420|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 1200D||Canon SX420|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||195 shots per charge|
130 x 100 x 78 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
104 x 69 x 85 mm
(4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
|Camera Weight||480 g (16.9 oz)||325 g (11.5 oz)|
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