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Canon 1200D vs Nikon D5000

The Canon EOS 1200D (called Canon T5 in some regions) and the Nikon D5000 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2014 and April 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1200D   Nikon D5000
Canon 1200D Nikon D5000
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 720/24p Video
ISO 100-6400 (100-12800) ISO 200-3200 (200-6400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 460k dots 2.7" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fully flexible screen (no touchscreen)
3 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge510 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 480 g 127 x 104 x 80 mm, 590 g

Body comparison: Canon 1200D vs Nikon D5000

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1200D and the Nikon D5000 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.

Compare Canon 1200D and Nikon D5000
Compare 1200D versus D5000 top
Compare 1200D or D5000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D5000 is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Canon 1200D. Moreover, the D5000 is markedly heavier (23 percent) than the 1200D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1200D nor the D5000 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1200D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D5000).

Concerning battery life, the 1200D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the D5000 can take 510 images on a single charge of its EN-EL9a power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1200D» 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Nikon D5000« 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
Canon 4000D« » 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon 1300D« » 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
Canon 750D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
Canon 760D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon G9 X« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon M10« » 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon 100D« » 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
Canon 700D« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
Canon 650D« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon 1100D« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Nikon D5100« » 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749- i Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100« » 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599- i Nikon D3100
Nikon D3000« » 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
Nikon D60« » 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629- i Nikon D60
Nikon D90« » 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299- i Nikon D90

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 1200D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the D5000, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 1200D vs Nikon D5000

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D5000 is 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (1200D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1200D and Nikon D5000 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 1200D offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the Nikon D5000. 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 4.31μm versus 5.53μm for the D5000). However, it should be noted that the 1200D is much more recent (by 4 years and 10 months) than the D5000, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

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 Nikon D5000 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-6400..

1200D versus D5000 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the D5000 has a markedly higher DXO score than the 1200D (overall score 9 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon 1200D» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
Nikon D5000« APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872Nikon D5000
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
Canon 1300D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon 1300D
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon 750D
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
Canon 100D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon 100D
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
Nikon D5100« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100« » APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967Nikon D3100
Nikon D3000« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.156362Nikon D3000
Nikon D60« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.511.456265Nikon D60
Nikon D90« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773Nikon D90

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 D5000. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 720/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1200D vs Nikon D5000

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1200D and the D5000 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1200D and Nikon D5000 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 1200D»optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
Nikon D5000«optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 4000 4.0 Y n Nikon D5000
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
Canon 1300D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1300D
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n Canon M10
Canon 100D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon 100D
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
Nikon D5100« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y n Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D3100
Nikon D3000« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D3000
Nikon D60« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D60
Nikon D90« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 4.5 Y n Nikon D90
The D5000 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 1200D does not have a selfie-screen.

The 1200D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D5000 uses SDHC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1200D vs Nikon D5000

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 Nikon D5000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon 1200D»Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
Nikon D5000«Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D5000
Canon 4000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
Canon 1300D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 1300D
Canon 750D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
Canon G9 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G9 X
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
Canon 100D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 100D
Canon 700D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
Canon 1100D« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
Nikon D5100« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D3100
Nikon D3000« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D3000
Nikon D60« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D60
Nikon D90« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D90

Both the 1200D and the D5000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D5000 was replaced by the Nikon D5100, while the 1200D was followed by the Canon 1300D.


Review summary: Canon 1200D vs Nikon D5000

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1200D and the Nikon D5000? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 1200D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12.2MP) with a 21% higher linear resolution.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/24p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 110g or 19 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 10 months of technical progress since the D5000 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D5000:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
  • More flexible LCD: Has full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2009).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 1200D comes out slightly ahead of the D5000 (7 : 6 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.

1200D 07:06 D5000

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 1200D and the D5000 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Canon 1200D vs Nikon D5000

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1200D»Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Nikon D5000«HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
Canon 4000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon 1300D« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon 100D« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
Canon 650D« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Nikon D5100« »HiRec76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749- i Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100« »HiRec72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599- i Nikon D3100
Nikon D3000« »Rec72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
Nikon D60« »80/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Jan 2008 629- i Nikon D60
Nikon D90« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Nikon D90

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 1200D:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D5000:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 1200D vs Nikon D5000

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1200D Nikon D5000
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2014 April 2009
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 749
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.6 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 5.53 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 720/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO 200-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-12800 ISO 200-6400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 EXPEED
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 72
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 22.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 12.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 724 868
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.51x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 2.7 inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fully flexible screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type LP-E10 power pack EN-EL9a power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge510 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    127 x 104 x 80 mm
    (5.0 x 4.1 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 480 g (16.9 oz) 590 g (20.8 oz)

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