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Canon 1200D versus Nikon D5300

The Canon EOS 1200D (called Canon T5 in some regions) and the Nikon D5300 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2014 and October 2013. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the Nikon provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 1200D vs Nikon D5300

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1200D and the Nikon D5300. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the 1200D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 1200D vs Nikon D5300
Compare 1200D versus D5300 top
Compare 1200D and D5300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D5300 is notably smaller (6 percent) than the Canon 1200D. In terms of weight, the two cameras are very close. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1200D nor the D5300 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 find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1200D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D5300).

Concerning battery life, the 1200D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the D5300 can take 600 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14a power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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)
Canon 1200D» 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i
Nikon D5300« 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 16.9 oz 600 n Oct 2013 799- i
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i
Canon 1300D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i
Canon G9 X« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon 760D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i
Canon 100D« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i
Nikon D5600« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 16.4 oz 970 n Nov 2016 699 i i
Nikon D5500« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 14.8 oz 820 n Jan 2015 899- i
Nikon D3300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499- i
Nikon D3200« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 540 n Apr 2012 599- i
Nikon D5200« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 500 n Nov 2012 749- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 44 percent) than the D5300, 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 D5300

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D5300 is 11 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 D5300 sensor measures

With 24MP, the D5300 offers a higher resolution than the 1200D (17.9MP), but the D5300 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.31μm for the 1200D). It is noteworthy in this context that the 1200D is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the D5300, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D5300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

1200D versus D5300 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 D5300 offers substantially better image quality than the 1200D (overall score 20 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.1 bits higher color depth, 2.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 1200D» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
Nikon D5300« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
Canon 1300D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
Canon 100D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
Nikon D5600« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
Nikon D5500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
Nikon D3300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
Nikon D3200« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
Nikon D5200« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.213.9128484

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the D5300 provides a faster frame rate than the 1200D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1200D vs Nikon D5300

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 1200D and the D5300 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1200D, the Nikon D5300, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera 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))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 1200D»optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D5300«optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 1300D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n
Canon 100D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D5600« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D5500« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D3300« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D3200« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D5200« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 5.0 Y n

Both the 1200D and the D5300 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D5300 was replaced by the Nikon D5500, while the 1200D was followed by the Canon 1300D.

Review summary: Canon 1200D vs Nikon D5300

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 1200D better than the Nikon D5300 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 1200D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 3 months after the D5300).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D5300:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (20 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.1 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 460k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (600 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2013).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D5300 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 3 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

1200D 03:13 D5300

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 1200D or the D5300. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 1200D»Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i
Nikon D5300«HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799- i
Canon 4000D« »rev---3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i
Canon 1300D« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon 760D« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i
Canon 100D« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i
Canon 650D« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i
Nikon D5600« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i i
Nikon D5500« »Rec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899- i
Nikon D3300« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499- i
Nikon D3200« »HiRec73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599- i
Nikon D5200« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2012 749- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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