PW

Canon 1200D versus Nikon D810

The Canon EOS 1200D (called Canon T5 in some regions) and the Nikon D810 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2014 and June 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (1200D) and a full frame (D810) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the Nikon provides 36.2 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 D810

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1200D and the Nikon D810 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear 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 – the 1200D – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 1200D vs Nikon D810
Compare 1200D versus D810 top
Compare 1200D and D810 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D810 is notably larger (38 percent) than the Canon 1200D. Moreover, the D810 is substantially heavier (104 percent) than the 1200D. It is noteworthy in this context that the D810 is splash and dust-proof, while the 1200D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1200D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D810).

Concerning battery life, the 1200D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the D810 can take 1200 images on a single charge of its EN-EL15 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 D810« 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- 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 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i 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 Df« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i
Nikon D800« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999- i
Nikon D800E« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299- 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 86 percent) than the D810, 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 D810

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1200D features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon D810 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D810 is 160 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1200D and Nikon D810 sensor measures

With 36.2MP, the D810 offers a higher resolution than the 1200D (17.9MP), but the D810 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.88μm versus 4.31μm for the 1200D) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D810 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the 1200D, 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 D810 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

1200D versus D810 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the D810 offers substantially better image quality than the 1200D (overall score 34 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.8 bits higher color depth, 3.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2 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 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 D810« Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
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 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187
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 Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989
Nikon D800« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395
Nikon D800E« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the D810 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 D810

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1200D and the D810 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 D810, 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 D810«optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed 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 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n 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 Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 5.5 n n
Nikon D800« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D800E« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n

Both the 1200D and the D810 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1200D was replaced by the Canon 1300D, while the D810 was followed by the Nikon D850.

Review summary: Canon 1200D vs Nikon D810

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1200D and the Nikon D810? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

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 compact: Is smaller (130x100mm vs 146x123mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 500g or 51 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (86 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Nikon D810:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (36.2 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 42%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (34 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.8 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (3.5 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • 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 (1229k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1200 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (4 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D810 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

1200D 05:14 D810

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 1200D and the D810 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 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 D810«-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- 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 5DS R« »Rec83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 5DS« »Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i 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 Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i
Nikon D800« »HiRec82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999- i
Nikon D800E« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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 use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

vs

    You are here  »   »