Canon 1200D vs Nikon Z50
The Canon EOS 1200D (called Canon T5 in some regions) and the Nikon Z50 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2014 and October 2019. The 1200D is a DSLR, while the Z50 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 20.7 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 Nikon Z50? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon 1200D and the Nikon Z50 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon Z50 is notably smaller (8 percent) than the Canon 1200D. Moreover, the Z50 is markedly lighter (6 percent) than the 1200D. It is noteworthy in this context that the Z50 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The power pack in the Z50 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.||Nikon Z50||127 mm||94 mm||60 mm||450 g||320||Y||Oct 2019||859|
|3.||Canon 4000D||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779|
|5.||Canon 1300D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|6.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|7.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|8.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|9.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|10.||Canon 100D||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|11.||Canon 700D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|12.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|13.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|14.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|15.||Nikon 1 V3||111 mm||65 mm||33 mm||381 g||310||n||Mar 2014||799|
|16.||Nikon D5300||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799|
|17.||Sony A6300||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 1200D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 48 percent) than the Z50, 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.
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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 Z50 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.
With 20.7MP, the Z50 offers a higher resolution than the 1200D (17.9MP), but the Z50 has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.22μm versus 4.31μm for the 1200D). Yet, the Z50 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 7 months) than the 1200D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the Z50 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon Z50 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Z50 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.8 x 18.6 inches or 70.7 x 47.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 22.3 x 14.8 inches or 56.6 x 37.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.6 x 12.4 inches or 47.1 x 31.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 1200D are 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Z50 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
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 Z50 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-204800.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|8.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|15.||Nikon 1 V3||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||384||52|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the Z50 provides a better video resolution than the 1200D. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Z50 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the 1200D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the Z50 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 1200D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the Z50 has a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1200D, the Nikon Z50, and comparable cameras.
|8.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Nikon 1 V3||optional||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The Z50 has a touchscreen, while the 1200D has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The Z50 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 reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the Z50 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Nikon Z50 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1200D and the Z50 write their files to SDXC cards. The Z50 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the 1200D cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Nikon Z50 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|8.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Nikon 1 V3||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the Z50 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 1200D does not provide wifi capability.
The Z50 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the 1200D has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 1200D was succeeded by the Canon 1300D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 1200D better than the Nikon Z50 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 1200D:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 320) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (48 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2014).
Reasons to prefer the Nikon Z50:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20.7 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 7%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.50x).
- 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 (1040k vs 460k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-II standard.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 7 months of technical progress since the 1200D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Z50 is the clear winner of the contest (23 : 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. 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 Nikon Z50 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 Z50 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.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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.||Nikon Z50||5/5||..||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2019||859|
|3.||Canon 4000D||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon M50||..||+||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779|
|5.||Canon 1300D||4/5||o||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449|
|6.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|7.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|8.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|9.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|10.||Canon 100D||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|11.||Canon 700D||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|12.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|13.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|14.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|15.||Nikon 1 V3||3/5||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2014||799|
|16.||Nikon D5300||4/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799|
|17.||Sony A6300||4.5/5||+||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999|
|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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Canon 1200D vs Nikon Z50
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||Nikon Z50|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2014||October 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 449||USD 859|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1200D||Nikon Z50|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||23.5 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||368.95 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||20.7 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||5568 x 3712 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||4.22 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||5.60 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 204,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||EXPEED 6|
|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||Nikon Z50|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1200D||Nikon Z50|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/4000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|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||UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1200D||Nikon Z50|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 1200D||Nikon Z50|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||320 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
130 x 100 x 78 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
127 x 94 x 60 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||480 g (16.9 oz)||450 g (15.9 oz)|
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