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Canon 1200D versus Olympus TG-5

The Canon EOS 1200D (called Canon T5 in some regions) and the Olympus Tough TG-5 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2014 and May 2017. The 1200D is a DSLR, while the TG-5 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (1200D) and a 1/2.3-inch (TG-5) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the Olympus provides 12 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 Olympus TG-5

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1200D and the Olympus TG-5 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative 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).

Compare Canon 1200D vs Olympus TG-5
Compare 1200D versus TG-5 top
Compare 1200D and TG-5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus TG-5 is considerably smaller (43 percent) than the Canon 1200D. It is noteworthy in this context that the TG-5 is splash and dust-proof, while the 1200D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the TG-5 is water-proof up to 15m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the TG-5 has a lens build 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 find an overview of optics for the 1200D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 1200D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the TG-5 can take 340 images on a single charge of its LI-92B power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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)
Camera
Model
Canon 1200D» 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Olympus TG-5« 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 8.8 oz 340 Y May 2017 449 i i Olympus TG-5
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
Canon 1300D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
Canon 760D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon G9 X« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon 100D« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Fujifilm XP130« » 4.3 in 2.8 in 1.1 in 7.3 oz 240 n Jan 2018 229 i i Fujifilm XP130
Nikon W300« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
Olympus E-PM1« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 330 n Jun 2011 499- i Olympus E-PM1
Panasonic TS7« » 4.6 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 11.3 oz 300 Y May 2018 449 i i Panasonic TS7

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 Olympus TG-5

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. 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 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 Olympus TG-5 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the TG-5 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 TG-5 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 1200D and Olympus TG-5 sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the 1200D offers a higher resolution than the TG-5 (12MP), but the 1200D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 1.53μm for the TG-5) due to its larger sensor. However, the TG-5 is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 years and 3 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 pixels.

1200D versus TG-5 MP

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 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
Olympus TG-5« 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p----Olympus TG-5
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
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
Fujifilm XP130« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----Fujifilm XP130
Nikon W300« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon W300
Olympus E-PM1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i21.010.349952Olympus E-PM1
Panasonic TS7« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Panasonic TS7

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the TG-5 provides a better video resolution than the 1200D. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1200D vs Olympus TG-5

Apart from 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 TG-5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1200D and Olympus TG-5 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 1200D»optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
Olympus TG-5«- n 3.0 460 fixed n 2000 20.0 Y Y Olympus TG-5
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 3200 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
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
Fujifilm XP130« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 10.0 Y Y Fujifilm XP130
Nikon W300« »- n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y Y Nikon W300
Olympus E-PM1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 5.5 n Y Olympus E-PM1
Panasonic TS7« »1170 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1300 10.0 Y Y Panasonic TS7

Both the 1200D and the TG-5 write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

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
Olympus TG-5«-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus TG-5
Canon 4000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
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
Fujifilm XP130« »-monomono--micro2.0Y-YFujifilm XP130
Nikon W300« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon W300
Olympus E-PM1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM1
Panasonic TS7« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic TS7

The TG-5 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. In contrast, the 1200D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 1200D was succeeded by the Canon 1300D.

Review summary: Canon 1200D vs Olympus TG-5

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 1200D better than the Olympus TG-5 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 1200D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 340) 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 available for much longer (launched in February 2014).

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus Tough TG-5:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 1200D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x66mm vs 130x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens build in (unlike the 1200D).
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Water-proof: Can be used in the rain and for underwater photography (up to 15m).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi build in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 3 months of technical progress since the 1200D launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TG-5 emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 7 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 07:10 TG-5

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1200D or the TG-5 handle or perform in practice. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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 full reviews are available 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
Olympus TG-5«HiRec-4/5rev4/5 May 2017 449 i i Olympus TG-5
Canon 4000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon SX730« »Rec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
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
Fujifilm XP130« »rev-3.5/5-4/5 Jan 2018 229 i i Fujifilm XP130
Nikon W300« »Rec-4/5-4/5 May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
Olympus E-PM1« »86/10071/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2011 499- i Olympus E-PM1
Panasonic TS7« »Rec---3.5/5 May 2018 449 i i Panasonic TS7

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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