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Canon 200D versus Nikon D90

The Canon EOS 200D (called Canon SL2 in some regions) and the Nikon D90 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2017 and August 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 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 200D vs Nikon D90

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 200D and the Nikon D90. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display 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 – the 200D – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 200D vs Nikon D90
Compare 200D versus D90 top
Compare 200D and D90 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D90 is notably larger (20 percent) than the Canon 200D. Moreover, the D90 is substantially heavier (55 percent) than the 200D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 200D nor the D90 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 (200D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D90).

Concerning battery life, the 200D gets 650 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the D90 can take 850 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3e 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 200D» 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i
Nikon D90« 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 n Aug 2008 1,299- i
Canon 2000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon 800D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Canon M5« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon 100D« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i
Nikon D3400« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499 i i
Nikon D7000« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499- i
Nikon D3000« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 18.9 oz 500 n Jul 2009 599- i
Nikon D5000« » 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749- i
Nikon D80« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999- 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 200D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 58 percent) than the D90, 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 200D vs Nikon D90

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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D90 is 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (200D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 200D and Nikon D90 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 200D offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixel, compared with 12.2 MP of the Nikon D90. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 5.53μm for the D90). However, it should be noted that the 200D is much more recent (by 8 years and 10 months) than the D90, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

200D versus D90 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the 200D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D90 (overall score 6 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 200D» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
Nikon D90« APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
Canon 800D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon 100D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364
Nikon D3400« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
Nikon D7000« » APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780
Nikon D3000« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.156362
Nikon D5000« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
Nikon D80« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.111.252461

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 200D provides a higher video resolution than the D90. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Nikon is limited to 720/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 200D vs Nikon D90

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 200D and the D90 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 200D, the Nikon D90, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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 200D»optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D90«optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 4.5 Y n
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y
Canon 800D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 Y n
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 100D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n
Nikon D3400« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D7000« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n
Nikon D3000« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D5000« »optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 4000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D80« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n

The 200D is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the D90 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D90 was succeeded by the Nikon D7000.

Review summary: Canon 200D vs Nikon D90

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 200D better than the Nikon D90 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 200D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 12.2MP) with a 40% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/24p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x93mm vs 132x103mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 250g or 36 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (58 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 10 months of technical progress since the D90 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D90:

  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (850 versus 650) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2008).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 200D is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 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.

200D 11:03 D90

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 200D or the D90. 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 200D»HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i
Nikon D90«HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i
Canon 2000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon 800D« »-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i
Canon M100« »Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i
Canon 80D« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon 100D« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i
Canon 40D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i
Nikon D3400« »Rec76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499 i i
Nikon D7000« »-80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i
Nikon D3000« »Rec72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599- i
Nikon D5000« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749- i
Nikon D80« »RecHiRecrev4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

 

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, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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