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Canon T2i vs Nikon D5200

The Canon EOS Rebel T2i (called Canon 550D in some regions) and the Nikon D5200 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2010 and November 2012. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon T2i versus Nikon D5200
Canon T2i Nikon D5200
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 25,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g 129 x 98 x 78 mm, 555 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T2i and the Nikon D5200? 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon T2i and the Nikon D5200 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. 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.

The D5200 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the T2i is only available in black.

Size Canon T2i vs Nikon D5200
Compare T2i versus D5200 top
Comparison T2i or D5200 rear

In this particular case, the Canon T2i and the Nikon D5200 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the Nikon is markedly heavier (5 percent) than the Canon. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T2i nor the D5200 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 compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (T2i) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D5200).

Concerning battery life, the T2i gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the D5200 can take 500 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon T2i 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699i
 
Nikon D5200 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 500 n Nov 2012 749i
 
Canon T100 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon T6s 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon T5 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon T5i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649i
 
Canon T4i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T3 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon T3i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599i
 
Canon T1i 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon XSi 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon XTi 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799i
 
Nikon D5600 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 16.4 oz 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D3300 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D5300 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 16.9 oz 600 n Oct 2013 799i
 
Nikon D3200 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 540 n Apr 2012 599i
 
Nikon D5100 5.0 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.8 oz 660 n Apr 2011 749i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 T2i was somewhat cheaper (by 7 percent) than the D5200 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 D5200 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (T2i) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon T2i and Nikon D5200 sensor measures

With 24MP, the D5200 offers a higher resolution than the T2i (17.9MP), but the D5200 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.31μm for the T2i). Yet, the D5200 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 8 months) than the T2i, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D5200 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D5200 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon T2i 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 Canon EOS Rebel T2i 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 D5200 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

T2i versus D5200 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 consideration, the D5200 offers substantially better image quality than the T2i (overall score 18 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.1 bits higher color depth, 2.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.7 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
 
Nikon D5200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.213.9128484
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the D5200 provides a faster frame rate than the T2i. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The T2i and the D5200 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the T2i has a higher magnification than the one of the D5200 (0.54x vs 0.51x), 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 T2i, the Nikon D5200, and comparable cameras.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Nikon D5200optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3200optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5100optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
The D5200 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 T2i does not have a selfie-screen.

The Nikon D5200 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 T2i and the D5200 write their files to SDXC cards. The D5200 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the T2i cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 Rebel T2i and Nikon D5200 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D5200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D3200YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D5100YmonomonoY-mini2.0---

Both the T2i and the D5200 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T2i was replaced by the Canon T3i, while the D5200 was followed by the Nikon D5300. 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon T2i or the Nikon D5200 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? 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 Rebel T2i:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.51x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2010).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Nikon D5200:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (18 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 (2.4 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 440) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the T2i launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D5200 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 3 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

T2i 03:13 D5200

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T2i and the Nikon D5200 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the T2i or the D5200 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.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon T2i+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
 
Nikon D5200+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2012 749i
 
Canon T100o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon T6s+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon T5+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon T5i..76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
 
Canon T4i+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T380/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon T3io77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
 
Canon T1i+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon XSi+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon XTi+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799i
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D5300+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799i
 
Nikon D3200+ +73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599i
 
Nikon D5100+ +76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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. 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.

Canon T2i:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D5200:
Check Ebay offers

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon T2i vs Nikon D5200

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon T2i Nikon D5200
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2010 November 2012
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon T2i Nikon D5200
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 EXPEED 3
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 84
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 24.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 13.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 784 1284
    Screen Specs Canon T2i Nikon D5200
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.51x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T2i Nikon D5200
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer 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-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon T2i Nikon D5200
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T2i Nikon D5200
    Battery Type LP-E8 EN-EL14
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    129 x 98 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 530 g (18.7 oz) 555 g (19.6 oz)

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