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Nikon D1 versus Canon T5

The Nikon D1 and the Canon EOS Rebel T5 (labelled Canon 1200D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 1999 and February 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 2.6 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 17.9 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: Nikon D1 vs Canon T5

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D1 and the Canon T5. 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 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 side – the D1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Nikon D1 vs Canon T5
Compare D1 versus T5 top
Compare D1 and T5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T5 is considerably smaller (46 percent) than the Nikon D1. Moreover, the T5 is substantially lighter (56 percent) than the D1. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D1 is splash and dust resistant, while the T5 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. 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 Nikon Lens Catalog (D1) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (T5).

As can be seen in the images above, the D1 has a battery grip build in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the T5, there are third party battery grips available as optional accessories (see here on eBay).

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)
Camera
Model
Nikon D1» 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g .. Y Jun 1999 5,499- i Nikon D1
Canon T5« 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon T6« » 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
Canon T6i« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon SL1« » 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon T5i« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon T3« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Nikon D4« » 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1340 g 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
Nikon D3S« » 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1240 g 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
Nikon D300S« » 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
Nikon D3« » 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1300 g 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999- i Nikon D3
Nikon D300« » 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799- i Nikon D300
Nikon D2Xs« » 157.5 mm 149.5 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
Nikon D200« » 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699- i Nikon D200
Nikon D2X« » 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999- i Nikon D2X
Nikon D1H« » 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 4,499- i Nikon D1H
Nikon D1X« » 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999- i Nikon D1X

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 T5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 92 percent) than the D1, 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: Nikon D1 vs Canon T5

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 T5 is 10 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.5 (D1) and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D1 and Canon T5 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the T5 offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixel, compared with 2.6 MP of the D1. 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 4.31μm versus 11.93μm for the D1). However, it should be noted that the T5 is much more recent (by 14 years and 8 months) than the D1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

D1 versus T5 MP

For many 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"). 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
Nikon D1» APS-C 2.6 2000 1312-----Nikon D1
Canon T5« APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
Canon T6« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon T6
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
Nikon D3S« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382Nikon D3S
Nikon D300S« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770Nikon D300S
Nikon D3« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832-23.512.2229081Nikon D3
Nikon D300« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.112.067967Nikon D300
Nikon D2Xs« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.210.948959Nikon D2Xs
Nikon D200« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.558364Nikon D200
Nikon D2X« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.110.947659Nikon D2X
Nikon D1H« » APS-C 2.6 2000 1312-----Nikon D1H
Nikon D1X« » APS-C 5.9 3008 1960-----Nikon D1X

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The T5 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D1 does not. The highest resolution format that the T5 can use is 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D1 vs Canon T5

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D1 and the T5 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 Nikon D1, the Canon T5, and comparable cameras. 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
Nikon D1»optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 16000 1.5 n n Nikon D1
Canon T5«optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T5
Canon T6« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T6
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T3
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n Nikon D4
Nikon D3S« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n Nikon D3S
Nikon D300S« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 7.0 Y n Nikon D300S
Nikon D3« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n Nikon D3
Nikon D300« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n Nikon D300
Nikon D2Xs« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Nikon D2Xs
Nikon D200« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Nikon D200
Nikon D2X« »optical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Nikon D2X
Nikon D1H« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 16000 5.0 n n Nikon D1H
Nikon D1X« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 16000 3.0 n n Nikon D1X

One feature that is present on the D1, but is missing on the T5 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The D1 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the T5 uses 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
Nikon D1»Y-----FW---Nikon D1
Canon T5«Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T5
Canon T6« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T6
Canon T6i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
Canon SL1« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
Canon T5i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T5i
Canon T3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4
Nikon D3S« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Nikon D3S
Nikon D300S« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D300S
Nikon D3« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D3
Nikon D300« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D300
Nikon D2Xs« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2Xs
Nikon D200« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D200
Nikon D2X« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2X
Nikon D1H« »Y-----FW---Nikon D1H
Nikon D1X« »Y-----FW---Nikon D1X

Both the D1 and the T5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D1 was replaced by the Nikon D1X, while the T5 was followed by the Canon T6.

Review summary: Nikon D1 vs Canon T5

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D1 or the Canon T5 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D1:

  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (16000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 1999).

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T5:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 2.6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 160%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 120k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (130x100mm vs 157x153mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 620g or 56 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (92 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 14 years and 8 months of technical progress since the D1 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T5 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 5 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.

D1 05:10 T5

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 D1 or the T5 handle or perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known 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
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Nikon D1»-HiRec--- Jun 1999 5,499- i Nikon D1
Canon T5«Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon T6« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon SL1« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
Nikon D3S« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
Nikon D300S« »HiRec82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
Nikon D3« »-HiRec5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999- i Nikon D3
Nikon D300« »HiRecHiRec5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799- i Nikon D300
Nikon D2Xs« »---rev- Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
Nikon D200« »HiRecHiRecrev5/5- Nov 2005 1,699- i Nikon D200
Nikon D2X« »-HiRec-rev- Sep 2004 4,999- i Nikon D2X
Nikon D1H« »-HiRec-rev- Feb 2001 4,499- i Nikon D1H
Nikon D1X« »-HiRec-rev- Feb 2001 5,999- i Nikon D1X

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. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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