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Nikon D5300 versus Canon 1200D

The Nikon D5300 and the Canon EOS 1200D (labelled Canon T5 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in October 2013 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 24 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 D5300 vs Canon 1200D

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D5300 and the Canon 1200D. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the D5300 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Nikon D5300 vs Canon 1200D
Compare D5300 versus 1200D top
Compare D5300 and 1200D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 1200D is notably larger (6 percent) than the Nikon D5300. In terms of weight, the two cameras are very close. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D5300 nor the 1200D 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 Nikon Lens Catalog (D5300) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1200D).

Concerning battery life, the D5300 gets 600 shots out of its EN-EL14a battery, while the 1200D can take 500 images on a single charge of its LP-E10 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)
Nikon D5300» 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 16.9 oz 600 n Oct 2013 799- i
Canon 1200D« 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i
Canon 1300D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Canon 100D« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i
Nikon D3400« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499 i i
Nikon D5600« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 16.4 oz 970 n Nov 2016 699 i i
Nikon D5500« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 14.8 oz 820 n Jan 2015 899- i
Nikon D3300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499- i
Nikon D3200« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 540 n Apr 2012 599- i
Nikon D5200« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 500 n Nov 2012 749- i
Nikon D5100« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.8 oz 660 n Apr 2011 749- 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 1200D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 44 percent) than the D5300, 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 D5300 vs Canon 1200D

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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 1200D is 10 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.5 (D5300) and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D5300 and Canon 1200D sensor measures

With 24MP, the D5300 offers a higher resolution than the 1200D (17.9MP), but the D5300 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.31μm for the 1200D). Moreover, the 1200D is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the D5300, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D5300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

D5300 versus 1200D MP

For most 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 review, the D5300 provides substantially higher image quality than the 1200D, with an overall score that is 20 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.1 bits higher color depth, 2.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Nikon D5300» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
Canon 1200D« APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
Canon 1300D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Canon 100D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
Nikon D3400« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
Nikon D5600« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
Nikon D5500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
Nikon D3300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
Nikon D3200« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
Nikon D5200« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.213.9128484
Nikon D5100« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the D5300 provides a higher frame rate than the 1200D. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D5300 vs Canon 1200D

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D5300 and the 1200D 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D5300 and Canon 1200D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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
Nikon D5300»optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 1200D«optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 1300D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Canon 100D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D3400« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D5600« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D5500« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D3300« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D3200« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D5200« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D5100« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y n

Both the D5300 and the 1200D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D5300 was replaced by the Nikon D5500, while the 1200D was followed by the Canon 1300D.

Review summary: Nikon D5300 vs Canon 1200D

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D5300 and the Canon 1200D? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D5300:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 17.9MP) with a 16% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (20 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.1 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • 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 (1037k vs 460k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 500) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2013).

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 1200D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (3 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D5300 is the clear winner of the match-up (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.

D5300 13:03 1200D

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D5300 or the 1200D. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Nikon D5300»HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799- i
Canon 1200D«Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i
Canon 4000D« »rev---3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i
Canon 1300D« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Canon 100D« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i
Nikon D3400« »Rec76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499 i i
Nikon D5600« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i i
Nikon D5500« »Rec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899- i
Nikon D3300« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499- i
Nikon D3200« »HiRec73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599- i
Nikon D5200« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2012 749- i
Nikon D5100« »HiRec76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749- i

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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? 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 update the database with the necessary infos.

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