Despite solid offerings from Sony, Panasonic and Pentax folks still like to see the current offerings from Nikon and Canon go head to head.  Here are the latest models from Canon and Nikon compared.

Which one is right for you? I would love to help you figure it out.  You can find me at @camerarec on twitter, facebook or shoot me an email.

Seriously – I am here to help – Feel free to give me a shout, there are no stupid questions about cameras


Nikon D3200 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR NIKKOR Zoom Lens (Red)

Overview: Entry-level Nikon, Cost  = $699 includes 18-55 lens with VR (image stabilization) Comes in Red or Black with 3″ LCD screen, Battery life rated at 540 shots

Still info – 24MP, ISO Auto – 6400 (12,800 w/ boost), 11 focus points, center point is cross type(most accurate), 4 frames per second

Video info – 1920 x 1080 (30,25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps), Mono Mic with external mic jack, continuous AF during filming.

My Thoughts – The sensor in the Nikon D3200 is excellent, one of the best crop sensors ever tested by DxO mark folks, second only to a pentax.  The built in guide mode does a good job of holding your hand and teaching you the basics of DSLR shooting while actually using the camera.  Still lacks an in body focus motor which means that it will not Autofocus with all nikon lenses, especially older ones but I think this is much less of an issue than I made it out to be three years ago.  The video focus is on the slow side and it can certainly hunt for for focus while filming, this can be heard through the on board mono mic.  Using an external mic will obviously give you much better audio and lessen the noise from the lens as it focuses.  Buy this is you care more about stills and want video as an after thought.  For $700 you are getting some excellent image quality (IQ) but to really take advantage of it you will need to consider other lenses like the affordable but excellent quality 35mm f/1.8


Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm EF-S IS II Lens

Overview: Step above entry-level, Cost $949 includes 18-55 lens with IS (image stabilization, comes in black with 3″ articulating touchscreen, Battery life rated at 440 shots

Still info – 18MP, ISO Auto – 12,800 (25600 w/ boost), 9 focus points all cross type, 5 frames per second, wireless flash control

Video info – 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (60, 50 fps), Stereo Mic with external mic jack, continuous AF during filming (silent when paired with the two new STM lenses)

My Thoughts – Canon has now produced three Rebels at the 18MP mark, this sensor is paired with a new processor allowing for better high ISO images and has the added benefit of phase and contrast detection which makes focusing while video faster and more reliable.  That coupled with the new STM lenses, one of which is quite affordable, makes this a potentially very exciting video machine for pros. Parents should also appreciate the stereo mic, you don’t need any extra doo-dads to get good audio.  If you have an older Rebel and or a collection of Canon lenses it is certainly a worthy upgrade and offers both still shooters and budding videographers lots of room to grow but the D3200 is going to give you better image quality and slightly better high ISO for $250 less.  You are giving up the articulated touch screen, better video with stereo and the ability to focus silently if you pick up those STM lenses in the future.


Final Thoughts – It is difficult to discuss these two cameras in a vacuum, there are plenty of other offerings in the price range of $650 – $1000 that will get you similar features.

For more comparisons look at The T3i and T2i comparison, The Giant chart of T4i, D3200, A37, G3 comparisons, and the JD Power Survey of DSLRS,

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  1. Trying to choose between canon t4i (15-55, 55-250mm IS II lens), Nikon D3200(18-55, 55-200mm VR lens). Both sold at costco in kits. Which would be better for indoor volleyball and basketball?

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