UPDATE: My final review- Nikon D5200 vs Canon T4i(650D) Comparison
UPDATE 12/30: The price of the T4i with 18-55 lens is holding at $649 (Lowest Price on B&H or Amazon). If you want to shoot easy video with the T4i buy the T4i with 18-135 for $859 (Lowest Price on B&H or Amazon) Bundled deal with 55-250 is also possible
Before we get to the chart I need to remind you all that these numbers only tell part of the story – Take a moment to read my thoughts below this chart and feel free to send me an email if you want to know which is best for you. Include what you like to photography, the gear you use now and anything else that would give me a more clear picture of you as a photographer. My contact information can be found at the bottom of this post.
|Canon T4i 650D||Nikon D5200||Nikon D3200|
|Quick Thoughts||Serious camera crammed into this little body with a responsive smartphone like touchscreen while retaining physical button layout, a stereo mic, and hybrid continuous auto focus during video.||An excellent sensor(even better than the D3200) along with a metering system and auto focus borrowed from it’s more serious big brother make this a very attractive package. It too includes a stereo mic but not the hybrid AF or the touchscreen.||One of the best DX sensors on the market provides class leading images with a beginner friendly how-to guide built into the camera.|
|Max Resolution||5184 x 3456||6016 x 4000||6016 x 4000|
|ISO range||100 – 12800 (25600 with boost)||100 – 6400 (25,600 with boost)||100-6400 (12,800 with boost)|
|Continuous Drive (fps)||5||5||4|
|LCD Screen||Articulated touchscreen 3″ 1,040,000||articulated 3″ 921,000 dots||3″ 921,000 dots|
|Viewfinder||Optical – Pentamirror 95% coverage||Optical – Pentamirror 95% coverage||Optical – Pentamirror 95% coverage|
|Full Time AF while Filming?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Number of Focus Points||11 (all are cross type – higher sensitivity)||39 (no further details at this time but it is likely that the center group is all cross-type)||11 (Only center is cross type)|
|Movie Mode||1080 at 30,25,24fps 720 at 60,50fps 640 at 60,50fps||1080 at 60, 50, 30, 25, 24fps, 720 at 60, 50fps, 640 at 30, 25fps||1080 at 30,25,24fps 720 at 30,25,24fps 640 at 30,24fps|
|Max Recording Limit||29 Minutes||29 Minutes||20 Minutes|
|Ext Mic Jack||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Image Stabilization (IS)||In some lenses||In some lenses||In some lenses|
|Lens Mount||EF/EF-S Mount||Nikon F Mount||Nikon F Mount|
|Cost (Kit lens)||$849||$899 (not confirmed)||$600|
Canon T4i – There is a lot packed into this little camera, very nice touch screen but retains buttons for physical control too – Paired with the new 18 – 135 STM lens and you have an excellent video/photo package that offers plenty of room to grow. High ISO images are not quite as good as D3200 – Detailed Canon T4i Review | Canon 18-135 STM Lens Review
D5200 – The sensor used by the D3200 is excellent, one of the best crop sensors that has been tested -and the D5200 will share this sensor/processor. The articulating screen will not be touchscreen but the metering sensor will be the same as the the D600(excellent) and shares the focus points of the higher end cameras with a whopping 39 focus points, T4i only has 11 – all 11 are cross-type. 9 of the center points on the D5200 will be cross type. This does make the D5200 better at capturing fast moving subjects – like kids on the soccer field or birds in flight but in most other day to day shots these differences will not matter much. Additionally in day to day shots in good light you will likely see little difference but as the light drops and the cameras ISO goes up the D5200 will produce better images.
The D5200 also offers a stereo mic (same as T4i) and with an optional wireless attachment ($150) you can trigger your camera from your smartphone iOS or Android. The T4i doesn’t offer that but does allow you to wirelessly control multiple flashes, excellent for studio work or professional photography. And finally the D5200 has a lovel intervalometer system built in allowing you to create time lapse without needing any remotes or separate devices.
Which camera would I buy (Canon T4i vs D5200)?
I need to start this paragraph by admitting that I have a slight Canon bias – it may be Canon’s excellent customer service, it may be that they have always included focus motors in their entry level cameras, or it may be that I shoot Canon and I am naturally biased towards what I know best. That all said this D5200 looks excellent – we know it shares the same excellent sensor as the D3200, one of the best sensors in a camera of this type produced to date. It shares metereing and AF systems from much more expensive cameras. It has a video system that no longer seems behind the times and include a multitude of frame rates and a stereo mic. We don’t know the exact price yet but it is likely to be in the 900-1000 range and competitive with the T4i pricing. It doesn’t have the more advanced hybrid AF system but honestly the hybrid focus system of the T4i is just “OK”. It doesn’t have the wireless flash mode that the T4i offers but I think that appeals to a narrow audience. It doesn’t have a touchscreen and the touchscreen on the T4i is lovely and something I found myself using much more than I thought I would. All that said my goal when buying a camera is image quality above just about all other features so between the two I think the D5200 is likely a better buy. If you can’t wait the D3200 is capable of producing excellent images or consider the Canon T4i – which as a complete package, when paired with the 18-135 is an excellent system.
Update: 12/15 I recently saw side by side comparisons of the D5200 and the Canon T4i video quality and at higher ISOs I was surprised to see the T4i pretty significantly beat the D5200. I will reserve judgement until I do my own comparison but I didn’t expect to see the 5200 beat.
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