Nikon D5200 vs Canon T4i (Explained Simply)

I have here the T4i (650D) and the D5200 -Shown below is both mounted on my super fancy side by side comparator board- Canon T4i vs Nikon D5200Now with videoThese two cameras are very similar in size and shape. You may want to put your hands on both to see what feels nicest and watch my video comparing and contrasting the physical differences and similarities D5200 and T4i. I also have a page of High ISO Sample photos and video from the Nikon and the Canon

What the T4i has that the D5200 doesn't:

  • Touch screen - use is optional as all physical buttons are still present but it does allow access to all features of the camera in quick and efficient manner.
  • Silent Auto Focus during video when paired with the 18-135 STM lens.  Nikon also offers full time AF but does not have a silent lens.
  • Wireless Flash Control - ability to fire external flashes that are not attached to the camera
  • The ability to adjust your aperture during live view - Useful for learning.
  • Shooting in various aspect ratios 1:1, 4:3, 3:2. 16:9 but only when shot through live view
  • A bit more space on the back of the camera for larger hands.
  • Built in focus motor - the T4i will auto focus with all EF and EF-S lenses. D5200 lacks focus motor which limits lens selection - this is not nearly as big a deal as it was a few years ago, Nikon has released plenty of lenses that will AF with the D5200.
  • Custom Menu to save your most used settings.

What the D5200 has that the T4i doesn't:

  • Faster focusing brain with 39 AF points - Focus performance was occasionally slightly faster through the viewfinder and in live view.  T4i has 9 focus points.
  • Better low light performance.  Below 1600 ISO the two cameras perform similarly, above you start to see a difference with less noise and more detail out of the Nikon.
  • More megapixels 24 vs 18 - not nearly as big a difference as it looks on paper.  (Illus coming)
  • Small light for low-light auto focus assist. T4i has flash that pops up and annoyingly strobes.
  • More shutter modes - a slow burst 3FPS versus normal 5FPS(same as T4i) and a Quiet Shutter that doesn't sound much quieter.
  • 1080i at 60fps. T4i only offers 1080p at 30fps. At the 60 frame rates the video is interlaced and cropped a bit more.
  • Additional Scene Modes and effects (video coming soon) and a more robust HDR feature.
  • Wireless dongle accessory($60) makes it easy to use phone as live viewfinder/remote and download photos to phone/tablet.
  • Built in intervalometer for shooting time lapse.
  • A retouch menu with a several more options.
  • A few quirks: aperture changing, tendency to lean greenish though it can be argued that the Canon leans redish and an intervalometer that seems to just stop.

Canon T4i vs Nikon D5200 Summary:

If you were to just count the bullets Nikon would get a fairly clear K.O but not every bullet is worth the same weight and it depends on your needs and use case.  Both cameras produce excellent images in a variety of conditions.  If I had to pick highlights for each -On the Canon side I would mention that user friendly touchscreen which makes the whole camera a bit simpler to operate and the pairing with the 18-135 that provides silent and smooth auto focus during video -this is a very family friendly feature.On the Nikon side I would mention that the focus brain, ISO performance and general feature richness of the camera.Another Item worth mentioning - Nikon's track record of customer service is a bit less than stellar, they have had a few camera models in recent years shipped out with serious issues that they denied for way to long and their general average repair time is often several times longer than Canon.  I really haven't heard of any customer horror stories with Canon, although they too have shipped cameras with problems they seem to deal with the issue quickly enough and fairly.So which should you buy?  You are going to make the best pictures with the camera you are most comfortable using and I think for many of you this will be your first DSLR and that friendly touchscreen and user interface of the Canon is worth lots.  If you are willing to work a bit harder it is *possible" to get better photos out of the Nikon but I don't think for many of you that it is worth the quirks and in my opinion the more difficult operating system.Would you like a personal recommendation? Leave me a message on my Facebook page or a comment below letting me know about you, what you like to photograph and where you hope to be as a photographer in a year or two.


Buying the Nikon or Canon through my links supports this site and costs you nothing extra.

Coming Soon -Cat at ISO 3200 Nikon D5200Next Steps - Price out lens packages for general use.  What does Nikon offer for general walk around, good zooms for wildlife, portraits, street, primes, macros etc.    External Flash options - Articles/Videos are coming along with "What would be your cost of owning"