Canon 650D vs Nikon D5200

Canon’s 650D has been out for a while now, and Nikon has just followed suit with the new D5200. These two cameras go head to head in a number of ways – feature set, price point, and more. If you’re upgrading or even just making the leap into the DSLR world, both of these cameras offer a compelling argument. Let’s take a deeper look to see which one is right for you…

 

Sensor: Like the D3100 that came before it, Nikon is using the 24mp sensor, which surprisingly (or not for Nikon) has decent high ISO noise performance. Unsurprisingly, Canon has stuck with an 18mp sensor that dates back to the 7D in 2009, but is updated for Hybrid AF performance. At least it is a proven performer, though with noise levels a bit higher than the rest in class. And maybe these eyes need checking, but I sense a bit more noise than even the 600D, especially more chroma noise compared to the NIkon. Compare for yourself here.

Video: Canon has caught up with Nikon in that it now offers continuous autofocus during video, something extremely rare in DSLRs but commonplace in compacts and even mirrorless cameras. But that’s not to say that it works well. It performs basic tracking, but don’t expect much from fast moving objects, much less someone merely walking. Stereo mics also make a new appearance in the 650D. Movie mode is now accessed from the power switch as opposed to the mode dial, yet perplexingly manual controls such as aperture and shutter speed are only available in M mode, not Av or Tv as you might expect. The Nikon adds a high speed, high resolution 1080i60 movie mode, one edge over the Canon.

LCD: Again, both offer a tilt and swivel screen, and Canon boasts slightly higher resolution at 1,040,000 pixels. It’s viewfinder also offers slightly higher magnification, at .85x vs .78x. In practice though, this shouldn’t make a huge difference, so I wouldn’t base your decision on these specs.

Body/Ergonomics: Both are basically the same size and weight. Nikon has a beefier (and many would say) more comfortable grip. Canon has more direct controls, with external buttons for WB & ISO. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal preference. I for one perfer the bigger and bulkier grip of the Nikon, but the button layout of the Canon.

Extras: Canon has introduced the first ever fully functional touch screen in a DSLR. And it’s a good one at that. My first time playing with the LCD was awakening. Why can’t all DSLRs be like this?! I’m sure they soon will. Nikon has introduced an optional wifi connection. But the most notable thing would be the new AF system which was pulled from the D7000. Kudos to Nikon on that front.

Conclusion: Another year, another round of capable mid-level cameras from Canon and Nikon. Which one is best for you? To make the answer simple: if you’re invested in Canon glass already, stick with Canon. If you’re invested with Nikon glass, stick with Nikon. If you’re making your first jump into DSLR territory, flip a coin! But seriously, both cameras will serve you fine. Get into a Best Buy and try them out with your own hands. Shoot with them for a while. See which one feels better. And there is your answer!

DSLR cameras by DigitalRev

For a more complete assessment both cameras, please see the reviews here on dpreview.com

Canon 650D

Nikon D5100 (coming soon…)

 

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  • http://www.topcanonreviews.com Gulyani Sadaram

    Canon Cameras are good but a definite second compared to nikon, but that doesnt keep me away from canon, i was wondering how is the cost of Canon EOS Rebel T3i in local store is expensive than its listed on Amazon :( http://amzn.to/PN8nfw

  • http://www.aputure.com/blog neo_xcool

    haha! touchscreen is nothing … and it was Nikon to give a first camera with touch screen and with full android too .. yeh between canikon what i am talking to. Nikon d5200 surely wins over Canon 650d and not equal or preference-based anymore….

    1. megapixel count
    2. autofocus
    3. body weight and size
    4. meetering
    5. uncompressed movies output through HDMI
    6. Revised Nikon realistic menu system (which is more than couple of more buttons and touch-screen)

  • http://www.aputure.com/blog john wewege

    Which camera is best for action photography – stills & video?

  • http://www.aputure.com/blog The A-Team

    re: John, the 650D has a “sports” mode while the D5200 does not. Both of them shoot at 5fps. I can’t find any buffer specs, but you can read about the 650Ds autofocus performance here: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-650d-rebel-t4i/15

  • http://www.aputure.com/blog John D

    I’m sorry but I’ve just seen the studio comparison at dpreview.com, the image quality is so disappointing. Look at the horrible yellow banding. It may have less noise at higher ISOs in dark colors, but not in lighter colors.

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