Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D5100 vs Canon T4i (650D)

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Update 3/22/2013: The Canon T5i has been announced, very minor upgrades. The T4i with 18-135mm STM is currently a better value and the best price is now at Amazon or B&H, Includes free SD Card at B&H and bundled deal with 55-250 is still possible.  For serious photographers T5i does not offer any improvements.   T5i vs T4i and 18-55 STM Lens info.

The T4i with 18-55 lens is available at B&H or Amazon. If you want to shoot easy video with the T4i buy with 18-135 for at Amazon or B&H.  The bundled deal saves $130 over the cost of the same package at Costco, repeat the Costco T4i deal is not as good as the  B&H & Amazon deals linked above.

Ask me if you have any questions. Seriously, if you have a question shoot me an email or use the little chat widget. 

 

Canon T4i 650D Nikon D5100 Nikon D5200
Quick Thoughts Serious camera crammed into this little body with a responsive touchscreen, good button layout, stereo mic and wireless flash control Closing in on 18 months old – currently a good value. Will be replaced in Nov 12, no in-body focus motor means  some older Nikon lenses will not auto focus 39 point AF system with an excellent sensor and metering system, likely to be the new king of crop sensor camera performance.
MP 18 16 24
Max Resolution 5184 x 3456 4928 x 3264 6016 x 4000
ISO range 100 – 12800 (25600 with boost) 100-6400 (128000 & 25600 with boost) 100 – 6400 (25,600)
Continuous Drive (fps) 5 4 5
LCD Screen Articulated touchscreen 3″ 1,040,000 Articulated 3″ 921,000 dots articulated 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
Movie Mode 1080 at 30,25,24fps 720 at 60,50fps 640 at 60,50fps 1080 at 30,25,24fps 720 at 30,25,24fps 640 at 30,24fps 1080 at 30,25,24fps 720 at 60,50fps 640 at 30,25fps
Built-in Flash Yes Yes Yes
Max Recording Limit 29 Minutes 20 Minutes 29 Minutes
Microphone Stereo Mono Mono – maybe stereo but doubtful
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
Battery Life 440 500 500



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 package.  High ISO images have a bit less noise than D5100(a good thing) and slightly better frames per second rate/burst of images. – Detailed Canon T4i Review | Canon 18-135 STM Lens Review

D5100 – Despite being a year older than the Canon T4i and now selling for $300 dollars less it can still be considered competitive, put the savings toward a nice Nikon zoom or even better in my opinion a prime like the 34 f/1.8 and you have a camera capable of taking excellent photos, not quite on par with the T4i on the video side of things as it has a mono mic and the output is not quite as clean as the lovely video from T4i.  D5100 has built in intervalometer, useful for taking time-lapse photos.

D5200 – Uses a toshiba sensor similar to the excellent D3200, one of the best crop sensors that has been tested and as a result low light still performance is very good, video performance is not on par with the Canon t4i.  Includes On-board Stereo Mic, focus system and metering from D7000 make this very attractive on paper.  Bonus: Built in intervalometer is excellent for creating time lapse video.

 

 

 

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  1. August 12, 2012

    Ryan

    The Nikon D5100 does NOT have full time AF while filming.

    • August 13, 2012

      toby

      Hi Ryan, It actually does though works even less effectively than the newer Canon.

      Page 45 of the Nikon manual explains how

      AF-F Full-time- For moving subjects. Camera focuses continuously during live view and movie recording.

  2. October 3, 2012

    Rawaa

    Hi every one

    i really confused between nikon D5100 and D3200 which one is the best?
    do i have to wait till D5200 release ?

    • October 3, 2012

      toby

      The D3200 is quite nice, the sensor is top notch and a bit better than the D5100. It doesn’t have the flip-out screen of the D5100 but otherwise they are very similar. If I was buying right now I would pick up the D3200 or wait until the end of the month to see if the D5200 is announced at the Photo+ Expo in NYC.

  3. December 30, 2012

    Mike

    Totally disagree that the sensor in the 3200 is better than the 5100. Yes it has more megapixels but we are splitting hairs once you get above 14mp. My friend has the 5100 and I have the 3200 and we would compare photos using the exact same settings and his photos come out a bit better overall. We use the same lens, settings, taking photo of the same thing at the same angle.. I think the D5100 is far more superior than the 3200 even though its a bit older.

    • December 31, 2012

      toby

      Mike, interesting! I do disagree and feel supported by the results of DxO tests that named the d3200 second best dx sensor after the pentax K series. I do believe that the real world difference are slight and find it curious that you notice a negative difference. Thanks for sharing!

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