Canon’s T5i Takes On Nikon’s D5200 in a Cringe-Worthy Drop Test

It’s one of a photographer’s worst fears: dropping your DSLR. Especially for the amateur who may not have a backup, knowing that your camera can withstand a beating has led to some interesting videos in the past.

But while we appreciate DigitalRev’s “paint it pink and light it on fire” approach, protection plan company SquareTrade‘s more scientific test is probably more useful (if less entertaining). In the video above, SquareTrade enlists the help of pro photographer and B&H employee Neil Gershman to drop test Canon’s T5i and Nikon’s D5200.


The test was conducted on a rainy day in front of B&H’s NYC superstore. While B&H patrons looked on in what we can only assume was abject horror, SquareTrade dropped the two cameras at the same time from identical platforms 4 feet off the ground.

Once Gershman collected the lenses (both of which popped off and went flying) he was able to put the cameras to the test and see which one came out on top. Initially, it looked like Canon had lost; although both lenses had broken and weren’t staying on properly, the Nikon was still turning on and taking pictures, albeit with no ability to autofocus.

Even after the Canon turned back on a few minutes later, the resulting images looked better coming out of the Nikon/broken lens combo.


However, given that both cameras worked just fine after the broken lenses were replaced, SquareTrade decided to give the win to Canon. The drop rendered both lenses unusable, and even though the Canon lens was perhaps a bit more unusable, the body itself seemed to sustain less damage.

To see the full drop test for yourself, steel yourself and click play at the top.

(via The Phoblographer)

  • Delowa

    seeing this on the same day that a freaking hurricane caused havoc……it makes me a bit sad….yes dumdum if i drive my car at brick-wall…well fill in the blanks!

  • pourio

    4 foot drop. She’s really short.

  • 3ric15

    Her voice irritates me.

  • Rob

    That’s not a 4 foot drop, there’s no way they somehow wound up with a crowd of people barely 5 ft tall. I’m fairly certain what they did was measure 4 feet up that pole excluding the tripod base the rig is on.

  • PocitoMustacio

    I wouldn’t really say that the T5i won. Both lenses broke and, at the end of the day, both bodies functioned properly.

    Side note: I once dropped my Canon 20D with a 50mm 1.4 attached when I threw my backpack over my shoulder not knowing it was unzipped. I remember cringing as I heard the camera bounce and slide against asphalt, finally stopping about 15 ft away. Besides some scratches to the body and UV filter, both functioned perfectly.

  • alex

    But both of the lenses in the video were plastic mount kit lenses unlike the 50mm f/1.4 which has a much sturdier metal mount, also the 20D is a much better built camera than the t5i or d5200 since neither have a magnesium alloy body.

  • ISO640

    I’d like to see her in the next drop test.

  • Andy

    That’s the first thing I noticed, more like a 5ft drop test. These test are stupid anyway. Who’s going to by a camera because it faired slightly better in a drop test. It’s random. Drop a hundred and then you can see which one’s better.

  • CrackerJacker

    There are no pro statisticians anymore.

  • Photog

    Results need to be replicable in order to declare a valid winner, this is biased!

  • PocitoMustacio

    Oh, I wasn’t trying to compare. I’m fully aware that there are build quality differences between what was tested and what I dropped. I was more so just sharing my horror story.

  • J

    Another ridiculous test. What does it prove? That we’re so rich we can afford to break cameras on purpose? And, then again, to prove what? That a brand is better than another, only to drive sales? It’s totally up to chance: after one drop one camera will fare better and after 10 drops (we can afford it, can’t we?) the other camera will still work fine. I don’t see the point here, again. If it’s a publicity stunt for B&H, it’s not good.

  • Phillip Boyce

    Did anyone else catch that the photograph taken inside the B&H store with the canon Looked like they used flash but when he actually took the picture the flash didn’t fire.

  • Guest

    Did anyone else catch that the photograph taken inside the B&H store
    with the canon Looked like they used flash but when he actually took
    the picture the flash didn’t fire.

  • invaderphill

    Did anyone else catch that the photograph taken inside the B&H store
    with the canon Looked like they used flash but when he actually took
    the picture the flash didn’t fire.

  • Ryan Oliver

    “It’s one of a photographer’s worst fears: dropping your DSLR.” So photographers not using a DSLR don’t have this concern? Sure, I have enough money to blow on a new OM-D or X Pro 1 and fast lens combo every week. But thank god I didn’t drop my Rebel with kit zoom.

  • gord

    Yes, let’s wish trauma on someone because they made a video we don’t like.

  • ISO640

    What kind of trauma will she experience from a 4 foot drop?

  • kjb

    no use debating such semantics of the article given the entire premise is random and done for entertainment purposes only

  • Bill

    I’m a Canon guy, but I have no distaste for Nikons and other brands. But this is just a random drop with 1 result. You can’t base final results on just 1 test, that’s just plain silly.

    If anyone made their purchase solely based on this video, then they are easily swayed by simple marketing and flashy gimmicks.

    I applaud them for using very similar cameras so it did not appear lop-sided, but you got to realize, that if you drop your camera, especially with the lens attached, you have to expect some damage, especially if it were a straight 4 foot drop.

    I accidentally knocked my 7D off a workbench at 3 foot and totally destroyed it, well sort of. Cosmetically it was fine but it would not work after the fall. No lens attached.
    Even with the extra heavy magnesium body, from a 3 foot drop straight onto concrete, wound up breaking the mirror box assembly, flash unit and AF assembly.
    Good thing it was covered.

  • Rob

    Yet if you look at DigitalRev’s 7D torture test, it survived against all odds. This is exactly proof that all of these tests are unscientific and literally burning money for entertainment (if you consider cringing at broken 700-800$ DSLR’s entertainment).

  • Ryan Oliver

    Understood. But I see this site use the specific term ‘DSLR’ in a number of cases when it should just state ‘camera.’ We don’t substitute MILC for a generic camera. I think an effort should be made to be more platform agnostic given the emergence of a higher end non-DSLR options beyond Leica.