Updated (April 2011): Compare the Canon EOS 600D vs Nikon D5100

Nikon D5100 vs Canon EOS 600D

Nikon D5100


Canon EOS 600D



Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
1,183 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
Great color depth
Color depth
23.5 bits
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
13.6 EV

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 600D

Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies


Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 600D.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5100.


Nikon D5100 Competitors

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$289 body only

$350 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

True resolution Much higher true resolution
Color depth Better color depth
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200

Entry-level DSLR

$419 body only

$479 - $597 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
True resolution Much higher true resolution
Battery life Shorter battery life
Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$400 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR

Canon EOS 600D Competitors

Canon EOS 700D

Canon EOS 700D

Entry-level DSLR

$540 with 18-55mm lens

Autofocus Video autofocus
HDR Has in-camera HDR
Color depth Worse color depth
Canon EOS 1200D

Canon EOS 1200D

Entry-level DSLR

$370 body only

Autofocus Video autofocus
Lowest price Much cheaper
Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$289 body only

$350 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
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Advantages of the Canon 600D

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Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
1,040k dots vs 920k dots
More than 10% higher resolution screen
True resolution
Higher true resolution
17.9 MP vs 16.1 MP
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Viewfinder size
Slightly larger viewfinder
0.53x vs 0.51x
Around 10% larger viewfinder
Canon EOS 600D Learn more about
the Canon 600D

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Low light performance
Significantly lower noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO vs 793 ISO
The D5100 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
80.0 vs 65.0
More than 20% better image quality
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13.6 EV vs 11.5 EV
1.5 f-stops more dynamic range
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Automatically focuses shooting video
Color depth
Better color depth
23.5 bits vs 22.1 bits
Distinguishes 1.4 more bits of color
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Startup delay
Much less startup delay
500 ms vs 1500 ms
3x less delay when turning on
Battery life
Longer battery life
660 shots vs 440 shots
50% more shots per battery charge
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$399.95 vs $769.35
The best price we've seen is $369 cheaper (around 50% less)
127×97×79 mm vs 133×100×80 mm
Around 10% smaller
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
The D5100's boost ISO is 2 f-stops better
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
4 fps vs 3.7 fps
Around 10% faster continuous shooting
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
230 lenses vs 220 lenses
Almost the same
Shutter lag
Slightly less shutter lag
273 ms vs 283 ms
Almost the same
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
11 vs 9
Set focus accurately within the frame
Slightly thinner
3.1" vs 3.1"
Almost the same
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100


Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent entry-level DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS 600D Canon EOS 600D 56
        You save
        71 Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100
              You save


              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              600D220 lenses
              D5100230 lenses
              External mic jack Have external mic jacks Help
              Record higher quality audio with a microphone
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
              Won't autofocus with all lenses
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              600D283 ms
              D5100273 ms
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              600D3.7 fps
              D51004 fps
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              600D17.9 MP
              D510016.1 MP
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Movie format Both shoot high resolution HD movies Help
              1080p @ 30fps




              Nikon D5100 Canon EOS 600D
              Nikon D5100 Canon EOS 600D
              Nikon D5100 Canon EOS 600D


              Nikon D5100

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              Canon EOS 600D
              EOS 600D

              Report a correction

              Showing 25 comments

              foobar (10:53 PM, February 23, 2015)
              Again, absolutely correct.

              However, as I found out the hard way, do not give that advice to your friends. They will get mad at you, because they already know they need a fancy SLR, even though they do not know what an f/ stop is, or what ISO is.
              foobar (10:50 PM, February 23, 2015)
              Absolutely correct.
              Avatar for Frank Frank (0:44 PM, February 23, 2015)
              Choose something a little more 'entry level' or cheaper if you're a newbie. You don't want to pay big bucks for one single camera yet, experiment around with others' cameras and see which best fits you then look to make a big purchase.
              Avatar for Frank Frank (0:41 PM, February 23, 2015)
              (Tourists passing by Eiffel Tower in a tour bus)

              Nikon user Tourist: "My Nikon D5100 can take a better picture of the tower than your Canon 600D."

              Canon user Tourist: "No it can't! My Canon 600D can take a shot better than what your D5100 would ever be able to."

              Nikon user: "Mine has better boost ISO."

              Canon user: "Mine has higher true resolution."

              *argument continues*
              Both users to innocent bystander: "Sir, whose camera do you think will take a better shot of the tower?"

              Innocent bystander: "Neither, because we just passed the Eiffel Tower."
              KIRA (8:33 PM, February 02, 2015)
              I have bouth of these camera and I found
              Nikon D5100 much better quality but with good objectif you can use it as pro camera,
              The Canon D700 is much better with Higth level Objectif bcz it's compatible with all the canon objctfs
              anyway the body camera is not that much of importance ;) The objectif if important so Canon Win .
              James (8:55 AM, January 25, 2015)
              For the confusion about auto-focus motor in canon body, some canon models do have the motor in body itself. But not 600D.
              Guest (5:01 PM, May 23, 2014)
              I'm a color blind photographer. :|
              Erick (7:46 PM, December 17, 2013)
              Nikon CMOS sensors produces better color accuracy than Canon.. it means Canon produces images w/ more saturated colors than Nikon and it looks better sometimes.. but if your are a big fan of natural color ( or should I say color that has nearly close to what our bare eyes is seeing) then go for Nikon..
              Avatar for Kuldeep Sharma Kuldeep Sharma (11:25 AM, October 22, 2013)
              Hey Harun, I am trying to get the Copyright info on the pictures. I have a Canon 600D. Though I have entered the info in the Camera Menu, but its not coming on pic, when I view the pics on my laptop...can you pls help...
              can you write to me on advocatekuldeep@gmail.com
              pat (5:25 PM, October 20, 2013)
              does the nikon d5100 have an af motor?
              look or quality? (11:22 PM, October 19, 2013)
              please! Nikon deliver far better quality. That is what matters when you hang photos on a wall. "overall Nikon is a better camera BUT..." ?? BUT? what do you mean with BUT? seriously. I mean who cares of build-quality better screens interfaces and movie modes and remote controlling functionality. Maybe Americans...
              Avatar for Harun Aftab Rashid Harun Aftab Rashid (5:20 AM, September 03, 2013)
              Get your facts right. canon have better lenses as compared to nikon. infact canons lenses are more than 10% cheaper than nikons with better image quality than nikon. There are no competitor of canon L USM lenses.
              Avatar for Harun Aftab Rashid Harun Aftab Rashid (5:12 AM, September 03, 2013)
              nop, canon is compatible to all third party lenses (with canon mount) and nikon is compatible to all third party lenses (with nikon mount).

              in wild life and birding section canon having superior and low priced lenses as compared to nikon.
              Avatar for Harun Aftab Rashid Harun Aftab Rashid (4:46 AM, September 03, 2013)
              I have canon T2i, canon 600d and D5100. i am practicing photography since 6 years.
              I have entered many national and international photographic competitions. my pictures taken with canon 600d are getting good responses and reviews as compared to nikon.
              If you have flickr account (globally leading photo sharing website), then go through the camera finder section. you will find more than 65% canon user there. IMO they are not fools to end up with canon.
              Attached herewith picture taken with canon T2i. pls go through exif details.
              Puuvilla (8:35 PM, July 21, 2013)
              Sickcunt, is video important or taking pictures with a dslr?! I personally prefer nikon's and i'm pretty sure overall quality of d5100 pwns the 600d. As the score says .. The rest doesn't matter, the final element matters..
              Dinosaursaur (7:56 AM, April 04, 2013)
              I personally chose the D5100. But before I bough it of course I checked some reviews and the very best thing I considered it are the lenses. I found better lenses from Nikon than Canon that for me a very big thing to consider. Since you won't buy only the camera but also it's system. But true I also like the 600D because it's bigger (looks more professional XD) and it has autofocus motor and larger camera strap. :P
              Sickcunt (10:08 AM, February 13, 2013)
              I agree,where are the 60fps of the canon vs the 30fps of the nikon in video?
              Beast (2:09 PM, January 30, 2013)
              If he is color blind he can't even be a photographer. Hahaha
              Hi (2:08 PM, January 30, 2013)
              Are you kidding me D7000 and D300s is a dx camera and they are able to use fx lens. And to be hornets with you I am using a D7000 and have 2fx lens and 1dx lens. Read more on photography before coming out and give your opinion.
              Beast (2:04 PM, January 30, 2013)
              The comparison is black and white cant you see? Are you color blind??? Hahahaha !!!!
              Avatar for Cathrine Cathrine (5:55 PM, January 29, 2013)
              The conclusion is canon 600D better or Nikon D5100 for the overall :) thanks
              Avatar for Melanie Melanie (7:17 AM, January 29, 2013)
              I have read all your comments but still confused which one to buy!! Actually i'm a beginner and i can't take my decision!! Please help! Which one should i choose as a beginner??
              BAGUS (11:06 AM, November 28, 2012)
              i love photograpy than vodeograpy ,, so, I choose Nikon d5100 for my first beginner camera ^.^
              Avatar for Him Rekhi Him Rekhi (11:43 AM, September 05, 2012)
              Sayed Mohamed is right ... there is no use for Nikon vs Canon wars. One should weigh all the pros & cons but at the end of day it is your personal preference that matters. I researched quite a bit & although 60% reviewers including snapsort put Nikon D5100 ahead of Canon 600D but when I tested them in store, to me Canon outperformed Nikon. (& fact of matter is that I went to store more inclined towards Nikon.)

              Factors which made me consider Canon over Nikon:

              1. Better Grip & feel. Believe it or not this is a big factor. If you don't like the grip or feel then chances are that you will not enjoy your DSLR no matter good it is. I personally found that Canon 600D had a better grip. Due to Nikon being smaller & uncomfortable to my hands I had a difficult time producing good shots from Nikon. But maybe to others Nikon might have better grip.

              2. The colors & contrast produced by Canon, IMHO, seemed better to my eyes till ISO 3200. I know what DP review & DXO marks says but I rather like to go by what my senses tell me. Nikon will have edge over Canon in handling chromatic aberrations, white balance but this something I don't care much about as I am not going professional, secondly quite a bit of things get sorted by better lens & better technique which I am yet to learn.

              3. I personally found its menu options more intuitive & easy to go around.

              You will see I never even mentioned videography because to be honest, I actually loved Nikon D5100 video features more & its a shame that Canon doesn't have them especially selective coloring applied in videos.

              So, my advice to all the would be DSLR purchasers is that go to the store & feel the product, have a demo, shoot some pics & videos & then make up your mind. You will not go wrong with either Canon 600D or Nikon D5100 because honestly quality difference is not as much as snapsort or DXO are making out to be.
              Sayed Mohamed (4:45 PM, September 03, 2012)
              Please do stop your nikon - canon war and note that not the equipment takes the photo, but the man behind it. Framing, Composition, Angle of view, Creativity
              and of course the knowledge in post processing makes a photo 'WOW'. Nowadays, differences among dslrs are minimal. So stop the brand war and try to snap good photo. However, I've one question to snapsort, that you mentioned Canon EOS 600D has built-in focus motor in your comparison. I think no Canon camera has built-in focus motor, but all their lenses have it. Please verify this.