Updated (May, 2012): Compare the Canon Rebel T4i vs Nikon D3200

Canon Rebel T3i

Winner
Canon Rebel T3i

58

vs

Nikon D3100

53

Nikon D3100

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Canon Rebel T3i

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Screen resolution
High resolution screen
1,040k dots
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
External mic jack
External mic jack
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 24fps
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
400 ms startup delay
Sensor size
Large sensor
APS-C 23.1x15.4mm
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Canon T3i

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Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen 1,040k dots vs 230k dots
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More than 4.5x higher resolution screen
External mic jack Has an external mic jack Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
True resolution Higher true resolution 17.9 MP vs 14.2 MP
Help
Capture around 30% more detail in your photos
Movie format Higher frame rate movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 24fps
Help
Both shoot Full HD (1080p) video, but T3i does so at a higher frame rate
Dynamic range More dynamic range 11.5 EV vs 11.3 EV
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0.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 3.7 fps vs 3 fps
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More than 20% faster continuous shooting
Viewfinder size Slightly larger viewfinder 0.53x vs 0.51x
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Around 10% larger viewfinder
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
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The T3i's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Lowest price Cheaper $199.95 vs $278.29
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The best price we've seen is $78 cheaper (around 30% less)
Canon Rebel T3i Learn more about
the Canon T3i

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Autofocus Video autofocus Contrast detection vs None
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Automatically focuses shooting video
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 919 ISO vs 793 ISO
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The D3100 has a slight edge (0.2 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Startup delay Much less startup delay 400 ms vs 1500 ms
Help
3.7x less delay when turning on
Sensor size Significantly larger sensor APS-C 23.1x15.4mm vs APS-C 22.3x14.9mm
Help
Around 10% larger sensor
Color depth Better color depth 22.5 bits vs 22.1 bits
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Distinguishes 0.4 more bits of color
Size Much smaller 124x96x73 mm vs 133x99x79 mm
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Around 20% smaller
Overall image quality Slightly better image quality 67.0 vs 65.0
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Almost the same
Battery life Longer battery life 550 shots vs 440 shots
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Around 30% more shots per battery charge
Thickness Significantly thinner 2.9" vs 3.1"
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Around 10% thinner
Lens availability Slightly more lenses available 205 lenses vs 197 lenses
Help
Almost the same
Focus points Slightly more focus points 11 vs 9
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Weight Lighter 505 g vs 570 g
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More than 10% lighter
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Canon Rebel T3i Canon Rebel T3i 58
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    Style
      Color
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        vs

        53 Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100
        Retailer
          Style
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              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              T3i:197 lenses
              D3100:205 lenses
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              T3i:$199.95
              D3100:$278.29
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              12,800 ISO
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              T3i:3.7 fps
              D3100:3 fps
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              T3i:283 ms
              D3100:279 ms
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              T3i:6,400 ISO
              D3100:3,200 ISO
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              T3i:0.53x
              D3100:0.51x
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              T3i:11.5 EV
              D3100:11.3 EV
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              T3i:9
              D3100:11
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus Help
              T3i:None
              D3100:Contrast detection
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              T3i:65.0
              D3100:67.0
              Movie format Full HD (1080p) video Help
              T3i:1080p @ 30fps
              D3100:1080p @ 24fps

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $339 - $567 body only

              $465 - $477 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $200 - $1,148 with 18-55mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $681 - $849 body only

              $499 - $822 with 18-55mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $400 - $419 body only

              $399 - $580 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $352 - $415 body only

              $495 - $797 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $699 - $700 body only

              $450 - $1,199 with 18-135mm lens

              Viewfinder size Slightly larger viewfinder
              Weather sealed Has a weather sealed body
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $547 body only

              $549 - $697 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has much better image quality
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker

              Canon Rebel T3i Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Canon Rebel T3i.

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D3100.

              appearance

              Canon Rebel T3i Nikon D3100
              Canon Rebel T3i Nikon D3100
              Canon Rebel T3i Nikon D3100

              discussion

              Canon Rebel T3i
              Rebel T3i
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 14 comments

              Shanvtk (11:59 AM, August 11, 2012)
              As a beginner Nikon D3100 0r D5100 is best or Canon 550D?
               
              Kaveh2k (7:55 PM, December 18, 2011)
              no the 3100 is cheaper. Right now I believe you can have the D3100 shipped for about $490.00 through AAFES. But you would have to have eligiiblity as AAFES is a military exchange website
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (7:07 PM, December 09, 2011)
              Canon has a big sale on right now for Christmas so some stores are selling it for a really good deal. Unfortunately there was some major flooding in Thailand, which has caused Nikon to close its factory for the past several months, so they have not been able to produce enough D3100 to have a major sale like Canon has. The D3100 is still a good price at $699 on Amazon and the T3i is $720

              You could also check out our pricing page for both of these cameras. D3100 and the T3i.
               
              mld (6:55 PM, December 09, 2011)
              Multiple times there have been references to the Nikon 3100 being cheaper than the Canon t3i, but from my research online and in stores, I'm findeing the Canon to be about $150 cheaper than the Nikon.  Does anyone have a website or store you recommend?
               
              Ghost-comet-141 (10:45 PM, October 08, 2011)
              Pilky, it's best to try out the T3i and decide for yourself. Do some research, and you'll get to know the camera before you buy it. I hope you find a good replacement for the D3100.
               
              Ghost-comet-141 (10:43 PM, October 08, 2011)
              @ All people who are comparing the two cameras. Both cameras are magnificent, and personally, I believe they can't be truthfully compared. Sure they're both entry-level DSLRs. Thing is though, most opinions are based on personal preference. However, to contribute to this thread, I'll put in my own opinion. I have tried both cameras, and although the Nikon D3100 has an expanded ISO 12300 ceiling whereas the Canon EOS 600D has a lower, somewhat non-expandable ISO 6400 ceiling, the Canon does produce more usable photos at higher ISO ranges. The 600D's flip-out screen enables the user to explore multiple angles that might not have been accessible to the user of a D3100. Both take relatively decent to high resolution pictures, where the D3100 has a 14.2 megapixel sensor, and the 600D has a 18.0 megapixel sensor. These numbers are relatively insignificant to a beginning DSLR photographer, unless you're planning to use the pictures for large-scale prints. The weight difference is rather unnoticeable. There is one major factor though. The Nikon lens mount is in fact a plastic mount. From experience, this isn't a really good thing because your lenses have the possibility of snapping off with extended, rugged use (hiking, etc.). The Canon mount is of metal construction, and it's focus motor allows for more autofocus lenses to be used, but this fact is irrelevant to a starting photographer. The D3100 does feature autofocus for video shooting, but if you're buying the camera to expand your photography skills, it's a rather useless aspect. Both do have a type of "guide" menu. The Nikon has a dedicated guide setting, which helps a budding photographer get to know the camera a little bit more. The 600D provides descriptions of each preset, and is a lot less menu-reliant than the Nikon. I own the Canon EOS Rebel T3i, and I think it's a magnificent precision instrument. I do have the same feel for the Nikon D3100. The D3100 is about $250 cheaper and is easier to access for a person looking for a first DSLR. The 600D, however, is more applicable to someone looking to upgrade from either a four-thirds body camera, or someone looking for a second DSLR either as a backup body or as a primary body. The 600D enables the user to take it past his or her previous limit because of the limitless capabilities of the 600D. If you were to put a capability limit graph up, the T3i does surpass the D3100. But this is obvious knowing that the D3100 is the low entry-level DSLR of Nikon whereas the 600D is the highest real-entry-level DSLR.
               
              Kusshal (5:40 AM, September 28, 2011)
              Yes Nikon D3100 is better than Canon T3i, as it has longer battery life, continuous video focus in video recording, lighter in weight & easier to use, whereas canon t3i has high mega pixel & Higher ISO, but the lens of both the cameras are same i.e. 18-55mm. The ISO of Nikon is 3200 but it also has options like Hi1 & Hi2, which clearly matches the cameras with ISO upto 6400.

              So in my opinion Nikon D3100 is better. But before you buy any, just go, take a demo & click some pictures during the demo & then decide according to your need. People here can give you their opinions but final call is yours.
              So all the best. CHEERS
               
              Thomasdice (10:02 PM, September 22, 2011)
              Is the d3100 better for photography vs the t3i?
               
              Ezgrande_1498 (5:09 AM, September 04, 2011)
              hi, i need help in choosing between these cameras.. i want to buy a camera which captures fast-moving objects in the best quality of photo if possible.. or, it could be the best suggested camera for photojournalists. thks..
               
              Matt.Me (6:57 AM, August 10, 2011)
              The Canon t3i can record 1920x1080 video at either 30 or 24fps. It can also record 1280x720 at 60fps as well.
               
              Avatar for dexterior dexterior (5:46 AM, August 10, 2011)
              oops typo:  meant to say Snapsort!

              hi Snapsort - love your site! can you help?   I want to video music
              performers in high def 1080p so (unless you have a work-around for the
              lack of external mics on the D3100) it seems I'm left with the Canon t3i
              for better audio than the D3100 -- but I'm not thrilled the Canon
              doesn't record at 24fps (only 30fps)  - would be happy (or not too
              unhappy) to spend a few hundred more for what you'd recommend given my
              concerns if it's nott one of these 2  -- do you have other
              recommendations please?
               
              Avatar for dexterior dexterior (5:43 AM, August 10, 2011)
              hi Snapshot - love your site! can you help?   I want to video music performers in high def 1080p so (unless you have a work-around for the lack of external mics on the D3100) it seems I'm left with the Canon t3i for better audio than the D3100 -- but I'm not thrilled the Canon doesn't record at 24fps (only 30fps)  - would be happy (or not too unhappy) to spend a few hundred more for what you'd recommend given my concerns if it's nott one of these 2  -- do you have other recommendations please? 
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (1:26 AM, March 13, 2011)
              Hi Pilky, what don't you like about the D3100 that you hope the T3i might do better at?
               
              Pilky1of4 (0:03 AM, March 13, 2011)
              Looking for some advice about making a change from Nikon to Canon?? In November I bought the new Nikon D3100 and I am not loving it....now Canon has out the T3i??? What advice can anyone give me????