Updated (February 2011): Compare the Canon Rebel T3i vs Nikon D3100

Canon Rebel T3i vs Nikon D3100

Winner
Canon Rebel T3i

56

Nikon D3100

53

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Canon Rebel T3i

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

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
400 ms startup delay
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Badge
Autofocuses shooting video
Contrast detection
Size
Really small
Prosumer size (124×97×74 mm)

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon Rebel T3i.
Explore our gallery of 48 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3100.

competitors

Canon Rebel T3i Competitors

Canon Rebel T5i

Canon Rebel T5i

Entry-level DSLR

$429 - $649 body only

$520 - $649 with 18-55mm lens

Autofocus Video autofocus
Startup delay Much less startup delay
Color depth Worse color depth
Canon EOS Rebel T5

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Entry-level DSLR

$285 body only

$360 - $399 with 18-55mm lens

Autofocus Video autofocus
Battery life Slightly longer battery life
Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$329 body only

$393 - $547 with 18-55mm lens

Low light performance Much lower noise at high ISO
Overall image quality Much better image quality
Screen flips out Screen does not flip out

Nikon D3100 Competitors

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$329 body only

$393 - $547 with 18-55mm lens

Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
Size Slightly larger
Canon EOS Rebel T5

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Entry-level DSLR

$285 body only

$360 - $399 with 18-55mm lens

Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
Color depth Worse color depth
Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$269 body only

$349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
Dynamic range More dynamic range
Thickness Thicker

discussion

Canon Rebel T3i
Rebel T3i
Canon

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Nikon D3100
D3100
Nikon

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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????