Updated (March, 2012): Compare the Canon EOS 1100D vs Nikon D3200

Nikon D3100

Winner
Nikon D3100

54

vs

Canon EOS 500D

52

Canon EOS 500D

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 24fps
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 500D

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 20fps
Screen resolution
High resolution screen
920k dots
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
300 ms startup delay
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Canon 500D

Report a correction
Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 230k dots
Help
4x higher resolution screen
Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag 159 ms vs 279 ms
Help
More than 40% less delay when taking photos
Dynamic range More dynamic range 11.5 EV vs 11.3 EV
Help
0.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Size Smaller 129x98x62 mm vs 124x96x73 mm
Help
More than 10% smaller
Thickness Much thinner 2.4" vs 2.9"
Help
Around 20% thinner
Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder 0.54x vs 0.51x
Help
More than 10% larger viewfinder
True resolution Slightly higher true resolution 15.1 MP vs 14.2 MP
Help
Capture around 10% more detail in your photos
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 3.4 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 10% faster continuous shooting
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 300 ms vs 400 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when turning on
Canon EOS 500D Learn more about
the Canon 500D

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

Report a correction
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 919 ISO vs 663 ISO
Help
The D3100 has a slight edge (0.5 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Color depth Better color depth 22.5 bits vs 21.7 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.8 more bits of color
Supports 24p Supports 24p Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
Autofocus Video autofocus Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Overall image quality Better image quality 67.0 vs 63.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Sensor size Significantly larger sensor APS-C 23.1x15.4mm vs APS-C 22.3x14.9mm
Help
Around 10% larger sensor
Battery life Longer battery life 550 shots vs 400 shots
Help
Around 40% more shots per battery charge
Movie format Lower frame rate movies 1080p @ 24fps vs 1080p @ 20fps
Help
Both shoot Full HD (1080p) video, but 500D does so at a lower frame rate
Lowest price Significantly cheaper $278.29 vs $580.59
Help
The best price we've seen is $302 cheaper (2.1x less)
Lens availability Slightly more lenses available 205 lenses vs 197 lenses
Help
Almost the same
Focus points Slightly more focus points 11 vs 9
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Weight Slightly lighter 505 g vs 520 g
Help
Almost the same
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 EOS 500D Canon EOS 500D 52
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        54 Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              500D:300 ms
              D3100:400 ms
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              500D:197 lenses
              D3100:205 lenses
              Size Fairly small Help
              500D:129x98x62 mm
              D3100:124x96x73 mm
              Weight Light weight Help
              500D:520 g
              D3100:505 g
              Thickness Thin Help
              500D:2.4"
              D3100:2.9"
              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
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              500D:3.4 fps
              D3100:3 fps
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              500D:15.1 MP
              D3100:14.2 MP
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              3,200 ISO
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              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
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              500D:11.5 EV
              D3100:11.3 EV
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              500D:9
              D3100:11
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus Help
              500D:None
              D3100:Contrast detection
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              500D:0.54x
              D3100:0.51x
              Movie format Full HD (1080p) video Help
              500D:1080p @ 20fps
              D3100:1080p @ 24fps
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              500D:63.0
              D3100:67.0

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 1100D

              Canon EOS 1100D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $450 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 - $656 body only

              $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 EOS 600D

              Canon EOS 600D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $550 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $370 - $400 body only

              $485 - $625 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is much larger
              Canon EOS 550D

              Canon EOS 550D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $940 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Canon EOS 1200D

              Canon EOS 1200D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $429 - $659 body only

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $575 - $629 body only

              $830 - $976 with 18-105mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Dynamic range Has significantly wider dynamic range
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker

              Canon EOS 500D Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 40D

              Canon EOS 40D

              Pro DSLR

              $873 body only

              Battery life Much longer battery life
              Color depth Better color depth
              Movie format Does not take movies
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Lowest price Significantly more expensive

              appearance

              Canon EOS 500D Nikon D3100
              Canon EOS 500D Nikon D3100
              Canon EOS 500D Nikon D3100

              discussion

              Canon EOS 500D
              EOS 500D
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 5 comments

              Avatar for Mark Stanley-Adams Mark Stanley-Adams (9:56 AM, November 22, 2012)
              Two very good cameras which are so similar in so many ways as to be virtually indistinguishable from each other. I've fiddled with both and found the differences between them are not at all significant, so choosing between them comes right down to a matter of your personal preference.
               
              An2ar (9:35 AM, April 27, 2012)
              i use both, d3100 too sharp for colorful image, and at low light...its look too much noise at high iso.500d image looks more bright, less noise at high iso but blur the details of the image. Using daylight nikon the winner, but don't use flash with red eye reduction, it cause slow response for the shutter. The entire body i feel more comfort with canon and also the design.Nikon lens kit 18-55 looks  fragile especially when you turn the zoom fast. For video feature nikon is better, easy live view, and you can capture video in any mode with shortcut button.
               
              Yanuarpooh (2:30 PM, January 11, 2012)
              i had nikon D3100 and it's rock
               
              Mike (8:20 PM, March 31, 2011)
              Rumour has it Nikons are easier to use. Best thing to do is hold both in your hands and you should know which you want
               
              Piyush_bond007 (5:55 PM, March 06, 2011)
              what according to you wil be a right choice for a beginner?