Updated (March, 2012): Compare the Canon EOS 50D vs Nikon D3200

Canon EOS 50D

Winner
Canon EOS 50D

62

vs

Nikon D3100

51

Nikon D3100

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 50D

Screen resolution
High resolution screen
920k dots
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
6.3 fps
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
300 ms startup delay
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Badge
Autofocuses shooting video
Contrast detection
Sensor cleaning
Self cleaning sensor
Avoids dust in your photos
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Canon 50D

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Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 230k dots
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4x higher resolution screen
Weather sealed Weather sealed Yes vs No
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Sealed to shoot in the rain
Shutter lag Much less shutter lag 131 ms vs 279 ms
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2.1x less delay when taking photos
Continuous shooting Shoots significantly faster 6.3 fps vs 3 fps
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More than 2x faster continuous shooting
Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder 0.59x vs 0.51x
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More than 30% larger viewfinder
Cross type focus points More cross-type focus points 9 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Viewfinder Has a pentaprism viewfinder Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
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Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Dynamic range More dynamic range 11.4 EV vs 11.3 EV
Help
0.1 f-stops more dynamic range
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 300 ms vs 400 ms
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Around 30% less delay when turning on
Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed 1/8000s vs 1/4000s
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2x faster max shutter speed
True resolution Slightly higher true resolution 15.1 MP vs 14.2 MP
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Capture around 10% more detail in your photos
Battery life Slightly longer battery life 640 shots vs 550 shots
Help
Around 20% more shots per battery charge
Canon EOS 50D Learn more about
the Canon 50D

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Movie format Shoots movies 1080p @ 24fps vs None
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Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Color depth Better color depth 22.5 bits vs 21.8 bits
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Distinguishes 0.7 more bits of color
Autofocus Video autofocus Contrast detection vs None
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Automatically focuses shooting video
Overall image quality Better image quality 67.0 vs 63.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO 919 ISO vs 696 ISO
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The D3100 has a slight edge (0.4 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Size Smaller 124x96x73 mm vs 146x108x74 mm
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More than 20% smaller
Weight Significantly lighter 505 g vs 822 g
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Around 40% lighter
Lens availability Slightly more lenses available 205 lenses vs 197 lenses
Help
Almost the same
Lowest price Cheaper $278.29 vs $1,400.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,122 cheaper (5x less)
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS 50D Canon EOS 50D 62
Retailer
    Style
      Color
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        vs

        51 Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              50D:197 lenses
              D3100:205 lenses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              50D:300 ms
              D3100:400 ms
              Thickness Thin Help
              2.9"
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              Storage slots Fewer storage slots Help
              1
              Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
              Won't autofocus with all lenses
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              12,800 ISO
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              50D:15.1 MP
              D3100:14.2 MP
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              3,200 ISO
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              50D:9
              D3100:11
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              50D:11.4 EV
              D3100:11.3 EV
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              50D:APS-C 22.3x14.9mm
              D3100:APS-C 23.1x15.4mm
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              50D:63.0
              D3100:67.0
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              50D:21.8 bits
              D3100:22.5 bits
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              50D:696 ISO
              D3100:919 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $656 body only

              $399 - $477 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $276 - $290 body only

              $350 - $409 with 18-55mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $480 - $774 body only

              $200 - $617 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $400 - $670 body only

              $485 - $625 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $575 - $629 body only

              $830 - $966 with 18-105mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Dynamic range Has significantly wider dynamic range
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS Rebel T2i

              Canon Rebel T2i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $450 body only

              $200 - $400 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Canon EOS Rebel T1i

              Canon Rebel T1i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $745 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thinner
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Supports 24p Doesn't record movies in 24p

              Canon EOS 50D Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $699 - $871 body only

              $450 - $1,182 with 18-135mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Color depth Better color depth
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Continuous shooting Shoots slower
              Canon EOS 40D

              Canon EOS 40D

              Pro DSLR

              $873 body only

              Color depth Better color depth
              Battery life Longer battery life
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              Weather sealed No weather sealing
              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,049 - $1,150 body only

              $200 - $1,249 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Thickness Thicker
              Canon EOS 7D

              Canon EOS 7D

              Pro DSLR

              $915 - $1,299 body only

              $1,268 - $1,299 with 18-135mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Color depth Better color depth
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Size Slightly larger

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $599 - $681 body only

              $499 - $823 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Thickness Thicker

              appearance

              Canon EOS 50D Nikon D3100
              Canon EOS 50D Nikon D3100
              Canon EOS 50D Nikon D3100

              discussion

              Canon EOS 50D
              EOS 50D
              Canon

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              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

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