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

Canon EOS 50D

Winner
Canon EOS 50D

62

vs

Nikon D3100

53

Nikon D3100

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 50D

Large viewfinder
Viewfinder size
0.59x
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Rapid fire
Continuous shooting
6.3 fps
Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
300 ms startup delay
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 24fps
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

Advantages of the Canon 50D

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Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 230k dots
Help
4x higher resolution screen
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
131 ms vs 279 ms
Help
2.1x less delay when taking photos
Continuous shooting
Shoots significantly faster
6.3 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 2x faster continuous shooting
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.59x vs 0.51x
Help
More than 30% larger viewfinder
Viewfinder
Has a pentaprism viewfinder
Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
Help
Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
9 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
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
Help
Around 30% less delay when turning on
True resolution
Slightly higher true resolution
15.1 MP vs 14.2 MP
Help
Capture around 10% more detail in your photos
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
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
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Color depth
Better color depth
22.5 bits vs 21.8 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.7 more bits of color
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
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
919 ISO vs 696 ISO
Help
The D3100 has a slight edge (0.4 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Size
Smaller
124x96x73 mm vs 146x108x74 mm
Help
More than 20% smaller
Weight
Significantly lighter
505 g vs 822 g
Help
Around 40% lighter
Lowest price
Cheaper
$272.29 vs $1,648.99
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,377 cheaper (6.1x less)
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
205 lenses vs 197 lenses
Help
Almost the same
Sensor size
Slightly larger sensor
APS-C 23.1x15.4mm vs APS-C 22.3x14.9mm
Help
Around 10% larger sensor
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
        You save

        vs

        53 Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              50D:197 lenses
              D3100:205 lenses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              50D:300 ms
              D3100:400 ms
              Common Weaknesses
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              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
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              50D:15.1 MP
              D3100:14.2 MP
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              12,800 ISO
              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
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              50D:APS-C 22.3x14.9mm
              D3100:APS-C 23.1x15.4mm
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              50D:63.0
              D3100:67.0
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              50D:0.59x
              D3100:0.51x
              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 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 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 EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $449 - $450 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $389 - $418 body only

              $399 - $520 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

              $499 - $550 body only

              $549 - $630 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

              $360 - $378 body only

              $429 - $499 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

              $790 body only

              $900 - $1,079 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

              $600 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 50D Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $699 - $1,000 body only

              $959 - $1,182 with 18-135mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Color depth Better color depth
              Weather sealed No weather sealing
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Canon EOS 40D

              Canon EOS 40D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,138 body only

              $1,699 with 28-135mm lens

              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

              $999 body only

              $1,129 - $1,149 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

              $999 - $1,499 body only

              $1,099 - $1,978 with 28-135mm lens

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

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $439 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Thickness Thicker
              Size Slightly larger

              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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