Updated (March 2012): Compare the Canon EOS 550D vs Nikon D3200

Canon EOS 550D vs Nikon D3100

Winner
Canon EOS 550D

56

Nikon D3100

53

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 550D

Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 30fps
High resolution screen
Screen resolution
1,040k dots
External mic jack
External mic jack
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
Really small
Size
Prosumer size (129×98×62 mm)
 

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
Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 24fps
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look

Items often bought with the Canon 550D or Nikon D3100

galleries

Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 550D.
Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3100.

differences

Advantages of the Canon 550D

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Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
1,040k dots vs 230k dots
Help
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
True resolution
Higher true resolution
17.9 MP vs 14.2 MP
Help
Capture around 30% more detail in your photos
Movie format
Lower frame rate movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 24fps
Help
Both shoot Full HD (1080p) video, but 550D does so at a higher frame rate
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11.5 EV vs 11.3 EV
Help
0.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.54x vs 0.51x
Help
More than 10% larger viewfinder
Thickness
Much thinner
2.4" vs 2.9"
Help
Around 20% thinner
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
3.7 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 20% faster continuous shooting
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
252 ms vs 279 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Size
Smaller
129×98×62 mm vs 124×97×74 mm
Help
More than 10% smaller
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The 550D's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Canon EOS 550D Learn more about
the Canon 550D

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
919 ISO vs 784 ISO
Help
The D3100 has a slight edge (0.2 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Color depth
Better color depth
22.5 bits vs 22.1 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.4 more bits of color
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$263.39 vs $767.77
Help
The best price we've seen is $504 cheaper (2.9x less)
Battery life
Longer battery life
550 shots vs 440 shots
Help
Around 30% more shots per battery charge
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
67.0 vs 66.0
Help
Almost the same
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
230 lenses vs 220 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 530 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 550D Canon EOS 550D 56
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        53 Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              400 ms startup delay
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              550D220 lenses
              D3100230 lenses
              Size Fairly small Help
              550D129×98×62 mm
              D3100124×97×74 mm
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              12,800 ISO
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              550D3.7 fps
              D31003 fps
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              550D6,400 ISO
              D31003,200 ISO
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              550D17.9 MP
              D310014.2 MP
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              550D9
              D310011
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              550D252 ms
              D3100279 ms
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              550D11.5 EV
              D310011.3 EV
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              550D0.54x
              D31000.51x
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              550D66.0
              D310067.0
              Movie format Full HD (1080p) video Help
              550D1080p @ 30fps
              D31001080p @ 24fps
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              550D784 ISO
              D3100919 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $349 - $447 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 slightly larger
              Canon Kiss X5

              Canon Kiss X5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,299 body only

              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $495 - $649 body only

              $581 - $649 with 18-55mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $339 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $368 body only

              $640 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 550D Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $799 - $999 body only

              $1,019 - $1,099 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Size Much larger
              Thickness Much thicker
              Canon Kiss X8i

              Canon Kiss X8i

              Entry-level DSLR

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points
              Size Much larger
              Thickness Much thicker

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

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

              appearance

              Canon EOS 550D Nikon D3100
              Canon EOS 550D Nikon D3100
              Canon EOS 550D Nikon D3100

              discussion

              Canon EOS 550D
              EOS 550D
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 25 comments

              Avatar for Ross McEwan Ross McEwan (0:46 AM, March 19, 2014)
              Have a Niko D3100 , in the hand it just feels nicer than the Canon, easy to use one handed for action shots, gigs, sporting evets etc, depth of field is amazing, don't be drawn by more or less megapixels as they are just used as a number to sell cameras, unless you need HUGE prints you wont notice the differece between 5 - 15 megapixels (althought your comp will as more megapixels take more space) My pics taken on my D3100 are being awarded weekly, it really is the best camera I have ever bought.
               
              Avatar for Nikush Kalandadze Nikush Kalandadze (3:12 PM, August 12, 2013)
              nikon's auto focus during video shooting is shit, doesn't works well so it's not advantage
               
              Rajkumar (5:34 AM, October 09, 2012)
              go to the store. feel both. buy one you like. cannon or nikon is a personal choice. i personally prefer 550D. But the catch is no focus motors meaning for autofocus to work on the new lenses you buy - u have to make sure the lense has builtin motor
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (1:28 PM, July 03, 2012)
              It will depend more on what lens you get. You can check out our sister site LensHero to find a good lens.
               
              Premtimes18 (3:36 AM, June 29, 2012)
              Can somebody tell me which one is good for normal and macro photography? 
              Canon 550D or Nikon D3100
               
              Masirvan (10:24 AM, April 11, 2012)
              i love 550d by canon..
               
              D3100 user (4:12 PM, April 09, 2012)
              if you wanna go for video shooting, i do think that 550D is better (the quality and its external mic jack). But through some test done (not by me) D3100 is better..... 
               
              Avatar for aftab aftab (6:55 AM, March 07, 2012)
              go for Nikon D5100.
               
              Rohan (6:13 AM, February 28, 2012)
              The comparison says the 550D has a built in autofocus motor ...As far as i know...550D does not have a built in focus motor ....
               
              Alice Swain (5:20 PM, February 27, 2012)
              i want a new camera, but dont know which of these two to get! i mainly take videos of horses (and the occasional picture, but would love to take more if i had a good camera to do it with!). which camera would you think be better for me?
               
              Sanjivcell (7:15 PM, February 21, 2012)
              sanjeev arora
              I think the nikon d 3100 is the winner and a better option. Because u have to see all fetures and price also.
               
              murali (3:43 PM, February 17, 2012)
              I'm going for rebel T2i. because, Nikon's image colours are completely washed out when compared to canon. Canon is slightly higher price than Nikon but its worth for money. One more advantage T2i is, its have an external microphone jack. I love canon.:)
               
              Ben (3:08 PM, February 10, 2012)
              GUYS REMEMBER THE CANON 550D WON!! SO IT'S REALLY MUCH BETTER THAN NIKKON D3100.
               
              Ben (3:02 PM, February 10, 2012)
              go for the t2i 
               
              Ben (2:59 PM, February 10, 2012)
              t2i if I were you
               
              Okko2 (4:11 AM, February 04, 2012)
              i want to buy a new photographer's cam and im so confused which one is better?
               
              Magesh (5:54 PM, February 03, 2012)
              guys , Just give me a suggestion to buy canon 550d or nikon d3100 
               
              Vishwanath (2:24 PM, January 17, 2012)
              I'm just an amateur photographer, still confused weather to go for NIKON D3100 or CANON 550D, but canon has more features than nikon, and has an ISO upgreadable to 12800, and my budget is around 50K.

              So will anyone suggest me about this????
               
              Avatar for Hatem Hatem (3:29 AM, January 01, 2012)
              Well presented comparaison bravo !
               
              Avatar for keerthi keerthi (9:41 AM, December 30, 2011)
              Hi Evryone..
                                   I seriouly need an important suggestion as iam greatly confused by so many reviews over the internet.Basically my situation is we are going to have a baby due in march so i want to take the best pictures which would cherish lifelong and i shortlisted Nikon d3100 or Canon eos 550d within my budget but im not sure which one to choose, I want the best image quality and crisp and sharpness of image and which lenses to prefer .Please please i need all ur best suggestions on which camera to buy for best quality images for baby and children..Thanx a lott in advance.

              Note: I not bothered about video quality as i already purchased my camcorder.
               
              N Raptored90 (10:49 PM, November 28, 2011)
              i compared my nikon d3100 with the canon 600d ......canon seemed to beat nikon in color and clarity and image quality and light distribution tooo......
               
              N Raptored90 (10:47 PM, November 28, 2011)
              juzz love my nikon d3100!!
               
              N Raptored90 (10:45 PM, November 28, 2011)
              i compared my nikon d3100 to canon 660d .....canon seems to beat the image quality than my nikon......so shd i  switch to canon??
               
              Karix_v (4:53 AM, November 23, 2011)
              up to now i'm still confused... i love the picture quality of nikon d3100 but some says canon 550d is also good..
               
              Avatar for Satyam Joshi Satyam Joshi (2:48 AM, November 16, 2011)
              <>you save money, invest it on some gears like...filters,tripods,macro or tele lenses, extra batteries, or ext flash light...etc...but if u go for 550D u'll get short of budget to buy these !! so NIK d3100 rocks !! ..i still haven't bought d3100 but am going to!!