Updated (March 2012): Compare the Canon EOS Rebel T1i vs Nikon D3200

Canon Rebel T1i vs Nikon D3100

Tie
Canon EOS Rebel T1i

53

Nikon D3100

53

Tie

Reasons to buy the Canon Rebel T1i

High resolution screen
Screen resolution
920k dots
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
159 ms shutter lag
Really small
Size
Prosumer size (129×98×62 mm)
Thin
Thickness
2.4"
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 24fps
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Badge
Autofocuses shooting video
Contrast detection

Items often bought with the Canon T1i or Nikon D3100

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS Rebel T1i.
Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3100.

differences

Advantages of the Canon T1i

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Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 230k dots
Help
4x higher resolution screen
Shutter lag
Much 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
0.4 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
Size
Smaller
129×98×62 mm vs 124×97×74 mm
Help
More than 10% smaller
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
3.4 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 10% faster continuous shooting
True resolution
Slightly higher true resolution
15.1 MP vs 14.2 MP
Help
Capture around 10% more detail in your photos
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
300 ms vs 400 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when turning on
Canon EOS Rebel T1i Learn more about
the Canon T1i

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Supports 24p
Supports 24p
Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
Color depth
Better color depth
22.5 bits vs 21.7 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.8 more bits of color
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
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
Battery life
Longer battery life
550 shots vs 400 shots
Help
Around 40% more shots per battery charge
Movie format
Higher frame rate movies
1080p @ 24fps vs 1080p @ 20fps
Help
Both shoot Full HD (1080p) video, but T1i does so at a lower frame rate
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$263.39 vs $599.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $336 cheaper (2.3x less)
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 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

Canon EOS Rebel T1i Canon Rebel T1i 53
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
              T1i300 ms
              D3100400 ms
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              T1i220 lenses
              D3100230 lenses
              Size Fairly small Help
              T1i129×98×62 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%
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              T1i15.1 MP
              D310014.2 MP
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              12,800 ISO
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              T1i3.4 fps
              D31003 fps
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              3,200 ISO
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              T1i9
              D310011
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              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
              T1i11.5 EV
              D310011.3 EV
              Movie format Full HD (1080p) video Help
              T1i1080p @ 20fps
              D31001080p @ 24fps
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              T1i0.54x
              D31000.51x
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              T1i63.0
              D310067.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              T1i663 ISO
              D3100919 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $325 body only

              $360 - $399 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              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
              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 T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $332 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
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $459 body only

              $550 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $490 - $649 body only

              $581 - $699 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              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 Rebel T1i Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Canon EOS Rebel T1i.

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $755 with 18-105mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus

              appearance

              Canon EOS Rebel T1i Nikon D3100
              Canon EOS Rebel T1i Nikon D3100
              Canon EOS Rebel T1i Nikon D3100

              discussion

              Canon EOS Rebel T1i
              Rebel T1i
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 3 comments

              Anastasia (5:54 AM, April 01, 2011)
              Yes, the Nikon has a smaller variety of lenses, but it is more user friendly and easier to get a hang of. I think over all the nikon is an easier camera to operate, but they are both great cameras .
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (7:23 PM, February 03, 2011)
              Hi Jen, yes they're both great choices. The Nikon D3100 won't autofocus with some autofocus lenses, but there are still many lenses available to choose from. Check out our sister site LensHero.com, for example you can browse all Nikon D3100 lenses that will autofocus or browse all lenses for the Canon T1i.
               
              Jen (11:31 PM, February 02, 2011)
              Looking to purchase an entry level DSLR. I have read a lot of discussions regarding Canon's T1i vs the Nikon d3100. I am not very concerned with video quality, more interested in ease of use and future lens options. I like the sound of Nikon's guide mode, but it seems Canon might be the winner as far as lens varieties. I'm guessing they are both lovely choices!