Updated (March, 2012): Compare the Canon Rebel T3 vs Nikon D3200

Nikon D3100

Tie
Nikon D3100

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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
 

Reasons to buy the Canon Rebel T1i

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 20fps
Screen resolution
High resolution screen
920k dots
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
300 ms startup delay
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
159 ms shutter lag
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Canon T1i

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Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 230k dots
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4x higher resolution screen
Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag 159 ms vs 279 ms
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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
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More than 10% faster continuous shooting
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 300 ms vs 400 ms
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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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Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 919 ISO vs 663 ISO
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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
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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
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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 T1i does so at a lower frame rate
Lowest price Significantly cheaper $284.99 vs $699.90
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The best price we've seen is $415 cheaper (2.5x 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
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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 52
Retailer
    Style
      Color
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        54 Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              T1i:300 ms
              D3100:400 ms
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              T1i:197 lenses
              D3100:205 lenses
              Size Fairly small Help
              T1i:129x98x62 mm
              D3100:124x96x73 mm
              Weight Light weight Help
              T1i:520 g
              D3100:505 g
              Thickness Thin Help
              T1i: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
              T1i:3.4 fps
              D3100:3 fps
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              T1i: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
              T1i:11.5 EV
              D3100:11.3 EV
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              T1i:9
              D3100:11
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus Help
              T1i:None
              D3100:Contrast detection
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              T1i:0.54x
              D3100:0.51x
              Movie format Full HD (1080p) video Help
              T1i:1080p @ 20fps
              D3100:1080p @ 24fps
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              T1i:63.0
              D3100:67.0

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 body only

              $389 - $506 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 significantly larger
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $225 - $389 body only

              $399 - $550 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $681 - $700 body only

              $499 - $822 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $648 body only

              $200 - $579 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $378 - $415 body only

              $495 - $564 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 Rebel T2i

              Canon Rebel T2i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $639 body only

              $200 - $674 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $547 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly 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

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

              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

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              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!