Updated (March, 2012): Compare the Canon Rebel T3i vs Nikon D3200

vs

Nikon D3100

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Nikon D3100

Tie
     
 

Reasons to buy the Canon Rebel T2i

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Screen resolution
High resolution screen
1,040k dots
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
External mic jack
External mic jack
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 24fps
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Sensor size
Large sensor
APS-C 23.1x15.4mm
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Canon T2i

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Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen 1,040k dots vs 230k dots
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More than 4.5x higher resolution screen
External mic jack Has an external mic jack Yes vs No
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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 Higher frame rate movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 24fps
Help
Both shoot Full HD (1080p) video, but T2i does so at a higher frame rate
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
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 252 ms vs 279 ms
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Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 3.7 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 20% faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The T2i's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Lowest price Cheaper $199.95 vs $284.99
Help
The best price we've seen is $85 cheaper (around 30% less)
Canon EOS Rebel T2i Learn more about
the Canon T2i

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 919 ISO vs 784 ISO
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The D3100 has a slight edge (0.2 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Autofocus Video autofocus Contrast detection vs None
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Automatically focuses shooting video
Sensor size Significantly larger sensor APS-C 23.1x15.4mm vs APS-C 22.3x14.9mm
Help
Around 10% larger sensor
Color depth Better color depth 22.5 bits vs 22.1 bits
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Distinguishes 0.4 more bits of color
Battery life Longer battery life 550 shots vs 440 shots
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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 205 lenses vs 197 lenses
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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 530 g
Help
Almost the same
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100
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recommendations

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

Canon EOS Rebel T2i Canon Rebel T2i 55
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    Style
      Color
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        vs

        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
              400 ms startup delay
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              T2i:197 lenses
              D3100:205 lenses
              Size Fairly small Help
              T2i:129x98x62 mm
              D3100:124x96x73 mm
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              T2i:$199.95
              D3100:$284.99
              Thickness Thin Help
              T2i:2.4"
              D3100:2.9"
              Weight Light weight Help
              T2i:530 g
              D3100:505 g
              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
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              T2i:3.7 fps
              D3100:3 fps
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              T2i:6,400 ISO
              D3100:3,200 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
              T2i:11.5 EV
              D3100:11.3 EV
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              T2i:9
              D3100:11
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus Help
              T2i:None
              D3100:Contrast detection
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              T2i:0.54x
              D3100:0.51x
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              T2i:66.0
              D3100:67.0
              Movie format Full HD (1080p) video Help
              T2i:1080p @ 30fps
              D3100:1080p @ 24fps

              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
              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

              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              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

              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              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
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $200 with 18-55mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $929 body only

              $848 - $940 with 18-105mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Dynamic range Has significantly wider dynamic range
              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker

              Canon EOS Rebel T2i Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Canon EOS Rebel T2i.

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $547 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Lowest price More expensive

              appearance

              Canon EOS Rebel T2i Nikon D3100
              Canon EOS Rebel T2i Nikon D3100
              Canon EOS Rebel T2i Nikon D3100

              discussion

              Canon EOS Rebel T2i
              Rebel T2i
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 25 comments

              Jon (3:27 AM, February 29, 2012)
               Not to mentione more focal points, larger sensor..ALL of which contribute to a much better image in any situation. whoever said the t2i is a better performer obviously has no clue.
               
              Jon (3:23 AM, February 29, 2012)
                I am not casting judgement solely because i own either of the two body's listed
              in this comparison. I am only posting cause i see major flaws in the
              comparison. for one, to say the t2i is a better camera just because its
              slightly smaller and lighter and higher megapixels (higher does not mean
              better!!)...does not contribute to the Picture Quality, which is the
              end result and the MAIN concern of 90% of consumers looking to purchase
              an entry level DSLR setup. The ONLY advantages i see the t2i has over
              the D3100 is the higher screen resolution (for viewing images on body)
              and the external mic jack if you are buying this setup to film video.
              the D3100 has MAJOR advantages, for one, less noise at higher ISO! also
              has 2 more focus points, larger sensor! also has better color depth,
              better image quality (for obvious reasons!!!) to say the t2i is a better
              buy makes absolutely no sense when you buy these cameras to take
              pictures! why on earth would you suggest to buy the t2i over the D3100 when it does not
              take better images? I have worked with both canon and Nikon, i am by no
              means bias in any way! this comparison has to be questioned considering
              you excluded the main focal point in this comparison...which takes
              better pictures?? the D3100! You missed the most important aspect..and
              having a motor for lenses that don't have motors is not a huge downfall
              obviously. Nikon recently came out with the 50mm 1.8g, which has a AF-S
              motor built in, which is compatible with this model. there are more
              lenses being available is not a concern. I do not think anybody took any
              of the main concerns into account and this review is flawed....to only
              give the win to the t2i cause of cosmetic features, and features that do not contribute to a better image, makes no sense. which is take better quality pictures? The Nikon D3100...end of story.
               
              Avatar for kvestil kvestil (11:03 AM, February 10, 2012)
              I slightly agree on that. I have both nikon and canon dslrs. With the Canon EOS 60D, I guess for the price you can do much more with the Nikon D3100; however, Canon EOS Rebel t2i still is better than the Nikon D3100 overall. Nikon D3100 has a better built and I would say manual controls in a way, but for most consumers I believe that Canon EOS Rebel t2i has more great features and more user-friendly.
               
              Dakota (7:54 AM, February 02, 2012)
              I'm a Graphic Designer looking for a decent camera. I Plan on using it for photography for advertising. I do not need to blow up the image to very large sizes. Mainly magazine ads. So my question is would the d3100 be enough quality for my needs? I can get the d3100 for about about $100 less than the t2i. So what would be the better buy. 
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (9:11 PM, January 23, 2012)
              I have no idea if the D3100 supports selective colouring... but I strongly doubt it.  In terms of free software, Adobe has free trials of Lightroom and Photoshop, both of which can be used to create an image with selective colouring. If you want FREE free then take a look at GIMP.
               
              GuestNP (9:12 PM, January 11, 2012)
              Hi. I am planning to buy DSLR and i have to choose between these 2 models. I really like the 'Selective Color' photography. So please tell me if Nikon 3100 has this feature and if not can i easily achieve this effect using some image editing software. I am looking for some easy way of doing it which is available for free. Also IS lenses are better of VR on Nikon. Which one is better?
               
              Avatar for Christopher S Christopher S (0:23 AM, January 09, 2012)
              I honestly think between these two, you have to go out and try them for yourself. Your personal preference will let you determine which one you want if you can't decide. For instance, I personally like the Nikon D3100 better, but I know a lot of other people adore the Canon T2i (550D) more. So, go to your local Best Buy, target, or wherever and try them out for yourselves. 
               
              MERCEDES (0:19 AM, January 09, 2012)
              Oh. My. Gosh. Calm the hell down. Makin' a big deal outta nothing. 
               
              Guest (5:27 AM, January 05, 2012)
              Not saying the nikon is a bad camera, but the canon image quality at 800
              iso and above just looks better to me.  Decide for yourself at the
              link below.  Select the ISO at the top and then the camera to compare to
              the D3100 at the right.


              http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3100/page16.asp
               
              Jvolsenc (11:05 PM, December 13, 2011)
              T2i really has built-in focus motor???? I think you are wrong....
               
              ali (0:37 PM, December 05, 2011)
              i want buy camera but i'm confuse please help me 
              T2i 0r D3100
               
              rorro (1:23 PM, December 02, 2011)
              hola a todos los amantes de la fotografia, bueno dos camaras de excelente calidad en todo sentido, las dos camaras tienen muy buena calidad de imagen
              pero la verdad la canon esta por encima de la D3100 por el tipo de video, megapixeles, precio, es mas axesible la canon en cuanto a precio que la nikon 
              yo creo que de 10 fotografos 8 tienen cano y 2 nikon y es por lo mismo los precios, ademas la T2i a mi juicio es mejor camara en lo tecnico aunque esto les duela a los seguidores de nikon...........................
               
              Kimberly (5:32 AM, November 15, 2011)
              You can still manually focus it though, right? With older lenses? Or does the D3100 ONLY work with autofocus lenses?
               
              Scythe (7:09 PM, August 30, 2011)
              18 megapixels only means that you can crop more, the nikon has a larger sensor, and actually takes the more high quality pictures.
               
              Avatar for Hammad Hammad (5:10 PM, August 26, 2011)
              The build in lense that comes with it has built in motor? I will be using the built in anyhow.
               
              Buford Jones (3:46 AM, July 22, 2011)
              Does either of these cameras shoot stills in 16x9?
               
              Stlm5991 (8:36 PM, June 26, 2011)
              IS for Canon , VR for Nikon
               
              Stlm5991 (8:32 PM, June 26, 2011)
              more megapixel does not necessarily mean better quality image
               
              Daniel Braga (6:15 PM, June 18, 2011)
              This will be my first DSLR camera, I'm very confused and I don't know what choose.
              Some people say Canon is better because it is better on Manual use and you a are able to "set it better".
              An other thing I hear is that NIKON lenses are more expensive.
              With camera is better for a beginner?
               
              Avatar for Get_Real001 Get_Real001 (5:13 AM, May 20, 2011)
              Buying a new Camera is a great experience. Comparing these two is real simple. Comparing both cameras the Nikon is only better in the autofocus video feature and on the price. But overall   the best Camera is the Canon t2i (a simpler version of the t3i). If you want to buy the nikon to say that you have a Nikon go ahead, but the better camera is the Canon! ---18 megapixels!. And when it comes to price at the end you'll end up paying more for the nikon than for the Canon. WHY? The lens prices are more expensive in the Nikon industries. CANON T2i is the best choice.
               
               
              JRB (4:56 PM, May 16, 2011)
              Based on Snapsort's comparison I chose the T2i as I have older Canon lenses from 35mm days. The T2i will be my first camera where I will try to stay away from full auto. If there are any beginner discussion groups out there, I would appreciate a link from anyone. Thanks in advance.
               
              JRB (4:53 PM, May 16, 2011)
              To ProspectiveDSLRBuyer - Snapsort comparison of D3100 vs EOS60D clearly states that it doesn't always make sense to compare an entry level camera with a pro model.
               
              Redzonevisuals (10:07 AM, May 11, 2011)
              t2i was my first dslr a year ago, no problems of any kind, 10,000 shots so far, im very happy with it. punchy colors out of it, the screen on the rear is fantastic, no autofocus while filming but nikon's 3100 system makes alot of noise, the video quality is excellent. I think EOS 550D was the better bet for my requirements :)
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (11:13 PM, April 26, 2011)
              Hi Tanorosselli, I don't know. I would guess 3:2, since the D3100 takes photos in 3:2 aspect ratio by default.
               
              Tanorosselli (10:43 PM, April 26, 2011)
              Help!
              I can not find this information anywhere. Does anyone know if the aspect ratio of the LCD of my nikon d3100 is 4:3 or 3:2?
              I want to buy the Vfinder but not which model to buy if the LVF-43 or the LVF-32
              HELP !!!!!!!!

              Thanks, Esteban from Argentina