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

Canon Rebel T2i vs Nikon D3100

Canon EOS Rebel T2i


Nikon D3100



Reasons to buy the Canon Rebel T2i

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
Prosumer size 129x98x62 mm

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

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


Explore 4 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS Rebel T2i


Advantages of the Canon T2i

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Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
1,040k dots vs 230k dots
More than 4.5x higher resolution screen
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
True resolution
Higher true resolution
17.9 MP vs 14.2 MP
Capture around 30% more detail in your photos
Movie format
Lower frame rate movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 24fps
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
0.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.54x vs 0.51x
More than 10% larger viewfinder
Much thinner
2.4" vs 2.9"
Around 20% thinner
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
3.7 fps vs 3 fps
More than 20% faster continuous shooting
129x98x62 mm vs 124x96x73 mm
More than 10% smaller
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
252 ms vs 279 ms
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
The T2i's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Canon EOS Rebel T2i Learn more about
the Canon T2i

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Automatically focuses shooting video
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
919 ISO vs 784 ISO
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
Distinguishes 0.4 more bits of color
Battery life
Longer battery life
550 shots vs 440 shots
Around 30% more shots per battery charge
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
67.0 vs 66.0
Almost the same
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$231.23 vs $699.99
The best price we've seen is $469 cheaper (3x less)
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
205 lenses vs 197 lenses
Almost the same
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
11 vs 9
Set focus accurately within the frame
Slightly lighter
505 g vs 530 g
Almost the same
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100


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

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS Rebel T2i Canon Rebel T2i 57
        You save
        54 Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100
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              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              400 ms startup delay
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              T2i197 lenses
              D3100205 lenses
              Size Fairly small Help
              T2i129x98x62 mm
              D3100124x96x73 mm
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              12,800 ISO
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Storage slots Fewer storage slots Help
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              T2i3.7 fps
              D31003 fps
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              T2i17.9 MP
              D310014.2 MP
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              T2i6,400 ISO
              D31003,200 ISO
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              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
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              T2i11.5 EV
              D310011.3 EV
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              Movie format Full HD (1080p) video Help
              T2i1080p @ 30fps
              D31001080p @ 24fps
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              T2i784 ISO
              D3100919 ISO




              Shared Competitors



              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $290 body only

              $379 - $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 EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 body only

              $399 - $419 with 18-55mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $539 body only

              $549 - $599 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $339 body only

              $419 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

              $354 body only

              $627 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              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

              $599 - $699 body only

              $620 - $700 with 18-55mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $677 body only

              $420 - $497 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 T2i Competitors



              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $479 - $679 body only

              $800 - $900 with 18-135mm lens

              Battery life Much longer battery life
              Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
              Size Much larger
              Thickness Much thicker

              Nikon D3100 Competitors



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


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


              Canon EOS Rebel T2i
              Rebel T2i

              Report a correction
              Nikon D3100

              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.

              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)
              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