Updated (August 2010): Compare the Canon EOS Rebel T2i vs Nikon D3100

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
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
252 ms shutter lag
Really small
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
Autofocuses shooting video
Contrast detection
Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 24fps
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look


Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS Rebel T2i.
Explore our gallery of 48 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3100.


Canon EOS Rebel T2i Competitors

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Entry-level DSLR

$399 body only

$306 - $399 with 18-55mm lens

Autofocus Video autofocus
Lowest price Much cheaper
Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
Canon Rebel T5i

Canon Rebel T5i

Entry-level DSLR

$470 - $649 body only

$529 - $599 with 18-55mm lens

Autofocus Video autofocus
Touch screen Has a touch screen
Color depth Worse color depth
Canon Rebel T3i

Canon Rebel T3i

Entry-level DSLR

$574 body only

$599 with 18-55mm lens

Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
Lowest price Significantly cheaper
Startup delay Much more startup delay

Nikon D3100 Competitors

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Entry-level DSLR

$399 body only

$306 - $399 with 18-55mm lens

Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
True resolution Higher true resolution
Color depth Worse color depth
Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$279 body only

$339 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
Dynamic range More dynamic range
Thickness Thicker
Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$389 - $397 with 18-55mm lens

Low light performance Much lower noise at high ISO
Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
Size Slightly larger


Canon EOS Rebel T2i
Rebel T2i

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Nikon D3100

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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