Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i (600D)

by Enche Tjin on February 15, 2011

Recent announced Canon T3i (600D) is great competitor of Nikon D3100, the only and the best Nikon DSLR for beginner. The price differences is quite significant. T3i has $899 price tag while Nikon D3000’s price tag is slightly below $600.

At the surface, Canon T3i is quite similar to Nikon D3100. Both cameras delivers almost the same image quality despite their differences in megapixel count. Both record FULL HD video and quite compact.

However, they have many differences too.

Canon T3i advantages

+ Vari angle, hi-res (1 million dots res)  3:2 LCD screen
+ Better interface (menu, button placements)
+ wireless flash commander (able to control off camera compatible flashes)
+ Slightly faster continuous burst (3.7 fps vs 2.89 fps)
+ Slightly faster performance (start up, shutter lag)
+ Better control and format for video shooter
- $300 more expensive

Nikon D3100 advantages

+ Significant cheaper
+ AF-F continuous AF in auto focus but not practical in use.
+ Slightly smaller and lighter
- No built-in AF motor. Not compatible with  lens without auto focus motor.

So which one do I recommend? For complete beginner, I recommend Nikon D3100, mainly because the price differences. With the extra money, you can get better lenses and accessories. For enthusiasts, especially video shooters, Canon 600D is great because of the Vari-angle hi-res LCD screen. D3100 has video feature too, but the format and LCD screen is far from Canon’s.  Overall tho, Canon T3 / 600D is a better camera, but it comes with a significantly higher price.

Features Canon T3i (600D) Nikon D3100
Image 18 MP 14 MP
Auto Focus 9 AF points 11 AF points
Video FULL HD 1080p FULL HD 1080p
LCD Screen 3″ 1 million dots 3:2 vari-angle lcd screen 3″ 230k
Size and weight 5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in.

(133 x 100 x 80 mm)

20.1 oz (570 g) body only

4.9 x 3.3 x 2.9 in.

(124 x 84 x 74 mm) 777 g with battery and kit lens

ISO up to 12800, recommended up to 1600 up to 12800, recommended up to 1600
Build Quality Plastic Plastic
Continuous shooting 3.7 fps 2.89 fps
Price $899 $585

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