Nikon vs Canon (D3100 or equal)

This is a discussion on Nikon vs Canon (D3100 or equal) within the Digital Cameras, Lenses & Accessories forums, part of the PHOTO FORUM category; So I am buying my first DSLR camera! I decided to go with a Nikon D3100 or its Canon equivalent (can anyone let me know ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2011
    The United States
    Nikon D5100, Sigma 70mm-300mm Macro

    Nikon vs Canon (D3100 or equal)

    So I am buying my first DSLR camera! I decided to go with a Nikon D3100 or its Canon equivalent (can anyone let me know what that is?)

    I'm leaning towards a Nikon because that is what I have worked with in my photography classes the most, but I have heard and read online that Canons tend to be better overall in comparison with their nikon equivalent. I'm looking for a camera between $500 and $800. Can anyone let me know their opinions?
    “One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you'd be stricken blind.” - Dorothea Lange

  • #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    I would say it's canon equivalent is the T1i (they are pretty similar in reviews). The T2i seems to fall in between the D3100 and D5100. I ended up with a Canon due to how it felt in my hand, the fact that lenses are slightly cheaper, I liked the menus more, and I got a pretty good deal (brand new ~$520 with kit lens, camera bag, and memory card).

  • #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Michigan, USA
    Canon 5D mk II, EF 14mm f/2.8L II, TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS, EF 135mm f/2L, EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, Speelite 430EX II, 5380EX II
    Canon vs. Nikon is a bit like the "Ford vs. Chevy" or "Coke vs. Pepsi" debate. They're both great. I wouldn't say either is "better". I'd say that if you pick on specific features you'll find that for some specific features Nikon will win, but for other features Canon will win.

    The D3100 is probably most similar to the Canon T3 (which is not the same as the T3i... the T3i is most similar to the Nikon D5100).

    For entry level bodies, the Nikons tend to offer fractionally better dynamic range and ISO performance. The Canon's usually offer fractionally more sensor resolution. Neither one of these is so radically different that you immediately notice the difference.

    Ultimately the lenses you choose and how you light your shots will make a much more significant difference than the body you choose.

    The D3100 and D5100 do not have "in body" focus motors (all Nikon pro-sumer and pro bodies do... but entry-level bodies do not.) That means you'll want to make sure any Nikon lenses you buy are "AF-S" type lenses (which means they have an in-lens focus motor and don't rely on the body motor.)

    BTW, there's a rumor that Canon may be about to announce the next entry-level body... the T4i... in about another week. This may cause a slight shift in the prices for the other entry-level DSLR bodies. If you are interested in a Canon, you might wait a week and see if there's a price shift.
    Tim Campbell


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