Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i – Which is Better For You?

In this article, we compare the Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i. These cameras manufactured by the top camera companies in the world slug it out for superiority.

Both cameras are entry-level amateur cameras which makes it an evenly matched contest. The question is, “how evenly matched are they?” We are positively sure that you’ll find the answer to that and more in this comparison.

This well-tailored article will reveal which of these cameras has the bespoke fit for your photography needs. Let’s step into it, shall we?

Table of Contents

Comparison Overview – Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i

In comparison such as this, many want to know how different the cameras in focus are. This is acceptable as it presents a fast method of discerning which camera has the advantage. Let’s briefly discuss some of those critical differences between the cameras in this article.

Despite sporting so many similar features, the T3i (sounds like a Terminator’s name) has two major easy-to-see features that the Nikon D3100 lacks. These are the articulating screen and microphone port.

Comparing the bodies of both cameras, it is readily seen that the D3100 is the smaller and lighter camera. This gives it the win in the portability aspect. While the Nikon camera can be obtained in red or black body colors, the Canon T3i can be gotten in black only.

Both cameras are similar in terms of imaging as we examine them closely. The cameras also do not excel in terms of wireless connection as they lack Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Hence, choosing any of these cameras based on this will be a matter of personal preference.

Before going any further, we must mention that the Canon T3i is also known as Kiss X5 and 600D.

Price/Value Ratio – Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i

Which camera offers more value for money?

The T3i offers more value for money than the D3100. It is cheaper and has more unique features which include an articulating screen, microphone port, and AE Bracketing. None of these features are found in the Nikon D3100.

The Canon T3i has the same number of advantges over the D3100 which the Nikon camera has over it.

See how the Canon T3i fairs when compared with another Nikon D3XXX camera in this Nikon D3300 vs Canon 600D article.

Comparison Table – Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i

  Nikon D3100 Canon T3i (600D)
Announcement Date 19th August 2010 7th February 2011
Size Dimensions 124 x 96 x 75mm 133 x 100 x 80mm
Weight 505g 570g
Sensor Size 23.1 x 15.4mm 22.3 x 14.9mm
Sensor Resolution 14.2 megapixels 18 megapixels
ISO 100 – 3200 (expands to 12800) 100 – 6400 (expands to 12800)
Screen Resolution 230,000 dots 1,040,000 dots
Articulating Screen No Yes
Battery Life 550 shots 440 shots
Continuous Shooting Speed 3 fps 4 fps
Microphone Port No Yes
Focus Points 11 9
Color depth 22.5 22.1
Dynamic range 11.3 11.5
Low Light ISO 919 793

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

What Situation is Each Best For? – Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i

Nikon D3100 Canon T3i (600D)
Daily photographers shoot for an extended period as they carry out their trade. Hence, most of these photographers prefer lighter cameras.  
The Nikon D3100 is lighter and also smaller than the Canon T3i. Hence, this group of photographers would opt for this camera instead.
Street photography can be somewhat difficult because of the angles street photographers have to capture.  
One feature that aids photographers capture difficult angles is the articulating screen.   This feature is found only in the Canon T3i which makes it better for this kind of photography.
  Second rate performance. Landscape photography requires well-detailed images. The sensor resolution is one feature that ensures your images are well-detailed.  

The T3i, therefore, has the advantage has it has a higher sensor resolution.

Watch the Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i deathmatch comparison video below.

Common Features – Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i

In this section, we discuss the features that are found in the Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i with the same performance level.

The D3100 and the T3i have the following similarities:

i. Sensor Format and Type
ii. Anti-Aliasing Filter
iii. Video Resolution
iv. Viewfinder Type
v. Screen Size
vi. Live View
vii. Built-in Flash
viii. Hot Shoe (External Flash Shoe)
ix. Flash Sync Port
x. Storage
xi. HDMI Port
xii. USB Port
xiii. Bulb Shutter

Sensor Format and Type

The sensor is an integral part of a camera. It is responsible for capturing light into the camera which is necessary for image production. 

The sensor format and type are two factors that greatly influence the performance level of the sensor. Examining the sensors of the Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i, it is discovered that both cameras are fitted with the APS-CMOS sensor.

The APS-C sensor format also known as the DX-format by the Nikon company is said to be a medium-sized sensor. This is because the sensor format deals with the categorization of sensors into sizes.

It is important to mention that although two cameras might have the same sensor format, it does not automatically mean the sensors’ dimensions are the same. We speak more about this later on.

The APS-C is medium-sized when compared with other sensor formats. This sensor format is larger than the 1 inch and four-thirds format, but larger than the full-frame and medium formats.

The sensor type deals with the technology upon which the sensor is made. The CMOS sensor type is used by both cameras instead of CCD sensors. Battery consumption is reduced when the CMOS sensor is used.

Also, since they are not expensive to manufacture, cameras with this sensor type are not as expensive as their CCD-fitted counterparts.

Anti-Aliasing Filter

In front of a camera’s sensor, there is a feature found in some cameras known as the anti-aliasing filter. The AA filter also known as low pass filter is fitted into cameras to prevent the occurrence of moiré in captured images.

Those distinct patterns of lines and spots that appear in your images are known are moiré. They occur when the captured patterns possess resolutions that are higher than that of your camera’s sensor resolution.

Therefore, cameras with low sensor resolution such as the Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i need this feature. The disadvantage of this feature is that it reduces the sharpness and details of your captured image.

Video Resolution

Not only can these cameras capture still images, but they can also record videos. Both cameras are similar in this regard as the shoot full HD video of 1920 x 1080 resolution in MPEG-4 format.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

Viewfinder Type

The viewfinder is a camera feature that allows the user to frame and control his/her shots properly. Without the proper use of the viewfinder, images captured might be out of frame.

There are two types of viewfinder which a camera can employ. A camera is either fitted with an optical or digital viewfinder. The optical viewfinder does not require power to function while the digital viewfinder does. Hence, the former aids in battery power conservation.

Furthermore, viewfinders are made from either a pentamirror or pentaprism material. The pentaprism is advantageous over the pentamirror because it allows more light to pass through the viewfinder. Therefore, images produced by pentaprism viewfinders are clearer.

The coverage of a viewfinder refers to the field of view which a viewfinder can cover. The magnification, on the other hand, refers to how large the image transmitted will be.

The Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i are fitted with an optical pentamirror viewfinder with 95% coverage and 0.53x magnification.

Screen Size

The screen is used for viewing purposes. It is used to view the camera’s menu and captured images. Some camera’s screen can also be used as a viewfinder.

The larger the screen, the more efficient it is at performing the above functions. Therefore, a camera with a large screen is more preferred.

With screen sizes of 3 inches, the cameras in comparison are capable of delivering clear and bold images. This size is quite commendable for both cameras seeing they are amateur cameras.

Live View

The live view mode is the feature that allows the camera’s screen to be used as a viewfinder. Unlike the regular viewfinder, one can view the focus points within the frame. The Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i’s screens can be used this way. 

Built-in Flash

Poor lighting will result in poor image quality. In a case where there is poor lighting, what does one do?

Camera manufacturers know about this problem and have graciously fitted many cameras with a built-in flash. The built-in flash illuminates the subject that is about to be captured.

The Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i are fitted with a built-in flash. The D3100’s flash can be used with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System.

Hot Shoe (External Flash Shoe)

The hot shoe is a platform that is found on the top of cameras including the cameras in this comparison. This feature allows one to attach certain accessories to the camera.

One of the accessories used the most is the external flash. This has made many to refer to the hot shoe as an external flash shoe.

The external flash has many advantages over the built-in flash. This includes more flash power as well as versatility. The downside might be the fact that you’ll have to spend more money to purchase an external flash.

Flash Sync Port

These cameras truly excel in the flash department. Not only do they have a built-in flash and can make use of an external flash, but they also possess a flash sync port.

The flash sync port allows the user to connect the camera with the use of a cord to several flashes or strobe lights like this Neewer Battery Powered (700 Full Power Flashes) Outdoor Studio Flash Strobe.

These flashes can be placed at strategic positions within the scene of capture. When the shutter button of the camera is pressed, it sends an electrical signal to the flashes which light them up.

Studio and portrait photographers benefit greatly from this feature more than others.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

Storage

Storage is an important factor to consider when choosing a camera. How many images can your potential camera store? This is a question you need to ask yourself.

For the cameras in focus, they do not possess internal memory but are fitted with a single SD card slot. The slot allows these cameras to make use of SDXC cards for storing files.

This is good for these cameras, however, dual slots card storage is better which allows certain cameras to make use of not one but two SD cards.  Hence, such cameras have more storage capacity as well as storage options and flexibility.

Learn how to choose the right SD card for your camera in the next video.

HDMI Port

The HDMI port is used to connect a camera via an HDMI cable to a larger screen. And we know that a larger screen provides a better viewing experience. It is also easier to use when editing an image.

The Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i are fitted with a mini HDMI port.

USB Port

These cameras are equipped with a USB 2.0 port that enables them to connect to other devices such as laptops. Using a USB cable, one can transfer files from the device to the camera and vice versa.

Bulb Shutter

The bulb shutter feature manually keeps the shutter open for long exposures which enhances image quality. The Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i both have this feature.

Unique Features – Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i

This section discusses the features that are found in the Nikon D3100 and not in the Canon T3i and vice versa.

Nikon D3100 Unique Features

The following are unique features found in the D3100 that are missing in the T3i:

i. EXPEED 2 Image Processor
ii. Nikon F Lens Mount

EXPEED 2 Image Processor

The image processor runs a camera, hence, it is often referred to as “the brain of the camera”. It is responsible for a camera’s processing speed, video recording, and power management among others.

Nikon cameras make use of the EXPEED image processor series which is exclusive to the Nikon company and its cameras. Therefore, the Nikon D3100 employs the EXPEED 2 image processor. It is an improvement on the original EXPEED.

Nikon F Lens Mount

Apart from exclusive image processors, Nikon cameras make use of exclusive lens mounts as well.

The lens mount is used to hold the lens in place and attach it to the camera. It determines the type and number of lenses a camera can make use of.

The Nikon D3100 is fitted with the Nikon F lens mount.

Canon T3i Unique Features

The following are unique features found in the T3i that are missing in the D3100:

i. Articulating Screen
ii. Microphone Port
iii. AE (Automatic Exposure) Bracketing
iv. DIGIC 4 Image Processor
v. Canon EF Lens Mount

Articulating Screen

An articulating screen is one that can be turned, swiveled, rotated, and tilted. It offers flexibility during viewing as well as image capture.

This screen type is appreciated by street photographers, wildlife photographers and anyone who has to deal with capturing difficult angles. Vloggers also make use of cameras that possess this feature as they make their videos.

The Canon T3i has an articulating screen which makes it helpful when capturing selfies.

Microphone Port

Connecting an external microphone to your camera is only possible if your camera has a microphone port. The Canon T3i is such a camera that has the microphone port feature.

Why does one need an external microphone? Although cameras that record video have a built-in microphone, they do not record quality audio as many desire. Whereas, an external microphone delivers excellent audio that surpasses what an internal microphone produces.

We encourage you to purchase an external microphone especially if you record videos a lot. An amazing buy would be the TAKSTAR SGC-598 Interview Microphone.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

AE (Automatic Exposure) Bracketing

The AE bracketing feature enables the user to shoot in tough lighting conditions and HDR. It automatically adjusts the settings of the camera to suit the current lighting condition.

The T3i is equipped with the AE bracketing feature.

DIGIC 4 Image Processor

The Nikon company is not the only one that has exclusive image processors, the Canon company does as well.

Canon cameras are fitted with the exclusive DIGIC image processor series. Therefore, the Canon T3i runs on the DIGIC 4 image processor.

Canon EF Lens Mount

You might have guessed it; Canon has exclusive lens mounts as well. The Canon EF lens mount is used in many Nikon cameras including the T3i.

Unique Pros – Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i

Certain features are found in both cameras albeit with different performance levels. Therefore, in this section, we deal with such features and reveal the advantages these cameras have over the other.

Nikon D3100 Unique Pros

Which has a Larger Sensor D3100 or T3i?

The D3100 has a larger sensor than the T3i. It has a sensor size of 23.1 x 15.4mm while the Canon T3i’s sensor measures 22.3 x 14.9mm. This reveals the Nikon D3100’s sensor to be 7% larger.

The difference in the senor sizes of these cameras is responsible for their different format factors aka crop factor. The Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i have 1.5 and 1.6 format factors respectively.

The native aspect ratios of these cameras, however, are the same at 3:2. The native aspect ratio is the ratio of the sensor’s width to its height.

There are certain benefits a larger sensor offers a camera. A larger sensor can capture more light which will improve image quality. Larger sensors enhance color depth, dynamic range, low light ISO, and depth of field control.

Which has a Better Sensor Performance D3100 or T3i?

The D3100 has a better sensor performance than the T3i. When the sensors of these cameras were tested, the Nikon D3100 had an overall score of 67 while the Canon T3i had 65.

The performance of a sensor is dependent on the aggregate score of the color depth, dynamic range, and low light ISO. This is determined by a series of tests that have been conducted by the DXO mark company.

The difference between both cameras’ scores is negligible as to have major significance in real-life situations. Nevertheless, let’s find out how these cameras performed in the three sensor aspects mentioned above.

The color depth of a camera is the sensor’s sensitivity to detect and produce distinct colors.

Both cameras had a color depth score of 22.5 bits and 22.1 bits respectively for the Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i.

The dynamic range is the sensor’s sensitivity to detect details in its lightest and darkest points within the frame.

The results for the dynamic range test were 11.3 and 11.5 for the D3100 and the T3i correspondingly.

The low light ISO is the sensor’s sensitivity to detect and capture a clear image in low light conditions.

The Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i have a low light ISO of 919 and 793 respectively.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

Which has More Focus Points D3100 or T3i?

The D3100 has 2 more focus points than the T3i. It has 11 focus points while the Canon T3i has 9. Both cameras, however, have just 1 centralized cross-type focus points.

Focus points are points within a frame wherein a user can place much focus on. Such points are enhanced which makes it better detailed and sharper.

The more focus points a camera possesses, the more efficient the autofocus system becomes. Hence, the Nikon D3100 has an advantage over the Canon T3i for this reason.

Check out this Nikon D3100 autofocus tutorial.

Which has a Longer Battery Life D3100 or T3i?

The D3100 has a longer battery life than the T3i. It can capture 550 shots after being fully charged. The Canon T3i, on the other hand, can manage 440 shots after a full charge. Hence, the Nikon D3100 lasts 110 shots longer.

The D3100 is powered by a 1000mAH EN-EL14 power pack while the T3i uses the 1120mAH LP-E8 battery.

A great camera must last long to capture the number of images we desire. Nevertheless, some camera batteries cannot last for long periods.

Which has a Larger JPEG Buffer D3100 or T3i?

The D3100 has a larger buffer than the T3i. The Nikon D3100 has a JPEG buffer of 100 shots while the Canon T3i has a 9 shots JPEG buffer.

Both cameras in comparison can shoot in burst mode. The buffer is a feature that determines the number of shots a camera can capture in this mode.

The buffer is temporary storage where images captured in Burst mode are stored before being moved to the main storage. The higher the buffer capacity, the more images you get to save.

Which is Smaller D3100 or T3i?

The D3100 is 10% smaller than the T3i. The Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i have a body measurement of 124 x 96 x 75mm and 133 x 100 x 80mm respectively. Hence, the D3100 is 9mm narrower, 4mm shorter, and 5mm thinner than the T3i.

A smaller camera can be carried about and packed conveniently than larger ones. Hence, smaller cameras are preferred than larger cameras by many folks.

Which is Lighter D3100 or T3i?

The D3100 is 65g (11%) lighter than the T3i. It weighs 505g while the T3i weighs 570g.

The weight is on the same importance level as the camera’s size. A heavy camera makes it somewhat tedious for a photographer to do his/her job. Therefore, many prefer lighter cameras.

Furthermore, system cameras like the ones in discussion allow the attachment of other accessories. These accessories increase the overall weight of the camera when attached.

Which has a Faster Startup D3100 or T3i?

The D3100 has a faster startup than the T3i. The Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i have a startup time of 0.40 seconds and 1.5 seconds respectively. The difference is glaring which will also be seen in real-life situations.

The startup time of the camera refers to the period between when the camera’s power button is pressed and when the camera becomes fully functional.

Which has Less Shutter Lag D3100 or T3i?

The D3100 has less shutter lag than the T3i. The Nikon D3100 and the Canon T3i have a shutter lag of 279ms and 283ms respectively.

Shutter lag is the period between when the shutter button is pressed to capture an image and when the image is saved. During this period, the camera becomes somewhat inactive as it saves the captured image.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

Canon T3i Unique Pros

Which has a Higher Sensor Resolution T3i or D3100?

The T3i has a better sensor resolution than the D3100. It offers more details as a result of its 17.9 megapixels. The Nikon D3100, on the other hand, delivers 14.2 megapixels.

The sensor resolution also identified as megapixels is the sensor’s sensitivity to notice and capture well-detailed images. Images with high-quality details are usually a product of a camera with a high sensor resolution.

Apart from producing better-detailed images, the T3i enjoys two major advantages over the Nikon camera.

Firstly, a higher sensor resolution produces an image that can be printed at a larger size. Blur and grain are bound to occur when images produced by low sensor resolutions are printed at a large size. Furthermore, you can crop images with high resolution more freely.

We must mention that although the T3i has a higher sensor resolution than the D3100, however, both resolutions are still poor. Therefore, be careful when printing large images and cropping to avoid blur or grain.

The difference in sensor resolution causes the pixel pitch of both cameras to be different. The Canon camera has a pixel pitch of 4.31µm and 5.01µm for the Nikon camera.

Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of one individual pixel to the center of the next pixel.

Which has a Faster Video Frame Rate T3i or D3100?

The T3i has a faster video rate than the D3100. It has a video frame rate of 1080/30p while the Nikon has a video frame rate of 1080/24p.

Which has a Higher Maximum ISO T3i or D3100?

The T3i has a higher maximum ISO than the D3100. It has a higher ISO range of 100 – 6400 thanks to its maximum ISO value. The Nikon D3100, on the other hand, has an ISO range of 100 – 3200.

Interestingly, both cameras ISO can be expanded to a maximum of 12800.

The ISO of a camera refers to the sensor’s sensitivity in producing an image with the available light. A high ISO enables a camera to capture clear images even in low light conditions.

Every DSLR camera has an ISO range as well as settings that can be altered to fit the current lighting condition. A camera’s ISO can only function within its ISO range.

Which has a Higher Screen Resolution T3i or D3100?

The T3i has a higher screen resolution than the D3100. It has a sensor resolution of 1,040,000 dots while the Nikon D3100 has 230,000 dots screen resolution.

Screen resolution is the number of details a screen can effectively display. It is measured in dots. Although both cameras in focus have the same screen size, they differ in sensor resolution.

Which has a Faster Continuous Shooting Speed T3i or D3100?

The T3i has a faster continuous shooting speed than the D3100. It has a continuous shooting speed of 4fps while the D3100 has a speed of 3 fps.

The continuous shooting speed of the camera is another feature that is required for pleasurable shooting in burst mode.

The continuous shooting speed refers to the number of images you can capture within a second.

Which has a Farther Telephoto Lens Reach T3i or D3100?

The T3i has a farther telephoto lens reach than the D3100. When a telephoto lens is used by these cameras, the Canon T3i will cover a distance of 216m.  The Nikon D3100, on the other hand, can manage just 83mm.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

Which has a Farther Flash Coverage T3i or D3100?

The T3i has a farther flash coverage than the D3100. It covers a distance of 13m while the D3100’s flash covers 12m. The difference, however, is negligible.

Get familiar with the Canon T3i’s flash settings by watching the video below.

Which has More Available Lenses T3i or D3100?

The T3i has more available lenses than the D3100. It has 319 native lenses and 91 optical stabilization lenses while the Nikon D3100 has 302 native lenses and 88 optical stabilization lenses available for use.

Hence, the T3i has 17 more native lenses and 3 more optical stabilization lenses at its disposal.

We stated that the lens mount determines the number and types of lenses a camera makes use of. Since the cameras in focus sport different lens mounts, they have different numbers and types of lenses available for use.

Which is Newer T3i or D3100?

The Canon T3i is 5 months and some days newer than the Nikon D3100. The age-gap between these cameras isn’t much to account for much difference.

Nevertheless, there is always a preference for that which is new among many.

Which is Cheaper T3i or D3100?                                            

The T3i is about 14% cheaper than the D3100 when we compared the launch prices of both cameras. The Nikon D3100, on the other hand, is the more discounted camera as it has been in the market a bit longer than the Canon T3i.

Price is important when choosing a camera. It is the major factor that determines if one purchases a camera or not.

Unique Cons – Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i

Nikon D3100 Unique Cons

i. It has no articulating screen.

ii. The microphone port is absent.

Common Pros – Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i

  Nikon D3100 Canon T3i (600D)
Uses Phase-Detection Autofocus System The Nikon D3100 uses the phase-detection autofocus system instead of the contrast-detection autofocus system.  

This AF system offers the camera faster speed and better precision of focus.  

It allows the camera to perform continuous autofocus and subject tracking. These functions ensure your subjects are never out of focus.
Same as Nikon D3100
Supports RAW Format There are two formats in which an image can be captured. These are the JPEG and RAW formats.  

The latter format is of higher quality than the former. This is because RAW formats are in an uncompressed state which means they have not been altered.  

Photographers use this format especially when they’ll like to edit the image later on. This is because RAW images are easier to edit than JPEG images.  

Since RAW formats are of higher quality, they also take up more storage space.  

The D3100 supports the RAW format as it does JPEG formats.
Same as Nikon D3100
Has Face Detection Focus The face detection focus is a handy tool that automatically detects the faces of humans within a frame.  

It then applies adequate focus to the faces detected. The result of this is a well detailed and expressive face.  

The Nikon D3100 has this feature.
Same as Nikon D3100
Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

Common Cons – Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i

  Nikon D3100 Canon T3i (600D)
No Built-in Environmental Sealing Certain cameras are fitted with built-in environmental sealing. This feature allows such cameras to withstand certain interference that weather elements might cause.  

Hence, they can shoot in the rain, dusty environment, noisy wind, etc.  
However, cameras like the Nikon D3100 lack this feature. Therefore, they are susceptible to these external environmental influences.    
Same as Nikon D3100
Slow Shutter Speed The Nikon D3100 has a slow shutter speed of 1/4000s. This affects the camera in many ways including one which we discuss next. Same as Nikon D3100
No Built-in Image Stabilization A camera with a slow shutter speed like the D3100 is prone to produce blurred images.  

This is because a slow shutter speed cannot effectively capture fast motion.

Therefore, whenever the subject moves a bit during image capture, it produces a blur.  

Some cameras counter this with the built-in image stabilization feature.  

This feature ensures that the camera produces little or no blurred image.  

The Nikon D3100 can still carry out the stabilization function provided it uses any of the 88 optical stabilization lenses available for it.
Same as Nikon D3100 except the Canon T3i has 91 optical stabilization lenses at its disposal.
Poor Shutter Life Expectancy The shutter life expectancy refers to how long the camera shutter mechanism is expected to last before a need to change it arises.  
It is measured based on the number of times the shutter has captured an image.  

The Nikon D3100 has a shutter life expectancy of 100,000 actuations. This is poor considering the number of images some folks capture in a day.
Same as Nikon D3100
No UHS Card Support UHS cards allow one read, write and transfer files at ultra-high-speed of 104MB/s,   The D3100, however, does not support the use of these cards. Same as Nikon D3100
Lacks Built-in Wi-Fi With a built-in Wi-Fi one can wirelessly connect a camera to other compatible devices. It enables the sharing of files between the camera and these devices.  

Furthermore, you can print out your images when connected wirelessly to a Wi-Fi printer.  

In this day and age where sharing on social media is important to many. The Wi-Fi feature allows you to share those images directly from your camera.  

This feature allows wireless remote controlling of your camera as well.  

You’ll miss out on these functions and more with the Nikon D3100 as it lacks the built-in Wi-Fi feature.
Same as Nikon D3100
No Focus Peaking The focus peaking feature allows the camera to highlight what is in focus.  

The D3100 does not have this feature.
Same as Nikon D3100
Touch Screen Absent The touch screen feature is not strange thanks to our smartphones.  

Incorporating this feature in cameras allow you to interact with your camera like you would with your smartphone.  

It allows for faster and convenient access and control of the camera’s menu and settings.  

Using the screen as a live viewfinder, you can easily set your focus points with this feature.   

This feature is absent in the Nikon D3100.
Same as Nikon D3100
No Panorama The panorama feature allows a camera to stitch together several pictures to form a panoramic photo.  

The D3100 cannot do this.
Same as Nikon D3100
Lacks Built-in Bluetooth The Bluetooth is another feature we are familiar with. It is a wireless connection feature that allows you to pair and share files with other Bluetooth compatible devices.  

The Nikon D3100 lacks this feature.
Same as Nikon D3100
No NFC The NFC (Near Field Communication) network is used to pair a camera with a supported phone.    

This feature makes pairing with phones very easy. It is also used in sync with the Wi-Fi feature.  

The Nikon D3100 does not have the NFC feature.
Same as Nikon D3100
Lacks Built-in GPS The GPS (Global Positioning System) is used to acquire the precise location of a device anywhere on the planet.  

Nowadays, cameras are also fitted with GPS. This allows these cameras to perform a function known as geotagging.  

Geotagging is the adding/tagging a location to a captured image. This is often used by wildlife and landscape photographers more than others.  

The D3100 cannot geotag as it lacks the built-in GPS.
Same as Nikon D3100
No On-sensor Phase Detect This feature enables a camera to acquire precise and fast autofocus. It can be used when capturing pictures as well as videos. It can also be used in live view.  

The on-sensor phase detects feature is absent in the Nikon D3100.
Same as Nikon D3100
Top LCD absent The D3100 does not have the top LCD feature.  


The top LCD is a small screen at the top of a camera that has basic camera settings and controls. One can easily adjust the camera’s settings as he/she desires.
Same as Nikon D3100
No Headphone Port The Nikon D3100 has no headphone port. Hence, one cannot connect a headphone.  

This disadvantage would have been bypassed had it been the camera had Bluetooth. A Bluetooth headphone would have been employed instead.
Same as Nikon D3100

Check out these other interesting comparison articles below:

Nikon D3100 vs Canon 450D – Which Is Better For You?

Nikon D3200 vs Canon 650D – Extensive Comparison

Nikon D3200 vs D60 – In-depth Comparison

Nikon D5200 vs Canon 70D – Which Should You Go For?

Nikon D7000 vs Canon 600D – Detailed Comparison

Nikon D3100 vs Canon 1000D – Which Should You Go For?

What Users Think About These Cameras – Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i

Nikon D3100 Canon T3i (600D)
The image quality of the D3100 was commended by its users. Users of the Canon T3i were satisfied with its image quality.
The Nikon D3100 has a slow frame rate for sports shooting. This complaint was made by certain users of the camera. Some complained about the slow frame rate when covering sports events.
The users of the D3100 praised its very fast autofocus. The battery life of this camera didn’t thrill many users.
A good number of users bemoaned the slow live view autofocus. Same as Nikon D3100
The Nikon D3100’s ability to shoot full HD video earned it high praise. The video recording ability of the T3i was praised by many users.

Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i – FAQs

What is the difference between Canon T3 and T3i?

The table below will reveal differences between the Canon T3 and the Canon T3i:

Canon T3 Canon T3i
Also called Canon 1100D Canon 600D
Sensor resolution 12.2 megapixels 17.9 megapixels
Video recording 720/30p 1080/30p
ISO range 100 – 6400 100 – 6400 (expanded 100 – 12800)
LCD screen size 2.7 inches 3.0 inches
LCD screen resolution 230,000 dots 1,040,000 dots
Screen type Fixed screen Swivel screen
Continuous shooting speed 3 frames per second (fps) 4 frames per second (fps)
Battery life 700 shot per full charge 440 shots per full charge
Size dimension 130 x 100 x 78mm 133 x 100 x 80mm
Weight 495g 570g

Is Canon T3i good for photography?

The Canon T3i is very good for photography especially if you are an amateur or beginner photographer. It has features that make it excellent at delivering quality image.

The T3i can be used even at high ISO of 800 with little noise. When used at ISO 1600, noise is seen but not so bad. This means you can use this camera without much worry.

Coupled with an impressive 17.9 megapixels sensor resolution, the Canon T3i is a perfect buy for any beginner irrespective of your kind of photography.

How long can the Canon Rebel T3i record for?

The Canon Rebel T3i can record video for a maximum duration of 29 minutes and 59 seconds. This is because of European tax regulations.

However, the T3i like many DSLRs can only record 4GB per clip. As a result, you will not even hit the 29 minutes and 59 seconds in practical video recording.

The video resolution you shoot your video in also determines how long you shoot. If you use a high resolution, the recording time will be less. And if you use a low resolution, the recording time will be more.

Why does my Canon T3i stop recording?

The following might be the reasons your Canon T3i stops recording video:

i. The memory card in use is full – Once your memory card is full, the T3i will stop recording automatically. To correct this, you will have to free up space on your memory card.

ii. The memory card has a slow write speed – If this is the case, it means your memory card is not fast enough to write fast as the camera is recording. As a result, the buffer fills up faster and the camera will stop recording.

iii. You have reached a maximum size of file that can be recorded per clip.

What is the best memory card for Canon T3i?

The following is a list of memory cards that are best for the Canon T3i:

i. SanDisk Extreme U3 UHS-I

ii. Lexar 633x U1 UHS-I

iii. PNY Elite Performance U3 UHS-I

iv. Delkin Devices Advantage V30 UHS-I

v. Transcend V30 UHS-I

vi. Sony U3 UHS-I

vii. Kingston U1 UHS-I

viii. Deolux 32GB Class 10

The Canon T3i makes use of SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. It is recommended you buy a memory that is either Class 6 or higher and minimum 4GB capacity.

Final Thoughts – Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i

Nikon D3100 Canon T3i (600D)
The Nikon D3100 is truly a beginner’s camera that gently introduces an amateur photographer to the world of DLSR camera photography.  The Canon T3i is an amateur camera that possesses features that make photography easy for a beginner photographer.  
Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!
Victor

Victor is a student of mass communication with special focus on digital media. He has an insatiable craving for knowledge. When he is not learning new things, he is busy writing about them.