Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i – Which Should You Go For?

In this article, we compare the Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i in detail.

For cameras made by different manufacturers, these cameras do possess many similarities in so many ways. This makes choosing between them a difficult task. However, our detailed comparison of both cameras will reveal how different these cameras are.

What makes these cameras unique, what advantages do they have over each other, and what kind of photography are they most suited for? All these questions are answered in this article as we help you decide on which of these cameras you should go for.

Comparison Overview – Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i

The Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i are both upper-entry level amateur DSLR cameras manufactured by Nikon and Canon respectively. These cameras seem well-matched and are regarded as the most capable amateur cameras in the market.

For starters, in terms of imaging, the D5100 has a lower sensor resolution than the T3i, but it has a larger sensor. This looks like a stalemate, however, other factors that influence a camera’s image production tilts in favor of the Nikon camera. Hence, it will produce slightly better imaging than the Canon camera.

The Nikon D5100 also possesses more features than the Canon T3i. However, the difference in this regard isn’t much.

A camera being smaller doesn’t necessarily mean it will be lighter. However, the D5100 is not only smaller; it is also lighter than the T3i.

Neither camera does well when it comes to a wireless connection as they both lack Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

Price/Value Ratio – Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i

Both cameras are affordable which is consistent with the price-range for cameras within their categories. The features offered by these cameras are also consistent with that of amateur cameras.

Hence, the Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i offer commensurate value for their prices.

Note: The Canon T3i is not the same as the Canon T3. We compared the T3 to the Nikon D5100 in this article here.

Comparison Table – Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i

  Nikon D5100 Canon T3i (Canon 600D)
Announcement Date 5th April 2011 7th   February 2011
Size Dimensions 127 x 97 x 79mm 133 x 100 x 80mm
Weight 560g 570g
Sensor Resolution 16.1 megapixels 18 megapixels
Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7mm 22.3 x 14.9mm
Screen Resolution 921,000 dots 1,040,000 dots
Flash Sync Port No Yes
Flash Coverage 12.0m 13.0m
Focus Points 11 9
Battery Life 660 shots 440 shots
Time-Lapse Recording Yes No
HDR Yes No
UHS Card Support Yes No

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

Watch this comparison of the Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i below. 

What Situation is Each Best For? – Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i

Nikon D5100 Canon T3i (Canon 600D)
Street photographers have to deal with difficult angles more than other kind of photographers.  

Both cameras are suited for such tasks. So what feature gives the Nikon D5100 the edge over the Canon T3i as being better for street photography?  

That feature is the D5100’s larger sensor. It enhances the image quality of the captured image.  

We discuss more about the size of a sensor later in the article.
Portrait photography deals with fine-details. A camera that will be suitable for this kind of photography must produce well-detailed imaging.  

The Canon T3i has the advantage here as it has a higher sensor resolution than the D5100.
Certain features make a camera fit for sports photography. This includes number of focus points, low light ISO, and battery life.  

Comparing these cameras in the features above, the Nikon D5100 does better on all counts.  

Hence, it will serve well as a sports photography camera.
Due to the higher sensor resolution of the T3i, it serves better for landscape photography.
Daily photographers shoot for a longer time than other photographers.  

As a result, they prefer a lightweight camera because it lessens the burden of going about with a camera.  

The D5100 lighter than the T3i and even smaller as a bonus.  

Therefore, this camera will make the job easier for anyone involved in daily photography.
Although the T3i is the larger of th two cameras, some folks who like having a large camera in their grasps might be content with it.  

Common Features – Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i

What features make these cameras similar? The answer to this question is discussed in detail in this section.

Sensor Format and Type

The sensor is a very important part of any camera. It has a significant role in determining the final and overall image quality produced. It is responsible for capturing light into the camera necessary for image production.

The sensor’s performance level is usually influenced by the sensor’s format and type. Besides, the sensor used by a camera also affects the lenses that can be used with the camera. The size and weight of the lenses that can be used are bound to be the same provided the lenses used have the same focal length and aperture.

Both cameras in comparison are fitted with the APS-C sensor format also called the DX-format by the Nikon Company. They also sport the same CMOS sensor type. The APS-C CMOS sensor is usually found in most amateur DSLR cameras.

The sensor’s format is the size category that a camera belongs to. Hence, we refer to the APS-C sensor format as medium-sized. It is smaller than the full-frame and the medium format sensors but it is larger than the 1 inch and four-thirds sensors.

These cameras make use of the CMOS sensor type and are found in many newer cameras today. The sensor type is based on the technology used to make the sensor. CMOS sensors do not consume power, unlike CCD sensors. This is an advantage for these cameras.

Anti-Aliasing Filter

Moiré is a repetitive pattern of dots or lines that usually appears on images. It is usually caused when the pattern captured is higher than the sensor’s resolution.

Many cameras including the ones in this article have a feature that counters this occurrence. This feature is called the anti-aliasing filter or low-pass filter.

As much as this serves an advantage, this is not seen as an advantage these days by many. This is because the anti-aliasing filter reduces the sharpness and details of an image. Because of this, some manufacturers do not make use of the anti-aliasing filter in their cameras.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D5100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

ISO

The ISO refers to the sensor’s sensitivity to produce an image with the light that is available. Therefore, cameras that possess a high ISO range can effectively capture clear images in low light conditions.

The Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i have an ISO range of 100 – 6400. These cameras’ ISOs, however, have the option of being expanded: This is where these cameras are different. We discuss this later on.

Screen Size and Type

The screen is also known as display screen and functions primarily for viewing purposes. It is used to view captured images, about to be captured frame, camera’s settings and menu.

The screen size is a major issue that a good number of people factor in when purchasing a camera. A bigger sized screen is advantageous as it allows you to view your images better and clearly.

The Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i are fitted with 3 inches LCD screen.

Furthermore, both cameras have an articulating screen that offers you a flexible shooting experience. The flexibility this feature provides during shooting makes both cameras good for street photography since it requires shooting at difficult angles.

Vloggers are also bound to enjoy much out of this feature as it makes it easy for them to make their videos. This feature makes the camera selfie-friendly as well which makes capturing images with family and friends fun. The screen can also be flipped which is helpful when watching movies.

Viewfinder

The viewfinder in a camera has a sole function. Its job is to aid the photographer in proper shots and frame control. The type of viewfinder used in a camera determines the extent to which the camera can easily perform this function.

The Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i are both fitted with an optical pentamirror viewfinder. This has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s quickly discuss this, shall we?

The major difference between an optical and electronic viewfinder is found in just two words: “Power Consumption”. For the electronic viewfinder (also known as a digital viewfinder) to function, it has to make use of the camera’s power derived from its battery. This affects the battery, as it is used up faster than if it were to be an optical viewfinder instead.

Usually, amateur DSLR cameras do not possess amazing battery longevity which is why they are not usually fitted with electronic viewfinders. Camera manufacturers like Nikon and Canon do this to save the battery’s life.

The material employed to make the viewfinder is of great importance as well. It majorly determines the amount of light that gets to pass through to the user’s eye. If the light that passes through is sufficient, the images seen are brighter.

A viewfinder can be made from a pentamirror material like the ones used for the cameras in this comparison or it can be from a pentaprism material. The latter is better since it allows more light than the former. Hence, the Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i’s viewfinders are at a disadvantage in this regard.

Another thing is that most viewfinders are eye-level viewfinders. An eye-level viewfinder is one that has to be put close to the eye if framing and control are to be done. This is unlike those that are held at arm-length. The advantage it offers is that one can easily frame and properly control shots even when the sun is shining bright.

The viewfinders of these cameras have 95% viewfinder coverage.

Learn how to adjust your camera’s viewfinder in the next video.

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Video Resolution

These cameras can not only capture still images but they can also record videos. The similarity in this video recording aspect is that both cameras shoot in the same maximum video resolution of 1920 x 1080 full HD. They also do so at 30 frames per second.

Built-in Flash

Light is essential for the production of a quality image. That’s why pictures shot in well-lit environments are of better quality than those shot in a low light condition.

Therefore, in situations where the lighting is poor, the photographer has to compensate and provide a source of light. In cameras, a built-in flash is used to supply this needed light.

The Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i are both manufactured with this built-in flash feature. The D5100’s flash can be used with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System.

The built-in flash reduces the need for an external flash as well as the extra weight it will add.

Hot Shoe (External Flash Shoe)

The built-in flash can only do so much as it is somewhat limited in flash power. Therefore, in such cases where the built-in flash does not properly illuminate the area, one needs to employ an external flash.

The external flash can only be used if the camera being used possesses a hot shoe feature. The hot shoe is a platform usually found at the top of the camera that allows one to attach certain accessories to the camera.

The Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i both sport a hot shoe feature.

The disadvantage of an external flash like every other camera accessory is that it will add to your camera’s overall weight which can become burdensome as one shoots for an extended period.

Besides, you’ll have to purchase it separately. Hence, if you are on a tight budget you might not be able to afford it.

Microphone Port

A camera that captures video should also be able to record audio. This is true for both cameras as their built-in microphone feature ensures that audio recording is possible. Sadly, it has been discovered that using such microphones not deliver quality audio.

What then is one who is concerned about getting good audio in his/her videos supposed to do then? Easy, we recommend you get an external microphone that can easily record high-quality audio while you shoot your videos.

You can only use an external microphone provided your camera has a microphone port. The microphone port allows you to connect an external microphone to the camera.

Both cameras in comparison possess a microphone port that supports professional microphones like this TAKSTAR SGC-598 Interview Microphone.

HDMI Port

The HDMI port feature allows a larger screen to be connected to the camera via an HDMI cable.

When this connection is made, whatever is displayed on the camera’s screen will also be shown on the larger screen. Hence, one can view pictures, watch videos and easily spot angles that need editing with the larger screen.

The Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i both have a mini HDMI port that allows them to carry out this function.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D5100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

USB Port

The USB port is used to connect the camera to a USB supported device via a USB cable. The connection allows you to transfer files from the camera to the device and vice versa.

The cameras under consideration are fitted with a USB 2.0 port.

Storage

The D5100 and the T3i are manufactured with a single card slot that can house an SDXC card. This serves as the primary storage for these cameras.

The single card slot storage, however, means that these cameras are limited in terms of storage capacity. Whereas, there are cameras that have dual card slots and can make use of two cards at once. Such cameras have more storage flexibility and options.

Unique Features – Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i

In this section, we discuss the features found in the Nikon D5100 but not in the Canon T3i and vice versa.

Unique Features – Nikon D5100

Time-Lapse Recording

The Nikon D5100 is manufactured with a built-in intervalometer. This feature showcases the creativity of a photographer as it is used in creating time-lapse videos. It allows shooting to be done at low frequencies.

A time-lapse video is a short video made from some pictures of a particular scene that has been captured at different intervals. Examples of time-lapse videos are blooming plants, sunsets, sunrise, traffic in the city, etc.

HDR

The HDR mode is used when the photographer is unsure of the right exposure to use. When this mode is activated, the camera automatically captures three different images of the subject at different exposure levels.

These images are then combined together by the camera to form a single image that possesses the right amount of exposure required. Hence, this feature is handy when capturing images in tricky light conditions.

The D5100 is equipped with this mode whereas the Canon T3i lacks it.

UHS Card Support

A camera that supports the use of a UHS card enjoys reading, writing and transferring files at ultra-high speeds. File transfers can be done as fast as 104MB/s which is efficient as it saves time.

The Nikon D5100 supports the use of a UHS-I card.

EXPEED 2 Image Processor

The Nikon Company makes use of its trademark EXPEED series of image processors. Early Nikon DSLR cameras sported the first generation of the EXPEED image processor.

As time went on, the EXPEED 2 was manufactured as an upgrade on the original EXPEED. This is the image processor that runs the Nikon D5100.

This EXPEED 2 image processor enables the D5100 to process images and videos at a faster speed than the older EXPEED image processor. Also, it is responsible for the camera’s ability to record 1080p video whereas the EXPEED could only do 720p video.

Nikon F Lens Mount

Nikon DSLR cameras are fitted with exclusive lens mount manufactured by the Nikon Company. Therefore, Nikon cameras always have a unique lens mount when compared with a camera manufactured by another company.

A good number of Nikon DSLR cameras are fitted with the Nikon F lens mount and this includes the Nikon D5100.

The function of the lens mount is to hold the lens in place and attach it to the camera’s body. The number of lenses that a camera can use is dependent on the type of lens mount that it is fitted with.  

If you owned a Nikon camera that used the Nikon F lens mount, you can still use your old lenses with the Nikon D5100. This is an advantage former Nikon camera owners benefit because of this feature.

Check out the Nikon lens buying guide below.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D5100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

Unique Features – Canon T3i

Flash Sync Port

Although the Canon T3i has a built-in flash and the option of using an external flash via a hot shoe, it didn’t stop it from having a flash sync port as well.

The flash sync port allows one to fire an external flash or several ones at the same time to provide the lighting condition desired. This feature makes the T3i a better flash photography camera than the Nikon D5100.

To make use of this feature, one has to connect a cord that is from an external flash or a flash unit to the camera’s flash sync port. When this is done a signal is then sent to these flashes when the camera’s shutter is pressed.

DIGIC 4 Image Processor

The Canon Company has image processors that are exclusive to Canon cameras. The image processor found in any Canon camera is usually a variation of the DIGIC image processor.

The Canon T3i employs the DIGIC 4 image processor. This is Canon’s 4th generation image processor which is a successor to the DIGIC 3. The DIGIC 4 improves on everything the DIGIC 3 offered.

Canon EF/EF-S Lens Mount

Just like the Nikon Company makes use of lens mounts that are exclusive to their cameras, the Canon Company does the same. Hence, the Canon T3i can be fitted with either the Canon EF or the Canon EF-S lens mount.

If you had a Canon camera that made use of the Canon EF/EF-S lens mount, you can also make use of your old lenses with the T3i.

Unique Pros – Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i

There are some features that are found in both camera but at different performance levels. These are the features we look at in this section as we discuss the advantages these cameras have over each other. 

Unique Pros – Nikon D5100

Larger Sensor

Although both cameras make use of the same APS-C sensor format, this does not make the sensors of these cameras similar in size. A larger sensor offers more advantages than smaller ones.

One of such is that a larger sensor enables the camera to detect more details when an image is to be captured. If both cameras have the same sensor resolution (megapixels), the one with the larger sensor has the upper hand.

Other advantages larger sensor offers include better low-light sensitivity, broader dynamic range, richer color depth, better single pixels, and better control in terms of depth-of-field.

When we compare the cameras in this comparison, the D5100 has a sensor size of 23.6 x 15.7mm while the Canon T3i has a sensor dimension of 22.3 x 14.9mm. Hence, the former is 12% larger than the latter.

Due to this difference, the format factors of these sensors are different. The D5100 and the T3i have a format factor of 1.5 and 1.6 respectively. The native aspect ratio however of both cameras is the same at 3:2.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D5100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

Better Sensor Performance

In determining the sensor’s performance level, three major sensor aspects are considered and measured. These are the color depth, dynamic range, and the low light ISO. The measurements and the results are made by the DXO Company.

A camera’s color depth is the sensor’s sensitivity and ability to produce distinct colors. Therefore, cameras with higher color depth produce richer colors than those with lower color depth. A camera’s color depth is usually measured in bits.

A camera with a higher color depth is bound to produce images that are richer in color than those with lower color depth. The color depth is also a handy feature during portrait photography as it enhances the picture quality.

The Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i have a color depth of 23.5 bits and 22.1 bits respectively. Hence, the D5100 does better with a higher value of 1.4 bits.

The dynamic range is the sensor’s ability to effectively detect details in its lightest and darkest point in the frame.

A camera with a wider dynamic range can effectively capture minute details that could be ignored with a lower dynamic range. The dynamic range comes into full effect when capturing landscape scenes.

The Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i have a dynamic range of 13.6 EV and 11.5 EV. Therefore, there is a difference of 2.1 EV with the D5100 having the advantage.

The dynamic range is also called the DXO landscape and it influences the overall image quality of a landscape picture.

The last measurement (low light ISO) is the sensor’s sensitivity in low light conditions.

A higher low light ISO means the camera can efficiently capture clearer images in low light than one with a lower low light ISO. Noise is efficiently managed with a camera that has a high low-light ISO. The low-light ISO also enhances a camera’s shooting ability when capturing sports events; hence it is also referred to as DXO sports.

The Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i have a low light ISO of 1183 and 793 respectively. This gives the D5100 an advantage of 0.6 stops over the T3i.  

The aggregate of these sensor factors gives the Nikon camera an overall sensor performance of 80 while the Canon T3i got 65. Therefore, we can say the D5100 has a better sensor performance than the T3i.

Higher Expanded Maximum ISO

Despite sporting the same native ISO range, the expanded maximum ISO of these cameras are different.

While the D5100 is capable of reaching an expanded maximum ISO value of 25600, the T3i manages half of that value at 12800. This is 100% more in favor of the Nikon D5100.

It is worth mentioning that shooting at high ISO value can result in the occurrence of noise and grain. We advise that you do not exceed the 6400 ISO to avoid those occurrences. Using high ISO requires caution and skills to avoid the occurrence of grain and noise. The photographer must draw a balance between the ISO settings and the shutter exposure to avoid such negative image occurrences.

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More Focus Points

Focus points are points within a frame whereby a camera can create exposure on thereby enhancing the details of that particular point.

The Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i have 11 and 9 focus points respectively. This gives the D5100 the advantage of 2 more focus points.

Both cameras, however, have just 1 cross-type focus point. This type of focus points can detect details in vertical and horizontal lines.

Learn how to control the focus points on a Nikon and Canon DSLR in the following video.

Longer Battery Life

The battery life of your camera determines how long you can shoot and how many shots you get to capture once you charge it. Hence, it is an important factor that needs to be considered before purchasing a camera.

The Nikon D5100 is powered by the 1030mAh EN-L14a power pack battery which enables it to capture 660 shots after a single charge. While the Canon T3i is fitted with the 1120mAh LP-E17 battery and can capture 440 shots after a full charge. Therefore, the D5100 has a longer battery life of 220 shots.

Smaller

A good number of photographers would readily opt for a smaller camera; given it delivers quality images. This is because such cameras can be carried about easily thereby making the job easier.

Of the two cameras in comparison, the Nikon D5100 is 5mm narrower, 3mm shorter and 1mm thinner than the Canon T3i which makes it 7% smaller. It has a size dimension of 127 x 97 x 79mm while the T3i is measured at 133 x 100 x 80mm.

Lighter Weight

A camera’s weight matters. If you are engaged in photography that demands you moving to different locations or shooting for long periods at a stretch, then it is all the more important. A lighter camera would ease the burden when you go ahead shooting.

It is important to remember that the lenses used will increase the weight of these cameras. Apart from the lenses used, accessories that will be used such as the external flash and the rest must be equally considered.

Upon comparison of the cameras in focus, it is discovered that the Nikon D5100 is 10g (2%) lighter than the Canon T3i. It weighs 560g while the T3i has a weighs 570g.

Newer

Newer cameras usually enjoy the advantage of technological advancements over older cameras. Since both cameras are just months apart, there isn’t much advantage in this regard.

Still, the Nikon D5100 is still a month and some days older than the Canon T3i.

Unique Pros – Canon T3i

Higher Sensor Resolution

A camera’s sensor resolution is the sensor’s sensitivity and ability to capture details thereby producing well-detailed quality images. Hence, a higher sensor resolution will produce an image that is better detailed than one produced by a lower sensor resolution.

Consequently, the Nikon D5100 does better has it has a higher sensor resolution than the Canon T3i. It boasts 18.0 megapixels while the T3i has just 16.1 megapixels.

Despite the major role which the sensor resolution plays in the final resolution of an image, other factors influence it as well. These include pixel size, sensor technology, anti-aliasing filter and the optical elements used.

Due to the difference in these sensors’ resolutions, the pixel pitches of these cameras are different. The D5100 has a pixel pitch of 4.31µm, while the T3i has a pixel pitch of 4.80µm.  

Click Here to Get the Nikon D5100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

Higher Screen Resolution

Although both cameras have the same screen size, the Canon T3i has a better screen resolution. It can effectively render 1,040,000 dots while the D5100 offers 921,000 dots screen resolution: That is about 119,000 dots difference.

A camera’s screen resolution is a measure of its screen’s ability to efficiently display and render a certain amount of details. A higher screen resolution will produce images that are better detailed on the screen than a lower screen resolution.

Higher Viewfinder Magnification

The viewfinder magnifications of these cameras are different. The Canon T3i has a value of 0.53, while the Nikon D5100 has a viewfinder magnification of 0.51.

This means the viewfinder of the Nikon camera will produce bolder images than the Canon camera.

More Video Formats

Although the cameras in this article possess the same maximum video resolution, the T3i can shoot in more video formats than the D5100. It shoots in MPEG-4 and H.264, whereas the D5100 shots only in MPEG-4 format.

Longer Flash Coverage

The longer the flash coverage the more subjects and area a camera’s flash can illuminate. The Canon T3i does better in this regard as it has a flash coverage of 13m while the Nikon D5100’s flash can cover 12m.

More Available Lenses

We mentioned earlier that the lens mounts used for these cameras allow them to make use of a certain number of lenses. Since both cameras make use of different lens mounts which we’ve discussed already, the lens mount of the Canon T3i allows it to make use of more lens than the Nikon D5100.

It can make use of 319 native lenses and 107 optical stabilization lenses. Whereas, the D5100 has 304 native lenses and 101 optical stabilization lenses available for use.

The type of lenses used by these cameras include standard zoom, standard prime, wide-angle zoom, wide-angle prime, telephoto prime, telephoto zoom, superzoom, wide-angle fisheye prime, macro prime, perspective control prime, and telephoto mirror prime

Cheaper

Ultimately, the price of the camera is the final determining factor that one considers when purchasing a camera. Everyone loves to make a good deal so we opt for a camera that delivers on the goods but is also mild on our pockets.

Although these amateur cameras are pretty affordable, the T3i is more affordable. The launching prices of both cameras reveal it to be 20% cheaper than the D5100.

Unique Cons – Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i

Unique Cons – Nikon D5100

i. It lacks a flash sync port.

Unique Cons – Canon T3i

i. It cannot create time-lapse videos.

ii. It does not have HDR mode.

iii. It does not support UHS cards.

These 7 cool DSLR tricks below will improve your image quality.

Common Pros – Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i

  Nikon D5100 Canon T3i (Canon 600D)
Supports RAW Format There are two major picture formats used by DSLR cameras. These are the JPEG and the RAW format.


The former is the commonly used format that all cameras shoot in. However, not all cameras support the latter format but the D5100 does.

An advantage of RAW images is that they are of higher quality than JPEG.  

Furthermore, they can be edited more easily as well. This is because a RAW image is usually left in its uncompressed and unaltered state.

The only issue is that they take up more storage space which is due to their superior quality.
Same as Nikon D5100
AE (Auto Exposure) Bracketing Present Shooting in tough lighting conditions is bound to happen. Changing of location can be a bit tough as the light conditions of different areas tend to differ.


The Nikon D5100 has the AE bracketing feature which allows it to capture images despite the many changes in the lighting conditions.

It does this by automatically adjusting the settings of the camera to fit the new lighting condition.
Same as Nikon D5100
Has Face Detection Focus The face detection feature automatically identifies the faces of subjects in the frame. This enhances the details and sharpness of the image.  

This feature is very useful in portrait photography.

You can use this feature with the Nikon D5100.
Same as Nikon D5100
Live View The live view mode is what allows the D5100’s display screen to be used as a viewfinder.  

You can use the screen to frame and control your shots like you would with your viewfinder.  

An advantage this feature offers over the regular viewfinder is that your camera’s focus points are displayed on the screen.  

This allows you to manipulate them as desired thereby enhancing the image’s overall quality.
Same as Nikon D5100
Uses Phase-Detection Autofocus System The phase-detection autofocus system is used by the Nikon D5100.

It is precise and more accurate than the contrast-detection autofocus system.

This makes the camera capable and efficient for capturing sports events and wildlife.
Same as Nikon D5100
Click Here to Get the Nikon D5100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Canon EOS Rebel T3i Now!

Common Cons – Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i

  Nikon D5100 Canon T3i (Canon 600D)
Slow Continuous Shooting Speed The continuous shooting speed of a camera measures how many images are captured per second when in burst mode.  

Burst mode allows one to capture continuous images over some time.  

A camera with a faster continuous shooting speed can capture more pictures within a period than one with a slower speed.  

The Nikon D5100 has a continuous shooting speed of 4 fps. This is slow when compared to other cameras. Hence, the D5100 has a slow continuous shooting speed.
Same as Nikon D5100
No Built-in image Stabilization A blurred image is a common occurrence when a shake happens as a picture is about to be taken. This is more common if the picture is taken with a camera that has a slow shutter speed.

Usually, most cameras counter the occurrence of blur via a built-in image stabilization feature. This feature keeps your camera steady even if a shake occurs, it is automatically corrected.

However, the Nikon D5100 does not possess this feature.

The D5100 can still overcome this issue with the use of any of the 101 optical stabilization lenses available.
Same as Nikon D5100 except the Canon T3i has 107 optical stabilization lenses available.
Lacks Built-In Environmental Sealing A good number of cameras are fitted with a built-in environmental sealing feature.

This feature allows the camera to shoot in tough weather conditions without much disturbance.

The Nikon D5100 lacks this feature which makes it susceptible to these weather forces.
Same as Nikon D5100
Cannot Fine Tune Autofocus With the AF Micro Adjustment feature, the camera’s autofocus can be fine-tuned.

However, the Nikon D5100 cannot perform this function.
Same as Nikon D5100
Slow Shutter Speed The shutter speed measures how fast a camera can capture an image.  

The D5100 has a shutter speed of 1/4000s.   This puts this camera in the category of cameras with a slow shutter speed.  

As a result, the Nikon D5100 is prone to produce blurred images which are common with cameras with a slow shutter speed. This is because they cannot conveniently capture fast motions.
Same as Nikon D5100
No Built-in Wi-Fi The built-in Wi-Fi fitted in cameras enable such cameras to wirelessly connect with other compatible devices.

This connection allows the transfer of files to these devices from the camera and vice versa.

Also, images and videos can be shared directly to social media platforms with the camera.

Sadly, the Nikon D5100 does not have the built-in Wi-Fi feature.
Same as Nikon D5100
Lacks Built-in GPS With a built-in GPS feature, one can precisely locate the position of the camera anywhere in the world.

Also, pictures can be easily geotagged. Geotagging is important as it allows the photographer to keep accurate records of where certain images were shot.  
This function is especially important for wildlife and landscape photographers.

The Nikon D5100 lacks this feature.
Same as Nikon D5100
No Touch Screen The touch screen feature enables users to interface with their cameras just like they do with their smartphones.

Cameras that possess this feature have fewer buttons.  

Also, it makes control and accessibility easier especially for amateur photographers. The familiarity of the touch screen feature makes the camera more user-friendly.  

Unfortunately, the Nikon D5100 does not have this feature.
Same as Nikon D5100
No Built-In Focus Motor The built-in focus motor allows a camera to perform autofocusing with all its available lenses.  

Without this feature, you cannot perform autofocusing with all lenses. You can only do so with autofocus lenses.  

The D5100 is a camera that lacks the focus motor feature.   This means you’ll have to rely on autofocus lenses if you want autofocusing.
Same as Nikon D5100
No Panorama The Nikon D5100 does not possess the panorama feature and cannot create panoramic pictures. Same as Nikon D5100
Poor Shutter Life Expectancy Shutter life expectancy refers to how long a camera’s shutter mechanism will last before the need to change it arises.  

This is a minimum guarantee that tells you how long your camera will last.  

The shutter life is measured in actuations or cycles. This is the same as number of shots captured.  

The Nikon D5100 has a shutter life expectancy of 100,000 actuations.  

This number is poor considering the number of shots some folks capture in a day.
Same as Nikon D5100

General Feeling Among Users – Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i (Canon 600D)

Nikon D5100 Canon T3i (Canon 600D)
Some users of the Nikon D5100 noticed the camera had a sluggish autofocus while in live view. The same effect was noticed in the Canon T3i as well.
Few users complained that the D5100 changed the exposure while in manual mode itself. They couldn’t understand why this happened and it was somewhat of a nuisance for many. There were no complains concerning the T3i changing its exposure while in manual mode.
Despite being amateur camera, many users felt the battery life of the Nikon D5100 could have been better. A good number of the Canon T3i’s users lamented about the camera’s poor battery.
The absence of the Wi-Fi feature didn’t please most of the D5100’s users. Many were not pleased with the absence of the Wi-Fi.
A large number of users commended the Nikon D5100 for its cheap price. The T3i was also praised for its affordable price.

Conclusion – Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i

Nikon D5100 Canon T3i (Canon 600D)
The Nikon D5100 is an incredible amateur camera that delivers excellent imaging that will serve both amateur and enthusiast photographers well. The Canon T3i is a perfect start for any amateur photographer. Its quality imaging however does not restrict it to just beginners as it will serve even enthusiast photographers quite well.
Click Here to Get the Nikon D5100 Now!
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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.

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