PW

Canon 1000D versus Nikon D3100

The Canon EOS 1000D (called Canon XS in some regions) and the Nikon D3100 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2008 and August 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixel, whereas the Nikon provides 14.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 1000D vs Nikon D3100

The physical size and weight of the Canon 1000D and the Nikon D3100 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 1000D – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 1000D vs Nikon D3100
Compare 1000D versus D3100 top
Compare 1000D and D3100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3100 is somewhat smaller (4 percent) than the Canon 1000D. However, the D3100 is slightly heavier (1 percent) than the 1000D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1000D nor the D3100 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1000D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3100).

Concerning battery life, the 1000D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the D3100 can take 550 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1000D» 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
Nikon D3100« 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 550 n Aug 2010 599- i Nikon D3100
Canon 2000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon 1300D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Canon 500D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
Canon 450D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
Nikon D3200« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 540 n Apr 2012 599- i Nikon D3200
Nikon D5100« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.8 oz 660 n Apr 2011 749- i Nikon D5100
Nikon D3000« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 18.9 oz 500 n Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
Nikon D5000« » 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
Nikon D40« » 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 470 n Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
Olympus E-450« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2009 499- i Olympus E-450

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 1000D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the D3100, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 1000D vs Nikon D3100

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D3100 is 8 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (1000D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon 1000D and Nikon D3100 sensor measures

With 14.2MP, the D3100 offers a higher resolution than the 1000D (10.1MP), but the D3100 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.01μm versus 5.71μm for the 1000D). Yet, the D3100 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 2 months) than the 1000D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

1000D versus D3100 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon 1000D» APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----Canon 1000D
Nikon D3100« APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967Nikon D3100
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
Canon 1300D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon 1300D
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
Canon 500D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
Nikon D3200« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181Nikon D3200
Nikon D5100« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380Nikon D5100
Nikon D3000« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.156362Nikon D3000
Nikon D5000« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872Nikon D5000
Nikon D40« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-21.011.056156Nikon D40
Olympus E-450« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.551256Olympus E-450

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The D3100 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1000D does not. The highest resolution format that the D3100 can use is 1080/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1000D vs Nikon D3100

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 1000D and the D3100 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1000D, the Nikon D3100, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 1000D»optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1000D
Nikon D3100«optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D3100
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
Canon 1300D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1300D
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 2000 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
Canon 500D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
Nikon D3200« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 4.0 Y n Nikon D3200
Nikon D5100« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y n Nikon D5100
Nikon D3000« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D3000
Nikon D5000« »optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 4000 4.0 Y n Nikon D5000
Nikon D40« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Nikon D40
Olympus E-450« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Olympus E-450

Both the 1000D and the D3100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1000D was replaced by the Canon 1100D, while the D3100 was followed by the Nikon D3200.

Review summary: Canon 1000D vs Nikon D3100

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1000D and the Nikon D3100? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 1000D:

  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2008).

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3100:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (14.2 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 19%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 2 months of technical progress since the 1000D launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3100 emerges as the winner of the match-up (4 : 2 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

1000D 02:04 D3100

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 1000D or the D3100. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1000D»82/100HiRec3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
Nikon D3100«HiRec72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599- i Nikon D3100
Canon 2000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon 1300D« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
Canon 1200D« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon SX50« »HiRec72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Canon 500D« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
Canon 450D« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
Canon 40D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
Nikon D3200« »HiRec73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599- i Nikon D3200
Nikon D5100« »HiRec76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749- i Nikon D5100
Nikon D3000« »Rec72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
Nikon D5000« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
Nikon D40« »81/100HiRecrev5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
Olympus E-450« »--4/5-4/5 Mar 2009 499- i Olympus E-450

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

~

    You are here  »   »