Canon 100D vs Nikon D3100
The Canon EOS 100D (called Canon SL1 in some regions) and the Nikon D3100 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2013 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 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 14.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon 100D||Nikon D3100|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor||14.2 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)||ISO 100-3200 (100-12800)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|4.9 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|380 shots per battery charge||550 shots per battery charge|
|117 x 91 x 69 mm, 407 g||124 x 96 x 75 mm, 505 g|
Body comparison: Canon 100D vs Nikon D3100
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 100D and the Nikon D3100. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3100 is notably larger (12 percent) than the Canon 100D. Moreover, the D3100 is markedly heavier (24 percent) than the 100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 100D 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 compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (100D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3100).
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Canon 100D»||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon 100D|
|Nikon D3100«||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||550||n||Aug 2010||599||-||Nikon D3100|
|Canon 4000D« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||15.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||399||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||16.0 oz||650||n||Jun 2017||549||Canon 200D|
|Canon 7D II« »||5.9 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||32.1 oz||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||16.9 oz||500||n||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.1 oz||440||n||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon 600D|
|Nikon D3200« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||540||n||Apr 2012||599||-||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5100« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.8 oz||660||n||Apr 2011||749||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D7000« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||27.5 oz||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D3000« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||18.9 oz||500||n||Jul 2009||599||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||5.0 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||20.8 oz||510||n||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Panasonic G6« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||13.8 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||599||-||Panasonic G6|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 100D was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the D3100 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 100D vs Nikon D3100
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 7 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (100D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 100D offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixels, compared with 14.2 MP of the Nikon D3100. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.01μm for the D3100). However, it should be noted that the 100D is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 months) than the D3100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The 100D has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Canon EOS 100D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3100 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800..
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the D3100 has a markedly higher DXO score than the 100D (overall score 4 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, and 0.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon 100D»||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63||Canon 100D|
|Nikon D3100«||APS-C||14.2||4608||3072||1080/24p||22.5||11.3||919||67||Nikon D3100|
|Canon 4000D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.4||695||63||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon 200D|
|Canon 7D II« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.2||827||65||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65||Canon 600D|
|Nikon D3200« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/30p||24.1||13.2||1131||81||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5100« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.5||13.6||1183||80||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D7000« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||10800/24p||23.5||13.9||1167||80||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D3000« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.1||563||62||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||868||72||Nikon D5000|
|Panasonic G6« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61||Panasonic G6|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 100D provides a higher frame rate than the D3100. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/24p.
Feature comparison: Canon 100D vs Nikon D3100
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 100D 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 100D and Nikon D3100 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon 100D»||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||4.9||Y||n||Canon 100D|
|Nikon D3100«||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D3100|
|Canon 4000D« »||optical||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 200D|
|Canon 7D II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||8000||10.0||Y||n||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||4.3||n||n||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||n||4000||3.7||Y||n||Canon 600D|
|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 D7000« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7000|
|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|
|Panasonic G6« »||1440||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||4000||7.0||Y||n||Panasonic G6|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 100D has a touchscreen, while the D3100 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 100D and the D3100 write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 100D vs Nikon D3100
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 100D and Nikon D3100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 100D»||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 100D|
|Nikon D3100«||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3100|
|Canon 4000D« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 200D|
|Canon 7D II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 600D|
|Nikon D3200« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5100« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D7000« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D3000« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5000|
|Panasonic G6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic G6|
It is notable that the 100D has a microphone port, which is missing on the D3100. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Both the 100D and the D3100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D3100 was replaced by the Nikon D3200, while the 100D was followed by the Canon 200D.
Review summary: Canon 100D vs Nikon D3100
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 100D better than the Nikon D3100 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 100D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 14.2MP) with a 12% higher linear resolution.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.9 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x91mm vs 124x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 98g or 19 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the D3100 launch.
Advantages of the Nikon D3100:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (550 versus 380) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2010).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 100D is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 3 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
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 100D or the D3100. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
Expert reviews: Canon 100D vs Nikon D3100
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 100D»||Rec||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon 100D|
|Nikon D3100«||HiRec||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599||-||Nikon D3100|
|Canon 4000D« »||rev||-||3.5/5||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549||Canon 200D|
|Canon 7D II« »||Rec||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||Rec||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||Rec||-||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||rev||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon 600D|
|Nikon D3200« »||HiRec||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599||-||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5100« »||HiRec||76/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D7000« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D3000« »||Rec||72/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||HiRec||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Panasonic G6« »||HiRec||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||-||Panasonic G6|
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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 40D vs Hasselblad X1D
- Canon G3 X vs Canon SL2
- Canon Rebel vs Canon 77D
- Canon T3i vs Canon T5i
- Canon T5 vs Olympus E-M5 II
- Fujifilm X-A3 vs Panasonic GF7
- Fujifilm X-E1 vs Nikon D3200
- Nikon D700 vs Nikon D4
- Nikon D810 vs Nikon Df
- Panasonic GX800 vs Olympus E-P5
- Panasonic L10 vs Sony A5100
- Sony RX100 VI vs Canon G1 X
Specifications: Canon 100D vs Nikon D3100
|Camera Model||Canon 100D||Nikon D3100|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2013||August 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 549||USD 599|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||23.1 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||355.74 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||27.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||14.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||4608 x 3072 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||5.01 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||3.98 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO||100-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5||EXPEED 2|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.8||22.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.3||11.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||843||919|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4.9 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||LP-E12 power pack||EN-EL14 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||380 shots per charge||550 shots per charge|
117 x 91 x 69 mm
(4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
124 x 96 x 75 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||407 g (14.4 oz)||505 g (17.8 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.