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Canon 1100D vs Nikon D80

The Canon EOS 1100D (called Canon T3 in some regions) and the Nikon D80 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2011 and August 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 10 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1100D   Nikon D80
Canon 1100D Nikon D80
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 10 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6400 ISO 100-1600 (100-3200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.7" LCD, 230k dots 2.5" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge600 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g 132 x 103 x 77 mm, 668 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 1100D and the Nikon D80? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon 1100D and the Nikon D80 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 1100D vs Nikon D80
Compare 1100D versus D80 top
Comparison 1100D or D80 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D80 is somewhat larger (5 percent) than the Canon 1100D. Moreover, the D80 is substantially heavier (35 percent) than the 1100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1100D nor the D80 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 (1100D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D80).

Concerning battery life, the 1100D gets 700 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the D80 can take 600 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3e power pack.

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.

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 1100D» 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Nikon D80« 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999- i Nikon D80
 
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 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon 450D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« » 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
 
Nikon D3000« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 18.9 oz 500 n Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D90« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 n Aug 2008 1,299- i Nikon D90
 
Nikon D300« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 2.9 in 32.6 oz 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799- i Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D70s« » 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 500 n Apr 2005 899- i Nikon D70s
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 1100D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 55 percent) than the D80, which puts it into a different market segment. 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

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 D80 is 15 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (1100D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1100D and Nikon D80 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 1100D offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Nikon D80. 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 5.15μm versus 6.11μm for the D80). However, it should be noted that the 1100D is much more recent (by 4 years and 6 months) than the D80, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 1100D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 1100D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inch or 54.3 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.1 x 11.4 inch or 43.4 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.2 x 9.5 inch or 36.2 x 24.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D80 are 19.4 x 13 inch or 49.2 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.5 x 10.4 inch or 39.3 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 12.9 x 8.6 inch or 32.8 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 1100D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D80 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

1100D versus D80 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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 1100D» APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Nikon D80« APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.111.252461Nikon D80
 
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 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
 
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----Canon 1000D
 
Nikon D3000« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.156362Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D90« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773Nikon D90
 
Nikon D300« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.112.067967Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.210.948959Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D70s« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-20.410.352950Nikon D70s

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The 1100D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D80 does not. The highest resolution format that the 1100D can use is 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1100D and the D80 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the D80 has a higher magnification than the one of the 1100D (0.62x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1100D and Nikon D80 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1100D»optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Nikon D80«optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D80
 
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
 
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1000D
 
Nikon D3000« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D90« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n Nikon D90
 
Nikon D300« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D70s« »optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D70s

The 1100D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D80 uses SDHC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison

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 1100D and Nikon D80 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1100D»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Nikon D80«Y-----2.0---Nikon D80
 
Canon 2000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 550D
 
Canon 450D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1000D
 
Nikon D3000« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D90« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D90
 
Nikon D300« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D70s« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D70s

Both the 1100D and the D80 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D80 was replaced by the Nikon D90, while the 1100D was followed by the Canon 1200D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.


Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1100D and the Nikon D80? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 1100D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.2 vs 10MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 173g or 26 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 600) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (55 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 6 months of technical progress since the D80 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D80:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.62x vs 0.50x).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1100D is the clear winner of the match-up (8 : 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. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

1100D 08:02 D80

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1100D and the Nikon D80 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1100D or the D80 perform in practice. 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

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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 1100D»80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Nikon D80«++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999- i Nikon D80
 
Canon 2000D« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« »+-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« »+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« »+ +72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« »o77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« »+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon 450D« »+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« »82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
 
Nikon D3000« »+72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D90« »+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Nikon D90
 
Nikon D300« »+ ++ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799- i Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« »---o- Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D70s« »---o5/5 Apr 2005 899- i Nikon D70s
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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.

Canon 1100D:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D80:
Check Ebay offers

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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 1100D vs Nikon D80

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1100D Nikon D80
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 August 2006
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Canon 1100D Nikon D80
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.7 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
    Sensor Area 323.4 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.5 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 3872 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 6.11 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 2.69 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO 100-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100-3200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 61
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 524
    Screen Specs Canon 1100D Nikon D80
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.62x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7 inch 2.5 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1100D Nikon D80
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1100D Nikon D80
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1100D Nikon D80
    Battery Type LP-E10 EN-EL3e
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge600 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    132 x 103 x 77 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 668 g (23.6 oz)

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