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Canon 1300D versus Nikon D3100

The Canon EOS 1300D (called Canon T6 in some regions) and the Nikon D3100 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2016 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 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 1300D vs Nikon D3100

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1300D and the Nikon D3100 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size 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 side – the 1300D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 1300D vs Nikon D3100
Compare 1300D versus D3100 top
Compare 1300D 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 notably smaller (9 percent) than the Canon 1300D. However, the D3100 is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the 1300D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1300D 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 (1300D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3100).

Concerning battery life, the 1300D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the D3100 can take 550 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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)
Canon 1300D» 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449- i
Nikon D3100« 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599- i
Canon 2000D« » 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon 4000D« » 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon 200D« » 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon 77D« » 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i
Canon G9 X« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529- i
Canon M10« » 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499- i
Canon 1200D« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449- i
Canon 100D« » 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549- i
Canon 700D« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649- i
Nikon D3200« » 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599- i
Nikon D5100« » 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749- i
Nikon D3000« » 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599- i
Nikon D5000« » 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749- i
Nikon D40« » 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 1300D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the D3100, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 1300D vs Nikon D3100

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 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 (1300D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1300D and Nikon D3100 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 1300D offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixel, compared with 14.2 MP of the Nikon D3100. This megapixel 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 1300D is much more recent (by 5 years and 6 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.

1300D versus D3100 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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. 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 1300D» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----
Nikon D3100« APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
Canon 100D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
Nikon D3200« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
Nikon D5100« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
Nikon D3000« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.156362
Nikon D5000« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
Nikon D40« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-21.011.056156

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the 1300D 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 1300D vs Nikon D3100

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1300D 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1300D and Nikon D3100 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera 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
Canon 1300D»optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D3100«optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y
Canon 200D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 100D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D3200« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D5100« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D3000« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D5000« »optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 4000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D40« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n

Both the 1300D and the D3100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D3100 was replaced by the Nikon D3200, while the 1300D was followed by the Canon 2000D.

Review summary: Canon 1300D vs Nikon D3100

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 1300D better than the Nikon D3100 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 1300D:

  • 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).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 6 months of technical progress since the D3100 launch.


Advantages of the Nikon D3100:

  • 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 1300D is the clear winner of the match-up (5 : 1 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.

1300D 05:01 D3100

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1300D or the D3100 handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 1300D»rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i
Nikon D3100«HiRec72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599- i
Canon 2000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon 4000D« »rev---3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon 200D« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i
Canon 1200D« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i
Canon 100D« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i
Nikon D3200« »HiRec73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599- i
Nikon D5100« »HiRec76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749- i
Nikon D3000« »Rec72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599- i
Nikon D5000« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749- i
Nikon D40« »81/100HiRecrev5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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