Canon 200D vs Nikon D3100
The Canon EOS 200D (called Canon SL2 in some regions) and the Nikon D3100 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2017 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 24 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 14.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 200D and the Nikon D3100? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 200D and the Nikon D3100 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The 200D can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the D3100 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, red).
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 larger (5 percent) than the Canon 200D. Moreover, the D3100 is markedly heavier (11 percent) than the 200D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 200D 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 (200D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3100).
Concerning battery life, the 200D gets 650 shots out of its LP-E17 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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon 200D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549||ebay.com|
|2.||Nikon D3100||124 mm||96 mm||75 mm||505 g||550||n||Aug 2010||599||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 250D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||449 g||1070||n||Apr 2019||599||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon 2000D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449||amazon.com|
|5.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon 800D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G9 X Mark II||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||206 g||235||n||Jan 2017||529||amazon.com|
|8.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon 100D||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon D3400||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D3200||125 mm||96 mm||77 mm||505 g||540||n||Apr 2012||599||ebay.com|
|14.||Nikon D5100||128 mm||97 mm||79 mm||560 g||660||n||Apr 2011||749||ebay.com|
|15.||Nikon D7000||132 mm||105 mm||77 mm||780 g||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499||ebay.com|
|16.||Nikon D3000||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599||ebay.com|
|17.||Nikon D5000||127 mm||104 mm||80 mm||590 g||510||n||Apr 2009||749||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 200D 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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 (200D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 200D offers a higher resolution of 24 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 3.72μm versus 5.01μm for the D3100). However, it should be noted that the 200D is much more recent (by 6 years and 10 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 resolution advantage of the Canon 200D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 200D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D3100 are 23 x 15.4 inches or 58.5 x 39 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 12.3 inches or 46.8 x 31.2 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for excellent quality prints.
The 200D has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS 200D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. 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.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 review, the 200D provides substantially higher image quality than the D3100, with an overall score that is 12 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.1 bits higher color depth, 2.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 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.
|7.||Canon G9 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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 200D provides a higher frame rate than the D3100. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/24p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 200D 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 200D has a higher magnification than the one of the D3100 (0.54x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 200D, the Nikon D3100, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon 200D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Nikon D3100||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon 250D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Canon 2000D||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Canon 77D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Canon 800D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Canon G9 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||8.2/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon M100||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1/s||Y||n|
|9.||Canon M5||2360||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Canon 760D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Canon 100D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9/s||Y||n|
|12.||Nikon D3400||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon D3200||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon D5100||optical||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Nikon D7000||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Nikon D3000||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|17.||Nikon D5000||optical||n||2.7 / 230||full-flex||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 200D has a touchscreen, while the D3100 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The 200D has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the D3100 does not have a selfie-screen.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 200D and the D3100 write their files to SDXC cards. The 200D supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the D3100 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 200D and Nikon D3100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon 200D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|2.||Nikon D3100||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 250D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon 2000D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon 77D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon 800D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon G9 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon M100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon M5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon 760D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon 100D||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Nikon D3400||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y|
|13.||Nikon D3200||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Nikon D5100||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Nikon D7000||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Nikon D3000||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Nikon D5000||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the 200D 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 200D and the D3100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D3100 was replaced by the Nikon D3200, while the 200D was followed by the Canon 250D. Further information on the features and operation of the 200D and D3100 can be found, respectively, in the Canon 200D Manual (free pdf) or the online Nikon D3100 Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 200D or the Nikon D3100 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 200D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 14.2MP) with a 30% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.1 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.1 EV of extra DR).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.53x).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 52g or 10 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (650 versus 550) on a single battery charge.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 10 months of technical progress since the D3100 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3100:
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2010).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 200D is the clear winner of the match-up (20 : 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. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 200D and the Nikon D3100 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 200D and the D3100 in practical situations. 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 expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Canon 200D||4/5||+ +||4/5||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549||ebay.com|
|2.||Nikon D3100||5/5||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 250D||4/5||o||4.5/5||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2019||599||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon 2000D||3/5||o||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449||amazon.com|
|5.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon 800D||4.5/5||..||3.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G9 X Mark II||4/5||..||4/5||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529||amazon.com|
|8.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon M5||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon 100D||4/5||+||..||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon D3400||4/5||+||4/5||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D3200||5/5||+ +||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599||ebay.com|
|14.||Nikon D5100||5/5||+ +||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749||ebay.com|
|15.||Nikon D7000||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499||ebay.com|
|16.||Nikon D3000||..||+||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599||ebay.com|
|17.||Nikon D5000||..||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749||ebay.com|
|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 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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Nikon D3100
- Canon 1D X vs Nikon D3100
- Canon 200D vs Fujifilm X-E2S
- Canon 200D vs Fujifilm X-T20
- Canon 200D vs Fujifilm X100
- Canon 200D vs Panasonic GX7
- Canon 200D vs Panasonic GX9
- Canon 200D vs Panasonic TZ90
- Canon M200 vs Nikon D3100
- Fujifilm X-A5 vs Nikon D3100
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Nikon D3100
- Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D610
Specifications: Canon 200D vs Nikon D3100
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 Model||Canon 200D||Nikon D3100|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2017||August 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 549||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 200D||Nikon D3100|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||23.1 x 15.4 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||355.74 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||27.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||14.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||4608 x 3072 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||5.01 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||3.98 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 51,200 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 7||EXPEED 2|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||79||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.6||22.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.4||11.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1041||919|
|Screen Specs||Canon 200D||Nikon D3100|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 200D||Nikon D3100|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 200D||Nikon D3100|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon 200D||Nikon D3100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||650 shots per charge||550 shots per charge|
122 x 93 x 70 mm
(4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
124 x 96 x 75 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||453 g (16.0 oz)||505 g (17.8 oz)|
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