Canon 300D vs Nikon D3100
The Canon EOS 300D (called Canon Rebel in some regions) and the Nikon D3100 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2003 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 6.3 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 300D||Nikon D3100|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor||14.2 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO 100-1600||ISO 100-3200 (100-12800)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|1.8" LCD, 118k dots||3.0" LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|400 shots per battery charge||550 shots per battery charge|
|142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g||124 x 96 x 75 mm, 505 g|
Body comparison: Canon 300D vs Nikon D3100
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 300D and the Nikon D3100. 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 measures 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 300D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
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 (15 percent) than the Canon 300D. Moreover, the D3100 is markedly lighter (22 percent) than the 300D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 300D 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 (300D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3100).
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon 300D»||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon 300D|
|Nikon D3100«||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||550||n||Aug 2010||599||-||Nikon D3100|
|Canon 77D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||19.0 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 400D« »||5.0 in||3.3 in||2.6 in||19.6 oz||370||n||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||19.0 oz||400||n||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999||-||Canon 10D|
|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|
|Nikon D70« »||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||400||n||Jan 2004||999||-||Nikon D70|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 D3100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the 300D, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Canon 300D vs Nikon D3100
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 4 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (300D) 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.
With 14.2MP, the D3100 offers a higher resolution than the 300D (6.3MP), but the D3100 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.01μm versus 7.38μm for the 300D). Yet, the D3100 is a much more recent model (by 7 years) than the 300D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Canon EOS 300D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 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..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the D3100 offers substantially better image quality than the 300D (overall score 12 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.5 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon 300D»||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.0||10.8||544||55||Canon 300D|
|Nikon D3100«||APS-C||14.2||4608||3072||1080/24p||22.5||11.3||919||67||Nikon D3100|
|Canon 77D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78||Canon 77D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 400D« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.0||664||62||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||-||21.8||10.8||637||60||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.9||11.0||721||62||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.1||10.9||571||57||Canon 10D|
|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|
|Nikon D70« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The D3100 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 300D does not. The highest resolution format that the D3100 can use is 1080/24p.
Feature comparison: Canon 300D vs Nikon D3100
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 300D 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 300D and Nikon D3100 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon 300D»||optical||n||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Canon 300D|
|Nikon D3100«||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D3100|
|Canon 77D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Canon 77D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||5.2||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||4000||1.9||Y||Y||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 400D« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||optical||n||1.8||115||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 10D|
|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|
|Nikon D70« »||optical||n||1.8||130||fixed||n||8000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70|
The 300D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D3100 uses SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 300D 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 300D and Nikon D3100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 300D»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 300D|
|Nikon D3100«||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3100|
|Canon 77D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 77D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 400D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 10D|
|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|
|Nikon D70« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70|
Both the 300D and the D3100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 300D was replaced by the Canon 350D, while the D3100 was followed by the Nikon D3200.
Review summary: Canon 300D vs Nikon D3100
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 300D and the Nikon D3100? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 300D:
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2003).
Advantages of the Nikon D3100:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (14.2 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 50%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.5 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 118k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x96mm vs 142x99mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 144g or 22 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (550 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 7 years of technical progress since the 300D launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3100 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 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.
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 300D or the D3100 handle or 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: Canon 300D vs Nikon D3100
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 300D»||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon 300D|
|Nikon D3100«||HiRec||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599||-||Nikon D3100|
|Canon 77D« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||Rec||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||Rec||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 400D« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||80/100||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Feb 2003||1,999||-||Canon 10D|
|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|
|Nikon D70« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Jan 2004||999||-||Nikon D70|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 use the search menu 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 1Ds Mark III vs Sony A7R II
- Canon 5D vs Nikon D5
- Canon 7D vs Nikon D70
- Canon M100 vs Panasonic GH5s
- Fujifilm X100F vs Fujifilm X-T100
- Nikon D90 vs Canon G9 X Mark II
- Panasonic G9 vs Nikon D5000
- Panasonic GX80 vs Olympus PEN-F
- Panasonic TS7 vs Leica TL
- Sony A7 III vs Panasonic LX10
- Sony RX10 IV vs Panasonic TZ90
- Sony RX1R II vs Nikon D850
Specifications: Canon 300D vs Nikon D3100
|Camera Model||Canon 300D||Nikon D3100|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2003||August 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 599|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.7 x 15.1 mm||23.1 x 15.1 mm|
|MP Resolution||6.3 Megapixels||14.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3072 x 2048 pixels||4608 x 3072 pixels|
|Pixel Size||7.38 μm||5.01 μm|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||100-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-12800 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||BP-511 power pack||EN-EL14 power pack|
|Battery Life||400 shots per charge||550 shots per charge|
142 x 99 x 72 mm
(5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
124 x 96 x 75 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||649 g (22.9 oz)||505 g (17.8 oz)|
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