Canon 300D vs Nikon D3200
The Canon EOS 300D (called Canon Rebel in some regions) and the Nikon D3200 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2003 and April 2012. 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 24.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 300D||Nikon D3200|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor||24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-1,600||ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|1.8 LCD, 118k dots||3.0 LCD, 921k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||4 shutter flaps per second|
|400 shots per battery charge||540 shots per battery charge|
|142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g||125 x 96 x 77 mm, 505 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 300D and the Nikon D3200? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon 300D and the Nikon D3200 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.
The D3200 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the 300D is only available in silver.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3200 is notably smaller (15 percent) than the Canon 300D. Moreover, the D3200 is markedly lighter (22 percent) than the 300D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 300D nor the D3200 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 (D3200).
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|Canon 300D||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|Nikon D3200||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||540||n||Apr 2012||599|
|Canon 77D||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||19.0 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon 700D||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|Canon 650D||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon G1 X||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|Canon 400D||5.0 in||3.3 in||2.6 in||19.6 oz||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|Canon 350D||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||19.0 oz||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|Canon 20D||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Canon 10D||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|Nikon D5600||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||16.4 oz||970||n||Nov 2016||699|
|Nikon D3400||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.7 oz||1200||n||Aug 2016||499|
|Nikon D3300||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.2 oz||700||n||Jan 2014||499|
|Nikon D5300||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799|
|Nikon D3100||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||550||n||Aug 2010||599|
|Nikon D70||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||400||n||Jan 2004||999|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D3200 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 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 D3200 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.
With 24.1MP, the D3200 offers a higher resolution than the 300D (6.3MP), but the D3200 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.85μm versus 7.38μm for the 300D). Yet, the D3200 is a much more recent model (by 8 years and 8 months) 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 resolution advantage of the Nikon D3200 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D3200 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20 inches or 76.4 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16 inches or 61.1 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.1 x 13.3 inches or 50.9 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 300D are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 300D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3200 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, 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 D3200 offers substantially better image quality than the 300D (overall score 26 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.1 bits higher color depth, 2.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The D3200 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 300D does not. The highest resolution format that the D3200 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 300D and the D3200 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 300D has a higher magnification than the one of the D3200 (0.55x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 300D and Nikon D3200 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
The 300D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D3200 uses SDXC 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 300D and Nikon D3200 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the 300D and the D3200 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 300D was replaced by the Canon 350D, while the D3200 was followed by the Nikon D3300. 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.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 300D better than the Nikon D3200 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 300D:
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.55x vs 0.53x).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2003).
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3200:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 96%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (26 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.1 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.4 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.1 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p 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 (921k vs 118k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (125x96mm 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 (540 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 8 years and 8 months of technical progress since the 300D launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D3200 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 2 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. 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 300D and the Nikon D3200 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 300D or the D3200. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.
|Canon 300D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2003||899|
|Nikon D3200||+ +||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599|
|Canon 77D||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||+||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon 700D||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|Canon 650D||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon G1 X||+||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|Canon 400D||+ +||+ +||o||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|Canon 350D||80/100||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|Canon 20D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Canon 10D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|Nikon D5600||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|Nikon D3400||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|Nikon D3300||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499|
|Nikon D5300||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799|
|Nikon D3100||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599|
|Nikon D70||..||+ +||..||o||..||Jan 2004||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated 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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D vs Nikon D3200
- Canon 2000D vs Canon 300D
- Canon 300D vs Fujifilm XP140
- Canon 300D vs Leica M9
- Canon 300D vs Nikon D50
- Canon 300D vs Olympus E-620
- Canon 300D vs Olympus E-PM1
- Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D3300
- Nikon D3200 vs Panasonic FZ2500
- Nikon D3200 vs Panasonic GF6
- Nikon D3200 vs Sony A6400
- Nikon D3200 vs Sony A9
Specifications: Canon 300D vs Nikon D3200
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 300D||Nikon D3200|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2003||April 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 300D||Nikon D3200|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.7 x 15.1 mm||23.2 x 15.4 mm|
|Sensor Area||342.77 mm2||357.28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.3 mm||27.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6.3 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3072 x 2048 pixels||6016 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.38 μm||3.85 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.84 MP/cm2||6.74 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC||EXPEED 3|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||55||81|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.0||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||13.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||544||1131|
|Screen Specs||Canon 300D||Nikon D3200|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 300D||Nikon D3200|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||50 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 300D||Nikon D3200|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 300D||Nikon D3200|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||540 shots per charge|
142 x 99 x 72 mm
(5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
125 x 96 x 77 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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