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Canon 800D versus Nikon D3100

The Canon EOS 800D (called Canon T7i in some regions) and the Nikon D3100 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 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 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 800D vs Nikon D3100

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 800D and the Nikon D3100. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button 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 – the 800D – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 800D vs Nikon D3100
Compare 800D versus D3100 top
Compare 800D 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 800D. Moreover, the D3100 is markedly lighter (5 percent) than the 800D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 800D 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 (800D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3100).

Concerning battery life, the 800D gets 600 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 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 800D» 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i
Nikon D3100« 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 550 n Aug 2010 599- i
Canon 2000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon 200D« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i
Canon 1300D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon 760D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i
Nikon D5600« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 16.4 oz 970 n Nov 2016 699 i i
Nikon D3200« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 540 n Apr 2012 599- i
Nikon D5100« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.8 oz 660 n Apr 2011 749- i
Nikon D3000« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 18.9 oz 500 n Jul 2009 599- i
Nikon D5000« » 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749- i
Nikon D40« » 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 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 D3100 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the 800D, 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 800D vs Nikon D3100

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 D3100 is 7 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (800D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 800D and Nikon D3100 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 800D offers a higher resolution of 24 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 3.72μm versus 5.01μm for the D3100). However, it should be noted that the 800D is much more recent (by 6 years and 5 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.

800D versus D3100 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). 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 800D» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Nikon D3100« APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Canon 1300D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
Nikon D5600« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
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 cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the 800D provides a higher frame rate than the D3100. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 800D vs Nikon D3100

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 800D 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 800D and Nikon D3100 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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 800D»optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 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 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 M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon 1300D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D5600« »optical n 3.2 1037 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

The 800D is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the D3100 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D3100 was succeeded by the Nikon D3200.

Review summary: Canon 800D vs Nikon D3100

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 800D better than the Nikon D3100 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 800D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 14.2MP) with a 30% higher linear resolution.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 5 months of technical progress since the D3100 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3100:

  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • 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 800D is the clear winner of the match-up (7 : 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.

800D 07:02 D3100

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 800D or the D3100. 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. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed 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 800D»-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i 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 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 M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i
Canon 1300D« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon 760D« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i
Nikon D5600« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i 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

The above review scores should be interpreted 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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