Canon RP vs Nikon D3100
The Canon EOS RP and the Nikon D3100 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2019 and August 2010. The Canon RP is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D3100 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (Canon RP) and an APS-C (D3100) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 26.2 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 RP 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 RP and the Nikon D3100 is provided 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The D3100 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the Canon RP is only available in black.
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 larger (5 percent) than the Canon RP. Moreover, the D3100 is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the Canon RP. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Canon RP 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Concerning battery life, the Canon RP gets 250 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 power pack in the Canon RP can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
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, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon RP||133 mm||85 mm||70 mm||485 g||250||n||Feb 2019||1,299|
|2.||Nikon D3100||124 mm||96 mm||75 mm||505 g||550||n||Aug 2010||599|
|3.||Canon T8i||131 mm||103 mm||76 mm||515 g||800||n||Feb 2020||749|
|4.||Canon SL3||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||449 g||1070||n||Apr 2019||599|
|5.||Canon T7||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|6.||Canon R||139 mm||98 mm||84 mm||660 g||370||Y||Sep 2018||2,299|
|7.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|8.||Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|9.||Canon T7i||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|10.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|11.||Canon T6i||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|12.||Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|13.||Nikon D3200||125 mm||96 mm||77 mm||505 g||540||n||Apr 2012||599|
|14.||Nikon D5100||128 mm||97 mm||79 mm||560 g||660||n||Apr 2011||749|
|15.||Nikon D7000||132 mm||105 mm||77 mm||780 g||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499|
|16.||Nikon D3000||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599|
|17.||Nikon D5000||127 mm||104 mm||80 mm||590 g||510||n||Apr 2009||749|
|Notes: 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 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 54 percent) than the Canon RP, 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 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon RP features a full frame sensor and the Nikon D3100 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D3100 is 59 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 26.2MP, the Canon RP offers a higher resolution than the D3100 (14.2MP), but the Canon RP nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.74μm versus 5.01μm for the D3100) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the Canon RP is a much more recent model (by 8 years and 5 months) than the D3100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Canon RP implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Canon RP for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 31.2 x 20.8 inches or 79.2 x 52.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25 x 16.6 inches or 63.4 x 42.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.8 x 13.9 inches or 52.8 x 35.2 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 Canon RP has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS RP has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 40000, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. 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.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon RP||Full Frame||26.2||6240||4160||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Canon R||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.5||13.5||2742||89|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the Canon RP provides a higher video resolution than the D3100. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Canon RP has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D3100 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the Canon RP offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D3100 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the Canon RP has a higher magnification (0.70x 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 RP, the Nikon D3100, and comparable cameras.
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The Canon RP has a touchscreen, while the D3100 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The Canon RP 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.
The Canon RP has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the Canon RP and the D3100 write their files to SDXC cards. The Canon RP supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 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 RP and Nikon D3100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the Canon RP 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.
The Canon RP is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the D3100 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D3100 was succeeded by the Nikon D3200. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon RP and the Nikon D3100? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS RP:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (26.2 vs 14.2MP) with a 35% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 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.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x 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.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II) SDXC cards.
- More modern: Reflects 8 years and 5 months of technical progress since the D3100 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3100:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (550 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (54 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2010).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the Canon RP is the clear winner of the match-up (24 : 5 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 RP and the Nikon D3100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the Canon RP and the D3100 in practical situations. 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 summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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 RP||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||1,299|
|2.||Nikon D3100||5/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599|
|3.||Canon T8i||4.5/5||+||80/100||4/5||3.5/5||Feb 2020||749|
|4.||Canon SL3||..||o||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2019||599|
|5.||Canon T7||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|6.||Canon R||4/5||o||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2018||2,299|
|7.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|8.||Canon SL2||4/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|9.||Canon T7i||4.5/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|10.||Canon M5||4/5||+||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|11.||Canon T6i||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|12.||Leica TL2||3.5/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|13.||Nikon D3200||5/5||+ +||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599|
|14.||Nikon D5100||5/5||+ +||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749|
|15.||Nikon D7000||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499|
|16.||Nikon D3000||..||+||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599|
|17.||Nikon D5000||..||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon RP 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 RP||Nikon D3100|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon RF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2019||August 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 1,299||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon RP||Nikon D3100|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 24.0 mm||23.1 x 15.4 mm|
|Sensor Area||861.6 mm2||355.74 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.2 mm||27.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||26.2 Megapixels||14.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6240 x 4160 pixels||4608 x 3072 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.74 μm||5.01 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.01 MP/cm2||3.98 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 40,000 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 102,400 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||EXPEED 2|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||919|
|Screen Specs||Canon RP||Nikon D3100|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|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 RP||Nikon D3100|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon RP||Nikon D3100|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon RP||Nikon D3100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||550 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
133 x 85 x 70 mm
(5.2 x 3.3 x 2.8 in)
124 x 96 x 75 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||485 g (17.1 oz)||505 g (17.8 oz)|
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