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Canon T1i vs Nikon D100

The Canon EOS Rebel T1i (called Canon 500D in some regions) and the Nikon D100 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2009 and February 2002. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.1 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 6 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon T1i
versus
Nikon D100
Canon T1i   Nikon D100
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
15.1 MP – APS-C sensor 6 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/20p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 200-800 (200 - 1,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 920k dots 1.8" LCD – 118k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.4 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 520 g 144 x 116 x 81 mm, 780 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T1i and the Nikon D100? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon T1i and the Nikon D100 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.

Size Canon T1i vs Nikon D100
Compare T1i versus D100 top
Comparison T1i or D100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D100 is notably larger (32 percent) than the Canon T1i. Moreover, the D100 is substantially heavier (50 percent) than the T1i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T1i nor the D100 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 (T1i) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D100).

Concerning battery life, the T1i gets 400 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the D100 can take 370 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649ebay.com
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849ebay.com
8.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599ebay.com
9.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699ebay.com
10.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799ebay.com
11.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799ebay.com
12.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899ebay.com
13.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799ebay.com
16.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 T1i was launched at a markedly lower price (by 60 percent) than the D100, 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.

Sensor comparison

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. 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 D100 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (T1i) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon T1i and Nikon D100 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon T1i offers a higher resolution of 15.1 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D100. 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 4.69μm versus 7.85μm for the D100). However, it should be noted that the T1i is much more recent (by 7 years and 1 month) than the D100, 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 T1i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T1i for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23.8 x 15.8 inches or 60.4 x 40.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19 x 12.7 inches or 48.3 x 32.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.8 x 10.6 inches or 40.2 x 26.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D100 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel T1i has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D100 are ISO 200 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-1600.

In terms of underlying technology, the T1i is build around a CMOS sensor, while the D100 uses a CCD imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

T1i versus D100 MP

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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
2.
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.49.939448
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
5.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
6.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
9.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
10.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
11.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
12.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
13.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
14.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
15.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
16.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
17.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The T1i indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D100 does not. The highest resolution format that the T1i can use is 1080/20p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The T1i and the D100 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 T1i has a higher magnification than the one of the D100 (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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon T1i and Nikon D100 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
2.
 
Nikon D100optical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon T5ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
9.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
10.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
11.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Nikon D90optical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5/s Y n
15.
 
Nikon D300optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0/s Y n
16.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
17.
 
Nikon D200optical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One feature that is present on the D100, but is missing on the T1i is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The T1i writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the D100 uses Compact Flash cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 Rebel T1i and Nikon D100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D100Y- / ----1.1---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T5iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Canon 10DY- / ----1.1---
14.
 
Nikon D90Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D300Y- / ---mini2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D200Y- / ----2.0---

Both the T1i and the D100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D100 was replaced by the Nikon D200, while the T1i was followed by the Canon T2i. Further information on the features and operation of the T1i and D100 can be found, respectively, in the Canon T1i Manual (free pdf) or the online Nikon D100 Manual.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon T1i and the Nikon D100? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T1i:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.1 vs 6MP) with a 58% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/20p movies.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.53x).
  • 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 (920k vs 118k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (129x98mm vs 144x116mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 260g or 33 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (60 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 1 month of technical progress since the D100 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D100:

  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2002).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T1i is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

T1i 11:02 D100

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T1i and the Nikon D100 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the T1i and the D100 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.

Expert reviews

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 (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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D100......+ +o.. Feb 2002 1,999ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon T5i......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649ebay.com
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849ebay.com
8.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599ebay.com
9.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699ebay.com
10.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799ebay.com
11.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799ebay.com
12.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899ebay.com
13.
 
Canon 10D......+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D90..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D300..+ +..+ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799ebay.com
16.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D200..+ +..+ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon T1i vs Nikon D100

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon T1i Nikon D100
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2009 February 2002
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 1,999
    Sensor Specs Canon T1i Nikon D100
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 15.1 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4752 x 3168 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.69 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 4.53 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/20p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 663 ..
    Screen Specs Canon T1i Nikon D100
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.53x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 1.8inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 118k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T1i Nikon D100
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.4 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards CF cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon T1i Nikon D100
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 1.1
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T1i Nikon D100
    Battery Type LP-E5 EN-EL3
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    144 x 116 x 81 mm
    (5.7 x 4.6 x 3.2 in)
    Camera Weight 520 g (18.3 oz) 780 g (27.5 oz)
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