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Canon T3 vs Nikon D3000

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 (called Canon 1100D in some regions) and the Nikon D3000 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2011 and July 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 10 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon T3 versus Nikon D3000
Canon T3 Nikon D3000
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 10 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g 126 x 97 x 64 mm, 536 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T3 and the Nikon D3000? 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 T3 and the Nikon D3000 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon T3 vs Nikon D3000
Compare T3 versus D3000 top
Comparison T3 or D3000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3000 is notably smaller (6 percent) than the Canon T3. However, the D3000 is markedly heavier (8 percent) than the T3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3 nor the D3000 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 (T3) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3000).

Concerning battery life, the T3 gets 700 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the D3000 can take 500 images on a single charge of its EN-EL9a 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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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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 T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
2.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
11.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Nikon D3100 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599i
14.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749i
15.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629i
16.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729i
17.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
Notes: 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The T3 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the D3000, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

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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. 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 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 D3000 is 15 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (T3) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon T3 and Nikon D3000 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon T3 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Nikon D3000. 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 5.15μm versus 6.11μm for the D3000). However, it should be noted that the T3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 months) than the D3000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The resolution advantage of the Canon T3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D3000 are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.2 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.5 x 10.4 inches or 39.3 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 12.9 x 8.6 inches or 32.8 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3000 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

T3 versus D3000 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
2.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
5.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
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 XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
11.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
14.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
15.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
16.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
17.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The T3 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D3000 does not. The highest resolution format that the T3 can use is 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The T3 and the D3000 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 D3000 has a higher magnification than the one of the T3 (0.53x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon T3 and Nikon D3000 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
9.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
10.
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D3100optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n

The T3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D3000 uses SDHC cards.

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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 T3 and Nikon D3000 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D3000Y-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D3100Ymonomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---

Both the T3 and the D3000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D3000 was replaced by the Nikon D3100, while the T3 was followed by the Canon T5. 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.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon T3 and the Nikon D3000? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.2 vs 10MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/30p movies.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 500) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 6 months after the D3000).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3000:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.50x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2009).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T3 emerges as the winner of the contest (6 : 3 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 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.

T3 06:03 D3000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T3 and the Nikon D3000 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the T3 or the D3000 perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
2.
 
Nikon D3000..+72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599i
3.
 
Canon T100..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
11.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Nikon D31005/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599i
14.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749i
15.
 
Nikon D60..80/100+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629i
16.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729i
17.
 
Nikon D40..81/100+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon T3:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D3000:
Check Ebay offers

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 T3 vs Nikon D3000

    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 T3 Nikon D3000
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 July 2009
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon T3 Nikon D3000
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.7 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
    Sensor Area 323.4 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.5 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 3872 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 6.11 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 2.69 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 EXPEED
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 62
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 22.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 563
    Screen Specs Canon T3 Nikon D3000
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T3 Nikon D3000
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon T3 Nikon D3000
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T3 Nikon D3000
    Battery Type LP-E10 EN-EL9a
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    126 x 97 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 536 g (18.9 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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