A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Canon T3 vs Nikon D5000

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 (called Canon 1100D in some regions) and the Nikon D5000 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2011 and April 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12.2 megapixels.

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 D5000
Canon T3   Nikon D5000
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.2 MP – APS-C sensor 12.2 MP – APS-C sensor
720/30p Video 720/24p Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 200-3,200 (200 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.7" LCD – 230k dots 2.7" LCD – 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fully flexible screen (no touchscreen)
3 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge510 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g 127 x 104 x 80 mm, 590 g
logo
Check T3 offers at
ebay.com
logo
Check D5000 offers at
ebay.com

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T3 and the Nikon D5000? 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

The physical size and weight of the Canon T3 and the Nikon D5000 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon T3 vs Nikon D5000
Compare T3 versus D5000 top
Comparison T3 or D5000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D5000 is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Canon T3. Moreover, the D5000 is markedly heavier (19 percent) than the T3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3 nor the D5000 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 (D5000).

Concerning battery life, the T3 gets 700 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the D5000 can take 510 images on a single charge of its EN-EL9a power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

scroll hint
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 449ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429ebay.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 XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449ebay.com
11.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799ebay.com
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D3100 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599ebay.com
16.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299ebay.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 T3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the D5000, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 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 D5000 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 D5000 sensor measures

Even though the D5000 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12.2 megapixels. This implies that the D5000 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.53μm versus 5.15μm for the T3), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the T3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the D5000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D5000 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-6400.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

T3 versus D5000 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 D5000 has a markedly higher DXO score than the T3 (overall score 10 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 1.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 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.

scroll hint
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 D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
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 2592none22.111.478364
11.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
14.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
15.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
16.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
17.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
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. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the T3 provides a higher frame rate than the D5000. It can shoot video footage at 720/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 720/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The T3 and the D5000 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 D5000 has a higher magnification than the one of the T3 (0.51x vs 0.50x), 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 T3 and Nikon D5000 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

scroll hint
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 T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Nikon D5000optical n2.7 / 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
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 XSoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Nikon D5100optical n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
14.
 
Nikon D3100optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
15.
 
Nikon D3000optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Nikon D60optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
17.
 
Nikon D90optical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
The D5000 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the T3 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Nikon D5000 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.

The T3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D5000 uses SDHC 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 T3 and Nikon D5000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
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 T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D5000Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-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 D5100Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D3100Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D3000Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D60Y- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D90Ymono / mono--mini2.0---

Both the T3 and the D5000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D5000 was replaced by the Nikon D5100, 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.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon T3 or the Nikon D5000 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (720/30p versus 720/24p).
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 95g or 16 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 510) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 9 months after the D5000).

ilogo

Advantages of the Nikon D5000:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.5 EV of extra DR).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.51x vs 0.50x).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2009).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D5000 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 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.

T3 05:08 D5000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T3 and the Nikon D5000 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 T3 and the D5000 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

scroll hint
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 T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429ebay.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 XS..82/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449ebay.com
11.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799ebay.com
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D31005/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D3000..+..72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599ebay.com
16.
 
Nikon D60..80/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D90..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299ebay.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. 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.

logo
Check T3 offers at
ebay.com
logo
Check D5000 offers at
ebay.com

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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

~
    loader

    Specifications: Canon T3 vs Nikon D5000

    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 D5000
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 April 2009
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon T3 Nikon D5000
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 5.53 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 720/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 200 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 EXPEED
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 72
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 22.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 12.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 868
    Screen Specs Canon T3 Nikon D5000
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.51x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fully flexible screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T3 Nikon D5000
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-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 D5000
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T3 Nikon D5000
    Battery Type LP-E10 EN-EL9a
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge510 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    127 x 104 x 80 mm
    (5.0 x 4.1 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 590 g (20.8 oz)
    logo
    Check T3 offers at
    ebay.com
    logo
    Check D5000 offers at
    ebay.com

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

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Canon T3 vs Nikon D5000