Nikon D3300 versus Canon SL2
The Nikon D3300 and the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (labelled Canon 200D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2014 and June 2017. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixel. 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: Nikon D3300 vs Canon SL2
The physical size and weight of the Nikon D3300 and the Canon SL2 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth 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 side – the D3300 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SL2 is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Nikon D3300. However, the SL2 is markedly heavier (5 percent) than the D3300. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3300 nor the SL2 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 Nikon Lens Catalog (D3300) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (SL2).
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|
|Nikon D3300»||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.2 oz||700||n||Jan 2014||499||-|
|Canon SL2«||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||16.0 oz||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon T7« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||16.8 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.3 oz||235||n||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon T7i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||18.8 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|Canon M5« »||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.4 in||15.1 oz||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|Canon M3« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||12.9 oz||250||n||Feb 2015||679||-|
|Nikon D3400« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.7 oz||1200||n||Aug 2016||499|
|Nikon D5600« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||16.4 oz||970||n||Nov 2016||699|
|Nikon D5500« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-|
|Nikon D7200« »||5.4 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199||-|
|Nikon D5300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799||-|
|Nikon D7100« »||5.4 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199||-|
|Nikon D3200« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||540||n||Apr 2012||599||-|
|Sony A6000« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.1 oz||360||n||Feb 2014||599||-|
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 D3300 was somewhat cheaper (by 9 percent) than the SL2 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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: Nikon D3300 vs Canon SL2
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the SL2 is 10 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.5 (D3300) and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Even though the D3300 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixel. This implies that the D3300 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.72μm for the SL2), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the SL2 is much more recent (by 3 years and 5 months) than the D3300, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D3300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon T7« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|Canon T7i« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon M5« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.4||12.4||1262||77|
|Canon M3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.8||11.8||1169||72|
|Nikon D3400« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||13.9||1192||86|
|Nikon D5600« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84|
|Nikon D5500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84|
|Nikon D7200« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.5||14.6||1333||87|
|Nikon D5300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83|
|Nikon D7100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.2||13.7||1256||83|
|Nikon D3200« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/30p||24.1||13.2||1131||81|
|Sony A6000« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.1||1347||82|
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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Feature comparison: Nikon D3300 vs Canon SL2
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D3300 and the SL2 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D3300, the Canon SL2, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Canon T7« »||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||8.2||Y||Y|
|Canon T7i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n|
|Canon M5« »||2360||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n|
|Canon M3« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n|
|Nikon D3400« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Nikon D5600« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Nikon D5500« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Nikon D7200« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n|
|Nikon D5300« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Nikon D7100« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n|
|Nikon D3200« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||4.0||Y||n|
|Sony A6000« »||1440||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n|
The SL2 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the D3300 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D3300 was succeeded by the Nikon D3400.
Review summary: Nikon D3300 vs Canon SL2
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D3300 or the Canon SL2 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3300:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2014).
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel SL2:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 5 months of technical progress since the D3300 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL2 emerges as the winner of the match-up (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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D3300 or the SL2. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Nikon D3300»||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499||-|
|Canon SL2«||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon T7« »||rev||-||3.5/5||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon T7i« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|Canon M5« »||Rec||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|Canon M3« »||rev||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||-|
|Nikon D3400« »||Rec||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|Nikon D5600« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|Nikon D5500« »||Rec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-|
|Nikon D7200« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2015||1,199||-|
|Nikon D5300« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||-|
|Nikon D7100« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||1,199||-|
|Nikon D3200« »||HiRec||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599||-|
|Sony A6000« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||-|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, 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 you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.
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