• APS-C 332.3mm2
  • 18.0 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400

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Differences

Canon T3i advantages over Nikon D5100

  • Less expensive
    $600 vs $900 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • More kit lens zoom
    7.5x vs 3.0x
    Zooming is easier than walking

Nikon D5100 advantages over Canon T3i

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Fast startup
    ~0.50 vs 1.5 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,183 vs 793 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    13.6 vs 11.5 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Longer battery life
    More info 660 vs 440 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 9 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    13 vs 5 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 12800 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Both provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Select your focus point more intuitively.
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Neither provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Your purchases support this site

Review Excerpt

  • Excellent image quality; Good grip; Full HD video recording; Swiveling LCD; Very fast autofocus; HDMI output.

  • Slow frame rate for sports shooting; Tendency to overexpose in bright sunlight; Live View AF is slow; No microfocus adjustment.

  • Side-mounted tilt / swivel LCD screen; same sensor and processing as the Nikon D7000; good speed and battery life; in-camera HDR and filter effects; Full HD video capture with aperture control; audio levels control and external microphone jack.

  • AF-S lens mount doesn't offer autofocus with screw-drive lenses; popup flash isn't the greatest; no built-in wireless flash control; HDR function doesn't microalign source images.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D3100

Canon T3i
Nikon D3100
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Less expensive
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Bigger pixels
Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
  • $385
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive

Compared to Sony DSLR-A560

Canon T3i
Sony DSLR-A560
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup
Nikon D5100
Sony DSLR-A560
  • $385
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Nikon D7000

Canon T3i
Nikon D7000
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Less expensive
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup
Nikon D5100
Nikon D7000
  • $385
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Less expensive
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Longer battery life
  • Top deck display

Compared to Pentax K-5

Canon T3i
Pentax K-5
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Shoots 60p video
  • $545
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup
Nikon D5100
Pentax K-5
  • $385
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Shoots 24p video
  • $545
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Top deck display

Compared to Pentax K-30

Canon T3i
Pentax K-30
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • External Mic Jack
  • $565
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
Nikon D5100
Pentax K-30
  • $385
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Fast startup
  • $565
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
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