• 1/2.3 inch 28.1mm2
  • 14.1 megapixels
  • 24.00mm - 120.00mm (35mm eq.)
  • APS-C 355.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 3200

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Differences

Canon SD3500 IS advantages over Nikon D3100

  • Less expensive
    $330 vs $700 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Thinner
    22 mm vs 74 mm
    Thinner
  • More dots on screen
    461k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 100 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Nikon D3100 advantages over Canon SD3500 IS

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 1/2.3 inch
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Eye-level vs Rear display only
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.01 vs 1.43 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • RAW file ability
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more flexibility to develop your photos later
  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 2.0 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 550 vs 220 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Manual focus
    Yes vs No
    AF is for the weak. Real photographers focus manually.
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Hot shoe
    Hot shoe vs None
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • Less shutter lag
    0.28 vs 0.53 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Longer exposure
    30 vs 15 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Bulb shutter
    Bulb vs No bulb
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    2.9 fps vs 0.7 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    12800 vs 1600 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Rear display
    Both provide
    Review photos on the back of the camera
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Integrated ND filter
    Neither provide
    Shoot in daylight with a large aperture or slow shutter
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

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Review Excerpt

The Competition

Compared to Panasonic DMC-FX48S

Canon SD3500 IS
Panasonic DMC-FX48S
  • $330
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • HDMI out
  • More dots on screen
  • $259
  • 1/2.33 inch
  • Longer stills battery life
  • Longer exposure
Nikon D3100
Panasonic DMC-FX48S
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $259
  • 1/2.33 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Panasonic DMC-FX580S

Canon SD3500 IS
Panasonic DMC-FX580S
  • $330
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • HDMI out
  • $303
  • 1/2.33 inch
  • Longer stills battery life
  • Longer exposure
Nikon D3100
Panasonic DMC-FX580S
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $303
  • 1/2.33 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Canon SD980 IS

Canon SD3500 IS
Canon SD980 IS
  • $330
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • More dots on screen
  • More pixels
  • $249
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Faster JPEG shooting
  • Higher extended ISO
Nikon D3100
Canon SD980 IS
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $249
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Sony A33

Canon SD3500 IS
Sony A33
  • $330
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
Nikon D3100
Sony A33
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Pentax K-r

Canon SD3500 IS
Pentax K-r
  • $330
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
Nikon D3100
Pentax K-r
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Fast startup
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