• 1/2.3 inch 28.1mm2
  • 10.0 megapixels
  • 28.00mm - 560.00mm (35mm eq.)
  • APS-C 355.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 3200

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Differences

Canon SX10 IS advantages over Nikon D3100

  • Less expensive
    $400 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
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/500 vs 1/200 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 100 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Nikon D3100 advantages over Canon SX10 IS

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 1/2.3 inch
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.01 vs 1.69 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 2.4 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Manual focus
    Yes vs No
    AF is for the weak. Real photographers focus manually.
  • HDMI out
    HDMI out vs None
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • Less shutter lag
    0.28 vs 0.60 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More pixels
    14.2 vs 10.0 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • 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 1.4 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    12800 vs 3200 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
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • 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 Sony DSC-HX1

Canon SX10 IS
Sony DSC-HX1
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $499
  • 1/2.4 inch
  • Manual focus
  • HDMI out
Nikon D3100
Sony DSC-HX1
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $499
  • 1/2.4 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Canon SX1 IS

Canon SX10 IS
Canon SX1 IS
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $600
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • RAW file ability
  • HDMI out
Nikon D3100
Canon SX1 IS
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $600
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Canon SX20 IS

Canon SX10 IS
Canon SX20 IS
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Faster JPEG shooting
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • HDMI out
  • More pixels
Nikon D3100
Canon SX20 IS
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Sony A33

Canon SX10 IS
Sony A33
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
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 SX10 IS
Pentax K-r
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
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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