• APS-C 355.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • APS-C 332.3mm2
  • 18.0 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 12,800

Buy From

Differences

Nikon D3100 advantages over Canon SL1

  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.01 vs 4.30 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 0.6 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 550 vs 380 shots
    Capture more photos

Canon SL1 advantages over Nikon D3100

  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Yes vs No
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Newer
    6 years vs 8 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • More dots on screen
    1040k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • More pixels
    18.0 vs 14.2 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    3.9 fps vs 2.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    1140 vs 100 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 12800 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • 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
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • 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
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • 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
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Neither provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • 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

User reviews

Buy From

Review Excerpt

  • Extremely compact and lightweight for a DSLR; Delivers good image quality that's virtually identical to the Canon T4i/T5i; Accurate and relatively fast autofocus with improved Live View and Movie Hybrid CMOS II AF; Full 1080p HD movie recording; Better-than average kit lens (EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM).

  • Still not as compact as most mirrorless cameras; Slightly worse than average dynamic range and high ISO performance; Poor battery life.

The Competition

Compared to Sony A33

Nikon D3100
Sony A33
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Canon SL1
Sony A33
  • $464
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Pentax K-r

Nikon D3100
Pentax K-r
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Fast startup
Canon SL1
Pentax K-r
  • $464
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Nikon D5100

Nikon D3100
Nikon D5100
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
Canon SL1
Nikon D5100
  • $464
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Sony A58

Nikon D3100
Sony A58
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Bigger pixels
  • $598
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Canon SL1
Sony A58
  • $464
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $598
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Canon T5

Nikon D3100
Canon T5
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Newer
  • More dots on screen
Canon SL1
Canon T5
  • $464
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Longer stills battery life
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