ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Canon Rebel T2i (550D) vs. Nikon D3100

Updated on June 5, 2013

Canon T2i or Nikon D3100

Canon Rebel T2i / 550D or Nikon D3100 ?
Canon Rebel T2i / 550D or Nikon D3100 ?

Canon Rebel T2i (with HD Video) or Nikon D3100 ?

Cannon Rebel T2i / 550D with HD Video or Nikon D3100

Canon and Nikon have been the frontrunners in camera and lens technology since the dawn of photography. Both companies sell millions of dollars worth of digital cameras and lenses year on year with their top of the range optics and cutting edge sensor technology.

Which do you get? This can be a tricky decision and whichever you go for you can be sure that you will be choosing quality which speaks for itself. It really comes down to personal preference but just as one person will tell you to buy Nikon another will tell you to buy Canon. It's just that close a call!

So what about these two?

The Canon EOS Rebel T2i (550D) vs. Nikon D3100 -

Firstly I think it is important to point out that irrespective of which manufacturer or body kit you chose, neither camera will perform to its fullest with cheap lenses or in the hands of someone who does not know how to take photos. In photography more than more than anywhere else, it is how well you can use your camera that counts, not the camera nor the number megapixels.

On paper the Nikon D3100 would be better pitted against the EOS 1000D as an entry level DSLR, however as the 1000D cannot shoot video the only alternative closest comparison to be made is with the Canon 550D. So here we go.

Canon T2i / 550D Excellent Tech Video

Canon or Nikon

Nikon D3100 + 18 - 55mm lens
Nikon D3100 + 18 - 55mm lens

Sensor

The battle for megapixels goes on with the Canon sporting an 18MP CMOS chip and the Nikon coming in with a 14MP CMOS processor. Do not let the higher megapixel rating fool you though. Unless you are planning on blowing your photos up to poster size it will not make any difference to the quality of your photos and with a price difference of about $150-200 in favour of the Nikon, the cheaper D3100 remains a great choice for stills. That is unless video is important to you...

Video

HD video is where the $200 premium for the Canon becomes justifiable. It trounces the D3100 outright. The rolling shutter problem with the Nikon’s HD video makes the quality simply terrible when compared to the Canon 550D. Low frame rate and high shutter speeds on the D3100 make the video jumpy and lose all fluidity. The D3100 is also advertised as having tracking focus while filming, which does not really work.

All it means is that when either you or your subject is moving while rolling, the shutter sound gets recorded, and with no external microphone jacks there is no way of getting away from the noisy AF. On top of which any movement filmed comes out as wobbly, with people and objects bending horizontally as you move the camera. As far as audio recording goes, the Nikon D3100 can only record in mono, so no stereo quality sound either.

Video quality on the 550D however is impeccable, offering the same quality as its semi-pro older brother, the EOS 7D. HD video comes in full 1080p at 24, 25 and 30 fps, and 720p movies at 50 or 60fps, giving your recordings that much vaunted “film look”. It also offers a Movie Crop mode (not available on even the 7D) that allows you to film the central 640x480 pixels for a highly magnified view.

LCD Screen

At 3” in diameter both the D3100 and Rebel T2i have decent size LCD screens but the Canon trumps the Nikon in terms of pixel density at 1m pixels against 230k. At first glance this may not seem a big deal but it is important to be able to check the photo’s clarity the moment you’ve taken the shot.

ISO

The latest sensor technology is used on both these cameras, meaning that in terms of still photography they are about level pegging and will both take great pictures. Arguably, the ISO noise artefacts and colour degradation on the Canon are slightly higher than on the Nikon at maximum ISO speed (boost to 12,800 for both) but any difference is more or less unnoticeable at lower levels.

Processor

The Nikon carries an EXPEED 2 processor while the Canon uses the 2008 DIGIC-4 processor, both of which power higher grade DSLRs and should perform fairly similarly even if the Nikon processor is newer than the Canon’s.

Burst mode

In burst mode the Rebel T2i can take an impressive 3.7fps equating to 34 jpegs or 6 RAW shots in a row while the D3100 tops its continuous shot mode at 3 fps.

Viewfinder

The viewfinder on both cameras is the same at 95%. A shame that you can’t be sure quite what you’re fitting into your photo but for an entry-level DSLR one cannot expect full frame coverage.

The verdict:

If you want good video go for the Rebel T2i, if you want excellent quality pictures and aren’t bothered by video pay less for the Nikon and use the $200 saved to invest in gear. (Or a camcorder)

It is also worth noting that Canon and Nikon are primarily lens companies and not camera companies and while there is nothing wrong with Tamrac or Sigma lenses, it is a shame to see good cameras with cheap lenses on them. Canon in particular as, unlike Nikon cameras, their image stabilizer is located in the lens.

Happy snapping!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Mexleague 

      2 years ago

      Look forward to looking into your web page repeatedly.

    • profile image

      Jim 

      5 years ago

      Where can I find out maximum number of pic and video info held on varius HD cards? At the highest quality settings for both.

    • JapanGulu profile imageAUTHOR

      JapanGulu 

      6 years ago

      depends where you are buying from.... Online is always cheapest and the average price is around £400 I guess.

    • profile image

      anghel 

      6 years ago

      how much is the canon d3100?

    • JapanGulu profile imageAUTHOR

      JapanGulu 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for your comment Bloggify. I was in the process of updating anyway ;) Hopefully now there's a bit more detail for people to be better able to make their choice.

    • Bloggify profile image

      Bloggify 

      7 years ago

      Hi JG - thanks for the tips on the Canon Rebel T2i and Nikon D3100 cameras ! IMHO the hub could do with a bit more technical detail e.g. some specifications and some more pics of the cameras :-)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)