Canon T3 vs. Nikon D3100

mrcowdude20

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 11, 2011
173
0
Philadelphia, PA
Here's what you need to know:
  • I'm a beginner, though I am okay at taking pictures
  • I CANNOT SPEND MORE THAN $600
  • Why would you pick one over the other
  • You don't have to answer all of these questions, though it would be nice
 

compuwar

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2006
4,717
2
Northern/Central VA
The lenses you buy will make more of a difference than reasonably equivalent camera bodies between manufacturers.

It is best to try both and see which you're more comfortable with ergonomically, as well as trying other models in the same line so you know how the "feel" is going to be in the future as you replace the body with the next model in a few years.

All modern DSLRs are capable of astonishingly good images, from the lowest-end models up. Unless you're shooting specialty images that require a certain feature, or you're making very large prints or doing extreme crops, it really, really, really doesn't matter which you choose.

Canon and Nikon hold about 80% of the DSLR market combined- there is no wrong answer between the two manufacturers, and both make a wide range of bodies and lenses, giving you upgrade options.

If you have friends or family that have one or the other manufacturer's lenses, choose that so you can borrow glass you can't afford.

A good photographer with a bad camera is better than a bad photographer with a good camera- don't sweat the camera, sweat the photography. Spend more time on lighting and composition than deciding which body to get.

Paul
 

bassanoclapper

macrumors 6502
Mar 4, 2008
268
34
London
In my limited experience, the lower end Canons aren't so great in less than ideal light conditions unless you have expensive glass rather than the kit lens supplied.
Nikon also have the advantage of having had the same lens mount system for decades.

I'm looking at getting either a D3100 or D5100 pretty soon. Good luck on your choice
 

mackmgg

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2007
1,418
43
Where are you located? If you're in the US, the T3 is on sale for $499 for Black Friday at Walmart with the lens. That would allow you to also get a Canon 50mm f/1.8 and still possibly stay under $600
 

h1r0ll3r

macrumors 68040
Dec 28, 2009
3,890
1
Maryland
You'll be okay with getting either as both are very good beginner DSLR's. One thing you'll need to keep in mind are the lenses. Once you choose your path, so to speak, you're going to have to stay in that eco-system. Sure, you can switch up later on however its quite a pain to sell everything and essentially start over.

I've been getting tons of emails from Buy.com and Amazon.com for their DSLR's. I have no doubt you should be able to find a nice deal from either of them this weekend that will stay within your budget. I did see one from Amazon for a T3 with the 18-135 kit lens, instead of the 18-55 lens, which would probably work out a little better for you.

I've always used Canon's so I'd pick the T3 myself however my opinion is a little biased on that. Again, both are good cameras so you can't go wrong with either of them.
 

compuwar

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2006
4,717
2
Northern/Central VA
In my limited experience, the lower end Canons aren't so great in less than ideal light conditions unless you have expensive glass rather than the kit lens supplied.
Nikon also have the advantage of having had the same lens mount system for decades.

I'm looking at getting either a D3100 or D5100 pretty soon. Good luck on your choice
I shoot Nikon bodies (D2x and D3x,) but the above statements aren't really all that enlightening.

I make the ISO difference between the T3 (not the T3i, which has even less) and the D3100 as less than 1/12th of a stop. That's 4x less than most camera's ability to change the exposure value. So, the poster's limited experience wouldn't seem to encompass the models the OP is considering.

Canon's also about two and a half decades with the same lens mount, and there's very little glass prior to the last change-over that you'd want to put in front of a modern sensor.

Neither of these reasons is enough to pick one brand over the other.

Paul
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
25,033
332
Harrogate
Go somewhere that will let you handle and play with both. Buy the one you get on with best. I like Canons. I never get on with Nikons. You might be the same, you might be the opposite. Your comfort with the camera and it's ability to get out of your way is what will take good pictures, much more so that a slight technical edge here or there.
 

aross99

macrumors 68000
Dec 17, 2006
1,538
0
East Lansing, MI
Go somewhere that will let you handle and play with both. Buy the one you get on with best.
This is great advice. When I was making this decision, I went to Best Buy and tried both Canon and Nikon. I played with the menus, took some pictures, reviewed and deleted them, etc. After a couple of minutes, I found things that I liked better on the Nikon, so I went that way. I know others who did the same thing and picked Canon.

For a beginning SLR user, you can't really go wrong either way. Both companies make great cameras with great lenses.

At the entry level, it is really a matter of personal preference.
 
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