Entry-level: Canon 100d or Nikon D3300?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mcmul, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. mcmul, Sep 16, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014

    mcmul macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2009
    I am in the market for an entry-level DSLR camera. After discussing with some colleagues in work, I am going for the Canon 100d or Nikon D3300. Speaking as someone totally new to photograpy (I use my iPhone 5S camera and the Panasonic TZ30!), I found my colleagues debating Canon vs Nikon rather amusing. But, leaving that stuff aside, which one would you buy and why? I plan on travelling more and more over the coming years prior to "settling down" and thus want to improve my overall "picture-taking ability". My budget is £500 and, luckily, these come in at less than £400.
    • Canon 100d is £389 on Amazon. It comes with the EF-S 18-55mm III Lens.
    • Nikon D3300 is £399 on Amazon. It comes with the 18-55mm VR II Lens.
    I plan on playing with them both this weekend so I imagine the decision will come down to "how it feels". Either way, it would be good to get a variety of opinions.

    NB. I would rather replies focused on the two options above but if you feel that there is a blindingly better camera for £500 or less, feel free to throw it into the mix.
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Having a play is the right way to go.
    However your debating friends who obviously shoot might be inclined to lend you some lenses so pick the same brand as them if possible.
    Also entry level DSLR are readily available second hand. People either trade up or give up. Most of these cameras will have seen little action. That way you could get a couple of lenses and a body for £500.
  3. lukejc1 macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2013
    If I had to make the choice for you I'd say to go with the Nikon. But it's not that easy to choose a camera. I recently bought my first DSLR and was choosing between Canon and Nikon as well.

    During my research in to the two camera systems, I found the debate intriguing but it's the exact same debate happening between Mac vs Windows and iOS vs Android. Both systems are good and you can get great shots with either camera.

    I went with Nikon for a few reasons. The used lens market seems to be larger so it's easier to find good used lenses for affordable prices. I've been told by Nikon and Canon users that the NIKKOR lenses are really good and the Nikon consumer grade lenses are better than Canon's consumer grade lenses.

    I also liked the menu system for Nikon a little better. It made more sense to me. However, after using my Nikon for a while I found that I am not the biggest fan of the button layout for changing ISO, etc. I'm getting used to it.

    Also, many reviews I read stated that the Nikon camera I was looking at (D7100) was better for photos, while the Canon (70D) was better for video. Since I don't shoot video, that made me lean towards the Nikon.

    Also, as said, an easy way to choose is to look at what your friends shoot with. If they are Nikon users go with the Nikon. Vice versa for Canon. Lenses are expensive to buy and rent so if your friends are willing to let you borrow their equipment it can save you a lot of money if you have the same brand camera as them. Plus they will be great resources for learning your camera since they should know the ins and outs of the camera's settings.

    I'd say after you use both this weekend, trust your gut. Buy the one that is most comfortable in regards to menu layout, button layout, and even which is more comfortable to hold.

    Not sure if my ramblings helped at all. Good luck with your decision.
  4. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Play with two or three bodies in each line to get a feel for the "brand" ergonomics, as you'll likely get another body or two over time and cameras up the price spectrum will handle a little differently than the entry-level models.

    You can't go wrong with either company, and prices for lenses and bodies fluctuate over time, I can remember when the high-end supertelephotos were hundreds of dollars different to the advantage of the Canon shooter- If I'd have gotten my Nikon 400/2.8 new instead of gently used, I'd have been able to afford the Canon PLUS a camera body for the same price- so don't treat today's price differences as set in stone.

    Don't over-analyze it, just get one and start shooting, no matter which you choose, you're more likely to like it than not.

  5. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2013
    Utah, USA
    I owned the Nikon D70, then the D80, and now the D3300. The images that come out of the D3300 are 10X better than any camera I've ever owned. It's light, easy to carry, and the stock lens is excellent.
  6. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I think you've received great advice and I second most of what's been said already. You can't really go wrong with either, and part of it just comes down to subjective preferences for, e.g., menus and ergonomics. I bought my first DSLR last year, and was also considering Nikon vs Canon. In the end, I went with Nikon because I found a special deal which made it the less expensive option. I've been very happy with that, but I suspect that I would have been very happy with Canon as well.
  7. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    Nikon. Interface is more intuitive, and the 35mm f/1.8 is cheap.

    But if you're going to be traveling, ask yourself if you will really feel like carrying around a DSLR and lenses. Mirrorless is lighter, smaller, and you can get them with APS-C sensors, just like the two DSLRs you're considering.
  8. mcmul thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2009
    Mirrorless, also known as the Compact System Camera, right? In all honesty, if the picture quality matched a DSLR, with the option of extra lenses, then I really don't mind. But regardless, I have no issue carrying around the DSLR if it's cheaper than an equally good mirrorless. Also, I started looking at the Nikon 5300 for the flip-out screen.

    Can you recommend any mirrorless?

    Also, thanks for the replies - I have read every single one; I simply don't have anything to add so thank you :)
  9. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    Yeah, mirrorless = compact system camera

    Some comparable recommendations on features/price:

    Sony a5000
    Sony a5100
    Fuji X-E1
    Fuji X-M1

    They have DSLR quality, but the lens selection is also much smaller since they haven't been around as long. Any camera mentioned in this thread, even with the kit lens, will have very good image quality.

    I have a Sony (predecessor to a5000) and honestly I don't like the interface. I think Nikon and Canon do a better job there. But I love the portability- with the 20mm f/2.8 pancake or the kit zoom, it easily fits in a jacket pocket. That's extremely convenient when you're traveling/hiking/whatever.
  10. CaptainZero macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2013
    I shoot Canon, and I really like the button layout better, but it's all personal preference. As was stated earlier, go to the store, and handle both of them. Also, be sure to check how the the higher end models feel, as that will be important if you decide to upgrade. The used idea isn't bad either.
  11. AQUADock macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2011
    If you go with either a new aps-c mirrorless or DSLR you will get excellent photos. If you care about portability then go mirrorless if you don't then get a DSLR as you will have a large amount of lenses to choose from. If you go for a DSLR you will be happy with either canon or nikon. I find that nikon has superior image quality whereas canon have a better lens lineup. It can be quite confusing when buying a nikon lens for the first time as the autofocus may not be supported whereas on canon all EF and EF-S lenses will work.

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