Canon T3i vs Nikon D3200 – Which DLSR is a Better Value?

Latest posts by The Camera Guide Team (see all)

nikon d3200 vs t3iWhether you are looking to upgrade from a point and shoot to DSLR or planning to invest in a user-friendly entry-level camera, you will no doubt come across two of the best-selling cameras on the market today. The Canon Rebel T31, which costs around $749 with lens or the recent addition to the Nikon family – the Nikon D3200, which has a price tag of $699 with lens.

You may wonder, why are these two pitted against each other with so many other camera models out there? These two happen to be the newest as well as the most aggressively marketed models of entry-level DSLR’s today. Let’s take a closer look and compare the Canon T3i vs Nikon D3200.

Canon Rebel T3i  EOS 600D

The Canon Rebel T3i easily stands out as one of the most attractive, budget-friendly entry-level cameras available on the market today. It comes with DIGIC 4 image processor, 18.0 megapixels CMOS sensor, full articulating 3-inch 1,040K-dot LCD and 1080p 30,25,24 video recording.

This camera also comes with an impressive list of features that makes it considerably hard to beat. In fact, this particular Canon DSLR attracts both the beginners and the hobbyists alike. Among the winning features that are highly favored by videographers are its superb video image quality and good ergonomics, making it an ideal camera for stills and video shooting. Of course, one of its primary attractions is its articulating LCD which is also a huge plus.

Nikon D3200

On the other hand, the Nikon D3200 is also a force to be reckoned with if you place it head to head against the Canon Rebel T3i. In fact, it would seem like this model was designed to give Canon’s entry-level cameras some serious competition. It also happens to be well within the same price range, hence the comparison.

Nikon’s D3200 is packed with an impressive 24.2 megapixel resolution, a 3-inch 921K-dot Fixed LCD and an EXPEED 3 image processor. This camera is also designed to be compatible with the Nikon WU-1A Wi-Fi module.

Like the Canon Rebel T3i, this one is ideal for video shooting. It comes with a 3.5mm stereo jack that can be connected to an external stereo microphone, which is a great option for videographers.

However, it is safe to say that the primary attraction of this camera is its high resolution, the 3.5 mic jack connector and the extensive guide that makes it an ideal model for beginners.

Side-By-Side Comparison

Canon Rebel T3i (EOS 600D) Nikon D3200
(effective resolution)
18.0 MP 24.2 MP
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 3:2
Image processor Digic 4 Expeed 3
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, (12800 with boost) Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 (12800 with boost)
White balance presets 6 12
AF points 9 11
LCD 3-inch
Full Articulated
Viewfinder Optical
coverage: 95%
Magnification: 0.85×
coverage: 95%
Magnification: 0.78×
Shutter speed 30 – 1/4000 sec 30 – 1/4000 sec
Built-in flash Yes (pop-up)13m Yes (pop-up)12m
Flash X sync speed 1/200 1/200
Continuous shooting 3.7 fps 4 fps
Exposure compensation ±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps) ±5 EV (at 1/3 EV steps)
Auto exposure bracketing ±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps) No
WB bracketing Yes (3 frames) No
Video 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (60, 50 fps) 1920 x 1080 (30,25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
Battery life (CIPA) 440 540
Dimensions & Weight 133 x 100 x 80 mm (5.24 x 3.94 x 3.15″)570 g (1.26 lb / 20.11 oz) 125 x 96 x 77 mm (4.92 x 3.78 x 3.03″)505 g (1.11 lb / 17.81 oz)

One of the key similarities of the two cameras is the built-in 3.5mm microphone mic jack designed for connecting an external stereo microphone. This feature offers great advantage when shooting videos as it significantly improves the quality of the audio, minimizes sound noise, prevents the camera from capturing lens AF motor sound and enhances overall sound quality.

Core Similarities 

One of the key similarities of the two cameras is the built-in 3.5mm microphone mic jack designed for connecting an external stereo microphone. This feature offers great advantage when shooting videos as it significantly improves the quality of the audio, minimizes sound noise, prevents the camera from capturing lens AF motor sound and enhances overall sound quality.

Key Differences

Articulating Lens

canon rebel t3i articulating screenThere are a number of differences between the Canon Rebel T3i and Nikon D3200. One of the most glaring is the articulating lens that the Canon Rebel T3i is equipped with. For people who want to dabble or sink their teeth into the HDSLR movie world, the Canon Rebel T3i presents a very attractive package.

This is because when shooting videos, you don’t normally shoot at eye-level, which makes a camera with an articulated LCD ideal compared to one that’s fixed. With the Canon T3i, you enjoy greater freedom and flexibility to shoot videos at different angles.

In addition, the lens of the CanonT3i also has a higher resolution with 1040K dots compared to Nikon D3200’s 921K dots.

Image Resolution

In this particular aspect, the Nikon D32000 wins hands down over Canon’s T3i. If you are planning to do a lot of studio work, portrait shots and macro photography, then you will want to bank on a camera with impressive image resolution.

For some, higher image resolution is crucial to their work. However, others often fail to recognize this as an advantage since setting it to its maximum resolution will also mean a larger image file size.


If you are to place the two cameras side by side, the Nikon is noticeably more compact and lightweight compared to the Canon T3i. However, the difference in size between the two is not significant and will not likely affect buying decision.

Reasons To Buy

If you are contemplating on buying the Nikon D3200, among the great reasons to make the purchase is its low noise even at very high ISO. It also has better image quality than Canon’s T3i. The Nikon D3200 also has greater color depth compared to Canon T3i.

nikon d3200

On the other hand, if you are considering taking home a Canon T3i, among its best features that could prompt you to seal the deal is the high resolution screen at 1040K dots. Of course, if you are into video shooting, the articulating screen is definitely a huge advantage.

Conclusion: Which to Go With?

So which one should you choose? How will you decide buying one over the other? Both the Canon T3i and Nikon D3200 present excellent choices when it comes to entry-level cameras. The decision as to which one should you choose will significantly rely on what you plan to do with it.

If you intend to primarily shoot stills and macro shots, the Nikon D3200 presents a better choice. However, if you need to mainly use the camera for shooting videos, then you will want to opt for the Canon T3i, which also happens to perform better in low light.

On the other hand, the Nikon D3200 is also an attractive camera with an impressive 24.2 megapixel resolution, longer battery life, autofocus in video, greater AF points, high resolution LCD and comprehensive in-camera guide that makes it more user-friendly.

A noteworthy edge that the Canon T3i has is the fact that it supports both WB and AE bracketing, which is a feature you can usually find in more expensive camera models. This justifies the more expensive price tag of Canon T3i over Nikon 3200, with the former $50 more expensive – a price difference that is obviously fully justified. You can find a good deal on the Canon T3i at this listing here.

Taking into consideration all the facts presented above, it is best to clearly evaluate how you plan to use the camera and what are your specific requirements and personal preferences.As a personal choice, I would prefer the Nikon 3200 since I place greater value on its exceptional image quality than having an articulating LCD since I usually do more still shots than video shooting. You’ll find some competitive pricing on the Nikon 3200 at this listing (click here).

The Camera Guide Team

The Camera Guide Team is a group of writers, shutterbugs, and professional photographers. We know the challenge of looking through different cameras or accessories. We want you to learn everything about cameras. We provide honest reviews, detailed guides, and helpful comparisons. We have everything you need. We are here to help you find the perfect click.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: