Nikon D3200 vs Canon EOS 600D (EOS Rebel T3i)?


TPF Noob!
Jul 12, 2013
Reaction score
Hello guys,
I am about to buy my first DSLR and I've narrowed my choices down to the Nikon D3200 and Canon 600D. I really hope you can help me out here a little.
So, as I understand, the 600D has an articulating LCD, which should be particularly great for shooting videos, whereas the D3200 doesn't. This is supposed to set the 600D above the D3200 for video shooting. But I also couldn't help notice that the D3200 has autofocus when shooting video, while the 600D lacks this feature; isn't this something you would really want to have when shooting video? At least I, as an amateur, imagine that. Not that I currently have any major intentions to shoot loads of videos, but you never know. So my first question is: is the lack of the autofocus feature for video mode a big disadvantage?
On the other hand, the higher LCD resoultion of the 600D probably isn't that much of an advantage over the D3200, right?
How important is the autofocus-points difference between the two (a score of 9 for 600D and a score of 11 for D3200)?
Another important point is: is the native and true resolution difference between the two cameras significant enough for a user like me to notice? I've heard that such differences are only important when you want the actual picture to be pretty large as well, not only the file.
Can anyone tell how do other camera-features between the two models compare? Of course, especiall those that affect the image quality, I am not that picky about the extra 65g weight of the 600D. Overall, I got the feeling that the image quality of the D3200 should be better (I do not know too much about those things, tough...), but I don't know whether the difference is that big.

I've read two comparisons: Canon T3i (600D) vs Nikon D3200 - HDSLR Camera Comparison and Specifications - Canon Rebel T3i vs Nikon D3200 . Judging by the first one I'd decide for the Canon, yet looking only at the second one I'd take the Nikon (I just get the feeling that the photos are probably better - please advise!). What struggled me most between those two reviews, though, is that the first one clearly favoured the colours of the 600D, while the second one favoured D3200's colours.

I hope I didn't put on too much information! I really hope you can help me decide, I would really appreciate that. (as you can probably see) I am open to debate, so if you could possibly need more info to help me decide, please ask.
Thanks! :)
The main differences are:

Resolution - for a crop-frame camera, however, the lenses can't even usually resolve any higher than about 18MP if you're lucky, so adding mrore pixels is just dividing up blur, not adding more useful information. So in reality, these are both about the same.

Flip out screen - mildly useful and in canon but not nikon. I would probably rarely use this personally. Mostly good for video or shooting things very high up.

ISO performance - looks to me like about one stop higher in the nikon, if anything. Note, however, that the Canon side is much crisper, so the added noise might be from more sharpening more so than from the sensor itself. Can't say for sure, but probably less than a stop of real difference.

They are virtually identical cameras. I would decide based on other things if I were you like upgrade options, lenses, whether you have friends you can borrow one type of compatible equipment from, etc.

But if it is really going to come down to the difference between the cameras, then get the Canon if you want to do video (flip screen), I guess, and get the Nikon if you plan to shoot in low light situations a lot like concerts or whatever (ISO), maybe. Or just flip a coin.
Last edited:
IS the Canon color-blind, like so many Canon's have been for the last 20 years??? Nikon has had 3-D color matrix light metering for daylight AND for flash since the mid-1990' of the reasons Nikon has for so long, utterly kicked Canon's ass in flash metering, balanced fill flash, and automatic light metering. I got sooooo sick of my Canon 5D's color-blind, "dumb" light metering when used with the 24-105-L zoom for my fishing camera...the thing was an utterly stupid camera that ruined many shots on the "dark side" of the boat, overexposing things to a degree that was always amazing. I took a 4-day salmon trip in 2010,and the color-blind Canon ruined basically ANY shot that was tricky when either of my two partners picked up the camera and shot in AUTO mode...this week, I came back from the same area, and shot my Nikon and the metering is almost perfect, even in challenging lighting....same boat, same place,m same weather as in 2010....simply NO comparison. Nikon has the better sensor technology, and better metering.

It took Canon a good 18 years before they were able to devise a way around Nikon's 3-color (red,green, blue)metering analysis. Some decade, Canon will maybe catch up to Nikon in flash metering...probably around the time I hit 70 in 20 years.

Buy the Nikon--their proprietary knowledge and their system's advantages in light metering and flash metering are well worth it. Especially for a beginner or intermediate-level shooter who wants an automated camera that can actually expose right in tricky light, without years' worth of skill.
1) Canon bodies now have RGB metering as of the 1DX, which should certainly now trickle down in much less than 20 years
2) I've never had any issue with monochrome metering after spending 10 minutes learning about exposure compensation. Your fishing buddies will have issues, perhaps, yes, but not you after a similar 10 minutes.
3) You should usually be metering flash manually, especially if you want to learn flash as a beginner.
4) Canon has across-the-board benefits over Nikon, too. Namely, better autofocus, as can be evidenced by going to any sporting event and counting the approximately 4:1 or higher ratio of Canon photographers on the professional sidelines.

In other words.... flip a coin again. Or make a brand decision on razor thin margins if you know for sure that for the rest of your time as a photographer, you're going to be using tons of TTL flash or extreme performance autofocus of erratically moving subjects. Both very unlikely to be known by a beginner.
Thanks to all of you! And thank you Gavejenks, I think your advice has been most helpful; you are right, on the link provided Nikon indeed seems to have less noise (I have no idea what a stop in these terms is, but I think I get the point)
Regarding the autofocus debate, doesn't the Nikon's extra autofocus points mean better autofocus performance? Or does it just mean better but not faster?
I have now somehow decided that I'll wait and watch this one auction where a guy is selling his 600D with quite a bit of extra equipment (and I have this feeling the price might stay low... but then again, one always has this feeling ;)), and if this doesn't turn out good I'll probably take the Nikon. And in the meantime, I can gather some more information.

What do you guys think of Sony cameras? How do they compete with comparable Nikon or Canon cameras, especially in the range I'm interested in?
Don't go very deep in details, why don't you keep it simple?, if you can't i will make it simple for you:
as a beginner to DSLR technology you need to begin with an entry level DSLR than you can upgrade to Semi pro or Full frame DSLR where you should care about details, but as a beginner, look for simple camera that will help you to learn slowly and easy the basics of DSLR technology.
My suggestion is to begin with Nikon D3200 the best entry level DSLR camera for every day shooting because it is simple and very easy to use (thanks to the guide mode), have a low price so you can invest in Tripod and bag and memory card and books about photography, also there is lot of Lenses available and when you wan't upgrade it will be easy to found a good Full frame camera at Nikon.
Also Nikon D3200 have a large sensor and more megapixel and it is newer than T3i.
Good luck
I think you are about a year too late, I am pretty sure OP has already chose what he wanted and bought it as this thread was opened more then a year ago.

Most reactions