Both cameras are available on similar prices where Nikon D3100 offers a larger sensor, better color depth, and continuous focusing for videos. On the other hand the Canon Rebel T1i (EOD 500D) has slightly better shooting speed, Megapixels and a built in focusing motor due to which you can use all sort of low priced lenses with it. If you are intended to make videos from your DSLR then D3100 is a better pick due to the auto-focusing during video making however on the other hand if you are looking forward to increase your lens base then AFS lenses would be very expensive for you, its better to stick to Canon T1i.
Advantages of Canon 500D / T1i
- Canon T1i has a built-in focus motor due to which you can use all EF (Lens without focus motor) and EF-S (Lens with focus motor) with it. Nikon D3100 does not have the auto focus motor due to which you can only use AFS lens with it. AF lens will work however will not auto-focus on D3100 body which is a real issue because AFS lenses are really very expensive.
- Canon T1i has less shutter lag 159 ms as compare to Nikon D3100 with 279 ms
- Canon T1i has a larger viewfinder 0.54x as compare to 0.51x in Nikon which helps making visibility better.
- Canon T1i LCD screen has more pixel dots so it is of better quality (920k dots vs 230k dots)
- T1i take lesser time to startup with 300 ms if compare to 400 ms in Nikon.
- Canon T1i is smaller (129x98x62 mm) than Nikon D3100 (124x96x73 mm)
- Canon shoots bit faster 3.4 fps than Nikon D3100 with 3 fps shooting speed
- Canon is thinner 2.4″ than Nikon 2.9″
- Canon offers higher resolution 15.1 MP than Nikon at 14.2 MP.
Advantages of Nikon D3100
- Nikon D3100 offer lower noise at high ISO
- he D3100 will continuously auto-focus during video recording but with the T1i, you will have to manually focus during recording
- Better image quality 67.0 vs 63.0 Around 10% better image quality
- Nikon offers better color depth 22.5 bits vs 21.7 bits in Canon T1i
- Nikon distinguishes more than 70% more colors
- Nikon D3100 has longer battery life 550 shots vs 400 shots in Canon T1i.
- Nikon D3100 has a larger sensor APS-C 23.1×15.4mm vs APS-C 22.3×14.9mm
- Nikon D3100 supports 24p to give that real film feel
- Nikon D3100 has 11 focus points as compare to 9 focus points in Canon T1i which helps focusing accurately within the frame.
- Nikon D3100 is slightly cheaper than Canon T1i.