Nikon D3300 vs Canon T3i / 600D vs T4i / 650D Comparison

May 7, 2014

Nikon D3300 vs Canon Rebel T4i and T3i side by side

In this article I will compare the Nikon D3300 versus the Canon Rebel EOS T3i / 600D vs T4i / 650D.  The D3300 was announced much after both Canon’s. The Canon Rebel T3i still conquers first position in the Best Seller’s list in the DSLR category. This just shows us that for many people, the added features that appears in newer models don’t justify the higher price tag. Furthermore, the Canon EOS Rebel T3i, as of the time of writing, sells for $500, so it’s much more attractive for photographers on a tight budget.

Having said that,  their are things that improves in each new model, usually the camera’s performance, improved sensor technology and image processing, and upper entry-level cameras inheriting  some of the features of their higher-end siblings.  For some of you those improved features will justify the extra price tag,  others will be just fine with the one the offers the best value.

Pricing wise, the Canon T3i costs approx. $500 (body only),  T4i for around $700 and Nikon D3300 for around $520.

It’s worth mentioning that the T3i and T4i models are upper entry-level models and sits above the 100D and 1100D in Canon DSLR camera’s lineup.  The Nikon D3300 is Nikon’s most basic entry-level DSLR camera. It costs more than the Canon’s upper entry-level cameras because it’s newer, and some will compare it to Canon’s most basic DSLRs, the Rebel SL1 / 100D and T3 / EOS 1100D.

So one of the main questions that we need to answer in this comparison, is whether this Nikon entry-level DSLR offers any significant advantages over the a two older Canon’s upper entry-level DSLR cameras? Whether a new-generation Nikon entry-level DSLR camera can beat two of Canon’s older upper entry-level cameras?

Before we continue to the comparison, let’s first get to learn the Nikon D3300 a bit better, and then I will compare the D3300 versus the T3i and the T4i, so you’ll get a better understanding which one is better for your specific needs.

Nikon D3300

Announced on January 7 , 2014, the D3300 is Nikon’s most recent basic DSLR camera as of the time of writing. The D3300 was designed to be small and versatile camera for novice photographers, and advanced photographers on a tight budget.  This model is the cheapest in Nikon’s DSLR lineup (among the newer cameras), but it’s in no way cheap on features. In fact, for some of you, the Nikon D3300 will offer all there is to it in order to capture beautiful stills with plenty of manual controls and features for being creative.

The most important feature in a DSLR camera is obviously its relatively large sensor. The Nikon D3300 features 24.2-megapixel APS-C DX sensor. This is a very larger sensor in point-and-shoot terms. This sensor brings many advantages that convince many people to upgrade from their point-and-shoot. Among those reasons are better image quality, much better low-light performance, less image noise, better color accuracy, much better control over the depth of field (more pronounced shallow depth of field, depend on the lens too), etc.

Nikon D3300 vs D3200 side by side

Nikon D3300 vs D3200 side by side - size comparison (via

As an entry-level DSLR,  Nikon offers a guide mode and  for novice photographers, allowing beginners to get a good starting point for shooting various type of scenes, without having to know how to set the camera setting themselves. Their is also an advanced mode that allows you to gain more control over the camera settings. Of course you can always switch to  full manual mode that gives you full control over the exposure settings, including changing the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation,  White balance, etc.

The Nikon D3300 features a 11 AF points with Nikon’s advanced 3D-tracking mode, allowing fast and precise autofocusing when shooting fast-moving subjects.  The D3300 has a fixed 3″ 921K-dots rear LCD display, optical viewfinder, can shoot full HD videos at 60p (progressive), 50p/30p/25p/24p, can shoot at 5 fps in burst mode and has a built-in pop-up flash.

The new Nikon D3300 has a carbon-fiber-reinforces polymer body, offers very good ergonomics and it’s very easy to hold and operate. I have large hands, so I find it a bit to tight, but it is perfect for people with small hands.

The Nikon D3300 has already been reviewed by mane leading camera review websites. Reviewers mentioned its amazing sensor output, great video quality, excellent button layout, great battery life and ease of operation for novice photographers.  The D3300 lacks Wi-Fi, built-in GPS and also lacks an articulating LCD. However, some people might consider those features not important, and if you are among those people, you’ll might find the D3300 to be the perfect DSLR for your specific needs. If you want / need this feature, you should consider looking at the Nikon D5300 instead.

There is little to complain about the D3300 to be honest. I think that many photographers searching for a beginner’s DSLR camera will find the D3300 to be a gem: very high-quality images, fast performance, lots of manual features, beginner’s guide mode, good built quality, excellent battery life, great iSO range, fast burst, good subject tracking performance, 60p FHD video recording (yes progressive, not interlaced), 13 inspirational effects,and obviously, the ability to use Nikon’s finest lenses — all that for very good price.


Now that you’ve got a good understanding what the Nikon D3300 is all about and learned about its key features, it’s time to throw it against the T4i and T3i to see if it can offers any advantages, and whether or not you should but the D3300 or be settled with on of the Canon cameras.

T4i vs T3i vs D3300 – Differences

Let’s take a look at the differences between the T4i, T3i and D3300.

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We can clearly see that although the Canon Rebel T4i lacks 60p video recording, it does seems like a better HDLR camera of the three due to its Hyrbid CMOS AF sensor and fully articulating LCD display.  On the other hand, if you don’t find yourself in a need for those features, the Nikon D3300 is a great HDSLR camera as well.

For stills photography and in terms of high ISO performance, to my surprise, I found the T3i to have a slight edge over the T4i in terms of noise (observed images side by side using imaging resource comparometer). It’s around 0.5 to 1 stop advantage in my observation.  The Nikon D3300 high ISO performance was better than the T3i, especially over ISO 3200 where it seems that the Nikon was able to handle noise much better. Don’t forget that the D3300 does have a noticeably higher resolution and also smaller pixels, and I’ve understood why so many camera review websites love the D3300 low-light performance.

So if you are searching for the camera that offers the better high ISO performance, you should certainly put the D3300 at the top of your list, but the T3i is not far behind.

The D3300 can cope really well against the Canon’s by offering 4fps burst (vs 5 fps), 3.5mm mic socket,  it’s smaller and lighter, it offers superior battery life to the T4i/T3i. On the other hand, it lacks WB and AE bracketing, no on-board remote flash control, not touchscreen or a tilting LCD and only a cross-type center AF point (compared to the all cross-point AF ssytem of the T4i).

I think that the Nikon D3300 will be the best camera of the three for people who prefer stills performance over video versatility. People whom want to capture high resolution images and also have a need for very good low-light performance. People who don’t intend to take advantage of AE and WB bracketing, and those whom don’t mind not having a on-board wireless flash controller or need a top-notch subject tracking performance.

The D3300 is a great DSLR camera the casual photographer who wants a great DSLR camera to be handy to shoot every now and then.

I would but the T4i/650D if I shoot lots of videos and needs the versatility that the T4i brings with it for video shooting. If I want and have a need for an articulating screen with a touchscreen and more in-camera stills shooting functions to be able to become more creative and less restricted. The T3i is most popular DSLR camera for a long time now, and for a good reason.

The Canon Rebel EOS T3i / 600D is relatively cheap and offers the best value. It lacks some of the features that you find on more modern cameras, but gives photographer an advanced photographic tools, with excellent image quality and high ISO performance, easy to learn and operate for newbies, an articulating screen, remotely control external flashes, good video quality, mic input socket and good battery life. If you are able to cope with its shortcomings, you have a gem here, a camera that might answer all your needs as a hobbyist photographer. I even recommend this camera for enthusiast that want to invest less in the camera body and prefer to invest more in a good lens.


I think that in many cases, a new modern camera doesn’t always means much better camera. Some people just won’t take advantage of all the extra features and performance that new camera model bring with it.  Sometimes its wiser to not to have the latest new shiny model, and be satisfied with a camera that can take gorgeous photos, and putting more of your budget in a second lens or other accessories that will help you get better photos!

If I had to choose between the three, I would probably be getting the Canon T4i for myself. It’s a very versatile camera for both stills and videos, and a superb all-around DSLR camera. Again, this is just my opinion, you might have a different opinion.

So which one you prefer? — share your opinion by leaving a comment in the comment section below. Thanks for reading.

Buy the Nikon D3300 from B&H Photo Video Store by clicking here

Buy the Canon Rebel T4i / EOS 650D from by clicking here

Buy the Canon Rebel T3i / EOS 600D from B&H Photo Video Store by clicking here


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