Nikon D3100 vs. Canon EOS 350D

Comparison

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D3100 image
vs
EOS 350D image
Nikon D3100 Canon EOS 350D
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Megapixels
14.20
8.00
Max. image resolution
4608 x 3072
3456 x 2304

Sensor

Sensor type
CMOS
CMOS
Sensor size
23.1 x 15.4 mm
22.2 x 14.8 mm
Sensor resolution
4616 x 3077
3464 x 2309
Diagonal
27.76 mm
26.68 mm
Sensor size comparison
Sensor size is generally a good indicator of the quality of the camera. Sensors can vary greatly in size. As a general rule, the bigger the sensor, the better the image quality.

Bigger sensors are more effective because they have more surface area to capture light. An important factor when comparing digital cameras is also camera generation. Generally, newer sensors will outperform the older.

Learn more about sensor sizes »

Actual sensor size

Note: Actual size is set to screen → change »
vs
1.08 : 1
(ratio)
Nikon D3100 Canon EOS 350D
Surface area:
355.74 mm² vs 328.56 mm²
Difference: 27.18 mm² (8%)
D3100 sensor is approx. 1.08x bigger than 350D sensor.
Note: You are comparing cameras of different generations. There is a 5 year gap between Nikon D3100 (2010) and Canon 350D (2005). All things being equal, newer sensor generations generally outperform the older.
Pixel pitch
5 µm
6.41 µm
Pixel pitch tells you the distance from the center of one pixel (photosite) to the center of the next. It tells you how close the pixels are to each other.

The bigger the pixel pitch, the further apart they are and the bigger each pixel is. Bigger pixels tend to have better signal to noise ratio and greater dynamic range.
Difference: 1.41 µm (28%)
Pixel pitch of 350D is approx. 28% higher than pixel pitch of D3100.
Pixel area
25 µm²
41.09 µm²
Pixel or photosite area affects how much light per pixel can be gathered. The larger it is the more light can be collected by a single pixel.

Larger pixels have the potential to collect more photons, resulting in greater dynamic range, while smaller pixels provide higher resolutions (more detail) for a given sensor size.
Relative pixel sizes:
vs
Pixel area difference: 16.09 µm² (64%)
A pixel on Canon 350D sensor is approx. 64% bigger than a pixel on Nikon D3100.
Pixel density
3.99 MP/cm²
2.43 MP/cm²
Pixel density tells you how many million pixels fit or would fit in one square cm of the sensor.

Higher pixel density means smaller pixels and lower pixel density means larger pixels.
Difference: 1.56 µm (64%)
Nikon D3100 has approx. 64% higher pixel density than Canon 350D.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.



Specs

Nikon D3100
Canon 350D
Crop factor
1.56
1.62
Total megapixels
14.80
8.20
Effective megapixels
14.20
8.00
Optical zoom
Digital zoom
No
No
ISO sensitivity
Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (12800 with boost)
Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
Macro focus range
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
Aperture priority
Yes
Yes
Max. aperture
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
n/a
n/a
Metering
Multi, Center-weighted, Average
Centre weighted, Evaluative, Multi-pattern
Exposure compensation
±5 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
±2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
Yes
Yes
Min. shutter speed
30 sec
Bulb+30 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/4000 sec
1/4000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
Optical (pentamirror)
Optical (pentamirror)
White balance presets
12
6
Screen size
3"
1.8"
Screen resolution
230,000 dots
115,000 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
1920x1080 (24p)
Storage types
SDHC, SDXC, Secure Digital
CompactFlash type I, CompactFlash type II, Microdrive
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Lithium-Ion EN-EL14 rechargeable battery
Lithium-Ion NB-3L battery
Weight
505 g
540 g
Dimensions
124 x 96 x 75 mm
126.5 x 94.2 x 64 mm
Year
2010
2005




Choose cameras to compare

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Diagonal

Diagonal is calculated by the use of Pythagorean theorem:
Diagonal =  w² + h²
where w = sensor width and h = sensor height

Nikon D3100 diagonal

w = 23.10 mm
h = 15.40 mm
Diagonal =  23.10² + 15.40²   = 27.76 mm

Canon 350D diagonal

w = 22.20 mm
h = 14.80 mm
Diagonal =  22.20² + 14.80²   = 26.68 mm


Surface area

Surface area is calculated by multiplying the width and the height of a sensor.

D3100 sensor area

Width = 23.10 mm
Height = 15.40 mm

Surface area = 23.10 × 15.40 = 355.74 mm²

350D sensor area

Width = 22.20 mm
Height = 14.80 mm

Surface area = 22.20 × 14.80 = 328.56 mm²


Pixel pitch

Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of the next measured in micrometers (µm). It can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel pitch =   sensor width in mm  × 1000
sensor resolution width in pixels

D3100 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 23.10 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4616 pixels
Pixel pitch =   23.10  × 1000  = 5 µm
4616

350D pixel pitch

Sensor width = 22.20 mm
Sensor resolution width = 3464 pixels
Pixel pitch =   22.20  × 1000  = 6.41 µm
3464


Pixel area

The area of one pixel can be calculated by simply squaring the pixel pitch:
Pixel area = pixel pitch²

You could also divide sensor surface area with effective megapixels:
Pixel area =   sensor surface area in mm²
effective megapixels

D3100 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 5 µm

Pixel area = 5² = 25 µm²

350D pixel area

Pixel pitch = 6.41 µm

Pixel area = 6.41² = 41.09 µm²


Pixel density

Pixel density can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel density =  ( sensor resolution width in pixels )² / 1000000
sensor width in cm

One could also use this formula:
Pixel density =   effective megapixels × 1000000  / 10000
sensor surface area in mm²

D3100 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4616 pixels
Sensor width = 2.31 cm

Pixel density = (4616 / 2.31)² / 1000000 = 3.99 MP/cm²

350D pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 3464 pixels
Sensor width = 2.22 cm

Pixel density = (3464 / 2.22)² / 1000000 = 2.43 MP/cm²


Sensor resolution

Sensor resolution is calculated from sensor size and effective megapixels. It's slightly higher than maximum (not interpolated) image resolution which is usually stated on camera specifications. Sensor resolution is used in pixel pitch, pixel area, and pixel density formula. For sake of simplicity, we're going to calculate it in 3 stages.

1. First we need to find the ratio between horizontal and vertical length by dividing the former with the latter (aspect ratio). It's usually 1.33 (4:3) or 1.5 (3:2), but not always.

2. With the ratio (r) known we can calculate the X from the formula below, where X is a vertical number of pixels:
(X × r) × X = effective megapixels × 1000000    →   
X =  effective megapixels × 1000000
r
3. To get sensor resolution we then multiply X with the corresponding ratio:

Resolution horizontal: X × r
Resolution vertical: X

D3100 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 23.10 mm
Sensor height = 15.40 mm
Effective megapixels = 14.20
r = 23.10/15.40 = 1.5
X =  14.20 × 1000000  = 3077
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3077 × 1.5 = 4616
Resolution vertical: X = 3077

Sensor resolution = 4616 x 3077

350D sensor resolution

Sensor width = 22.20 mm
Sensor height = 14.80 mm
Effective megapixels = 8.00
r = 22.20/14.80 = 1.5
X =  8.00 × 1000000  = 2309
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 2309 × 1.5 = 3464
Resolution vertical: X = 2309

Sensor resolution = 3464 x 2309


Crop factor

Crop factor or focal length multiplier is calculated by dividing the diagonal of 35 mm film (43.27 mm) with the diagonal of the sensor.
Crop factor =   43.27 mm
sensor diagonal in mm


D3100 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 27.76 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.56
27.76

350D crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 26.68 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.62
26.68

35 mm equivalent aperture

Equivalent aperture (in 135 film terms) is calculated by multiplying lens aperture with crop factor (a.k.a. focal length multiplier).

D3100 equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Nikon D3100, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Nikon D3100 is 1.56

350D equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Canon 350D, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Canon 350D is 1.62

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