Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D Gordon Laing, July 2011
 
 
Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D vs Nikon D3100 High ISO Noise (JPEGs using default settings)


 
  Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D results
1 T3 / 1100D resolution vs Nikon D3100
2 T3 / 1100D resolution vs T3i / 600D
3 T3 / 1100D resolution, RAW vs JPEG
4 T3 / 1100D noise vs Nikon D3100
5 T3 / 1100D Sample images gallery

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions I shot this scene with the Canon EOS T3 / 1100D and Nikon D3100 within a few moments of each other using their best-quality JPEG settings and at each of their ISO settings.

Each camera was fitted with its respective kit lens, the EF-S 18-55mm III and Nikkor DX 18-55mm VR, both set to f8, adjusted to deliver the same vertical field of view, and focused using Live View at the highest magnification.

Noise Reduction was set to the default options on each camera, although I disabled any automatic contrast-enhancing modes as these can artificially introduce noise. As such, Auto Lighting Optimizer on the Canon and Active D-Lighting on the Nikon were disabled.

The image above was taken with the Canon T3 / 1100D at 100 ISO with an exposure of one second and the lens set to 27mm f8; the original Large Fine JPEG measured 3.58MB. The crops below are taken from the area marked with a red square and presented here at 100%.

After the previous results pages, it's worth reminding ourselves we're comparing the Canon T3 / 1100D against its main rival here, the Nikon D3100 which enjoys two extra Megapixels, hence delivering a slightly smaller area in its crops.

The first thing to note is both cameras shared exactly the same exposures here, so the slightly brighter output from the D3100 implies a slightly greater actual sensitivity for identical ISO values.

That said, some of the darkening you see on the Canon crops is down to the camera applying greater contrast by default than the Nikon, and this, along with slightly higher sharpening is resulting in crops which look a little punchier.

With both cameras set to 100 ISO, the crops are of course very clean, but at 200 ISO, pixel-peepers may begin to notice the slightest evidence of noise textures on the D3100 crop, which becomes more apparent at 400 ISO.

Looking 'through' the textures reveals the Canon is applying greater noise suppression than the Nikon, for fewer textures, albeit at the cost of the occasional unnatural-looking splotch. In contrast, the Nikon is being fairly laid-back about eliminat8ing noise and allowing a fine, but natural-looking, texture become more apparent as the ISO value is increased. Again, which is better is down to personal preference.

Personally-speaking I think the Canon T3 / 1100D enjoys a minor edge over the Nikon D3100 at the highest ISOs, between 1600 and 6400 ISO, but it is a small difference and up to that point there's really not much between them. I certainly wouldn't choose one model over the other in terms of noise performance alone.

Now check out my Canon T3 / 1100D sample images to view and download more examples throughout its ISO range, or if you've seen enough, head straight to my verdict!

 

Canon EOS T3 /1100D (JPEG using in-camera defaults)
with Canon EF-S 18-55mm III
 
Nikon D3100 (JPEG using in-camera defaults)
with Nikkor DX 18-55mm VR
100 ISO
100 ISO
     
200 ISO
200 ISO
     
400 ISO
400 ISO
     
800 ISO
800 ISO
     
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
     
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
     
6400 ISO
6400 ISO
     
12800 ISO not available
H (12800 ISO)


EOS T3 / 1100D results : T3 / 1100D vs D3100 res / T3 / 1100D vs T3i / 600D res
/ T3 / 1100D RAW vs JPEG / T3 / 1100D vs D3100 Noise



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