D90 vs D3100


Nikon D3100
Nikon D90

Nikon
D3100

vs

Nikon
D90

Updated (September, 2010): Compare the Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D7000

differences

Reasons to consider the Nikon D3100

Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 24fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Movie continuous focus Continuously focuses recording movies Yes vs No
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Record movies without worrying about focus
Size Smaller 124x96x73 mm vs 132x103x77 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Lowest price Much cheaper 1 090 kr vs 6 390 kr
Help
The best price we’ve seen is 5 300 kr cheaper (around 6x less)
Weight Much lighter 505 g vs 703 g
Help
Around 40% lighter
True resolution Higher resolution 14.2 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Around 20% higher resolution
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The D3100’s boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Thickness Thinner 2,9″ vs 3″
Help
Almost the same
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100

Reasons to consider the Nikon D90

Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder 0,63x vs 0,51x
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More than 50% larger viewfinder
Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 230k dots
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4x higher resolution screen
Lens focus motor Has a built-in focus motor Yes vs No
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Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Viewfinder Has a pentaprism viewfinder Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
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Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Overall image quality Better image quality 73.0 vs 67.0
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Around 10% better image quality
Dynamic range Significantly more dynamic range 12,5 EV vs 11,3 EV
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1,4 f-stops more dynamic range
Sensor size Larger sensor APS-C 23.6×15.8mm vs APS-C 23.1×15.4mm
Help
Almost the same
Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO 977 ISO vs 919 ISO
Help
The D90 has a slight edge (0,1 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 4.5 fps vs 3 fps
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50% faster continuous shooting
Color depth Slightly better color depth 22,7 bits vs 22,5 bits
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Distinguishes more than 10% more colors
Viewfinder coverage Better viewfinder coverage 96% vs 95%
Help
Almost the same
Nikon D90 Learn more about
the Nikon D90
compare again: vs

recommendations

Relative to the best recent entry-level DSLRs, and ignoring price

Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100
66 vs 71
Explain scores
Nikon D90 Nikon D90
Green arrow Snapsort recommends the Nikon D90.

Vote on which camera you think is better!

Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100 Nikon D90 Nikon D90
Green arrow Join in the discussion below!

similarities

Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
Low light performance Relatively low noise at high ISO Help
D3100: 919 ISO
D90: 977 ISO
Screen size Large screens Help
3,0″
Lens availability Many lenses available Help
169 lenses
Supports 24p 24p support Help
For that film look
Sensor type Better sensor types Help
Better in low light
Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
1/4000 of a second
Storage slots Fewer storage slots Help
1
Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
3,200 ISO
Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
Risk of blur
Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
Less flexible

competitors

Shared Competitors

Advantages

Disadvantages

Canon EOS 550D

Canon EOS 550D

Entry-level DSLR

6 142 kr – 11 897 kr body only

6 625 kr – 6 884 kr with 18-55mm lens

Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
Size Is significantly smaller
Lowest price Is much more expensive
Sensor size Has a significantly smaller sensor
Canon EOS 600D

Canon EOS 600D

Entry-level DSLR

7 349 kr – 7 549 kr body only

8 049 kr with 18-55mm lens

Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
Lowest price Is much more expensive
Thickness Is thicker
Canon EOS 1100D

Canon EOS 1100D

Entry-level DSLR

4 549 kr – 4 654 kr body only

Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
Thickness Is thicker
Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000

Entry-level DSLR

4 703 kr – 5 214 kr body only

5 783 kr – 6 229 kr with 18-105mm lens

Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
Thickness Is thicker
Canon EOS 500D

Canon EOS 500D

Entry-level DSLR

5 349 kr – 5 569 kr body only

5 598 kr – 6 090 kr with 18-55mm lens

Size Is significantly smaller
Thickness Is thinner
Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
Supports 24p Doesn’t record movies in 24p
Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000

Entry-level DSLR

9 713 kr – 10 348 kr body only

14 848 kr – 15 589 kr with 16-85mm lens

Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
Lowest price Is much more expensive
Weight Is much heavier
Canon EOS 60D

Canon EOS 60D

Pro DSLR

8 874 kr – 11 490 kr body only

11 093 kr – 12 039 kr with 17-85mm lens

Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
Lowest price Is much more expensive
Thickness Is thicker

Nikon D3100 Competitors

Advantages

Disadvantages

No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D3100.

Nikon D90 Competitors

Advantages

Disadvantages

Canon EOS 50D

Canon EOS 50D

Pro DSLR

10 619 kr – 12 178 kr body only

13 069 kr – 13 664 kr with 17-85mm lens

Continuous shooting Shoots faster
True resolution Significantly higher resolution
Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO
Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality

appearance

Nikon D3100 Nikon D90
Nikon D3100 Nikon D90
Nikon D3100 Nikon D90

Find similar cameras

discussion Which do you think is better?

Speech is free, but discussion at Snapsort is moderated! Please discuss your opinion of these cameras here, and discuss feedback for Snapsort at our support community.

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Showing 13 comments

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  • Androsce 1 week ago
    D3100 cant beat the d90 in no way i bought d3100 and i was disapointed with it…i sold it and now i am proud owner of the d90
  • Glad to hear you’re happy with the D90, we’d love to hear what specifically disappointed you about the D3100 and what you like about the D90!
  • fisrt of all i decide to upgrade my gear! i was shooting with canon 350d Rebel xt ! and i made up my mind for the new nikon d3100 and when i get it at the first time i wass happy but when i saw that lacks the options that the 350d has i was starting to disapoint because the 350 d for such an old model was at the higher category rather then d 3100! Dissadvantiges of the D3100 it lacks bracketing,i shoot HDR🙂 has no built in focus motor,the crop factor is 1.6,bad ergonomics,slo0w shutterspeed,it`s low end category the image quality i think ther is not any big differnece its simmilar to the d90! but the d90 offers many options rather the d3100! there is no battery grip for the d3100! there is no infrared! im much happier with the d90🙂
  • Somebody 3 months ago
    D3100 being lighter isn’t necessarily a good thing either. Added weight in DSLR usually brings more stability when shooting. Also a slightly bigger camera might be a bit easier (for some people) to hold on to when shooting.
  • 1080p continuous focus video, higher ISO, higher resolution, smaller & lighter……….No contest for me. Nikon 3100 is the winner hands down. Goofy review, in my opinion.
  • Continuous focus video is definitely a big improvement. 1080p over 720p I think is a subtle difference though – for most people 1080p probably just means bigger files to manage🙂

    Higher ISO by itself isn’t helpful if the image quality is worse – Snapsort is predicting the D90 will still have better image quality at higher ISOs.

    The D3100 will probably be cheaper though, and you’re right smaller and lighter!

    Higher resolution – same argument as with 1080p vs 720p, I’d go as far to say that another 1.7MP isn’t going to do anyone any good. You can make huge prints from 12MP.

  • Buying the 3100 with 55-300 mm lens makes more sesnse than the D90 for an amateur.
  • I’m getting the Nikon D 3100. Its in my price range and I have heard that the upgraded prosseser is better and will make better quality pictures then the D 90. I’m a newbie so mabey I don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s my first DLSR. So I think the Nikon D 3100 would be the best camera to learn on. Hopefully once I get the hang of using a DLSR I will be able to up grade in a few years.
  • My bad it has the new sensor. I’m not sure if thats the same as a processor ( I guess I’m thinking computer hear) Like I said I’m a newbie.
  • Hi April, check out the comparison above, it shows the Nikon D90 has a slight edge in image quality over the D3100. The D3100 is a lot cheaper though, and its just about as good (I doubt you’d notice any difference).
  • Clag77 6 days ago
    Me again…newbie🙂. There are offers here in south africa where you buy the camera and there are lenses in the set. Is it better to buy the camera on its own and go for a certain lens seperately? As i say i am a beginner, wouldnt know if the lenses in the set are up to standard.
  • Hi Clag77, I think many people just use the kit lens. The kit lenses are good all-round lenses. If you know which lenses you want, then I’d suggest skipping the kit lens to save $.
  • Clag77 6 days ago
    Hi alex.. i;m new here and would like to find out. As a beginner would u recommend the Nikon d3100 or d90. Which lens would you suggest to the camera of choice? You see, i would like to have one good buy from start off,then move on from there. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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