Canon SL1 vs. Nikon D3300

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Photography is a very popular hobby despite costing a hefty amount of money because of the gears and accessories that are needed. This is the reason why there are DSLR cameras that are budget-friendly and are highly recommended for beginners. If you need to choose one between the Canon SL1 vs. Nikon D3300, which one is better?

The two most popular DSLR cameras for those who are new to the world of photography are the Canon SL1 and the Nikon D3300. They are tried and tested, and they both deliver amazing image quality and performance.

Canon SL1 vs. Nikon D3300 General Overview

The Canon SL1 is the smallest DSLR in the market. It is equipped with an APS-C CMOS sensor and it boasts of great image quality as well as numerous functionalities.

High-quality Nikon camera on yellow background

The Nikon D3300 is a portable DSLR camera with several qualities squeezed in its small body, and it can also deliver amazing image quality and high-quality performance. Let us take a deep dive on what each DSLR camera can offer.

Canon SL1

The Canon SL1 is an amazing entry-level DSLR camera that is equipped with a great 18MP sensor, a fast autofocus system, continuous shooting capabilities, and impressive video shooting capabilities in its portable and small body. Aside from that, it is budget-friendly and it is a great stepping stone to the more advanced DSLR models. This camera is good for beginners just like Canon T31.

On the rear of the DSLR, you will see a 3-inch LCD touchscreen 1040k-dot panel. The touchscreen is fixed, and it is sharp and the colors are crisp. You can adjust the settings and the focus point of the camera via the screen.

On top of that, the camera’s Live View mode is accurate. You can also attach an external flash to this camera if you don’t have much proper lighting.

Nikon D3300

The Nikon D3300 has a lot of amazing qualities, it has a great CMOS DX sensor, excellent autofocus mode, great continuous shooting, incredible display, ISO range, viewfinder, simple controls, video shooting capabilities and a lot more. This is why the DSLR camera is very popular among professional photographers and beginners.

The DSLR camera has a sturdy build quality thanks to its polycarbonate construction. It is durable and light. On the rear, you will see a 3-inch LCD screen that is not touchscreen.

It gives a great preview of your images as it is colorful and bright. The optical viewfinder delivers a 95% field of view and it is accurate and clear.

Canon SL1 vs. Nikon D3300

When it comes to entry-level DSLRs, the Canon SL1 and the Nikon D3300 are the most popular ones. Both of the cameras have great quality, incredible performance, and are filled with features that can help you get the results that you want.

Before choosing the DSLR camera for your photography journey, it is best to know what makes the Canon SL1 and Nikon D3300 different from each other, and what type of features they share.


The Canon SL1 and the Nikon D3300 may be from different brands, yet there are features that they share. The features are a standard for entry-level DSLR cameras to ensure that you get high quality images.


Both the Canon SL1 and the Nikon D3300 have a fast and quiet autofocus feature that is great for taking pictures of live images such as animals and insects. Features like this are almost the same with wide angles and telephoto when it comes in quiet and autofocus zoom.

Canon camera on white background

The autofocus feature of the cameras does not produce any noise, so you can take images discreetly.


The Canon SL1 and the Nikon D3300 are both compact and lightweight. They are both easy to carry around and they can be used for travelling.

The DSLR cameras are also easy to store, and they both come with their own pouches where you can safely store them.


Since the Canon SL1 and the Nikon D3300 are from different manufacturers, which means that there are certain features that you can find in the Canon DSLR that the Nikon DSLR does not have, and vice versa.


The resolution of the Canon SL1 is 17.9 megapixel while the resolution of the Nikon D3300 is 24.2 megapixel. This means that the Nikon D3300 produces a much clearer image compared to the Canon SL1.

If you are a professional photographer and are looking for a compact DSLR camera, the resolution of the Nikon D3300 suits you better.

LCD Screen

The Canon SL1 has a fixed screen. This means that you can’t flip and switch it, and you will need to find the angles by foot to change your perspective.

Meanwhile, the Nikon D3300 may not have a touchscreen LCD screen, yet it can be flipped if you need to change the angles so you can get a better shot.

Major Distinguishing Factor

The major distinguishing factor between the Canon SL1 and the Nikon D3300 is the resolution. Although both of them produce amazing image quality, the Canon SL1 has a lower resolution compared to the Nikon D3300.

The Canon SL1 can produce images that are clear, yet it could show distortion if the camera is not angled right. The Nikon D3300 has better glass elements, which removes unwanted effects, thus the images are sharper.

Man holding a Nikon camera

When to Use Canon SL1

The Canon SL1 is an entry-level camera that is better suited for beginners and those that are into photography as a hobby. It has the basic features that allows you to practice your style and angles and is a great camera to use when you are starting with your photography journey.

The following are the genres that you can use the Canon SL1 camera for:

  • Travel photography
  • Product photography
  • Portrait photography

When to Use Nikon D3300

The Nikon D3300 may be an entry-level DSLR camera, yet it can be used by professional photographers. It has sharp pixels, glass elements and better ISO range so it can be used in more genres.

The following are the genres that you can use the Nikon D3300 camera for:

  • Landscape photography
  • Events photography
  • Nature photography

Final Verdict

The Canon SL1 vs. the Nikon D3300 debate does not have an easy answer. The Canon SL1 is lightweight and compact and it can deliver great image quality and it has a lot of controls that will teach you photography techniques.

The Nikon D3300 has a larger sensor and the pixel count is higher. It is also easy to use. When looking for an entry-level DSLR, think about what you need to know which one to choose.

Kaitlin Cooper is an active professional wedding and portrait photographer in San Diego, California at Kaitlin Cooper Photography. She is also a contributor to many large publications, including Bridal GuideBustlePixpaWith Joy, and Hello Giggles.