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By Mike Collins and Jonas Bugatsch

March 4th 2003

With the recent introduction of the Canon EOS D60 D-SLR replacement, the Canon EOS 10D, there are undoubtedly a number of photographers who are wondering how this new camera compares to one of its main competitors, the Nikon D100. (The other of note is the Fuji S2 Pro D-SLR)

For many first time buyers the decision will be between the new Canon EOS 10D and the Nikon D100. Clearly existing owners of Canon or Nikon equipment will have a strong predetermined brand preference, just as was the case when the Canon EOS D60 was on the market.

To assist in the decision making process, we have completed a brief overview of the Nikon D100 compared to the Canon EOS 10D. Below are some of our personal observations on the advantages of each camera.


Nikon D100

Canon EOS 10D




Body construction

Polycarbonate and rubber outer body with internal metal chassis

Magnesium Alloy Body

Effective CCD Resolution

6.1 MP

6.3 MP

Focal Multiplier

1.5 x

1.6 x

Lens mount

Nikon F mount

Canon EF mount

Lens compatibility

DX 12-24mm F4G AF-S
D-type/G-type AF Nikkor: All functions possible.
D-type Manual-Focus Nikkor: All functions except AF possible.
AF Nikkor other than D-type/G-type: all functions possible except 3D Matrix metering.
AI-P Nikkor: All functions except 3D Matrix and AF.

Canon EF lenses

RAW resolution

3034 x 2024

3072 x 2048

Image sizes

3008 x 2000 (L), 2240 x 1488 (M), 1504 x 1000 (S) Thumbnail 160 x 120, variable compression settings

2048 x 1360, 1536 x 1024, variable compression settings

Continuous frame rate

3 fps max 6 frames JPEG, 4 frames RAW (NEF)

3 fps max 9 frames (RAW or JPEG)

Colour space
  • sRGB #1 (Skin tone) and #2   (more green for landscapes)
  • Adobe RGB
  • Colour adjustment available +/-   3 steps for each setting
  • sRGB
  • Adobe RGB
  • 3 custom parameters can be set
  • Image processing parameters

    Image sharpening (auto, norm, low, high, none) Tone Compensation (auto, normal, less contrast, more contrast, custom) Hue adjustment ( -3 to +3 in 1 increments for each parameter

    The user can create and register up to 3 sets of parameters (contrast, sharpness, color saturation, color tone) +/-2 settings in 1 step increments for each parameter

    ISO sensitivity

    ISO 200-1600 Hi-1 (3200 ISO), Hi-2 (6400 ISO)

    ISO 100-3200 Hi

    Image modes



    Exposure modes

    P, A, S, M and P*

    P, A, S, M and P* 6 scene modes (new ‘Flash Off’ scene mode), Auto DEP

    White Balance

    Auto, Manual, Preset, 6 modes (Lamp, Fluorescent, Sunny, Speedlight, Cloudy, Shade)
    WB bracketing

    Auto, Manual, Preset, 5 modes (Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash),
    WB bracketing,
    Custom color temperature (Kelvin): settings selectable from 2800K to 10000K in 100K increments.

    AF areas
    • One of five focus areas can be selected.
    • Single area AF
    • Dynamic AF (Dynamic AF mode with closest subject priority is available)
    • Active AF area shown in viewfinder
    • TTL phase detection (EV –1 to 19)
    • 7 AF points automatic or manually selectable or home position (preset)
    • Active AF area superimposed in viewfinder
    • TTL phase detection (EV .5 to 18)
    AF modes
    • Single Servo AF
    • Continuous Servo AF
    • Manual Focus
    • One Shot AF
    • Predictive AI Servo
    • One Shot/Predictive (auto)
    • Manual
    AF Assist Illuminator Lamp


    No (Strobe from flash instead)

  • 10 segment 3D Matrix metering
  • Center Weighted Average
  • Spot
  • Evaluative metering (35 zone)
  • Center Weighted Average
  • Partial at center (Approx. 9% at center)
  • Auto bracketing

    2, 3 frames +/-2 EV (1/3 to 1 step)

    +/-2 EV (1/2 or 1/3 stop)

    Exposure compensation

    Exposure compensation range +/- 5EV in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps

    Exposure compensation range +/- 2EV in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps

    Shutter speeds

    30 to 1/4000 sec and Bulb

    30 to 1/4000 sec and Bulb

    Flash sync

    Up to 1/180 sec

    Up to 1/200 sec

    Flash control

    5 segment D-TTL with built in or external speedlights. 3D multi balanced fill flash, Red eye reduction, slow sync, front and rear sync, Red eye reduction + slow sync

    E-TTL with built in or external EX Speedlite. Red eye reduction, slow sync, front and rear sync, Red eye reduction + slow sync, HS flash

    Pop Up Flash

    Guide number 12 (ISO 100/m)

    Guide number 13 (ISO 100/m)

    Flash compensation

    -3 to +3 EV (1/2, 1/3 steps)

    -2 to +2 EV (1/2, 1/3 steps)

    Noise reduction



    LCD viewfinder

    1.8 inch (120,000 pixels) with white LED backlight, screen brightness adjustable 5 steps

    1.8 inch (118,000 pixels), 5 step brightness adjustment

    Optical viewfinder

    Frame coverage Approx. 95% (with 50mm lens) Dioptre –2 to +1

    Frame coverage Approx. 95% (with 50mm lens) Dioptre –3 to +1

    Sync terminal

    AS-15 adapter on hotshoe

    Yes, on camera

    Self timer

    2, 5, 10 (default) or 20 seconds

    10 sec


    CompactFlash Type I and II

    CompactFlash Type I and II

    Custom settings

    28 custom functions

    17 custom functions (61 settings)

    Voice memo

    Yes with optional MB-D100 grip


    Comment input

    Possible to select and input alphabet/numeral data (max 36 characters) using multi-selector


    Video output



    Remote control

    10 pin remote terminal on optional MB-D100 grip,

    N3 type remote control terminal on body


    Nikon EN-EL3 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (1400 mAh) and charger included, or 6 x AA using optional MB-D100 vertical grip. (One or two EN-EL3 Lio-Ion batteries can be used in the grip)

    BP511 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery (1100 mAh) and CB-5L charger (single battery) included. (One or two BP-511 Lio-Ion batteries can be used in the optional vertical grip)


    NikonView 6 , Foto Station 4.5, Optional Nikon Capture 3.5 software for RAW support, remote capture (30 day trial supplied on CD)

    ZoomBrowser EX (RAW support incl.), RemoteCapture, Adobe Photoshop Elements

    Printer support

    Exif 2.2/DCF format, DPOF

    Direct printing from the camera with Canon printers, Exif 2.2/DCF

    Weight w/o battery

    700 g

    790 g


    (5.7 x 4.6 x 3.2 in)

    (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)


    Memory Bank 1 and 2, Pixel defect adjustment (Through service centre), Grid outlines available in viewfinder (architecture etc.), Slide show, Histogram, Highlight point display, Illuminated top LCD, Active AF point highlighted in viewfinder

    Slide show, Pixel defect adjustment (Through service center), Histogram, Illuminated top LCD, Active AF point highlighted in viewfinder, Intelligent Orientation Sensor, DIGIC Processor Technology

    Accessory grip

    MB-D100 with microphone and speaker, vertical release, AE/AF-lock, main and sub command dials (exposure + other functions.) 10 pin remote connection, uses 6 x AA or can use 1 or 2 EN-EL3 batteries

    BG-ED3 provides vertical release, command wheel on the front and AE/AF-lock and focus point buttons on the back. Use on or two BP511 Lithium-Ion batteries

    Main advantages of Nikon D100

    • Nikkor DX lens format offers extra wide-angle coverage
      Nikkor DX 12-24mm F4G AF-S on the D100 offers equivalent to 18-36mm coverage in 35mm equivalent versus Canon EF 17-40mm F4 USM on the EOS 10D which offers the 35mm format equivalent of a 27mm - 64mm coverage

    • AF Assist Lamp (Light) versus EOS 10D using strobeflash (you have to pop-up the flash to activate the AF assist)
    • 2 saveable custom menu settings for individual shooting preference (Bank A and Bank B)
    • Autofocus from –1EV to 19EV compared to .5 to 18EV with 10D
    • 4 image processing parameters compared to 3 on the Canon 10D.
    • Extended lens compatibility including manual focus Nikkor lenses (AI-P and D type)
    • Exposure compensation range +/- 5EV versus +/- 2EV on 10D
    • Grid outlines available in D100 viewfinder (to assist in architectural composition etc.)
    • 28 custom settings versus 17 on the 10D
    • TIFF recording option (not available on 10D)
    • AA battery versatility with optional MB-D100 grip
    • Voice annotation with microphone and speaker playback using optional MB-D100 grip
    • Conventional inexpensive cable release compatibility with thread on shutter release
    • Variable self timer settings versus fixed 10 sec on 10D
    • D100 12% lighter

    Main advantages of Canon EOS 10D

    • Magnesium Alloy Body
    • New 7 point AF system and Vertical Orientation Sensor (Images captured in horizontal or vertical format will be correctly displayed when viewed on the LCD or on an external monitor/TV screen)
    • Slightly higher resolution with 6.3 effective megapixels versus 6.1 effective megapixels on D100 (maximum file size 3072 x 2048 on 10D, 3034 x 2024 on D100)

    • 10D burst rate of 3 fps maximum 9 frames (RAW or JPEG)
    • More powerful internal flash with a guide number of 13 at ISO 100 versus a guide number of 12 with D100
    • New Custom Color Temperature WB (settings selectable from 2800K to 10000K in 100K increments)
    • ISO sensitivity down to ISO 100 compared to ISO 200 on D100
    • 6 program scene modes (Portrait, Landscape, Close-Up, Sports, Night-Scene, Flash Off) and Depth-of-field AE (A-DEP mode)

    • PC flash sync on the camera body versus using A-15 adapter on hotshoe with the D100

    • N3 type remote control terminal on the 10D body compared to on the optional Nikon MB-D100 grip

    We recommend the Short Course companion guides to the 10D and the D100 by Dennis Curtin. Click on the book covers above for more details.

    Looking at the specifications above, it can be seen that there are a number of advantages for each camera. Which camera to buy is a personal choice and depends on a number of factors. We recommend that you look at what is important to you. (Ultimately, there really is no way to make the wrong decision.)

    If you already have a range of Nikon or Canon lenses, as said before, the choice should be that much simpler.

    We are sure that either camera will offer excellent image quality (the Nikon D100 being a proven unit, and early indications are that the Canon EOS 10D will likewise offer excellent performance in terms of image quality).

    Short Courses in Digital Photography


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