As well as being compared against other entry-level DSLRs, the Nikon D5100 is also often compared to pro DSLRs. The Nikon D5100's top rivals come from Nikon (such as the D3200 and the D5200) and Canon (such as the Rebel T3i and the Rebel T5i)

Competitor classes

compared toEntry-level DSLR competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D5100 compared to other entry-level DSLR competitors include: it records higher quality movies (1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps), has a screen which flips out, has in-camera HDR, can focus continuously while recording movies and focuses automatically while shootting video (contrast detection vs none).

However, on average it slightly smaller viewfinder (0.51x vs 0.55x), takes significantly lower resolution photos (16.1 MP vs 24 MP), has slightly fewer focus points (11 vs 39), is older (april 2011 vs march 2012) and is less popular.

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200
1 year newer
$289 (body only)
$447 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3200 (vs the D5100)

  • Much higher true resolution: 24.1 MP vs 16.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D3200 (vs the D5100)

  • Lacks in-camera HDR
  • Screen does not flip out

common strengths of the D3200 and D5100

  • Good image quality: 81.0 vs 80.0
  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses

Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200
1 year newer
$413 - $497 (body only)
$489 - $550 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5200 (vs the D5100)

  • Higher frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 16.1 MP
  • Significantly more focus points: 39 vs 11

Significant disadvantages of the D5200 (vs the D5100)

  • None found

common strengths of the D5200 and D5100

  • Good image quality: 84.0 vs 80.0
  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies

Canon Rebel T3i

Canon Rebel T3i
similar age
$479 (body only)
$550 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the T3i (vs the D5100)

  • None found

Significant disadvantages of the T3i (vs the D5100)

  • Significantly more noise at high ISO: 793 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Significantly worse image quality: 65.0 vs 80.0
  • Less dynamic range: 11.5 EV vs 13 EV

common strengths of the T3i and D5100

  • Flip-out screens
  • Many lenses available: 220 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300
2 years newer
$430 - $497 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3300 (vs the D5100)

  • Higher frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Much higher true resolution: 24.2 MP vs 16.1 MP
  • Can create panoramas in-camera

Significant disadvantages of the D3300 (vs the D5100)

  • Lacks in-camera HDR
  • Screen does not flip out

common strengths of the D3300 and D5100

  • Good image quality: 82.0 vs 80.0
  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses

Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300
2 years newer
$647 (body only)
$578 - $747 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5300 (vs the D5100)

  • Higher frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 16.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D5300 (vs the D5100)

  • None found

common strengths of the D5300 and D5100

  • Good image quality: 83.0 vs 80.0
  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies

Nikon D90

Nikon D90
2 years older
$677 (body only)
$974 55-300mm lens

Significant advantages of the D90 (vs the D5100)

  • Much larger viewfinder: 0.63x vs 0.51x
  • Less shutter lag: 208 ms vs 273 ms
  • Has a built-in focus motor

Significant disadvantages of the D90 (vs the D5100)

  • Lower resolution movies: 720p @ 24fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Lacks video autofocus: None vs Contrast detection
  • Lacks in-camera HDR

common strengths of the D90 and D5100

  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses

compared toPro DSLR competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D5100 compared to pro DSLR competitors include: it records higher quality movies (1080p @ 30fps vs none), has slightly wider dynamic range (13 EV vs 12 EV), has a screen which flips out, has in-camera HDR and can focus continuously while recording movies.

However, on average it is slightly more noisy at high ISO (1,183 ISO vs 2,303 ISO), has a slightly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), significantly smaller viewfinder (0.51x vs 0.70x), it's body is not weather sealed and doesn't shoot as fast continuously (4 fps vs 6 fps).

Canon EOS 60D

Canon EOS 60D
7 months older
$724 (body only)
$929 18-135mm lens

Significant advantages of the 60D (vs the D5100)

  • Much faster max shutter speed: 1/8000 of a second vs 1/4000 of a second

Significant disadvantages of the 60D (vs the D5100)

  • Less dynamic range: 11.5 EV vs 13 EV
  • Significantly worse image quality: 66.0 vs 80.0
  • Lacks in-camera HDR

common strengths of the 60D and D5100

  • Flip-out screens
  • Many lenses available: 220 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Fairly small: Professional size (145×106×79 mm) vs Prosumer size (127×97×79 mm)

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D
1 year newer
$849 - $999 (body only)
$919 - $1,099 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the 70D (vs the D5100)

  • Much less shutter lag: 75 ms vs 273 ms
  • Has a touch screen
  • Faster video autofocus: Phase detection vs Contrast detection

Significant disadvantages of the 70D (vs the D5100)

  • Less dynamic range: 11.6 EV vs 13 EV
  • Worse image quality: 68.0 vs 80.0

common strengths of the 70D and D5100

  • Flip-out screens
  • Many lenses available: 220 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Fairly small: Professional size (145×106×79 mm) vs Prosumer size (127×97×79 mm)

Nikon D300

Nikon D300
3 years older
$1,649 (body only)
$1,999 18-135mm lens

Significant advantages of the D300 (vs the D5100)

  • Weather sealed
  • Significantly larger viewfinder: 0.62x vs 0.51x
  • Significantly more focus points: 51 vs 11

Significant disadvantages of the D300 (vs the D5100)

  • Does not take movies: None vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Significantly worse image quality: 67.0 vs 80.0
  • Lacks in-camera HDR

common strengths of the D300 and D5100

  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Inexpensive: $1,648.89 vs $368.00
  • Each has a built-in flash

Nikon D610

Nikon D610
2 years newer
$1,295 - $1,497 (body only)
$1,649 - $1,997 24-85mm lens

Significant advantages of the D610 (vs the D5100)

  • Much lower noise at high ISO: 2,980 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Significantly better image quality: 94.0 vs 80.0
  • Much larger viewfinder: 0.70x vs 0.51x

Significant disadvantages of the D610 (vs the D5100)

  • Screen does not flip out
  • Significantly fewer lenses available: 171 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Larger: Professional size (141×113×82 mm) vs Prosumer size (127×97×79 mm)

common strengths of the D610 and D5100

  • Inexpensive: $1,294.95 vs $368.00
  • Light weight: 760 g vs 560 g
  • Each has a built-in flash

Nikon D750

Nikon D750
3 years newer
$1,997 (body only)
$2,697 24-120mm lens

Significant advantages of the D750 (vs the D5100)

  • Much lower noise at high ISO: 2,956 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Significantly better image quality: 93.0 vs 80.0
  • Much larger viewfinder: 0.70x vs 0.51x

Significant disadvantages of the D750 (vs the D5100)

  • Significantly fewer lenses available: 171 lenses vs 230 lenses

common strengths of the D750 and D5100

  • Flip-out screens
  • Light weight: 750 g vs 560 g
  • Each has a built-in flash

Nikon D700

Nikon D700
2 years older
$3,771 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D700 (vs the D5100)

  • Significantly lower noise at high ISO: 2,303 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Much larger viewfinder: 0.72x vs 0.51x
  • Weather sealed

Significant disadvantages of the D700 (vs the D5100)

  • Does not take movies: None vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Lacks in-camera HDR
  • Lacks video autofocus: None vs Contrast detection

common strengths of the D700 and D5100

  • Each has a built-in flash