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 D3300) and Canon (such as the Rebel T3i and the EOS Rebel T6i)

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 is much less noisy at high ISO (1,183 ISO vs 1,131 ISO), has much better image quality (80.0 vs 65.0), has much more color depth (23.5 bits vs 22.1 bits), has much wider dynamic range (13.6 EV vs 11.5 EV) and has much less startup delay (500 ms vs 1500 ms).

However, on average it records higher quality movies (1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 60fps), has a slightly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), has a slightly lower resolution screen (920k dots vs 1,037k dots), takes much lower resolution photos (16.1 MP vs 24 MP) and has much more shutter lag (273 ms vs 200 ms).

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200
1 year newer
$269 (body only)
$419 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3200 (vs the D5100)

  • Better color depth: 24.1 bits vs 23.5 bits
  • Much better image quality: 81.0 vs 80.0
  • Much higher true resolution: 24.1 MP vs 16.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D3200 (vs the D5100)

  • Less dynamic range: 13.2 EV vs 13.6 EV
  • Lacks in-camera HDR
  • Screen does not flip out

common strengths of the D3200 and D5100

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 1,131 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300
2 years newer
$405 (body only)
$349 - $397 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3300 (vs the D5100)

  • Better color depth: 24.3 bits vs 23.5 bits
  • Much better image quality: 82.0 vs 80.0
  • Higher frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps

Significant disadvantages of the D3300 (vs the D5100)

  • Less dynamic range: 13.2 EV vs 13.6 EV
  • Lacks in-camera HDR
  • Screen does not flip out

common strengths of the D3300 and D5100

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 1,385 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses

Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300
2 years newer
$445 - $597 (body only)
$519 - $529 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5300 (vs the D5100)

  • Better color depth: 24 bits vs 23.5 bits
  • Much better image quality: 83.0 vs 80.0
  • More dynamic range: 13.9 EV vs 13.6 EV

Significant disadvantages of the D5300 (vs the D5100)

  • None found

common strengths of the D5300 and D5100

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 1,338 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies

Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600
5 years newer
$529 - $647 (body only)
$629 - $797 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5600 (vs the D5100)

  • Higher frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Much less startup delay: 200 ms vs 500 ms
  • Much less shutter lag: 111 ms vs 273 ms

Significant disadvantages of the D5600 (vs the D5100)

  • None found

common strengths of the D5600 and D5100

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

Canon Rebel T3i

Canon Rebel T3i
similar age
$499 (body only)
$752 18-135mm lens

Significant advantages of the T3i (vs the D5100)

  • Significantly higher resolution screen: 1,040k dots vs 920k dots

Significant disadvantages of the T3i (vs the D5100)

  • Much more noise at high ISO: 793 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Much worse image quality: 65.0 vs 80.0
  • Less dynamic range: 11.5 EV vs 13.6 EV

common strengths of the T3i and D5100

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

Nikon D3400

Nikon D3400
5 years newer
$300 (body only)
$359 - $397 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3400 (vs the D5100)

  • Higher frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 16.1 MP
  • Significantly longer battery life: 1200 shots vs 660 shots

Significant disadvantages of the D3400 (vs the D5100)

  • Lacks an external mic jack
  • Screen does not flip out

common strengths of the D3400 and D5100

  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Inexpensive: $299.99 vs $419.99

compared toPro DSLR competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D5100 compared to pro DSLR competitors include: it has slightly more color depth (23.5 bits vs 22.5 bits), has a screen which flips out, has in-camera HDR, can focus continuously while recording movies and is slightly smaller (prosumer size (127×97×79 mm) vs professional size (141×113×82 mm)).

However, on average it is much more noisy at high ISO (1,183 ISO vs 2,925 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 6.5 fps).

Canon EOS 60D

Canon EOS 60D
7 months older
$699 (body only)
$1,223 18-135mm lens

Significant advantages of the 60D (vs the D5100)

  • Has a pentaprism viewfinder: Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
  • Much faster max shutter speed: 1/8000 of a second vs 1/4000 of a second

Significant disadvantages of the 60D (vs the D5100)

  • Much more noise at high ISO: 813 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Significantly worse image quality: 66.0 vs 80.0
  • Worse color depth: 22.2 bits vs 23.5 bits

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
$750 (body only)
$800 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the 70D (vs the D5100)

  • Weather sealed
  • Has a pentaprism viewfinder: Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
  • Has a touch screen

Significant disadvantages of the 70D (vs the D5100)

  • Much more noise at high ISO: 926 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Significantly worse image quality: 68.0 vs 80.0
  • Worse color depth: 22.5 bits vs 23.5 bits

common strengths of the 70D and D5100

  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Many lenses available: 220 lenses vs 230 lenses

Nikon D300

Nikon D300
3 years older
$1,299 (body only)
$1,499 18-135mm lens

Significant advantages of the D300 (vs the D5100)

  • Weather sealed
  • Has a pentaprism viewfinder: Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
  • Larger viewfinder: 0.62x vs 0.51x

Significant disadvantages of the D300 (vs the D5100)

  • Much more noise at high ISO: 679 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Significantly worse image quality: 67.0 vs 80.0
  • Worse color depth: 22.1 bits vs 23.5 bits

common strengths of the D300 and D5100

  • Good dynamic range: 12 EV vs 13.6 EV
  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Fairly small: Professional size (147×114×74 mm) vs Prosumer size (127×97×79 mm)

Nikon D300S

Nikon D300S
1 year older
$1,286 (body only)
$1,899 18-200mm lens

Significant advantages of the D300S (vs the D5100)

  • Weather sealed
  • Has a pentaprism viewfinder: Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
  • Larger viewfinder: 0.62x vs 0.51x

Significant disadvantages of the D300S (vs the D5100)

  • Much more noise at high ISO: 787 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Worse image quality: 70.0 vs 80.0
  • Worse color depth: 22.5 bits vs 23.5 bits

common strengths of the D300S and D5100

  • Good dynamic range: 12.2 EV vs 13.6 EV
  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Fairly small: Professional size (147×114×74 mm) vs Prosumer size (127×97×79 mm)

Nikon D610

Nikon D610
2 years newer
$1,199 - $1,497 (body only)
$1,900 - $2,447 28-300mm lens

Significant advantages of the D610 (vs the D5100)

  • Much lower noise at high ISO: 2,925 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Significantly better image quality: 94.0 vs 80.0
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"

Significant disadvantages of the D610 (vs the D5100)

  • Screen does not flip out
  • Fewer lenses available: 171 lenses vs 230 lenses

common strengths of the D610 and D5100

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 2,925 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Good image quality: 94.0 vs 80.0
  • Good color depth: 25.1 bits vs 23.5 bits

Nikon D750

Nikon D750
3 years newer
$1,376 - $1,497 (body only)
$1,956 - $1,997 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
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"

Significant disadvantages of the D750 (vs the D5100)

  • Fewer lenses available: 171 lenses vs 230 lenses

common strengths of the D750 and D5100

  • Very low noise at high ISO: 2,956 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Good image quality: 93.0 vs 80.0
  • Good color depth: 24.8 bits vs 23.5 bits