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 D3300 and the D3200) 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 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 records higher quality movies (1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 60fps), has a slightly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), takes much lower resolution photos (16.1 MP vs 24 MP), lacks built-in panoramas and has slightly more shutter lag (273 ms vs 201 ms).

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300
2 years newer
$294 (body only)
$400 - $447 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3300 (vs the D5100)

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

Significant disadvantages of the D3300 (vs the D5100)

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

common strengths of the D3300 and D5100

  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200
1 year newer
$249 (body only)
$299 - $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

  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200
1 year newer
$324 (body only)
$400 - $500 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
  • Many more focus points: 39 vs 11

Significant disadvantages of the D5200 (vs the D5100)

  • More shutter lag: 302 ms vs 273 ms

common strengths of the D5200 and D5100

  • Good dynamic range: 13.9 EV vs 13.6 EV
  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies

Nikon D5500

Nikon D5500
3 years newer
$544 - $747 (body only)
$599 - $847 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5500 (vs the D5100)

  • Significantly lower noise at high ISO: 1,438 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Higher frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Significantly larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"

Significant disadvantages of the D5500 (vs the D5100)

  • None found

common strengths of the D5500 and D5100

  • Good dynamic range: 14 EV vs 13.6 EV
  • Flip-out screens
  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses

Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300
2 years newer
$407 - $497 (body only)
$515 - $597 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 dynamic range: 13.9 EV vs 13.6 EV
  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies

Canon Rebel T3i

Canon Rebel T3i
similar age
$687 (body only)
$599 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
  • 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

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 significantly wider dynamic range (13.6 EV vs 11.6 EV), has a slightly larger screen (3" vs 2"), lets you preview your photos on the screen and has a screen which flips out.

However, on average it is slightly more noisy at high ISO (1,183 ISO vs 2,925 ISO), significantly smaller viewfinder (0.51x vs 0.70x), it's body is not weather sealed, doesn't shoot as fast continuously (4 fps vs 6 fps) and has a lower quality type of viewfinder (pentamirror vs pentaprism).

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D
1 year newer
$756 - $999 (body only)
$839 - $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 13.6 EV
  • 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

  • Both shoot high resolution HD movies: 1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Flip-out screens
  • Many lenses available: 220 lenses vs 230 lenses

Nikon D750

Nikon D750
3 years newer
$1,560 - $1,997 (body only)
$2,108 - $2,297 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 screen: 3.2" vs 3"

Significant disadvantages of the D750 (vs the D5100)

  • Significantly fewer lenses available: 171 lenses vs 230 lenses

common strengths of the D750 and D5100

  • Full HD (1080p) video: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies

Canon EOS 60D

Canon EOS 60D
7 months older
$669 (body only)
$980 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)

  • Less dynamic range: 11.5 EV vs 13.6 EV
  • 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

  • Both shoot high resolution HD movies: 1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Flip-out screens
  • Many lenses available: 220 lenses vs 230 lenses

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II
6 years older

Significant advantages of the EOS-1Ds Mark II (vs the D5100)

  • Much larger viewfinder: 0.70x vs 0.51x
  • Has a pentaprism viewfinder: Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
  • Much better viewfinder coverage: 100% vs 95%

Significant disadvantages of the EOS-1Ds Mark II (vs the D5100)

  • Much smaller screen: 2" vs 3"
  • Does not take movies: None vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Less dynamic range: 11.3 EV vs 13.6 EV

common strengths of the EOS-1Ds Mark II and D5100

  • None found

Nikon D300

Nikon D300
3 years older
$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 cross-type focus points: 15 vs 1

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
  • Worse color depth: 22.1 bits vs 23.5 bits

common strengths of the D300 and D5100

  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Fairly small: Professional size (147×114×74 mm) vs Prosumer size (127×97×79 mm)
  • Inexpensive: $1,999.00 vs $289.95

Nikon D610

Nikon D610
2 years newer
$1,111 - $1,497 (body only)
$1,561 - $1,897 24-85mm 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
  • Much larger screen: 3.2" vs 3"

Significant disadvantages of the D610 (vs the D5100)

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

common strengths of the D610 and D5100

  • Both shoot high resolution HD movies: 1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Inexpensive: $1,111.00 vs $289.95