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 EOS Rebel T5)

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 slightly wider dynamic range (13 EV vs 11.5 EV), has a screen which flips out, has in-camera HDR, focuses automatically while shootting video (contrast detection vs none) and has a slightly longer battery life (660 shots vs 550 shots).

However, on average it records higher quality movies (1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 60fps), takes significantly lower resolution photos (16.1 MP vs 24 MP), has slightly fewer focus points (11 vs 39), is older (april, 2011 vs october, 2012) and is thicker (3.1" vs 3").

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200
1 year newer
$302 - $557 (body only)
$379 - $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: 205 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200
1 year newer
$547 - $697 (body only)
$499 - $647 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)

  • None found

common strengths of the D5200 and D5100

  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Many lenses available: 205 lenses vs 205 lenses

Canon Rebel T3i

Canon Rebel T3i
similar age
$499 - $536 (body only)
$579 - $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
  • 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: 197 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300
2 years newer
$429 - $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

  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Many lenses available: 205 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon D3100

Nikon D3100
7 months older
$234 (body only)
$374 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3100 (vs the D5100)

  • Significantly thinner: 2.9" vs 3.1"

Significant disadvantages of the D3100 (vs the D5100)

  • Much lower resolution screen: 230k dots vs 920k dots
  • Significantly worse image quality: 67.0 vs 80.0
  • Less dynamic range: 11.3 EV vs 13 EV

common strengths of the D3100 and D5100

  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Many lenses available: 205 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Inexpensive: $233.92 vs $334.09

Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300
2 years newer
$697 (body only)
$797 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 3.0"
  • 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

  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Many lenses available: 205 lenses vs 205 lenses

compared toPro DSLR competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D5100 compared to pro DSLR competitors include: it has slightly better image quality (80.0 vs 68.0), records higher quality movies (1080p @ 30fps vs none), has slightly more color depth (23.5 bits vs 22.5 bits), has slightly wider dynamic range (13 EV vs 11.7 EV) and has a screen which flips out.

However, on average it significantly smaller viewfinder (0.51x vs 0.70x), it's body is not weather sealed, doesn't shoot as fast continuously (4 fps vs 7 fps), has a lower quality type of viewfinder (pentamirror vs pentaprism) and has slightly more shutter lag (273 ms vs 131 ms).

Canon EOS 60D

Canon EOS 60D
7 months older
$699 (body only)
$899 - $1,182 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)

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

common strengths of the 60D and D5100

  • Flip-out screens
  • Many lenses available: 197 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Inexpensive: $699.00 vs $334.09

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D
1 year newer
$859 - $1,099 (body only)
$1,330 - $1,449 18-135mm lens

Significant advantages of the 70D (vs the D5100)

  • Has a touch screen
  • Much less shutter lag: 75 ms vs 273 ms
  • Weather sealed

Significant disadvantages of the 70D (vs the D5100)

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

common strengths of the 70D and D5100

  • Flip-out screens
  • Many lenses available: 197 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Focus continuously recording movies

Nikon D300

Nikon D300
3 years older
$1,700 (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: 205 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Each has a built-in flash

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS 7D
1 year older
$849 - $970 (body only)
$1,299 18-135mm lens

Significant advantages of the 7D (vs the D5100)

  • Weather sealed
  • Shoots significantly faster: 8 fps vs 4 fps
  • Significantly larger viewfinder: 0.62x vs 0.51x

Significant disadvantages of the 7D (vs the D5100)

  • Significantly worse image quality: 66.0 vs 80.0
  • Less dynamic range: 11.7 EV vs 13 EV
  • Worse color depth: 22 bits vs 23.5 bits

common strengths of the 7D and D5100

  • Many lenses available: 197 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Inexpensive: $849.00 vs $334.09
  • Each has a built-in flash

Nikon D610

Nikon D610
2 years newer
$1,399 - $1,497 (body only)
$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: 152 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Larger: Professional size 141x113x82 mm vs Prosumer size 127x96x78 mm

common strengths of the D610 and D5100

  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Inexpensive: $1,199.95 vs $334.09
  • Each has a built-in flash

Nikon D700

Nikon D700
2 years older
$3,926 (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
  • Screen does not flip out

common strengths of the D700 and D5100

  • Each has a built-in flash