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 60D)

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 better image quality (80.0 vs 73.0), records higher quality movies (1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps), has slightly wider dynamic range (13 EV vs 11.5 EV), has a screen which flips out and has a marginally larger sensor (APS-C 23.6x15.6mm vs APS-C 23.2x15.4mm).

However, on average it takes slightly lower resolution photos (16.1 MP vs 24.1 MP) and doesn't have a built-in focus motor.

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200
1 year newer
$497 - $580 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3200 (vs the D5100)

  • Much higher true resolution: 24.2 MP vs 16.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the D3200 (vs the D5100)

  • Lacks in-camera HDR
  • Screen does not flip out
  • Worse boost ISO: 12,800 ISO vs 25,600 ISO

common strengths of the D3200 and D5100

  • Good image quality: 81.0 vs 80.0
  • Minimal startup delay: 400 ms vs 500 ms
  • Many lenses available: 205 lenses vs 205 lenses
arrow Compare the D3200 vs the D5100

Canon Rebel T3i

Canon Rebel T3i
similar age
$499 - $749 (body only)
$550 - $600 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the T3i (vs the D5100)

  • Has a built-in focus motor

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
  • Inexpensive: $439.95 vs $436.95
arrow Compare the Canon Rebel T3i vs the Nikon D5100

Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200
1 year newer
$647 (body only)
$747 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5200 (vs the D5100)

  • Lower frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Much higher true resolution: 24.1 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

  • Relatively low noise at high ISO: 1,284 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Good image quality: 84.0 vs 80.0
  • Minimal startup delay: 500 ms vs 500 ms
arrow Compare the D5200 vs the D5100

Nikon D3100

Nikon D3100
7 months older
$384 - $430 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3100 (vs the D5100)

  • Thinner: 2.9" vs 3.1"

Significant disadvantages of the D3100 (vs the D5100)

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

common strengths of the D3100 and D5100

  • Minimal startup delay: 400 ms vs 500 ms
  • Many lenses available: 205 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Focus continuously recording movies
arrow Compare the D3100 vs the D5100

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300
2 years newer
$636 - $647 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3300 (vs the D5100)

  • Lower 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)

  • Screen does not flip out

common strengths of the D3300 and D5100

  • Relatively low noise at high ISO: 1,385 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Good image quality: 82.0 vs 80.0
  • Many lenses available: 205 lenses vs 205 lenses
arrow Compare the D3300 vs the D5100

Nikon D90

Nikon D90
2 years older
$600 - $700 (body only)
$830 - $850 18-105mm lens

Significant advantages of the D90 (vs the D5100)

  • Significantly larger viewfinder: 0.63x vs 0.51x
  • Has a built-in focus motor

Significant disadvantages of the D90 (vs the D5100)

  • Lower resolution movies: 720p @ 24fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Lacks in-camera HDR
  • Lacks an external mic jack

common strengths of the D90 and D5100

  • Minimal startup delay: 300 ms vs 500 ms
  • Many lenses available: 205 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Large sensors: APS-C 23.6x15.8mm vs APS-C 23.6x15.6mm
arrow Compare the D90 vs the D5100

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), doesn't have a touch screen, it's body is not weather sealed, doesn't shoot as fast continuously (4 fps vs 7 fps) and has a marginally smaller sensor (APS-C 23.6x15.6mm vs full frame 36.0x23.9mm).

Canon EOS 60D

Canon EOS 60D
7 months older
$699 - $871 (body only)
$999 - $1,052 18-135mm lens

Significant advantages of the 60D (vs the D5100)

  • Weather sealed
  • Has a built-in focus motor
  • 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
  • Fairly small: Professional size 145x106x79 mm vs Prosumer size 127x96x78 mm
arrow Compare the Canon EOS 60D vs the Nikon D5100

Nikon D300

Nikon D300
3 years older
$1,700 (body only)

Significant advantages of the D300 (vs the D5100)

  • Weather sealed
  • Many more focus points: 51 vs 11
  • Larger viewfinder: 0.62x vs 0.51x

Significant disadvantages of the D300 (vs the D5100)

  • Significantly worse image quality: 67.0 vs 80.0
  • Does not take movies: None vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Worse color depth: 22.1 bits vs 23.5 bits

common strengths of the D300 and D5100

  • Many lenses available: 205 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Fairly small: Professional size 147x114x74 mm vs Prosumer size 127x96x78 mm
  • Inexpensive: $1,699.99 vs $436.95
arrow Compare the D300 vs the D5100

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D
1 year newer
$1,099 - $1,231 (body only)
$1,249 18-55mm 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)

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

common strengths of the 70D and D5100

  • Flip-out screens
  • Many lenses available: 197 lenses vs 205 lenses
  • Focus continuously recording movies
arrow Compare the Canon EOS 70D vs the Nikon D5100

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS 7D
1 year older
$1,299 (body only)
$1,599 - $1,799 18-135mm lens

Significant advantages of the 7D (vs the D5100)

  • Weather sealed
  • Significantly less shutter lag: 131 ms vs 273 ms
  • 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
  • Fairly small: Professional size 148x111x74 mm vs Prosumer size 127x96x78 mm
  • Inexpensive: $1,299.00 vs $436.95
arrow Compare the Canon EOS 7D vs the Nikon D5100

Nikon D700

Nikon D700
2 years older
$3,330 (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
arrow Compare the D700 vs the D5100

Nikon D610

Nikon D610
2 years newer
$1,897 (body only)
$2,797 28-300mm 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
  • Heavier: 850 g vs 560 g

common strengths of the D610 and D5100

  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Fairly small: Professional size 141x113x82 mm vs Prosumer size 127x96x78 mm
  • Inexpensive: $1,896.95 vs $436.95
arrow Compare the D610 vs the D5100