As well as being compared against other entry-level DSLRs, the Nikon D5100 is also often compared to pro DSLRs and mirrorless. 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 EOS Rebel T5)

compared toEntry-level DSLR competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D5100 compared to other entry-level DSLR competitors include: it has much wider dynamic range (13.6 EV vs 11.5 EV), has slightly less startup delay (500 ms vs 1500 ms), has a screen which flips out, has in-camera HDR and can focus continuously while recording movies.

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), slightly smaller viewfinder (0.51x vs 0.55x) and takes much lower resolution photos (16.1 MP vs 24 MP).

Nikon D3300

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2 years newer
$447 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3300 (vs the D5100)

  • Higher frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Significantly lower noise at high ISO: 1,385 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • 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: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Have external mic jacks

Nikon D3200

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1 year newer
$675 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3200 (vs the D5100)

  • Much higher true resolution: 24.1 MP vs 16.1 MP
  • Better color depth: 24.1 bits vs 23.5 bits

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 D5600

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5 years newer
$647 (body only)
$747 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5600 (vs the D5100)

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

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

Nikon D3400

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5 years newer
$497 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

Nikon D5300

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2 years newer
$500 - $697 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5300 (vs the D5100)

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

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: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses

Canon Rebel T3i

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similar age

Significant advantages of the T3i (vs the D5100)

  • Higher resolution screen: 1,040k dots vs 920k dots

Significant disadvantages of the T3i (vs the D5100)

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

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 has slightly better image quality (80.0 vs 68.0), has significantly more color depth (23.5 bits vs 22 bits), has slightly wider dynamic range (13.6 EV vs 11.7 EV), has a significantly larger screen (3" vs 1.8") and lets you preview your photos on the screen.

However, on average it is significantly 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 6.5 fps) and has slightly more startup delay (500 ms vs 400 ms).

Nikon D610

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2 years newer
$1,497 (body only)
$1,997 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
  • 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

  • Relatively 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

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3 years newer
$1,499 - $1,797 (body only)
$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
  • 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

  • Relatively low noise at high ISO: 2,956 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Good image quality: 93.0 vs 80.0
  • Excellent dynamic range: 14.5 EV vs 13.6 EV

Nikon D70

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7 years older

Significant advantages of the D70 (vs the D5100)

  • 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 D70 (vs the D5100)

  • Much smaller screen: 1.8" vs 3"
  • Worse color depth: 20.4 bits vs 23.5 bits
  • Much more noise at high ISO: 529 ISO vs 1,183 ISO

common strengths of the D70 and D5100

  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Fairly small: Professional size (140×111×78 mm) vs Prosumer size (127×97×79 mm)
  • Light weight: 679 g vs 560 g

Canon EOS 70D

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1 year newer
$940 18-135mm 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)

  • Significantly more noise at high ISO: 926 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Worse image quality: 68.0 vs 80.0
  • Less dynamic range: 11.6 EV vs 13.6 EV

common strengths of the 70D and D5100

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

Nikon D300

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3 years older

Significant advantages of the D300 (vs the D5100)

  • Weather sealed
  • Has a pentaprism viewfinder: Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
  • Significantly 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)

Canon EOS 7D

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1 year older
$1,285 - $2,681 (body only)
$2,197 - $2,330 18-135mm lens

Significant advantages of the 7D (vs the D5100)

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

Significant disadvantages of the 7D (vs the D5100)

  • Significantly more noise at high ISO: 854 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Significantly worse image quality: 66.0 vs 80.0
  • Worse color depth: 22 bits vs 23.5 bits

common strengths of the 7D and D5100

  • Good dynamic range: 11.7 EV vs 13.6 EV
  • Many lenses available: 220 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Fairly small: Professional size (148×111×74 mm) vs Prosumer size (127×97×79 mm)

compared toMirrorless interchangeable-lens competitors

Generally, some of the advantages of the Nikon D5100 compared to mirrorless interchangeable-lens competitors include: it has higher quality type of viewfinder (pentamirror vs none), records movies in 24p, can focus continuously while recording movies, has an external mic jack and much more lenses available (230 lenses vs 62 lenses).

However, on average it slightly smaller viewfinder (0.51x vs 0.70x), doesn't record high-speed movies (none vs 120 fps), doesn't have image stabilization (none vs sensor shift), takes slightly lower resolution photos (16.1 MP vs 20.7 MP) and slightly lower maximum light sensitivity (6,400 ISO vs 25,600 ISO).

Sony Alpha A6000

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2 years newer
$548 (body only)
$648 16-50mm lens

Significant advantages of the A6000 (vs the D5100)

  • Image stabilization:
    1. Lens
    vs None
  • Much better viewfinder coverage: 100% vs 95%
  • Much higher true resolution: 24 MP vs 16.1 MP

Significant disadvantages of the A6000 (vs the D5100)

  • Much fewer lenses available: 62 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Much shorter battery life: 420 shots vs 660 shots
  • Slower autofocus: Hybrid detection vs Phase detection

common strengths of the A6000 and D5100

  • 24p support
  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies

Olympus OM-D E-M10

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2 years newer
$499 (body only)
$549 - $599 14-42mm lens

Significant advantages of the E-M10 (vs the D5100)

  • Image stabilization:
    1. Sensor shift
    vs None
  • Significantly higher resolution screen: 1,400k dots vs 920k dots
  • Much better viewfinder coverage: 100% vs 95%

Significant disadvantages of the E-M10 (vs the D5100)

  • Much shorter battery life: 320 shots vs 660 shots
  • Much fewer lenses available: 108 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • No 24p support

common strengths of the E-M10 and D5100

  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Many lenses available: 108 lenses vs 230 lenses

Sony Alpha A5000

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2 years newer
$379 16-50mm lens

Significant advantages of the A5000 (vs the D5100)

  • Much smaller: Compact (110×63×36 mm) vs Prosumer size (127×97×79 mm)
  • Much lighter: 210 g vs 560 g
  • Much thinner: 1.4" vs 3.1"

Significant disadvantages of the A5000 (vs the D5100)

  • Much fewer lenses available: 62 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • No viewfinder: None vs Pentamirror
  • Much shorter battery life: 420 shots vs 660 shots

common strengths of the A5000 and D5100

  • 24p support
  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies

Nikon 1 J5

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4 years newer
$497 10-30mm lens

Significant advantages of the 1 J5 (vs the D5100)

  • Shoots much faster: 60 fps vs 4 fps
  • Records high-speed movies: 120 fps vs None
  • Has a touch screen

Significant disadvantages of the 1 J5 (vs the D5100)

  • Much fewer lenses available: 20 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Much shorter battery life: 250 shots vs 660 shots
  • No viewfinder: None vs Pentamirror

common strengths of the 1 J5 and D5100

  • Flip-out screens
  • Both use faster phase detection autofocus: Phase detection vs Phase detection
  • Each has a built-in flash