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
$452 (body only)
$397 - $547 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D3300 (vs the D5100)

  • Can create panoramas in-camera
  • Higher frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • 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
$299 (body only)
$349 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 D5300

Nikon D5300
2 years newer
$597 (body only)
$549 - $697 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5300 (vs the D5100)

  • Higher frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Much 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

Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200
1 year newer
$399 (body only)
$579 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
  • Significantly more focus points: 39 vs 11

Significant disadvantages of the D5200 (vs the D5100)

  • None found

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
$620 - $647 (body only)
$747 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the D5500 (vs the D5100)

  • Higher frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Lower noise at high ISO: 1,438 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Much 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

Canon Rebel T3i

Canon Rebel T3i
similar age
$759 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 13.6 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 slightly wider dynamic range (13.6 EV vs 12 EV), has a screen which flips out, has in-camera HDR and can focus continuously while recording movies.

However, on average it is slightly more noisy at high ISO (1,183 ISO vs 2,925 ISO), has a slightly smaller screen (3" vs 3.2"), has a slightly lower resolution screen (920k dots vs 2,359k dots), significantly smaller viewfinder (0.51x vs 0.65x) and slightly lower maximum light sensitivity (6,400 ISO vs 1,640,000 ISO).

Nikon D500

Nikon D500
4 years newer
$1,997 (body only)
$2,567 16-80mm lens

Significant advantages of the D500 (vs the D5100)

  • Much higher resolution screen: 2,359k dots vs 920k dots
  • Better maximum light sensitivity: 1,640,000 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
  • Many more focus points: 153 vs 11

Significant disadvantages of the D500 (vs the D5100)

  • Larger: Large (147×115×81 mm) vs Prosumer size (127×97×79 mm)
  • Heavier: 860 g vs 560 g
  • No built-in flash

common strengths of the D500 and D5100

  • Flip-out screens
  • Many lenses available: 230 lenses vs 230 lenses
  • Inexpensive: $1,996.95 vs $599.99

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D
1 year newer
$812 - $999 (body only)
$913 - $1,099 18-55mm lens

Significant advantages of the 70D (vs the D5100)

  • Faster video autofocus: Phase detection vs Contrast detection
  • Has a touch screen
  • Weather sealed

Significant disadvantages of the 70D (vs the D5100)

  • Less dynamic range: 11.6 EV vs 13.6 EV
  • Worse image quality: 68.0 vs 80.0

common strengths of the 70D and D5100

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

Canon EOS 60D

Canon EOS 60D
7 months older
$458 (body only)
$1,146 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

  • 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)

Nikon D750

Nikon D750
3 years newer
$1,700 - $1,997 (body only)
$2,400 - $2,497 24-120mm lens

Significant advantages of the D750 (vs the D5100)

  • Much lower noise at high ISO: 2,956 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
  • Higher frame rate movies: 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
  • Significantly better image quality: 93.0 vs 80.0

Significant disadvantages of the D750 (vs the D5100)

  • Significantly fewer lenses available: 171 lenses vs 230 lenses

common strengths of the D750 and D5100

  • Good dynamic range: 14.5 EV vs 13.6 EV
  • Flip-out screens
  • Focus continuously recording movies

Nikon D300

Nikon D300
3 years older
$1,999 18-135mm lens

Significant advantages of the D300 (vs the D5100)

  • Weather sealed
  • Larger viewfinder: 0.62x vs 0.51x
  • 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
  • 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)
  • Thin: 2.9" vs 3.1"

Nikon D610

Nikon D610
2 years newer
$1,266 - $1,497 (body only)
$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
  • Significantly 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

  • Good dynamic range: 14.4 EV vs 13.6 EV
  • Focus continuously recording movies
  • Fairly small: Professional size (141×113×82 mm) vs Prosumer size (127×97×79 mm)