Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Nikon D5200

Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs Nikon D5100

Winner
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

83

Nikon D5100

68

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
1,815 ISO
Large viewfinder
Viewfinder size
0.71x
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Fast shutter speed
Fastest shutter speed
1/8000 of a second
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
13 EV
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5100.

differences

Advantages of the Canon 5D Mark II

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Viewfinder size
Much larger viewfinder
0.71x vs 0.51x
Help
More than 90% larger viewfinder
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
1,815 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
Help
The 5D Mark II has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
206 ms vs 273 ms
Help
More than 20% less delay when taking photos
Viewfinder
Has a pentaprism viewfinder
Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
Help
Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Viewfinder coverage
Significantly better viewfinder coverage
98% vs 95%
Help
Almost the same
True resolution
Higher true resolution
21 MP vs 16.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
Battery life
Longer battery life
850 shots vs 660 shots
Help
Around 30% more shots per battery charge
Color depth
Better color depth
23.7 bits vs 23.5 bits
Help
Almost the same
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
400 ms vs 500 ms
Help
20% less delay when turning on
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Thickness
Thinner
3" vs 3.1"
Help
Almost the same
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Learn more about
the Canon 5D Mark II

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13 EV vs 11.9 EV
Help
1.1 f-stops more dynamic range
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
205 lenses vs 156 lenses
Help
More than 30% more lenses available
Size
Smaller
127x96x78 mm vs 152x114x75 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Weight
Significantly lighter
560 g vs 850 g
Help
More than 30% lighter
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$354.09 vs $1,999.50
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,645 cheaper (5.6x less)
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark II 83
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        68 Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths

              Snapsort is not aware of any interesting strengths shared by these two products.

              Common Weaknesses
              Storage slots Fewer storage slots Help
              1
              Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
              Won't autofocus with all lenses
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              5D Mark II9
              D510011
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              5D Mark II3.9 fps
              D51004 fps
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              3.0"

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 - $547 body only

              $360 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $629 body only

              $549 - $612 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 7D

              Canon EOS 7D

              Pro DSLR

              $749 - $778 body only

              $849 - $1,448 with 28-135mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $949 body only

              $1,170 - $1,249 with 18-135mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $647 body only

              $570 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $684 with 18-55mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Focus points Has significantly more focus points
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $897 body only

              $1,160 - $1,197 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 6D

              Canon EOS 6D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,399 body only

              $1,799 with 24-105mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Shutter lag More shutter lag
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $2,499 body only

              $3,099 with 24-105mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Canon EOS 7D Mark II

              Canon EOS 7D Mark II

              Pro DSLR

              $1,699 body only

              $2,049 with 18-135mm lens

              Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              $3,936 body only

              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Focus points Significantly more focus points
              Movie format Does not take movies
              True resolution Lower true resolution

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 - $547 body only

              $499 - $550 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Focus points Significantly more focus points
              Shutter lag More shutter lag
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $627 body only

              $480 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Color depth Better color depth
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $262 body only

              $484 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Thickness Thinner
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range

              appearance

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D5100
              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D5100
              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D5100

              discussion

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II
              EOS 5D Mark II
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 15 comments

              impartial one (7:15 PM, February 19, 2012)
              Guys really, the full-frame sensor beat the cropped!
               
              impartial one (7:12 PM, February 19, 2012)
              Actually it says the Canon won!
               
              Chetjarvon (2:55 AM, January 18, 2012)
              5D Mark II: full frame sensor. D5100: cropped sensor. 5D Mark II: 21.1 mp. D5100: 16.1 mp. 5D Mark II: used by some of the worlds greatest photographers and most pros that use Canon. D5100: Used by college students and entry level photographers. Need I say more? There's a reason why the pros choose this camera. I hate this site, lol.
               
              Steve (2:43 AM, December 24, 2011)
              Canon is popular because its cheaper.  At my school, more people use Canon cause they don't have the money for Nikon.
               
              Avatar for Hammad Hammad (5:47 AM, November 27, 2011)
              That fact that Nikon wins, is a clear indication that snapshot needs to re-adjust its point system. One area I looked at it popularity. 20,000 vs 98,000 in favour of Nikon against 5D. I think this should be more an amount you spend on camera not the units. Example you spend 3 times more on 5D so 1 Cannon = 3 Nikon. Obviously the rating system needs some serious work! I own D5100 and I know it probably isn't as good as 5D.
               
              Matt (10:59 AM, November 14, 2011)
              if you look on ebay the price is much less
               
              Guest (2:46 AM, October 12, 2011)
              Bah ha ha ha ha ha!  :D  How is this possible?  Guess all you Canon fans better be selling/ trading up to Nikon gear.
               
              Viewer (9:12 AM, October 07, 2011)
              Hard to believe that the intermediate level D5100 can compete with a Pro DSLR, otherwise why bother with the more expensive option
               
              Viewer (9:07 AM, October 07, 2011)
              I absolutely agree, if you go by Snapsort's reviews, then Nikon generally is much better than Canon. This might be true, but how do you explain that Canon is so popular.... Great website anyway.
               
              Sathyabeleyur (5:29 PM, October 02, 2011)
              I am the nikon user. Still I think snapsort website is supports nikon camera only. Comparing  Nikon D5100 v/s Canon 5D mark ||, it says nikon D5100 is best. How it is possible?
              Canon 5D mark || has Full frame sensor & world wide winner. It is so silly & partial. Please give true reviews.
              Thanks
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (3:37 PM, June 29, 2011)
              We've fixed that up, thanks for pointing out the issue!
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:38 PM, June 29, 2011)
              Thanks for pointing that out Ed, we'll double check and fix that up!
               
              Ed (8:19 AM, June 29, 2011)
              Also, Canon 5D Mark II color depth is 23.7 bits, dynamic range 11.9 eV, "image quality" 80, etc... all your stats are from the 5D version 1, a camera introduced in 2005...
               
              Ed (8:12 AM, June 29, 2011)
              Your statistics for the Canon 5D Mark II are wrong.  Some of the stats most notably ISO performance are the numbers from the classic Canon 5D (should be 1815, not1368).  Please update the stats for a more accurate comparison.
               
              Papa (4:41 PM, May 29, 2011)
              2 sweet camrea's...   Nikon looks amazing and has it all, but the price is little out of reach for me.