Updated (April 2011): Compare the Canon EOS 60D vs Nikon D5100

Nikon D5100 vs Canon EOS 60D

Nikon D5100


Canon EOS 60D



Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
500 ms startup delay
Flip-out screen
Screen flips out
Great for movies

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 60D

Great viewfinder
Battery life
Great battery life
1100 shots
Fastest shutter speed
Fast shutter speed
1/8000 of a second
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
400 ms startup delay


Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 60D.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5100.


Nikon D5100 Competitors

Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200

Entry-level DSLR

$600 body only

$567 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
True resolution Much higher true resolution
Battery life Shorter battery life
Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200

Entry-level DSLR

$629 - $697 body only

$997 - $1,150 with 18-140mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Screen size Significantly larger screen
Movie continuous focus Doesn't focus continuously recording movies
Canon Rebel T3i

Canon Rebel T3i

Entry-level DSLR

Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
True resolution Higher true resolution
Battery life Shorter battery life

Canon EOS 60D Competitors

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D


$1,877 with 18-135mm lens

Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
Touch screen Has a touch screen
Battery life Shorter battery life
Canon EOS Rebel T5

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Entry-level DSLR

$337 with 18-55mm lens

Size Smaller
Weight Significantly lighter
Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
Canon Rebel T3i

Canon Rebel T3i

Entry-level DSLR

Size Smaller
Weight Lighter
Battery life Significantly shorter battery life


Nikon D5100

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Canon EOS 60D

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Showing 25 comments

Bear (9:00 PM, July 20, 2014)
Being a solid Nikon dude, I have almost a complete family of older and newer Nikon's... film and DSLR.... I have tried others in my job as a construction inspector, a bridge inspector for the RR, and a wildlife photographer....... I always smile and say, Thank You, and give the un-Nikon camera back. Mine go thru a series of environmental shifts and survive the rough rides and backpacking very well...... as well, I'm sure, as other cameras.... but I'm VERY comfortable with my dozen or so Nikons with the 27 lenses I have, and my two or three Pentax's and the one Rollei SLX-66 I use for nature shots........ just sayin'...........
Avatar for Trinh Nguyen Phan Trinh Nguyen Phan (8:00 AM, June 20, 2013)
What would you recommend within this category/level?
Avatar for Dee O'Hara Dee O'Hara (11:05 PM, June 04, 2013)
Sorry that was B and H for the Nikon 5200!
Avatar for Dee O'Hara Dee O'Hara (11:03 PM, June 04, 2013)
Qvc has 60d for $899 till 12 tonight 6/4! Canon for video, but get a video camera. Nikon for images, I have a D300s great camera, no mistakes, ever!
5200 at bus is $6...with a free bag!
Faizan (8:25 PM, June 05, 2012)
You cant just give your verdict interms of score - There is always difference between theory and practice. There should be an Disclaimer at top of every comparison that snapsort is just an engine - it gives you the score based on certain known factors about a camera and it can be incorrect.

Some example here. 

70D vs 60D - There is tie

60D vs D5100 - D5100 is winning 

70D vs D5100 - 7D is winning 
Theredrider78 (0:23 AM, May 21, 2012)
To all the Canon fanboys below sourgraping the Nikons' win; this might be the reason.  Better image quality, lower ISO noise, better colour depth and more dynamic range.  You see, most people buy SLR cameras to take really good photos.  And to get good photos, you need.....  Good image quality, low noise, good colour depth and great dynamic range.  Is it becoming clear yet, Canon fanboys?  Has the penny dropped?  The Nikon has a larger image sensor with less megapixels, therefore, bigger photosites on the image sensor.  This means better image quality and less noise.  And that makes a better camera!
Jerrywielo (5:12 PM, February 21, 2012)

Uff... is any review service out there which compere and
scores particular reviews? This score here is 81 to 78 for Nikon on
dpreview.com are 76% to 79% for Canon. Which should I buy? I want to buy my
first DSLR. I am not a beginner I might be beginner in Digital SLR but 20 years
ago I used Minolta 7000 SLR with 35mm film and some Pentax, played even with
medium format film (now most people probably don't know what it is anyway...)
so principle of making a picture isn't new for me, in fact I think it is much
easier now, because you see the result simultaneously… In past I had to wait a week
on results what I did... Anyway, I am not old doddering man. I use new i7 core
computers, have iPhone 4S and Ipad2 so I am looking for the best camera for the
money (can’t decide shall I go with Canon 7D, 60D, T3i or Nikon D7000 and
D5100) any help?
McAnally (10:01 PM, February 16, 2012)
 I'm majoring in photography at school so I need to make a decision already. I want something that I have plenty of years to grow into. I don't want to pay a lot of money now just to spend more to replace it in 5-10 years. Is it true that a decent body and good lenses can be just as good as a very high-tech body? I'm looking at the Canon 60D because it is considered semi-pro and hopefully I could have a lot of time to grow into it. I want to take pictures like National Geographic with a budget under $2000 body + lens.
Decks80 (5:46 PM, January 21, 2012)
It looks to me like the breakdown really comes to use.
Someone who wants to have an affordable camera to take quality snapshots and hobby level artistic shots, the D5100 is about the most bang for your buck on the market.
For someone looking for a professional grade camera, the D60 is a better choice, but perhaps not the BEST choice. For pros who want a Cannon why not go with a 7D for action/photo journalist type stuff, or a 5D for studio?  The price jump is pretty nominal for a pro, and the quality is quite significant.My vote goes to the D5100 for the gear geek dad who wants to take the best photos at the family reunion/little league practice, and to neither for the photography student/pro on a budget.
www.Astudio.ge (7:11 PM, January 15, 2012)
I`ts very silly comparing on this web-site, im photo jurnalist from Europe,Georgia,Tbilisi  and I had snapt alot of photos with different Cameras including this two models Canon is Better way to take better Quality photos in all Aspects. I love NIkon cameras but here is very silly comparing. Shame Shameeeeeeeeeeeee Administration of this site ! 
Lanson Chua (3:07 AM, December 28, 2011)
As a non professional but an avid fan of photography & cameras, I am not bias at all toward a few big camera brands. I knew no camera to this day is perfect but I look for my top priorities. I always have great headache when choosing a camera. For this particular comparison of the two, I can make up my mind easily for D5100 advantages are more pronounce in terms of every aspect influencing image quality. That's sufficiently enough of the first priority. I love to capture simple short videos too when situation permits and therefore to lug another view cam is not practical. So a flip-out screen & a continuous focus serve this mode right. 660 shots per charge is more than enough if we are using it for a day of outing & recharge it for the next day.

As we learn more and more about photography and the interesting features therein offered in a camera, there is this tendency we ask, for perfection. Let's face it, there is no necessity to pay more for features we don't need. Sony NEX 7 is almost perfect  but I cant afford it so NEX 5N is the closest I can get. The fact is I realise I don't need such high specs. 

I was just like so many others when starting out in choosing a camera. The more I know, the more confuse I get. Now, I have only these words to share. Go for what serves you well will be the order of the day but bad image quality is a pissed off. Even if you can afford the best it is gonna be a white elephant if you are not the one made to ride on it. My point of view is D5100 is definitely slightly better but without a comparison difference 60D stands out and is highly recommended too. Go for that serves what we want and need is more important than anything else. Happy searching and comparing.
koolaidrinker (11:18 PM, December 27, 2011)
Just looking at the score breakdown is enough to destroy credibility of this comparison. The two highest scoring categories are popularity and movie format? 

The D5100 got 47.5 points just for being popular, I know bragging rights are my #1 priority.

For the record I have no bias between the 2, I'm just looking for credible info so I can decide between the 2 systems. guess it's back to dpreview
jack (8:39 AM, December 21, 2011)
I must agree. The 60D is a better camera for advanced consumers.
Avatar for Hammad Hammad (0:11 AM, December 04, 2011)
This is of course a joke :) I am D5100 user and was blown away by D60 in 30 seconds.

Edit: Looking at the pictue of the two, I would say Nikon is the winner :)
Avatar for Hammad Hammad (0:09 AM, December 04, 2011)
Just checked the 60D at Best buty, and I was AMAZED. Here is my quick review and comparison with D5100
Feel in Hand = 100%    vs 60%
Fast Menu   = 100% vs 70%
Shutter speed = 100%  vs 50%
Friendly Menu = 90% vs 60 %  (I have not played much with menu though)
Good looking? = 100% vs 70%

I am a Nikon D5100 user and I love my picture quality. Actually I just case across 60D and was impressed! If you are considering 5100, give this one a look. When I bought it I only compared it with repel series, didn't know even this one exist. Happy shopping
Raaghum2222 (6:04 AM, November 26, 2011)
Is this comparison biased? How could D5100 which is compared to rebel T3i, a lower end model of 60D can defeat 60D ? 
This this comparison is to promote D5100. All the best supporters :) 
Guest (2:40 AM, October 12, 2011)
If I wanna shoot video, I'll buy a video camera.  Your just pissed 'cos you invested in an inferior stills camera.
Bryan (5:34 PM, September 08, 2011)
Honestly I went out and bought a 5100....gave it an honest try out for about a week. I liked the image quality, fun filter effects and color depth, wonderful Camera overall... however if you ever gotten used to a more pro model you'll find the menu digging quite obnoxious. The controls and menus aren't that intuitive as many claim...perhaps i'm too used to Canon (EOS 3D). I also wasn't very impressed with the live view. The exposure simulation simply doesn't exist on Manual mode which really irked me. I just found it was difficult to quickly adjust setting and modes with limited external controls and programable functions for time sensitive shots. The viewfinder was small and dark. Other than that i had no problems getting great shots out of it. After a week i went and returned the 5100 and bought the 60D. The image quality is slighter better on 5100 but really not that noticeable unless at high ISO under low light. Plus for the average prosumer/advanced beginner (who I'm assuming would be in the market for either of these camera's) i highly doubt you'll be pushing the bounds of either of these camera's sensors. If your working with an ISO of 3200  i doubt either shot from each camera is going to be a prize winner. I like the larger viewfinder, quick and programable and external controls, live view, better lcd, resolution, battery life, AF focus motor, less plasticky,more useful functions, and faster shutter speeds of the 60d over the 5100. 

If your a hobbyist or advanced beginner get the 5100. If your Nikon user and are familiar with control layout get the 5100. If all you care about is a slightly better image without editing...5100.

Being a Canon guy already i couldn't hang with 5100 not because of the images it produced but the overall feel, functionality, and the 60D being a little more geared towards the prosumer side of things it was an obvious choice. Really both great cameras just try them out and see what feels best in your hands and be honest about what you really intend to use them for. 

Squash (3:34 PM, September 05, 2011)
Wow a lot of people getting bent up over this comparison. The 16.2MP sensor used in the newest APS-C Nikons and the older Sony crops is *the* best APS-C sensor out there, and frankly the largest step up since the 20D. On purely IQ grounds, the D5100 kicks the 60D's butt.

But, look at the bodies and features. The 60D has much better battery life, AF, viewfinder, max shutter speed/max sync speed, wireless flash control, FPS, and arguably much superior video in terms of bitrate/compression, vintage lens adaptability (manual aperture and focus are a must for serious video), and the Magic Lantern hack.

It's pretty clear for me -- Canon is being forced to overequip the 60D in order to compensate for being behind in sensor tech. Pick what's important to you based on your shooting and get one. Frankly I think the price difference between either of these cams and the D7000 (~+300 for the best APS-C on the market) or a used 1D Mark II (best sports/action value) makes them both pretty poor choices.
Lanson Chua (8:23 AM, August 22, 2011)
By the comparison, very obviously it should be D5100 because it juz point, shoot & gives everything at its best. But, can someone point out to me if those good features in D5100 hidden in the menu is easy for novice to pick & use. I understand that 60D has those easy to reach buttons. Am I right? Is the problem I have highlighted hard for beginners?
Xiph (5:50 PM, August 11, 2011)
it is.. lol ..
Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (3:31 PM, August 07, 2011)
Hi Mean Drake, we did list the pentaprism VF as an advantage of the 60D, thanks for pointing out about the remote wireless flash.
Mean Drake (8:47 AM, August 06, 2011)
Snapsport reviews are amazing. D5100 seems better than even 7D and 5D MkII. It's the best thing since sliced bread.
Mean Drake (8:46 AM, August 06, 2011)
Is this comparison some sort of a joke? The pentaprism VF and the remote wireless flash itself make the 60D miles ahead. 
Alexander_barcenas (1:53 AM, August 01, 2011)
D5100... if you look at the advantages of the D5100 over the 60D what you get is an overall better image and video quality camera, and for a far cheaper price. 60D only wins in gimmicky features such as display screen and longer battery life.. there's no real triumph on the 60D's end with picture quality. check out the commparing tables for both models again and you'll see that the D5100 is a far better camera for image and video quality