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

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

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 60D

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
Great viewfinder
Battery life
Great battery life
1100 shots
Fastest shutter speed
Fast shutter speed
1/8000 of a second


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 D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$289 body only

$350 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

True resolution Higher true resolution
Color depth Better color depth
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200

Entry-level DSLR

$378 body only

$479 - $597 with 18-55mm lens

Overall image quality Better image quality
Focus points Significantly more focus points
Shutter lag More shutter lag
Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$400 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
Color depth Better color depth
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR

Canon EOS 60D Competitors

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D


$793 - $999 body only

$870 - $1,099 with 18-55mm lens

Autofocus Video autofocus
HDR Has in-camera HDR
Startup delay More startup delay
Canon Rebel T5i

Canon Rebel T5i

Entry-level DSLR

$480 - $649 body only

$577 - $649 with 18-55mm lens

HDR Has in-camera HDR
Touch screen Has a touch screen
Color depth Worse color depth
Canon Rebel T3i

Canon Rebel T3i

Entry-level DSLR

$459 body only

$589 with 18-55mm lens

Size Smaller
Weight Lighter
Startup delay Much more startup delay


Advantages of the Canon 60D

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Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.59x vs 0.51x
More than 30% larger viewfinder
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
1,040k dots vs 920k dots
More than 10% higher resolution screen
Has a pentaprism viewfinder
Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Battery life
Longer battery life
1100 shots vs 660 shots
Around 70% more shots per battery charge
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
5.3 fps vs 4 fps
More than 30% faster continuous shooting
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
9 vs 1
Grab focus in difficult situations
Shutter lag
Slightly less shutter lag
253 ms vs 273 ms
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
400 ms vs 500 ms
20% less delay when turning on
True resolution
Slightly higher true resolution
17.9 MP vs 16.1 MP
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Viewfinder coverage
Better viewfinder coverage
96% vs 95%
Almost the same
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/8000s vs 1/4000s
2x faster max shutter speed
Canon EOS 60D Learn more about
the Canon 60D

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13.6 EV vs 11.5 EV
1.5 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
80.0 vs 66.0
More than 20% better image quality
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Color depth
Better color depth
23.5 bits vs 22.2 bits
Distinguishes 1.3 more bits of color
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Automatically focuses shooting video
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO vs 813 ISO
The D5100 has a slight edge (0.5 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
127×97×79 mm vs 145×106×79 mm
More than 20% smaller
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
230 lenses vs 220 lenses
Almost the same
560 g vs 755 g
Around 30% lighter
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
The D5100's boost ISO is 2 f-stops better
Lowest price
Slightly cheaper
$399.95 vs $699.00
The best price we've seen is $299 cheaper (more than 40% less)
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100


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

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 60D 63
        You save
        66 Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100
              You save


              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              60D220 lenses
              D5100230 lenses
              Common Weaknesses
              Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
              Won't autofocus with all lenses
              Storage slots Fewer storage slots Help
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              60D253 ms
              D5100273 ms
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              60D17.9 MP
              D510016.1 MP
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Screen size Very small screens Help




              Nikon D5100 Canon EOS 60D
              Nikon D5100 Canon EOS 60D
              Nikon D5100 Canon EOS 60D


              Nikon D5100

              Report a correction
              Canon EOS 60D
              EOS 60D

              Report a correction

              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. 

              ......JUST MY TWO CENTS :) 
              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