Updated (April 2011): Compare the Canon EOS Rebel T2i vs Nikon D5100

Nikon D5100 vs Canon Rebel T2i

Nikon D5100


Canon EOS Rebel T2i



Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
1,183 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
Great color depth
Color depth
23.5 bits
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
13.6 EV

Reasons to buy the Canon Rebel T2i

Screen resolution
High resolution screen
1,040k dots
Really small
Prosumer size (129×98×62 mm)
Sensor cleaning
Self cleaning sensor
Avoids dust in your photos


Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS Rebel T2i.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5100.


Nikon D5100 Competitors

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$431 body only

$400 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
Movie format Lower frame rate movies
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$389 body only

$399 with 18-55mm lens

True resolution Much higher true resolution
Color depth Better color depth
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300

Entry-level DSLR

$396 - $597 body only

$466 - $697 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
True resolution Much higher true resolution
Battery life Slightly shorter battery life

Canon EOS Rebel T2i Competitors

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Entry-level DSLR

$325 body only

$399 - $469 with 18-55mm lens

Autofocus Video autofocus
Battery life Slightly longer battery life
Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
Canon Rebel T3i

Canon Rebel T3i

Entry-level DSLR

$515 body only

$743 with 18-55mm lens

Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
Startup delay Much more startup delay
Canon Rebel T5i

Canon Rebel T5i

Entry-level DSLR

$431 - $649 body only

$560 - $599 with 18-55mm lens

HDR Has in-camera HDR
Autofocus Video autofocus
Color depth Worse color depth


Nikon D5100

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Canon EOS Rebel T2i
Rebel T2i

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Showing 8 comments

jafar (2:41 PM, January 06, 2013)
Nikon D5100 does have a external jack. It shouldn't be a reason to buy Canon eos t2i
Avatar for foxyshadis foxyshadis (9:43 AM, January 13, 2012)
 If all you care about is sensor quality (given that lens quality is about equal), then hands down the Nikon wins. You might want to use both first, though, the Nikon is a bit tricky to get used to and a bit frustrating to quickly switch modes in.
Dreww04 (4:32 AM, December 27, 2011)
I would really appreciate it if someone would reply in a non-biased way! All i really care about it the photo quality. I do not shoot a specific type of photos so all i really want to know is which camera has better photo quality and really brings out the colours. If they are the same, then overall, taking into account all the details that make a photo good, which camera would you suggest. Any help please?
Avatar for Mobius Coin Mobius Coin (5:21 PM, December 06, 2011)
Despite being a Nikon shooter and owning the D7000 I have to give this battle to the Canon. At least for me, I think modern DSLRs take fine pictures and seeing as how these aren't pro bodies, for the enthusiasts the image quality is more than enough on either camera. What makes the D5100 a deal breaker for me at least is that I was coming from a D80 and the D5100 controls make NO SENSE whatsoever. The T2i may be lacking a second dial but it is a very easy camera to pick up and use. I think the UI changes from the D5000 to the D5100 are actually a step in the wrong direction.
KingSalmon (10:48 PM, October 30, 2011)
I'm ging to buy the Nikon because of the picture quality and color depth.
Onarom (10:09 PM, August 17, 2011)
I have always been a Canon fan, so it is hard for me not to be biased. I believe that the Nikon has a more sophisticated autofocus system, although I have no complaints with my T2i (besides, I use spot focus 99% of the time). Neither of these cameras are that good with focusing during movie recording, they are slow and noisey- Sony has the best entry level DSLR for that. But for photos, both of these cameras are amazing. You should go with the one that appeals to you the most.

But... here is an INTERESTING note... this site quotes dpreview.com which gave the D5100 a silver award and gave the T2i the gold award.
Sp12 07 (6:09 PM, July 30, 2011)
Sure, seems to be a pretty fantastic comparison without any obvious errors. I would go D5100 as it has that killer 16.2MP sony sensor, as well as a slightly better AF system. The T2i has better video, while the D5100 has a tiltyflippy screen.
Cris0631 (4:20 AM, July 22, 2011)
Can anyone comment on this comparison?