Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Canon Rebel T3i vs Nikon D5200

Nikon D5100

Winner
Nikon D5100

71

vs

Canon EOS Rebel T2i

55

Canon Rebel T2i

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Low light performance
Low noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO
Overall image quality
Great image quality
80.0
Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Color depth
Great color depth
23.5 bits
 

Reasons to buy the Canon Rebel T2i

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Screen resolution
High resolution screen
1,040k dots
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
400 ms startup delay
External mic jack
External mic jack
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Canon T2i

Report a correction
Size Much smaller 129x98x62 mm vs 127x96x78 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Screen resolution Higher resolution screen 1,040k dots vs 920k dots
Help
More than 10% higher resolution screen
Thickness Much thinner 2.4" vs 3.1"
Help
More than 20% thinner
True resolution Higher true resolution 17.9 MP vs 16.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder 0.54x vs 0.51x
Help
More than 10% larger viewfinder
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 252 ms vs 273 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 400 ms vs 500 ms
Help
20% less delay when turning on
Lowest price Cheaper $199.95 vs $378.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $178 cheaper (around 50% less)
Weight Slightly lighter 530 g vs 560 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
Canon EOS Rebel T2i Learn more about
the Canon T2i

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

Report a correction
Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO 1,183 ISO vs 784 ISO
Help
The D5100 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Overall image quality Significantly better image quality 80.0 vs 66.0
Help
More than 20% better image quality
Dynamic range More dynamic range 13 EV vs 11.5 EV
Help
1.5 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth Better color depth 23.5 bits vs 22.1 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.4 more bits of color
HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Autofocus Video autofocus Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Sensor size Much larger sensor APS-C 23.6x15.6mm vs APS-C 22.3x14.9mm
Help
More than 10% larger sensor
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
Battery life Longer battery life 660 shots vs 440 shots
Help
50% more shots per battery charge
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 25,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
Help
The D5100's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Lens availability Slightly more lenses available 205 lenses vs 197 lenses
Help
Almost the same
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 4 fps vs 3.7 fps
Help
Around 10% faster continuous shooting
Focus points Slightly more focus points 11 vs 9
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS Rebel T2i Canon Rebel T2i 55
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        71 Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              T2i:197 lenses
              D5100:205 lenses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              T2i:400 ms
              D5100:500 ms
              External mic jack Have external mic jacks Help
              Record higher quality audio with a microphone
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              T2i:$199.95
              D5100:$378.00
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              T2i:3.7 fps
              D5100:4 fps
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              T2i:9
              D5100:11
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus Help
              T2i:None
              D5100:Contrast detection
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              T2i:0.54x
              D5100:0.51x
              Movie format Both shoot high resolution HD movies Help
              1080p @ 30fps

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 body only

              $389 - $477 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $648 body only

              $200 - $570 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is much larger
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $547 body only

              $646 - $647 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $681 - $700 body only

              $499 - $822 with 18-55mm lens

              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $273 body only

              $427 - $489 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $747 body only

              $650 - $847 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $200 with 18-55mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Cross type focus points Has significantly more cross-type focus points
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is much larger

              Canon EOS Rebel T2i Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Canon EOS Rebel T2i.

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $547 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Higher frame rate movies
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR

              appearance

              Canon EOS Rebel T2i Nikon D5100
              Canon EOS Rebel T2i Nikon D5100
              Canon EOS Rebel T2i Nikon D5100

              discussion

              Canon EOS Rebel T2i
              Rebel T2i
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              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?