Updated (January, 2014): Compare the Nikon D3300 vs Nikon D5200

Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

Winner
Nikon D3200

74

Nikon D5100

71

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3200

Great image quality
Overall image quality
81.0
Great color depth
Color depth
24.1 bits
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
13.2 EV
High true resolution
True resolution
24.1 MP
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
Battery life
Great battery life
660 shots
Overall image quality
Great image quality
80.0

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3200.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5100.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3200

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True resolution
Much higher true resolution
24.1 MP vs 16.1 MP
Help
Capture around 50% more detail in your photos
Color depth
Better color depth
24.1 bits vs 23.5 bits
Help
Almost the same
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
81.0 vs 80.0
Help
Almost the same
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
400 ms vs 500 ms
Help
20% less delay when turning on
Size
Smaller
125×96×77 mm vs 127×97×79 mm
Help
Almost the same
Thickness
Thinner
3" vs 3.1"
Help
Almost the same
Weight
Lighter
505 g vs 560 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
Lowest price
Cheaper
$299.95 vs $368.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $68 cheaper (around 20% less)
Nikon D3200 Learn more about
the Nikon D3200

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
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
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO vs 1,131 ISO
Help
The D5100 has a slight edge (0.1 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Battery life
Longer battery life
660 shots vs 540 shots
Help
More than 20% 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 2 f-stops better
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
Nikon D3200 Nikon D3200 74
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    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        71 Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              205 lenses
              External mic jack Have external mic jacks Help
              Record higher quality audio with a microphone
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              D3200$299.95
              D5100$368.00
              Common Weaknesses
              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
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              4 fps
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              D3200276 ms
              D5100273 ms
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              11
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              D32000.52x
              D51000.51x
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Movie format Both shoot high resolution HD movies Help
              1080p @ 30fps

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $677 body only

              $477 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $389 body only

              $370 - $400 with 18-55mm lens

              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Size Is slightly larger
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $413 - $497 body only

              $489 - $550 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $566 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $465 - $650 body only

              $589 - $650 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $275 body only

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

              Thickness Is thinner
              External mic jack Lacks and external mic jack
              True resolution Takes slightly lower resolution photos
              Canon Rebel SL1

              Canon Rebel SL1

              Entry-level DSLR

              $399 - $509 body only

              $499 - $500 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Battery life Has a slightly shorter battery life
              Color depth Has significantly less color depth

              Nikon D3200 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D3200.

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D5100.

              appearance

              Nikon D3200 Nikon D5100
              Nikon D3200 Nikon D5100
              Nikon D3200 Nikon D5100

              discussion

              Nikon D3200
              D3200
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 25 comments

              Avatar for Kamilia Kamilia (8:20 PM, June 18, 2015)
              Hi Vhysaint.
              The major different is that Nikon D3200 come in 2012 and have 24.2 MP while Nikon D5100 come in 2011 and have 16.2 MP + a rotate screen; i found an article that can point you to the right DSLR camera, it's made for beginners to DSLR technology: here it is http://nikond3200news.blogspot(DOT)com/2014/06/nikon-d3200-is-it-best-dslr-camera-for-beginner.html [replace (DOT) with point . ]
               
              Avatar for Ashley Steen Ashley Steen (11:47 PM, January 04, 2015)
              I have both the 3200 and the 5100. The 3200 for me wins on stop shutter pics and in some cases portraits. The 5100 has special effects and scenery selection that the 3200 lacks and a higher ISO. The MAJOR thing I can complain about with a 5100 is there is no hot button for my ISO I have to go into the menu to set it. I am always in manual mode since most of the lens I love are manual. If you want all around, no frills, and you really don't know how to set a camera the 3200 is good, (the 3200 has a guide mode if you know what you want but don't exactly how to set a camera it will do it for you). The 5100 has a higher ISO and is less blurry doing night sky photography. (If you get the 5100 check out the miniature effect on buildings it looks almost like a tilt shift, and the cartoon effect it looks really cool.) The 3200 has a selector for people in low light settings and a guide function, but not the other two. For me though I use both together and it is cheaper than a 2100.00 camera. I am a Realtor so I use the 3200 for landscape and when I use a flash in white surroundings. The 5100 when I have to take a odd angle pic I flip out the back screen so I can see what I am shooting. I can interchange lenses and my flash unit fits either ha ha so I win. If you are doing serious photography and want a broad selection of choices the 5100 is cool. If you are doing Grandma and Grandpa for your photo album then the 3200 will be more than enough and will whet your appetite for bigger and better. Because the 3200 and the 5100 can be set for so much in the manual mode that it can blow your mind. So make a choice and buy yourself a very nice lens (you will thank me for this piece of advice). Learn how to really make that camera work experiment with the manual mode (you can get some cheap older lenses off of ebay or a local pawn shop that will cut your cost by hundreds just make sure there is no fungus and scratches on the lens). Learn how to operate your aperture, ISO, and shutter mode, and have fun no matter what. Also buy a some sd cards and a external drive trust me you will need them.
               
              Jessika (5:49 PM, October 03, 2014)
              If you want to use it just for hobby or normal use (mean not professional), you need to buy Nikon D3200 because it is the best entry level DSLR camera for everyday shooting and very easy to use.

              And If you compare Nikon D3200 vs D5100, the D3200 will win because it contain almost all the new DSLR technologies and have a low price so you can invest in Lenses and tripod, while D5100 can get your attention if you are interesting with the rotate screen.

              This article http://goo.gl/kG2mxO help me a lot when i was have same problem as you.
              Good luck
               
              Avatar for Pepe Le Pew Pepe Le Pew (2:13 AM, August 04, 2014)
              k-50
               
              Avatar for Brent Brent (4:13 PM, June 06, 2014)
              Yes but if your going to be taking selfies with your DSLR, you shouldn't have bought one at all.
               
              skitzoo (2:54 AM, May 11, 2014)
              which do you think produces a much better quality if the pictures are scrutinised using retina display?
               
              Thalia (7:37 PM, February 11, 2014)
              Okay, I'm an aspiring filmmaker. Do I choose the Nikon D3200, the Nikon D5100, the Sony Alpha A3000, or the Sony SLT A58. Thanks :)
               
              Avatar for ali ali (6:54 AM, January 29, 2014)
              im confused...which to buy D3200 or D5100?

              give me suggition plz ???
              which is better????
               
              Avatar for Karim Ahmed Karim Ahmed (0:49 PM, December 29, 2013)
              Finally Snapsort , Which is Better D5100 or D3200 for Best Performance not Cheap , Expensive , lighter , heavier ?? .. Just Performance at night scenes .. Qualityy ?
               
              Avatar for nibi nibi (6:32 AM, December 26, 2013)
              Dear friends, last few months I am looking over both nokon 3200 and nikon 5100.both cameras have some specific qualities.as a person, who love photography, and always seeking for best out for our work, which one I can select, either nikon 3200 or nikon 5100. I am not looking at long battery life, flip out screen or megapixel.i am looking only over the best picture out put.so kindly share your valuable informations and experienses.
               
              RIC (5:15 PM, December 25, 2013)
              3200 or 5100??????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!
               
              davey (10:38 PM, December 16, 2013)
              do not listen to the reviews on this comment section, too many idiots with no clue what they are talking about..
               
              Avatar for Joseph Murray Joseph Murray (5:05 PM, December 01, 2013)
              The door just pops out from its hinges. Don't be afraid to use a litle muscle; you can see where the hinge mount is split, not a closed loop. Just pull it out.
               
              Salseng (0:42 AM, November 29, 2013)
              Go for D90 :)
               
              Salseng (0:42 AM, November 29, 2013)
              Go for D90 :)
               
              Avatar for jacob jacob (9:45 AM, November 27, 2013)
              which is better among the two for video rec? or should i look for some canon in the same price range? is it true theres a 20 min limit on video rec? :O
               
              Avatar for italoandre italoandre (10:58 PM, November 06, 2013)
              If you are recording videos, the flip screen can be very useful
               
              Avatar for paulonerd paulonerd (1:25 AM, November 06, 2013)
              Is your mobile phone's sensor as big as APC? I don't think so. If you don't understand the advantages of that, then I'm not the one who sucks at photography. About HDR, "better" is a wide term, which can incorporate the concept of easyness if I want to. Is there anything else that you wanna say?
               
              Avatar for disqus_o0e0FeaGOs disqus_o0e0FeaGOs (11:26 AM, November 05, 2013)
              BTW You don't HAVE to flip out a flip-out screen. They can stay stuck against the body like any non-flip-out screen so if you're worried about it being jostled you simply don't flip it out!


              Either way, this is a pointless exercise since I've been converted to the Pentax dark side from my Canikon past.
               
              Avatar for disqus_o0e0FeaGOs disqus_o0e0FeaGOs (11:23 AM, November 05, 2013)
              Never bought a D5100. Went with a Pentax K-30 instead and have been "singing in the rain" ;-).

              Seriously though. If I had to take a Nikon (I really like the Nikon too but found its grip to be less than perfect, and... it didn't have weather resistance which is pretty a pretty major plus for me) I'd get the D5100 hands down over the D3200 because of the flip-out screen and the much better battery life. Swapping out a battery is a pain.

              The flip-out screen is useful in a LOT of situations, not just shooting video. I've recently had the pleasure of shooting with the flip-out D5100 and my non-flip-out K-30 and, though I like the overall feel of the K-30 better I do find myself wishing for a flip-out screen (of course, flip-out screen and weather resistance would be asking for trouble) and better battery life.
               
              PhotoEngineer (0:00 AM, November 02, 2013)
              dude, D7000 became a legend not because of 16MP but for other PRO-funcs.
               
              Floppah (11:57 PM, November 01, 2013)
              I bought a cheap extra battery, now my d3200 has 80% more battery life than your D5100.
              Don't tell me you also bought an extra battery?
              Flip camera has a bad side, whenever you are in a crowded place like sports arena, music gigs/concert, you cannot just flip it out. It may be tackled by other people, and you can't blame them for damaging your cam. So flip camera isn't that useful. I don't prefer flip cams for photography, but it is good when taking videos.
               
              paulonoob (11:49 PM, November 01, 2013)
              You mean selfies man? You can just use your cellphone for that. He said that using a PC to make HDR photo is better which is true, he doesn't mean easier. I'm sorry for the term but, I guess you suck at photography.
               
              Avatar for paulonerd paulonerd (4:16 PM, October 28, 2013)
              HDR in the camera is much easier than using a PC and flip screen is useful when taking self portraits with a beautiful person at your side. 16mp is enough for almost everything. D5100 is my choice.
               
              RJ (2:03 PM, October 22, 2013)
              How do you remove the battery compartment cover for the d5100,
              it's because I will put a battery grip on it..