Updated (October 2012): Compare the Nikon D5100 vs Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D5100

Nikon D5200


Nikon D5100



Reasons to buy the Nikon D5200

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
1,284 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 60fps
Great color depth
Color depth
24.2 bits

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

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


Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5100.
Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5200.


Nikon D5200 Competitors

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$389 - $397 with 18-55mm lens

Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300

Entry-level DSLR

$597 body only

$529 - $697 with 18-55mm lens

Screen size Significantly larger screen
Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
Canon Rebel T5i

Canon Rebel T5i

Entry-level DSLR

$470 - $649 body only

$529 - $599 with 18-55mm lens

Touch screen Has a touch screen
Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
Low light performance Much more noise at high ISO

Nikon D5100 Competitors

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$389 - $397 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$279 body only

$339 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

True resolution Much higher true resolution
Color depth Better color depth
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D5500

Nikon D5500

Entry-level DSLR

$539 - $697 body only

$614 - $797 with 18-55mm lens

Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Lowest price More expensive


Nikon D5200

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Nikon D5100

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Showing 21 comments

SV (3:53 PM, December 20, 2014)
No , buy D3300 .
Skip (1:05 PM, December 10, 2014)
I have a D3100 and looking to up grade. Is the D5100 that much better?
Will I notice the difference?
Avatar for Bahaa Bahaa (6:51 PM, November 23, 2014)
I am an amateur photographer, what are the suitable lenses for D5100 if I am aiming to use it in family events like weddings and outdoor?
big long ding-a-ling (6:27 PM, January 03, 2014)
Avatar for Vinayak Sutar-Patil Vinayak Sutar-Patil (7:29 AM, September 29, 2013)
LOL... D5100 have AF motor!
Avatar for Anthony "stalker6recon" Anthony "stalker6recon" (1:41 PM, August 27, 2013)
I hear a lot about the no focus motor, but dont see how that is a big issue. I bought the D5100, with a 18-55 vr, and the 70-300 package. Along with the D3200 with the 18-55 only. Both sets have lenses with focus motors, and the range covers everything a casual user will ever need. I bought a macro filter set, that works wonders, on either camera/lens combo. The photos of the D5100, are ten times better than my old D100, and I would not trade it the 5100 for 2 D100, ever.

If you are an enthusiast/amateur, the 5100 with the two lens kit, is basically all you will need.
Avatar for Ai Ai (7:14 AM, July 28, 2013)
Canon IQ can't even compete with Nikon. 9 Cross type focus points can help you a lot in Low light and 39 focus points also useful in subject tracking. Apart from battery life everything is better on D5200.
Anuradha (6:02 AM, July 09, 2013)
Don't get carried away with what's on the paper. Look how it's going to used in practical.
You got 39 focus points on D5200 and 11 on D5100. How often do you expect to see the difference between these two?
Having more cross type focus points is an advantage but worth the extra cost ???? Absolutely no.

About other specs, they are lot closer than you'd expect. Compare with parallel products of Canon and you'll see some improvements in picture quality. That's true because as mentioned, there is a considerable difference. But D5100 and D5200, Not that you're going to notice...
Akki (3:07 PM, June 20, 2013)
apart from resolution many other specs also upgraded significantly like better image quality, 39 focus points, 9 cross type focus points whereas in 5100 its only 1, do u think still its not a worth upgrade
Avatar for Philosophish Philosophish (6:13 PM, May 24, 2013)
Yes, correct, the comment was directed at the site maintainers, because the d5200 specs claimed "Lens Motor Yes" for the D5200.
abdulsami (11:50 AM, April 10, 2013)
i think that d5100 is better because d5200 has only minor new upgrade accept the resolution and costing much
correct me if i am wrong
Avatar for LCworld LCworld (3:02 AM, April 09, 2013)
Neither does the D5100, I believe.
Avatar for andyken andyken (8:52 AM, March 23, 2013)
DXO's dynamic range measurement for the D5100 is 13.6 EV, not 13.0, so 0.3 f stops difference, not 0.9.. The D5200 and D5100 are much closer in dynamic range than you make out.
Avatar for Brad Higham Brad Higham (5:21 PM, March 12, 2013)
Heello , I am wanting to buy one of these as a beginner , mainly for photography for landscapes and wanting to practice with water photography capturing movements ........

People refer to these cameras as beginner cameras , does that mean you can't take pro style images ,

I would like to make money out of my photos , are these cameras good enough ..

Avatar for ansi ansi (5:48 PM, February 02, 2013)
want to buy a dslr go for d5200 or d5100??
Avatar for Rb Ragul Rb Ragul (10:14 PM, January 21, 2013)
but the lenses are costly with focus motor. the lenses without focus motor are cheaper, so if your camera has one then you can buy more lenses for cheaper price. the price difference is very significant for high end lenses almost 50%
Avatar for Marek Medved Marek Medved (10:02 AM, December 20, 2012)
DXO mark results from D5200?
Ultima (1:17 PM, December 18, 2012)
The D5200 is very expensive for such relatively minor upgrades. At that price I would rather go for a D7000.
Sasan (4:08 AM, December 14, 2012)
The Nikon Co built focus motor in lens.
cata (6:30 PM, November 09, 2012)
The Nikon D5200 does not have pentaprism witch is brigther. he have more cross-type focus points and a new sensor. but it is very expensive.
Garrett (7:07 PM, November 07, 2012)
The Nikon D5200 does not have a built in auto focus motor...