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

$400 - $497 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

$469 - $647 body only

$544 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

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

Canon Rebel T5i

Entry-level DSLR

$482 - $649 body only

$579 - $649 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 D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$289 body only

$379 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

True resolution Much higher true resolution
Color depth Better color depth
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$400 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D5500

Nikon D5500

Entry-level DSLR

$559 - $747 body only

$655 - $847 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO


Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Battery life
Longer battery life
660 shots vs 500 shots
More than 30% more shots per battery charge
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
273 ms vs 302 ms
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Slightly smaller
127×97×79 mm vs 129×98×78 mm
Almost the same
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Nikon D5200

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Movie format
Higher frame rate movies
1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
Both shoot Full HD (1080p) video, but D5100 does so at a lower frame rate
True resolution
Much higher true resolution
24 MP vs 16.1 MP
Capture around 50% more detail in your photos
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
39 vs 11
Set focus accurately within the frame
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
1,284 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
The D5200 has a slight edge (0.1 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Overall image quality
Better image quality
84.0 vs 80.0
Around 10% better image quality
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
9 vs 1
Grab focus in difficult situations
Color depth
Better color depth
24.2 bits vs 23.5 bits
Almost the same
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
5 fps vs 4 fps
Around 30% faster continuous shooting
Lowest price
$378.00 vs $554.11
The best price we've seen is $176 cheaper (more than 30% less)
Slightly thinner
3.1" vs 3.1"
Almost the same
Nikon D5200 Learn more about
the Nikon D5200


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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 71
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        80 Nikon D5200 Nikon D5200
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              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Dynamic range Good dynamic range Help
              D510013.6 EV
              D520013.9 EV
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              230 lenses
              External mic jack Have external mic jacks Help
              Record higher quality audio with a microphone
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
              Won't autofocus with all lenses
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              D5100273 ms
              D5200302 ms
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons




              Nikon D5200 Nikon D5100
              Nikon D5200 Nikon D5100
              Nikon D5200 Nikon D5100


              Nikon D5200

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              Nikon D5100

              Report a correction

              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...