Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D800

Nikon D800

Winner
Nikon D800

100

vs

Nikon D5100

66

Nikon D5100

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D800

Low light performance
Low noise at high ISO
2,853 ISO
Overall image quality
Great image quality
95.0
Color depth
Great color depth
25.3 bits
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
14.4 EV
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
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 Nikon D5100

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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
Lens availability Significantly more lenses available 205 lenses vs 152 lenses
Help
More than 30% more lenses available
Size Significantly smaller 127x96x78 mm vs 146x123x82 mm
Help
More than 30% smaller
Weight Significantly lighter 560 g vs 1,000 g
Help
More than 40% lighter
Lowest price Cheaper $449.00 vs $2,796.95
Help
The best price we've seen is $2,348 cheaper (6.2x less)
Thickness Thinner 3.1" vs 3.2"
Help
Almost the same
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Nikon D800

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Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO 2,853 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
Help
The D800 has excellent image quality 1.3 f-stops higher ISO than the D5100
Overall image quality Significantly better image quality 95.0 vs 80.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
True resolution Much higher true resolution 36.2 MP vs 16.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 2x more detail in your photos
Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder 0.70x vs 0.51x
Help
Around 90% larger viewfinder
Screen size Significantly larger screen 3.2" vs 3.0"
Help
Around 10% larger screen
Weather sealed Weather sealed Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Color depth Better color depth 25.3 bits vs 23.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.8 more bits of color
Focus points Many more focus points 51 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Sensor size Much larger sensor Full frame 35.9x24.0mm vs APS-C 23.6x15.6mm
Help
Around 2.5x larger sensor
Cross type focus points Significantly more cross-type focus points 15 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Dynamic range More dynamic range 14.4 EV vs 13 EV
Help
1.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Viewfinder coverage Much better viewfinder coverage 100% vs 95%
Help
Around 10% better viewfinder coverage
Lens focus motor Has a built-in focus motor Yes vs No
Help
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 209 ms vs 273 ms
Help
More than 20% less delay when taking photos
Viewfinder Has a pentaprism viewfinder Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
Help
Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Storage slots Has more storage slots 2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Startup delay Less startup delay 200 ms vs 500 ms
Help
2.5x less delay when turning on
Battery life Longer battery life 900 shots vs 660 shots
Help
Around 40% more shots per battery charge
Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed 1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Nikon D800 Learn more about
the Nikon D800
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 66
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    Style
      Color
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        vs

        100 Nikon D800 Nikon D800
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              4 fps
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 - $580 with 18-55mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              HDR Lacks a built in HDR feature
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $647 body only

              $747 with 18-55mm lens

              3D Captures 3D images
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,147 body only

              $1,447 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $749 - $1,050 body only

              $920 - $1,385 with 18-105mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              HDR Lacks a built in HDR feature
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $629 - $700 body only

              $848 - $850 with 18-105mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $783 - $797 body only

              $881 - $897 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              GPS Has a built-in GPS
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,099 - $1,231 body only

              $1,249 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Size Is slightly larger

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $749 body only

              $550 - $600 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              Lens focus motor Has a built-in focus motor
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $390 - $430 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Thinner
              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $636 - $647 with 18-55mm lens

              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range

              Nikon D800 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $3,399 body only

              $3,999 with 24-105mm lens

              Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points
              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,897 body only

              $2,797 - $2,800 with 28-300mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots faster
              Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
              True resolution Much lower true resolution
              Shutter lag More shutter lag
              Nikon D600

              Nikon D600

              Pro DSLR

              $1,613 body only

              $1,999 - $2,700 with 24-85mm lens

              Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster
              True resolution Much lower true resolution
              Shutter lag More shutter lag
              Nikon DF

              Nikon DF

              Pro DSLR

              $2,747 body only

              $2,935 - $2,997 with 50mm lens

              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO
              True resolution Much lower true resolution
              Movie format Does not take movies
              Nikon D4

              Nikon D4

              Pro DSLR

              $5,997 body only

              Battery life Much longer battery life
              Continuous shooting Shoots much faster
              True resolution Much lower true resolution
              Overall image quality Worse image quality

              appearance

              Nikon D5100 Nikon D800
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D800
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D800

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

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              Nikon D800
              D800
              Nikon

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