Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D4

Nikon D3

Winner
Nikon D3

93

vs

Nikon D5100

67

Nikon D5100

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3

Low light performance
Low noise at high ISO
2,290 ISO
Overall image quality
Great image quality
81.0
Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.70x
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
13 EV
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
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Movie format Shoots movies 1080p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
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
Autofocus Video autofocus Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Size Much smaller 127x96x78 mm vs 160x157x88 mm
Help
2.3x smaller
Sensor cleaning Has a self cleaning sensor Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Lens availability Significantly more lenses available 205 lenses vs 152 lenses
Help
More than 30% more lenses available
Dynamic range More dynamic range 13 EV vs 12.2 EV
Help
0.8 f-stops more dynamic range
True resolution Higher true resolution 16.1 MP vs 12.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
Weight Much lighter 560 g vs 1,300 g
Help
2.3x lighter
Lowest price Much cheaper $378.00 vs $7,899.99
Help
The best price we've seen is $7,522 cheaper (20.9x less)
Thickness Significantly thinner 3.1" vs 3.5"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Built-in flash Built-in flash Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Nikon D3

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Battery life Much longer battery life 4300 shots vs 660 shots
Help
More than 6.5x more shots per battery charge
Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO 2,290 ISO vs 1,183 ISO
Help
The D3 has a slight edge (1 f-stop) in low noise, high ISO performance
Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder 0.70x vs 0.51x
Help
Around 90% larger viewfinder
Shutter lag Much less shutter lag 88 ms vs 273 ms
Help
3.1x less delay when taking photos
Weather sealed Weather sealed Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Continuous shooting Shoots significantly faster 9 fps vs 4 fps
Help
Around 2.5x faster continuous shooting
Sensor size Much larger sensor Full frame 36.0x24.0mm vs APS-C 23.6x15.6mm
Help
Around 2.5x larger sensor
Focus points Significantly more focus points 51 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Cross type focus points Significantly more cross-type focus points 15 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Viewfinder coverage Much better viewfinder coverage 100% vs 95%
Help
Around 10% better viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder Has a pentaprism viewfinder Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
Help
Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor Yes vs No
Help
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
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 300 ms vs 500 ms
Help
40% less delay when turning on
Overall image quality Slightly better image quality 81.0 vs 80.0
Help
Almost the same
Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed 1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Nikon D3 Learn more about
the Nikon D3
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 67
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    Style
      Color
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        vs

        93 Nikon D3 Nikon D3
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses

              Snapsort is not aware of any interesting strengths shared by these two products.

              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D5100:16.1 MP
              D3:12.1 MP
              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

              $329 - $567 body only

              $477 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $547 body only

              $549 - $697 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $929 body only

              $834 - $940 with 18-105mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,257 body only

              $1,300 with 18-105mm lens

              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,047 - $1,097 body only

              $1,347 - $1,397 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Canon EOS 7D

              Canon EOS 7D

              Pro DSLR

              $999 - $1,799 body only

              $1,299 - $1,599 with 18-135mm lens

              Thickness Is thinner
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Size Is slightly larger

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $648 body only

              $200 - $570 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $547 - $597 with 18-55mm lens

              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $747 body only

              $679 - $847 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $699 - $849 body only

              $499 - $822 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Weight Lighter
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $278 body only

              $427 - $480 with 18-55mm lens

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

              Nikon D3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              Sensor cleaning Has a self cleaning sensor
              Size Much smaller
              Battery life Much shorter battery life
              Continuous shooting Shoots significantly slower
              Nikon D3S

              Nikon D3S

              Pro DSLR

              $6,000 body only

              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Movie format Shoots movies
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Nikon D800

              Nikon D800

              Pro DSLR

              $3,297 body only

              True resolution Much higher true resolution
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Battery life Much shorter battery life
              Continuous shooting Shoots significantly slower
              Nikon D4

              Nikon D4

              Pro DSLR

              $6,744 - $6,842 body only

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Battery life Much shorter battery life
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,797 - $1,897 body only

              $2,297 - $2,397 with 24-85mm lens

              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Movie format Shoots movies
              Battery life Much shorter battery life
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag

              appearance

              Nikon D5100 Nikon D3
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D3
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D3

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

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              Nikon D3
              D3
              Nikon

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