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

Nikon D3 vs Nikon D5100

Winner
Nikon D3

93

Nikon D5100

68

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3

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

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
13 EV
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures

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
Size
Much smaller
127x96x78 mm vs 160x157x88 mm
Help
2.3x smaller
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
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
205 lenses vs 152 lenses
Help
More than 30% more lenses available
Sensor cleaning
Has a self cleaning sensor
Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13 EV vs 12.2 EV
Help
0.8 f-stops more dynamic range
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$354.09 vs $5,999.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $5,645 cheaper (16.9x less)
Weight
Much lighter
560 g vs 1,300 g
Help
2.3x lighter
True resolution
Higher true resolution
16.1 MP vs 12.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
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
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
9 fps vs 4 fps
Help
Around 2.5x faster continuous shooting
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
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
51 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Viewfinder coverage
Much better viewfinder coverage
100% vs 95%
Help
Around 10% better viewfinder coverage
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
15 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
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
Startup delay
Less startup delay
300 ms vs 500 ms
Help
40% less delay when turning on
Storage slots
Has more storage slots
2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
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 68
Retailer
    Style
      Color
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        vs
        93 Nikon D3 Nikon D3
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths

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

              Common Weaknesses
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              D51003.1"
              D33.5"
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D510016.1 MP
              D312.1 MP
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              3.0"

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $290 body only

              $379 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly 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

              $647 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $619 with 18-55mm lens

              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $704 body only

              $900 with 55-300mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $997 body only

              $1,170 - $1,297 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
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,364 - $1,497 body only

              $2,297 with 28-300mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $539 body only

              $549 - $599 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder size Slightly larger viewfinder
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $677 body only

              $420 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Color depth Better color depth
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

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

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $231 body only

              $365 with 18-55mm lens

              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Thickness Thinner
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $647 - $697 body only

              $569 - $797 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Focus points Significantly more focus points
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive

              Nikon D3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              $3,918 body only

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

              Nikon D3S

              Pro DSLR

              $4,995 body only

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

              Nikon D800

              Pro DSLR

              $2,416 - $2,611 body only

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Battery life Much shorter battery life
              Continuous shooting Shoots much slower
              Nikon D4

              Nikon D4

              Pro DSLR

              $4,078 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 D600

              Nikon D600

              Pro DSLR

              $1,357 body only

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              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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