Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D300

Nikon D5100

Tie
Nikon D5100

67

vs

Nikon D300

65

Nikon D300

Tie
     
 

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
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D300

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.62x
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
300 ms startup delay
Focus points
Many focus points
51
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Overall image quality Significantly better image quality 80.0 vs 67.0
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Around 20% better image quality
Movie format Shoots movies 1080p @ 30fps vs None
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Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Color depth Better color depth 23.5 bits vs 22.1 bits
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Distinguishes 1.4 more bits of color
HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
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Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 1,183 ISO vs 679 ISO
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The D5100 has a slight edge (0.8 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen Yes vs No
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Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Autofocus Video autofocus Contrast detection vs None
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Automatically focuses shooting video
Dynamic range More dynamic range 13 EV vs 12 EV
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1 f-stop more dynamic range
True resolution Higher true resolution 16.1 MP vs 12.2 MP
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Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
Size Smaller 127x96x78 mm vs 147x114x74 mm
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More than 20% smaller
Weight Significantly lighter 560 g vs 925 g
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Around 40% lighter
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
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The D5100's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 25,600 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
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The D5100's boost ISO is 2 f-stops better
Lowest price Cheaper $370.00 vs $1,699.99
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The best price we've seen is $1,330 cheaper (4.6x less)
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Nikon D300

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Weather sealed Weather sealed Yes vs No
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Sealed to shoot in the rain
Focus points Significantly more focus points 51 vs 11
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder 0.62x vs 0.51x
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Around 50% larger viewfinder
Cross type focus points Significantly more cross-type focus points 15 vs 1
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Grab focus in difficult situations
Viewfinder coverage Much better viewfinder coverage 100% vs 95%
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Around 10% better viewfinder coverage
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 6 fps vs 4 fps
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50% faster continuous shooting
Viewfinder Has a pentaprism viewfinder Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
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Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 227 ms vs 273 ms
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Around 20% less delay when taking photos
Battery life Longer battery life 1000 shots vs 660 shots
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More than 50% more shots per battery charge
Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor Yes vs No
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Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Startup delay Less startup delay 300 ms vs 500 ms
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40% less delay when turning on
Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed 1/8000s vs 1/4000s
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2x faster max shutter speed
Thickness Thinner 2.9" vs 3.1"
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Around 10% thinner
Nikon D300 Learn more about
the Nikon D300
vs

recommendations

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

Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 67
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      Color
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        vs

        65 Nikon D300 Nikon D300
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              205 lenses
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              Storage slots Fewer storage slots Help
              1
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D5100:16.1 MP
              D300:12.2 MP
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D5100:6,400 ISO
              D300:3,200 ISO
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              D5100:APS-C 23.6x15.6mm
              D300:APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
              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

              $319 - $656 body only

              $399 - $477 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $480 - $774 body only

              $200 - $617 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 - $647 body only

              $544 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Panorama Creates panoramas in-camera
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Startup delay Has much more startup delay
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $575 - $629 body only

              $848 - $966 with 18-105mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $701 - $840 body only

              $913 - $989 with 18-105mm lens

              Storage slots Has more storage slots
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $380 - $427 with 18-55mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              External mic jack Lacks and external mic jack

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D5100.

              Nikon D300 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D300S

              Nikon D300S

              Pro DSLR

              $1,583 - $1,699 body only

              $1,897 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Color depth Better color depth
              Nikon D200

              Nikon D200

              Pro DSLR

              $687 with 18-200mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen

              appearance

              Nikon D5100 Nikon D300
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D300
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D300

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D300
              D300
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 2 comments

              Ww0000ww (7:31 AM, June 01, 2012)
              i have a d5100 , it's perfect. no limits at all. but its small size make yo think why this camera beat many many cameras like d300 d90 and many more... but the truth is that this camera is a genius creation in a entry level DSLR body case. 
               
              Cmc_keith (3:41 AM, August 25, 2011)
              I own the D300s and I just can't see how the D5100 would even come close to the full-frame and extensive features of the D5100.  I agree that this might not be an apples to apples comparison.  The ability to plug in flash lights, manually save settings for specific locations or settings and the robust control over the shooting settings; in my opinion, make the D300s the clear standout.