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

Overall image quality
Great image quality
80.0
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
13 EV
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D300

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.62x
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
6 fps
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
300 ms startup delay
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

Report a correction
Overall image quality Significantly better image quality 80.0 vs 67.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
Movie format Shoots movies 1080p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Color depth Better color depth 23.5 bits vs 22.1 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.4 more bits of color
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 1,183 ISO vs 679 ISO
Help
The D5100 has a slight edge (0.8 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
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
Dynamic range More dynamic range 13 EV vs 12 EV
Help
1 f-stop more dynamic range
True resolution Higher true resolution 16.1 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
Size Smaller 127x96x78 mm vs 147x114x74 mm
Help
More than 20% smaller
Weight Significantly lighter 560 g vs 925 g
Help
Around 40% lighter
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The D5100's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 25,600 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The D5100's boost ISO is 2 f-stops better
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Nikon D300

Report a correction
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 size Significantly larger viewfinder 0.62x vs 0.51x
Help
Around 50% larger viewfinder
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
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 6 fps vs 4 fps
Help
50% faster continuous shooting
Viewfinder Has a pentaprism viewfinder Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
Help
Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Battery life Longer battery life 1000 shots vs 660 shots
Help
More than 50% more shots per battery charge
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 227 ms vs 273 ms
Help
Around 20% less delay when taking photos
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
Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed 1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Thickness Thinner 2.9" vs 3.1"
Help
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
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        65 Nikon D300 Nikon D300

        similarities

        Compared to recent DSLRs

        Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
        Lens availability Many lenses available Help
        205 lenses
        Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
        D5100:500 ms
        D300:300 ms
        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 body only

        $389 - $506 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
        Nikon D5200

        Nikon D5200

        Entry-level DSLR

        $547 body only

        $549 - $647 with 18-55mm lens

        True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
        Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
        Thickness Is thicker
        Canon Rebel T3i

        Canon Rebel T3i

        Entry-level DSLR

        $499 - $648 body only

        $200 - $579 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 D3300

        Nikon D3300

        Entry-level DSLR

        $547 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 D7000

        Nikon D7000

        Entry-level DSLR

        $640 body only

        $850 with 18-105mm lens

        Storage slots Has more storage slots
        Thickness Is thicker
        Weight Is slightly heavier
        Nikon D90

        Nikon D90

        Entry-level DSLR

        $929 body only

        $848 - $940 with 18-105mm lens

        Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
        Thickness Is thicker
        Nikon D5300

        Nikon D5300

        Entry-level DSLR

        $747 body only

        $650 - $847 with 18-55mm lens

        Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
        Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
        Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed

        Nikon D5100 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Canon EOS Rebel T5

        Canon EOS Rebel T5

        Entry-level DSLR

        $681 - $700 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 D300 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Nikon D300S

        Nikon D300S

        Pro DSLR

        $1,695 - $1,908 body only

        Movie format Shoots movies
        Color depth Better color depth
        Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
        Nikon D200

        Nikon D200

        Pro DSLR

        $1,301 body only

        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.