Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D300S

Nikon D300S

Winner
Nikon D300S

70

vs

Nikon D5100

66

Nikon D5100

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D300S

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.62x
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
7 fps
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
300 ms startup delay
 

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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Overall image quality Better image quality 80.0 vs 70.0
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More than 10% better image quality
HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video at a higher frame rate
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
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 1,183 ISO vs 787 ISO
Help
The D5100 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Autofocus Video autofocus Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Color depth Better color depth 23.5 bits vs 22.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1 more bits of color
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 12.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
Size Smaller 127x96x78 mm vs 147x114x74 mm
Help
More than 20% smaller
Weight Much lighter 560 g vs 938 g
Help
More than 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
Lowest price Cheaper $378.00 vs $1,663.29
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,285 cheaper (4.4x less)
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Nikon D300S

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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
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
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 7 fps vs 4 fps
Help
Around 80% faster continuous shooting
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
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 225 ms vs 273 ms
Help
Around 20% less delay when taking photos
Battery life Longer battery life 950 shots vs 660 shots
Help
More than 40% more shots per battery charge
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
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 D300S Learn more about
the Nikon D300S
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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        70 Nikon D300S Nikon D300S
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              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
              D300S:300 ms
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D5100:16.1 MP
              D300S:12.2 MP
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D5100:6,400 ISO
              D300S:3,200 ISO
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              D5100:APS-C 23.6x15.6mm
              D300S: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 - $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
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $547 body only

              $646 - $647 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

              $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 D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $947 body only

              $1,247 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $640 body only

              $850 with 18-105mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              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 D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $929 body only

              $844 - $940 with 18-105mm lens

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

              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
              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 D300S Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Movie format Does not take movies
              Lens availability Significantly fewer lenses available

              appearance

              Nikon D5100 Nikon D300S
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D300S
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D300S

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

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              Nikon D300S
              D300S
              Nikon

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