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

Nikon D300S

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Nikon D300S

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Nikon D5100

68

Nikon D5100

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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 | 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
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Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
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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
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Automatically focuses shooting video
Color depth Better color depth 23.5 bits vs 22.5 bits
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Distinguishes 1 more bits of color
Dynamic range More dynamic range 13 EV vs 12.2 EV
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0.8 f-stops 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 Much lighter 560 g vs 938 g
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More than 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 $378.00 vs $1,597.79
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The best price we've seen is $1,220 cheaper (4.2x 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
Viewfinder size Significantly larger viewfinder 0.62x vs 0.51x
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Around 50% larger viewfinder
Focus points Significantly more focus points 51 vs 11
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Continuous shooting Shoots significantly faster 7 fps vs 4 fps
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Around 80% faster continuous shooting
Cross type focus points 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
Viewfinder Has a pentaprism viewfinder Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
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Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 225 ms vs 273 ms
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Around 20% less delay when taking photos
Startup delay Less startup delay 300 ms vs 500 ms
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40% less delay when turning on
Battery life Longer battery life 950 shots vs 660 shots
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More than 40% 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
Storage slots Has more storage slots 2 vs 1
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More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
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 D300S Learn more about
the Nikon D300S
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recommendations

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

Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 68
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        69 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
              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
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $517 body only

              $389 - $447 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

              $497 body only

              $597 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

              $439 - $497 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
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $874 - $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

              $625 body only

              $650 - $1,025 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $697 body only

              $599 - $797 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
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $715 body only

              $988 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 - $774 body only

              $449 - $599 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

              $549 - $699 body only

              $399 - $499 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

              $4,337 body only

              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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