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

Nikon D300S vs Nikon D5100

Tie
Nikon D300S

69

Nikon D5100

68

Tie

Reasons to buy the Nikon D300S

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

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
Badge
Autofocuses shooting video
Contrast detection

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5100.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D300S.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video at a higher frame rate
Overall image quality
Better image quality
80.0 vs 70.0
Help
More than 10% better image quality
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
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
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
0.3 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
127×97×79 mm vs 147×114×74 mm
Help
More than 20% smaller
Weight
Significantly lighter
560 g vs 938 g
Help
More than 40% lighter
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$368.00 vs $2,549.95
Help
The best price we've seen is $2,182 cheaper (6.9x less)
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The D5100's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The D5100's boost ISO is 4 f-stops better
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Nikon D300S

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Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Viewfinder size
Significantly larger viewfinder
0.62x vs 0.51x
Help
Around 50% larger viewfinder
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
51 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Continuous shooting
Shoots significantly 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
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
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
225 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
Battery life
Longer battery life
950 shots vs 660 shots
Help
More than 40% more shots per battery charge
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

Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 68
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      Color
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        vs
        69 Nikon D300S Nikon D300S
        Retailer
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              205 lenses
              Common Weaknesses
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D51006,400 ISO
              D300S3,200 ISO
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D510016.1 MP
              D300S12.2 MP
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              3"

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $300 - $547 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 slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $413 - $497 body only

              $489 - $550 with 18-55mm lens

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

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $677 body only

              $477 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Panorama Creates panoramas in-camera
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $677 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $700 body only

              $1,007 with 55-300mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $759 - $897 body only

              $959 - $1,197 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $647 body only

              $579 - $747 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 Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $548 - $566 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 D300S Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              $3,898 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

              Report a correction

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