Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D5100

Nikon D5100

Winner
Nikon D5100

71

vs

Nikon D5000

49

Nikon D5000

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Low light performance
Low noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO
Overall image quality
Great image quality
80.0
Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
13 EV
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5000

Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
400 ms startup delay
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
Sensor size
Large sensor
APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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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
Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO 1,183 ISO vs 868 ISO
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The D5100 has a slight edge (0.4 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 230k dots
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4x higher resolution screen
Screen size Significantly larger screen 3.0" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Overall image quality Better image quality 80.0 vs 72.0
Help
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
External mic jack Has an external mic jack Yes vs No
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Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Color depth Better color depth 23.5 bits vs 22.7 bits
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Distinguishes 0.8 more bits of color
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
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
Battery life Longer battery life 660 shots vs 510 shots
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Around 30% more shots per battery charge
Dynamic range More dynamic range 13 EV vs 12.5 EV
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0.5 f-stops more dynamic range
Size Smaller 127x96x78 mm vs 127x104x80 mm
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Around 10% smaller
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
Thickness Thinner 3.1" vs 3.1"
Help
Almost the same
Weight Slightly lighter 560 g vs 590 g
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Around 10% lighter
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Nikon D5000

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Sensor size Larger sensor APS-C 23.6x15.8mm vs APS-C 23.6x15.6mm
Help
Almost the same
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 400 ms vs 500 ms
Help
20% less delay when turning on
Nikon D5000 Learn more about
the Nikon D5000
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 71
Retailer
    Style
      Color
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        vs

        49 Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000

        similarities

        Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

        Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
        Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
        Great for movies
        Lens availability Many lenses available Help
        205 lenses
        Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
        D5100:500 ms
        D5000:400 ms
        Sensor size Large sensors Help
        D5100:APS-C 23.6x15.6mm
        D5000:APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
        Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
        1/4000 of a second
        Thickness Quite thick Help
        3.1"
        Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
        95%
        Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
        1
        Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
        4 fps
        True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
        D5100:16.1 MP
        D5000:12.2 MP
        Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
        D5100:273 ms
        D5000:276 ms
        Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
        0.51x
        Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
        D5100:6,400 ISO
        D5000:3,200 ISO
        Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
        Risk of blur
        Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
        Need to shelter it from weather
        Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
        You could stitch photos in post
        Focus points Few focus points Help
        11
        Movie format Poor movies Help
        D5100:1080p @ 30fps
        D5000:720p @ 24fps

        dxomark

        DXOMark

        competitors

        Shared Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Nikon D3200

        Nikon D3200

        Entry-level DSLR

        $329 - $567 body only

        $477 with 18-55mm lens

        True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
        Size Is slightly smaller
        Sensor size Has a marginally smaller sensor
        Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out
        Canon Rebel T3i

        Canon Rebel T3i

        Entry-level DSLR

        $499 - $774 body only

        $200 - $729 with 18-55mm lens

        True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
        Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
        Size Is slightly larger
        Sensor size Has a much smaller sensor
        Nikon D5200

        Nikon D5200

        Entry-level DSLR

        $597 body only

        $500 - $697 with 18-55mm lens

        Movie format Records higher quality movies
        True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
        Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
        Nikon D3300

        Nikon D3300

        Entry-level DSLR

        $597 with 18-55mm lens

        Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
        Movie format Records higher quality movies
        Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
        Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out
        Nikon D3100

        Nikon D3100

        Entry-level DSLR

        $249 body only

        $375 - $430 with 18-55mm lens

        Size Is slightly smaller
        Thickness Is thinner
        Sensor size Has a marginally smaller sensor
        Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out
        Nikon D90

        Nikon D90

        Entry-level DSLR

        $689 - $929 body only

        $940 with 18-105mm lens

        Viewfinder size Significantly larger viewfinder
        Viewfinder Has higher quality type of viewfinder
        Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
        Weight Is slightly heavier
        Nikon D5300

        Nikon D5300

        Entry-level DSLR

        $747 body only

        $847 with 18-55mm lens

        Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
        Movie format Records higher quality movies
        Lowest price Is significantly more expensive

        Nikon D5100 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

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

        Nikon D5000 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D5000.

        appearance

        Nikon D5100 Nikon D5000
        Nikon D5100 Nikon D5000
        Nikon D5100 Nikon D5000

        discussion

        Nikon D5100
        D5100
        Nikon

        Report a correction
        Nikon D5000
        D5000
        Nikon

        Report a correction

        Showing 19 comments

        Ann (11:37 PM, August 12, 2013)
        I am owning currently a Nikon D5100 and bought it with the thought in mind that it would have better image quality than the D5000. I am a little disappointed. So the Nikon D5100 better distinguishes nuances and color depth according to DXO-marks reviews (although the differences are really not that big). There are also a lot of usability features that are improved with the D5100 - better viewfinder and resolution on screen etc. But there is one large drawback as I see it, and that goes for most SRL cameras that are produced these days.

        I am not too good at explaining the technical stuff - so read it here. http://6mpixel.org/en/6-megapixel-the-best-compromise/

        The main point is as follows. After a certain pixel count, pixel SIZE are preferable over COUNT of pixels. Because consumers think more (pixels) means better (image) quality - producers tend to cram more pixels into the same sensor size - like they have done with this model. However that diminishes the pixel size with the effect of more noise in low light situation, less clarity (because some pixels are so small that they do not correctly interpret light etc.)

        In my opinion the pictures from the D5100 look less sharp than from the D5000 in the focus points compared to the background. I have seen photos with the same lens on from both cameras and the differences are consistent. Think about that when you think about going for a camera with more than 12 MP.
         
        Avatar for Satyam Joshi Satyam Joshi (4:20 PM, October 14, 2012)
        D5100 stands out...its the best entry level..in specifications and all technical part !
         
        Avatar for Sohel Shams Sohel Shams (10:05 AM, October 03, 2012)
        I've D5000. It is good. But I don't know about D5100. I think these two are much more similar other than little changes in specifications.
         
        Henry_sapungan (9:16 AM, May 03, 2012)
        I already bought my d5100 just last summer of 2012 for P35K in Manila. I am truly enjoying those feature things and stuffs and I may recommend this camera to all advanced  photo shooters for it got lots of options and adjustments. I'm totally satisfied as commercial photo-video  shooter 'cause I'm  latest owner of D5100 in my place now. I'm proud of this, AMEN.
         
        Henry_sapungan (7:48 PM, February 02, 2012)

        yeah.. I agreed to that. but it cost a lot of money. 
         
        Laura (1:00 AM, July 28, 2011)
        i agree the menu is too complicated!
         
        miket (0:58 AM, July 28, 2011)
        D5100 is so much better <3 i got d5100 and its amazing
         
        Laura (0:54 AM, July 28, 2011)
        i agree with you (y)
         
        Esenjay (4:36 PM, July 10, 2011)
        The only complaint I have about my D5000 is that audio during video capture is very bad in loud noise situations.  I'm wondering if the optional external mike on the D5100 helps in that situation.
         
        Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (5:13 PM, May 30, 2011)
        In bright light situations its not an issue.  It starts to become an issue in lower light, say indoors, or evenings.  Also, the longer a focal length you use, the more risk there is of blur from hand-shake, for example at 300mm.  Another thing to keep in mind is the aperture of the lens, at longer focal lengths with consumer lenses you tend to get narrow apertures like f/5.6, which let in less light.
         
        Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (4:58 PM, May 30, 2011)
        If you set up the camera correctly, you will not have a problems with image blur.
         
        Markreeves (4:55 PM, May 30, 2011)
        How difficult is it to get great non-blurring pictures without image stabilization?
         
        Annelintest (11:08 AM, May 01, 2011)
        I disagree. I have got a D5100 and it's not difficult to use. I'm only 15 and It was a really good buy!
         
        Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:13 PM, April 25, 2011)
        They are both good, but the D5100 is just one step up over the D5000
         
        Uuh (4:54 AM, April 24, 2011)
        My friend has a d5100 and he didn't like it. The menu is too complicated and it's difficult to use it.
         
        Guest (4:51 AM, April 24, 2011)
        I disagree. I have a D5000 and it's realy good! It's awesome! You have to choose a camera according you needs.
         
        Henry (4:49 AM, April 24, 2011)
        Well, both of then are good. But the 5100 seems be better.
         
        Jenny (4:47 AM, April 24, 2011)
        I really think that d5100 is better. I want to buy one soon.
         
        Guest (7:59 AM, April 22, 2011)
        which one is good?