Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D80

Nikon D5100 vs Nikon D80

Winner
Nikon D5100

71

Nikon D80

36

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
1,183 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
80.0
Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 30fps
Great color depth
Color depth
23.5 bits
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D80

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.62x
Viewfinder
Great viewfinder
Pentaprism
Badge
Built-in focus motor
Autofocuses with more lenses

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5100.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D80.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Movie format
Shoots movies
1080p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Low light performance
Much lower noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO vs 524 ISO
Help
The D5100 has excellent image quality: 1.2 f-stops higher ISO than the D80
Screen size
Much larger screen
3" vs 2.5"
Help
More than 20% larger screen
Overall image quality
Much better image quality
80.0 vs 61.0
Help
More than 30% better image quality
Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 230k dots
Help
4x higher resolution screen
Live view
Has live view
Yes vs No
Help
Preview your photos on the camera's screen before taking them
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13 EV vs 11.2 EV
Help
2 f-stops more dynamic range
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Color depth
Better color depth
23.5 bits vs 22.1 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.4 more bits of color
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
True resolution
Significantly higher true resolution
16.1 MP vs 10 MP
Help
Capture more than 60% more detail in your photos
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$368.00 vs $1,500.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,132 cheaper (4.1x less)
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
4 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 30% faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The D5100's boost ISO is 6 f-stops better
Size
Smaller
127×97×79 mm vs 132×103×77 mm
Help
Around 10% smaller
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 1,600 ISO
Help
The D5100's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
Weight
Lighter
560 g vs 668 g
Help
Around 20% lighter
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Nikon D80

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Viewfinder size
Much larger viewfinder
0.62x vs 0.51x
Help
Around 50% larger viewfinder
Viewfinder
Has a pentaprism viewfinder
Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
Help
Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Built-in focus motor
Has a built-in focus motor
Yes vs No
Help
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
250 ms vs 273 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Thickness
Thinner
3" vs 3.1"
Help
Almost the same
Nikon D80 Learn more about
the Nikon D80
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
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    Style
      Color
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        vs
        36 Nikon D80 Nikon D80
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              205 lenses
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              D51003.1"
              D803"
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D510016.1 MP
              D8010 MP
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D51006,400 ISO
              D801,600 ISO
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D51004 fps
              D803 fps
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              11
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              D5100273 ms
              D80250 ms
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              D51001080p @ 30fps
              D80None

              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 much higher resolution photos
              Battery life Has a slightly shorter battery life
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $413 - $497 body only

              $489 - $550 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Battery life Has a slightly shorter battery life
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $677 body only

              $477 - $497 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
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $548 - $566 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $700 body only

              $1,007 with 55-300mm lens

              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $275 body only

              $484 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Size Is slightly smaller
              Thickness Is thinner
              External mic jack Lacks and external mic jack
              Battery life Has a slightly shorter battery life
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $647 body only

              $579 - $747 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

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

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

              Nikon D80 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3000

              Nikon D3000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $629 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Lowest price Much cheaper
              Viewfinder size Significantly smaller viewfinder
              Viewfinder Doesn't have a pentaprism viewfinder

              appearance

              Nikon D5100 Nikon D80
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D80
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D80

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

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              Nikon D80
              D80
              Nikon

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