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
Much lower noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO vs 977 ISO
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The D5100 has a slight edge (0.3 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Overall image quality
Much better image quality
80.0 vs 73.0
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Around 10% better image quality
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13.6 EV vs 12.5 EV
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0.3 f-stops more dynamic range
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
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
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Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
True resolution
Significantly 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
127×97×79 mm vs 132×103×77 mm
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Around 10% smaller
Weight
Lighter
560 g vs 703 g
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More than 20% lighter
Lowest price
Cheaper
$409.99 vs $600.00
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The best price we've seen is $190 cheaper (more than 30% less)
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Nikon D90

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Viewfinder size
Much larger viewfinder
0.63x vs 0.51x
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More than 50% larger viewfinder
Viewfinder
Has a pentaprism viewfinder
Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
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Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Battery life
Longer battery life
850 shots vs 660 shots
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Around 30% 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
Screen resolution
Slightly higher resolution screen
930k dots vs 920k dots
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Almost the same
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
4.5 fps vs 4 fps
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More than 10% faster continuous shooting
Viewfinder coverage
Better viewfinder coverage
96% vs 95%
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Almost the same
Thickness
Thinner
3" vs 3.1"
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Almost the same
Nikon D90 Learn more about
the Nikon D90
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 100
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      Color
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        vs
        96 Nikon D90 Nikon D90
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            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              230 lenses
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              D5100273 ms
              D90208 ms
              Startup delay Significant startup delay Help
              D5100500 ms
              D90300 ms
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D510016.1 MP
              D9012.2 MP
              GPS No built-in GPS Help
              Missing geo-tagging
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              D510023.5 bits
              D9022.7 bits
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              D510095%
              D9096%
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              11
              Movie format Poor movies Help
              D51001080p @ 30fps
              D90720p @ 24fps
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D51004 fps
              D904.5 fps
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              D5100920k dots
              D90930k dots
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              3"

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              Nikon D5100 Nikon D90
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D90
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D90

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

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              Nikon D90
              D90
              Nikon

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