Updated (October 2012): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

Nikon D5100 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

Winner
Nikon D5100

67

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

37

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
13 EV
In-camera HDR
HDR
Combines multiple exposures
External mic jack
External mic jack
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
Flip-out screen
Screen flips out
Great for movies
 

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

Size
Really small
Standard size (115×84×47 mm)
Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Thickness
Thin
1.9"

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5100.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
80.0 vs 56.0
Help
More than 40% better image quality
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13 EV vs 10.6 EV
Help
3.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 460k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Color depth
Better color depth
23.5 bits vs 21 bits
Help
Distinguishes 2.5 more bits of color
Supports 24p
Supports 24p
Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
230 lenses vs 108 lenses
Help
More than 2x more lenses available
Startup delay
Significantly less startup delay
500 ms vs 1400 ms
Help
2.8x less delay when turning on
Battery life
Significantly longer battery life
660 shots vs 270 shots
Help
Around 2.5x more shots per battery charge
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO vs 667 ISO
Help
The D5100 has a slight edge (0.8 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Shutter lag
Slightly less shutter lag
273 ms vs 293 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Viewfinder
Has an optical viewfinder
Pentamirror vs Digital
Help
Optical viewfinders save battery life and are more detailed
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-G3

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3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Touch screen
Has a touch screen
Yes vs No
Help
Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Size
Smaller
115×84×47 mm vs 127×97×79 mm
Help
2.1x smaller
Thickness
Thinner
1.9" vs 3.1"
Help
More than 40% thinner
Weight
Lighter
336 g vs 560 g
Help
40% lighter
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
23 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Longest exposure
Longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-G3
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 67
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        37 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Interchangeable lenses Both support interchangeable lenses, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Many lenses to choose from
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Viewfinder Viewfinders Help
              D5100Pentamirror
              DMC-G3Digital
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Common Weaknesses
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              D51001
              DMC-G30
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $447 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Panorama Creates panoramas in-camera
              Thickness Is thicker
              Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $274 body only

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

              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $413 - $497 body only

              $489 - $550 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Shutter lag More shutter lag
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $550 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              True resolution Slightly higher true resolution
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $647 body only

              $578 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Larger screen
              GPS Has a GPS
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $679 body only

              $977 with 55-300mm lens

              Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor
              Shutter lag Less shutter lag
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $545 body only

              $590 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Size Larger
              Thickness Thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $916 with 14-42mm lens

              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Size Larger
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $160 body only

              $280 with 14-42mm lens

              Size Smaller
              Thickness Thinner
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $535 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Size Larger
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $598 - $752 body only

              $949 with 45-150mm lens

              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Size Significantly larger
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor

              appearance

              Nikon D5100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
              Nikon D5100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
              Nikon D5100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

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              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
              Lumix DMC-G3
              Panasonic

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