Updated (July 2012): Compare the Nikon D5100 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

Nikon D5100 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

Winner
Nikon D5100

53

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

33

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
13 EV
In-camera HDR
HDR
Combines multiple exposures
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
Fewer buttons
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Thickness
Thin
1.9"

Items often bought with the Nikon D5100 or Panasonic DMC-G3

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
Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 460k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
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 53
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      Color
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        vs
        33 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              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

              $349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $400 - $497 body only

              $479 - $500 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon Kiss X5

              Canon Kiss X5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,299 body only

              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $480 - $647 body only

              $549 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Has a slightly larger screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $325 body only

              $360 - $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS Rebel T6i

              Canon EOS Rebel T6i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $749 body only

              $849 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $332 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Thickness Is thicker

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              Nikon D5500

              Nikon D5500

              Entry-level DSLR

              $561 - $747 body only

              $689 - $847 with 18-55mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Screen size Larger screen
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $490 - $649 body only

              $581 - $699 with 18-55mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $798 - $800 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Size Larger
              Thickness Thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $545 body only

              $368 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

              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Size Larger
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $598 - $752 body only

              $860 with 45-150mm lens

              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Size Significantly larger
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $540 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Size Larger

              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

              Report a correction

              Showing 2 comments

              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (9:12 PM, April 18, 2012)
              Thanks! We just launched a new site, Sortable.com which allows you to search and compare more than just cameras. 
               
              Johan (9:06 PM, April 18, 2012)
              This way of comparing can be very helpful.....provided that you really know what you are looking for! In my case, small size and less weight are more important than some other criteria. This leads to weighing cameras differently than you do and therefore also to a different outcome of the question "Which camera is best?". Yet, I praise your website highly for putting the data together and for presenting these in a totally new, visual and engaging way. Keep up the good work!