Updated (April 2011): Compare the Nikon D5100 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

Nikon D5100 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

Winner
Nikon D5100

50

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

35

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-GH2

Touch screen
Touch screen
Fewer buttons
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Longest exposure
Long exposures
60 seconds
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies

Items often bought with the Nikon D5100 or Panasonic DMC-GH2

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-GH2.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
80.0 vs 60.0
Help
More than 30% better image quality
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
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13 EV vs 11.3 EV
Help
1.8 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth
Better color depth
23.5 bits vs 21.2 bits
Help
Distinguishes 2.3 more bits of color
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
Battery life
Longer battery life
660 shots vs 330 shots
Help
2x more shots per battery charge
Startup delay
Less startup delay
500 ms vs 1100 ms
Help
2.2x less delay when turning on
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO vs 655 ISO
Help
The D5100 has a slight edge (0.9 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Viewfinder
Has an optical viewfinder
Pentamirror vs Digital
Help
Optical viewfinders save battery life and are more detailed
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
Help
The D5100's boost ISO is 2 f-stops better
Lowest price
Cheaper
$368.00 vs $799.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $431 cheaper (2.2x less)
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-GH2

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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
Slightly smaller
124×90×76 mm vs 127×97×79 mm
Help
More than 10% smaller
Weight
Lighter
444 g vs 560 g
Help
More than 20% lighter
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
23 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
5 fps vs 4 fps
Help
Around 30% faster continuous shooting
Longest exposure
Longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-GH2
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 50
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        35 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              External mic jack You can plug a microphone into both of these Help
              Record higher quality audio with a microphone
              Supports 24p 24p support Help
              For that film look
              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-GH2Digital
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Common Weaknesses
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              D51003.1"
              DMC-GH23"
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              D51001
              DMC-GH20
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Size Large Help
              D5100127×97×79 mm
              DMC-GH2124×90×76 mm

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $405 - $497 body only

              $479 - $500 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Canon Kiss X5

              Canon Kiss X5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,299 body only

              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $490 - $649 body only

              $581 - $649 with 18-55mm lens

              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $820 body only

              $960 with 18-135mm lens

              Viewfinder coverage Slightly better viewfinder coverage
              Battery life Has a significantly longer battery life
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Autofocus Lacks autofocus
              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $799 - $999 body only

              $1,019 - $1,099 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Weather sealed Has a weather sealed body
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Size Is slightly larger

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Size Slightly smaller
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              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
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $480 - $647 body only

              $549 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

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

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,249 - $1,398 body only

              $1,900 - $2,741 with 35-100mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Size Larger
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $598 - $729 body only

              $860 with 45-150mm lens

              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Size Larger
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              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
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              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
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $539 - $549 body only

              $593 - $599 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor

              appearance

              Nikon D5100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
              Nikon D5100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
              Nikon D5100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
              Lumix DMC-GH2
              Panasonic

              Report a correction

              Showing 2 comments

              LJay (5:47 AM, September 10, 2011)
               GH2 is a great camera and has amazing, amazing, amazing video capabilities. Check out some of the hacked GH2 footage on youtube, there is some really amazing videos shot with the camera. If the amount of lenses attracts you, micro 4/3 cameras have adapters available for Voigtlander, Leica M, Nikon F or Pentax K lenses. Thats a lot of lenses available right there.
               
              juan fer (4:56 AM, August 17, 2011)
              I am so
              confused about which one to buy, it attracts me to know that Nikon has such
              amount of lenses and also is much cheaper, on the other hand, gh2 is so smaller,
              lighter, quite important for me.  What I can’t
              believe is the huge difference in image quality, I have seen some pictures and
              they are just amazing, that is way I still have a lot of faith in lumix.


              Anyone has
              used the GH2???