Sony SLT A65 vs Nikon D5100

Sony SLT-A65


Nikon D5100



Reasons to buy the Sony SLT A65

Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 60fps
Large viewfinder
Viewfinder size
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
High true resolution
True resolution
24 MP

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
13.6 EV
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
500 ms startup delay
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures


Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5100.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony SLT-A65.


Sony SLT-A65 Competitors

Sony SLT A58

Sony SLT A58

Entry-level DSLR

$498 with 18-55mm lens

Startup delay Significantly less startup delay
Battery life Longer battery life
Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Sony SLT-A77

Sony SLT A77


$1,099 body only

$1,499 with 18-135mm lens

Weather sealed Weather sealed
Overall image quality Better image quality
Size Significantly larger
Sony SLT A57

Sony SLT A57

Entry-level DSLR

$548 with 18-55mm lens

Continuous shooting Shoots significantly faster
Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
True resolution Much lower true resolution

Nikon D5100 Competitors

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$289 body only

$379 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

True resolution Much higher true resolution
Color depth Better color depth
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$400 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200

Entry-level DSLR

$378 body only

$479 - $580 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
True resolution Much higher true resolution
Battery life Shorter battery life


Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Low light performance
Significantly lower noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO vs 717 ISO
The D5100 has a slight edge (0.7 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Startup delay
Much less startup delay
500 ms vs 2800 ms
5.6x less delay when turning on
Has an optical viewfinder
Pentamirror vs Digital
Optical viewfinders save battery life and are more detailed
Overall image quality
Better image quality
80.0 vs 74.0
Around 10% better image quality
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
230 lenses vs 126 lenses
More than 80% more lenses available
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13.6 EV vs 12.6 EV
0.3 f-stops more dynamic range
Battery life
Longer battery life
660 shots vs 510 shots
Around 30% more shots per battery charge
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$399.95 vs $865.61
The best price we've seen is $466 cheaper (2.2x less)
127×97×79 mm vs 132×97×81 mm
Around 10% smaller
3.1" vs 3.2"
Almost the same
560 g vs 622 g
Around 10% lighter
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Sony SLT A65

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Viewfinder size
Much larger viewfinder
0.71x vs 0.51x
More than 90% larger viewfinder
Movie format
Higher frame rate movies
1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
Both shoot Full HD (1080p) video, but D5100 does so at a lower frame rate
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
10 fps vs 4 fps
2.5x faster continuous shooting
Faster video autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Shoot videos without worrying about focus
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
True resolution
Much higher true resolution
24 MP vs 16.1 MP
Capture around 50% more detail in your photos
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
138 ms vs 273 ms
Around 50% less delay when taking photos
Has a GPS
Yes vs No
Automatically geotags your photos when traveling
Viewfinder coverage
Significantly better viewfinder coverage
100% vs 95%
Around 10% better viewfinder coverage
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
16,000 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
The SLT A65's maximum light sensitivity is 2.6 f-stops better
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
15 vs 11
Set focus accurately within the frame
Cross type focus points
Slightly more cross-type focus points
3 vs 1
Grab focus in difficult situations
Sony SLT-A65 Learn more about
the Sony SLT A65


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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 70
        You save
        75 Sony SLT A65 Sony SLT-A65
              You save


              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              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
              External mic jack Have external mic jacks Help
              Record higher quality audio with a microphone
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              SLT A653.2"
              Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
              Won't autofocus with all lenses
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              SLT A653
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D51006,400 ISO
              SLT A6516,000 ISO
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons




              Nikon D5100 Sony SLT-A65
              Nikon D5100 Sony SLT-A65
              Nikon D5100 Sony SLT-A65


              Nikon D5100

              Report a correction
              Sony SLT-A65
              SLT A65

              Report a correction

              Showing 11 comments

              Ricardo (2:57 PM, December 12, 2012)
              Both of them are good for that, anyway you have to have in mind that the lens are very important too, to have nice portraits, you have to buy a 50 mm lens f1.4
              sun (5:07 PM, December 11, 2012)
              I'm Beginner for a DSLR, I wonder which one produce better imager of portraits in low light.
              Avatar for Brix Bonhoc Brix Bonhoc (3:40 AM, March 10, 2012)
              When will thailand distribute this camera to all Sony Outel In its neighboring country?
              JT (10:11 PM, February 01, 2012)
              Tällä sivustolla ikäänkuin tuetaan/sponsataan Nikon kameroita!! Puolueellista! Tämäkin testi sen osoittaa; Joku Nikon D5100 muka tämän perusteella parempi....
              Rickthunderheart (3:19 AM, January 30, 2012)
              Don't worry, when I was ready to buy the Sony SLT A65, I was very concerned, and I was keeping some thoughts about the Nikon 5100, always having doubts, always searching in the internet something that would tell me " do not buy the Sony" but at that point I was tired, and I bought the Sony, and let me tell you, the Sony is a great camera, the pictures you can take are awesome, they always look very professional, every setting is useful, the resolution is great, colors are very sharp, the kit lens are very good, etc, I always was lookin for something perfect in Photography, and now I found what I was looking for, maybe the Nikon is very good too, but I'm very happy about my choice. 
              Gmay2 (9:08 AM, January 29, 2012)
              I was ready to purchase the A65 but have now stopped to rethink.  Image quality is very important to me and a couple of reviews have highlighted the Nikon as producing better quality pictures.  With the 24mp capturing more detail in the shot, I cant understand why the Nikon produces better quality pictures - can someone help me.  Also, the video detail on the A65 is better than the Nikon but I'm not sure it will really matter?  I can wait for inventories but still a bit confused.
              GR8WHITENORTH (4:48 AM, January 25, 2012)
              I just purchased the A65 yesterday, 1 have 185 actuations and am very impressed. I'm a newbie to DSLR and absolutely was prepared to purchase the D5100, the problem is you can't buy it right now as there is no inventory due to the flooding in Thailand. I thought perhaps I might have buyers remorse with the Sony but after reviewing the photo's I've taken I don't think I'll look back...
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:08 PM, January 18, 2012)
              Hi Stondonmassey and Thyprod, we just take the # of lenses currently available for sale from B&H Photo video by mount.

              Stondonmassey, you suggested we only take Nikon lenses that have AF-S and VR.  I understand your point, keep in mind we already include image stabilization as an advantage of Sony and Pentax cameras, and we point out the lack of autofocus capability with some lenses with the low end Nikon bodies.
              Thyprod (4:49 AM, January 18, 2012)
              Add to that, the reviewer has been a bit vague and a little misleading I believe. 92 lenses for the Sony? Doesn't specify new or current lenses... And with the Nikon @ 169 lenses? Sounds like new and second-hand lenses to me. Also sounds like the reviewer may be a bit biased towards Nikon, or simply hasn't done their homework correctly! The beauty about the Sony is that is can accept a lot of second-hand Minolta (MF/AF) lenses which are still readily available second-hand in excellent condition, and some which have better optical quality than Nikon have ever made, because they were once associated with Leica! The glass is the most important thing, remember!
              stondonmassey (6:48 PM, November 20, 2011)
              Why are you always saying that Nikon d5100 is compatible with 192 lenses ("169 lenses vs 92 lenses)? Since Sony slt a-65 has built-in motor and stabilization system, and Nikon does not, when comparing these two cameras you should count only  Nikon lenses which are simultaneously VR and AF-S, and you will  hardly find 10 such lenses.
              Rickthunder (5:42 AM, November 06, 2011)
              Sony SLT A65 It's a great camera, I bought it today and I'm very happy