Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Sony SLT-A65

Sony SLT A65

Winner
Sony SLT-A65

76

vs

Nikon D5100

72

Nikon D5100

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Sony SLT A65

Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 60fps
Large viewfinder
Viewfinder size
0.71x
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
High true resolution
True resolution
24 MP
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Low light performance
Low noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO
Overall image quality
Great image quality
80.0
Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
13 EV
 

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Low light performance
Significantly lower noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO vs 717 ISO
Help
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
Help
5.6x less delay when turning on
Overall image quality
Better image quality
80.0 vs 74.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Viewfinder
Has an optical viewfinder
Pentamirror vs Digital
Help
Optical viewfinders save battery life and are more detailed
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
205 lenses vs 123 lenses
Help
Around 70% more lenses available
Battery life
Longer battery life
660 shots vs 510 shots
Help
Around 30% more shots per battery charge
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13 EV vs 12.6 EV
Help
0.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Size
Smaller
127x96x78 mm vs 132x97x81 mm
Help
Around 10% smaller
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$384.95 vs $600.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $215 cheaper (around 40% less)
Thickness
Thinner
3.1" vs 3.2"
Help
Almost the same
Weight
Lighter
560 g vs 622 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Sony SLT A65

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Movie format
Lower frame rate movies
1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 30fps
Help
Both shoot Full HD (1080p) video, but D5100 does so at a lower frame rate
Viewfinder size
Much larger viewfinder
0.71x vs 0.51x
Help
More than 90% larger viewfinder
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
10 fps vs 4 fps
Help
2.5x faster continuous shooting
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Autofocus
Faster video autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Shoot videos without worrying about focus
True resolution
Much higher true resolution
24 MP vs 16.1 MP
Help
Capture around 50% more detail in your photos
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
138 ms vs 273 ms
Help
Around 50% less delay when taking photos
GPS
Has a GPS
Yes vs No
Help
Automatically geotags your photos when traveling
Viewfinder coverage
Significantly better viewfinder coverage
100% vs 95%
Help
Around 10% better viewfinder coverage
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
16,000 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The SLT A65's maximum light sensitivity is 1.3 f-stops better
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
3 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Focus points
More focus points
15 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Sony SLT-A65 Learn more about
the Sony SLT A65
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 72
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    Style
      Color
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        vs

        76 Sony SLT A65 Sony SLT-A65
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              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
              D5100:3.1"
              SLT A65:3.2"
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              D5100:1
              SLT A65:3
              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

              $309 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
              Thickness Is thinner
              Light sensitivity (boost) Slightly lower boost light sensitivity
              Sensor size Has a marginally smaller sensor
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 body only

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              Focus points Has significantly more focus points
              Cross type focus points Has slightly more cross-type focus points
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $550 body only

              $549 - $630 with 18-55mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Light sensitivity (boost) Slightly lower boost light sensitivity
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $439 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Size Is slightly smaller
              HDR Lacks a built in HDR feature
              Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $697 body only

              $599 - $797 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $679 with 18-55mm lens

              Weather sealed Has a weather sealed body
              Viewfinder Has higher quality type of viewfinder
              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $599 - $699 body only

              $597 - $700 with 18-55mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Cross type focus points Has slightly more cross-type focus points
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Size Is slightly larger

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $449 - $499 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Weight Lighter
              Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Much worse image quality
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $272 body only

              $409 with 18-55mm lens

              Size Smaller
              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen

              Sony SLT-A65 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony SLT-A77

              Sony SLT A77

              Pro DSLR

              $998 - $1,050 with 16-50mm lens

              Weather sealed Weather sealed
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Size Significantly larger
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Sony SLT A57

              Sony SLT A57

              Entry-level DSLR

              $608 with 18-55mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots significantly faster
              Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
              True resolution Much lower true resolution
              GPS No built-in GPS
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $448 body only

              $598 with 16-50mm lens

              Focus points Many more focus points
              Low light performance Much lower noise at high ISO
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos

              appearance

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

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Sony SLT-A65
              SLT A65
              Sony

              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 (6:42 AM, November 06, 2011)
              Sony SLT A65 It's a great camera, I bought it today and I'm very happy