Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Sony NEX-5R

Nikon D5100

Winner
Nikon D5100

70

vs

Sony NEX-5N

53

Sony NEX-5N

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

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

Reasons to buy the Sony NEX-5N

Size
Really small
Compact 111x59x38 mm
Light sensitivity
High ISO
25,600 ISO
Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
10 fps
 

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Lens availability
Much more lenses available
205 lenses vs 21 lenses
Help
Around 10x more lenses available
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Startup delay
Much less startup delay
500 ms vs 1900 ms
Help
3.8x less delay when turning on
Battery life
Longer battery life
660 shots vs 460 shots
Help
More than 40% more shots per battery charge
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
80.0 vs 77.0
Help
Almost the same
Viewfinder
Has a viewfinder
Pentamirror vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13 EV vs 12.7 EV
Help
0.3 f-stops more dynamic range
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO vs 1,079 ISO
Help
The D5100 has a slight edge (0.1 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5N

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Size
Significantly smaller
111x59x38 mm vs 127x96x78 mm
Help
3.9x smaller
Touch screen
Has a touch screen
Yes vs No
Help
Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
10 fps vs 4 fps
Help
2.5x faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
25,600 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The NEX-5N's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Weight
Significantly lighter
269 g vs 560 g
Help
2.1x lighter
Thickness
Significantly thinner
1.5" vs 3.1"
Help
2.1x thinner
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
235 ms vs 273 ms
Help
More than 10% less delay when taking photos
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
25 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Sony NEX-5N Learn more about
the Sony NEX-5N
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 70
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        53 Sony NEX-5N Sony NEX-5N
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              Supports 24p Both support 24p, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              For that film look
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Screen resolution High resolution screens Help
              920k dots
              Sensor size Large sensors Help
              D5100:APS-C 23.6x15.6mm
              NEX-5N:APS-C 23.4x15.6mm
              Interchangeable lenses Both support interchangeable lenses, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Many lenses to choose from
              HDR In-camera HDR Help
              Combines multiple exposures
              True resolution Capture very high resolution images Help
              D5100:16.1 MP
              NEX-5N:16 MP
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Color depth Good color depth Help
              D5100:23.5 bits
              NEX-5N:23.6 bits
              Dynamic range Good dynamic range Help
              D5100:13 EV
              NEX-5N:12.7 EV
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              External flash Support external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Sensor type Better sensor types Help
              Better in low light
              Common Weaknesses
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $550 body only

              $549 - $630 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 body only

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Shutter lag Slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $439 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $449 - $450 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Weight Lighter
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $697 body only

              $599 - $797 with 18-55mm lens

              GPS Has a GPS
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Lowest price More expensive
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $272 body only

              $390 - $409 with 18-55mm lens

              Size Slightly smaller
              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              Overall image quality Worse image quality

              Sony NEX-5N Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony NEX-5T

              Sony NEX-5T

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $299 body only

              $559 - $630 with 16-50mm lens

              Focus points Significantly more focus points
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Sony NEX-5R

              Sony NEX-5R

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $396 body only

              Focus points Significantly more focus points
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Low light performance Slightly more noise at high ISO
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $448 body only

              $575 - $600 with 16-50mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Focus points Many more focus points
              Touch screen No touch screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $298 - $400 with 16-50mm lens

              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Built-in flash Built-in flash
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $473 body only

              $398 - $527 with 16-50mm lens

              Startup delay Significantly less startup delay
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Touch screen No touch screen

              appearance

              Nikon D5100 Sony NEX-5N
              Nikon D5100 Sony NEX-5N
              Nikon D5100 Sony NEX-5N

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Sony NEX-5N
              NEX-5N
              Sony

              Report a correction

              Showing 8 comments

              Faizan (7:24 AM, October 17, 2012)
              Based on your comparison


              Overall Total
              TOTAL D5100 Score 193.2
              TOTAL Nex5N Score 124.1
              Difference: 69.1


              Popularity


              D5100 Score 100.0
              Nex5N Score 20.0
              Difference: 80.0


              So, if you factor out these 80 points from the overall total - Nex 5N wins hands down by 10.9 points in terms of specs & functionality.


              Sometimes I feel that these popularity scores are collected by Nikon fanboy :). Snapsort: Get rid of this popularity crap.
               
              Keathow (6:55 PM, April 10, 2012)
               http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Camera-Sensor-Database/Nikon/D5100

              IQ of D5100 is great! i love it!
               
              Avatar for Meraga Abderaouf Meraga Abderaouf (9:16 PM, February 16, 2012)
               in my opinion this comparison isn't true because i've tested the both cameras and the video qualty is quite huge on the nex 5N than the Nikon and also the image qualty and i think too that the Nikon wone here because it has a better manuel setting than the NEX and let us do not forget the "Click...click...'' busines on the sony that it has'nt been resolved intel now by the producers even thier Know about the deal. and Thanks!
               
              Guest (1:50 PM, January 11, 2012)
              Popularity is a joke - why use it in the first place? Surely the whole reason you've come here is to get an objective comparison of specs?? Disregarding popularity the NEX 5n wins hands down.
               
              bboy (7:16 AM, December 03, 2011)
              From what I've read, the d5100 is much easier to handle because the controls are easily accessible. Also, it has more lenses and accessories available. But if daily means portability to you, I'd go for the NEX-5N.
               
              bboy (7:13 AM, December 03, 2011)
              [1] http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1042&message=39205451&changemode=1
               
              bboy (7:12 AM, December 03, 2011)
              I am planning to get a d5100 but the comparison on dpreview[1] is disturbing. I really want the d5100. Is IQ really that far off? I'm planning to use it for night photography as a hobby.
               
              TonyCastle (6:45 PM, October 02, 2011)
              if size didnt matter, which one is really better for daily photo shooting?