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

Nikon D5100

Winner
Nikon D5100

79

vs

Sony NEX-5N

57

Sony NEX-5N

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
13 EV
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
HDR
In-camera 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 | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

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
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
Dynamic range More dynamic range 13 EV vs 12.7 EV
Help
0.3 f-stops more dynamic range
Lowest price Cheaper $352.00 vs $640.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $288 cheaper (around 50% less)
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
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
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 10 fps vs 4 fps
Help
2.5x faster continuous shooting
Weight Significantly lighter 269 g vs 560 g
Help
2.1x lighter
Thickness Significantly thinner 1.5" vs 3.1"
Help
2.1x thinner
Focus points More focus points 25 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 235 ms vs 273 ms
Help
More than 10% less delay when taking photos
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 79
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

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

              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              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
              Overall image quality Good image quality Help
              D5100:80.0
              NEX-5N:77.0
              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
              Color depth Good color depth Help
              D5100:23.5 bits
              NEX-5N:23.6 bits
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              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 Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Sensor type Better sensor types Help
              Better in low light
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $329 - $567 body only

              $477 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 - $774 body only

              $200 - $729 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 body only

              $697 with 18-55mm lens

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

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $747 body only

              $847 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Screen size Larger screen
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Lowest price More expensive
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $278 body only

              $380 - $427 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
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $689 - $929 body only

              $850 - $940 with 18-105mm lens

              Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor
              Battery life Longer battery life
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus
              Movie format Lower resolution movies

              Sony NEX-5N Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony NEX-5R

              Sony NEX-5R

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $567 - $1,067 with 16-50mm lens

              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 NEX-5T

              Sony NEX-5T

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $348 body only

              $498 - $500 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 Alpha NEX-5

              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $498 with 16-50mm lens

              Startup delay Significantly less startup delay
              Lowest price Slightly cheaper
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $598 body only

              $748 with 16-50mm lens

              Focus points Many more focus points
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Touch screen No touch screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $399 - $748 body only

              $500 - $779 with 16-50mm lens

              Focus points Significantly more focus points
              Built-in flash Built-in flash
              Touch screen No touch screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos

              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?