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

Nikon D5100

Winner
Nikon D5100

78

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
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 

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

Report a correction
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
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5N

Report a correction
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 Slightly 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 78
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        57 Sony NEX-5N Sony NEX-5N

        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

        $597 - $656 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

        $484 - $774 body only

        $200 - $595 with 18-55mm lens

        Thickness Is thicker
        Weight Is significantly heavier
        Nikon D5200

        Nikon D5200

        Entry-level DSLR

        $597 - $647 body only

        $544 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

        True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
        Thickness Is thicker
        Weight Is significantly heavier
        Canon Rebel SL1

        Canon Rebel SL1

        Entry-level DSLR

        $499 - $500 body only

        $599 - $650 with 18-55mm lens

        Thickness Is thicker
        Weight Is slightly heavier

        Nikon D5100 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        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 D3100

        Nikon D3100

        Entry-level DSLR

        $392 - $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

        $575 - $629 body only

        $830 - $976 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
        Nikon D5300

        Nikon D5300

        Entry-level DSLR

        $720 - $747 body only

        $847 with 18-55mm lens

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

        Sony NEX-5N Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Sony NEX-5R

        Sony NEX-5R

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $508 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 NEX-5T

        Sony NEX-5T

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $498 - $520 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 A6000

        Sony Alpha A6000

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $648 - $734 body only

        $798 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-3N

        Sony Alpha NEX-3N

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $350 body only

        $450 with 16-50mm lens

        Built-in flash Built-in flash
        Thickness Slightly thinner
        Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
        Touch screen No touch screen
        Sony Alpha NEX-5

        Sony Alpha NEX-5

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $498 - $975 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?