Updated (March, 2013): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Sony NEX-7n

Nikon D5100

Winner
Nikon D5100

73

vs

Sony NEX-7

54

Sony NEX-7

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

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
Badge
Autofocuses shooting video
Contrast detection
 

Reasons to buy the Sony NEX-7

Size
Really small
Compact 111x59x38 mm
True resolution
High true resolution
24 MP
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
10 fps
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
13.4 EV
 
Differences | Recommendations | 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
Startup delay Less startup delay 500 ms vs 1200 ms
Help
2.4x less delay when turning on
Battery life Longer battery life 660 shots vs 430 shots
Help
More than 50% more shots per battery charge
Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO 1,183 ISO vs 1,016 ISO
Help
The D5100 has a slight edge (0.2 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Viewfinder Has an optical viewfinder Pentamirror vs Digital
Help
Optical viewfinders save battery life and are more detailed
Lowest price Cheaper $378.00 vs $809.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $431 cheaper (2.1x less)
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Sony NEX-7

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Size Significantly smaller 111x59x38 mm vs 127x96x78 mm
Help
3.9x smaller
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
Viewfinder coverage Significantly better viewfinder coverage 100% vs 95%
Help
Around 10% better viewfinder coverage
True resolution Significantly higher true resolution 24 MP vs 16.1 MP
Help
Capture around 50% more detail in your photos
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 10 fps vs 4 fps
Help
2.5x faster continuous shooting
Thickness Significantly thinner 1.5" vs 3.1"
Help
2.1x thinner
Weight Lighter 350 g vs 560 g
Help
Around 40% lighter
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 223 ms vs 273 ms
Help
Around 20% less delay when taking photos
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 16,000 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The NEX-7's maximum light sensitivity is 1.3 f-stops better
Focus points Slightly more focus points 25 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Dynamic range More dynamic range 13.4 EV vs 13 EV
Help
0.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth Better color depth 24.1 bits vs 23.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.6 more bits of color
Sony NEX-7 Learn more about
the Sony NEX-7
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 73
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    Style
      Color
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        vs

        54 Sony NEX-7 Sony NEX-7
        Retailer
          Style
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              External mic jack You can plug a microphone into both of these Help
              Record higher quality audio with a microphone
              Overall image quality Good image quality Help
              D5100:80.0
              NEX-7:81.0
              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
              D5100:920k dots
              NEX-7:921k dots
              Sensor size Large sensors Help
              D5100:APS-C 23.6x15.6mm
              NEX-7:APS-C 23.5x15.6mm
              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
              Dynamic range Good dynamic range Help
              D5100:13 EV
              NEX-7:13.4 EV
              True resolution Capture very high resolution images Help
              D5100:16.1 MP
              NEX-7:24 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-7:24.1 bits
              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
              Viewfinder Viewfinders Help
              D5100:Pentamirror
              NEX-7:Digital
              Sensor type Better sensor types Help
              Better in low light
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $657 body only

              $477 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 body only

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $747 body only

              $629 - $847 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Has a slightly larger screen
              GPS Has a built-in GPS
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $625 - $899 body only

              $900 - $997 with 18-105mm lens

              Weather sealed Has a weather sealed body
              Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is much heavier
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $815 - $947 body only

              $1,247 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen size Has a slightly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $699 body only

              $959 - $999 with 18-135mm lens

              Battery life Has a significantly longer battery life
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $550 body only

              $549 - $575 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $439 - $547 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

              $680 - $700 body only

              $489 - $820 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 D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $270 - $387 body only

              $399 - $430 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-7 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $698 - $700 with 16-50mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Focus points Many more focus points
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Size Slightly larger
              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $399 - $574 body only

              $739 - $759 with 16-50mm lens

              Focus points Significantly more focus points
              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony A7

              Sony A7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,498 - $2,098 body only

              $569 - $1,798 with 28-70mm lens

              Autofocus Faster video autofocus
              Weather sealed Weather sealed
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Size Larger
              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $473 body only

              $436 - $1,054 with 16-50mm lens

              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Weight Lighter
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Sony NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $598 - $689 body only

              $635 with 18-55mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              True resolution Significantly lower true resolution

              appearance

              Nikon D5100 Sony NEX-7
              Nikon D5100 Sony NEX-7
              Nikon D5100 Sony NEX-7

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

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              Sony NEX-7
              NEX-7
              Sony

              Report a correction

              Showing 1 comments

              Jmr (3:01 PM, January 19, 2012)
              The cost of both cameras is in error above.