Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

Nikon D5100 vs Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

Winner
Nikon D5100

71

Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

41

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

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

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
198 ms shutter lag
Storage slots
More storage slots
2
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5100.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony Alpha DSLR-A390.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

Report a correction
Movie format
Shoots movies
1080p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Low light performance
Much lower noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO vs 607 ISO
Help
The D5100 has a slight edge (1 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 230k dots
Help
4x higher resolution screen
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
80.0 vs 66.0
Help
More than 20% better image quality
Screen size
Much larger screen
3" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13 EV vs 11.5 EV
Help
1.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
205 lenses vs 123 lenses
Help
Around 70% more lenses available
Color depth
Better color depth
23.5 bits vs 22.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1 more bits of color
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
4 fps vs 2.5 fps
Help
60% faster continuous shooting
Battery life
Longer battery life
660 shots vs 500 shots
Help
More than 30% more shots per battery charge
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.51x vs 0.48x
Help
More than 10% larger viewfinder
True resolution
Higher true resolution
16.1 MP vs 14 MP
Help
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Light sensitivity (boost)
Has boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Size
Smaller
127×97×79 mm vs 128×97×86 mm
Help
Around 10% smaller
Thickness
Much thinner
3.1" vs 3.4"
Help
Around 10% thinner
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$368.00 vs $776.10
Help
The best price we've seen is $408 cheaper (2.1x less)
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The D5100's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
11 vs 9
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Sony DSLR-A390

Report a correction
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
198 ms vs 273 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when taking photos
Storage slots
Has more storage slots
2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 Learn more about
the Sony DSLR-A390
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 71
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        41 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              D51003.1"
              DSLR-A3903.4"
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D510016.1 MP
              DSLR-A39014 MP
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D51006,400 ISO
              DSLR-A3903,200 ISO
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D51004 fps
              DSLR-A3902.5 fps
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              D51000.51x
              DSLR-A3900.48x
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              D510011
              DSLR-A3909
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              D51001080p @ 30fps
              DSLR-A390None

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $300 - $547 body only

              $379 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thinner
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $566 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Size Is slightly larger
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $275 body only

              $484 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Size Is slightly smaller
              Thickness Is thinner
              External mic jack Lacks and external mic jack
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Canon EOS Rebel T2i

              Canon Rebel T2i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $700 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $325 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Weight Is slightly lighter
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              External mic jack Lacks and external mic jack
              Sony SLT A58

              Sony SLT A58

              Entry-level DSLR

              $350 body only

              $430 - $448 with 18-55mm lens

              Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Viewfinder Has a lower quality type of viewfinder
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $413 - $497 body only

              $489 - $550 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Lower frame rate movies
              True resolution Much higher true resolution
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Shutter lag More shutter lag
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $677 body only

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Lower frame rate movies
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $647 body only

              $579 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Lower frame rate movies
              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Lowest price More expensive
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $684 with 18-55mm lens

              Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder
              Weather sealed Weather sealed
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $700 body only

              $1,008 with 55-300mm lens

              Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder
              Shutter lag Less shutter lag
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A350

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A350

              Entry-level DSLR

              Battery life Longer battery life
              Thickness Much thinner
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Storage slots Has fewer storage slots
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A330

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A330

              Entry-level DSLR

              $376 body only

              Thickness Much thinner
              Size Significantly smaller
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              True resolution Significantly lower true resolution
              Canon EOS Rebel T1i

              Canon Rebel T1i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $825 body only

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $360 body only

              $350 with 16-50mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder No viewfinder
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A290

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A290

              Entry-level DSLR

              Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder
              Live view No live view
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out

              appearance

              Nikon D5100 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
              Nikon D5100 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
              Nikon D5100 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
              Alpha DSLR-A390
              Sony

              Report a correction

              Showing 0 comments