Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 vs Nikon D5100

Sony Alpha DSLR-A580


Nikon D5100



Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha DSLR-A580

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
Rapid fire
Continuous shooting
7 fps
Great battery life
Battery life
1050 shots
More storage slots
Storage slots

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
500 ms startup delay
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps


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-A580.


Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Competitors

Sony SLT A57

Sony SLT A57

Entry-level DSLR

Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder
Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Viewfinder Has a digital viewfinder
Sony SLT-A65

Sony SLT A65

Entry-level DSLR

$866 with 18-55mm lens

Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder
Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Viewfinder Has a digital viewfinder
Sony Alpha DSLR-A300

Sony Alpha DSLR-A300

Entry-level DSLR

Size Significantly smaller
Thickness Much thinner
Movie format Does not take movies

Nikon D5100 Competitors

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$450 body only

True resolution Much higher true resolution
Size Smaller
Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200

Entry-level DSLR

$359 body only

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
True resolution Much higher true resolution
Battery life Shorter battery life
Nikon D3400

Nikon D3400

Entry-level DSLR

$397 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
True resolution Much higher true resolution
Screen flips out Screen does not flip out


Sony Alpha DSLR-A580
Alpha DSLR-A580

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Nikon D5100

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Showing 22 comments

Avatar for rein rein (10:51 PM, August 02, 2014)
kagandahan kasi ng sony,,,MAY titatawag silang TRANSLUCENT MIRROR TECH. AND FULL TIME CONTINEOUS AF..for fast shooting and recording...
Avatar for rein rein (10:45 PM, August 02, 2014)
in my own opinion,i go for SONY,,,nikon n canon are less expensive thats why consumers made them on top....BUT...for me,im looking for the unit not the price...only an opinion guys...its so called investment...
arun (2:32 AM, January 26, 2013)
D5100 does have in camera HDR. And iso 12800 is not a factor. High iso is not really good for photo quality. Both camera's usable iso is almost the same.
Rahuman (8:25 PM, January 19, 2012)
You had given 50 points for nikon and only 5 for sony for popularity, which makes a big difference, i think sony should be the winner. Just my suggestion
Muteboladao (10:41 AM, December 11, 2011)
LOGICAL reasons to prefer the A580

1. Optical SteadyShot - works with all lenses, because it's in-camera

2. 7 FPS vs 4 FPS - Pretty self-explanatory

3. Better autofocus, 15 points and 3 cross points vs 11 and 1 for the
D5100 - obviously superior autofocus is a very logical reason to prefer
one camera over another.

4. Phase detect autofocus in live view -

5. Sweep Panorama mode - D5100 doesn't have it

6. In-camera HDR and DRO - D5100 doesn't have it

7. ISO 12,800 - D5100 doesn't have it

8. Multi-stack ISO mode - D5100 doesn't have it, and therefore can make better high ISO JPEGs of still subjects than Nikon

9. 3D photos and panoramas - It's a gimmick for most people, but again,
the D5100 doesn't have it, and it's a more realistic use of the camera
than 24p

10. Over 1.5x longer battery life - mostly just s convenience, but no less of a convenience than the D5100's smaller size/weight

11. Two data storage slots - ditto #4.
Nevermess (0:13 PM, November 22, 2011)
Hi Lamboram I bought DSLR recently and I was choosing between Nikon D5100 and Sony A580. Please be aware that I am not Nikon or Sony fanatic. I tested both cameras and I found that Nikon's metering is much better for me as well as jpeg picture quality. I just can not see myself shooting only RAW and converting after that in jpeg using Photoshop etc. I just like the Nikon's jpegs more. So comparing two cameras based only on paper specifications is not good idea. 
noone (9:48 PM, October 21, 2011)
Regardless of price, SONY is slightly better because of more cross type focus point, auto shut-off LCD and faster shoot speed. But SONY is $100 more. You decide if worth it or not.
Meshoolord (6:53 AM, October 01, 2011)
Hi, would you advise which DSLR the best here to capture movies Sony or Nikon D5100????
Smart Kid !! (2:09 PM, September 26, 2011)
hehe.. which lens do you say?? Do not look for Carl Zeiss, Sony G lenses are good and cheap with Auto-focus.. and we don't need VR mate, the Sony has in camera image stabilization.. I think thats what Lamboram has stated.. please drop the idea that Nikon and Canon are the only DSLR manufacturer in the planet.. !!! I have a55 and i simply love it.. as Lamboram said, watch out for A77, its gonna kill Nikon 

P.S: Nikon's try on mirror less camera like Sony NEX is a colossal fail.. Go cry to your mommy :P :P :P No offense..
Cabral (4:19 PM, August 20, 2011)
I am in great doubt and wished someone could help me. I'm aware that Canon and Nikon are majors, but I found sony a580 very attractive. The most important things I consider in a camera are: long battery life, image stabilizer, and MAINLY low noise at high ISO, 'cos what I love the most is to take pictures in the dark, like moon and all... Sony seems better at these points, but I read once that what matters the most are the lenses not the camera, but I dont have the money to buy lots of lenses, I wish to have 2 or 3. I'm not a pro, but I'd like to take good pictures, this is something I enjoy, so I want quality. I'd like to know how is the sony 3D pictures, can I print the picture in a special paper, or is it specific to 3D television? I was between Canon T2i and Sony A580, but now I guess I'm between Nikon5100 and Sony A580. Any suggestions, please?
Smapboys (8:37 AM, August 08, 2011)
Why follow others when you know which is the best. I am the proud user of Sony A580. It make me special too when everyone is using Nikon and Canon.
We are different that what sets Sony apart from the rest. A great leader will not follow the crowd. Because leader will innovate......Because it's a Sony........
your mom (5:59 PM, July 06, 2011)
looks to me like sony lenses are more expensive than nikon lenses anyways, even without auto focus or vr
Lamboram (10:25 AM, June 25, 2011)
Hello @4857f404b42bf2332989b87d5f5fca91:disqus , I respect your view. But i have tried both these cameras. a camera without an internal image stabilization and focus motor means, you need to buy costlier lenses. and if you do the math, you will need one camera and more than one lens. So every lens you buy weighs your pocket more. You say you are Nikon fan. I am happy about that. But if you look inside Canon or Nikon, the sensors are from Sony. In fact the sensor which A580 uses is the same as D5100, D7000 and its better than Canon 7D[I am not saying this, but DXOmark does]. A camera is more of what you get for your money. 3D photos, panorama, more cross type focus lines, more focus points means, you can get tricky situations handled well. I ain't no pro, but i am an Engineer, so i think i can say this :) You will need the assistance of good auto-focus when you are handling speedy scenes, little birds etc. watch out for A77 from Sony this year, Nikon and Canon may be the giants, but not anymore. Sony has the money and technology to reach the very top spot, and i think i have made a wise decision on buying Sony. I ain't arguing here, but A580 is much better than its counterparts from Nikon or Canon in terms of value, worth, quality and speed :)
Linnhann (3:27 AM, June 02, 2011)
i also confuse, as many friends using nikon, so i can xchange the lens or buy the cheap 2nd lens. But thinking of technology i lean to sony.
Vio (11:23 AM, May 31, 2011)
also, i am not pro. but in my opionion sony will never beat nikon in digital photography, that's because nikon's greatest rival is canon, so nikon and canon is the mondial leaders in digital photo (also leica and another can be but nikon and canon are the most rated dslr). In my opinion for nice photography you don't need focus motor that because nikkor lensses already have that, also image stabiliser is includded in the most nikkor lensses, you don't need a dual slot because the 5100 support 64GB SDXC, you can get a grip to have more shots, just with panorama, 3d ability and some other functions that not means sony is better, just different, just test this 2 dslr's and you will see that each have nice functions for a nice creativity. me i am a nikon fan maybe for this i like the nikon.  
Hossein (9:27 PM, May 28, 2011)
I'm not a prof. photographer, but in my opinion SONY could beat NIKON because of panorama, focus motor, 3D ability, more shots for battery, faster continuous shooting, dual slot, image stabilizer, high sensivity & much more ! Am I right ?
Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:56 PM, May 28, 2011)
Hi Jackal, the Sony A580 doesn't do auto focus while shooting video, the Nikon D5100 does, that is mentioned as one of the reasons to consider the D5100 above!
Jackal (11:46 AM, May 28, 2011)
im curious that the continuous focusing in video mode doesnt take account in the comparison. is it identical?
Aiswaran Dhevaraj (1:11 PM, May 21, 2011)
 Which is most better among these please suggest me SNAPSORT i a m in great confusion which one to my ...and also i nee to have a cheaper one ?
Avatar for nkalu nkalu (4:10 PM, May 19, 2011)
Thanks a lot. That was helpful.
lomo (2:19 PM, May 18, 2011)
 The spec sheets are nearly identical. However, there are certain key features which puts the sony ahead such as in body stabilisation, wireless flash control, way better battery life, dual slots and in body motor, which means there are more lenses that autofocuses with the sony compared to the nikon. its such a shame that nikon cripples their entry level bodies by removing so many professional features even though the overall quality of the camera is great.
Avatar for nkalu nkalu (4:20 PM, May 17, 2011)
 Which of these is a better buy: Nikkon D5100 and Sony DSLR-A580?