Updated (April, 2011): Compare the Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D5100

Nikon D5000

Winner
Nikon D5000

50

vs

Nikon D3000

34

Nikon D3000

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5000

Has live view
Live view
Preview your photos
Flip-out screen
Screen flips out
Great for movies
Large sensor
Sensor size
APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
CMOS Sensor
Sensor type
Better in low light
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3000

Sensor size
Large sensor
APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
Size
Really small
Prosumer size 126x97x64 mm
Thickness
Thin
2.5"
Weight
Light-weight
485 g
 

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3000

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Screen size
Significantly larger screen
3.0" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Size
Much smaller
126x97x64 mm vs 127x104x80 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Thickness
Much thinner
2.5" vs 3.1"
Help
20% thinner
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$359.00 vs $795.63
Help
The best price we've seen is $437 cheaper (2.2x less)
Viewfinder size
Slightly larger viewfinder
0.52x vs 0.51x
Help
Around 10% larger viewfinder
Shutter lag
Slightly less shutter lag
262 ms vs 276 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Battery life
Slightly longer battery life
550 shots vs 510 shots
Help
Around 10% more shots per battery charge
Weight
Lighter
485 g vs 590 g
Help
Around 20% lighter
Nikon D3000 Learn more about
the Nikon D3000

Advantages of the Nikon D5000

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Movie format
Shoots movies
720p @ 24fps vs None
Help
Shoots HD (720p) video as well as still pictures
Low light performance
Significantly lower noise at high ISO
868 ISO vs 563 ISO
Help
The D5000 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Live view
Has live view
Yes vs No
Help
Preview your photos on the camera's screen before taking them
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.5 EV vs 11.1 EV
Help
1.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
72.0 vs 62.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Color depth
Better color depth
22.7 bits vs 22.3 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.4 more bits of color
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
4 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 30% faster continuous shooting
Startup delay
Less startup delay
400 ms vs 700 ms
Help
More than 40% less delay when turning on
True resolution
Higher true resolution
12.2 MP vs 10 MP
Help
Capture more than 20% more detail in your photos
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The D5000's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Nikon D5000 Learn more about
the Nikon D5000
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D3000 Nikon D3000 34
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        50 Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              205 lenses
              Sensor size Large sensors Help
              APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
              Common Weaknesses
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              D3000:None
              D5000:720p @ 24fps
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              D3000:3,200 ISO
              D5000:6,400 ISO
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D3000:10 MP
              D5000:12.2 MP
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              230k dots
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D3000:3 fps
              D5000:4 fps
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D3000:1,600 ISO
              D5000:3,200 ISO
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              D3000:0.52x
              D5000:0.51x
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              D3000:262 ms
              D5000:276 ms
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              11
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D3000:563 ISO
              D5000:868 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $272 - $387 body only

              $410 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $310 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $378 - $469 body only

              $429 - $499 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $750 body only

              $900 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder size Significantly larger viewfinder
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $389 - $418 body only

              $399 - $520 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $625 body only

              $679 - $1,025 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $439 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is much less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger

              Nikon D3000 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D3000.

              Nikon D5000 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D5000.

              appearance

              Nikon D3000 Nikon D5000
              Nikon D3000 Nikon D5000
              Nikon D3000 Nikon D5000

              discussion

              Nikon D3000
              D3000
              Nikon

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              Nikon D5000
              D5000
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 1 comments

              Avatar for Alex Black Alex Black (2:27 PM, March 07, 2010)
              John asked: "Hello, can you please advise if either the D3000 or the D5000 Nikon SLR cameras have the capability to display the frame (view finder) on the LCD screen while composing a picture?"

              Yes, the Nikon D5000 has "live view", and the D3000 does not. "Live view" lets you use the LCD screen on the back as a viewfinder to preview the photo you are about to take.