Updated (March, 2012): Compare the Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

Nikon D3100

Winner
Nikon D3100

54

vs

Nikon D5000

49

Nikon D5000

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 24fps
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
400 ms startup delay
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5000

Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
12.5 EV
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
400 ms startup delay
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 24fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Screen size Significantly larger screen 3.0" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Size Much smaller 124x96x73 mm vs 127x104x80 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO 919 ISO vs 868 ISO
Help
The D3100 has a slight edge (0.1 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
True resolution Higher true resolution 14.2 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture around 20% more detail in your photos
Thickness Significantly thinner 2.9" vs 3.1"
Help
Around 10% thinner
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The D3100's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Battery life Slightly longer battery life 550 shots vs 510 shots
Help
Around 10% more shots per battery charge
Weight Lighter 505 g vs 590 g
Help
More than 10% lighter
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100

Advantages of the Nikon D5000

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Dynamic range More dynamic range 12.5 EV vs 11.3 EV
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1.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality Better image quality 72.0 vs 67.0
Help
Around 10% 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 size Larger sensor APS-C 23.6x15.8mm vs APS-C 23.1x15.4mm
Help
Almost the same
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 4 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 30% faster continuous shooting
Color depth Better color depth 22.7 bits vs 22.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.2 more bits of color
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 D3100 Nikon D3100 54
Retailer
    Style
      Color
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        vs

        49 Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000

        similarities

        Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

        Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
        Lens availability Many lenses available Help
        205 lenses
        Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
        400 ms startup delay
        Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
        1/4000 of a second
        Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
        D3100:12,800 ISO
        D5000:6,400 ISO
        Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
        95%
        HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
        You could do HDR manually
        External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
        Limited to the in-camera mic
        True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
        D3100:14.2 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
        D3100:3 fps
        D5000:4 fps
        Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
        3,200 ISO
        Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
        D3100:279 ms
        D5000:276 ms
        Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
        0.51x
        Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
        Risk of blur
        Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
        Need to shelter it from weather
        Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
        You could stitch photos in post
        Focus points Few focus points Help
        11
        Movie format Poor movies Help
        D3100:1080p @ 24fps
        D5000:720p @ 24fps

        dxomark

        DXOMark

        competitors

        Shared Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Nikon D3200

        Nikon D3200

        Entry-level DSLR

        $319 body only

        $389 - $506 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
        Canon Rebel T3

        Canon Rebel T3

        Entry-level DSLR

        $225 - $389 body only

        $399 - $550 with 18-55mm lens

        Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
        Thickness Is thicker
        Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
        Nikon D5100

        Nikon D5100

        Entry-level DSLR

        $378 - $415 body only

        $495 - $564 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 slightly larger
        Canon Rebel T3i

        Canon Rebel T3i

        Entry-level DSLR

        $499 - $648 body only

        $200 - $579 with 18-55mm lens

        Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
        True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
        Thickness Is thicker
        Weight Is slightly heavier
        Nikon D90

        Nikon D90

        Entry-level DSLR

        $929 body only

        $848 - $940 with 18-105mm lens

        Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
        Viewfinder size Significantly larger viewfinder
        Lowest price Is much more expensive
        Thickness Is thicker
        Nikon D3300

        Nikon D3300

        Entry-level DSLR

        $547 with 18-55mm lens

        Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
        Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
        Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
        Startup delay Has much more startup delay
        Canon EOS Rebel T2i

        Canon Rebel T2i

        Entry-level DSLR

        $639 body only

        $200 - $674 with 18-55mm lens

        Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
        True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
        Sensor size Has a slightly smaller sensor
        Autofocus Lacks autofocus

        Nikon D3100 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Canon EOS Rebel T5

        Canon EOS Rebel T5

        Entry-level DSLR

        $681 - $700 body only

        $499 - $822 with 18-55mm lens

        Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
        True resolution Higher true resolution
        Low light performance More noise at high ISO
        Color depth Worse color depth

        Nikon D5000 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

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

        appearance

        Nikon D3100 Nikon D5000
        Nikon D3100 Nikon D5000
        Nikon D3100 Nikon D5000

        discussion

        Nikon D3100
        D3100
        Nikon

        Report a correction
        Nikon D5000
        D5000
        Nikon

        Report a correction

        Showing 18 comments

        Avatar for rholze rholze (4:04 PM, October 05, 2013)
        i prefer d5000 thou d3100 has a much higher resolution still d500 has the advatage.,,,,buy one youll see their differeces
         
        irish (2:11 AM, July 03, 2013)
        D5100 is much better but if you are having only small budget then go for D3100 among this 2 u will not regret
         
        raymound (1:04 AM, April 01, 2013)
        dang it, im still confuse, which one is the latest model? D5000 or D3100?
         
        Sima (7:23 PM, March 12, 2012)
        Finally, what you say is better D5000 or D3100?
        Video is not important to me... 
        Only quality photos.
        I need only for portrait and landscape. Please help?Best regards!
         
        Weidebuyer (8:12 AM, January 25, 2012)
        which is better so...... some one sms me weidebuyer@hotmail:disqus .com as i am a begginer which want to buy 
         
        Ezat Sulaiman (3:05 AM, January 18, 2012)
        which one best camera to buy ,because i want to make video corparate???
         
        Blizzle (8:06 PM, November 29, 2011)
        hi, i am deciding between d5000 and d3100 and am incredibly confused! on the one hand d5000 has better image quality but the d3000 is more lightweight and is also a more recent release.. any suggestions to which one i should get would be great
         
        Rvbinanitan (10:03 PM, September 13, 2011)
        thanks for your review.i've decided to buy the D3100.I will buy the camera on sturday
         
        ARTN (0:57 PM, August 25, 2011)
        The D5000 is sooo UGLY!
         
        Denfred (9:33 AM, June 11, 2011)
        I agree with Sxi_...D5000 has better image quality than D3100...it's the purpose of buying a camera, right?
         
        shyam tupe (10:25 AM, May 14, 2011)
        d5000 so goooooooooooooood 
         
        Nikonboy (5:06 PM, April 19, 2011)
        just got mine today, i ended up with d3100 without any regret. went to my friend that owns a d5000 to compare, and theyre actually almost the same , but the only thing i noticed is the d3100 response more promptly maybe because of the improve expeed 2 sensor plus the firmware upgrades. i learned that always buy the latest one instead of older models as i know latest ones were more upgraded and uptodate to firmwares and system settings etc.
         
        Pinky_pop03 (6:48 AM, March 31, 2011)
        ill go for d3100.
         
        Misteterry25 (9:36 PM, March 30, 2011)
        Hi, I have been researching the D5000 and D3100 for a few weeks and I'm still not sure. I have kids that are into a lot of sports so I need something that can handle that and not blur as well as video. I'm leaning toward the D3100. Any input would be appreciated thanks!
         
        Sxi_ (10:52 PM, March 23, 2011)
        hi. I was also confused b/w the two cameras you are confused about. infact i also had nikon D5000 in my mind but studying thoroughly about all the 3 cameras ( D3100, D5000 and canon 550D ) i came to the point that D5000 is the best choice b/w the three. I have bought D5000 and its a wonderful camera and superb results. The megapixels are less than that of D3100 but i have compared the results with it and D5000 has significantly better results than D3100. I think u should go for D5000 and enjoy photography for good. cheers bruv :)
         
        Henparr (2:33 AM, March 05, 2011)
        hi, what about the stabilization. thus it make something to look at or its not to bad?
         
        Adrien (2:59 PM, February 24, 2011)
        Hi , Are you satisfied with the autofocus in video mode ? What can you say about the disadvantages ? Aswell for the advantages of this camera ! I am confused between the 550D and The D3100 . Help
         
        aer conditionat (9:30 AM, January 28, 2011)
        After i read your post i`ve decided to buy d3100. Three days ago i received the camera and i want to say that i`m very happy with it. THanks for your review