Updated (August 2010): Compare the Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D5000

Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D5000






Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 24fps
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Autofocuses shooting video
Contrast detection
Really small
Prosumer size (124×97×74 mm)

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5000

Color depth
Great color depth
22.7 bits
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
12.5 EV
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos


Explore our gallery of 48 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3100.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5000.


Nikon D3100 Competitors


Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$677 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

Dynamic range More dynamic range
Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
Lowest price Significantly more expensive

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Entry-level DSLR

$495 with 18-55mm, 75-300mm lenses

Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
Color depth Worse color depth

Canon Rebel T3

Entry-level DSLR

Startup delay Less startup delay
Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder
Movie format Lower resolution movies

Nikon D5000 Competitors


Nikon D90

Entry-level DSLR

$612 with 18-105mm lens

Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
Screen size Much larger screen
Screen flips out Screen does not flip out

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$447 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Higher resolution movies
Low light performance Much lower noise at high ISO
Screen flips out Screen does not flip out

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$677 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

Movie format Higher resolution movies
Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
Screen flips out Screen does not flip out



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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