Updated (April, 2011): Compare the Nikon D5100 vs Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

Nikon D5000

Winner
Nikon D5000

50

vs

Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

41

Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

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 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
198 ms shutter lag
 

differences

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
Lower noise at high ISO
868 ISO vs 607 ISO
Help
The D5000 has a slight edge (0.5 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.5 EV vs 11.5 EV
Help
1 f-stop more dynamic range
Overall image quality
Better image quality
72.0 vs 66.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
205 lenses vs 123 lenses
Help
Around 70% more lenses available
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
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.51x vs 0.48x
Help
More than 10% larger viewfinder
Color depth
Better color depth
22.7 bits vs 22.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.2 more bits of color
Thickness
Significantly thinner
3.1" vs 3.4"
Help
Around 10% thinner
Light sensitivity (boost)
Has boost ISO
6,400 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Sensor size
Slightly larger sensor
APS-C 23.6x15.8mm vs APS-C 23.5x15.7mm
Help
Almost the same
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
11 vs 9
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Size
Slightly smaller
127x104x80 mm vs 128x97x86 mm
Help
Almost the same
Lowest price
Slightly cheaper
$811.54 vs $870.28
Help
The best price we've seen is $59 cheaper (around 10% less)
Nikon D5000 Learn more about
the Nikon D5000

Advantages of the Sony DSLR-A390

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Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
198 ms vs 276 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
True resolution
Higher true resolution
14 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Weight
Lighter
549 g vs 590 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
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 D5000 Nikon D5000 50
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      Color
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        41 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
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              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Sensor size Large sensors Help
              D5000:APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
              DSLR-A390:APS-C 23.5x15.7mm
              Common Weaknesses
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              D5000:720p @ 24fps
              DSLR-A390:None
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Lowest price Very expensive Help
              D5000:$811.54
              DSLR-A390:$870.28
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              D5000:3.1"
              DSLR-A390:3.4"
              Light sensitivity (boost) One has boost ISO Help
              D5000:6,400 ISO
              DSLR-A390:None
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Size Large Help
              D5000:127x104x80 mm
              DSLR-A390:128x97x86 mm
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D5000:12.2 MP
              DSLR-A390:14 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
              D5000:4 fps
              DSLR-A390:2.5 fps
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              2.7"
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              3,200 ISO
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              D5000:0.51x
              DSLR-A390:0.48x
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              D5000:11
              DSLR-A390:9
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D5000:868 ISO
              DSLR-A390:607 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $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
              Sensor size Has a marginally smaller sensor
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $272 body only

              $390 - $409 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Sensor size Has a marginally smaller sensor
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $360 - $378 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
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $790 body only

              $900 - $1,079 with 18-105mm lens

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out
              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
              Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $550 body only

              $549 - $630 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Sensor size Has a much smaller sensor
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D3000

              Nikon D3000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $359 body only

              $500 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Size Is much smaller
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out

              Nikon D5000 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $625 body only

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

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Weight Significantly heavier
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $697 body only

              $599 - $797 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
              Sensor size Smaller sensor
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              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
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A350

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A350

              Entry-level DSLR

              $950 with 75-300mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              Thickness Much thinner
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Storage slots Has fewer storage slots
              Sony Alpha ILC-3000

              Sony Alpha ILC-3000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Viewfinder Has a digital viewfinder
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $449 - $450 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Color depth Worse color depth

              appearance

              Nikon D5000 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
              Nikon D5000 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
              Nikon D5000 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

              discussion

              Nikon D5000
              D5000
              Nikon

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              Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
              Alpha DSLR-A390
              Sony

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