Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of D5100 vs D3100

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

D5100
10.0
D3100
9.9
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

D5100
6.5
D3100
6.5
Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

D5100
8.2
D3100
8.3
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

D5100
9.1
D3100
9.2
Reviews from nikonrumors.com, reviews.cnet.com, trustedreviews.com, 1001noisycameras.com and 4 more

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

D5100
9.0
D3100
9.0

Winner
Nikon D3100 

Camera Rocket recommends the Nikon D3100  based on its responsiveness and reviews.

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Benchmarks Real world tests of D5100 vs D3100

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

D5100
1,183 ISO
D3100
919 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

D5100
2,600 LPH
D3100
2,400 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

D5100
273 ms
D3100
279 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

D5100
114 ms
D3100
117 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

D5100
500 ms
D3100
400 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

D5100
4 fps
D3100
3 fps

Features Key features of the D5100  vs D3100 

Megapixels Maximum resolution images are captured at

D5100
16.1 MP
D3100
14.2 MP

Max ISO Maximum light sensitivity of the sensor

D5100
25,600 ISO
D3100
12,800 ISO

Focus points How many different points the camera can focus on

D5100
11
D3100
11

Screen size Larger screens make it easier to preview and review photos

D5100
3"
D3100
3"

Viewfinder size Large viewfinders are brighter and more comfortable to use

D5100
0.51x
D3100
0.51x

Pixel size How much area of the sensor is dedicated to each pixel

D5100
22.9 microns
D3100
25.1 microns

Reviews Word on the street

D5100  vs D3100 

7.6
7.2
Here we look at the RAW files processed through Adobe Camera Raw (in this case version 6.4 beta).
D5100

9.0
9.0
Ultimately the Nikon D5100 easily overcomes its few real weak points, offering a compelling mix of great image and movie quality, precise and quick auto-focusing, accurate metering and a fantastic LCD screen, all in a format that most users will find intutive and enjoyable to use.
D5100

8.0
9.0
Again some visible pixel fringing because of pointing the lens skyward and the contrast between light and dark, but that's not what draws the eye.
D3100

8.0
9.0
Even so, the LCD looks fairly accurate in terms of brightness, contrast and colour balance, and that's what is most important.
D3100

7.7
7.4
Despite the higher-resolution sensor, the D5100 delivers visibly better image quality at all ISO sensitivities than the D5000, although the D5000 has slightly better white balance.
D5100

Overall

8.2 Out of 10
8.5 Out of 10

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

D5100  vs
D3100 
Type CMOS CMOS
Megapixels 16.1 MP 14.2 MP
Resolution 4928 x 3264 4608 x 3072
Size APS-C APS-C
Area 23.6 x 15.6 mm 23.1 x 15.4 mm
Crop factor 1.5x 1.6x
Pixel size 22.9 microns 25.1 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO 100 ISO to 3,200 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 6,400 ISO to 25,600 ISO 3,200 ISO to 12,800 ISO
Codecs
NEF 14bit
RAW
JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,600 LPH 2,400 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,600 LPH 2,400 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection Phase detection
Focus points 11 11
Cross type focus points 1 1
Supports continuous No No

shutter

Min 30 s 30 s
Max 1/4000 s 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 127 x 96.5 x 78.7 mm 124.5 x 96.5 x 73.7 mm
Thickness 78.7 mm 73.7 mm
Weight 560 g 505 g
Is weather sealed No No

features

Is a smart camera No No
Includes a GPS No No
Supports HDR Yes No
Automatic panorama No No
Create realistic 3D images No No
Image stabilization

video

D5100  vs
D3100 
Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps 1920 x 1080 @ 24 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes Yes
Shoots high speed video No No
External mic jack 3.5mm None
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection Contrast detection

display

Type LCD LCD
Size 3" 3"
Resolution 920 k dots 230 k dots
Has a touch screen No No
Has a flip out screen Yes No
Supports live view Yes Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror Opaque Opaque
Viewfinder Yes Yes
Type Pentamirror Pentamirror
Coverage 95% 95%
Magnification 0.78x 0.8x
Viewfinder size 0.51x 0.51x

performance

Max continuous shooting 4 fps 3 fps
Battery life 660 550
Continuous shooting
4 fps, JPEG
3 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 273 ms 279 ms
Shutter lag 114 ms 117 ms
Startup delay 500 ms 400 ms
Nikon D5100
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Nikon D3100
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