Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of 5N vs D5100

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

NEX 5N
9.3
D5100
9.5
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

NEX 5N
7.0
D5100
6.7
Focus lag and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

NEX 5N
8.0
D5100
8.2
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

NEX 5N
9.1
D5100
9.1
Reviews from sonyalpharumors.com, 1001noisycameras.com, techradar.com and 6 more

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

NEX 5N
8.8
D5100
8.9

Winner
Nikon D5100 

Camera Rocket recommends the Nikon D5100  based on its image quality and responsiveness.

See full details

Benchmarks Real world tests of NEX 5N vs D5100

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

NEX 5N
1,079 ISO
D5100
1,183 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

NEX 5N
2,800 LPH
D5100
2,600 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

NEX 5N
235 ms
D5100
273 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

NEX 5N
115 ms
D5100
114 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

NEX 5N
1,900 ms
D5100
500 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

NEX 5N
10 fps
D5100
4 fps

Features Key features of the NEX 5N  vs D5100 

Megapixels Maximum resolution images are captured at

NEX 5N
16 MP
D5100
16.1 MP

Max ISO Maximum light sensitivity of the sensor

NEX 5N
25,600 ISO
D5100
25,600 ISO

Focus points How many different points the camera can focus on

NEX 5N
25
D5100
11

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

NEX 5N
3"
D5100
3"

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

NEX 5N
22.8 microns
D5100
22.9 microns

Reviews Word on the street

NEX 5N  vs D5100 

7.9
7.6
The debate of EVF vs OVF is a complicated one but these new EVF offerings from Sony present possibly the first example that we've seen that may be 'good-enough' to actually compete with the visual clarity of a true OVF.
NEX 5N

8.5
9.0
The Nikon D5100 lets you dial in shutter speeds of up to 30 seconds and has a Bulb mode as well for exposure times of practically any length, which is very good news if you are seriously interested in night photography.
D5100

9.0
8.0
The control layout is much more akin to that of a compact camera than a digital SLR, with the main camera controls consisting of just two multi-function buttons, with a rotary-bezel D-pad for menu navigation and exposure adjustment.
NEX 5N

8.0
8.0
On paper at least, the NEX range has a key advantage to draw in the photo enthusiast - namely its incorporation of APS-C CMOS sensors, a size match for those found in DSLRs.
NEX 5N

7.7
7.7
Video looks very good, with bright, saturated colors, relatively sharp edges, and with no rolling shutter or moiré, rock solid in 60p.
NEX 5N

Overall

8.3 Out of 10
8.2 Out of 10

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

NEX 5N  vs
D5100 
Type CMOS CMOS
Megapixels 16 MP 16.1 MP
Resolution 4912 x 3264 4928 x 3264
Size APS-C APS-C
Area 23.4 x 15.6 mm 23.6 x 15.6 mm
Crop factor 1.5x 1.5x
Pixel size 22.8 microns 22.9 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 25,600 ISO 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO
Codecs
RAW
JPEG
NEF 14bit
Self cleaning sensor Yes Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,800 LPH 2,600 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,800 LPH 2,600 LPH

focus system

Type Contrast detection Phase detection
Focus points 25 11
Supports continuous No No

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror None Opaque
Viewfinder No Yes
Type N/A Pentamirror
Coverage N/A 95%
Magnification N/A 0.78x

performance

Max continuous shooting 10 fps 4 fps
Battery life 460 660
Continuous shooting
10 fps, JPEG
4 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 235 ms 273 ms
Shutter lag 115 ms 114 ms
Startup delay 1,900 ms 500 ms

video

NEX 5N  vs
D5100 
Video 1920 x 1080 @ 60 fps 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes Yes
Shoots high speed video No No
External mic jack None 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection Contrast detection
Autofocus supports continuous Yes Yes

display

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

shutter

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

form factor

Size 111 x 59 x 38 mm 127 x 96.5 x 78.7 mm
Thickness 38 mm 78.7 mm
Weight 269 g 560 g
Is weather sealed No No

features

Is a smart camera No No
Includes a GPS No No
Supports HDR Yes Yes
Automatic panorama Yes No
Create realistic 3D images Yes No
Image stabilization
Sony NEX 5N
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Nikon D5100
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