• APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 332.3mm2
  • 18.0 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400

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Advantages

Nikon D5100 over Canon 7D

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Lighter weight
    829g vs 1467g
    Lighter weight
  • Wider angle kit lens
    27 mm vs 45 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    Unlimited vs 22 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (single-shot mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 12800 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Canon 7D over Nikon D5100

  • 60p
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • More cross-type AF points
    19 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • More AF points
    19 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Less shutter lag
    0.131 vs 0.273 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    3.4 fps vs 1.3 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in single-shot mode
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    3.6 fps vs 1.4 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (single-shot mode)
  • Kit lens zoom ratio
    3.8x vs 3.0x
    Zooming is easier than walking
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

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Review Excerpt

  • Side-mounted tilt / swivel LCD screen; same sensor and processing as the Nikon D7000; good speed and battery life; in-camera HDR and filter effects; Full HD video capture with aperture control; audio levels control and external microphone jack.

  • AF-S lens mount doesn't offer autofocus with screw-drive lenses; popup flash isn't the greatest; no built-in wireless flash control; HDR function doesn't microalign source images.

  • Excellent 18-megapixel sensor with impressively low noise and superb detail; Very good high ISO performance, especially for 18-megapixel subframe sensor; Rugged construction with magnesium body and weather sealing; Fast autofocus and fast burst rate of 8 fps; Full HD (1920x1080) movies at 30/25/24p, 60/50p at 1280x720.

  • No dedicated AF-assist lamp (flash is used), and AF-assist adjustment is buried in the Flash Settings menu; Kit lens (28-135mm) isn't quite up to the resolving power of the 18-megapixel sensor, odd focal length for subframe DSLR; No continuous autofocus in Movie mode.

The Competition

Compared to Canon 7D Mark II

Nikon D5100
Canon 7D Mark II
  • $461
  • APS-C
  • Tiltable Screen
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1799
  • APS-C
  • GPS
  • On-sensor phase detect
Canon 7D
Canon 7D Mark II
  • $1247
  • APS-C
  • $1799
  • APS-C
  • GPS
  • On-sensor phase detect

Compared to Nikon D7000

Nikon D5100
Nikon D7000
  • $461
  • APS-C
  • Tiltable Screen
  • Lighter weight
  • $866
  • APS-C
  • More cross-type AF points
  • Dual card slots
Canon 7D
Nikon D7000
  • $1247
  • APS-C
  • 60p
  • More cross-type AF points
  • $866
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Dual card slots

Compared to Canon T3i

Nikon D5100
Canon T3i
  • $461
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup
  • $449
  • APS-C
  • 60p
  • Faster RAW shooting
Canon 7D
Canon T3i
  • $1247
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Longer battery life
  • $449
  • APS-C
  • Tiltable Screen
  • Lighter weight

Compared to Sony A77

Nikon D5100
Sony A77
  • $461
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $974
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Canon 7D
Sony A77
  • $1247
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $974
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Pentax K-50

Nikon D5100
Pentax K-50
  • $461
  • APS-C
  • Tiltable Screen
  • External Mic
  • $362
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Canon 7D
Pentax K-50
  • $1247
  • APS-C
  • Longer battery life
  • More cross-type AF points
  • $362
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
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