• APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 332.3mm2
  • 18.0 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 12,800

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Differences

Nikon D5100 advantages over Canon SL1

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs none
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,183 vs 843 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    13.6 vs 11.3 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 660 vs 380 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    13 vs 8 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)

Canon SL1 advantages over Nikon D5100

  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Yes vs No
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Newer
    5 years vs 7 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Lighter weight
    623g vs 829g
    Lighter weight
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 100 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Neither provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

Buy From

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Canon SL1

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.

  • Extremely compact and lightweight for a DSLR; Delivers good image quality that's virtually identical to the Canon T4i/T5i; Accurate and relatively fast autofocus with improved Live View and Movie Hybrid CMOS II AF; Full 1080p HD movie recording; Better-than average kit lens (EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM).

  • Still not as compact as most mirrorless cameras; Slightly worse than average dynamic range and high ISO performance; Poor battery life.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D3100

Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • APS-C
Canon SL1
Nikon D3100
  • $519
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sony A35

Nikon D5100
Sony A35
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Canon SL1
Sony A35
  • $519
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Sony A57

Nikon D5100
Sony A57
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Canon SL1
Sony A57
  • $519
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Sony A58

Nikon D5100
Sony A58
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $598
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Canon SL1
Sony A58
  • $519
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $598
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Canon T5

Nikon D5100
Canon T5
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $410
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Newer
Canon SL1
Canon T5
  • $519
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $410
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Longer stills battery life
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