• 35mm 864.0mm2
  • 21.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400

Buy From

Differences

Canon 5D Mark II advantages over Nikon D5100

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 6.41 vs 4.79 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,815 vs 1,183 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 850 vs 660 shots
    Capture more photos
  • More telephoto lens reach
    105 mm vs 83 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.71x vs 0.52x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    21.1 vs 16.2 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • More AF points
    15 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Wider angle kit lens
    24 mm vs 27 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Nikon D5100 advantages over Canon 5D Mark II

  • Less expensive
    $499* vs $2699
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs none
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • More dynamic range
    13.6 vs 11.9 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Lighter weight
    829g vs 1588g
    Lighter weight

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output 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
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • 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
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • 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

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.

The Competition

Compared to Sony A900

Canon 5D Mark II
Sony A900
  • $2448
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • More pixels
Nikon D5100
Sony A900
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Nikon D3X

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D3X
  • $2448
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Shoots 1080p video
  • $6999
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • More dynamic range
Nikon D5100
Nikon D3X
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $6999
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony A850

Canon 5D Mark II
Sony A850
  • $2448
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • More pixels
Nikon D5100
Sony A850
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Sony A35

Canon 5D Mark II
Sony A35
  • $2448
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Nikon D5100
Sony A35
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Sony A57

Canon 5D Mark II
Sony A57
  • $2448
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5100
Sony A57
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
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