• APS-C 355.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • 35mm 847.3mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200

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Differences

Nikon D3100 advantages over Panasonic S5 II

  • Less expensive
    $700 vs $2000 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Has anti-aliasing filter
    Filter vs No Filter
    Reduces unsightly moiré in photos

Panasonic S5 II advantages over Nikon D3100

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs none
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.93 vs 5.01 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Shoot 4K video
    5.9K vs 1080p
    Make sure you have a fast computer
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • High resolution composite
    Yes vs No
    Combine multiple shots to form a super hi-res version
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Yes vs No
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Newer
    18 months vs 14 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • More dots on screen
    1840k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • More pixels
    24.2 vs 14.2 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
    No Filter vs Filter
    Enjoy sharper photos
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    30.0 fps vs 2.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    200 vs 100 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Slow-motion videos
    Yes vs No
    Shoot slow-motion videos
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    204800 vs 12800 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • 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

  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance

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Review Excerpt

The Competition

Compared to Sony DSLR-A380

Nikon D3100
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $849
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
Panasonic S5 II
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $2000
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $849
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Internal flash

Compared to Sony A33

Nikon D3100
Sony A33
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Panasonic S5 II
Sony A33
  • $2000
  • 35mm
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Focus peaking
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Pentax K-r

Nikon D3100
Pentax K-r
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Fast startup
Panasonic S5 II
Pentax K-r
  • $2000
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Internal flash

Compared to Nikon Z5

Nikon D3100
Nikon Z5
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Internal flash
  • $1097
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
Panasonic S5 II
Nikon Z5
  • $2000
  • 35mm
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • High resolution composite
  • $1097
  • 35mm
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • Has anti-aliasing filter

Compared to Panasonic S5 IIX

Nikon D3100
Panasonic S5 IIX
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Internal flash
  • $2200
  • 35mm
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Focus peaking
Panasonic S5 II
Panasonic S5 IIX
  • $2000
  • 35mm
  • $2200
  • 35mm
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