• APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 16.1 megapixels
  •  

Buy From

Differences

Nikon D5100 advantages over Sony NEX-5N

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs tilt-only
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Eye-level vs Rear display only
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Fast startup
    ~0.50 vs 1.9 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 660 vs 430 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 7 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Sony NEX-5N advantages over Nikon D5100

  • In-camera panoramas
    Yes vs No
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Thinner
    38 mm vs 79 mm
    Thinner
  • Lighter weight
    465g vs 829g
    Lighter weight
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    10.0 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • 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
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • 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
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • 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.

  • Fast autofocus and prefocused shutter lag; Quieter shutter sound; Captures 10 frames per second; Supports AVCHD 2.0.

  • Limited first-party lens selection; Slow and confusing on-screen user interface; top-mounted, proprietary accessories are quite pricey.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D3100

Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • APS-C
Sony NEX-5N
Nikon D3100
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Eye-level viewfinder

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
Sony NEX-5N
Sony A35
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Tiltable Screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Sony NEX-C3

Nikon D5100
Sony NEX-C3
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Thinner
Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-C3
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Shoots 24p video
  • Shoots 1080p video
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup

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
Sony NEX-5N
Sony A57
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Thinner
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Sony NEX-5R

Nikon D5100
Sony NEX-5R
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Touchscreen
Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-5R
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Touchscreen
Compare Other Cameras?