• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800
  • APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400

Buy From

Differences

Sony DSLR-A500 advantages over Nikon D5100

  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.55 vs 4.79 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 1000 vs 660 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Less shutter lag
    0.18 vs 0.27 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    4.9 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)

Nikon D5100 advantages over Sony DSLR-A500

  • 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
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,183 vs 772 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    13.6 vs 11.6 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • More dots on screen
    922k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    16.2 vs 12.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 5 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 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
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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 DSLR-A380

Sony DSLR-A500
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $849
  • APS-C
  • More pixels
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
Nikon D5100
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $849
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger JPEG buffer

Compared to Sony DSLR-A550

Sony DSLR-A500
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • More dots on screen
  • More pixels
Nikon D5100
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Longer stills battery life

Compared to Sony DSLR-A560

Sony DSLR-A500
Sony DSLR-A560
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Less shutter lag
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • More cross-type AF points
Nikon D5100
Sony DSLR-A560
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Sony A35

Sony DSLR-A500
Sony A35
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas
Nikon D5100
Sony A35
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Sony A57

Sony DSLR-A500
Sony A57
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-camera panoramas
Nikon D5100
Sony A57
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
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