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Difference Between Nikon D3100 and D5100

Nikon D3100 vs D5100

The Nikon D3100 and D5100 are two of the more affordable offerings from Nikon. Although they are both relatively cheap, the D5100 has a number of advantages over the D3100. The most significant difference between the D3100 and the D5100 is resolution as the latter has a 14 megapixel sensor compared to the formers 12 megapixel. A difference of 2 megapixels may not always mean better pictures, but it can come very handy in certain situations where you want as much detail as possible of a small or distant object.

The D5100 also has a wider ISO range than the D3100, at about double. A higher ISO number means greater sensitivity to light. This is useful if you want to shoot images in low light and results in clearer and cleaner images. Continuous shooting is also better with the D5100 than the D3100 because it shoots a picture more every second; at 4fps and 3fps respectively. These figures may be far from par with the more expensive cameras, but they give you the experience of capturing that split second moment.

One of the key features of the D5100 is its articulated screen. The screen of the D5100 can be rotated to a range of positions so that you can clearly see your subject when shooting in live view. The D5100 lets you compose your subjects properly without needing to kneel, crawl, tiptoe, or assume any other awkward position. Like most other cameras, the screen on the D3100 is fixed and you have a very limited view of the screen.

When it comes to active D-lighting, the D5100 presents the user with a lot more options than the D3100 does. In the D3100, you can only turn active D-lighting on or off. But in the D5100, you can choose between off, low, normal, high, extra high, or just set it to auto to let the camera decide for you. Active D-lighting should be very helpful in retaining detail if you shoot photos in high contrast areas. Like if your subject is under the shade while the surroundings are very bright.


  1. The D5100 has a higher resolution sensor than the D3100
  2. The D5100 has a wider ISO range than the D3100
  3. The D5100 shoots faster than the D3100
  4. The D5100 has an articulated screen while the D3100 does not
  5. The D5100 has more options for active D-lighting than the D3100

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