Nikon D5000 vs. Nikon D5100

What's the Difference?

The Nikon D5000 and Nikon D5100 are both entry-level DSLR cameras that offer excellent image quality and a range of features. The D5000 has a 12.3-megapixel sensor, while the D5100 has a slightly higher resolution at 16.2 megapixels. Both cameras have a vari-angle LCD screen, allowing for flexible shooting angles, but the D5100 has a higher resolution screen. The D5100 also offers a higher ISO range, allowing for better low-light performance. However, the D5000 has a faster continuous shooting speed and a longer battery life. Overall, both cameras are great options for beginners or enthusiasts looking for a versatile and reliable DSLR.


Nikon D5000
Photo by Dimitris P on Unsplash
AttributeNikon D5000Nikon D5100
Resolution12.3 MP16.2 MP
Image SensorCMOSCMOS
ISO Range200-3200 (expandable to 100-6400)100-6400 (expandable to 12800)
Screen Size2.7 inches3 inches
Screen Resolution230,000 dots921,000 dots
Video Resolution720p1080p
Autofocus Points1111
Continuous Shooting Speed4 fps4 fps
Weight590 g560 g
Nikon D5100
Photo by Fala Syam on Unsplash

Further Detail


When it comes to choosing a DSLR camera, Nikon has always been a reliable and popular choice among photographers. Two models that often come up in discussions are the Nikon D5000 and Nikon D5100. Both cameras offer excellent image quality, advanced features, and versatility. In this article, we will compare the attributes of these two cameras to help you make an informed decision.

Design and Build Quality

Both the Nikon D5000 and D5100 feature a sturdy build with a comfortable grip, making them easy to handle. The D5000 has a slightly larger and heavier body compared to the D5100, which may be a factor to consider if portability is important to you. However, the D5100 offers a more modern design with a swiveling LCD screen, allowing for more flexible shooting angles and easier framing of shots.

Additionally, the D5100 has a dedicated HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode, which combines multiple exposures to create a single image with enhanced dynamic range. This feature can be particularly useful for landscape and architectural photography, providing more detail in both highlights and shadows.

Image Quality

Both cameras feature a 16.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor, ensuring excellent image quality with rich colors and fine details. However, the D5100 has a newer image processing engine, which results in slightly better noise reduction and overall image processing capabilities. This improvement is especially noticeable in low-light situations, where the D5100 produces cleaner and more detailed images with less noise.

Furthermore, the D5100 offers a wider ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable up to 25600), compared to the D5000's range of 200-3200 (expandable up to 6400). This expanded ISO range allows for better performance in challenging lighting conditions, giving photographers more flexibility to capture sharp and well-exposed images in various situations.

Autofocus and Performance

Both cameras feature Nikon's reliable 11-point autofocus system, which ensures accurate and fast focusing. However, the D5100 has a slight advantage with its improved autofocus algorithm, resulting in more precise subject tracking and better performance in continuous shooting mode. This makes the D5100 a better choice for capturing fast-moving subjects, such as sports or wildlife photography.

In terms of performance, both cameras offer a burst shooting mode of up to 4 frames per second. While this may not be as impressive as some higher-end models, it is still sufficient for most general photography needs. Both cameras also provide Full HD video recording capabilities, allowing you to capture high-quality videos with manual control over exposure and focus.

Display and User Interface

The Nikon D5000 features a 2.7-inch vari-angle LCD screen, which provides flexibility for shooting from different angles and reviewing images. On the other hand, the D5100 boasts a larger and higher-resolution 3.0-inch vari-angle LCD screen, offering a more immersive and detailed viewing experience. The larger screen size can be particularly beneficial when reviewing images or navigating through menus.

Both cameras have well-designed user interfaces, with intuitive controls and menus that are easy to navigate. The D5100, however, benefits from a more recent interface design, which includes graphical representations of shooting settings and a more user-friendly layout. This can make the camera more accessible to beginners or those transitioning from point-and-shoot cameras.

Additional Features

Both the Nikon D5000 and D5100 offer a range of additional features that enhance the shooting experience. These include in-camera image editing, multiple exposure mode, built-in HDR, and various creative filters. However, the D5100 introduces some new features, such as a built-in stereo microphone for better audio recording during video capture and an Effects mode that allows you to apply creative filters in real-time while shooting.

Furthermore, the D5100 includes an HDMI output, which allows you to connect the camera directly to an HDTV for easy playback of your photos and videos. This can be a convenient feature for sharing your work with others or for reviewing your shots on a larger screen.


Both the Nikon D5000 and D5100 are excellent DSLR cameras that offer impressive image quality, advanced features, and reliable performance. The D5100, being the newer model, comes with some notable improvements, including a swiveling LCD screen, better low-light performance, improved autofocus, and additional features like built-in HDR and Effects mode.

However, the D5000 still holds its ground with its solid build quality, comfortable grip, and overall reliability. If you prioritize portability and are on a tighter budget, the D5000 can still be a great choice. Ultimately, the decision between these two cameras will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Whichever model you choose, both the Nikon D5000 and D5100 will undoubtedly deliver exceptional results and help you capture memorable moments with ease.

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