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Nikon D5 vs Sony A5100

The Nikon D5 and the Sony Alpha A5100 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2016 and August 2014. The D5 is a DSLR, while the A5100 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a full frame (D5) and an APS-C (A5100) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 20.7 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D5   Sony A5100
Nikon D5 Sony A5100
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
20.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-102400 (50-3280000) ISO 100-25600
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.2" LCD, 2359k dots 3.0" LCD, 922k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
14 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
3780 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
160 x 159 x 92 mm, 1415 g 110 x 63 x 36 mm, 283 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D5 and the Sony Alpha A5100? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Nikon D5 vs Sony A5100

The physical size and weight of the Nikon D5 and the Sony A5100 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The A5100 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the D5 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D5 vs Sony A5100
Compare D5 versus A5100 top
Comparison D5 or A5100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5100 is considerably smaller (73 percent) than the Nikon D5. Moreover, the A5100 is substantially lighter (80 percent) than the D5. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D5 is splash and dust resistant, while the A5100 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D5) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (A5100). Mirrorless cameras, such as the A5100, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the D5 gets 3780 shots out of its EN-EL18a battery, while the A5100 can take 400 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D5 has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. The power pack in the A5100 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D5» 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
 
Sony A5100« 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.7 oz 1120 Y Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
Nikon D850« » 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
 
Nikon D4S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.6 oz 3020 Y Feb 2014 6,499- i Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D750« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 26.5 oz 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
 
Nikon D610« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D3S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 43.7 oz 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 44.4 oz 4400 Y Dec 2008 7,999- i Nikon D3X
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5000« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449- i Sony A5000
 
Sony A6000« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony NEX-3N« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX100« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 330 n Jun 2012 649- i Sony RX100
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The A5100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 92 percent) than the D5, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D5 vs Sony A5100

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D5 features a full frame sensor and the Sony A5100 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A5100 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Nikon D5 and Sony A5100 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the A5100 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 20.7 MP of the D5. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 6.44μm for the D5). Moreover, it should be noted that the D5 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the A5100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Sony A5100 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A5100 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D5 are 27.9 x 18.6 inch or 71 x 47.1 cm for good quality, 22.4 x 14.8 inch or 56.8 x 37.7 cm for very good quality, and 18.6 x 12.4 inch or 47.3 x 31.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The A5100 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Nikon D5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 102400, which can be extended to ISO 50-3280000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5100 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

D5 versus A5100 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the D5 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the A5100 (overall score 8 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV of lower dynamic range, and 0.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D5» Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388Nikon D5
 
Sony A5100« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780Sony A5100
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« » Full Frame 17.9 5184 34561080/30p23.811.8278682Canon 1D X
 
Nikon D850« » Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100Nikon D850
 
Nikon D4S« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/60p24.413.3307489Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D750« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693Nikon D750
 
Nikon D610« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094Nikon D600
 
Nikon D3S« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-24.713.7199288Nikon D3X
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979Sony A5000
 
Sony A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782Sony A6000
 
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX100« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066Sony RX100

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D5 provides a higher video resolution than the A5100. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D5 vs Sony A5100

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D5 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the A5100 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D5, the Sony A5100, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D5»optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n Nikon D5
 
Sony A5100«- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Sony A5100
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n Canon 1D X
 
Nikon D850« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n n Nikon D850
 
Nikon D4S« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D750« »optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D750
 
Nikon D610« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n Nikon D600
 
Nikon D3S« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D3X
 
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5000« »- n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Sony A5000
 
Sony A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6000
 
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX100« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100

One feature that is present on the D5, but is missing on the A5100 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The A5100 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the D5 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Nikon D5 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The D5 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or XQD cards, while the A5100 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The D5 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the A5100 only has one slot.

 

Connectivity comparison: Nikon D5 vs Sony A5100

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D5 and Sony Alpha A5100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D5»YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D5
 
Sony A5100«-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5100
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D X
 
Nikon D850« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D850
 
Nikon D4S« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D750« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Nikon D750
 
Nikon D610« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D600
 
Nikon D3S« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D3X
 
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5000« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5000
 
Sony A6000« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A6000
 
Sony NEX-3N« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX100« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony RX100

It is notable that the D5 has a hotshoe, while the A5100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D5 (unlike the A5100) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D5 and the A5100 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The A5100 replaced the earlier Sony A5000, while the D5 followed on from the Nikon D4S. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Sony websites.


Review summary: Nikon D5 vs Sony A5100

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D5 and the Sony A5100? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D5:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 922k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (3780 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 4 months after the A5100).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A5100:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 7%.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 160x159mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 1132g or 80 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (92 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D5 is the clear winner of the match-up (21 : 12 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D5 21:12 A5100

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D5 and the Sony A5100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D5 or the A5100 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Nikon D5 vs Sony A5100

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D5»-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
 
Sony A5100«+-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
Nikon D850« »+ +89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
 
Nikon D4S« »--4.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2014 6,499- i Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D750« »+ +90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
 
Nikon D610« »+ +87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« »+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D3S« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X« »-86/1004/55/55/5 Dec 2008 7,999- i Nikon D3X
 
Sony RX100 IV« »+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5000« »+-4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449- i Sony A5000
 
Sony A6000« »+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX100« »+ +78/1004/55/55/5 Jun 2012 649- i Sony RX100
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon D5:
Check Amazon price
Sony A5100:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Nikon D5 vs Sony A5100

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D5 Sony A5100
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 August 2014
    Launch Price USD 6499 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Nikon D5 Sony A5100
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 858.01 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.1 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 20.7 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5588 x 3712 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.44 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 2.42 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-102400 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-3280000 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor EXPEED 5 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 88 80
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.1 23.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.3 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2343 1347
    Screen Specs Nikon D5 Sony A5100
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder No viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.72x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 2359k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D5 Sony A5100
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 14 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF or XQD cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D5 Sony A5100
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D5 Sony A5100
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type EN-EL18a power pack NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)3780 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 160 x 159 x 92 mm
    (6.3 x 6.3 x 3.6 in)
    110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 1415 g (49.9 oz) 283 g (10.0 oz)

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