Nikon D5100 vs Canon 400D
The Nikon D5100 and the Canon EOS 400D (labelled Canon XTi in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2011 and August 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 10.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Nikon D5100||Canon 400D|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-6400 (100-25600)||ISO 100-1600|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||2.5" LCD, 230k dots|
|Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|4 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|660 shots per battery charge||370 shots per battery charge|
|128 x 97 x 79 mm, 560 g||127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D5100 vs Canon 400D
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D5100 and the Canon 400D is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 400D is notably smaller (14 percent) than the Nikon D5100. Moreover, the 400D is slightly lighter (1 percent) than the D5200. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D5200 nor the 400D are weather-sealed.
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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D5200) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (400D).
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Nikon D5100»||5.0 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.8 oz||660||n||Apr 2011||749||-||Nikon D5100|
|Canon 400D«||5.0 in||3.3 in||2.6 in||19.6 oz||370||n||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 750D« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||649||-||Canon 760D|
|Canon T2i« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.7 oz||440||n||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon 450D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799||-||Canon 450D|
|Canon 40D« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 350D« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||19.0 oz||400||n||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon 350D|
|Nikon D5600« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||16.4 oz||970||n||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||540||n||Apr 2012||599||-||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5200« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||500||n||Nov 2012||749||-||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D7000« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||27.5 oz||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D3100« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||550||n||Aug 2010||599||-||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D5000« »||5.0 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||20.8 oz||510||n||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.7 oz||330||n||Aug 2012||749||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.5 oz||460||n||Aug 2011||699||-||Sony NEX-5N|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D5200 was somewhat cheaper (by 6 percent) than the 400D at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.
Sensor comparison: Nikon D5100 vs Canon 400D
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 400D is 11 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.5 (D5200) and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 16.1MP, the D5200 offers a higher resolution than the 400D (10.1MP), but the D5200 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 5.71μm for the 400D). However, the D5200 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 years and 7 months) than the 400D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The Nikon D5100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 400D are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the D5200 provides substantially higher image quality than the 400D, with an overall score that is 18 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 2.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Nikon D5100»||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.5||13.6||1183||80||Nikon D5100|
|Canon 400D«||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.0||664||62||Canon 400D|
|Canon 750D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||22.7||12.0||919||71||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon 760D|
|Canon T2i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66||Canon T2i|
|Canon 450D« »||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||-||21.9||10.8||692||61||Canon 450D|
|Canon 40D« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.3||703||64||Canon 40D|
|Canon 350D« »||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||-||21.8||10.8||637||60||Canon 350D|
|Nikon D5600« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/30p||24.1||13.2||1131||81||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5200« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||24.2||13.9||1284||84||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D7000« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||10800/24p||23.5||13.9||1167||80||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D3100« »||APS-C||14.2||4608||3072||1080/24p||22.5||11.3||919||67||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D5000« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||868||72||Nikon D5000|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.7||13.1||910||78||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.6||12.7||1079||77||Sony NEX-5N|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The D5200 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the 400D does not. The highest resolution format that the D5200 can use is 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Nikon D5100 vs Canon 400D
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D5200 and the 400D are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the D5200 has a higher magnification than the one of the 400D (0.51x vs 0.49x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D5100, the Canon 400D, and comparable cameras.
|Nikon D5100»||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5100|
|Canon 400D«||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 400D|
|Canon 750D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 760D|
|Canon T2i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon T2i|
|Canon 450D« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Canon 450D|
|Canon 40D« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.5||Y||n||Canon 40D|
|Canon 350D« »||optical||n||1.8||115||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 350D|
|Nikon D5600« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5300« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5200« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D7000« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D3100« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D5000« »||optical||n||2.7||230||full-flex||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5000|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5N|
The Nikon D5100 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 D5200 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the 400D uses Compact Flash cards.
Connectivity comparison: Nikon D5100 vs Canon 400D
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 D5100 and Canon EOS 400D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D5100»||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5100|
|Canon 400D«||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 750D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 760D|
|Canon T2i« »||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon 450D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 450D|
|Canon 40D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 350D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 350D|
|Nikon D5600« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5200« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D7000« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D3100« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D5000« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5000|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-5N|
Both the D5200 and the 400D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, while the D5200 was followed by the Nikon D5200. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Canon websites.
Review summary: Nikon D5100 vs Canon 400D
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D5100 and the Canon 400D? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D5100:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (16.1 vs 10.1MP) with a 26% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (18 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.6 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.51x vs 0.49x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (660 versus 370) on a single battery charge.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 7 months of technical progress since the 400D launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 400D:
- More compact: Is smaller (127x84mm vs 128x97mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2006).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D5200 is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 2 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.
Do the specifications of the Nikon D5100 and the Canon 400D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing.In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D5200 and the 400D in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
Expert reviews: Nikon D5100 vs Canon 400D
This is where reviews by experts come in. 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, photographyblog).
|Nikon D5100»||++||76/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749||-||Nikon D5100|
|Canon 400D«||++||++||o||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 750D« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D« »||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649||-||Canon 760D|
|Canon T2i« »||++||77/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon 450D« »||++||++||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||-||Canon 450D|
|Canon 40D« »||++||++||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 350D« »||80/100||++||o||o||-||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon 350D|
|Nikon D5600« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5300« »||++||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||++||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599||-||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5200« »||++||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2012||749||-||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D7000« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D3100« »||++||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599||-||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D5000« »||++||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||++||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||699||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Nikon D5100 vs Canon 400D
|Camera Model||Nikon D5100||Canon 400D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2011||August 2006|
|Launch Price||USD 749||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D5100||Canon 400D|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.7 mm||22.2 x 14.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||370.52 mm2||328.56 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||26.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels||10.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4928 x 3264 pixels||3888 x 2592 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||5.71 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.34 MP/cm2||3.07 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||100-1600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 2||DIGIC II|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||80||62|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.5||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.6||11.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1183||664|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D5100||Canon 400D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||2.5 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D5100||Canon 400D|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||50 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D5100||Canon 400D|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon D5100||Canon 400D|
|Battery Type||EN-EL14 power pack||NB-2LH power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||660 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
128 x 97 x 79 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 3.1 in)
127 x 84 x 65 mm
(5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||560 g (19.8 oz)||556 g (19.6 oz)|
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