Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D5100

This is a full comparison between the cameras Nikon D3100 and Nikon D5100. We compare them by looking at the categories you see below.

Nikon D3100
Nikon D5100

Manufacturing

These cameras are both manufacturered by Nikon.

Nikon D3100 were released 2010 and Nikon D5100 was released 2011. That is a 1 years difference. In tech, this period of time can be of interest since technology is always improving etc.

Camera Manufacturer Released
Nikon D3100 Nikon 2010
Nikon D5100 Nikon 2011

Type of camera

Both these cameras are DSLR cameras. No difference there.

Sensors / crop factor

Both these cameras have the same sorts sensor (called "DX") which means that if you compare the cameras side by side the lenses will also have the same experienced focal length. Neither of the cameras have a Full frame sensor which means that you will get a "crop factor" where the cameras sensor size effect the focal length with a multiplier.

Camera Experienced focal length when using a lens with 50mm focal length (ex a common "50mm f/1.8")
Nikon D3100 75 mm (a Nikon DX sensor have a crop factor / focal length multiplier by * 1.5)
Nikon D5100 75 mm (a Nikon DX sensor have a crop factor / focal length multiplier by * 1.5)

Learn more about crop factor and focal length multiplier here:
Camera selection can affect the focal length (Nikon)

Resolution

Nikon D3100 has a 14,2 MP (Megapixels) resolution while Nikon D5100 has 16,2 MP. If we break down this in more detail this is the data behind the numbers:

Camera Megapixels Pixel (total) Pixels (width) Pixels (height)
Nikon D3100 14,2 MP 14155776 4608 3072
Nikon D5100 16,2 MP 16084992 4928 3264

Nikon D5100 has a 14 % larger resolution than Nikon D3100. This could give you more details in the picture but also a possibility to crop more in the pictures, afterwards while editing the pictures, if needed that is.

ISO range

Nikon D3100 has a larger ISO-range than Nikon D5100. Nikon D3100 has an ISO range that stretches from 100 to 12800 while Nikon D5100 has 100 to 6400.

Camera ISO Range
Nikon D3100 100-12800
Nikon D5100 100-6400

Autofocus and lens compatibility

Neither of these two cameras have a built-in autofocus motor. Some lenses, that supports autofocus, does not have a autofocus motor of their own and often they rely on the cameras providing this autofocus motor but since these two camera models does not have this either it will result in no autofocus is possible.

Here is a complete overview of which lenses that work with each camera:
Lens compatibility chart for Nikon D3100
Lens compatibility chart for Nikon D5100

Pictures per second

Depending on what you are shooting the FPS, or frames/pictures per second, can definately be of interest. Nikon D3100 can shoot up to 3 pictures per seconds and Nikon D5100 can shoot up to 4 pictures per seconds.

Camera FPS (Frames per second)
Nikon D3100 3
Nikon D5100 4

Ability to record movies

It is becoming more and more popular to record movies with digital cameras.

In this case, both Nikon D3100 and Nikon D5100 can shoot movies.

Weight

The weight of the camera can be an extremely important factor, especially if the camera is about to be used, carried around, for several hours at the time.

Nikon D5100 weighs 611 gr (equal to 1,35 lb) which is 21% heavier than Nikon D3100 and its 505 gr (or 1,11 lb).

Camera Weight (in gram) Weight (in pounds)
Nikon D3100 505 gr 1,11 lb
Nikon D5100 611 gr 1,35 lb