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Nikon D3100 vs D5000 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D3100

Nikon D3100

Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000
Nikon D3100
Nikon D5000
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
October 01, 2010
April 14, 2009
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D3100 and Nikon D5000 are both DSLR cameras with equal scores of 41/100. Released in 2010, the D3100 has a launch price of $699, while the D5000 was released in 2009 with a launch price of $730. Both cameras share similar specifications, but there are differences that set them apart.

The Nikon D3100 is lighter and more compact, measuring 124 x 96 x 75mm and weighing 505g. This makes it easier to carry around and handle during photography sessions. On the other hand, the Nikon D5000 is slightly larger and heavier, measuring 127 x 104 x 80mm and weighing 590g.

While both cameras have the same score, it is worth noting that the D3100 is a more recent model and comes with a lower launch price. The D5000, despite being an older model, is still a solid choice for those who prefer a slightly larger and heavier camera. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras depends on individual preferences and budget considerations.

Nikon D3100 vs D5000 Overview and Optics

The Nikon D5000 outperforms the Nikon D3100 in optics with a score of 45/100 compared to the D3100’s 41/100. Both cameras share a number of specifications, including the CMOS sensor type, APS-C sensor size, Nikon F DX lens mount, and the lack of image stabilization. Despite these similarities, there are key differences that contribute to the higher score of the D5000.

The D5000 has a faster shooting speed of 4 frames per second, compared to the D3100’s 3 frames per second. This allows the D5000 to capture action more effectively. Additionally, the D5000’s sensor has a higher DXOMARK score of 72, compared to the D3100’s 67, indicating superior image quality. Although the D5000 has a lower megapixel count (12.3) than the D3100 (14.8), this difference is not significant enough to impact the overall image quality.

On the other hand, the Nikon D3100 has a more advanced Expeed 2 processor, compared to the D5000’s Expeed processor. This may result in faster processing times and better performance in certain situations. However, this advantage is not enough to overcome the D5000’s superior optics.

When considering the optics of the Nikon D3100 and D5000, the D5000 is the better choice due to its faster shooting speed and higher sensor score. While the D3100 has a more advanced processor, this does not outweigh the benefits offered by the D5000’s optics. Ultimately, those seeking a camera with superior optics should opt for the Nikon D5000.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
14.8 MP
12.3 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
4608 x 3072 px
4288 x 2848 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
15.4 x 23.1 mm
15.8 x 23.6 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
3 fps
4 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon F DX
Nikon F DX
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 2
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 4000 s
1/ 4000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentamirror)
Optical (pentamirror)

Nikon D3100 vs D5000 Video Performance

When comparing the Nikon D3100 and the Nikon D5000 in terms of video capabilities, it is important to note that the Nikon D3100 does not have any video functionality. This means that this camera cannot record videos and is solely designed for capturing still images. In contrast, the Nikon D5000 does offer video recording features, which we will discuss below.

The Nikon D5000 has a video score of 49 out of 100. It records videos in standard HD resolution, with a maximum video dimension of 1280 x 720 pixels. This resolution is suitable for casual video recording and sharing on social media platforms. Additionally, the Nikon D5000 can record videos at a maximum frame rate of 24 frames per second (fps). This frame rate is adequate for capturing smooth motion in videos, although it may not be suitable for fast-paced action scenes or professional video production.

One notable feature of the Nikon D5000’s video capabilities is its built-in time-lapse functionality. This feature allows users to create time-lapse videos, which are a series of images taken at set intervals and combined into a single video that shows the passage of time. Time-lapse videos can be used to capture events such as sunsets, plant growth, or cityscapes, adding a creative dimension to the camera’s video capabilities.

When considering the video capabilities of these two cameras, the Nikon D5000 clearly has the advantage due to its ability to record videos, while the Nikon D3100 lacks this feature. The Nikon D5000’s video features, including standard HD resolution, a maximum frame rate of 24fps, and built-in time-lapse functionality, make it a versatile camera for capturing both still images and videos.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Standard HD
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
1280 x 720 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
24 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.
Motion JPEG

Nikon D3100 vs D5000 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D3100 emerges as the winner in this comparison, scoring 36 out of 100 points in features, while the Nikon D5000 trails closely with a score of 34. These two cameras share several specifications, including screen resolution at 230,000 dots, the absence of a touchscreen, flip screen, GPS, WIFI, and Bluetooth.

The Nikon D3100 outperforms the D5000 with its larger 3-inch screen, providing a bigger and clearer display for composing images and navigating menus. This advantage allows photographers to review their shots more easily and efficiently on the D3100 than the D5000, which has a smaller 2.7-inch screen.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5000 does not have any significant advantages over the D3100 in terms of features. Both cameras lack essential connectivity options like GPS, WIFI, and Bluetooth, which are common in modern cameras. They also miss out on the convenience of a flip screen and touchscreen functionality.

To sum up, the Nikon D3100 is a marginally better choice than the Nikon D5000, mainly due to its larger screen size. However, both cameras fall short in offering essential features found in contemporary models. The absence of connectivity options and modern screen functionalities may limit the appeal of both cameras to potential buyers. As such, individuals in search of a camera with better features may want to explore other options in the market.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
230,000 dots
230,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon D3100 vs D5000 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D3100 outperforms the Nikon D5000 in storage and battery, scoring 53/100 compared to the D5000’s 27/100. Both cameras share similarities in storage, featuring one memory card slot each and supporting SD and SDHC memory cards. However, the D3100 also accepts SDXC cards, providing users with more storage options.

In terms of battery life, the D3100 offers a substantial advantage with 4500 shots per charge, while the D5000 only provides 510 shots. The D3100 uses the EN-EL14 battery type, which contributes to its longer battery life. Conversely, the D5000 relies on the less efficient EN-EL9a battery type. Neither camera supports USB charging.

Although the D5000 lags behind the D3100 in both storage and battery, it still offers acceptable performance for casual photographers. Ultimately, the D3100’s superior storage compatibility and battery life make it the better choice for photography enthusiasts who require extended shooting capabilities.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
4,500 shots
510 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
22.5 bits
22.7 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
11.3 EVs
12.5 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Nikon D3100 vs D5000 – Our Verdict

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D3100 or the Nikon D5000:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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