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Nikon D3400 vs D5100 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D3400

Nikon D3400 Camera image

Nikon D5100

Nikon D5100 camera
Nikon D3400
Nikon D5100
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.
August 17, 2016
April 05, 2011
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D3400 takes the lead with a score of 61/100, while the Nikon D5100 trails behind at 49/100. Both cameras are DSLRs and share similar dimensions, with the D3400 measuring 124 x 98 x 76mm and the D5100 at 128 x 97 x 79mm. However, the D3400 is significantly lighter, weighing only 445g compared to the D5100’s 560g, making it more convenient to carry.

The D3400 has the advantage of being a more recent model, released in 2016, and is also more affordable with a launch price of $650 compared to the D5100’s $799. While the D5100 may have some features that outshine the D3400, the latter’s higher score, lighter weight, and lower price give it the edge in this comparison.

Nikon D3400 vs D5100 Overview and Optics

The Nikon D3400 emerges as the winner in the optics comparison with a score of 65/100, while the Nikon D5100 scores 52/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as the CMOS sensor type, APS-C sensor size, Nikon F DX lens mount, and the absence of image stabilization.

The D3400 surpasses the D5100 in several aspects. It has a higher megapixel count of 24.2 compared to the D5100’s 16.2, which allows for more detailed and sharper images. The D3400’s shooting speed is also faster at 5 frames per second, compared to the D5100’s 4 frames per second. This makes the D3400 better for capturing fast-moving subjects. Additionally, the D3400 is equipped with a more advanced Expeed 4 processor, which contributes to improved image processing and overall performance. The D3400’s sensor also has a higher DXOMARK score of 86, compared to the D5100’s score of 80, indicating better overall image quality.

On the other hand, the D5100 has some advantages over the D3400, though they are not enough to surpass its overall optics score. The D5100’s lower megapixel count can result in less noise in low-light situations, but the difference is not significant enough to outweigh the benefits of the D3400’s higher megapixel count.

Taking all these factors into account, the Nikon D3400 is the better choice for those seeking superior optics performance, as it offers higher image resolution, faster shooting speed, and better overall image quality. The Nikon D5100, while still a capable camera, falls short in comparison to the D3400 in terms of optics.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24.2 MP
16.2 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6000 x 4000 px
4928 x 3264 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.
15.6 x 23.5 mm
15.6 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.
5 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 4
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 D3400 vs D5100 Video Performance

When comparing the video capabilities of the Nikon D3400 and the Nikon D5100, it is important to note that the Nikon D5100 does not have video functionality. Therefore, this comparison will focus on the video capabilities of the Nikon D3400.

The Nikon D3400 has a video score of 56 out of 100. It is capable of recording Full HD video with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080. The camera can record video at a maximum frame rate of 60 frames per second, providing smooth and clear footage. However, the Nikon D3400 does not have built-in time-lapse functionality.

Given that the Nikon D5100 lacks video capabilities, the Nikon D3400 is the clear choice for those seeking a camera with video recording features. Its Full HD video resolution and 60fps frame rate ensure high-quality footage, despite the absence of built-in time-lapse functionality.

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.
Full HD
Full 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.
1920 x 1080 px
1920 x 1080 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.
60 p
30 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.
MPEG-4, MOV, H.264

Nikon D3400 vs D5100 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D3400 comes out ahead with a feature score of 54/100, compared to the Nikon D5100’s 41/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a 3-inch screen size and a screen resolution of 921,000 dots. Neither camera has a touchscreen, GPS, or WIFI. However, there are differences that set them apart.

The Nikon D3400’s higher feature score is due to its Bluetooth capability. This feature allows users to easily transfer photos to other devices and provides a more convenient experience. Additionally, the Nikon D3400 is a newer model, which may contribute to its higher score.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5100 has a flip screen, which the D3400 lacks. This feature is useful for taking photos from different angles and positions, providing more flexibility and versatility to the user. However, it does not have Bluetooth, which may be a disadvantage for users who value quick and easy photo sharing.

Considering the differences between the two cameras, the Nikon D3400 is a better option for those who prioritize seamless photo sharing, while the Nikon D5100 is more suitable for users who need a flip screen for added flexibility. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user.

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.
921,000 dots
921,000 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 D3400 vs D5100 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D5100 outperforms the Nikon D3400 in storage and battery, scoring 51 out of 100, compared to the D3400’s 45. Both cameras have one memory card slot and accept SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. Neither camera offers USB charging capabilities.

The D5100’s superior battery life provides 2200 shots per charge, using the EN-EL14 battery type. This significantly surpasses the D3400’s 1200 shots per charge with its EN-EL14a battery. This advantage allows the D5100 users to capture more photos without the need for frequent battery replacements or recharging.

The D3400, however, does not offer any notable advantages in storage and battery over the D5100. Considering these aspects, the Nikon D5100 proves to be the better choice for photographers who prioritize longer battery life and reliable storage. The Nikon D3400, while still a capable camera, falls short in these particular areas compared to its counterpart.

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.
1,200 shots
2,200 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.'
24.8 bits
23.5 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.'
13.9 EVs
13.6 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 D3400 vs D5100 – Our Verdict

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D3400 or the Nikon D5100:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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