The D5100’s positioning and current pricing gives it two main competitors: the Canon EOS 600D and the Sony Alpha 55.
Canon’s EOS 600D currently sells for around £50 less than the D5100 and has a very similar specification, even offering a 3in vari-angle screen.
Its sensor is a more populated 18-million-pixel unit, but it offers a slightly slower 3.7fps burst rate and just nine AF points.
It also misses out on the top Hi2 ISO setting of 25,600.
Sony’s Alpha 55 is just £20 less than the D5100 and uses the same 16-million-pixel sensor as the Nikon model.
However it features a translucent mirror and electronic viewfinder that allow fast burst rates of up to 10fps, plus 15 AF points with three cross-type points.
Video:Full HD, 1080p, 30/25/24fps, MOV (H.264)
White Balance:Auto, 6 presets, manual with fine-tuning
Dioptre Adjustment:-1.7 to +0.7 dioptre
Built-in Flash:Yes, GN 13m @ ISO 100
Shutter Type:Focal-plane shutter
Viewfinder Type:Pentaprism mirror
Output Size:4928x3264 pixels
LCD:3in, 921,000-dot vari-angle LCD
Field of View:95% coverage
AF Points:11-point system
White Balance Bracket:Yes
Sensor:16.2-million-effective pixel CMOS
Max Flash Sync:1/200sec
Exposure Modes:PASM, auto, 16 scene modes, 7 special effects modes
Connectivity / Interface:USB, HDMI
Weight:560g (with battery and card)
Power:Rechargeable EN-EL 14 Li-Ion battery
File Format:JPEG, NEF (raw), MOV
Shutter Speeds:30-1/4000sec plus bulb
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
Lens Mount:Nikon F
ISO:100-6400 (25,600 expanded setting)
Focusing Modes:Single, continuous, manual
Metering System:420-pixel TTL 3D Color Matrix Metering II, spot, centreweighted
Tested as:Enthusiast DSLR