Nikon D5100 vs D3000 – Which is Better For You?

In this Nikon D5100 vs D3000 article, we compare two cameras that are manufactured by the same company. These cameras belong to the same category, but different camera levels.

The D5100 sits a level above the D3000. Does this automatically give the former the edge over the latter? Or does this mean nothing as in some cases we have seen before?

This detailed article has all the answers and more. We reveal their similarities (of course, there are bound to be many such), their uniqueness, and advantages.

And because we understand your needs as an individual, we design this article in such a way that you can readily decide on which of them is better for you.

You can also check out this Nikon D5100 vs D3100 article. We compare the D5100 to the D3000’s successor in that article.

Table of Contents

Comparison Overview – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

The Nikon D5100 is an upper-entry level amateur camera. It is the second camera in the Nikon D5XXX series. On the other hand, the Nikon D3000 is an entry-level amateur camera. It is the first camera in the Nikon D3XXX series.

When we compare the bodies of these cameras, you’ll discover that the D3000 is smaller and lighter than the D5100. This makes it quite portable and the ready-to-go camera when going on a trip.

Both cameras can only be gotten in black body color which takes away the option of picking a color.

Cameras are bought because of image capture; hence, this is very important. In this regard, the upper-entry level camera has the edge. It delivers quality images that are well-detailed than that of the Nikon D3000.

Being higher upper in level as well as being newer, the Nikon D5100 has many features that are missing in the D3000. A notable one is its ability to record video, whereas the Nikon D3000 cannot.

These cameras, however, are not great for wireless connectivity as they lack Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

Price/Value Ratio – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

Which camera offers more value for money?

The D5100 offers more value for money than the D3000. Although the Nikon D3000 is cheaper, the Nikon D5100 offers many features that are missing in the D3000.

These features include video recording, articulating screen, time-lapse recording, UHS card support, live view, microphone port, face detection focus, AE bracketing, and HDR.

The D5100 even has better performance than the Nikon D3000 in many areas than the D3000. It has performs better in 9 areas while the Nikon D3000 does better in 7.

However, both cameras are relatively cheap and they offer value that is commensurate with their prices.

Comparison Table – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

  Nikon D5100 Nikon D3000
Announcement Date 5th April 2011 31st Augusts 2009
Size Dimensions 127 x 97 x 79mm 126 x 97 x 64mm
Weight 560g 536g
Sensor Type CMOS CCD
Sensor Resolution 16.1 megapixels 10.0 megapixels
Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7mm 23.6 x 15.8mm
ISO 100 – 6400 (expanded 100 – 25600) 100 – 1600 (expanded 100 – 3200)
Video Recording Yes No
Screen Resolution 921,000 dots 230,000 dots
Articulating Screen Yes No
Continuous Shooting Speed 4 fps 3 fps
Battery Life 660 shots 500 shots
Image Processor EXPEED 2 EXPEED
Time-Lapse Recording Yes No
UHS Card Support Yes No
Live View Yes No
Microphone Port Yes No

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

What is Each Best For? – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

Nikon D5100 Nikon D3000
The Nikon D5100 will serve better for portrait photography.  

The reason is that it produces well-detailed imaging than the Nikon D3000. Well-detailed images are what make portrait pictures.
Daily photographers generally prefer lighter cameras due to the nature of their job.  

With the Nikon D3000 being the lighter weight and even smaller camera, we recommend this camera for this photography over the D5100.
The D5100 possesses three features which are alien to the D3000 that makes it suitable for street photography.  

These features are the live view, face-detection focus and articulating screen.  

How do these features influence our decision, we give more information when we discuss them in the unique features section.
The Nikon D3000 might not serve street photographers as well as the Nikon D5100 will.  
Sports photography requires a camera that can capture images at a fast speed.  

When we compare both cameras in focus, the Nikon D5100 has the edge over the Nikon D3000 in the following areas: Shooting speed, low light ISO and battery life.  

These features are important for any would-be sports photography camera. Hence, we recommend the D5100 as being better for sports photography.
The D3000 plays second fiddle to the D5100 when it comes to sports photography.  
Landscape photography requires attention to detail like portrait photography,  

Hence, the higher sensor resolution of the Nikon D5100 hands it the win here.  

Also, it has live view mode.
The Nikon D300 also comes behind the D5100 when they are both compared for landscape photography.  

Watch a review of the Nikon D5100 below.

Common Features – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

One would expect these cameras to possess a lot of similarities and indeed; they do not disappoint. In this section, we discover how similar these cameras are, as we discuss their common features in detail.

The D5100 and the D3000 have the following similarities:

i. Sensor Format
ii. Anti-Aliasing Filter
iii. Lens Mount and Lenses
iv. Viewfinder
v. Screen Size
vi. Built-in Flash
vii. Hot Shoe (External Flash Shoe)
viii. Storage
ix. HDMI Port
x. USB Port

Sensor Format

The sensor is a prominent part of a camera that has a major role in deciding the overall quality of the image produced. It is responsible for capturing light into the camera necessary for image production.

Every camera makes use of a particular sensor format which is a categorization of the sensor size. In other words, the sensor format refers to the size category of the sensor. That means two sensors may have the same sensor format but not the same sensor dimensions.

The sensor format determines the size of the image a camera can capture. It also determines to some extent the type of lenses a camera can employ.

When we look at the D3200 and the D5100, we discover that these cameras make use of an APS-C format also called the DX-format by the Nikon Company.

The APS-C sensor type is a medium-sized sensor and is a perfect balance and match for these cameras. Since the APS-C sensor is medium-sized, you don’t have too much to worry about concerning the weight. Naturally, a bigger sensor is bound to be heavier as well.  

Anti-Aliasing Filter

Sometimes you notice on some captured images certain repetitive patterns either of lines or spots. This repetitive pattern is known as moiré.

Moiré occurs when the resolution of the subject captured that has those patterns are higher than the sensor resolution of the camera. Therefore, cameras with low sensor resolution are prone to this occurrence.

The Nikon D5100 and the D3000 sensor resolutions are low which leaves them susceptible to the appearance of moiré. Fortunately, these cameras are fitted with an anti-aliasing filter.

The anti-aliasing filter aka low pass filter is found in front of a camera’s sensor. Its job is to prevent the occurrence of moiré. It does this by reducing the amount of light that gets to the sensor, thereby blurring those repetitive patterns.

The downside to this is that the captured image may be moiré-free, but image detail and sharpness is lost. Hence, a good number of photographers prefer cameras that lack this feature.

Newer cameras tend not to have the AA filter because improved sensor technology has overcome moiré. Cameras with high resolution do not have it as well. 

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Lens Mount and Lenses

The lens is the part of the camera that serves as the ‘eye of the camera’. Its job is to capture the subject in the frame.

As important as it is, in DSLR cameras, the lens is dependent on the lens mount. This is because the lens mount is that which attaches the lens to the camera’s body.

The lens mount is found between the lens used and the camera’s body, and it holds the lens in place. Therefore, the lens mount determines the type and number of lenses a camera can make use of.

The Nikon D5100 and the D3000 like most of Nikon’s DSLR cameras make use of the Nikon F mount.

The advantage this mount gives these cameras is that they get to use up to 304 native lenses and 101 optical stabilization lenses. This means you have a variety of lenses to choose from depending on your desire. You are also offered the opportunity to make use of old lenses that are supported by the Nikon F mount.

Speaking of varieties of lenses, allow us to recommend the Nikon 70-300 mm f/4-5.6G Zoom Lens. It is suitable for capturing images at long distances.


A viewfinder’s basic function is to allow proper framing and control of one’s shots. Without a viewfinder, most shots captured will be out of frame or framed wrongly: And this is not good for any picture.

Upon inspection of the cameras in this article, you will discover that these cameras possess similar viewfinders. They both make use of an optical pentamirror viewfinder.  This type of viewfinder has its advantages and its disadvantages.

Making use of an optical viewfinder saves these cameras from unnecessary battery consumption. This is because this type of viewfinder does not require battery power to function, unlike an electronic viewfinder.

The pentamirror material used in making the viewfinder is a bit of a disadvantage: It does not allow the passage of sufficient light. This is in contrast to the pentaprism material that allows sufficient light through the viewfinder. Therefore, the images transmitted via the pentamirror viewfinder aren’t as bright as that which the pentaprism produces.

With 95% viewfinder coverage, the user of these cameras has a wide field of view that allows one to capture more of the subject’s surroundings.

Screen Size

The screen is essential in a DSLR camera as it is used to view the camera’s menu and settings. It is also used to view captured images and even watch videos. Some screens can be used as a live viewfinder.

For clear viewing, the size of the screen must be large enough and this is what these cameras offer. Despite being amateur cameras, these cameras possess 3 inches’ screens.

The larger the screen size, the easier viewing becomes. Furthermore, it enables one to detect angles that need editing better.

More Common Features – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

Built-in Flash

The built-in flash allows the photographer to illuminate a subject and its surroundings. In low light conditions, this built-in flash comes in handy.

The cameras in comparison are equipped with this handy feature. The flashes of these cameras can be used with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System. They have a 12m range when used at ISO 100.

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Hot Shoe (External Flash Shoe)

A built-in flash is cool as it aids one out of a sticky situation. The issue, however, is that it can be limited in certain areas.

It doesn’t allow versatility of use, it causes the red-eye effect, it lacks enough power and may not cover distant subjects. To this effect, most photographers still go about with an external flash to overcome these limitations.

The only cons they will have to contend with are the additional weight. Also, one needs to spend extra money to get an external flash which would wipe away the smile on the face of anyone on a tight budget.

Nevertheless, these cameras would not be able to make use of an external flash shoe if they lacked the hot shoe. The hot shoe is a platform found on top of these cameras that allows the attachment of accessories like the external flash.


These cameras can store captured images, but do not make use of internal memory. Rather, these cameras are fitted with a single card slot storage.

An SD card can be inserted into this slot to facilitate image storage. The Nikon D5100 makes use of SDXC cards while the Nikon D3000 makes use of the SDHC cards.

Certain cameras are fitted with dual card slots instead of a single card slot. Such cameras have more storage space, options, and flexibility.

Are dual card slots that necessary? Find out in the video below.


The mini HDMI port is a feature found in both cameras. With the aid of an HDMI cable, you can connect this camera to a larger screen.

You can then view the pictures and videos on the larger screen. You are offered all the benefits a large screen gives as we mentioned above.

USB Port

The cameras in focus are equipped with a USB 2.0 port. This port feature allows these cameras to connect to other devices such as your laptops via a USB cable. When this connection is made, files can be transferred from the device to the camera and vice versa.  

Unique Features – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

In most cases, during comparisons such as this, the cameras possess features that the other camera in focus lacks. However, in this case, the Nikon D5100 is the only one with unique features we are aware of. Therefore, we’ll be discussing the unique features of the D5100.

Unique Features of the Nikon D5100 – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

The following are the features that the D5100 has that the D3000 does not have:

i. Video Recording
ii. Articulating Screen
iii. Time-Lapse Recording
iv. UHS Card Support
v. Live View
vi. Microphone Port
vii. Face Detection Focus
viii. AE (Auto-Exposure) Bracketing
ix. High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Video Recording

The Nikon D5100 can capture images and record videos as well. The Nikon D3000, on the other hand, cannot record videos.

The D3100 can record full HD 1920 x 1080 video resolution at a video frame rate of 30 fps. This frame rate gives your movie a big-screen feel. This camera shoots in the MPEG-4 format.

Also, the continuous autofocus allows your camera to focus on the subjects within the frame despite your movement while you shoot the video.

Articulating Screen

The display screen of the Nikon D5100 is a fully articulating screen. This gives the camera’s screen the flexibility to be swiveled, tilted and turned.

Capturing difficult angles with this screen type is easier. Hence, street, wildlife, and even landscape photographers enjoy this feature when capturing tricky angles.

Vloggers benefit from this screen type as well when making their videos. And if you love selfies, the articulating screen makes it all too easy.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D5100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D3000 Now!

Time-Lapse Recording

Time-lapse recording is one of the ways a photographer can showcase his creativity. It is used to make short videos out of several pictures about a particular object that has been captured over a while.

Sunsets or sunrise, traffic in the city, growing plants are just a few examples of what can be done with this feature.

The Nikon D5100 has a built-in intervalometer which is what allows one to perform a time-lapse video. This built-in intervalometer allows shooting to be done even at a low frequency which makes the entire shooting easier.  

If this feature is absent, one would need to buy an external camera trigger as well as the required software to perform this function.

UHS Card Support

Another unique feature of the Nikon D5100 is its support for the UHS memory card.

With a UHS memory card, you can read and write files at Ultra High Speeds. Even file transfers are done at Ultra High Speeds of 104MB/s. However, this camera only supports the UHS-1 memory card.

Live View

Thanks to this feature, the Nikon D5100’s screen can be used as a live viewfinder.

You can use it to frame your shots. It helps capture difficult angles. Furthermore, this feature allows you to see the focus points on the screen which you cannot see when using the traditional viewfinder.

Microphone Port

The Nikon D5100 can record video which calls for the need for it to also record audio. It does this thanks to its built-in microphone. However, it has been discovered that built-in microphones in cameras don’t do justice to the quality of the audio produced.

Therefore, many cameras including the D5100 are fitted with microphone ports that allow for the connection of an external microphone.  An external microphone produces high-quality audio that many folks desire.

Face Detection Focus

The face detection focus automatically detects the human faces within a frame and applies the right amount of focus. This enhances the detail on the face making it more expressive.

The Nikon D5100 has this face detection focus feature while the D3000 does not.

AE (Auto-Exposure) Bracketing

The AE bracketing settings allows one to shoot in tough lighting conditions.

It is an automatic feature that easily adjusts your camera’s settings to suit the lighting condition wherein you find yourself.

This feature is found in the Nikon D5100.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

With the D5100 you can perform High dynamic Range shooting. What does this mean?

When your shutter is pressed, your camera captures not one but two images with multi-exposure. It then combines these pictures to form one picture.

The result of such pictures is high-quality pictures that have higher contrasts, better details, better tones, and less noise. Also, the edges of these images can be smoothed to produce a single continuous image.

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Unique Pros – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

This section looks at the advantages these cameras have over each other.

Unique Pros – Nikon D5100

Which has a Better Sensor Performance D5100 or D3000?

The D5100 has a better sensor performance than the D3000. When compared, the Nikon D5100 does better in all three aspects that determine sensor performance.

The Nikon D5100 has a color depth of 23.5 bits, 13.6 EV dynamic range, and 1183 low light ISO that gives it an overall sensor performance score of 80.

The Nikon D3000, on the other hand, has a color depth of 22.3 bits, 11.1 EV dynamic range, and 563 low light ISO bringing it to an overall score of 62.

Hence, the D3100 has 1.2 bits color depth, 2.5 EV dynamic range, and 1.1 stops low light ISO more. In case, you’re wondering what these terms mean, we believe some quick definitions are in order.

The DXO mark over the years has dedicated their time to testing camera sensors and releasing an overall score that reflects their performance level. This overall score is an aggregate of the camera’s color depth, dynamic range, and low light ISO.

The color depth refers to the sensor’s sensitivity in detecting and producing distinct colors. It is responsible for color richness in captured images.

The dynamic range is the sensor’s ability to detect details in the brightest and darkest points within a frame.

The low light ISO is a measurement of the sensor’s sensitivity in low light conditions. In other words, a sensor can produce a clear image despite low light conditions.

How does the Nikon D3000 perform in low light? the video test below has the answer.

Which has a Higher Sensor Resolution D5100 or D3000?

The D5100 has a higher sensor resolution than the D3000. It has a sensor resolution of 16.1 megapixels, hence, it will produce a better-detailed image than what the Nikon D3000’s 10 megapixels will.

The sensor resolution of a camera refers to the sensor’s ability to detect and produce detailed images. Hence, a higher sensor resolution will produce a well-detailed image.

The higher sensor resolution of the upper-entry level camera also allows you to crop your images as well as print out larger images without the fear of losing quality via grain appearance and blur.

Even though a higher sensor resolution gives a camera an edge over another with lower resolution, it does not automatically make for a better picture. The lens used, the lighting, composition and other important factors can also affect or determine the picture quality.

The difference in these cameras’ sensor resolutions accounts for the difference in their pixel pitch.

The Nikon D5100 and the Nikon D3000 have a pixel pitch of 4.80µm vs 6.11µm respectively.

Which has a Higher ISO Range D5100 or D3000?

The D5100 has a higher ISO range than the D3000. It has an ISO range of 100 – 6400 while the Nikon D3000 has an ISO range of 100 – 1600.

The Nikon D5100’s ISO can be expanded to a maximum value of 25600, while the D3000 has a maximum expanded value of 3200.

We can see that the D5100 has a higher ISO range and will be more effective in varying light conditions.

A camera’s ISO refers to its sensitivity to produce a clear image with available light. A wide ISO range is an indication of the sensor’s wide sensitivity. It allows the camera to capture clear images irrespective of the light available.

The issue with using very high ISO during image capture is the tendency for grain or noise to occur. A user who lacks the skills to carefully balance the ISO and the shutter balance will always have this trouble.

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Which has a Higher Screen Resolution D5100 or D3000?

The D5100 has a higher screen resolution than the D3000. It possesses a screen resolution of 921,000 dots while the Nikon D3000 has 230,000 dots.

The screen resolutions of both cameras are fitting for their category. Although they possess the same screen size, the screen resolutions of these cameras are very different.

Which has a Faster Continuous Shooting Speed D5100 or D3000?

The D5100 has a faster continuous shooting speed than the D3000. It has a shooting speed of 5 fps, while the D3000 has a shooting speed of 3 fps.

Both cameras in this article can shoot in burst mode otherwise known as continuous shooting mode. In this mode, you can capture several images non-stop for a while.

The feature that enables one to capture more images during this period is known as the continuous shooting speed. It refers to the number of images captured per second. Therefore, the faster the continuous shooting speed, the more images a camera can capture per second.

Which has a Faster Startup Delay D5100 or D3000?

The D5100 has a faster startup delay than the D3000. It has a startup delay of 500ms, while the D3000 has a startup delay of 700ms.

Startup delay is how long you’ll have to wait for a camera to be operational after the power button is pressed.

Which has a Longer Battery Life D5100 or D3000?

The D5100 has a longer battery life than the D3000. Its 1030mAh EN-EL14 power pack allows it to capture 660 shots after being fully charged.

The Nikon D3000, on the other hand, is fitted with a 1080mAh EN-EL9a battery and will shoot 500 shots after being fully charged.

Therefore, the Nikon D5100 offers 160 shots more than the Nikon D3000.

Which has an Improved Image Processor D5100 or D3000?

The D5100 has an improved image processor than the D3000. It is fitted with the newer EXPEED 2 while the Nikon D3000 sports the older EXPEED.

This newer processor offers the Nikon D5100 better noise reduction, improved color accuracy, faster processing speed, and reduced battery consumption.

A camera’s image processor is responsible for its processing speed and performance level. Hence, some refer to it as the ‘brain of the camera’.

The Nikon Company makes use of exclusive image processor series known as the EXPEED for its cameras.

In most cases, the image processor level used by cameras depends on their newness. New cameras usually have newer image processors than their older counterparts.

Which is Newer D5100 or D3000?

The D5100 is 1 year and 8 months newer than the D3000. Hence, it benefit from improvement in camera technology that occurred during the gap.

Unique Pros – Nikon D3000

Which has a Better Sensor Type D3000 or D5100?

The D3000 has a better sensor type than the D5100. It is fitted with a CCD sensor while the D5100 makes use of a CMOS sensor.

Let’s compare these sensors in the table below to reveal which one does better.

CCD Sensor CMOS Sensor
Produces high-quality images. Produces lower-quality images
Produces low noise-images. Prone to images with noise.
Consumes lots of power. Consumes little power.
More sensitive to light. Lower light sensitivity.
Expensive. Inexpensive.

From the table above, we discover that the CCD sensor has more advantages than the CMOS sensor.

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Which has a Larger Sensor D3000 or D5100?

The D3000’s sensor is 1% larger with a dimension of 23.6 x 15.8mm, while the D5100’s sensor measures 23.6 x 15.7mm.

A larger sensor can capture more light into the camera than a smaller one. This, in turn, improves the quality of the produced image. It also enhances the color depth, dynamic range, and low light ISO.

Due to the negligible difference in sensor sizes, the crop factors of these cameras’ sensors are the same.

The Nikon D3000 and the Nikon D5100 have a crop factor of 1.5x. The native aspect ratios of both sensors are the same as well with a value of 3:2.

Which has a Higher Viewfinder Magnification D3000 or D5100?

The D3000 has a higher viewfinder magnification than the D5100. It has 0.53x viewfinder magnification, while the Nikon D5100 has 0.51x viewfinder magnification. This allows the Nikon D3000 to deliver a bolder image during framing.

Which has a Less Shutter Delay D3000 or D5100?

The D3000 has less shutter lag than the D5100. The Nikon D3000 and the Nikon D5100 both have a shutter lag of 262ms and 273ms respectively.

The time between when the shutter is pressed and the actual saving of your picture is referred to as shutter lag or shutter delay.

During this brief period, the camera is inactive as it saves your captured image. Less shutter delay allows you to capture images faster as you don’t have to wait for long while your camera saves your picture.

More about shutter lag in the next video.

Which is Smaller D3000 or D5100?

The D3000 is smaller than the D5100: It is 1mm narrower and 15mm thinner.

The Nikon D3000 has a size dimension of 126 x 97 x 64mm. The Nikon D5100, on the other hand, has a body dimension of 127 x 97 x 79mm.

Hence, the D3000 can be easily carried about and packed into a bag.

An important factor is the camera’s size. Portability is the craze these days and we even wish we could get a camera as tiny as our thumb that still delivers outstanding images.

On a serious note, a smaller camera is more portable and can be easily packed when going on trips than a bigger camera.

Which is Lighter D3000 or D5100?

The D3000 is lighter than the D5100. It weighs 536g compared to the Nikon D5100’s 560g weight. This means the Nikon D3000 is 24g lighter than the D5100.

Weight is another important deal when choosing a camera. The primary purpose of a camera is to capture amazing pictures and not to build up your biceps. Hence, a lighter camera is always preferred when picking cameras.

Weight is important because one has to carry these cameras along and sometimes it could be a whole day. Such a burden from a heavy camera does not make the job easy.

Plus, when choosing an interchangeable lens camera, you have to put into consideration the lens used will also add to the overall weight of your camera. Even accessories such as external flash, viewfinders, etc will add to the overall weight as well.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D5100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D3000 Now!

Which is Cheaper D3000 or D5100?

The D3000 is cheaper than the D5100. There is a 20% difference when we compare their launch prices.

This should have come first as the price of the camera ultimately determines if you purchase it or not. Even if you like all its specs and features and cannot afford it, you may end up going for another camera that you never intended.

Unique Cons – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

Unique Cons of the
Nikon D3000 – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

i. It cannot record videos.

ii. It lacks an articulating screen.

iii. It cannot create time-lapse videos.

iv. It does not support UHS cards.

v. Live view is missing.

vi. An external microphone cannot be connected to it.

vii. No face-detection focus.

Common Pros – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

  Nikon D5100 Nikon D3000
Uses Phase-Detection Autofocus System The Nikon D5100 uses the phase detection autofocus instead of contrast-detection autofocus.  

Is there any significance regarding this? Yes, there is; allow us to enlighten you.  

A camera that uses a phase detection autofocus system instead of contrast-detection autofocus is better equipped for capturing sports events or wildlife.  

It is a better autofocus system when you need to capture subjects that are constantly in motion. It can effectively capture these fast-moving subjects due to its autofocus tracking and continuous focusing.
Same as Nikon D5100
Supports RAW Format A captured image can be in the JPEG or RAW format. The JPEG format is commonly used of the two. Therefore, certain cameras cannot shoot in RAW format.  

The D5100 is not one of such; it can shoot images in both JPEG and RAW formats.  

This is an advantage for the camera because RAW images are of better quality than JPEGs. Hence, the user of this camera is rewarded with better quality whenever he/she shoots in RAW format.  

Furthermore, because of their uncompressed nature, images captured in RAW format can be easily edited than JPEG images.  

Capturing in RAW format is great provided you have sufficient storage capacity. Due to the high quality, they take up more storage space than JPEG formats.
Same as Nikon D5100
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Common Cons – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

  Nikon D5100 Nikon D3000
No Touch Screen This camera misses out on the many benefits the touchscreen feature would have offered.  

The touchscreen feature allows you to interact with your camera the way you would your smartphone.  

With a tap, a swipe, a pinch, you can navigate through your camera’s menu and change its settings. It can even be used while capturing an image; provided your camera has the live view mode.  

Cameras with the touchscreen tend to have fewer buttons which enhances the ergonomics and design of such cameras.
Same as Nikon D5100 except the Nikon D3000 lacks live view mode.
No Built-in Environmental Sealing A camera with environmental sealing is protected from the interferences of the elements of weather.  

It allows the camera to be used in tough weather conditions.  

Cameras with this feature can capture in wet, dusty, windy and even rainy conditions. This is dependent on the camera’s sealing type.  

The D5100 lacks this feature which is surprising as it is not common with amateur cameras.
Same as Nikon D5100
Slow Shutter Speed The shutter speed refers to how fast a camera can capture an image.  

A fast shutter speed enables cameras to capture fast-moving subjects. Cameras with fast shutter speeds are efficient as sports and wildlife photography cameras.  

The Nikon D5100 can still capture sports and wildlife images with its maximum shutter speed of 1/4000s. However, it won’t capture them as fast you might desire.
Same as Nikon D5100
Poor Shutter Life Expectancy A camera’s guarantee that tells how long it will last is known as the shutter life expectancy.   I

t is a measure of how long the shutter mechanism will last before there is a need to replace it.  

It is measured in actuations which is just the number of shots taken.  

The Nikon D5100 has a shutter life expectancy of 100,000 actuations. This is poor considering how many shots some folks capture in a day.  

It is important to mention once again that the shutter life expectancy does not automatically mean the camera will stop working once it hits that number. It is more of a guarantee.   

A word of advice: If you’re purchasing a previously used camera, knowing how many actuations used is important. You wouldn’t want to get a camera that you’ll need to change the shutter after taking just a few shots.
Same as Nikon D5100
No Built-in Wi-Fi The Wi-Fi feature enables wireless connection between the camera and other supported devices.  

With this feature, one can transfer files wirelessly to other devices and receive files from such devices as well.  

You can even print images without cables by connecting to a Wi-Fi printer. Even remote controlling your camera can be achieved with the aid of this feature.  

An exciting use of this feature allows you to share your images directly to your social media platforms from your camera. This eliminates all the trouble of having to get the images to your phone or PC first.  

This camera lacks built-in Wi-Fi. However, despite the lack of a built-in Wi-Fi, the D5100 can still make use of an adapter that allows for wireless image transfer.
Same as Nikon D5100
Lacks Built-in Image Stabilization The Nikon D5100 does not have a built-in image stabilization feature which makes it susceptible to producing blurred images.

Like its name, this feature stabilizes your camera to produce a blur-free image.  

With the 101 stabilization lenses available for the D5100, one can still perform the stabilization function.
Same as Nikon D5100
Lacks AF Micro Adjustment The Nikon D3100 lacks the AF micro-adjustment. Hence, it cannot fine-tune its autofocus.  

Using this AF feature enhances the camera’s autofocusing ability thereby improving image quality.
Same as Nikon D5100
Few Focus Points Focus points are the points within a frame whereby a camera can create more focus on and enhance the overall image quality.  

Portrait photography benefits a great deal from having more focus points and cross-type focus points.  

This camera possesses 11 focus points and 1 cross-type focus point which is not worth bragging.
Same as Nikon D5100
No Built-in GPS The GPS feature in a camera is used for geotagging.    

This function mostly used by wildlife and landscape photographers allows the user to tag the location where a shot was captured to the captured image.  

Although the Nikon D5100 lacks a built-in GPS feature, you can still make use of this function if it is really important to you.

All you need to do is purchase an adapter that allows you to make use of the GPS feature you’re your camera.
Same as Nikon D5100
Lacks Built-in Focus Motor The built-in focus motor allows a camera to perform autofocusing with all its available lenses.  

Cameras like the D5100 that lack this feature can only perform autofocusing with certain lenses that are fitted with the focus motor feature.
Same as Nikon D5100
No Panorama A panoramic photo is created by stitching several pictures together.

The Nikon D5100 cannot perform this as it lacks the panoramic feature.
Same as Nikon D5100

Check out these other interesting comparison articles below:

Nikon D7000 vs Canon 600D – Detailed Comparison

Nikon D3100 vs Canon T3i – Which is Better For You?

Nikon D3100 vs D300 – Which Should You Buy?

Nikon D3100 vs D3000 – Extensive Comparison

Nikon D7100 vs Canon 700D – Which is Better For You?

Nikon D3300 vs Sony A58 – In-depth Comparison

What Users Think About These Cameras – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

Nikon D5100 Nikon D3000
The affordable price of the Nikon D5100 was lauded by a lot of users. Many users praised the Nikon D3100 for its cheap price.
Some users of the D5100 wanted more battery life from the camera. The numbereref shots it offered did not please them completely. There were mixed feelings regarding the battery life of the D3000. Some had no issue with it, some did, while the rest were indifferent.
The video recording ability of the Nikon D5100 was praised, even though few folks complained about its frame rate as being too slow. Users of the Nikon D3000 who bought it recently, although previously aware of its lack of video recording sometimes wished it could record video as well.

Nikon D5100 vs D3000 – FAQS

Is the Nikon D3000 a good camera for beginners?

The Nikon D3000 is a very good camera for beginners. This is because the D3000 is first of all very affordable. It is just a little bit expensive than point-and-shoot cameras.

The Nikon D3000 is also small and lightweight which makes it perfect for beginners who want to enjoy their first adventure into the world of DSLR photography.

A feature that really shows the D3000 is good for beginners is the guide mode. This mode guides you through the camera’s different shooting modes. It even aids you master more advanced shooting techniques.

Can you charge Nikon D3000 with USB?

You cannot charge the Nikon D3000 with USB. This is primarily because USB power is not sufficient to charge it. A USB carries a 5-volt charge whereas; the D3000’s EN-EL9a battery requires at least 7.4 volts to charge it.

An output source with a lower voltage cannot charge a battery with a higher voltage.

Nikon insists that only D3000 recommend chargers should be used to charge the camera. Using non-recommended chargers can render your camera’s warranty void. And you can end up damaging your camera in the process.

How long does it take to charge a Nikon D3000 battery?

In normal circumstances, it will take about 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours for the Nikon D3000 battery to be fully charged from 0%.

However, this duration can be affected by a lot of factors. Firstly, if the battery is old, the charge time speed will decrease. Hence, an older battery might take more time to charge.

Secondly, the energy capacity of the charger used to charge the D3000 can affect its charge time speed. A charger with a low capacity will generally take more time to charge.

What lenses are compatible with Nikon D3000?

The following is a list of lenses that are compatible with the Nikon D3000:

Standard lenses

Nikon AF-S 24.85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR

Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G

Wide-Angle lenses

Nikon AF-S 2bmm f/1.8G

Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G ED

Telephoto lenses

Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR

Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G

Super-Zoom lenses

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR

Macro lenses

Nikon AF-S 60mm f/2.8G ED Micro

Nikon AF-S DX 85mm f/3.5G ED Micro VR

Does Nikon D3000 have self timer?

The Nikon D3000 has self timer. This function allows you to delay the time between when the shutter is pressed and when the camera captures the image.

Follow the simple steps below to set the self timer on your D3000:

i. Switch on your camera.

ii.Press the menu button.

iii. Use the navigation keys on the thumb pad at the back of the D3300.

iv. Navigate to the tab with a wrench icon.

v. Move to “Self Timer Delay”

vi. Press the right navigation button

vii. Choose the delay time you want.

Conclusion – Nikon D5100 vs D3000

Nikon D5100 Nikon D3000
The D5100 is indeed a camera that is a kind of bridge between amateur and semi-pro cameras. It incorporates features from both camera categories, hence making it suitable for both amateur and enthusiast photographers. Although the Nikon D3000 is a decade old, this camera still delivers imaging that beginner photographers who just began using DSLR cameras will appreciate.
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Victor is a student of mass communication with special focus on digital media. He has an insatiable craving for knowledge. When he is not learning new things, he is busy writing about them.