D3100 or D5100

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by sumit_makwana, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. Hello Folks,

    Currently I'm using Nikon coolpix L110, a good point and shoot camera. Now I want to go for DSLR.
    I've read tons of reviews about many camera and lens on many websites. Finally I've narrow my search with 2 option of Nikon DSLR.

    I'm not professional photographer but a passionate photographer. My level is batter then armature.
    I have a good knowledge of shutter speed, aperture, ISO etc. and I'm able to shoot in Manual mode.
    Mostly I like to shoot Landscape, Close up of Flowers, Leaves, or small insects and some times architecture (buildings at streets), and least interested in portrait of human being. Also like to shoot HDR sometime.

    My first option is
    1) Nikon D3100 Only Body + 18-105 mm VR
    2) Nikon D5100 with 18-55 mm Kit lens.
    And I'm not going to buy any other lens in short future. So please don't suggest to buy any other lens.
    And I'll buy some extension tube to shoot macro.

    Please suggest which option is batter for me, and why?
    D3100 is good camera cheaper then D5100 and I can buy 18-105mm lens that will provide me long range focal length
    Where as D5100 is very pretty camera with sensor comes with High end D7000, but it is costly and I can only buy 18-55mm lens with it.

    Please share your opinion and suggest with me with my choices.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Both dont have dual command dials note. D5100 more flexible for family holiday etc higher iso i know you say least of it but who can avoid those. Good to start off with, to get the real power of macro maybe a future macro like a 40mm dx micro or a tamron about half price to the equiv nikon.
     
  3. Your comparison of pros and cons is pretty good. D3100 w/ 18-105VR: a better and more versatile lens, D5100 w/18-55VR: better sensor, fold-out screen can be very useful with macro. Given what you indicate you want to use the camera for, I'd go for the 18-55VR, because the 18-55VR has very decent close-up performance, and you will not miss the 55-105mm end a lot for landscapes, architecture and flowers. Small insects is going to be challenging no matter which of these two lenses.
    But I'd start by using the money for the extension tubes (so not buy those) and try to use that to reach for a D5100 with 18-105VR.... or see if you can buy the D5100 as body only, and find a 18-70 f/3.5-4.5 second hand (or a 18-105VR, 18-135.. they're usually quite well available second hand).
    Both dont have dual command dials note.​
    Ray has a good point there; shooting manual with these cameras is a bit cumbersome because of the missing second control wheel. If possible, try any of these two in a shop for a while to see if you actually like how these cameras feel in your hand, and how it is to operate them.
    Also note that many extension tubes have difficulties working with lenses with an aperture ring, plus working with extension tubes really needs an incredibly steady hand or a good, solid tripod. Macro work with a DSLR is not as easy as it is with a compact, so you might want to wait a bit before diving into it (and seriously, you want a good tripod if you are serious about macro).
     
  4. Also note that many extension tubes have difficulties working with lenses with an aperture ring.. Correct myself: manu older extension tubes. Current-day sets of tubes with electronic contacts should work. But those are more costly, the sets you'll find for ~$30 can be difficult as you may not be able to control the aperture.
     
  5. I've owned the D5100 and it is a very capable camera. I will admit that after a while, not having dedicated buttons for commands got on my nerves and I've upgraded, but the image quality is really good. The camera is mostly menu driven, but you can create your own custom menu to speed things up. The 18-55mm is a basic but capable walk around lens. The video quality is really good as well. Make sure you use at least a class 10 SD card to get the best out of the camera.
     
  6. I got a very good deal on a D3200...but sold it after 2 weeks to get a D5100. I wanted to do a lot of macro and found out that you cannot tether any of the D3000 series with Nikon Camera Control Pro 2. The D5100 has a few more dedicated buttons and allows a better choice of self-timer times. The screen's flexibility is amazingly useful for all sorts of shooting, from high angle ie paparazzi style to really low ground level views and equally very handy for copy-stand, ie straight down work.
    If you decide you really want dual command dials, it's either the $$$ D7000 series, a $$ D300 or maybe a more viable option, a $ D90.
    +1 for a good tripod that's capable of low angle work too. I like my Manfrotto 055, and they're pretty cheap second hand. It's not the greatest ever, but on a tight budget, excellent in my opinion.
     
  7. I agree with the others who recommend the D5100. Its a very capable camera in its category and at the current price point gives very good value for money.
     
  8. The D3100 does not have the infra red sensor that enables it to work with the excellent, inexpensive ML-L3 remote release, you have to use the bulky awkward cable operated release. AFAIK all of the other consumer oriented Nikons do allow use of the ML-L3, even my old D40 does. I'd find the lack of this feature a real handicap.
     
  9. Just out of curiosity, why are you limited to these two bodies? Are you buying new or used? Where do you live and do you have access to the used camera market?
    These are important questions because for the price of either of these new you could probably get a used camera and lens that is better for what you want to do.
     
  10. grh

    grh

    I don't really understand. On Amazon the price difference for the bodies is only $50. If you find a used 18-105mm VR lens to go with the D5100 you'd be in great shape. For that kind of money you can also get a used Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 (no VR) which is a wonderful lens. If I am doing the maths right you're looking to spend $900, and that will get you pretty far.
    Me, I love my D5100, and I can control aperture, ISO and exposure via the single command dial. Just a matter of learning how to do it and practicing till it's second nature. For casual photography I don't see that the dual dials are an issue.
     
  11. grh

    grh

    Dang it, my bad. The price of the D3100 with the short lens is what I saw. That makes the difference quite a bit more. My apologies.
    I wish we could edit our posts.
     
  12. Indeed, the 10 min window to EDIT is usually about 30 seconds too short!
    My D5100 eats batteries as I do a lot of live-view and pop-up flash use. I got a grip that takes 2 En-El14s and I can shoot all day without seeming to use up 1 battery......I don't understand but I'm not complaining!
     
  13. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that the D3100 won't do auto exposure bracketing, while the D5100 will. That will be an issue if you do want to shoot for some HDR images.
     
  14. My son uses a D3100 and 3200 and loves them both. His shots look great that he shoots RAW and runs on Lightroom.
    I've been using the D5100 lately, one of my favorite cameras. I find that I can get some awkward angles using the flip
    screen for macro. That's a definite plus for me. I also found shooting some band promo shots at a club that I could
    compose well over my head and that was great too.
     
  15. I only like these two bodies which is in by budget, I like D7000 and it's awesome, but it is way out my budget and I can't afford it.
    I live in India, Used camera market is not much where I live, and I also don't want to go for used or refurbished camera for the first time.
     
  16. Now I'm thinking D5100 can be batter choice for me then D3100 according to my need,
    As I like to shoot HDR to which only D5100 provides exposure brackating,
    for macro swivel screen can be very use full then D3100 not movable screen.
    Also the sensor which is inherited from D7000 which is batter then D3100, and also noise performance is well at higher ISO.
    and I think what i shoot, landscape, flowers, insects, architecture, close up of small things will be covered by 18-55 lens, and i don't think the rest 55-105mm part will be used only some time.
    So D5100 with 18-55 mm lens will be good choice isn't it?
    or I'll miss the 18-105 higher focal length?
     
  17. .... close up of small things will be covered by 18-55 lens ....​
    I have the earlier 18-55 non-VR version and find it pretty good for closeups using the 55 mm setting. The small size means that the built-in flash can be used down to very close distances of well below the claimed minimum of 2 feet. The VR version is a little larger but I expect that will pretty good too.
     
  18. Sumit,
    i don't think the rest 55-105mm part will be used only some time.
    So D5100 with 18-55 mm lens will be good choice isn't it?
    or I'll miss the 18-105 higher focal length?​
    You answered yourself already. Looks like you'll be fine with the 18-55.
     
  19. I have both the 3100 and 5100, and find that greater familiarity with the 3100 makes it a preferred choice much of the time. You are correct that the 5100 should be better for HDR. The 18-55 VR lens has some barrel distortion that is a handicap in architectural photography unless the distortion is corrected in processing. I often use a 50mm f/1.8 on either camera in preference to two zooms..
     
  20. Sumit,
    i don't think the rest 55-105mm part will be used only some time.
    So D5100 with 18-55 mm lens will be good choice isn't it?
    or I'll miss the 18-105 higher focal length?
    You answered yourself already. Looks like you'll be fine with the 18-55.​
    I haven't answered my question, i just put my opinion, but still confused.
     
  21. I have both the 3100 and 5100, and find that greater familiarity with the 3100 makes it a preferred choice much of the time. You are correct that the 5100 should be better for HDR. The 18-55 VR lens has some barrel distortion that is a handicap in architectural photography unless the distortion is corrected in processing. I often use a 50mm f/1.8 on either camera in preference to two zooms..​
    So which option would you suggest D5100 + 18-55 or D3100+18-105mm? and Why?
     
  22. Option 1. I like the 18-55mm for walkround macro and the D5100 for the tethering and the screen. HDR is much easier too.
    I don't think you'll miss the 55-105mm reach. You can cover that in your next lens....maybe one of the 55-200mm range?
     

Share This Page