Nikon D5100 and Canon 70D are both DSLR cameras with APS-C image sensors. The two are popular as entry-level options; Nikon D5100, despite the affordable price, offers a good starting point for most photographers who have just come into the field. On the other hand, Canon 70D comes with a pentaprism optical viewfinder and 12,800 maximum ISO – expandable to 25,600. So, which camera is the better option for your money? Below, we will see the comparisons of the two.
If being lightweight is one of your priorities, then you may find Nikon D5100 to be a more viable option. It weighs barely 560 grams, which is noticeably lighter than Canon 70D. Both cameras already come with a 3” articulating display screen. Howsoever, we should point out that Nikon D5100 is not weather sealed. Thus, it can be troublesome to use the camera outside and the weather suddenly goes awry. Canon 70D, on the other hand, is weather sealed, which means that you can use the Canon camera without worrying so much about rain. (Read also: Nikon D5100 vs. Canon SL1)
In the connectivity sector, Canon 70D comes with a strong advantage: it has built-in Wi-Fi. The wireless connectivity can be very handy for transferring photos and videos to your smartphone or laptop for further editing tasks. Nikon D5100 does not come with any wireless connectivity. In addition, Canon 70D features a pentaprism viewfinder, as opposed to Nikon D5100’s pentamirror viewfinder. You can expect Canon 70D’s viewfinder to be somewhat brighter and more accurate.
The AF system of Canon 70D is noticeably faster than that of Nikon D5100. The maximum shutter speed is better, too, at 1/8000s, and the continuous shooting speed if 7.0 fps. Nikon D5100 only has a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000s and a continuous shooting speed of 4.0 fps. The maximum ISO on Canon 70D is 12,800, whereas Nikon D5100’s is only half of that. So, Canon 70D camera is generally more flexible and versatile to face different challenges than the Nikon camera. But Nikon D5100 has timelapse recording.
Besides the points that we have mentioned about the AF, shutter speed and ISO, Canon 70D also boasts much better battery life. It can last for about 920 shots in a single charge. That may seem just average if you compare it to the more expensive models, but that is certainly much better than Nikon D5100’s 660 shots. However, Nikon D5100’s wider sensor area allows for noticeably better low-light performance, dynamic range, and color depth.
In general, Canon 70D makes the fullest value for the money. It has richer features. However, timelapse and low-light photographers may prefer Nikon D5100 more.