Sony SLT-A65 vs Nikon D5

  • APS-C
  • 24 megapixels
  • Sony/Minolta Alpha
  • 48
  • 23
  • 47
  • 72
  • 1
  • Full frame
  • 21 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 50
  • 30
  • 63
  • 65
  • 0

Sony SLT-A65 vs Nikon D5: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

In this review, we are going to make a detailed comparison of two cameras that fall into different categories. While the first model we are looking at, Sony SLT-A65 belongs to a Entry-Level DSLR category, the other model, Sony SLT-A65 is a Pro DSLR camera. Sony SLT-A65 is equipped with a 24.0 MP CMOS sensor, while Nikon D5 comes with a 21.0 MP CMOS sensor.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Sony SLT-A65 and Nikon D5 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Sony SLT-A65 Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 12800 (Expands to 25600)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 10.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60, 24 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 640 x 424 (29.97 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 132 x 97 x 81 mm
  • Weight: 622 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced by Sony A68.

Nikon D5 Key Features:

  • 21.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 102400 (Expands to 3280000)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 14.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 4K (UHD) 30p/25p/24p, 1080/60p/50p/30p/25p/24p, 720/60p/50p
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 160 x 158.5 x 92 mm
  • Weight: 1415 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D4s. Compare

Sony SLT-A65 was substituted by Sony A68.

Why is Sony SLT-A65 a better choice than Nikon D5

Gps Built-in vs Optional Has GPS
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP vs 21.0 MP 12.5% more pixels
Image Stabilization Yes vs No All lenses are stabilized
Built-In Flash Yes vs No All the lenses are stabilized
Flash Range 10 vs No 10 better flash range
Screen Type Fully Articulated vs Fixed Type Flexible shooting positions
Weight 622 g vs 1415 g 793 g lighter
Dxo Dynamic Range 12.6 vs 12.3 Better dynamic range
Viewfinder Magnification 0.73 vs 0.72 0.01 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Nikon D5 over Sony SLT-A65

Timelapse Recording Yes vs No Creative shooting
Storage Slots 2 vs 1 Extra storage slot
Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 vs 366.6 mm2 57.2% larger pixel area
Continuous Shooting 14 fps vs 10 fps 4 fps faster
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 vs 1/4000 Faster shutter speed
Number Of Focus Points 153 vs 15 138 more focus points
Number Of Cross Focus Points 99 vs 3 96 more cross focus points
Screen Size 3.2″ vs 3″ 0.2" larger screen
Screen Resolution 2,359k dots vs 921k dots 61% higher resolution screen
Touch Screen Yes vs No Easy control of camera functions
Battery Life 3780 shots vs 560 shots 3220 more frames with a single charge
Environmental Sealing Yes vs No Shoot at tough conditions
Max Video Resolution 3840 x 2160 vs 1920 x 1080 Higher Resolution Video
Headphone Port Yes vs No Has headphone port
Dxo Color Depth 25.1 vs 23.4 Better color depth
Dxo Low Light Iso 2434 vs 717 Better High ISO performance

Key PROs of Sony SLT-A65 and Nikon D5

Screen Size 3″ | 3.2″ Large display
Viewfinder Electronic | Optical (pentaprism) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Microphone Port Yes | Yes High quality audio recording option
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Continuous Shooting 10.0 fps | 14.0 fps Nice continuous shooting
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Battery Life 560 shots | 3780 shots Big number of frames with a single charge

Sony SLT-A65 vs Nikon D5: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Sony SLT-A65 and Nikon D5 from the front view.

Sony SLT-A65
Nikon D5

Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Sony SLT-A65
Nikon D5

After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Sony SLT-A65 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 793g less than the Nikon D5. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Sony SLT-A65 and Nikon D5 by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Sony SLT-A65 and Nikon D5 any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Sony SLT-A65 features a 24.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a Bionz processor . Nikon D5, in its turn, comes with a 21.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Sony SLT-A65 and Nikon D5 by the size of their sensors.

Sony SLT-A65
Nikon D5

One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Nikon D5 is equipped with a sensor that is 0.4x larger than the one featured in Sony SLT-A65. Compared to the cameras with smaller sensor area, the ones with larger sensors ensure more control on the blurry background and depth of field if you shoot in the same aperture and focal length. Thus, the first model has a significant advantage here.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Sony SLT-A65 and Nikon D5 Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Sony SLT-A65 and Nikon D5 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Sony SLT-A65 Nikon D5
Portrait Photography
Street Photography
Sports Photography
Daily Photography
Landscape Photography

Sony SLT-A65 for Portrait Photography


  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing


No Significant Disadvantages

Nikon D5 for Portrait Photography


  • Large Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (21 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Face Detection Focusing


  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Sony SLT-A65 for Street Photography


  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large APS-C(23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor


  • Big size (132 x 97 x 81 mm)

Nikon D5 for Street Photography


  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (3780 shots)


  • Big size (160 x 158.5 x 92 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Sony SLT-A65 for Sports Photography


  • Big size (132 x 97 x 81 mm)


  • Slow Continuous Shooting (10.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (15)
  • Small Number of CrossFocus Points (3)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (717)
  • Small battery life (560 shots)

Nikon D5 for Sports Photography


  • Fast Continuous Shooting (14.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (153)
  • Big Number of CrossFocus Points (99)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2434)
  • Big battery life (3780 shots)
  • Big size (160 x 158.5 x 92 mm)


No Significant Disadvantages

Sony SLT-A65 for Daily Photography


  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available


  • Big weight (622 g)
  • Big size (132 x 97 x 81 mm)

Nikon D5 for Daily Photography


  • Large Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available


  • Big weight (1415 g)
  • Big size (160 x 158.5 x 92 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Sony SLT-A65 for Landscape Photography


  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.6)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support


  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (717)

Nikon D5 for Landscape Photography


  • Large Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.3)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2434)


  • Low resolution sensor (21 MP)

Comparison of Sony SLT-A65 vs Nikon D5: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Sony SLT-A65 or Nikon D5, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Sony SLT-A65 and Nikon D5 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D5 deserves a higher Total Score than the Sony SLT-A65. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Sony SLT-A65 vs Nikon D5 Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Sony SLT-A65 Nikon D5
Brand Sony Nikon
Model SLT-A65 D5
Announced Nov 15, 2011 Jan 05, 2016
Body Type Compact SLR Large SLR
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 23.5 x 15.6 mm 35.8 x 23.9 mm
Sensor Area 366.60 mm2 855.62 mm2
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP 21.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 5588 x 3712
Max Native ISO 12,800 102,400
Max Boosted ISO 25,600 3,280,000
Min Native ISO 100 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Sony/Minolta Alpha Nikon F
Number of Lenses 141 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x 1x
Macro Focus Range
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection No Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 15 153
Number of Cross Focus Points 3 99
Screen Type Fully Articulated Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″ 3.2″
Screen Resolution 921k dots 2,359k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No Yes
ViewFinder Electronic Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 2,359k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.73 0.72
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 10.0 fps 14.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Yes No
Built-in Flash Yes No
Flash Range 10 0
Flash Modes Auto, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes No
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 74 88
DxO Color Depth 23.4 25.1
DxO Dynamic Range 12.6 12.3
DxO Low Light ISO 717 2434
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60, 24 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 640 x 424 (29.97 fps) 4K (UHD) 30p/25p/24p, 1080/60p/50p/30p/25p/24p, 720/60p/50p
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 3840 x 2160
Video Formats MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264 MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Port Yes Yes
Headphone Port No Yes
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 3.0
Environmental Sealing No Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No Yes
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 622 g 1415 g
Physical Dimensions 132 x 97 x 81 mm 160 x 158.5 x 92 mm
Battery Life 560 shots 3780 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model NP-FM500H EN-EL18a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording No Yes
GPS Built-in Optional
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo Dual CompactFlash or dual XQD
Storage Slots 1 2

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