Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera: Probably the Best Mid-level Camera on the Market
|December 23, 2011||Posted by admin under Nikon|
DSLR but with a twist: this camera has a vari-angle LCD screen to accompany its top spec and new Effects modes…
Benefiting from some of the technology developed for the semi-pro D7000, including the EXPEED 2 processor and 16-MP CMOS sensor, this full-featured DSLR offers a fully articulated three-inch (921,000-dot) LCD, full 1080p HD video with continuous autofocus and extras such as in-camera HDR plus new special effects features for both JPEGs and movies.
The D5100 also accepts Nikon’s new stereo mic, the ME-1 ($160).
- 4-fps Drive speed
- Articulated LCD
- Improved Live View Mode
- ISO to 6400 plus High options
- Versatile 11-point AF system
- Full-time AF in Movie mode
- Numerous modes and functions
- Scene Recognition system
- Retouching options in Playback
- Some inconveniently placed controls
- Non-customizable Effects
- No AF-point lock
- No remote commander
- Auto Focus slow in live view mode
- Short battery life
Nikon’s D5100 is aimed at novice photographers who want to take their hobby more seriously and need a versatile camera that enables them to take more creative images. The D5100 is a great choice for these users, but it’s also worthy of consideration by more experienced photographers. There’s plenty of control available over the appearance of images, and the 16.2Mp sensor is a solid performer in average and low-light conditions.
Most features, such as the white balance and sensitivity settings, are just a couple of clicks away via the Information Display system.
Take a different view
Having a high-resolution articulated screen is also a bonus because it encourages shooting from unusual angles. Those who rubbish the idea of such a device on an SLR should try using one for a few hours while taking macro images! When it comes to the latest cameras we expect plenty of features, even in budget models. Sure enough, the D5100 includes advanced live view modes with automatic scene analysis and a face-priority autofocus option.
It also benefits from an external microphone socket, which is lacking on the cheaper D3100. In addition to all the usual scene modes, the D5100 adds extras such as Dusk/Dawn, Sunset, Beach/Snow, Blossom, Autumn Colors and Food.
There are also special effects modes such as Color Sketch and Miniature at the shooting stage. You can preview the effects on the LCD when shooting in live view, although the screen’s refresh rate slows considerably. In-camera editing opportunities are also diverse, plus you can process and convert raw files in-camera.
A solid workhorse
Despite its size, the D5100 feels solid. The metering system is accurate and delivers consistent exposures. Active D-Lighting stretches dynamic range and, for extreme high contrast, there’s an in-camera HDR mode. There’s also a good range of customization in HDR shooting, while autofocus is fast and accurate, and the maximum shooting rate is higher than the 600D, at 4fps.
And finally, despite the jump in pixel count since the Nikon D5000, the D5100 exhibits excellent noise control and produces high-quality images.
- The D5100 is a photographic powerhouse, with great in-camera shooting effects and options
- You can access the PASM, Effects and Scene modes from the top dial
- The D5100 uses the same DX-format CMOS sensor as the D7000
Nikon D7000 like quality for less cash can be no bad thing. Add a more advanced live view focusing mode and the D5100 isn’t short of it plus points. It is tricky to pick holes but no remote commander, no Depth of Field preview and an average LCD screen are a few niggles. The Effects modes certainly have a place, but lack a fully-adjustable series of options that would set them apart from the competition.
Overall, the D5100 is a well-priced and decent performing piece of camera that delivers great quality images.
Nikon D5100 Video Review
Compared to the D3100 and D5000
Nikon D5100 OR Nikon D3100?
- The D3100 is cheaper by $100-200
- The D5100 has a better sensor
- The D5100 has a swivel screen, if you want to do video it might be nicer to have
Sadly, neither of them have an AF motor, so you will have to buy AF-S or AF-I lenses if you want autofocus. You can still use other F bayonet lenses, but you can’t have auto-focus.
So now here’s the deal. Do you want to spend less for the D3100 and get a second lens, which will increase the amount you can shoot? or do you want to get a better camera.
Personally, I suggest the D3100 and getting a second lens- it is better.
Similar DSLR Cameras
Canon EOS Rebel T3i
- 18.0 MP CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4 Image Processor for high image quality and speed
- ISO 100 – 6400 for shooting from bright to dim light
- Vari-angle 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor (3:2) for shooting at high or low angles and 1,040,000-dot VGA with reflection reduction
- Video Snapshot features for enhanced video shooting options
- Comes with camera body, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Type II lens, eyecup, wide strap, USB cable, AV cable, battery, and charger
Olympus PEN E-P3
This version of the E-P3 includes an ED m14-42mm II R f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens as well, to get you out shooting from day one. Highly desired for many reasons, Micro Four Thirds cameras provide an easily transportable body (this one with the look and feel that only a metal body can bring to hand) along with numerous lens options and the features and functions of a full-sized DSLR camera.
- 3″ Touch Screen OLED 614K Dots
- New TruePic VI with Fine Detail Processing
- Full 1080 60i HD Movie
- Ten In-Camera Art Filters and New Art Filter Effects and Variations
- Fully Expandable System
A first-class performance from a very keenly priced dSLR, the Nikon D3200 offers comprehensive menus and help for first-time users, with top-quality output that expertly balances tricky lighting to bring out the best in every shot.
- Wi-Fi Connectivity with adapter (not included)
- 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor
- EXPEED III Image Processing
- Wide ISO sensitivity range
- One-touch Full HD 1080p movie recording
- nikon d5100 reviews pros and cons
- best mid level dslr cameras in nikon