The Nikon D5100 is an Affordable Top Performer
The D5100 has all the Attributes of a Pro-Camera
The Nikon D5100 is an SLR that is a step up from the D3100, but is user-friendly and affordable. It combines ease-of-use with superb image quality. It also has a video-friendly articulated high-resolution screen and offers a wider range of customization. It offers the super-wide ISO span of 100-25,600 and high ISO noise performance.
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Both in still images and video, the Nikon D5100′s detail resolution and noise performance are up there with the best of its competition, and the high-resolution and vari-angle articulated screen makes composition easy in both modes.
The high dynamic range allows you to capture detail in high-contrast images, whilst the option of 16 scene modes means that you can chooses between, say, night portrait, sports and sunset settings. The special effects mode allows you to shoot stills and video with certain effects built into the images. One of them, for example, allows you to select up to three colors to keep whilst turning all the others into black and white tones.
Nikon D5100 Image Quality and Handling
The Nikon D5100′s image quality is simply superb. It offers effectively the same image quality as the higher-end D7000, but at a lower cost. It is even better in some conditions. It performs well at low ISO settings ( ISO 100 ), but really excels at the higher ISO settings ( up to ISO 6400 ). It has a default noise reduction which helps to maintain detail in low light. It will shoot JPG and RAW files. It offers some great Effects options to help with difficult conditions – for example, Beach/snow, Dusk/dawn or candlelight. As far as handling is concerned, the Nikon D5100 is cleverly built to be uncluttered and effective. The large, high-resolution articulated LCD screen, and the thick rubber hand grip give it the look and feel of a more expensive camera, though the D5100′s body is comparatively small and light. The four-way controller on the back makes it easy to get the best out of what is one of the most sophisticated AF systems available in this class. The D5100 has fast contrast-detection AF, which is really useful for everyday shooting.
Nikon D5100: Conclusion
The Nikon D5100 is another example of Nikon’s drive for good cameras and excellent image quality. The interface is simple to use with plenty of manual control. The articulated, high-resolution LCD screen is particularly useful for shooting video. The autofocus system is second-to-none in this price range. the various effects modes are fun and beginner-friendly, though it has the capacity to shoot at the highest level. It can shoot HD video and has an external Mic socket. It is one of the best digital SLR cameras available in this price bracket.
The Nikon D5100 D-SLR: Features
16.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor VERY GOOD FOR THIS LEVEL OF CAMERA
ISO 100-6400 CAN BE EXTENDED FURTHER, BUT THIS PROVIDES GREAT QUALITY
921k-dot vari-angle LCD monitor with Live View MAKES SHOOTING FROM LOW OR HIGH ANGLES MUCH EASIER
Full HD (1080p) movie clips EXCELLENT, WITH EXTERNAL MIC FOR BETTER STEREO SOUND QUALITY
4 fps continuous shooting ADEQUATE FOR MOST THINGS OUTSIDE OF SPORT
Special Effects mode CLEVERLY ALLOWS YOU TO PUT THESE EFFECTS INTO THE IMAGE
Scene Modes INTUITIVE: HELPS YOU WITH THOSE TRICKY SHOTS
Extensive in-camera Retouch Menu ALLOWS YOU TO EDIT IMAGES AND FILM IN THE CAMERA
OUR EXPERT SAYS
The Nikon D5100 is a step up from the D3100 and expects the user to be a little more expert. However it has some great effect modes of its own. It has a great mixture of straightforward handling and well organised features.Image quality is, of course, excellent and the articulated screen and external Mic socket make it a great option for those who want to use their Nikon G lenses for full Autofocus in their movies.