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Nikon D5100 / 18-55mm Kit Review
One of the strongest DSLR competitors in the market is the Nikon D5100. Measuring 5-by-3.8-by-3.1-inches and weighing 19.7 ounces, it is comparatively smaller and lighter than its predecessors; hence easier on the hands.
It features a 23.6 x 15.6 mm CMOS image sensor and EXPEED 2 processor that provide commendable image quality of 16.2 megapixels. The downside of the Nikon D5100 however is its lack of AF motor; you therefore need a separate AF-S lens with a built-in motor if you want to use autofocus. It is also recommended that you program the Function button already for your preferred ISO adjustments because there is unfortunately no dedicated ISO button. The Nikon D5100 is highly manageable given its functional ergonomics and design.
The Live Viewer for one is conveniently located adjacent to the mode dial. The red direct video record button on the other hand is near the shutter release for better efficiency. The 4-way multi-selector pad on the rear panel also allows manual selection of focus points for more beautiful shots. If you are familiar with its predecessor, the D5000, it is obvious that the 3-inch high-resolution LCD screen is better. The LCD is side-hinged now; hence allowing the snapper better flexibility when shooting. For protection, the LCD is also foldable.
The D5100’s native ISO ranges from the typical 100 to 6400, but it allows expansion of up to 25,600. It surprisingly manages to maintain a tolerable image noise at ISO 1600 given the additional megapixels and ISO. There is only significant noise when using the Night Vision mode since it increases the ISO to a whopping 102,400 for added effects. Premium results are produced when using the Raw mode, and using the Adobe Camera Raw for post-processing. Aside from the Night Vision, the Nikon D5100 offers other special effects.
The Miniature effect, as the name implies, makes objects smaller and scenes diorama-looking by simulating the tilt-shift lens. Selective Color converts an image to black and white, but it can retain up to three colors according to your preference. Not only are there special effects during shooting of photos, but also during video recording. During playback, effects can be used on still images. Copies of enhanced images can be saved without affecting the original images as well. Night photographers will delight at the quality of images the Nikon D5100 produces.
The maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds, and there is a bulb mode option for capturing plenty of light. There is also relatively low red-eye occurrence when using the built-in flash. Also, there is good color accuracy, and amazing amount of details captured in the Nikon D5100. Overall, it delivers a solid performance, and a user-friendly interface, that is sure to give the snappers whether amateur or professional good value for their money.