Nikon D5100

Nikon D5100

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Nikon D5100 Review

  • 4.5 / 5
    • The good:
      Good Image Quality, Flip-out LCD Screen
    • The bad:
      No Wireless Flash Control, No In-body Auto Focus Motor

    The Nikon D5100 is an upper-entry-level DSLR camera with a state-of-the-art 16 megapixels CMOS sensor capable of ISO sensitivities from 100 to 25600, plus 2 extra stops for Night Vision, and full 1080p HD video recording. It has an electronic-only lens-mount and most features usually found among entry-level digital SLRs.

     

    This camera is targeted at novice photographers who want top image-quality in an affordable camera with a simple interface. Since most such people are likely to be upgrading from fixed-lens cameras which can record videos, this DSLR is equipped with the latest video-recording advancements, including continuous autofocus and external stereo sound input.

     

    The D5100 is a small and neat camera, which fits easily into the hand. It feels substantial, but weighs less than its predecessor (as it has a plastic body). The camera also benefits from the addition of an articulated LCD screen with a side hinge. This feature makes the screen far easier to use, but the side hinge has led to a fairly major reshuffling of buttons. The display swings out and spins up to 270 degrees, so you can use it to frame shots even when you're holding the camera above your head or at waist level. The user interface on the D5100 is pretty straightforward, and text and graphics in the menu system look particularly good because the LCD is so sharp. There are no buttons at all on the left hand side of the screen. Buttons for controlling the menu and playback options have been moved to the right hand side of the screen, sitting alongside the four-way dial for controlling exposure parameters. On the top of the camera is a convenient switch next to the mode dial to quickly push the camera into Live View mode for fast recording. However, Nikon has not provided a direct access button for adjusting the ISO. Instead, you'll have to assign this to the function button, which sits on the front of the camera, next to the flash activation button, and it's too easy to get these two mixed up.

     

    The Nikon D5100 doesn't have an in-body autofocus motor, which means that the speed and accuracy of the autofocus is largely dependent on which lens you're using. This also means that the camera won't focus with some third-party lenses that don't have a built-in focusing motor and with non-AF-S Nikkor lenses. Autofocus in still image mode is accurate, and it is acceptably fast, even with the 18-55 mm kit lens. However, in Live View and Movie Mode, the focusing becomes very slow, and it will even drift in and out of focus during recording.

     

    The DSLR camera has not a wireless flash controller. However, the flash activation button does boast a couple of useful features. Hold the button and spin the control dial, and you'll have access to different flash modes. Holding down the button in conjunction with the exposure compensation button allows you to apply flash exposure compensation.

     

    The D5100 really comes into its own in terms of image quality, which is fantastic, in both RAW and JPEG formats. Even more impressively, at the higher ISO settings, noise levels are very low. The automatic noise reduction does a good job of preserving details. It's probably one of the best APS-C cameras available at present for shooting at high ISOs.

     

    All in all, the Nikon D5100 is an excellent camera. It has lots of good features and produces beautiful images. If you're in the market for an advanced entry-level DSLR be sure to add it to your shortlist.

  • Product description
    • The Nikon D5100 is manufactured by Nikon and was added in December 2014 in the Digital Cameras section
    • This product has a rating of 4.5 out of 5