Nikon D5100 with 70-300mm lens.

The D5100 is Nikon’s most recent upper entry level D-SLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera, featuring 16.2 MP (megapixel), DX-format (1.5 magnification imaging sensor), CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensor, 4 frames per second (fps) continuous shooting, as well as 1080p HD (high definition) movie. The unit comes standard with an 11-point auto-focus (AF) system. It was announced April 5, 2011.

Features and Specifications[]

The D5100 offers the same image sensor as the D7000, but is a less expensive camera. The CMOS sensor offers a wide ISO range, from ISO 100 to 6400. The additional "Scenes" and "Effects" are new to the upper entry level model.

Some of the Scenes modes that are offered: Selective Color which isolates a specific color within the selected area rendering that color with the balance of the image in black and white; a Night Vision function which captures details in places that are too dark for one’s eyes to see; the High Key which renders brighter glowing images that are filled with atmosphere; the Low Key which enhances the scene’s mood; and Color Sketch that creates color outlines of a subject viewed as slide show still images.

The High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature is an upgrade that allows the user to bring together scenes with deep contrasts by combining two exposures with rich color and texture. Active D-Lighting is a feature that equalizes the differences between high and low light areas in an image.

The full HD mode delivers high-quality movies, up to 22 minutes of 1080p HD, utilizing full-time autofocus and good sound recording quality, which can be enhanced with an optional Nikon ME-1 stereo microphone.

The D5100 allows the end user to select scens through the viewfinder or the 3" 921,000-dot LCD LiveView articulating display, allowing the framing of difficult shots, such as overhead, waist or ground level, etc. The D5100 comes standard with an 18-55mm lens.


DP Review

CNET Review