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Gear Reviews

Nikon D5100

Nikon D5100


Photo answers rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

The D5100 is Nikon’s latest mid-level D-SLR and is the successor to the D5000.

Rather than inheriting the ageing 12.3Mp sensor from the D5000, the Nikon D5100 shares the same 16.2Mp chip and 4928x3264 pixel resolution as Nikon’s enthusiast D7000. With the new sensor comes a better ISO range as it runs from 100-6400, but it’s also expandable to 12,800 (Hi1) and a staggering 25,600 using the Hi2 setting.
Being a Nikon DX format D-SLR there’s a 1.5x crop factor to bear in mind, so the 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens we twinned it with has a 35mm film equivalent of 27-157.5mm.
Featuring an 11-point AF system, single-point, Dynamic-Area, Auto Area and 3D-Tracking AF modes are all featured, however there’s still no internal AF motor so you’ll have to rely on your lens featuring its own AF (which the 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 does).
The D5100 sports a 3in, 921k-dot vari-angle screen, which is crisp and clear, but the button layout feels less intuitive than others in its market and we found the Live View toggle switch beside the Mode dial wasn’t the easiest to access – we’d prefer to see it at the rear.
As well as a plethora of Scene modes, there are seven new effect modes to get creative with and these can also be used in conjunction with the D5100’s full HD video facility, which records 1920x1080 movies at 30,25 or 24fps. There’s an external 3.5mm mic port ready to accept Nikon’s optional ME-1 microphone (£119) and to keep dust and dirt at bay, there’s a built-in sensor cleaning system.
The D5100’s Expeed 2 processor offers a maximum burst rate of 4fps and we managed to shoot 16 consecutive RAW files before the buffer slowed. Setting the quality to Fine JPEG, we managed to rattle out 100 frames before it stuttered, which is a notable performance.
There’s a quick menu that’s neatly laid out and enables you to access your most commonly used settings very fast, but instead of having to hold an AF selector button to switch AF point, this is simply done using the D-Pad.
The 3D tracking AF mode follows subjects from point to point swiftly and overall the AF performance is superb, with barely any signs of hunting. Live View AF isn’t overwhelmingly fast and AF is supported for video capture, but as we discovered the low-frequency whirrs from the lens when it’s constantly focusing are picked up by the in-built mic which can be quite intrusive in playback.
The body and lens are well constructed. It has an impressive array of features to keep travel shooters happy.

Photo answers review

Photo answers rating rating is 5

Users' Overall Rating rating is 5(1 review)

  • Nikon D5100 - Wow


    User's Overall Rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Performancerating is 5
    Value for moneyrating is 5
    Build qualityrating is 5
    Featuresrating is 5

    Wow! just what i have been looking for, having tried bridge camera, and Zigview controler, just to have the ability to take shot low down, or high up i have always ended up disapointed. having mobility problems has always stoped me from acheiving such shots. then along comes the nikon d5100 the answer to my prayers, unlike my nikon d300 the d5100 is light and easy to handle, and that flip out screen is superb, all camera should have one. great stuff nikon.

    13 July 2011 20:14


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