Nikon D5100

Released April, 2011
New: D5200 (Dec, 2012)
  • 16.1 MP
  • APS-C 23.6 x 15.6 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
Significantly smaller and lighter, it’s also easy to use, offers good performance and is capable of delivering consistently good results, both in stills and movie mode.
by TrustedReviews (Jan, 2014)
8.9 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Nikon D5100

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

D5100
9.6
D5200
9.8
EOS 40D
8.4
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

D5100
6.5
D5200
7.3
EOS 40D
8.6
Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

D5100
8.2
D5200
8.1
EOS 40D
9.2
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

D5100
9.1
D5200
9.2
EOS 40D
9.3
Reviews from nikonrumors.com, reviews.cnet.com, trustedreviews.com, 1001noisycameras.com and 4 more

8.9

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

D5100
8.9
D5200
9.1
EOS 40D
9.0

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Nikon D5100

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

D5100
1,183 ISO
EOS 40D
703 ISO
EOS 550D
784 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

D5100
2,600 LPH
EOS 40D
2,000 LPH
EOS 550D
2,100 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

D5100
273 ms
NEX-3
670 ms
D5600
111 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

D5100
114 ms
EOS 40D
61 ms
D5600
79 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

D5100
500 ms
NEX-3
1,000 ms
D5600
200 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

D5100
4 fps
NEX-3
7 fps
EOS 40D
6.5 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Nikon D5100


7.6
Here we look at the RAW files processed through Adobe Camera Raw (in this case version 6.4 beta).

9.0
Ultimately the Nikon D5100 easily overcomes its few real weak points, offering a compelling mix of great image and movie quality, precise and quick auto-focusing, accurate metering and a fantastic LCD screen, all in a format that most users will find intutive and enjoyable to use.

8.0
Another clear improvement over the D5100 is the addition of a 3in, high-resolution, tilt-and-swivel LCD monitor that displays at a resolution of 920k dots a huge upgrade over the 230k-dots offered by the D3100 and D5000.

8.0
It would also be nice to have control over the exposure or at least exposure compensation when these modes are selected.

7.7
Despite the higher-resolution sensor, the D5100 delivers visibly better image quality at all ISO sensitivities than the D5000, although the D5000 has slightly better white balance.

Overall

8.2 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Sensor

Having said that, even at the HI1.0 (ISO 12,800) setting high contrast detail is still acceptable and, despite the visible luminance noise, images are perfectly usable at smaller print sizes.
by DPReview (Apr, 2011)
We found that measured ISO from the D5100 is roughly 1/3EV higher than indicated - so ISO 100 = ISO 125 (approx).
by DPReview (Apr, 2011)
Until Adobe delivers a D5100 codec for Camera Raw I can't do any raw-processing comparisons.
by c|net (Apr, 2011)

Video

Although there's a lot packed into the D5100, including full HD (1080p) video and multiple exposure capability, Nikon seems proudest of its Effects modes.
by TechRadar (Jun, 2012)
25 p is available when PAL is selected for video mode.
by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)
This video was shot in the D5100's color sketch effects mode, and you can see the effect that it has on framerate.
by DPReview (Apr, 2011)

Photography

Shooting with the Nikon D5100's Landscape Picture Control mode boosted the green of the grass and the blue of the hazy sky.
by TechRadar (Jun, 2012)
The new Effects modes can be used to add a creative flair to your images, although the inability to manually control the camera's key settings means that applying the effect during image playback is often the better route to take.
by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)
Although the family resemblance is obvious, the D5100 does not share the same body shell as its predecessor the D5000.
by DPReview (Apr, 2011)

Focus

Autofocus only works in Live View mode.
by c|net (Apr, 2011)
As with all Nikon DSLRs that lack an internal AF motor, autofocus speed is very much lens dependent, and the 18-55mm kit zoom isn't a speed demon, and it's likely to satisfy most potential buyers.
by DPReview (Apr, 2011)
However, like the Nikon D5000 it replaces, the D5100's white balance and metering systems use information from a 420-pixel RGB sensor (the D7000 uses a 2,016 pixel RGB device) and its autofocus (AF) system has 11 points.
by TechRadar (Jun, 2012)

Lens

This shot was taken handheld, at the long end of the new Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di Vc lens.
by DPReview (Apr, 2011)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type CMOS
Megapixels 16.1 MP
Resolution 4928 x 3264
Size APS-C
Area 23.6 x 15.6 mm
Crop factor 1.5x
Pixel size 22.9 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 6,400 ISO to 25,600 ISO
Codecs
  1. NEF 14bit
  2. RAW
  3. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,600 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,600 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection
Focus points 11
Cross type focus points 1
Supports continuous No

shutter

Min 30 s
Max 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 127 x 96.5 x 78.7 mm
Thickness 78.7 mm
Weight 560 g
Is weather sealed No

features

Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR Yes
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization None

video

Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection
Autofocus supports continuous Yes

display

Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 920 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen Yes
Supports live view Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror Opaque
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Pentamirror
Coverage 95%
Magnification 0.78x
Viewfinder size 0.51x

performance

Max continuous shooting 4 fps
Battery life 660 photos
Continuous shooting 4 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 273 ms
Shutter lag 114 ms
Startup delay 500 ms
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