Nikon D5100 review

For the opportunity Nikon D5100 body camera review Many thanks to Sergey Svirida.

Nikon D5100 review

Nikon D5100 review

I want to write everything at once about the Nikon D5100 - it's just awesome multimedia harvester, which manages to squeeze just the prohibitive image quality. In this review, information is only about the camera itself Nikon D5100 body. Very often, the Nikon D5100 is sold along with universal lenses, and this set is called kit. Usually in a set Nikon D5100 Kit such lenses as:

The best option is an 18-200mm lens, it is enough for all occasions - from a wide angle for a landscape or a small apartment, to photographing birds and bunnies. If you still need to start somewhere, then the kit lens 18-55m is quite suitable, and do not believe that the kit lens is so terrible, just important how to take pictures, and not on what technique. For portrait shooting, I advise you to look towards the lens Nikon 50mm f / 1.8G AF-S Nikkor, and as a good sharp fast aperture fixed lens for every day can act Nikon 35mm f / 1.8G AF-S DX Nikkor.

View of the Nikon D5100 camera from different angles

View of the Nikon D5100 camera from different angles

Nikon D5100 - this is an amateur SLR camera from Nikon, a highly updated version Nikon D5000. The camera can shoot Full HD video and take pictures at a speed 4 frames per second.

Sample photo on Nikon D5100

Sample photo on Nikon D5100

Important points:

Matrix Nikon D5100 matrix based Nikon D7000. The matrix Nikon D7000 can give out a picture high dynamic range, excellent color reproduction and low noise at high ISO. The Nikon D5100 does the same. When I took the first test shots on Nikon D5100 and ISO 6400, I was just amazed at the image quality. The result was really very juicy and lively picture, and this is at 16,2 megapixels, because in this review there are many night photos as examples. ISO camera can be set from value 100 to 25,600, values ISO 12.800 и ISO 25.600 are denoted as Hi1 и Hi2, I do not recommend shooting at such high ISO.

Nikon D5100 installed CMOS 16.2-megapixel sensor. Yes, the Nikon D5100 has as much as 16,2MP, which is the same as that of Nikon D7000 and full frame Nikon D4. More megapixels can only be found at the very expensive Nikon D3x, Nikon D800, D800E, D3200, D600, D5200 (at the time of writing). The number of megapixels is not a serious indicator of the quality of a photograph, but still, the more the better. If you are chasing megapixels, I advise you to pay attention to my note Battle of Megapixels. I shoot 6.2 megapixel without any problems Nikon D40I advise you to go to the review page Nikon D40 and make sure that even at 6.2MP you can get an excellent image result.

Nikon D5100 uses a sensor manufactured by Sony, the same sensor is found in cameras:

Photo on Nikon D5100

Photo on Nikon D5100 - saturated colors of the camera

Actually, the matrix is ​​the heart of the camera, and the better it is, the better your photographs will be. Nikon D5100 has the same matrix size as the more advanced ones Nikon D7000, D90, D300s. The Nikon D5100 APS-C sensor available, which means that the matrix is ​​2.25 times smaller in area than the matrix of full-frame SLR cameras, such as Nikon D700 or D3s. This entails an effect. crop factor. When using lenses from full-frame cameras, the viewing angle will be narrower than on film or in a full frame. More details in the article Crop Factor.

Sample photo on Nikon D5100

Sample photo on Nikon D5100

Other important points that really affect the operation and functionality of the camera

  1. Large rotary display. The display has 921.000 points. Nikon D5100 uses the same number of pixels as the camera D3, D3s, D3x, D700, D300, D300s, D90, D7000, D3200 и Nikon D5200
  2. Very fast EXPEED-2 processor, with which the camera shows excellent speed.
  3. Nikon D5100 uses 11 focus pointsfor which the focus module is responsible Nikon Multi-CAM 1000. The same module is on such cameras as Nikon D90, D3100, D3000, D80, D200 и D5000. Focus is accurate. Focus speed is highly dependent on the lens and shooting conditions.
  4. Measurement exposure implemented using a 420-pixel sensor, the same as that of Nikon D80, D90, D60, D40x, D50, D5000 и D3100. The camera measures the exposure perfectly, the only one, because Active is on D-lighting the camera sometimes exposes the frame.
  5. The shooting speed is 4 frames per second. This is just a little less than 4.5 fps for a more advanced Nikon D90. 4 fps is enough for any type of shooting. Even a full-frame professional Nikon D800 can shoot a maximum of 4k \ s. Personally, I always have enough even 2.5 frames per second on my old woman Nikon D40. A high rate of fire is needed only for certain situations. A high rate of fire requires a large frame buffer and a fast memory card. For example, when I reviewed the Nikon D5100, the camera used a slow 8GB SD flash drive. Since I was shooting in RAW for review, the camera was very slow after 2 seconds of shooting in fast mode. Due to the fact that RAW files from the camera weigh about 15mb, I had to wait a very long time until the files were written to the memory card. Indeed, the whole charm of fast continuous shooting at 4 fps can be estimated by shooting only in JPEG.
  6. Frame buffer when shooting in RAW format is 11 frames. This is as much as that of Nikon D90 when shooting in RAW. How much the camera will slow down during serial shooting will greatly depend on the buffer capacity. In an earlier model Nikon D3100, frame buffer is 13 pieces in RAW.
  7. Attention: Nikon D5100 Nikon's first amateur camera to use RAW with 14 bit color depth. This is very good news for fans of processing RAW photos. Unfortunately, like all Nikon amateur cameras, the D5100 does not have a choice of RAW compression levels or a choice of color depth.

    Example photo on Nikon D5100

    Example photo on the Nikon D5100. Snowy glass.

  8. Full HD movie shooting 1980 * 1080, with maximum quality you can shoot videos up to 20 minutes long. Believe me, 20 minutes is enough for the video. You can choose different shooting modes in different quality. Another important detail to shoot video on the desired aperture, you first need to install it, and therefore already enable Live View and start recording. When Live View is on, aperture change is not available.
  9. Convenient menu and overall camera ergonomics. At first, it might seem that controlling the camera with one hand is difficult, but then you can quickly get used to the control.

    Example photo on Nikon D5100 at high ISO

    Example photo on Nikon D5100 at high ISO

  10. A bunch of useful additions - automatic correction of distortion, aberration, Active D-lighting, Breckening, Live View, Timelapse, etc. Important! Automatic correction of distortion and chromatic aberration is removed only when shooting in JPEG.
  11. The camera has one great feature - HDR. HDR takes two frames with different exposures and saves them in one file. Very comfortable and interesting. The HDR function is not available when shooting in RAW. The HDR function is conveniently programmed with the FN button.

    Example photo on Nikon D5100 at very high ISO

    Example photo on Nikon D5100 at very high ISO

  12. A little about the shortcomings - this is an amateur camera, because in the camera no many features from more advanced or professional cameras. Personally very important to me fast flash sync, flash command modeFine tune focus manual exposure metering and availability focus motor - Nikon D5100 doesn't have them. Highly I consider “picture braking” a strong drawback when sighting through Live View and approaching the image area 1 to 1 (or similar) - the picture slows down quite a lot. There is no such effect on Nikon D90. Such an approximation helps to very accurately sharpen the desired focus point.

All sample photos on the Nikon D5100 from this review were shot in RAW -> JPEG, without processing, only resized to 720 * 477 pixels with imprinted EXIF in order to be able to judge the shooting parameters. Please note that at high ISO photos are more or less acceptable.

Example photo on the Nikon D5100. Loss of juiciness of the color gamut when raising ISO

Example photo on the Nikon D5100. Loss of juiciness of the color gamut when raising ISO

Recommendations

In order to speed up focusing, use the optical viewfinder. When focusing in Live View, the focusing accuracy will be very high, but the speed will be very slow, since the camera and the lens will need to measure contrast at different focusing distances and only then put the lens in the desired position. When focusing through the optical viewfinder (through the eye), the camera is much quicker to cope with focusing. It is for this reason that older cameras such as Nikon D300, D300s, D700 etc., there are two Live View shooting modes. These are tripod mode and hand mode. In hand-held mode and Live View on, when you press the shutter button halfway, Live View turns off and autofocusing occurs through the phase sensors, after a successful focus is achieved, Live View turns on again.

Photo at Nikon D5100 at low ISO in low light

Photo at Nikon D5100 at low ISO in low light

If desperately needed maximum frame buffer, then you need to turn off all functions that reduce the number of photos in the buffer. I think you will be surprised when in paragraph 5 it is written about 11 frames in the buffer, but in reality there will be less of them. The number of frames that the buffer can fit is shown in the lower right corner of the viewfinder when you press the shutter button halfway. Usually, with noise reduction turned on for high ISOs and slow shutter speeds, as well as when active D-lighting the number of frames in the buffer drops sharply. Therefore, by disabling these functions you can get the claimed 11 frames. Well, if you do not need RAW, then in high-quality JPEG with advanced settings enabled 16 frames - and this is for 4 seconds of continuous shooting. It is unlikely that someone takes a burst of longer than 4-5 seconds.

Photo on Nikon D5100

Photo on Nikon D5100

When you place the camera in a case (in a photo bag), turn the display with the dark side out, and the LCD monitor in the middle so that the monitor does not scratch during transportation. If shooting in JPEG, I recommend turning on noise reduction at high ISOs and slow shutter speeds. For a saturated picture you can use Active D-lighting in HIGH mode. You can also configure the FN programmable button, which is located next to the flash up button. I usually program the FN button for the ISO control function.

Sample photos on Nikon D5100 using a lens Nikon 50mm f / 1.8G AF-S Nikkor. Photos without processing.

Not sure what to choose?

Usually, a person who wants to buy a camera of this level stops at 2-3 Nikon models. it Nikon D3100, Nikon D5000, Nikon D5100, D5200. I recommend taking a simpler model Nikon D3100, which can do the same thing as the D5100, but its price is much less. D5100 is more suitable for those who like to shoot in poor lighting conditions at high ISO. Saturation and image quality on the D5100 and D3100 very similar to low and medium ISO. Of course newer Nikon D5200 in many ways beats the Nikon D5100.

D5000 D5100 D5200
Exit time June 2009 April 2011 November 2012
RAW color depth 12 bit 14 bit 14 bit
Number of megapixels 12,20 16,08 24,00
Burst Speed 4 fps 4 fps 5 fps
Minimum ISO 200,00 100,00 100,00
Minimum Extensive ISO 100 (Lo1) - -
Maximum ISO 3200,00 6400,00 6400,00
Maximum Extended ISO 6400 (Hi1) 25600 (Hi2) 25600 (Hi2)
Video length max. qualities 5 minutes 20 minutes 20 minutes
Video 1280 x 720 24fps 1920x1080 30fps 1920 x 1080 60i
Sound mono mono stereo
Display 2.7 inches, 230.000 points 3 inches, 921.000 points 3 inches, 921.000 points
Focus module Multi-cam 1000 Multi-cam 1000 Multi-CAM 4800DX
Number of Focus Points 11,00 11,00 39,00
Measurement exposure 420-pixel RGB sensor 420-pixel RGB sensor 2016-pixel RGB sensor
Memory cards SD, SDHC SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I)
Weight without battery, g 550,00 510,00 505,00
HDR no Yes Yes

Older Nikon D5000 I do not recommend buying, it does not have autofocus when shooting video, and it is quite difficult for an ordinary user to focus on sharpness manually.

By the way here a list of all CZKs from Nikonmaybe he will help in choosing.

Photo on Nikon D5100

Photo on Nikon D5100


Prices for modern Nikon cameras in popular stores can look at this link.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. A wide variety of photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress, The Amazon и B&H Photo.

Conclusions

Nikon D5100 gives a very good picture one click on the shutter button. Camera for photo lovers who just need a good result in a photo without unnecessary troubles. Full HD and a swivel display makes the camera even more attractive. Given that the camera has a matrix of very high quality Nikon D7000then Nikon D5100 can be used by advanced amateurs as well.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter.

Add a comment: Victor

 

 

Comments: 1 866, on the topic: Nikon D5100 review

  • Alexey

    Hello, please help with this problem.
    The subject of shooting does not always fall into sharpness. And in daylight and cloudy weather. Frames with 100% focus hit only with manual focus. The problem is with the kit lens and 35mm.

    • B. R. P.

      It is very difficult to help you in absentia with such a minimum of initial data. Guiding questions: did you get into focus before, on the same lenses? if there are other lenses besides the ones mentioned above, how does it behave on them? what modes do you use? hit / drop the camera / lenses?

  • Anton

    Good afternoon, please tell me what is better to choose:
    Nikon D3100 body
    Nikon D3200 body
    Nikon D5100 body
    Price up to 13000 rubles

    Nikon D3300 body
    Nikon D3400 body
    Nikon D5200 body
    Nikon D5300 body
    Nikon D7000 body
    Price from 16000 to 20000 rubles

    + lens (which one?)
    The camera is bought mainly for shooting goods in an internet store and social networks (leather goods: backpacks, bags, belts, wallets).
    Which camera from the above is better to buy for photographing my products, is it worth overpaying several thousand for cameras from the second list?
    What lens to buy for high-quality shooting of leather goods?
    What else do you need to take high-quality photos of catalog products?

    • Victor

      In this particular case, a camera from a mobile phone is quite enough for you

      • Anton

        Thank you!

    • Dima

      For your purposes, any, even a good smartphone is enough ...

  • Dima

    The D90 is certainly better in body and ergonomics, but in terms of the matrix and the picture, especially at high ISO, it will greatly lose to the D5100…. There would be a matrix from d5100 and a wonderful balanced camera.

    • Pokemon

      So there is d7000 ...

      • Dima

        d7000 is noticeably more expensive on the secondary, but they are also usually killed) And d5100 is simply almost new to find. And yes, the 7000 is a very balanced camera.

  • Alex

    Today I purchased this unit ... as a second camera. Previously, the function of the second camera was performed by the D3100, but after reading the reviews, I realized that I needed to upgrade! Yes, and a rotary screen is needed ... well, and ... apparently, if compared with the d3100, the upgrade was worth it !!! Recommend!

    • Ivan

      Upgrade, respectively "upgrade" or "upgrade".

    • Victor

      Your recommendation, ten years ago))) In 2021, this is such a “upgrade”, rather sluggish)))

  • Alex

    Good day!
    I bought myself a virgin D5100, so much so that for the first time I wondered about the "reference picture" - for the first time I come across it. there was no point in doing it on the existing D5000.
    Tell me - are there any special settings or “wishes” for such a picture?
    Thank you in advance for your reply!

  • Al-kor

    Hello. The other day I bought a Nikon D5100 with a range of 2150 frames. I liked the camera, but there is one BUT. My old Nikon D50 camera had an extra display for quick setup. The Nikon D5100 has to constantly open and flip the monitor. I don't really like this moment. On the one hand, it is good that it can be turned over for transportation, on the other hand, there is a high probability of accidentally breaking it. On Nikon D3xxx, the monitor is always facing out. I would like the Nikon D5100 monitor for the most part to stand with the display facing out, and only turn it over with its back for long-term storage.
    Question. Now there are armored films for cell phones. Their thickness is about 0,5-0,8mm.
    If you stick this film on the monitor, will the monitor close for shipping?
    Or is it better to stick a simple thin film?
    Is it possible with this film to keep the monitor with the display out for a long time like in Nikon D3xxx? It hurts not to bother him all the time ...
    Who solved this problem how?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The camera is old and inexpensive, I see no reason to bother with this at all. The display will be blurred only with very, very, very intensive shooting. Set it in an active position and shoot as much as you can, without ever worrying about this trifle.

    • Andrei

      “On Nikon D3xxx, the monitor is always facing out. I would like the Nikon D5100 monitor to mostly stand with the display facing out, and only turn it over for long-term storage. "
      This is genius. If you wanted to, then you had to take D3xxx.
      Write to Nikon here https://www.nikon.ru/ru_RU/service_support/service_contacts.page?ID=templatedata/ru_RU/taggable_content/data/service/contacts

    • Victor

      Why would you turn it over with the film into the "transport position"? They glued on the usual film, not even "armored", and that's it.

    • Michael

      I own the same model. Since the device lives in a good bag with a soft inner lining, I don’t warm my head. But on Nikon 3100, which was taken to travel around all sorts of fucking, I'm going to stick an armored film for the screens of smartphones, but my hands do not reach it.

    • Alex

      Good day!
      I glued the film on the d5000 in the same way, turned the screen “face” on a permanent basis (so as not to open / close it all the time), as a result of 3,5 years, the flight was absolutely magnificent. I wear it when transporting in a photo backpack.

  • Al-kor

    "The camera is old and inexpensive, I see no reason to bother with this at all." The model is old, but the camera is almost new ... sorry for the atnak ...

    Another question arose: I read that the Nikon D5100 pops up a message about a low battery and it stops shooting. Yesterday, when testing the camera, I got a message about a discharged Akum with an indicator of 20-25% and he stopped taking pictures.
    What is the cause of this phenomenon? Features of Akum? Camera firmware glitch? How to deal with this?
    I already know about the spare Akum.
    Maybe there are some thread corrected or office. head firmware?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This is not a glitch, but a feature. Perhaps the battery is really old and worn out or dying. It's not worth getting into the firmware.

  • Al-kor

    Thanks Arkady for the answers.
    There is one more question. In the "Settings menu" I found the "Firmware version" window.
    Three firmware versions open in the drop-down window: A-1.02, B-1.01, L-1.009.
    What does this mean and how do you use it?

    • Michael

      If you carefully read the description of the firmware on the official Nikon page - then (for example A-1.02, B-1.01, L-1.009) one of its parts (in this example it is L) is the firmware section responsible for correcting the distortion "pillow" - "Barrel" for various models of lenses used. Moreover, in the same place, on the download page, you can see a table of lens models for which the adjustment is made, and in what cases. An attempt to thoughtlessly “crawl in and play around” in this file can lead to the successful turning of the device ...

  • Al-kor

    Thanks Michael.
    The hour went to https://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/ and read about the firmware, but did not quite understand ... I wanted to clarify here. It is written there:

  • Al-kor

    In firmware version A-1.02 / firmware B-1.01
    - Time-lapse mode: approx. 700 shots (CIPA standard *).
    - Continuous Shooting Mode: Approx. 2650 shots (Nikon standard *).
    I can't understand, do I already have updated firmware?
    If the firmware is updated, and Akum is barely enough for 100-120 frames, then I will have a problem in Akum ...

    • Michael

      Yes, most likely the battery is half-dead. By the way, when trying to purchase compatible batteries, it may turn out that: 1) The batteries will not work on the device, which he will honestly warn about; and 2) all sorts of Chinese products "based on" are of disgusting quality, either not charging, or losing charge for several days. And if nothing can be done with the second one, except for replacing the dead one with another (less dead one), then with the first problem everything can be solved - there are tricky modifiers of the original firmware that allow you to carry out many interesting manipulations, for example, turn off the check for the originality of batteries, remove the time limit for continuous videos, etc.

  • Al-kor

    Mikhail, and where is it better to buy Akum, can you tell me? Swami would like to be contacted for further consultations, if possible. If you do not mind, but I will write my skype first, and then watsap

  • Nicholas

    “The D5100 does not have a choice of RAW compression levels and a choice of color depth ...” And whoever has compared it with the d7000. Raw with 5100 which settings on d7000 corresponds to. In terms of color depth, as I understand it, 14bit without the option of switching to 12. But what is the compression ratio? The one that gives out the highest quality, or the one that saves space on the map?

  • Alexander

    Once again, I'm thinking of buying something from the D5100, D3200 so that I don't mind using it in winter in cold weather. Why in the next? Because I had them, but I sold them because of the triviality. Here it is: I like these devices, but I am bespectacled with -2.25 diopters and I wear glasses. It is inconvenient to shoot through the viewfinder with glasses, and if you shoot without them, then the diopter adjustment in the viewfinder of the Nikon D5x .., D3x ... rulers does not reach the correction I need. There is no such problem in older models. And then look for either an eyecup with a dopplens, which are not in Belarus, or found in Ukraine, but for $ 25. Well nafig for that kind of money. Kenon has no such problems. But something did not come to me 600 \ 650 \ 700 series from kenon. Yes, and having a full-frame old Nikon D700, I have, respectively, some optics for Nikon and flash. Therefore, the canon is not particularly considered. By the way, the lens from Jungnow 100mm f 2.0 is very good both at full frame and at crop. The only thing that is very afraid of the slightest backlight. Just a little gets in and the picture fades. The Chinese quickly solved the problem with overexposure of this camera with firmware. On the D90, by the way, the focus, before the lens was flashed, did not work properly. After the firmware, everything became tip-top. So now I recommend this lens.

    • Seladir

      I switched to contact lenses and forgot about this problem)

      • Alexander

        Not an option. I did, but my eyes never got used to it. Well, lenses are not recommended to me for my work.

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