Excerpt: The Nikon D5100 is the manufacturer's latest edition to its consumer DSLR lineup. Replacing the D5000, the camera sits neatly inbetween the entry-level D3100 and the high-end D7000. The camera is clearly aimed at attracting enthusiasts who have outgrown their basic entry-level DSLRs.
Pros: Excellent image quality, Articulated LCD screen, Sophisticated AF system for the price
Cons: Odd placement of some controls, Movie mode is inconsistent, and prone to "bugs", Sluggish AF in Live View and Movie Mode
Summary: The Nikon D5100 is the upper-entry-level camera in the Nikon DSLR lineup. Slotting itself just above the D3100 Nikon D3100 , it produces superior-quality images using a similar design with a less efficient interface. Above it, the D7000 Nikon D7000 shares the 16 megapixels CMOS-sensor while providing a complete feature-set for advanced photographers including a large viewfinder showing 100% coverage, weather-sealing, 6 FPS continuous drive and an ultra-fast 39-point...
Pros: Very low image noise, Excellent white-balance, Reliable metering, Good dynamic range, Accurate autofocus system, Quick shutter-lag, Great shot-to-shoot speed, Instant power-on and off times, Quick to record and stop video, Full HD video with autofocus, Good build quality, Rangefinder MF assistance
Cons: Mostly slow autofocus, Uneven color response, Slight image softness, Noise-reduction even when disabled, LCD glare when settings are changed, Live-View not exposure-priority, Microphone records camera noise, Difficulty to setup video framing, Limited external controls, Limited interface control, Odd Auto ISO behavior, Lens mount lacks mechanical-coupling
Conclusion: If you’re in the market for a new DSLR you can hardly wrong with the Nikon D5100. It takes solid photos and videos, offering the response shutterbugs demand as they move from point-and-shoots to “real” cameras. We weren’t too thrilled with the kit lens, however. It’s an OK starting point but get ready — you’ll soon realize it really doesn’t serve the camera well. When that happens, you’ll end up tapping the credit line for more glass.
Pros: Quality 16-megapixel images, 3-inch vari-angle LCD (921K pixels), ISO range of 100 to 25,600
Cons: Kit lens is just a starting point, Awkward control system, Video good not great
Summary: The D5100 sits just above the D3100 in Nikon's product lineup and as such, it combines its younger sibling's ease of use with a slightly more advanced feature set. The D5100's trump card, however, is it's advanced 16MP sensor - inherited from the D7000. Judged on its own merits the D5100 is a great camera, but we're concerned that an enthusiastic beginner might outgrow it faster than some of the competition.
Pros: Excellent image quality, Unintimidating interface, but with plenty of manual control, Articulated, high-res LCD screen, Sophisticated AF system for the price, Easy manual selection of off-center AF points, Unusually fast Live View AF for a low-end DSLR (but still relatively slow compared to mirrorless competitors), Effects modes are fun and beginner-friendly, Much improved continuous shooting performance with Active D-Lighting turned on, Lots of in-camera raw conversi...
Cons: Sub-optimal placement of some second-tier controls (like live view switch), Movie shooting button 'orphaned' from live view switch, Buggy Live View / Movie Mode (movies aren't necessarily recorded at set aperture), No live histogram in live view, AF still a little sluggish in live view mode, full-time AF not very effective in live view or movies, Only direct external ISO control is via slightly inconveniently-placed 'Fn' button, Auto ISO logic is not well-suited for e...
Excerpt: (1 items) The latest addition to Nikon’s expansive DSLR line, the 16 megapixel D5100, fits neatly between the entry-level D3100 ($700 with kit lens) and the more sophisticated D7000 ($1200 body only). An update to the 12 megapixel D5000 , this new $800 model offers some features that may entice current D5000 owners to upgrade, including full 1080p HD video, a bigger and better articulating LCD screen, larger burst mode capacity, expanded ISO, full-time autofocus in video...
Pros: Well-rounded feature set, Top-notch image quality (still and video), Excellent low-light/high-ISO performance, New special effects, Full time AF in Live View and video
Cons: No dedicated ISO button, Requires AF-S lens with built-in AF motor, Live View and video AF aren't lightning-fast, Special Effects parameters must be set in Live View
Excerpt: Although DSLRs are becoming increasingly complex and feature-rich, manufacturers are trying to make them easier to use. Nikon has been at the forefront of this development, over the last six months we've seen the Nikon D3100 and now it's bigger brother the Nikon D5100.
Summary: In DSLR terms, a £779 price tag puts the D5100 in the middle-market. It’s expensive enough to have some gravitas, to stand out as a camera for someone who knows what they’re doing and can produce breathtaking results, but not quite so pricey as to become a camera for photographic purists who sneer at "gimmicks".