New Nikon D5100 Digital SLR

It’s been almost two years since the Nikon D5000 was launched, and today its replacement arrives - the new Nikon D5100. The latest in Nikon's consumer range of DSLR cameras,  the D5100 has the same sensor as used in the D7000 and has also retained the tilt-and-swivel LCD screen from its predecessor. It is a lightweight camera packed with some great features.

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  • 16.2 Megapixel CMOS Sensor
  • Vari-angle 7.5cm (3.0”) TFT LCD with 170 degree viewing angle
  • Full HD Movie Recording (1080p)
  • Advanced Special effects
  • ISO 100-6400 (expandable 256000)
  • Up to 4 frames per second
  • 11-point AF system
  • External Microphone terminal
  • 23.6 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor

The Nikon D5100 has a number of improvements on its predeccesor, the D5000. Externally, the new D5100 resembles the Nikon D3100, but has a more curvy body that fits easily into your hands and all of the functions are easily accessible.

Nikon has fitted a 3.0” LCD tilt-and-swivel screen, as it did with the D90 and the D7000. The continuous shooting is unchanged from its predecessor i.e. 4 frames per second, and as long as you have a sufficiently fast memory card you should be able to shoot jpeg images until you run out of memory.

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One of the most interesting changes is in the mode dial. The D5100 incorporates an Effects mode that allows you to shoot with pre-defined special creative effects. It includes Colour Sketch, Selective Colour, Miniature effect, Night Portrait, Silhouette, High Key and Low Key. The special effects will add a sense of magic and High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging - and these effects can be applied in both still and movie mode. To activate the Live-view mode, Nikon has introduced a slider beneath the mode dial that easily allows changing the view.

Miniature Effect

For more sample images of the in-camera effects, scroll down to the bottom of this post!

The new Nikon D5100 has many features taken from the D7000 - the sensor (23.6 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor), ISO range (100-6400 + H1, H2 (256000 equivalent)), Expeed 2 image processing engine, and it also supports the new SDXC card format.

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A 16.2 Megapixel camera that records full HD (1080p) movie at 30 frames per second is an immaculate package. For the first time, Nikon has also introduced an external Stereo Microphone ME-1 that will fit in the hot shoe of the camera. The external mircrophone will aid in reducing unwanted noise, whilst recording movies. Lastly, with the availability of the HDMI output, you can directly connect your camera to your HD television, and view your images/videos.

In comparison:

  Nikon D5000 Nikon D90 Nikon D5100 Nikon D7000
Megapixels 12.3 12.3 16.2 16.2
ISO Range 200-3200 + H1 200-3200 + H1 100-6400 + H1/2 100-6400 + H1/2
HD Video Max 720p @24 fps 720p @24 fps 1080p @30 fps 1080p @24 fps
Autofocus 11-point 11-point 11-point 39-point
Image Processing Engine Expeed Expeed Expeed 2 Expeed 2
In-body Focus Motor No Yes No Yes
Frame Coverage 95% 96% 95% 100%
FPS 4 4.5 4 6
LCD Screen (pixels) 2.7"(230k) 3.0(920K) 3.0"(921K) 3.0"(920K)
Weight 611g 703g 560g 780g

The Nikon D5100 will be available in the following kits:

Nikon D5100 body only

Nikon D5100 with 18-55 VR Lens

Colour Sketch Effect

Selective Colour Effect

Night Vision

High Key

Low Key



Skylight Filter Effect