Nikon D5100 DSLR Review
Cameras & Equipment

Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera Review

About the product

The Nikon D5100 is an appreciable amateur or consumer-grade DSLR camera that comes with advanced features and technologies. The camera is excellent for beginners as well as advanced amateurs who like to capture crystal clear and sharp pictures. The camera comes with a broad feature set and a comfortable price that makes it a good choice for your first DSLR camera. The camera is excellent for high-quality picture and video capture. It comes with a 3 inch vari-angle LCD screen that would provide more creative and comfortable high and low angle shots. The 16.2 megapixel camera can also capture full HD D-movie videos for you.

Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera Review

It comes with the DX-format CMOS sensors that help in capturing sharper images. Combined with the EXPEED 2 image-processing engine, you can expect great output quality, whether digital or on print. The camera is an upgrade over the D5000 camera and is a straight competitor of the Canon EOS Rebel T3i. Though no individual features of the camera are very groundbreaking, together, they make for an amazing camera that can handle most of your photographic needs with ease. The color depth is impressive at 14-bit and the ISO sensitivity range goes from ISO 100-6400, expandable up to 25600.

You would find in-camera special effects and HDR along with full time and fast autofocus. The camera is available as ‘body only’ camera with 18-55mm lens and camera with 18-55mm and 55-200mm Vibration Reduction lenses for$529.95, $699.99, and $772 respectively. It is a great budget buy and offers sleek and elegant photography options too. The item is eligible for Free Shipping, but only within the US. It is ranked #13 in DSLRs on Amazon. You get standard one year manufacturer’s warranties which can be extended for up to 4 years against accidents, drops, and spills through other plans available on Amazon.

Product features and specifications

  • 12.3 Megapixel CMOS sensors
  • DX-format, EXPEED 2 image-processing engine for stellar image quality
  • 14-bit color depth
  • High ISO sensitivity range from 100-6400, expandable to 25600.
  • 4 fps continuous shooting
  • 11 point autofocus and 95% viewfinder coverage
  • 3D color matrix metering at 420 pixels
  • 1080 HD D-movie quick time movie recording with sound
  • Wireless flash and SDXC memory slot
  • Comes with 18-55mm (and) 55-200mm lens with Vibration Reduction NIKKOR technology
  • 3 inch vari-angle LCD monitor for high angle and low angle
  • In-built camera special effects for more creative photography
  • High Dynamic Range or HDR for shooting in conditions with high contrast

Positive Reviews

The camera has earned a rating of 4.6/5 which makes it a must-buy for beginners. One of the major reasons why this camera is appreciated by the users is its capture speed. In most of the shooting conditions, the focus and shoot time would only be 0.3 seconds which would go hardly up to 0.6 seconds in difficult shooting conditions or low lights. The camera is quick to respond and captures images at amazing shutter speeds. The aperture can also be set manually, which would help the users as they advance in their photographic careers. The full HD 1080p movie capture with sound is also one of the most commendable features of the camera. The users have especially liked the cinematic effects and the stellar video quality which can be used for home videos as well as time-lapse videos.

The special effects of the camera deserve a special mention as a lot of consumers find this to be one of the most rewarding features of the camera. The ISO sensitivity of the camera is also appreciated, just like the other cameras in the same series (including the lower end D3100 and D3200). The camera is excellent to be used in low light conditions. Most of the camera leaves room for improvement at higher ISO levels. However, with the D5100, you get very high end detailing, regardless of the ISO sensitivity levels. Another one of the appreciable features of the camera is the RAW+JPEG capture mode which enables the users to fine-tune their pictures if need be.

Negative Reviews

The Night Vision Mode of the camera might not be able to provide you great color correction when you have expanded the ISO to its highest. Though, this drawback can become a great way of capturing black and white pictures in extremely low light conditions as well. Therefore, you can either click monochrome pictures in low light and high ISO or simply adjust the ISO levels for better image quality. It only has one DSXC card slot, so you might have to carry a couple of extra cards and dedicate a minute of your schedule to change the cards. Some users also complain that the HDR feature of the camera is largely restricted in nature, but that would be an injustice to the camera.

The D5100 is designed for the total beginners as a small, easy to handle and compact camera. Therefore, expecting high-end HDR is not the right way to judge the camera. The HDR capabilities, however, would be awesome for clicking pictures of vacations, holidays, etc. There might be some apprehensions about the price of the camera, but even the 2 lenses with camera style are quite affordable and provide a great under $1000 camera choice.


The camera is an excellent choice for the people who want a beginner level camera that works quite like a professional camera. You would be finding special effects and great quality image capture that gives you value for your money. Make sure to use the camera with compatible lenses only. This would help you in getting better autofocus and stunning image quality. The camera is smaller and lighter as compared to its counterparts and predecessors which is one of the greatest features of the camera. You would like the low light performance, the compact design, and the ease of usage that comes naturally with this camera. Buy the Nikon D5100 for getting value for money, good image composition, better output, and even for polishing the basics of your photo capturing skills. Though it is not ‘the best’ in class, it is still a great buy for beginners.

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