Why wouldn’t you love to read a Nikon D5100 review, the one that’s gonna fill you in on all the attractive things about this camera? Of course you would. This is why you are here, aren’t you? You are considering buying not just a camera. What you need is a lifelong relationship, commitment and best of all: a solid investment – that’s what Nikon D5100 DLSR is here for.
The Good Stuff about Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera:
- First ever for any DSLR camera, Nikon introduces the “Special Effect” mode in Nikon D5100. There are some conditions where you can use their special effects, but give or take, it is the best option ever.
- Fits snuggly within your budget range. Nikon D5100 price is slightly above $450, which is comparatively low when compared to $3,000 DSLRs that don’t even make such a good impression.
- 3 Inch LCD, and a 921,000 dot super density Vari Angle offers nothing but sweet crispy display to your eyes.
- Full 1080p recording with auto focus mode. The cameras that I have reviewed so far were not only expensive as compared to Nikon D5100 DSLR, but some of them didn’t have auto focus video recording. Things had to be done manually.
- In camera HDR mode.
- Primacy/ Default ISO range is 100 – 6400. It can be extended to 100 – 25600.
Any Negatives about the Nikon D5100 That You Should Know Of?
Oh yeah, actually there is this one thing that did irritate me a little bit. Remember when I talked about the special effects mode in this camera? It turns out that this special effect mode is the HDR feature. Now the good thing is that for a DSLR camera, the D5100 is the first one to have the HDR mode in it.
The irritating thing is that you can only take one shot at a time. Nikon might have a very good reason for introducing the HDR in D5100 DSLR in such a weird way. However, every time you want to take a few HDR shots, you will have to enable the mode prior to taking each photo individually.
So it goes on like this. You take one photo with HDR enabled. Then you go back in the D5100 menu and re-enable the HDR again – so on and so forth. Rinse and repeat until you have a whole set of HDR snapshots in your memory card. Why didn’t Nikon guys make it easy? Maybe there is a logical explanation to it. But seriously? Who would want to enable HDR again and again? Besides, your subjects will get pissed off for keeping them frozen in one position until you tell them to move a little for the next shot!
HDR Mode in Nikon D5100 Has More Limitations:
It doesn’t end at the one photo at a time policy. There are some other limitations as well. You see, when the HDR mode works to its full bloom, there’s this thing called defining your own settings. First off, the HDR can only be used in the P-S-A-M mode in this camera. Secondly, to overcome the one-shot-at-a-time thing, you can assign this function to a button through the Fn menu.
The only tricky thing is that once the button has been assigned, the camera now starts to take two quick shots and combines them to give the impression of one photo. If you haven’t set the smoothing level to, let’s say: High or Medium, the results will probably come out as disappointing. But then again, at extreme high contrast settings, Nikon D5100 makes up for all the lacking areas.
The great thing is that Nikon HDR was professionally programmed to be an algorithm of perfection. Up until this point in this Nikon D5100 review, you might have thought about why bother to buy the camera when it has limitations. The reason is simple: once you get to know this device, there is no going back. The photos are literally “eye popping” material.
Nikon D5100 Review for First Timers:
It is very important to understand where this camera is coming from. I mean, after all the words that I have written about D5100, it will probably look like as if I am advocating the negativities here. Seriously, the camera is real good. But to bring out the expected results, you’re going to have to understand the device’s capabilities so that your expectations can be leveled to where they should be.
Nikon D5100 fits in the “High End Enthusiast” range in my opinion. “High End”, as in this camera shares the lens as the one in Nikon D7000 DSLR. You can read the review if you want to. Now if you analyze the pros and cons of a digital camera like me, you will find out sooner that very few of D7000 features actually justify for its expensive price.
Nikon D5100 Lens Kit:
By default, the camera comes with the 18-55VR (3X) F3.5 and F5.6 lens kit, which provides a surprisingly good performance for the money. The bokeh is very good, and so is the overall image quality. But if you are considering spending extra cash on new lenses for your Nikon DSLR camera, I would recommend the 55-200VR. It has an outstanding value and of course, all the pleasures to satiate your eyes.
Low Light Performance?
The low light performance is one area where many cameras don’t deliver as promised. Sometimes the shadows are too dark, other times, the subject isn’t define properly. Fortunately, with the D5100, low light performance goes hand in hand with a nice level of details. Even when you have set the device at high ISOs, you are going to be capturing the photos in three different modes.
The D5100 has three compression modes. In low light, I’d advise you to go for RAW+JPEG to get the kind of details that you are aiming for. Compared to the D5000,and the D60, we only see subtle improvement in terms of low light results in the D5100. But still, the improvement is still there, no matter how subtle it is.
In the end, holding a D5100 in my hands makes me happy. Because of the fact that the camera is loaded with a contrast of ingenuity and optimal balance, I would love to shoot a few subjects any day! Oh, boy, that didn’t come out right, did it? I meant that I would love to take a few snapshots with this DSLR. It is lightweight, compact and has the perks of a highly priced DSLR, what more could you ask for?