Print 22 comment(s) - last by SPOOFE.. on Apr 7 at 7:28 PM

D5100 with lens  (Source: Nikon)

D5100 variable angle LCD  (Source: Nikon)
The D5100 fits right between the D3100 and D7000

Nikon has unveiled the new D5100 which is an entry-level D-SLR offered in a kit with an 18-55mm VR lens starting at a MSRP of $899.95. For that price, the camera offers a slew of nice features and specifications for a D-SLR beginner.

The D5100 has a 16.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor and the camera is capable of shooting at 4fps continuously in burst more. The D-SLR can also record 1080p HD movies with full-time autofocus. The LCD on the rear of the camera is variable angle with a 921,000-dot resolution and measures 3-inches. The variable angles allow you to move the LCD so you can see the images and video being recorded comfortably using Live View mode.

The camera also has a special effects more that can be applied to the movies recorded and it support up to ISO 102,400 when used in night vision mode. The normal ISO mode is 100-6400 and can be expanded to 25,600 ISO. The D5100 has the full selection of manual modes that you expect in a D-SLR and has integrated red-eye reduction feature. The Picture Control system lets the user apply filters with standard, neutral, vivid, monochrome, portrait, and landscape settings.

The autofocus used in movie recording mode has face detection and can sense up to 35 different faces and has subject tracking.  The movies can record in 1080p 24fps or 30fps with the 720p resolution at the same frame rates. Clips can be up to 20 minutes long. The camera also has a new ME-1 microphone as an option for better sound quality. The camera will sell in a body only kit for $799.95.

DPReview spent some hands on time with a pre-production D5100 camera. One thing the camera is missing is wireless flash support that the higher end D-SLRs offer. DPReview notes that the viewfinder is a single control dial pentamirror unit and the camera has no built-in autofocus motor.

The camera is positioned to fall right between the D3100 and the D7000 making for a compelling line of consumer-focused D-SLRs that will suit the needs of just about everyone.

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High ISO is useless if it's noisy
By MrTeal on 4/5/2011 11:35:07 AM , Rating: 2
From the dpreview that was linked

Even at 12800, the 5100 looks like it has more noise than the 600D. I'd hate to see the noise present at 8 times the sensitivity.

One thing going for the Nikon in low light is that their IR filters are much better than the ones on Canons. The Canon has such a low rolloff that it cuts out a significant portion of the red end of the visible spectrum.

RE: High ISO is useless if it's noisy
By kraeper on 4/5/2011 12:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
I think it doesn't have to produce usable images: Big numbers sell boxes at Best Buy.

RE: High ISO is useless if it's noisy
By SPOOFE on 4/5/2011 1:17:56 PM , Rating: 2
ISO 6400 on the D5100 certainly does produce usable images. Maybe not the sort of thing you'd print at 30", but 12x18's and definitely 8x10's would look very good.

RE: High ISO is useless if it's noisy
By kraeper on 4/5/2011 2:54:53 PM , Rating: 2
"Usable" is entirely a matter of opinion.

By SPOOFE on 4/7/2011 7:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
No, it really isn't. "Preferable" is a matter of opinion. When talking about presentation of detail at certain print sizes, opinion becomes a lot less significant.

By SPOOFE on 4/5/2011 1:16:30 PM , Rating: 2
Even at 12800, the 5100 looks like it has more noise than the 600D.

That's because the 600D has more aggressive NR; it loses more fine detail than the 5100. The 5100 definitely looks better than the 600D.

By psonice on 4/6/2011 5:09:14 AM , Rating: 2
Noise doesn't always matter much, it depends on what you're doing with the pictures. For a quick photo, yeah it's not good. But a lot of people use these things for astrophotography, and being able to use a shorter exposure time at the expense of more noise is a good thing - you just take dozens of pictures, run them through some special software, and get a superb image with minimal noise at the end. 100k+ ISO sounds pretty exciting for this kind of use!

By bug77 on 4/6/2011 6:32:22 AM , Rating: 2
You're looking at JPEG noise, which is irrelevant.

By hexxthalion on 4/6/2011 9:17:59 AM , Rating: 2
i'm looking at the provided link and all i can see is that canon doesn't have any details left after NR processing so to correct you, canon actually looks worse on that ISO in both JPEG and RAW

video improvement!
By headbox on 4/5/2011 11:46:26 AM , Rating: 2
That's a great improvement over the D5000, which is 720p video without any auto-focus.

RE: video improvement!
By SPOOFE on 4/5/2011 1:18:53 PM , Rating: 1
Video is the least interesting quality of this camera, or most any DSLR for that matter.

RE: video improvement!
By semiconshawn on 4/5/2011 4:46:59 PM , Rating: 5
Haha did you just get camera snooty? Get a life. Being able to shoot occasional video at high quality high frame rate without having to carry more gear is nice. This camera is for avg joe shooter. Why would you REAL photographers even be slumming around at this level of camera?

RE: video improvement!
By SPOOFE on 4/7/2011 7:28:52 PM , Rating: 2
Camera snooty or camera practical? The DSLR form factor is lousy for video. The huge lenses needed for coverage on these large sensors make autofocus very problematic (it's harder to move a large lens element than a small one, and slower!). The large sensor also generates a lot more heat, resulting in the limited shooting lengths you can do with these.

The average Joe shooter would be better served by a $300 camcorder instead of this.

Slumming? Not all photographers like walking around with five-pound monsters hanging off their shoulder.

No auto-focus motor?
By TennesseeTony on 4/5/2011 6:43:28 PM , Rating: 2
...and the camera has no built-in autofocus motor.

Uhm, isn't that in the LENS instead of the BODY?

RE: No auto-focus motor?
By kraeper on 4/5/2011 7:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
Some lenses have built-in motors, some don't. That is why it's useful to mention that this camera doesn't have a motor, as it may limit the number of lenses that will still autofocus.

See, no caps-lock required. ;)

RE: No auto-focus motor?
By TheWise on 4/5/2011 7:04:18 PM , Rating: 2
Some of the Nikon compatible lenses have autofocus driven from a motor in the body not the lens.

RE: No auto-focus motor?
By hexxthalion on 4/6/2011 9:21:44 AM , Rating: 2
that's why nikon says it supports af-s lenses which are pretty much all lenses released in last 7 years or so. and even the old af-d or af-i lenses have been replaced (in most of the cases) with updated af-s models.

RE: No auto-focus motor?
By rgsaunders on 4/6/2011 9:34:20 PM , Rating: 2
No, earlier lenses required a servo drive in the camera for the autofocus, I have an 80-200mm f2.8 ED lense that requires the servo drive, a replacement would cost about 2200 whereas the higher end Nikon bodies still have a servo drive, not requiring a photographer with older high end lenses to replace them all.

Dynamic Range
By Slaimus on 4/5/2011 12:24:03 PM , Rating: 2
The price jump compared to the D5000 is surprising. Maybe they anticipate shortages because of the earthquake.

Here is a likely comparison of the old D5000 to other camera using the same sensor:

RE: Dynamic Range
By hexxthalion on 4/6/2011 9:39:02 AM , Rating: 2
prices will go down, like with d7000, now you can have one for £950 and when it was introduced few months ago it was £1100.

also i think that when they released d5000 it was priced almost as d90 £650+ and now you can get it for £450 (which i wouldn't)

If you don't understand things...
By TheWise on 4/5/2011 6:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
the viewfinder is a single control dial pentamirror unit

You really should make sure you know what you are talking about before trying to rephrase another author. What you are trying to say is that the camera is a single control dial unit with a pentamirror viewfinder. Last I checked it was kinda hard to put a control dial IN a viewfinder.

I know DailyTech doesn't require accuracy from their editors, but this is just laziness!

By kraeper on 4/5/2011 7:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe he's seen a magical camera with dual diopter adjustments before? (lol)

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