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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:05 am 
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Hello everyone, Nikon today announced the D5100 upper entry-level DSLR.

NEW! See our Nikon D5100 review!

NEW! Also see my Nikon D5100 vs Canon EOS T3i / 600D comparison video!


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The Nikon D5100 includes features designed to enhance the shooting experience, including an impressive new 3-inch, super sharp 921,000-dot Vari-angle LCD screen and full HD (1080p) movie recording with full-time autofocus. The 16.2-megapixel D5100 is also the first Nikon D-SLR to provide in-camera effects that can be applied to both photos and movies to deliver even more creative expression.

“Now more than ever, consumers want to pack only one device with them when travelling on excursions both far away and close to home,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc. “By providing consumers with a simple path to creative freedom for both stills and movies, the Nikon D5100 is designed to become an essential camera for capturing all of life’s occasions.”

Ready for the Adventure of Life
The D5100 allows photographers of all levels to confidently execute new and creative ways to tell stories with amazing color and clarity. Whether shooting high over crowds or down low to a toddler’s point of view, the swing out style Vari-angle LCD screen makes it easy to compose and share great images. Displaying even the most subtle details with clarity, the super sharp LCD has a 1000:1 contrast ratio and 921,000-dot resolution, with the ability to rotate 180 degrees horizontally and vertically.

To further test creative boundaries, photographers can take advantage of the D5100’s in-camera Special Effects Mode. Applied to either stills or D-Movies, these innovative effects are easy to apply and add a high level of creativity and fun to the photo experience. By selecting the Effects position on the mode dial located on top of the camera, photographers can easily apply effects such as Selective Color and choose up to three different colors in a scene while the remainder of the scene is converted to monochrome. Color Sketch creates photos and a stop motion movie in a colorful sketched drawing style, while the Miniature effect records photos and high speed movies to bestow a feeling of a mini-scale scene. To record photos in extreme lighting conditions or to produce movies with a gritty appearance , the new Night Vision mode calls upon Nikon’s pro D-SLR performance to offer extreme low-light capability by enabling the camera to shoot up to a super-high 102,400 ISO. In addition to the Effects mode, users can create photos with amazing tonal range by selecting the high dynamic range (HDR) function within the camera. With this selected, the D5100 will automatically expose two consecutive images in rapid succession – one over and one underexposed up to 3EV stops to produce a finished photo with an amazing range of midtones and highlights that wouldn’t otherwise be possible in a single shot. Additionally, Active D-Lighting can be selected by itself or combined with HDR for an even more dramatic effect.

The versatile Nikon D5100 D-SLR will motivate shooters to further explore creatively with its advanced camera features including full manual controls (P,S,A,M on the mode dial) offering the ability to manage the camera’s aperture and shutter speeds. Once the photo is captured, photographers have the flexible retouch menu at their disposal to apply additional in-camera effects and editing options including color and filter effects, red eye correction and NEF (RAW) processing.

The remarkably wide ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to a staggering 25,600 ISO), allows photographers to shoot confidently in outdoor and indoor low-light situations, even handheld with low noise. In challenging lighting conditions such as when a subject is backlit, Nikon’s Active D-lighting feature helps to keep shadows and highlights consistent for even exposures.

To further unleash creativity, the Picture Control system also affords users the choice for Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, or Landscape settings to apply a personal look and feel to their pictures. Additionally, the versatile Scene Modes let them choose from Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-up or Night Portrait and more for stunning results in just about all possible lighting conditions.

Create Full HD Movies
The Nikon D5100 captures 1080p full HD movies with full-time autofocus and manual exposure control. Users can quickly switch focus modes to stay with the action through a variety of AF functions, including face priority which can track up to 35 human faces, subject-tracking and normal or wide-area autofocus. To activate D-Movie mode and Live-view, a new switch is ergonomically located on the top of the camera near the shutter button for easy access.

The D5100 D-SLR offers variable frame rates and resolutions for movies, and can record 1080p at a cinema-like 24 or 30fps, or a web-friendly 720p resolution at either 24 or 30 fps for up to 20 minutes per clip, in the AVC-HD H.264 codec. Once recorded, movie clips can be edited and trimmed in the camera to save time in post production. Whether utilizing a wireless or hot shoe mounted microphone such as the new ME-1, sound can be recorded via the stereo microphone input for professional audio results. Captured movies can be easily shared using the HDMI output, and controlled remotely with HDMI CEC compatibility.

Superior Image Quality
The 16.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor is capable of capturing images that erupt with color and offer amazing sharpness and clarity to create images and full HD movies even in low-light conditions. Coupled with Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED 2 image processing engine, images are brought to life with vivid colors and amazing contrast, accurate exposure, and low noise levels resulting in brilliant image quality. The EXPEED 2 engine also drives the quick 11-point AF system on the D5100 to provide rapid focus acquisition even on fast moving subjects. When shooting action, split second shutter response and four frames per second burst rate make sure no moment is missed, forever putting to rest the story of “the one that got away.”
Whether shooting lush wilderness landscapes or an urban skyline, the D5100 utilizes Nikon’s exclusive Scene Recognition System to analyze subject information from a database containing more than 30,000 images to optimize focus, exposure, i-TTL flash exposure and white balance. To assist in creating amazing imagery, the Scene Recognition System reads data from the 420-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter RGB sensor that examines the scene’s brightness and color data then optimizes the camera’s performance prior to the actual exposure.

An entirely greater world of creativity will open up to photographers when adding versatile AF-S NIKKOR lenses to the equation. With a wide range of focal lengths and versatile features, AF-S NIKKOR lenses help to create a variety of photo perspectives to images and movies such as the ability to isolate subjects with a shallow depth of field or zoom close to the action from afar. Combining the D5100 D-SLR with NIKKOR lenses also delivers the sharpness essential for HD movies, and Nikon’s innovative Vibration Reduction (VR) II technology helps to eliminate the effects of camera shake.

New ME-1 Microphone
To address the needs of the ever growing community of shooters abandoning their video cameras for the versatility of a D-SLR, Nikon now offers the ME-1 stereo microphone. Engineered specifically for a
D-SLR, the new ME-1 microphone attaches to the hot shoe and has noise dampening components designed to minimize noise resulting from AF operation. The microphone also has a low-cut filter to reduce wind and other noise not already blocked by the wind screen. Designed with D-SLR users in mind, the ME-1 is powered through the camera, and also features a cable stop to keep the cable out of the way when using the camera, and reduce instances of noise from unintentional contact. Because it utilizes a standard 3.5mm stereo jack, the ME-1 is ideal for the D5100 and other Nikon HD movie capable D-SLR’s such as the D3s, D300s, D7000, as well as the COOLPIX P7000 and any other camera with a 3.5mm stereo input jack.

Price and Availability
The D5100 D-SLR camera will be available throughout the United States beginning mid April 2011 at an estimated selling price* of $799.95 for the body only, and $899.95 for the body and lens outfit that includes the AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens. The new Nikon ME-1 microphone will be available in April 2011, and will retail at an estimated selling price* of $179.95. For more information, please visit http://www.nikonusa.com.

*Estimated selling price listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.


Last edited by Gordon Laing on Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:02 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:44 am 
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What an interesting camera, I'm not sure how I feel about the new curvier, more rounded off design. Also, I don't know how useful the 'night vision' mode will be, anything above ISO 6400 I'd consider unusable on my D7000, I'd hate to see ISO 100 000! Another point is the new live view switch placement, I would've probably liked to have it on the back with the record button, and put a lever to adjust the drive mode there instead. Perhaps Nikon figured that with the screen's new hinge to the side taking up the usual button placement, the back would be too crowded. Overall though, an interesting upgrade. I'm excited to see how it performs.

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Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:56 am 
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if it wasn't for the d7000 excellent AF-system and 100% viewfinder i might just regret buying it instead of the d5100 :P. the d5100 seems like a very powerfull little camera when looking at the specs.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:28 am 
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Evan, Nikon may tweak the processing on the D5100, but I fully expect the quality to be essentially the same as the D7000. So my earlier D7000 vs EOS 60D comparison should be fairly similar, or indeed pretty much identical to a D5100 vs EOS 600D / T3i comparison.

I am of course ready to be proven wrong, but that'd be my prediction!

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon ... JPEG.shtml

In terms of viewfinder, AF and continuous shooting, it should be pretty much unchanged from the D5000.

So like many new launches, we can get a pretty good idea of what to expect by looking at the relevant parts of older reviews.

I'm very glad they changed the screen hinge though and added extra frame rates for 1080p - things which could have made the D7000 even better.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:02 am 
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thank God, i'm almost sell all my Nikon gears and shift to another company. I'm thinking to upgrade my current D300 to D7000 because of video & IQ. However, D7000 does not have the articulated screen so its kinda useless for filming. I really want this feature for my next dslr. Then 60D/600D came to my mind, was thinking to grab one of these because of the screen but after read this news, i'm glad that I didn't make the move.. just gonna wait until D5100 hit the store and then buy it. I believe IQ-wise, there won't be much difference with D7k. Really like the swivel high res. screen (much better than D5000) & ext. video mic. Most likely i'll miss 51 AF point, 100% prism viewfinder, small screen on top, tougher body & better handling (D300 fit my hand so well). Hopefully I can live without these features. :D

Look forward for D5100 from you Gordon & thanks for the news. :)


Last edited by klebenhern on Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:13 am 
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Hello, I agree with EvanK. This is a little strange approach from Nikon.
I have a D5000 for almost a year now; and have 6000 shots with it.
From what I see until now, I will still choose the D5000 then the D5100. It is 200Euro cheaper !

They have only added features that are only nice on paper but are unusable or insignificant.
Evan the screen. Ok, is larger but is also distracting + the compromise is that the controls are no more as handy. This should be a tool for shooting and concentrating on the next photo not reviewing what you have done. You do this at your 23” monitor at home.
16.2 MPixel ? – this is absurd. 4 MPixel is enough. On a 23” monitor you won’t see difference between 3 MP and 30 MP. This is only a marketing trap. I always shoot 7 MPixel even I could do 12,3.
ISO up to 25.000 ??? common…
The movies are hideous anyway. You want good movie, the cheapest camcorder is always better. Evan the camera on the iPhone make better movies.
Also the controls are more handy on the D5000. They could do this side-hinging in the first place on the D5000 but know that they will compromise the controls. But now they insist to crowd this 3” to compete with Canon display.
It must be a good camera, but is also a marketing trap for which buyer will pay much extra.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:18 am 
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Nice camera, nothing unexpected though. Same as the D5000, entry level body with state of the art DX image quality.

In terms of the image quality, Id expect it to be the same as the D7000 or very fractionally better. My D5000 is slightly better than my older D300 and apparently the D300S is even better still. This is all with the same sensor, just newer technologies in noise performance of how it processes information, I dont know. This is very very slight though and for all intents and purposes the same.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:36 pm 
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Interesting... Glad to see Nikon has added some extra frame rate options to the 1080p mode. Sad to see no faster continuous shooting though. I was severely disappointed when I saw your review on the D7000 and its small buffer size, I hope this is an issue Nikon fixes soon... But all in all a very nice looking camera for the price, and great timing considering the T3I.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:15 pm 
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For another member here auto distortion control turned off gave a bigger buffer.

See here: A note to d7000 users - buffer

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Hello everybody. I was hoping you could help me picking my first DSLR. Until yesterday, I was pretty sure that the Nikon D5000 is the right choice.
Now, that the D5100 has been released, I do not know if I should stick to the D5000 or pay 200 Euros more for the D5100.
Should the image quality be that much better on the D5100? 10x


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:35 pm 
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Hi alextus, Id recommend buying the latest camera possible, the image quality is getting better all the time, and the 5100 will no doubt be much superior to the old 5000.

If you want to see the image quality difference, check Gordon's D7000 review, the 5100 has the same image quality as the D7000, and the D5000 the same as the D90.

D5000 is still a great camera though if thats all you can afford

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:09 pm 
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Okay, I took a look at the review of the D7000 and I quote:

"With four Megapixels between them, you might expect the D7000 to significantly out-resolve the D90, but as the crops below reveal, the differences can be fairly subtle - at least when fitted with the kit lens. Look closely and you will see the D7000 image contains a little more fine detail, especially around foliage and buildings, but if you want to see more from the D7000, you'll need to fit it with superior optics. Certainly if you're upgrading from the D90, but sticking with the kit lens, you won't notice a big difference in resolved real-life detail. "

So I can assume that the same difference in terms of IQ will be between the D5000 and D5100.

Now to be fair, it's not that much about the price difference, but more that I have to wait one month before I can buy the new D5100 and that I would have to purchase it from a online american retailer, because if I buy it from Germany, where I am currently living, I would have to pay 400 Euros more thant for the D5000. So I will save some bucks this way, but I'm afraid it won't be that easy with the warranty, if I have any problems with it.

Another important aspect is that it will be my first DSLR, so it should be user friendly. I know the D5000 is, but I don't know about the D5100.

Oh man, it's so difficult .. I'm tired of reading reviews :))


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:36 pm 
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The D5100 will be every bit as user friendly as the D5000, since it's been designed to directly replace it in that position in the consumer line up.

I would also recommend waiting and buying the D5100 - the D5000 has now been discontinued from what I understand (unlike the D90 which is still being sold). Launch prices are always high but they should come down after a few months to be more in line with what the D5000 is priced at now.

As I see it, the main differences between the D5100 and D5000 are:

- Better high ISO noise performance
- Much improved video recording
- Much improved screen, in terms of ergonomics, size and resolution (the D5000 screen is horrible to use in practise IMO)

Apart from that the rest looks largely the same as the D5000 - it doesn't get the vastly improved autofocus and metering systems of the D7000, and you shouldn't be overly concerned about 12MP vs 16MP resolution.

If you don't think either of those first two points listed above will be important to you (ISO and video), then it all comes down to the screen. If you're not used to the high resolution 920K dot screens on the higher end bodies then you may not even notice it, but I am so I found it wasn't very helpful at all for reviewing photos and being able to tell if they're sharp or not.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:19 pm 
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I was all set to purchase the D7000 as my first DSLR since I wanted some features that are not found in entry-level models. I'm very interested to see how the D5100 compares to the D7000. But it seems like this camera is catering to the video crowd, which is something that I'm not that interested in. Besides, I could always use my P100 for that.

Greetings from New York. Great site Gordon!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:44 pm 
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I wonder if Mr. Laing will rate the image quality of this camera at 19 out of 20, like the D5000. Higher than the D90 - D7000 and 300s!?

And a less speculative question: is VR really necessary or even useful while using an 18 - 55 with the above listed cameras.

~Thanks


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