The Nikon D5100 is able to shoot 1080p HD video at 24, 25 or 30fps. Movies are captured as MOV files using MPEG-4 AVCHD/H.264 codec. Uncommonly for an entry-level DSLR it also offers full-time contrast-detection autofocus during video recording, including face detection and 3D tracking, which produces smooth focusing results in static situations but struggles with switching focal planes when subjects or camera are moving.
Not perfect, but not too much to complain about either
Zooming while filming also results into less than smooth moments. Magnification changes are achieved by directly turning the lens barrel, but as this is not as smooth as that of a camcorder, as the zooming action will at times appear twitching or jumpy. The D5100's internal monaural microphone does a good job but the noise caused by the lens autofocus vibration is quite loud. Thankfully the D5100 has been designed with external stereo connectivity with a 3.5mm jack. Nikon also offers its own optional ME-1 stereo mic.
The D5100 is evidence of Nikon fine-tuning its entry-level range for a users that demand increasingly more complex, all-round DSLRs but expect greater ease of use and creative extras too. While I thoroughly enjoyed shooting with the D5100, the camera is by no means perfect. Lack of some of the most useful physical controls such as the a depth of field preview button may disappoint some users. Yet the D5100’s good battery life, versatility and ability to deliver virtually the same image quality of the D7000, adds up to a DSLR that is pretty good value for money. ®
Catherine Monfils is a professional photographer specialising in portraiture, lifestyle and fashion.
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Nikon D5100 16.2Mp DSLR
Avoiding small-sensor lenses is daft
Though I'm a Canon user rather than Nikon, I've used several EF-S lenses and still own a 10-22 which for many years was one of the best rectilinear ltra-wide angle lenses on the market. It is currently worth about 400 quid more than I paid for it.
The higher quality EF-S lenses (the 17-55 springs to mind) are pretty good, but the people who demanded 'full fram or nothing!' would get something like a 17-40L instead which was bigger, heavier, much more expensive, slower and non-stabilised. But hey, one day you'll get a full frame, right?
Until you do, feel free to artificially limit your gear. Me, I'll be taking nice photos with my 'inferior' gear.
D5000 vs D5100
As an owner of a D5000 (with the buttons down the left), I question the location of the delete button the the D5100! sounds like an accident waiting to happen.
The [i] button you use to switch to edit-mode to change your shooting settings has now migrated to top-centerish - in reach of the thumb??
Changing shooting settings on a camera this big is usually a two-handed affair. In fact, its faster to have the [i] on the left... it frees up your right thumb to work the D-pad and wheel to change the settings...
I fail to see how having a side-hinged LCD is "much more useful for video recording"? Why? because it _looks_ more like a handy-cam's side-mounted LCD?
Having seen some pics taken on the D5100 with the selective colour filter... it looks amazing. That is one feature I wish I had on the D5000 :)
Beefing up the LCD was also a good choice by Nikon.
I have to ask...
What on Earth is going on in sample shot #5? My first thought was that someone had missed an NSFW tag from this article. Or have I just revealed too much about the way my mind works?
An informative review is here :
Re: Avoiding small-sensor lenses is daft
I think you've mis-read my post. I'm not avoiding DX lenses because of a quality issue I'm opting for full frame lenses so that when I do upgrade I won't have to buy the same lenses again, bad choice of word.