Nikon D5100 16.2 Megapixel Digital SLR Reviews Roundup

On April 5 2011, Nikon announced the new D5100 DSLR camera. It features the same DX-format 16.2 Megapixels CMOS sensor as the D7000, EXPEED 2 image processing, an improved vari-angle screen, special effects mode and ISO sensitivity range of 100-25600. The D5100 can capture still images at a rate of 4 fps (frames per second), and can record high definition HD video at resolutions up to 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, using MPEG-4 AVCHD / H.264 compression format. Full-time autofocus is available in the D5100's live view and video modes, including a face detection function which can locate up to 35 faces in a scene simultaneously. Other key features of the D5100 include an 11-point AF system, High dynamic range (HDR) imaging capability, Active D-Lighting and seven different special effects for stills and movies. The selection of effects available includes what Nikon is calling Night Vision mode, which allows shooting at ISO sensitivities up to 102,400 equivalent, with a limitation that the resulting image or movie is monochromatic. The Nikon D5100 ships in the US market from mid-April 2011, priced at around $800 body-only, or $900 in a bundle with the AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens.

Nikon D5100 Sample Photos on Flickr

Nikon D5100 Camera Reviews Roundup

DPI - Jan 28 2012
"The Nikon D5100 is a digital SLR that offers plenty to satisfy the needs of buyers looking to get a big sensor interchangeable lens camera for a relatively affordable price (under a thousand bucks/Euros). The D5100 has a 16 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor, 3 inch swivel LCD (that's both sharp and great in viewability) and is compatible with Nikon's full r..." More »
Not Rated
NeoCamera - Aug 24 2011
"The D5100 has a reliable and generally accurate exposure system. With most scenes, exposure compensation is not required and burnt highlights are rare. The metering system is not entirely conservative, so negative EC is sometimes needed to avoid blown out areas in backgrounds. There are 6 Picture Control styles, each can be modified in terms of sharpne..." More »
100out of 100
RegHardware - Aug 06 2011
"Image quality comes very close to that of the D7000 with pictures showing very good level of detail and wide dynamic range. Colours are natural yet rich, with beautiful saturation and punch. Metering was mostly spot on, although the camera has a tendency to slightly over-expose skies in certain situations, as the prevalently light colours massage-scene test..." More »
80out of 100
PhotographyBay - Jul 19 2011
"From a prosumer perspective, the D5100's movie mode is a failure.  It lacks any sense of intuitive controls or true manual exposure control.  While there are tricks to get the exposure settings close to where you want it, reliability repeating those settings is an operational nightmare. For example, the aperture cannot be adjusted while recor..." More »
Not Rated
Imaging Resource - Jul 15 2011
"When we reviewed the preceding D5000 model two years ago, we found a lot to like, with a combination of great image quality and a fairly rich feature set, but we found ourselves questioning Nikon's choice of a bottom-mounted LCD articulation mechanism for several reasons. While it made shooting over your head or low to the ground much more feasible than in..." More »
Not Rated
GearGuide - Jun 23 2011
"Two years in the making, the Nikon D5100 isn't a revolutionary change to its predecessor, but in this rare case, just on image quality alone, and especially with the addition of the excellent 921K vari-angle LCD, the D5100 sure seems like a much, much better camera. One of the things that always bothered us about the D5000 was the poor LCD and and not so gr..." More »
80out of 100
pdn - Jun 16 2011
"The Nikon D5100 (5.0 x 3.8 x 3.1 inches) is even smaller than its predecessor, the D5000, and most pros will find its build just too flimsy and toy-like to use as a main camera. This is really a DSLR for an aspiring photographer, a student, or your mom and dad if they've suddenly decided to become more than just the family shutterbug. Having said that,..." More »
Not Rated
MacWorld - Jun 15 2011
"The D5100 produces excellent still images, particularly when manual controls are used and the appropriate Picture Control settings are selected and tweaked. Natural-looking but well-saturated colors are the norm, and exposures, even under challenging conditions, are almost always accurate with good dynamic range. The latter is often made even better by impl..." More »
80out of 100
Digital Camera Info - Jun 05 2011
"In many ways the Nikon D5100 is what the Nikon D5000 should have been: an evolution of the D90, made lighter and cheaper, with video recording capabilities that stretch beyond gimmickry. While the D7000 is more closely the direct replacement for the D90, the D5100 offers the same image sensor, with improved full-time live view autofocus, and a flip out LCD..." More »
87out of 100
Digital Camera Resource Page - Jun 02 2011
"Camera performance was solid in most respects. The D5100 is ready to start taking photos as soon as you flip the power switch. Autofocus speeds when shooting with the viewfinder were quite good, only crossing the one second mark when the camera had to use its AF-assist lamp in low light situations. Live view AF is another story -- you'll wait for 1 - 3 seco..." More »
Not Rated
Camera Labs - May 31 2011
"As I said at the top of this page, the Nikon D5100 represents a decent upgrade over its predecessor, and while it lacks the manual movie exposure control of the D7000, the choice of multiple 1080p frame rates, live special effects and fully articulated screen arguably make it the company's most confident and flexible movie-making DSLR to date. Certainly if..." More »
86out of 100
Trusted Reviews - May 12 2011
"Despite using the cheaper metering module of the D3100, the D5100 remains reliable in all lighting conditions, with no tendency to either over- or under-expose. When faced with high-contrast scenes beyond the spectrum of its dynamic range, Nikon's proprietary Active D-Lighting technology can be engaged to preserve more highlight detail. There are four steps..." More »
80out of 100
PhotoReview Australia - May 09 2011
"Still images from the review camera were characteristic of Nikon's DSLRs. Exposure metering was consistently competent, regardless of the metering pattern selected and exposures were usually well-positioned. The Active D-Lighting function ensured highlight and shadow details were recorded adequately in most JPEG shots, although the auto setting was unable t..." More »
85out of 100
Pocket-lint - Apr 28 2011
"The ISO settings run from 100-6400, followed by "Hi" settings which will see you up to ISO 25,600. There is an option for high ISO noise reduction in the menu. There is a fair difference between Off and High HR, but ultimately the smoothing does remove some detail from your shot and at the highest levels noise is still very obvious. Auto ISO is in..." More »
80out of 100
Photography BLOG - Apr 27 2011
"The Nikon D5100 successfully bridges the gap between the beginner-friendly approach of the D3100 and the more complex D7000, with the latter's fantastic 16 megapixel sensor being the icing on the proverbial cake. The D5100 does have a few minor handling issues, most notably the positioning of the Live View switch and the secondary controls on the rear, and..." More »
90out of 100
dpreview - Apr 26 2011
"Image quality is definitely the D5100's trump card. It offers effectively the same image quality as the higher-end D7000, at a lower cost, and it's hard to argue that this is not a good thing. Since we're comparing the D5100 to the D7000, it is also worth noting that of the thousands of frames that we've shot with the D5100, we haven't seen the same overexp..." More »
76out of 100
TechRadar - Apr 22 2011
"Nikon is aiming the D5100 at novice photographers who want to take their hobby more seriously and want a versatile camera that will enable them to take more creative images. The Nikon D5100 is a great choice for these users, but it is also worthy of consideration by more experienced photographers as well. There's plenty of control available over the ap..." More »
80out of 100
NikonRumors - Apr 19 2011
"My first impressions of the Nikon D5100: the camera is very compact  - it handles like a big point and shoot model (think Coolpix P500). The viewfinder is small, it appears even smaller than other DX bodies like the D300s for example. The AF points are actually dots, good that they are illuminated otherwise they will be hard to see. High ISO performanc..." More »
Not Rated
pixiq - Apr 12 2011
"Image quality looks damn similar to the D7000, which is to say great. But I what I really really love about this camera is the small size AND the articulating screen. It wasn't until I started using it that I discovered how useful it can be, and for shooting video, that screen is a joy. It makes doing floor level shots, flying a camera on a stabilizer, and..." More »
Not Rated
CNET US - Apr 08 2011
"The back controls are laid out in a typical fashion. The information edit button--not to be confused with the info button on the top--brings up the interactive information display where you adjust most of your shooting settings. My only gripe: there's no way to lock the navigation switch. Since I shoot in single-point area AF mode, I frequently moved the AF..." More »
70out of 100
PhotoRadar - Apr 06 2011
"Like other manufacturers, Nikon has a habit of using the same sensor in a number of its cameras. This means that users can be confident of getting the same image quality with different DSLRs and they just need to choose the range of features and level of control they wish to have. The Nikon D5100 has the same 16.2 million pixel CMOS sensor and EXPEED 2 proc..." More »
Not Rated
CNET UK - Apr 06 2011
"The D5100 shoots 1080p high-definition video at up to 30 frames per second. Video clips can be up to 20 minutes long and are stored in the H.264 format. There's an HDMI output so you can watch videos and photo slide shows on your hi-def TV. Nikon has introduced a separate stereo microphone alongside the D5100 to make sure the sound quality matches up t..." More »
Not Rated
Amateur Photographer - Apr 06 2011
"Nikon appears to be taking video very seriously across the range and the D5100 includes a mic input to allow the use of their new ME-1 external microphone that has also just been announced. In terms of features the D5100 shares the D-lighting functionality from the D3100. There are also six settings in picture controls, a new HDR mode, which combines t..." More »
Not Rated
dpreview - Apr 06 2011
"With the D5100, Nikon has introduced what it's calling 'Effects' mode - a series of special effect filters that can be applied to both stills and video. In this respect they are a lot like the 'Art Filters' introduced by Olympus back in November 2008. There are seven options that, as is often the case with such things, vary in terms of how useful/attractive..." More »
Not Rated
ePhotoZine - Apr 06 2011
"The camera's ISO ranges from ISO100 to ISO3200/6400 with Hi modes of 12800 and 25,600 available in normal use, and up to ISO102,400 setting available in the Night Vision scene mode (not a typo!). This should enable shots to be taken at night of wildlife or in other situations where you simply would not have otherwise been able to get a photo without using f..." More »
Not Rated
Trusted Reviews - Apr 06 2011
"DSLR video enthusiasts are well catered for with an improved movie mode that offers 1920x1080 Full-HD recording at up to 30 frames per second, in H.264 MOV format. Autofocus remains operational while recording is in process and it's possible to attach a stereo microphone using the connection panel on the side of the camera. Mindful of the increasing popular..." More »
Not Rated

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1822 user reviews

User Review of the camera - Nikon D5100

  • 2014-04-12 07:00
    Overexposed, Amazon Customer
    All images are generally overexposed, whether in full auto mode or in manual modes using the meter. I am losing color depth and nearly every image requiring editing. The only exception are some of my daughter's portraits. She like the 60s dusty look. I'm trying to research whether or not there is a global adjustment.
    All else is great. The controls are intuitive, the lenses are pretty good for a starter kit. The vibration reduction, auto focus and other helps make it easy to get great photos. If only I could get rich, balanced color and light.
  • 2014-04-11 07:00
    Piece of Garbage (really expensive piece of garbage), G. Antoine "Columbia G"
    As other reviewers have noted the camera worked fine for a while, then started producing black images. Took it in for "repair". It worked again for a couple days, then the problem resurfaced. Its been 'reset' so many times now that it doesn't work at all. I am HIGHLY PISSED. I spent so much money on this camera and cannot take a basic picture and cannot rely on it working from one minute to the next. DO NOT PURCHASE THIS PRODUCT.
  • 2014-04-08 07:00
    Amazing, Lisa
    This really proved to be a great choice, over Canon. It's everything I expected it to be. So many functions. I'm getting a lot of use out of it. Recommend to everyone.
  • 2014-04-07 07:00
    I love this camera, ruben perez
    is my first camera with so many features and quality I think the truth is far superior to its competition although some differ from this truth I am very happy with the results
  • 2014-04-06 07:00
    Fantasticly priced camera, dan
    Got this for quite a good price for a new Nikon. Standard lens so I will buy a better lens with the money I saved. Then as I get better at my photography I will upgrade the body and have quality lenses to use with it.
  • 2014-04-06 07:00
    Great Camera, Todd Haas
    This is a very nice camera. It has the Nikon name on it. I would expect nothing less! I would recommend this camera to my friends.
  • 2014-04-06 07:00
    Great camera, have been having fun with it for months., lauren
    I love this camera and am still learning all it's features. The pictures are amazing, so glad I purchased it.
  • 2014-03-31 07:00
    Great camera package, William Fouty
    Great camera. Ive had Nikons in the past and have never been dissappointed. The two lense combination is perfect for a wide range of photography.
  • 2014-03-31 07:00
    Highly recommend camera, lenses and seller, Bad Bob
    First of all, I'm very pleased with the camera and lenses. It's more than meeting my expectations for an entry-level DSLR. I'm also very satisfied with the service provided by the seller. My order was processed and shipped promptly. I paid only for standard shipping and would have had it in my hands by the end of the third business day had someone been home to sign for it.
  • 2014-03-22 07:00
    accessories are not original, emmanuel jose
    the camera is in good condition and new. Used
    the lens looks and I feel cheated with
    accessories are not original. and not brought
  • 2014-03-21 07:00
    well, not too bad, Dakota J. Doerr
    For the price, it's not an awful camera. This was my first dslr & it lasted me a long while. Great starter camera. It however does like to freeze when flipping through screens but that's not that terrible. The auto focus is mediocre. The flip out screen is handy for a LOT of reasons and i will miss that when i upgrade. Overall, worth the buy. You probably won't get a nicer one for the price
  • 2014-03-18 07:00
    my baby, Vil
    these item are very helpful i use them every day to go about my every day life whether, thanks for your service.
  • 2014-03-15 07:00
    AMAZING, MkayKid
    I got this camera a few months ago and I have to say, this is one of the best beginners DLSR cameras out there. The interface is simple and with enough practice, simple to understand what the numbers mean. I love the swivel LCD screen (it has come in handy when filming and taking pictures). I would recommend this camera to any beginner out there looking to go from a point and shoot to an SLR camera. The packaging was damaged but the actual box the equipment came in wasn't. I am very pleased with this purchase.
  • 2014-03-15 07:00
    Fantastic camera for the money, Mark C
    This must be the best value camera, constantly providing exceptional pictures in all types of situations. If you are looking for a great camera at a great price, look no further.
  • 2014-03-14 07:00
    Great camera, Anthony Eivins
    Before purchasing this camera I had a canon rebel and I like this much more. Great Quality, lots of neat settings, interval timer is pretty cool.
  • 2014-03-11 07:00
    Love it, Maria
    Simply love it. I consider this camera my favorite asset. I didn't pay as much and it works quite professionally.
    I recommend it to anyone who is starting in this photography world.
  • 2014-03-09 08:00
    Nice Camera, A. Herzog "AH"
    Delivered as promised and, while packaged funny,seemed to be what was advertised. I've used it a couple of times and it has performed as expected. It's a gamble you take any time you purchase gear that doesn't come right out of the Nikon box.
  • 2014-03-08 08:00
    great buy!, Jasmine Miller
    I bought this camera as a back-up to my D7000. It is much lighter/compact, which is great when i want to use the camera for personal use/family outings. I both love and hate that the display screen folds out- its great for live view when i do high angle shots (i'm super short, so i have to hold it above my head) and I can still see what i'm taking a photo of. what i hate about this screen is that its either out/open to the side, or closed and you cant see it. i wish it could flip around and so you can still see the display while its flat against the camera. I have worries that it will get hit at a rowdy wedding and break right off. besides that I love this camera so far! Also love that I got two lenses with this bundle, mine even came with a lens hood which was nice.
  • 2014-03-08 08:00
    Better than my old, D. Bisbee
    Takes GREAT photos and loving the features. I haven't used the video feature just yet. Big upgrade from my old Nikon D60
  • 2014-03-03 08:00
    Great Little Camera!!, Stewie510
    This camera is small but packs a punch!! I am a professional photographer and I use this camera as a remote and a backup!! I got the 50mm F1.8G for it and it is a beauty!! This would be a great camera for Mom or kid. I am also a photojournalism teacher/ Instructor and I would recommend this setup for any of my students/ adults/ kids wanting to learn photography.
    I would always recommend to people to by the lens and the camera body separately you will be happier in the long run with this camera if you stay away from the kit that comes with a lens or lenses... The F1.8 aperture on the 50mm is so AWESOME it will change your religion!! Just kidding But it is really great and will open so many shooting environments for you.