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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2134 user reviews


User Review of the camera - Nikon D5100

  • 2014-07-24 07:00
    Awesome Camera (watch the video link), Brian K. Mitchell "Brian"
    This is awesome camera. Even though new models have come out this is still an outstanding camera. The sensor in this camera is the same as the legendary D7000 has in it. It is capable of professional quality output in the hands of a skilled shooter. If you don't need weather sealed body or not shooting weddings every weekend this camera should do nicely for you. You can buy one used on the cheap. Watch this video to see what this camera can do. All the hot air aside the video will speak for itself.
    http://youtu.be/6yW2Aqy5gO8
  • 2014-07-21 07:00
    A great digital camera after decades with film SLRs, Daniel Parmelee
    Verified Purchase(
    We've used this camera for about 1 1/2 years now! Love it! It has worked flawlessly for us and we've shot thousands of pictures. The lens is sharp and easy to use, and easy to get into manual focus when the situation requires. Autofocus sensitivity is very good. We also got the 55-300mm lens. Shifting between them is simple. Most of our shooting is hand-held, and using shutter priority in low light levels keeps the image stable. The grip is very comfortable, and the display is good even in bright sunlight. We do a lot of chimping just to be sure we are getting the picture we are expecting. The battery is good and we usually shoot at least 500 pictures before even thinking about recharging. Still learning and experimenting with numerous options. A great camera, and we have not ever been unhappy with our choice!
  • 2014-07-15 07:00
    Takes a good memory., J. W. Rittenhouse II
    Verified Purchase(
    My boys are taking some very high quality photos with the two the bought. Good multifunctional body if your memory is good enough to use it. A lot of bells and whistles.
  • 2014-07-14 07:00
    Five Stars, mpimienta
    Verified Purchase(
    Excellent camera has many features, the photos are excellent, very crisp. The product arrived in the estimated time.
  • 2014-07-12 07:00
    A Great Beginner-Level Camera on a Tight Budget..., Michael A. Brown
    Verified Purchase(
    I had this camera for 16 months now. I wanted a affordable camera had excellent ISO performance without using noise reduction. It is an excellent camera. Before I made the decision of buying this camera, beside this camera, I was looking at buying the Nikon D3200. I take test images with both camera related to ISO performance without noise reduction. To my preference, both cameras did an excellent job up to ISO 3200.
    The Nikon D5100 had some advantages that the D3200 does not have like 1/3 increments in ISO, so with the D5100, I can go up to ISO 4000 and still get a great image. With a photograph that was taken at ISO 3200, I was still able to print it at 24"x 36" without visible noise even looking at the print at 1" away.
    The other things that I like about this camera are that it has built-in HDR and bracketing.
    The only CON is that the does not have a built-in commander to control off-camera flashes. I would go to the Nikon D7000 series or the Nikon D90.
    For 98% of the time, I am taking photographs, but when taking videos, the internal microphone picks up the sound of the autofocus motor in the lens, which is annoying when playing back the video. When focusing, It also hunts a little bit. For better audio, I would highly recommend buying a high-quality external microphone like a Rode microphone.
    For a beginner in photography on a tight budget, I would recommend this camera.
  • 2014-07-12 07:00
    Nikon D5100 16.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera, Lifeloving
    Verified Purchase(
    Nikon D5000 camera. Excellent choice for the begin in to mid range level photographer. Lots to learn with the camera. Can make the camera be as simple as you want it to be or use it to your advantage.
  • 2014-07-11 07:00
    Excellent Choice, psywhat
    Verified Purchase(
    Fantastic camera. If you are an amateur looking for a very high quality "professional" type camera, this one does everything you need. Plus, price is way better than others in the class.
  • 2014-07-07 07:00
    Five Stars, A Reading Teacher
    Verified Purchase(
    Great camera and a great price on Amazon.
  • 2014-07-06 07:00
    My favorite budget dslr., SjC
    Verified Purchase(
    My favorite camera this far. Paired with a nice Sigma all purpose lens. It is a better value even over the D5300 in my opinion. Two of my friends purchased as well and they love it.
  • 2014-07-05 07:00
    I've shot 2 friends wedding and the pics are great. For those who are saying it shoots black ..., jimmy pereira
    Verified Purchase(
    Loooove get it, compact, light weight, loving this I take it every where. I've shot 2 friends wedding and the pics are great. For those who are saying it shoots black pics and that they needed to send it back, ummmm change your ISO setting and shutter speed!!!! I say that because when I got mine I had the same issue and with the very little dslr knowledge that I had I was able to correct my "black" pictures
  • 2014-07-03 07:00
    Fantastic starter camera, Amazon Kevin
    I'm still pretty new to photography and wanted a camera that wouldn't completely break the bank. There are a lot of functions on Nikons so do your diligence in learning them. I love traveling and wanted a lightweight camera that will take quality pictures. I think I've got it.
  • 2014-06-14 07:00
    Great Camera, Dyneisha Gray
    Verified Purchase(
    I previously order a Nikon via another source and was highly disappointed but when I received this camera it meet all my expectations, it got to me fast and it was a great price. Can't say how their customer service is cause i didn't have to use it. I would definitely recommend this seller.
  • 2014-06-11 07:00
    Fantastic Camera, Ryan
    Verified Purchase(
    I can't say enough good things about this camera. I'm a beginner and the functions have been easy to pick up. The pictures that I've been taking have been excellent quality.
  • 2014-05-24 07:00
    Nikon 5100, wayne a. mitchell
    Verified Purchase(
    The camera does every thing I'm expecting from this nikon product ! I'm still learning about it. I've gotten some real nice shots so far.
  • 2014-05-22 07:00
    I love it., Phi Beta Sigma Man "300 rider"
    Verified Purchase(
    This is one of the best buys that I have purchased on Amazon in the past 3 years. I love this camera as I make a of videos and the swivel screen helps ensure that you are able to get awkward situations (such as the need to put the camera over your head or down to the florr)
  • 2014-05-20 07:00
    Great camera, prabasini
    Verified Purchase(
    I am an amateur photographer, and the D5100 meets my needs. I am satisfied about 99% of my results. Interchanging the lens is very easy and quick. I had a Nikon N 90S , and a Nikon F-2N. I am happy with all three.
  • 2014-05-12 07:00
    It's a good camera, Kim Braden
    Verified Purchase(
    I am semi-new at photography and want to learn EVERYTHING. I have a D3200 that I have been learning on and decided to try others. I bought this camera and another camera at the same time. This is a step up from the D3200 and is a really nice camera. I like it a lot. I would recommend this camera.
  • 2014-05-09 07:00
    a perfect introduction to Dslr camera, pteli78
    Verified Purchase(
    i love the pictures this camera has. we went from a point-shoot to digital SLR camera. i love the quality of pictures. Amazon had the best price amongst the other retaliers also back then.
  • 2014-05-09 07:00
    Flawless camera, Carlos
    Verified Purchase(
    This is my first DSL-R Camera, and come with a perfect... I said PERFECT combination of lense. Is an excellent camera. Seller was very responsible and fulfilled in deadlines and deliver a brand new product.
  • 2014-05-03 07:00
    Great!! Dont have to think, phuchi hemu
    Verified Purchase(
    Amazing Camera. We all loved it so much. Buy it if u r planning. Thanks . Happy to have this