When you hear the word Nikon, what comes in to your mind is DSLR camera. Nikon has been consistently putting out the best DSLR cameras for several years now that it has become synonymous with quality. Among its best releases is the D5100. It is a 16.2 megapixel camera that has the capability to record full HD videos at a 1920×1080 resolution on a 25 frames per second rate. Imagine those specifications. You can shoot a whole movie with those specs. In fact, most indie film producers did. There are a lot of short films floating around on the internet that were shot using a D5100.
What most users are raving about the D5100 is the ease of use of this camera. It is slightly larger than a D3100 but considerably smaller than the huge D7000 units which put it right into the sweet spot in terms of weight and size. This camera offers a pentamirror viewfinder, single control dial and no built-in autofocus motor. The handling of this camera is relatively good. It also remarkably puts up consistent image quality results despite the scenario you are shooting, be it indoors or outdoors.
Let’s talk about some the redeeming qualities of the Nikon D5100. Among those is the video quality it produces. This camera can shoot at a 1920×1080 resolution which is a full HD resolution which is pretty standard nowadays for high resolution videos. The built-in mic of this camera is only capable of recording monoaural sound but is offset by the external microphone input which allows you to plug in a better quality external microphone. High definition videos usually take up 100 mb per minute which will allow this camera to take up to 2 gigabytes of footage theoretically. Another redeeming quality of this camera is the design. Unlike its previous counterparts, the D5100 is sleeker and more aesthetically pleasing than let’s say a D90 or a D7000. It follows the conventional design of a DSLR where the shooting mode dial is on top which allows you to switch between manual, Shutter or Aperture priority or other modes that you regularly see in DSLR cameras.
Now let’s talk about the juicy stuff: the image quality. This camera produces images of exceptional quality. It produces noise-free JPEG images at ISO 100-1600, with ISO 3200 also looking quite good. ISO 6400 only shows minimal noise and no grainyness, while the fastest settings of ISO 12800 and 25600 are much noisier and suffer from losing some of the fine details and a loss of saturation, but the images are still very much usable for small prints and web use. Red eye is not a common instance when you use the built-in flash of this camera and if it does happen, you can easily correct it using the Red-Eye reduction mode of the camera. This camera doesn’t have the body integral image stabilization that some other cameras have but the lens kit that came with it(the bundle it comes with upon purchase) has vibration reduction features which is Nikon’s proprietary technology. This technology allows you to take sharper images at slower shutter speed even when it is hand held.
So let’s summarize what we can say about the Nikon D3100. Overall, this camera has first-rate photo quality with a good quality noise profile, a sleek shooting design for both videos and photos, and a wide set of practical features that you can fully take advantage easily. Although it’s not the best camera out there based on any individual aspect of the camera, it still provides a solid combination of features, image quality, design, and performance. It is indeed a great camera for its price.