The Nikon D5100 is said to have brought about a new age in the digital SLR (DSLR) evolution. This camera is also major competition for Canon EOS Rebel T3i. Unlike the T3i, it is smaller and I feel sleeker too. Nikon has a class of its own when it comes to DSLRs. The Nikon D5100 measures 5.0 x 3.8 x 3.1 inches (127 x 97 x 79mm), and weighs 19.9 ounces (565g, with battery and card, without lens).
The 12 megapixel CMOS sensor found in the D5000 is replaced by 16.2 megapixel CMOS chip. The Nikon D5100 is capable of providing a Live View feed, recording Full HD video and capturing full-resolution stills at 4 frames per second for around 100 highest quality JPEGs or 20 RAW images. The Expeed 2 processor saves the raw images as 14-bit files. The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR kit lens that Nikon supplied compliments the D5100 very nicely. It also gives the very significant benefit of Vibration Reduction. 18-55mm VR lens is pretty affordable, and a must have for both, novice and old hands. The camera also has a side articulated, 3 inch LCD monitor, which has a resolution of 921k dots. This makes using the Live View much more fun, and manually focusing easier. The screen hinged on the left also makes it easier to use the camera when on the tripod.
The amazingly wide ISO range of 100-6400 is further expandable to an incredible 25,600 ISO. This allows photographers to shoot easily both outdoor and indoor low-light situations, even handheld with low noise. Furthermore, Nikon’s Active D-lighting feature helps keep shadows and highlights consistent for even exposures, even when the subject is backlit. Besides this you can apply the Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, or Landscape settings using the Picture Control System. It’s about time you bring out your creative side! Even though the White Balance of the 5100D is a bit inferior to 5000D, the image quality is insanely good. You can feel the colors firing out of the images. And the sharpness and clarity can’t get any better. The metering system is also more sophisticated now. The Nikon’s 3D Color Matrix Metering system employed has 420-pixel RGB light meter that covers most of the Nikon D5100’s image area.
The Nikon D5100 is amazing. It is truly a complete powerhouse. I would say it is perfect for action photographers, or for those who can spend a lot and are keen to capture everything perfectly.