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Compared to... Nikon Coolpix P5000

We'll start by seeing how the Coolpix P5100 compares with its immediate predecessor, the P5000. Although the lens is the same the P5100 has an extra two million pixels and a new 'Expeed' processing system (or 'concept' as Nikon says, which could of course just mean a new name).

In this section we have included comparisons at ISO 64 and ISO 400 - to see the P5100's higher ISO settings see later in the review.

Studio scene comparison (ISO 64)

  • Nikon Coolpix P5100: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 64, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation

  • Nikon Coolpix P5000: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 64, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Nikon Coolpix P5100
Nikon Coolpix P5000
ISO 64, 1/40 sec, F4.4
ISO 64, 1/43 sec, F4.4
3,785 KB JPEG
2,420 KB JPEG

At their lowest ISO settings, the P5000 and P5100 produce fairly similar results - the P5100 images are just a little larger, and the lens appears to be the limiting factor; it's hard to find much more real detail. That said the P5100 thankfully continues the P5000's light-handed approach to image processing, with low sharpening, muted colors and a very clean overall appearance. Increasing the sharpness and saturation settings in-camera produces images with more 'pop', or you can of course fine tune the output in post processing. It's fairly unusual these days to see image processing applied with such a subtle touch, and though the result is images that might look a little flat and/or soft at first glance, the more experienced user will appreciate the cleaner starting point and more pliable output, which is much more 'SLR like' than many competitors.

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