Nikon D5100 In-depth Review
Body & Design
The most obvious difference between the D5100 and its predecessor is the addition of a side-hinged, fully articulated LCD screen. The D5000's LCD screen was articulated, but slightly awkwardly, via a hinge at the base of the camera's rear. This caused problems in some shooting positions, especially when the camera was mounted on a tripod. The D5100's screen is hinged in a more conventional way, along its side, which allows it to fold out from the left hand side of the camera. It is fully articulated, which means that the display can also be folded inwards, for protection.
The redesign of the LCD screen has forced some pretty major changes to the D5100's rear control layout. Because of the incorporation of a vertical hinge on its left hand side, the buttons that occupied this position on the D5000 have been moved to the right of the LCD. The play and magnification buttons are now ranged close to the 4-way controller, and the menu and delete buttons have swapped places. The 'i' button, which used to sit to the left of the LCD screen on the rear of the D5000 has moved too, and joins the AE-L/AF-L button on the top right of the camera, alongside the control dial.
The D5100 uses the same EN-EL14 battery as the D3100. It's a 7.6Wh battery that the D5100 manages to make last for 660 shots, according to CIPA standard tests (which compares favorably against the 550 achieved by the D3100).
Viewfinder specs and view
The D5100 has a very typical viewfinder specification for its class of camera. It offers 0.78x magnification and a 95% field of view, which is pretty standard. As you can see from the illustration below, the D5100's viewfinder is pretty much the same size as the Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i and Canon's entry-level EOS 1100D/Rebel T3.
One figure hidden away in every SLR's spec is the size of the viewfinder (often in a format that makes comparison between competing models impossible). The size of the viewfinder is a key factor in the usability of an SLR - the bigger it is, the easier it is to frame and focus your shots, and the more enjoyable and involving process it is.
Because of the way viewfinders are measured (using a fixed lens, rather than a lens of equivalent magnification), you also need to take the sensor size into account, so the numbers in the diagram below are the manufacturer's specified magnifications divided by the respective 'crop factors'.
|The Nikon D5100's viewfinder magnification is 0.78x, putting it in-line with its immediate peers once the crop-factor has been taken into account. This is not bad for an optical viewfinder at this price, but is much smaller than the 1.1x electronic viewfinder in Sony's competing A55 (Which would appear as 0.73x on this diagram).|
Most cameras at this level crop the frame slightly when you look through the viewfinder - in other words you get slightly more in the final picture than you see through the viewfinder. In common with most of its competitors the D5100 only shows 95% (vertically and horizontally) of the frame. What this actually means is that a small portion of the captured image doesn't show up in the viewfinder. The 'missing' 5% is illustrated below.
|Nikon D5100: 95% viewfinder.|
German brand Rollei has revived its iconic Rolleiflex twin lens reflex lineup with the new Rolleiflex Instant Kamera. This model—Rollei's first TLR camera in decades—retains the brand's iconic look but adds modern features including support for Fuji Instax Mini film.
We know more about the surface of the moon and Mars combined than we do about our own ocean floor, which is why NASA Ames scientist Ved Chirayath is developing a camera that can 'remove' the water from our seas to reveal 3D images of what’s below the waves.
Snapchat has just introduced version 2 of its Spectacles camera glasses, and they come with a bunch of new features, including: photo capture, water resistance that can handle shallow water snaps, a sleeker design, better battery, and more.
German lens manufacturer Meyer-Optik Goerlizt is expanding its range of F0.95 aperture lenses with the release of the Nocturnus 75mm. That makes it the world's fastest lens for that particular focal length.
“He was a pillar of Magnum, a godfather for a generation of younger photojournalists. An Iranian transplanted to Paris, he was a citizen of the world he relentlessly documented; its wars, its disasters, its revolutions and upheavals, and its beliefs – all his life. It is with immense sadness that we lose him."
When you're traveling with kids, it's not always practical to bring all of the camera gear you'd like to take. That's why DPR's Wenmei Hill packed the Panasonic ZS200 on a recent theme park trip.
Cinema camera manufacturer Arri has started a certified sales program for used Alexa bodies. The company says these pre-owned Alexa Plus and Classic models have gone through extensive servicing and testing before being put on sale.
Philips' new Momentum 436M6 43-inch Quantum Dot HDR monitor really deserves that designation. In fact, it's the first monitor in the world to earn VESA's DisplayHDR 1000 badge.
Find out how astrophysicis Donald Olson used a combination of topographic maps, astronomical software, and webcam archives to figure out exactly when and where Ansel Adams snapped two of his iconic photographs from Alaska.
Xiaomi claims its latest smartphone, the Mi 6X, competes with rivals such as the iPhone X or OPPO R15 in the camera department. Yet it costs just 1,600 Yuan (approximately $250 USD).
Adobe has put together a video tutorial that shows you how to create custom Creative Profiles in Adobe Camera Raw that can be used in ACR, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom Classic CC.
What do you get when you combine a Lamborghini Huracan with $500,000 dollar gimbal setup? You get "the world’s fastest purpose-built camera car."
The Japanese electronics manufacturer—one of the pioneers in the digital camera segment—is leaving the compact camera market behind after concluding that no market growth or increase in market share can be expected for the future.
You can now download a zip-file, including all images and videos you ever posted on Instagram, plus comments, messages, settings and other data in json-format.
The Pentax K-1 II features a hand-held Pixel Shift mode that creates a 'super resolution' image. Here's how to create a better-looking one in Photoshop using four files.
One of the weirdest copyright cases in the history of photography is finally over. The courts have sided with photographer David Slater and rejected PETA's claim that the monkey who took the infamous selfie has any claim over the photograph's copyright.
In his latest video, Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography shares his thoughts on how equipment nowadays is seen less as a means to an end, and more as the end in and of itself.
The latest update to Lightroom Classic CC brought with it a slew of major bugs, including some that would cause the program to crash. Adobe has now released an update to address these bugs, along with an apology.
The new drives come in the M.2 form factor and with the latest PCIe Gen 3×4 lane interface, offering NVM Express (NVMe) bandwidth. In other words: they're an interesting option for anyone editing large batches of photos or 4K/8K video.
Photographer Alexander Gee has created something pretty cool: the first (to our knowledge) E-Mount film camera. It's called LEX, and when it's finished, Gee intends to make the camera's design files open source so that anybody can built their own from scratch.
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a low-power HD video streaming method that could eventually allow tiny, maybe even battery-free wearable cameras to stream high definition video.
Nikon Corporation has warned investors that an assessment of its Belgium-based metrology business based is worth much less than expected, and that they should brace themselves for an 'extraordinary loss' of 10,343 million yen.
In 2009, photographer Michael Benanav joined a family from the nomadic Van Gujjar tribe on their annual journey from the lowland jungles of the Shivalik Hills to the alpine meadows of the Himalayas. This is the story behind the images he captured.
NVIDIA's Content-Aware Fill competitor is getting better and better. A new demo from shows how the latest version can fill in entire chunks of a person's face, or pieces of an image that are missing, with incredibly realistic results.
This hacked Polaroid Sonar Autofocus 5000 puts a digital spin on instant photography, but not in the way you're used to seeing. It's one of the most ambitious and well-executed DIY camera projects we've seen.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu has launched a new high-end model, the Meizu 15 Plus. And based on specs alone, the phone is well-worth a closer look for mobile photographers who are open to buying from a less established brand.
Open source photo editor GIMP is a popular (and free) Photoshop alternative, but can it really be used on a professional edit? In this video, photographer Shane Milton shows you that it most certainly can.
Photographer Jolyon Ralph pit the new Huawei P20 Pro against his beloved Canon 5DS R, and was "somewhat stunned" by how well the 40MP smartphone performed against the 50MP DSLR.
Thanks to a low-res proxy version of the Insta360 Pro 8K footage, stitching times and computer processing requirements are reduced significantly when editing 360° footage from the six-lens system.
DxO Labs has filed the initial proceedings to start the bankruptcy process in France. The company is currently under "judicial administration," which allows it some time to restructure and find a buyer before the liquidation process occurs.