Nikon Coolpix P5100 Review
In addition to the standard auto white balance, the Coolpix P5100 has five white balance presets (daylight, incandescent, fluorescent, cloudy, and flash) and a manual setting. To set the white balance manually, simply choose the PRE option and a small preview appears; point the camera at a white or gray object and press 'OK'. The manual white balance setting is remembered even if you switch the camera off. In use the auto WB did a good job when shooting in daylight (very occasionally scenes with an unusual expanse of color fooled the system, but this was thankfully rare). Things are a little less impressive in artificial light, often producing a fairly strong cast. As with most compact cameras in most instances it is better to use a WB preset (or manual WB) in such situations.
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red 4.1%, Blue -3.9%
|Incandescent - Incandescent preset WB
Red 6.9%, Blue -12.7%
|Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red 7.5%, Blue -15.3%
|Fluorescent - Fluorescent preset WB
Red 6.9%, Blue -8.8%
Flash has always been one of Nikon's strong points and the P5100's built-in flash does a pretty good job in both exposure and color terms, and offers a respectable 0.3 to 8M shooting range (at wideangle with auto ISO). We found the flash to be very reliable in typical shooting conditions (social occasions indoors in low light). There is a tendency to slight under exposure, though this can be fixed very easily in post-processing, and there is a slight warm tone, which is no bad thing if you mostly shoot people. We did not see any blown-out flash shots in our testing - overexposure is considerably more difficult to deal with than the slight underexposure seen here.
The In-Camera Red-Eye Fix (seen on many recent Nikon models) works well - far better than cameras that rely purely on a pre-flash system; the Nikon system actually finds and corrects red-eye using its on-board processor. The only downside to this highly effective red-eye removal system is a rather severe performance hit - with shot-to-shot times stretching to around seven seconds. Of course the big difference between the P5100 and 99% of the other compacts on the market is that you have the option to add a fully dedicated external flash thanks to the inclusion of a hot shoe connection.
|Skin tone - SLight warm cast,
very slight underexposure
|Color chart - Warm cast,
The P5100 has Nikon's 'D-Lighting' feature, designed to lighten shadows without affecting the highlights in the image. The effect - basically a form of in-camera contrast masking - is an option after an image has been taken with the results saved as a new file so your original isn't damaged. For high-contrast images the results are pretty impressive (though inevitably they come at a price - slightly higher shadow noise and some lost highlight detail). There is no control over the amount of lighting applied, but it tends to get the balance right, producing natural looking pictures without any tone mapping/high dynamic range creepiness.
40 mm equiv., 1/165 sec, F2.7
|After D-Lighting has been
As with previous Coolpix models the P5100 has a good macro mode, but one that performs at its best in a small region of the zoom (near the wide end), when you can get down as close as 4cm, capturing an area just over 45mm across. Distortion at the closest focus point is fairly low and is eliminated entirely by switching distortion control on. Edge-to-edge sharpness is reasonable. Close focus at the long end of the zoom is less impressive in terms of how close you can get (40cm), but the quality is good. As in many of our tests, we found the P5100 occasionally struggled to focus in macro mode.
|*1||Wideangle macro shown has distortion control turned on. Click here for the version with distortion control turned off.|
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
The P5000 set new standards for Nikon compact cameras in terms of distortion, with no measurable distortion at the long end of the zoom. The P5100 improves on this because the 1.4% barrel distortion at the wide end carried over from the P5000 can now be corrected for.
|Barrel distortion - 1.4% at Wide angle
Equiv. focal length: 35 mm
|Pincushion distortion - 0.0% at Telephoto
Equiv. focal length: 123 mm
The P5100 offers a distortion control mode that corrects for the distortion noted above. Some of Nikon's competitors apply a degree of distortion correction 'behind the scenes,' whereas it is an optional setting on the P5100. Turning it on adds to the processing the camera has to do on each image, so continuous shooting, bracketing and BSS modes are unavailable, making it somewhat restrictive. It also makes little difference at the long end of the zoom, which doesn't feature any distortion anyway, but corrects the barrel distortion at the wide-angle end of the lens near-perfectly. Our tests registered 0.1% pincushion distortion, which is within the limits of error of the test. Click here to see the chart. It is particularly useful in Macro mode, allowing undistorted images to be produced at even the closest focusing distance.
Specific Image Quality Issues
A camera with a compact sensor churning out 12 million pixels is unlikely to be a low-light superstar and the real-world photos we took prove this to be the case. At anything above moderate sensitivities the Nikon's output starts to get pretty grainy to an extent that even extensive post processing will struggle to save. To be fair, this is equally true of the other 12MP cameras on the market and the Nikon is fairly restrained with its noise reduction, so detail isn't just smudged away. At low ISO settings, the results are very good, with with the P5100 producing very natural looking colors and generally exposing very well. The images can look a little flat compared with other point-and-shoots because Nikon takes a fairly conservative approach to saturation and sharpening. This is ideal if you want to tweak the images on a computer later and can be boosted through the 'Optimize Image' menu if you want the 'straight-between-the-eyes' impact that other brands tend to offer by default. In fact we were actually very impressed with the natural color and smooth tonality of the images, along with the clean, artefact-free appearance (at the lowest ISO settings) - these are the kind of results SLR users will feel right at home with.
The lens is pretty slow at the long end of the zoom, requiring slow shutter speeds or higher ISO. Thankfully the very effective VR image stabilization system does a good job of helping keep results sharp as the shutter speed drops. Other than that, its performance impressive, with very little in the way of chromatic aberration or fringing. There is a little corner softness but you have to really hunt around for it. Diffraction begins to impact image quality at all but the widest of apertures, with fine detail starting to disappear as soon as the lens is stopped-down to small apertures. Again, this problem is caused by small sensors running into the limits of physics, so is just as much of an issue for other small sensor cameras, particularly those with relatively slow lenses.
Highlight clipping (and exposure issues)
The P5100 generally meters very well, with only the very occasional bit of overexposure in difficult-to-expose scenes with extremes of light and shade. Impressively, this was only the case in two or three of more than 400 images we took during the test of the camera.
|35 mm equiv., F5.4||35 mm equiv., F5.4|
|35 mm equiv., F5.4||35 mm equiv., F5.4|
As mentioned above there is some purple fringing, but you need to look long and hard to find it in 99% of shots - even those taken against the light. Even then it's so mild as to be insignificant. This example comes from a shot in which almost any digital camera would produce fringing.
|100% crop||35 mm equiv., F4.8|
|.....the ROYAL LOTUS 2017/08/25-NEW YORK..... by Chiwat|
from Wild flowers
|Coffee and Mango cake by clicker88|
from Another cup of coffee
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.