Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera

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76% Silver Award
The D5100 is without doubt one of the most compelling products in its class, and offers an excellent mixture of straightforward handling, a well-targeted feature set, and excellent video and still image quality.”

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Key Features

  • 16.2MP DX-format CMOS sensor
  • 11-point AF system (with 3D tracking)
  • 4 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 1080p HD video
  • 14-bit Raw shooting
  • 3.0 inch side-articulated LCD with 920,000 dots
  • ISO 100-6400, expandable to 25600
  • Full-time AF in live view
  • In-camera effects

Product Description

The Nikon D5100 sits between entry-level and enthusiast-focused DSLR models in the Nikon lineup. Anyone who shoots video can appreciate the D5100's 1080p video recording with H.264 compression and a fully articulated 3.0 inch LCD with 920,000 dots. The D5100 offers impressive dynamic range capabilities thanks to its 14-bit Raw shooting, a feature it shares with the semi-pro Nikon D7000. Active D-Lighting, Nikon's highlight and shadow detail optimization tool, is available, and enabling the feature doesn't require a significant trade-off in noise performance or continuous shooting speed. In-camera effects like "Color Sketch" and "Miniature Mode" can be applied to stills and videos.


Body type
Body type Compact SLR
Max resolution 4928 x 3264
Other resolutions 3696 x 2448, 2464 x 1632
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Expeed 2
ISO Auto, 100- 6400 (plus 12800, 25600 with boost)
White balance presets 12
Custom white balance Yes (5)
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, Normal, Basic
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom No
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 11
Lens mount Nikon F
Focal length multiplier 1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fully articulated
Screen size 3
Screen dots 921,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT LCD monitor
Live view Yes (With contrast-detect AF, face detection and subject tracking)
Viewfinder type Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage 95%
Viewfinder magnification 0.78×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes (Pop-up)
Flash range 12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
Continuous drive 4.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30, 25, 24 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
Format MPEG-4
Microphone Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (Mini Type C)
Wireless Eye-Fi Connected
Remote control Yes (Optional ML-L3)
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion EN-EL14 rechargeable battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries) 560 g (1.23 lb / 19.75 oz)
Dimensions 128 x 97 x 79 mm (5.04 x 3.82 x 3.11)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS Optional
GPS notes GP-1


DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
Silver Award
Silver Award
76 %
Overall Score

The D5100 sits just above the D3100 in Nikon's product lineup, and as such, it combines its younger sibling's ease of use with a slightly more advanced feature set. The D5100's trump card, however, is its advanced 16 MP sensor, inherited from the D7000. Judged on its own merits, the D5100 is a great camera, but we're concerned that an enthusiastic beginner might outgrow it faster than some of the competition.

Good For

Effective and easy to use features make the D5100 ideal for everyday photography/videography

Not So Good For

Shooting fast action

User Reviews

4.33712 out of 5 stars
  • Tudor Nculaescu, Feb 12, 2013 GMT:

    I own this machine 9-10 months and prefer to leave you to decide: p You can join my site to see some of what I did with it. I have a 18-105 lens

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  • Paone, Sep 28, 2012 GMT:
    Experimental Photographer.? Good camera to have.

    This camera is a complete package for those who is looking for a very good camera now and wants to upgrade with additional lenses in future. Cannot say 649$ is cheap but its definitely worth every cent. Pros: Proper keys in place makes it easy to handle. When compared to canon 550d this is really fast even with flash and i never saw it showing "Busy" because of flash getting heated up. Auto-focus is just awesome than any other cameras in this range. 11 dots. Fast enough. Cons: Max shutter ...

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  • ushibaba, Jun 10, 2012 GMT:
    Nikon D5100 for starters

    Switching over to a DSLR from Point and shoot can be a bit difficult, lets face it; you have to learn to crawl before you stand up and walk. This is my First DSLR Camera, Before this Camera I was Using some Sony and Olympus Point and Shoot camera's for any kind of family event or gatherings and even before that I used a Minolta SLR XG-9 Camera, which My dad gave as a gift to me.. So before switching over to a Canon EOS 550D (Rebel T2i / Kiss X4) or Nikon D5100, I had the chance to use a Canon ...

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  • Gidenkidenk, Jun 1, 2012 GMT:
    Great for a beginner, also a great value

    As a replacement, this camera shines. As for the price, you can't beat it. Having the same sensor as the D7000, image quality is excellent everywhere from bright light to low light without flash. You get very clear and perfectly colored images, and the effects are also fun to play with. Full HD is very good for a camera that costs $700. Recommended for any beginner starting out on Nikon. The lens you get with it (18-55mm DX) is a great value and manages some good macro. All in all, a perfect ...

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D5100 by Nikon

Warranty Information

"No registration or "warranty" card is included or needed with a Nikon D-SLR or Coolpix camera. Keep your original, dated proof of purchase from the Authorized Nikon Inc. dealer in case warranty service is ever needed. These products do include either a mail-in form or a paper with a web link to our registration page:
It's advised to register your product with Nikon so that we can send you information about future updates or service issues that may arise.

Nikkor lenses come with a standard one year warranty and Nikon Inc. lenses sold by authorized Nikon Inc. dealers will have a Nikon Inc. Five Year Extension. To register for the five year extension, one copy of the included form must be mailed in as indicated. Keep the Customer copy of the form as well as the original proof of purchase (sales receipt)."

Read the full warranty.

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