Nikon has revamped its D5000 DSLR to reveal the D5100, boasting an improved vari-angle screen, smaller dimensions and full HD movie mode.
Nikon bosses hope the D5100 will become one of the top three best-selling DSLRs in the UK, if not the ?number one?, they told journalists at a briefing in central London yesterday.
The D5100 replaces the D5000 and will deliver image quality on a par with the D7000, but in a smaller, less expensive body than the D5000, claims Nikon.
Measuring around 10% smaller than the D5000, it will sit in the range between the D3100 and D7000 and cost £669.99 body-only when it goes on sale from 21 April.
It is targeted at the ?aspirational? and ?hobbyist? photographer, but Nikon also hopes it will appeal to the family user.
The D5100 measures 128x97x79mm and weighs around 560g (without battery or memory card).
Key improvements include a larger, 3in, screen and 16.2-million-pixel CMOS imaging sensor borrowed from the D7000 (compared to the 2.7in display and 12.3MP sensor on the D5000).
The new monitor offers 170 degree angle of view and is 17% thinner than the D5000?s screen, according to Nikon.
And it carries a resolution of 921,000 dots, as opposed to 230,000 on the D5000 camera.
?The screen now opens horizontally for greater manoeuvrability, even when using a tripod,? said a spokesman.
?This freedom of movement adds unparalleled creativity when using Live View, allowing shooting from virtually any angle.?
New features also include Nikon?s Expeed 2 imaging processor and equivalent ISO sensitivity of 100-6400, expandable to 12,800.
The DX-format debutante also sports a special effects mode.
In Hi 2 mode the camera provides ISO up to 25,600. However the ISO can be raised further in night vision mode, explained James Banfield, Imaging Support and Training manager at Nikon UK.
?The night vision mode produces a black & white image because at such high ISO ratings (ISO 102,400) pictures will be very noisy.?
He added: ?Good results can be had by photographers who can use software, but Nikon wants its users to get good results straight from the camera.?
Special affects also includes selective colour, whereby the user can choose up to three colours to appear in a still or movie.
Also on board are monochrome, High Key, Low Key, and miniature functions, the latter designed to simulate the effects of a tilt-and-shift lens.
?These new special effects allow even beginners to achieve advanced looking results without them having to know anything about photography,? added Banfield.
However, when using the special effects options, photographers will not be able to shoot raw images at the same time.
The D5100 includes a dedicated movie button, situated on the top panel, allowing photographers to shoot Full HD videos (1,080 pixels) up to a maximum length of 20 minutes.
Users also now have the option to use an external stereo microphone (ME-1, priced around £120) and to edit videos using the in-camera functions.
The facility to use an external microphone should mean that movies are free from noise created by the AF system.
The D5100 also includes High Dynamic Range, Active D-Lighting, 11-point AF, four AF-area modes and 3D tracking AF.
The D5100 will also be available with an 18-55mm VR lens in a kit priced £779.99.
Nikon Europe product manager Jordi Brinkman claimed: ?The D5100 is a great camera that allows you to express your artistic side through impressive images and movies.
?You can shoot with creative effects and unique angles, all at the superior image quality seen in the D7000.?