Nikon D5100 review

May 28, 2011

Overall Rating:


Nikon D5100

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Price as Reviewed:


When DSLRs are this small, do you really need a compact system camera? We put the diminutive Nikon D5100 through its paces in our comprehensive AP test

The competition

Canon 600DThe D5100’s positioning and current pricing gives it two main competitors: the Canon EOS 600D and the Sony Alpha 55.

Canon’s EOS 600D currently sells for around £50 less than the D5100 and has a very similar specification, even offering a 3in vari-angle screen.

Its sensor is a more populated 18-million-pixel unit, but it offers a slightly slower 3.7fps burst rate and just nine AF points.

It also misses out on the top Hi2 ISO setting of 25,600.

Sony A55Sony’s Alpha 55 is just £20 less than the D5100 and uses the same 16-million-pixel sensor as the Nikon model.

However it features a translucent mirror and electronic viewfinder that allow fast burst rates of up to 10fps, plus 15 AF points with three cross-type points.

  • Video: Full HD, 1080p, 30/25/24fps, MOV (H.264)
  • External mic: Yes
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets, manual with fine-tuning
  • Dioptre Adjustment: -1.7 to +0.7 dioptre
  • Built-in Flash: Yes, GN 13m @ ISO 100
  • Shutter Type: Focal-plane shutter
  • Memory Card: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Viewfinder Type: Pentaprism mirror
  • Output Size: 4928x3264 pixels
  • LCD: 3in, 921,000-dot vari-angle LCD
  • Field of View: 95% coverage
  • AF Points: 11-point system
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes
  • Sensor: 16.2-million-effective pixel CMOS
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/200sec
  • Exposure Modes: PASM, auto, 16 scene modes, 7 special effects modes
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB, HDMI
  • Weight: 560g (with battery and card)
  • Power: Rechargeable EN-EL 14 Li-Ion battery
  • File Format: JPEG, NEF (raw), MOV
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec plus bulb
  • Drive Mode: 4fps
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F
  • ISO: 100-6400 (25,600 expanded setting)
  • Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, manual
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Dimensions: 128x97x79mm
  • Compression: 3-stage JPEG
  • Metering System: 420-pixel TTL 3D Color Matrix Metering II, spot, centreweighted
  • Exposure Comp: ±5EV
  • Tested as: Enthusiast DSLR

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