Excellent introduction to the SLR world

Excellent introduction to the SLR world

Nikon D5100 SLR Digital Camera (16 Megapixel, 7.5 cm (3 inches) swiveled and rotated monitor, Live View, Full HD video function) housing (electronics)

Customer Review

After the appearance of the new Nikon D 5100 I was again curious. I own a D90, but could thoroughly test a D 300s, D3s and the current D 7000. So I asked a friend / photo shop, if I for one or two days that could sometimes take 5100 hogging.
I was allowed to. Of course, I was excited because the basic performance profile at Nikon is encouragingly high, albeit with significant differences. What I could read so, should the new D 5100 bridging the gap between D 3100 and D 7000, thus covering the consumer sector. Even the D 90 remains loud Niko messages continue in the program, but there must be reasons. It was exciting ...

Housing and feel:

The first Anfass, sobering. It is clear that the 5100 much more compact, than about a D 90 or D 7000, almost filigree (128 x 97 x 79 mm). For small hands (ladies) certainly an advantage. For large blades rather inconvenient, because the handle is quite petite yet, but it's ok. But the small size also has advantages. So you need less space in the camera bag / Bag. The compact has also otherwise advantages such as the low weight of only 560 grams with battery. A D3s example, weighs almost three times, but is also much more robust!

The housing is made of polycarbonate and not quite as wertig like the "big" sisters but processed very clean and in total all right. For the clean processing I forgive you an extra +.
Dust and splash water protection one seeks in vain unfortunately at the price and in the model group, but during normal use there is no problem. My D90 has no guards and so far it is working without flaws, even in beach vacation. Ambitious travel photographer should then even more access to D 7000 or D 300s. The latter has an even more excellent protection against the ravages of nature as the D 7000, which is already well sealed. Very hard Boiled who like are also volcanoes, the stormy sea or on the road in the desert, then have been trying to photograph the safe 3SX D or D 3s.

For beginners and newcomers, the key and switch assembly is well stocked and fast intuitive. Unfortunately applies to old Niko hares, something to get used so where to hide the individual camera functions, after a while I came then also cope.

Another screen with information about the shooting data / modes / settings is unfortunately absent, which I personally already missing. The more numerous and thus easy friendly hot keys like D 90, D 300s and D 7000 I miss the photo everyday. Especially the known and proven at Niko housings front adjuster on the handle, but which facilitates considerably settings, one searches in vain. But the D 5100 is supposed to provide entry into the SLR world and she does very well.

That to me made available housing showed no processing error, well so far.

All in all, are warranted 3 stars and an extra + for the housing quality.


The 5100 offers a lot more than my "elderly" D 90 from the year 2008. Some leaves me already three look envious. The latest EXPEED 2 processor takes over the signal processing, as in the D 7000, however, which not only brings benefits, more on that later.

Really nice, now 3 inches wide and comprehensive with 921,000 pixels screen, which is also rotated and swiveled. Swivel screens I think basically at a SLR overvalued because a LiveView Aufnhame makes in conjunction with heavy lenses little fun. But here the D 5100 can throw their small housing dimensions and sinking weight to bear. If Live View is used, then this is achieved with the D 5100 "lighter" than the big sisters, in the truest sense of the word. When D 90 I use Live View at best on the tripod. The new large screen dissolves nicely to clean and is in contrast to the display of its predecessor - the D 5000, a real highlight and a sensible innovation.

The classic Mode Dial can be easy to operate and offers a direct access to specific scene modes. In total, 16 different pre-defined scene modes are available, far more than that of a D 90 or D 7000. Professionals will about turn up their noses, these shy preset scene modes, like the devil, that holy water. Amateurs are on the other hand enjoy the creative leeway, such as "candle light" and "fall colors". For this purpose, a variety of additional effects, such as "miniature and / or night vision", etc .. It's amazing what the little fellows SLR can do with the images. Even beautiful HDR photographs can be realized playfully. Naturally, this camera also features a manual mode, program, aperture priority, etc., so that one's own creativity are no limits. A 14-bit RAW conversion is also on board as an ordinary exposure and 3 D Color Matrix II measurement.

Active D-Lighting (cloudy shaded area) is also offered as a 3 D tracking autofocus (good for shooting sports and fast-moving subjects, such as animals and people) with 11 AF focus points and a cross-type sensor. On the whole, facts which have the remaining Niko models with variations.

The new 16.2 MP APS-C image sensor, the 5100 has also significantly risen compared to its predecessor. The opposite the small picture (called in digital photography as a full format - with Nikon FX format) smaller APS-C sensors (at Nikon termed DX) require the use of full-frame lenses, a conversion to the respective crop factor, here 1.5! Example: a 50 mm full-frame lens (FX) created with his larger image circle opposite the smaller APS-C sensor relative to a 75 mm focal length! Specially projected for the DX format lenses are represented so far very useful and many on the market.

The viewfinder image is presented to the eye in 0,78facher magnification with 95% frame coverage. Not great, but very good for this class SLR!

Numerous in-camera image editing programs facilitate image processing and shorten the time to follow up on your home PC. I found interesting as far as the perspective correction option (quite similar to a tilt and shift function).

HD video can also record, but I have not tried it and it can therefore not rate.

With 4 frames / sec and shutter speeds of a 4.000stel Sec D 5100 is not slow, but it does not belong thus to the superfast. For the hobby everyday but this is more than adequate.

I could go on endlessly enumerate other equipment details can be found in any advertising brochure. It was important to emphasize the special something.
Ergo the D 5100 offers equipment technology over the photographer's heart in this case class would expect. For 5 stars

Image Quality:

But now to the main topic, the picture quality. On an SLR is usually presents indeed more demanding than a compact camera. What the D 5100 does already stunning, but even here there is not only light, but also shade.

The 16 MP sensor produces depending on the ISO setting and object used a super sharp and detailed, colorful picture. The automatic white balance worked quite well. Of course, you can make a few settings here.
The camera is in front of the photographer / ISO standard values ​​in addition to ISO 6400, which can be extended by Extramodi to a magnificent ISO 25600! Even images with ISO 12800 are very easy to recycle. I was quite surprised. While it rushes on, but recordings eg ISO 3200 no longer than my D90 with ISO 1600, Wow! Not bad. Shooting with ISO 25600 were against very noisy but still useful, at least not as evident. The best image quality was observed between ISO 100 and 800, up to ISO 6,400 can use the camera well.

But a stale aftertaste remains even with this performance. As with the 7000 D noise reduction of EXPEED II processor intervenes quite violent. To ISO 800, the pictures are super rich in detail and in high resolution, so go Motive details with the rise of the ISO values ​​more clearly lost - especially in low-contrast motifs - the dreaded texture loss strikes mercilessly. Whenever high sensitivities provoke a strong noise and the camera will attempt to suppress this, there is a danger that fine details are lost. Where the camera really know whether they are fine structures, such as fabrics, wood grain, etc., or to color noise components? A real conflict of interests. Here the software and image processing processor are required. The sensational low noise of the Nikon D 5100 to the ISO 12800 brand to the camera bought with a significant loss of detail - ie loss of texture. "But of course," some will say, the complained here again at a high level and at the same time unacceptable. But a camera that wants to soar in terms of image quality in the league, also a differentiated approach has to face. Sorry. I put it like a beating. Even a D 90 can still keep up, it has achieved a very low loss of texture.

As long as you do not intend shooting with ISO 6400 or above in A3 or larger format (poster) print, you will by the loss of detail little notice. In everyday life, this means great pictures in any situation. For the amateur photographer, but these are all trivial discussions, because rarely these recordings for advertising purposes, which are crying out for the highest quality, want to market. Amateur photographers get today - with the D 5100 - a picture quality on offer, which was subject to the most professional storage time not too long ago!

The top resolution of 16 million sensor coupled with extreme low noise up to the highest ISO-regions justify 4 star +. But the accompanying loss of texture when using higher ISO values ​​must be deducted and verhagelt compared and in relation to picture services of other models have a 5 star rating. Nevertheless, for this class of camera an extremely good imaging performance, absolute top class! In terms of image quality, I would classify the D 5100 right next to the more expensive D 7000.

The D 7000 scores against the bigger and better housing in professional equitable operation. But everything has its price and its target audience!

My Test`s I have done with my own objectives, including the quite favorable, but optically very good, 35mm 1.8 DX (APS-C) of Nikon, also the 10-20mm EX DC HSM 4-5,6f Super Wide (APS -C) of SIGMA, the extremely sharp 2,8er 50mm EX DG Macro from Sigma (full frame) and the class 70-300 mm 4.5 to 5.6 G VR - FX "tube" (full frame) of the house Nikon and more. I got just the body without kit lens.


Anyone looking for a first-class introduction to the world of SLR photography, will find it here. Damn good image quality, image services that appeared in this class so far is not possible, high everyday practicality, helping scene modes and great effects can be fast much joy at the new Hobby arise. Semi-professionals and professionals are on the other hand lack the professional equitable operation of big sisters. The feel of the case is neat, low weight makes use of advantages. Detriment of smaller housing, as opposed to the big sisters, is that the 5100 has proven to be attacked unfavorable for large hands. People with small hands will in turn consider it an advantage. The unlike the other models Niko missing additional info screen on top of the housing forces the serious photographer ever to look at the main screen to control manual settings and define. Amateurs, however, the simplicity will learn to love at an extremely high image quality.

If that case a 5100 is too small, but can do without a folding screen, a D 7000 is too expensive, the reach boldly back to the D 90. You still offers fantastic photo quality, despite or perhaps even because of the 12 MP sensor and that at sensationally low texture losses. The D90 has to offer much higher returns equitable operation and is still propagated on the market with great price advantages. The best way to test yourself and then decide.

Regardless of who favors a D 5100, buys modern and powerful and will have lots of fun with it. Tip: Do not buy the inexpensive kit lens so. For the ambitious home I recommend really good 16-85mm 3.5-5.6 ED VR DX Zoom (APS-C) by Nikon. It is not a gift, but also brings an enormous amount from the 16 MP sensor out (keyword resolution) and is sharp as a razor.

4 stars fats, an extra plus in terms of image quality, this added value offer!

PS Thanks to my friend for the trial use of the camera!

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