1,079 of 1,095 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nikon d5100 gives the results I want. Let me share my 50,000 hours of research!
I suppose like many people, when I decided I was going to buy a new camera I researched various models online to the point of going mad. I swear it was such a relief to finally purchase the Nikon d5100, first of all I am so happy with it, but almost as important was being able to move on with my life and leave camera research behind!
The reason I sold my Nikon...
Published on 27 Jun 2011 by elP
127 of 142 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great picture quality, very poor battery for practical use.
I purchased a D5100 from a specialist photography store since the price was almost same and basically I can have it now! I upgraded to D5100 from a humble D40, hence I have compared it to D40 for most of the part.
While D5100's low light performance is outstanding thanks to it's top class sensor, its battery is a major flaw in my opinion when compared with the...
Published on 16 Oct 2011 by dealicon
Most Helpful First | Newest First
1,079 of 1,095 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nikon d5100 gives the results I want. Let me share my 50,000 hours of research!,
This review is from: Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera Body Only (16.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)I suppose like many people, when I decided I was going to buy a new camera I researched various models online to the point of going mad. I swear it was such a relief to finally purchase the Nikon d5100, first of all I am so happy with it, but almost as important was being able to move on with my life and leave camera research behind!
The reason I sold my Nikon d5000 and upgraded was mainly because I need to use an external microphone, which the d5000 doesn't allow, as I record interviews and DSLR video is perfect for this.
I bought a SLR camera because I photograph bands, and the low-light capability of an SLR is necessary. The d5000 was good. The d5100 is even better. Really pleased with the results when combined with the 35mm f1.8.
The d5000 took very good photo's for me, but I believe that the d5100 is slightly better. I suppose it is natural for technology to provide better tools over time, combined with what i've learned about photography over the past 18 months (the d5000 was the first SLR I had owned).
As for the video element of this camera, like most SLR's video is still new but evolving at an impressive rate. Yes certain camera's will make it easier to film, but they normally come with a more hefty price tag. You'll also probably need to learn one or two workarounds with whichever SLR you choose to film with, but if you look at the work of guys like Philip Bloom or Chase Jarvis you will see that filming quality work with SLR's is possible. Obviously that have flexibility with their budgets, but if you're wondering if you can get decent footage from an SLR - yes you can.
When I record video interviews, once I put the d5100 on a small tripod, get all of my settings the way I like them and adjust the focus on the subject (literally takes about two minutes), once I'm into live view mode I just hit the record button on the top of the camera and I'm away. Very easy and the HD footage is outstanding. So pleased with the video side of things from the d5100.
On a quick side note: Editing video. I've read so many horror stories from people saying the couldn't open their video footage in various software editing programs, and this was the camera's fault or that they need editing software costing several hundred pounds, or need to convert the video format before editing. Not the case! I record in the highest HD setting on the d5100 for up to 20 minutes for each piece and luckily it works 100% perfectly with iMovie '09! I open and save the video footage with iPhoto (a useful workaround I picked up during my 7,000 hours of camera research!), and then import the video from iPhoto into iMovie. I am a novice and it is very simple. Believe me.
Again it's just down to your preference but I like the flip screen with this camera (I was used to it from the d5000). I don't see myself snapping it off as it is very sturdy and I am never tempted to play cricket with the camera. It protects the back LCD screen from scratches, and a damaged screen would seriously make any camera less useful.
I was also considering the Nikon d7000. It is roughly £300 more expensive and is certainly a more capable camera. But I didn't NEED it. The ability to save favorite user settings (U1 and U2 on the dial) are nice but I don't mind setting the camera when I use it. I also don't own any other lenses, certainly not the older Nikon lenses, so the built in autofocus capability wasn't important to me. If you have invested in lenses over the years, then it will probably be an important feature for you. If you've invested in lenses over the years, you are probably a fairly serious photographer so you'll most be considering the d7000 or even more sophisticated cameras. The LCD screen on the top of the camera is what I like a lot about the d7000, but again it wasn't that important to me. When I'm at a gig I read my settings by using either the flip out screen on the camera or through the viewfinder. No doubt the d7000 is more advanced than the d5100 and has a few extra features, but if you want to take good photographs and some video, their is not much (if anything) between the two cameras as far as the final product is concerned.
Personally I would recommend buying the d5100 body only and buying one lens which will aid you as much as possible depending on what type of photography you are most interested in. I already have the lens which is perfect for me, the 35mm f1.8. It feels right for this size of camera, the quality is produces and the flexibility it allows compared to the kit lens is noticeable (my opinion). You can save about £50-100 just buying the camera body, and put that money towards buying a lens of your choice.
As for the Canon/Nikon debate, it honestly makes me laugh how much time some people have to go on camera forum's or YouTube and tell people how rubbish one brand or camera model is. I am still very much a keen novice, but one thing I'm convinced of is that in the hands of a capable photographer either brand will give outstanding results.
A great bit of advice which certainly worked for me, is that you should go into the camera shop and hold whichever camera's you are considering. You'll be surprised how one will just feel right.
The same advice is worthwhile for choosing a lens. Most of the shop assistants will give you excellent advice based on what type of photography you're interested in. Investing in one decent lens will make such a difference to your photographs, and make your hobby more enjoyable.
I have only been using a decent camera for about 18 months, so there was quite a bit to learn when making the jump from a point-and-shoot. One useful bit of advice I picked up, was that while you will want to shoot all of you photo's in the manual setting, you can use learn from the automatic settings that the camera chooses before going into manual and working with those settings. That technique allows a beginner to be pointed in the right direction by the great camera you've invested in, and you can make slight adjustments to the aperture or shutter speed and see how it affects the results. It gets you thinking and also means that you don't need to doubt whether or not the SLR was too big a jump. The automatic setting option is always there while you learn.
Another thing to consider is how you feel about carrying a SLR camera with you. When I first got the d5000 I babied that camera too much and it meant that I didn't get as much use from it as I should have. First of all the camera's are very durable, even the lower spec cameras. So having it in your bag most of the time isn't a burden. If you're going to be walking around for several hours you may not want a bigger camera (d7000 or d300s) as they are considerably bigger. Professional photographers are okay with the bigger cameras as they normally have them attached to a tripod which the carries the weight of the camera body. Again, i'd suggest going into your local camera shop to hold every camera you're considering.
A nice tip I picked up was using setting the function button on the front left of the camera to adjust your ISO setting. You can use the function button for a number for features, but as you can easily adjust aperture and shutter speed in manual, and using the function button to adjust your ISO means that you'll not have to go into the camera menu very often, which is what the buttons etc on the d7000 and higher end camera allow.
Sorry if this was a bit long-winded from some of you, but I hope some of this review will benefit a few people who were in a similar situation to me - going loopy researching cameras!
161 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Camera,
This review is from: Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (16.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)First up I need to say that I'm no great photographer and also that this is my first DSLR.
Therefore my review will be from a new users perspective - especially if you (like me) are thinking of making the transition from a "pro-sumer" ultra zoom to a DSLR camera.
My camera for the last 2 years has been a canon powershot SX20IS - 20x optical zoom and 12.1m pixels.
I've been using the Nikon for a month and can say for sure that it will allow me to take better quality images than the canon but that it won't replace the canon entirely - theres space for canon the nikon and my iphone for taking pictures - I just need to know what to take out with me. Through choice it would be the Nikon - but the camera plus the lense(s) and other kit makes for a lot of gear and you can't just chuck it into a rucksack.
To show what a total numpty I was a month a go it took me a while to stop looking for the zoom buttons and to do this manually on the lense - the massive advantage of this is that the zoom is so so fast - the AF is fast as well - and you can of course focus manually. I've only really used it in auto mode, sport mode (4 FPS continous shooting) and played with some of the scene modes, I've typically been taking shots of my kids while they play and the results in all conditions - sun, cloud and in doors with and without flash have been very pleasing.
It is very simple to select auto and take great photo's - but to make sure you get the most out the camera you need to explore all the options and manual settings. I've purchased the D5100 for dummies book (also available on the kindle) - the sport mode was brillant for taking shots of my kids on fairground rides today - 350 shots almost all in focus and better than any compact camera could ever do.
So far on top of the kit in the box I've purchased the following items - I think this is the minimum amount of accessories you can get away with... one point is that you need to buy NIKON comptatible lenses for the AF system to work - the 55-300 lense I purchased is brilliant value although definitely not top of the range.
My shopping list so far (all from Amazon as the prices are tough to beat) is:
32gb class 10 SD card.Transcend - Flash memory card - 32 GB - Class 10 - SDHC
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Lens Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Lens
Nikon D5100 For Dummies Nikon D5100 For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers))
Hama 4426 Soft Lens Pouch 90x80mm Hama 4426 Soft Lens Pouch 90x80mm
AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR Cameras and accessories - Black AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR Cameras and accessories - Black [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]
Nikon Li-on battery EN-EL14, VFB10602 Nikon Li-on batteri EN-EL14, VFB10602
I currently use photoshop elements as I had a copy on my laptop all ready and can't afford/justify the full version.
To get a good overview of the basic feature the dummies book listed above is available in kindle format from Amazon - worth a download of the free sample or a read of the book through the "look inside" feature on the amazon product page.
The total outlay would be close to £850 - but for this you have almost a complete setup - the extra battery was probably a luxury as I've taken 650 shots today alone and the battery is still showing full but best to be safe than sorry - you must use NIKON batteries - others will not work (I really wished it used AA rechargables but the battery does charge from flat in 90 mintes and the charger is small.
To sum up - for me - a superb camera and one that will allow me to really work on and enjoy a hobby that I really enjoy.
Exceptional value and superb build.
I hope this review helps - there are some great techical reviews and help on the web - on dpreview and similar - all appear to rate this camera highly. If you're thinking of the D3100 I think the extra features on the D5100 make it the better buy.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nikon D5100 equipment extras,
This review is from: Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (16.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)This is an ideal 'point and shoot' camera for my partner to use, great set of shooting options, portrait, landscape, close up. It has effects to play with. Great for family days out, holidays for all to use.
However it has all the ingredients for me. Excellent spec for light shooting and exposure options. I won't go into this too much, you can read the spec to work out it's exceptional quality. I bought this over Cannon as I like Nikon quality. I'm looking forward to creative photo work already tried macro, and landscape options. At this price it is irresistible. You won't regret buying this item.
After reading all other reviews I do recommend: At this pro=ice you would be silly not to buy!
Equipment: (I broke my leg so 2 month of research, thought I would share)
Lens alternatives: These all screw onto 18-55mm = 52 screw on lens, work absolutely fine quality.
UV 52mm filter (Neewer)This protects lens and all lens filters below can screw into this rather than actual lens.
Optica 52mm macro (£25)screw on lens for macro close up. Quality exceptional. I use these with Polaroid filters (£12) and they are great. Beats expense of macro lens 40mm f/2.8=£200) or extension tubes. These themselves for quality cost around £100. My Optica and filters cost £30 or their abouts. Works great. In several years I may go for Macro lens but why!
Wide angle: oh dear, Lenses cost over £300, I've got the dosh but can't justify it! I bought Digital King DSW pro 0.7x wide angle 52mm screw on adoption, cost £45, Quality is essential and fine. I went to the coast to try out on landscape and at home with portraits. It does add width (not exceptional width) but works fine and does the job. As lens cost are high it's a great gap filler until time arises for upgrade.
Wide angle fish eye: again screw on 52mm fish eye : Opteka .35xH2 super wide angel fish eye. I've not bought this yet!! £30 approx
Zoom : I'm gonna buy 55-300mm Nikkor lens
Flash: Nikon 600/700/800 & 900 versions are expensive. Alternatives (I can't comment on, not bought)seem to be: Sigma EF-610 £100 approx = to Nikon 900 version apparently. Then try TT 520 flash cost £26 or Electronic speedlight 4 Nikon = £50. I don't know which one I will buy yet but all seem to work from reviews.
Lens hood Nikon 18 - 55 kit lens: alternative uWinka HB-45 cost £5 from Minithebox through Amazon!
LCD screen protector: screen guards membrane pack 6 cheap. Work exceptionally well. Hard version JJC hard LCD 4 Nikon just bought being delivered cost £7. This is an essential piece of protection. Out in field I always have screen in view to review photo's , this protects LCD screen. I've had this on camera some time now and wouldn't be without it, stuck spare membrane on it to prevent scratches. Highly recommended.
Battery grip: Neewer pro battery grip 4 Nikon £16. Alternative battery EN.EL14 compatible cost £19 and works with grip plus 1 original Nikon battery.
Cleaning pen: Hama or I found a polaroid for around £5, These are great discovery and keeps all equipment clean.
Shutter release! wireless ('Shoot ML-L3' 4 Nikon) for you wondering about Nikon make shutter release, don;'t do it, save some of those pennies. The 'shoot' version works well with Nikon D5100 cost under £2 and free deliver. I've used this with partner out and about no complaints.
Also the cable version, hands free, shutter release, the cheaper 'Neewer MC-DC2 remote shutter release' £2.50, works well. I was macro photo testing Orchids and tomato's. It worked fine no problems. It again cost under £2!!
Camera case/ bag: I recommend Lowerpro cirrus TLZ25 fits Nikon D5100 perfectly. may struggle with larger 300mm lens. But I only wanted it for my expensive Nikon and 55mm lens. It will fit Wide angle and macro lens but only one lens at a time case. As a get up and go bag. A very well made item for those outdoor enthusiasts.
Strong sturdy, cosy on inside!
Books: Nkon D5100 Jon Sparks looks good, So does Nikon multi media workshop by Magic lantern comes with 2 CD's. going to buy soon. I got Nikon D5100 field guide by JD Thomas. This helped me immensely get to grips with all D5100 features and has been essential.
Photoshop library: Try Picassa 3 . This is free and is a great computer album . V easy to access and use. but not as a phot shop tool . Try GIMP free image manipulation programme. I downloaded yesterday looks fine but a little complicated apparently it works as good as Photoshop ? but can't comment yet.
lastly a 'lens cap holder'. This keeps lens cap attached to camera. You don't want to be loosing this now do you! Just under £2. You can buy it in pack of 5 for around £2.50. I chose single option at this price I wish I would of too pack of 5, you never know when you might need them, other lens.
119 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely good amateur photographer DSLR,
This review is from: Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (16.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)After owning this product for 3 weeks now, I have learned an enormous about of technical and general information regarding how to get the very best out of photos with pretty much any subject you see down your view finder. The best thing is you can take amazing quality photos straight out of the box just by using either of the full auto settings and just pointing at what you want to photograph and pressing the shutter release button down. When you want to get past that and start experimenting with manual settings, you have 4 manual choices, which can ease you into them 1 step at a time if you wish. An example is, you can let the D5100 control your ISO, autofocus and metering styles without touching anything, whilst you control the aperature (the amount of light entering through the lens and hitting the sensor, with low f-numbers like f1.8 letting vastly more light in than f22) and the exposure (which is how long you expose the sensor to the environment via the shutter speed, with faster shutter speeds like 1/200 allowing less light onto the sensor compared to a 30 second exposure which is great for taking photos of stars and the moon!)
Even if you don't know what things like ISO mean in terms of photo quality, the camera's menu shows you an example thumbnail of a photo you can take with the setting you're hovering over. For the absolute top ISO setting on the camera it shows a very star filled sky whilst ISO 100, which is the lowest setting shows a picture of flowing water in a well lit environment. This camera is great at low light shots when you refuse to use a flash, which is ideal for dark environments like shooting a gig, astronomy photography, dusk and dawn landscapes (where flash would be useless anyway due to distance) and taking photos in low light rooms at night and getting a more natural representation of what you actually see.
The Nikon DX 18mm-55mm VR f3.5-5.6G lens is also a very nice piece of kit for general use and produces rather good quality pictures with little or no effort involved. The 18mm part allows you to take very wide angle photos which is perfect for landscapes and large group portrait photos (weddings ect) whilst you can choose anything all the way up to 55mm which zooms into your target, allowing a more content specific photo. The 55mm setting can get a good head shot of someone for a portrait quite easily
You can use some third party lenses with this camera and still use autofocus with it, but these are quite rare. Because the D5100 doesn't have a autofocus motor inside its body, compared to the vastly more expensive cameras, you need to use AF-S DX or AF-I DX nikkon lenses or something like the sigma DG series which have built in motors inside the lens instead. This is very important to note because you can pick up a Nikon AF 50mm f1.8 prime lens (which means it doesnt zoom), which is designed for older nikon camera's, for around £50 second hand or £100 brand new BUT this will not autofocus on the D5100 (or the D3100 for that matter). However, you can still use AF lenses if you don't need autofocus, saving yourself a small fortune depending on what you need to take photos of and your photography style!
To note, make sure you install the Nikon viewNX2.2 software that comes with the camera as it allows you to edit your photos to a good enough standard for publishing professional results, especially if you shoot in RAW mode, which is the best quality and allows the most post processing on your computer.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera Body Only - Excellent,
This review is from: Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera Body Only (16.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)I had a Nikon D3100 as a second body for my D7000 .. I hate changing lenses outdoors (and even indoors) due to the hated sensor dust .. therefore I carry two bodies with two lenses .. Now that the price of D5100 has come down to almost the same as the D3100 I had to do a swap ..
D5100 is a fantastic camera for at least two main reasons .. has same sensor as D7000 and a hinged LCD screen allowing photography in all sorts of positions .. great quality .. excellent ergonomics and ease of use
60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nikon D5100 - Excellent!,
a/ the swivel screen as I use it on a tripod for portraits and it was difficult using the fixed screen
b/ the better low light sensitivity as I use the camera inside a lot
c/ the mic input for the video is a must to eliminate the focus noise.
I am using this camera on manuel mode all the time now and have spent the past month immersing myself in the DSLR and the internet offers some amazing resources for budding photographers. All in all I am very happy with this camera, I added the amazing 50mm, f1.4g prime lens which is perfect for inside portrait use and sucks in all the light - in fact I use the prime lens almost exclusively and keep the kit 18 - 55 lens as a back.
I am no expert but am enjoying this camera so much more than the compact cameras I have owned in the past (all of which are very impressive) and find that the creative input I now have have raised my expectations and understanding of photography - I highly recommend making the jump to DSLR and would recommend this camera to anyone.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great camera!,
I spent a lot of time reading reviews, trying to work out how much I wanted to spend, what make to get, what model to go for etc.
The flappy panel display is the deal clincher for me and has already proven useful. I was thinking of getting the more expensive D7000 but because it didn't have that I decided on the D5100 and spending the saved money on an extra lens. I am very happy with this decision.
From what I have read the two cameras share the same sensor so the image quality should be the same. I am very impressed with the quality of the images taken with this camera, and the low light sensitivity is great.
Start up time, although slower than more expensive models, is incredibly quick. Flick the power switch and as quickly as you can get your finger to the shutter release button it's ready to go. The difference between 400 and 500ms isn't really perceptible :)
Battery life is pretty good, although you will probably want to buy a spare.
I had read about the delete button being perilously close to the zoom buttons and when I held one prior to purchase in a shop I was worried my thumb would press it but this isn't the case, and I have never accidentally deleted a photo.
The lack of direct access buttons for white balance, bracketing or ISO level can be overcome by assigning one of these to the fn button, but even going into the menu isn't too much trouble. The direct access buttons are one of the features of the more expensive models.
Delivery was quick and it arrived well packaged and in excellent condition.
All in all very happy. I can't think of any negative points at the moment which obviously means if there are any they are minimal and I have forgotten about them.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome camera that takes stunning photos!,
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)WOW! I will admit I am something of a novice when it comes to cameras and photography as a whole so I was a little daunted to say the least when I decided to get this camera, but what a striking bit of kit it is! As soon as you turn it on it is user friendly from the word go. Just flip the rear screen over and follow the instructions, it really is that simple. The photos it takes are nothing short of incredible, a professional finish to say the least.
I will say though, that when you begin to use it, have a little flick through the manual and brush up on all the different ways you can take photos with, in many different styles. You can even edit the photos afterwards on the camera. Just select a photo and press the 'OK' button, it then brings up a sub menu that allows you to change the picture to black and white, sepia...etc.
Inside the box you get the camera and lens (obviously), a lovely neck strap to hold the beauty with, a charger and battery and a USB cable. Photo software is also available, so to is the manual in disc format.
All in all a beautiful camera and one that has opened my eyes to the myriad of possibilities in photography!
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great little camera,
I'm no expert with DSLR's a novice and beginner as I used the a200 on auto always back then... I'm writing this review for other novices such as myself who are considering this camera.
I personally love it, fits snug in my hands, takes great shots with lovely depth and detail. I can agree that there is noise from them auto focus when recording but..but... this is one of the reasons I went for the D5100 over the D3100 - to eventually add a external mic to counter this problem...
I've only had this camera for 3 weeks so a detailed review is not possible... but for now, I love it and am certainly glad I went for the D5100... A colleague of mine has the D90 and I personally think the D5100 is better due to size and quality of results.
I will add to this review overtime as I become more accustomed to the camera and have more to say.
For now - a very happy customer. If anyone has any questions I will be more than happy to try and answer them, but as I said before, I am a novice, so go easy on me.. I will attend my best friends wedding in 5-6 weeks (hence thee purchase) and I Intend on really testing it there, her goes my rapid learning curve!!!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nikon d5100,
Most Helpful First | Newest First