175 of 179 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (16.2MP) 3 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer) (Camera)
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.