Reflex Camera Nikon D5100 Kit: review, features, reviews
Kit (price - about 60,000 rubles) replaced the D5000 as an advanced digital SLR camera of the initial level. Positioned slightly below the model for the D7000 photography enthusiast, but above the D3100, the camera meets some advanced specifications of the latest and more basic first with the addition of completely new features. The result was a camera that filled a niche between them.
Nikon D5100 Kit 18-55 VR is equipped with a 16.2-megapixel CMOS-sensor format DX, which was used in the D7000. Although the sensor is not quite leading in its class in terms of resolution, it represents a significant update compared to 12 Mp D5000, and is also a step forward from the 14.2-megapixel matrix of the D3100. In addition, the D5100 received a new EXPEED 2 graphics processor, which first appeared in the D3100 in 2010. Along with faster processing, longer battery life, and the ability to record 14-bit (and not 12-bit) RAW files, the new processor is able to provide The maximum burst rate of 4 fps is a slight improvement compared to 3 fps for the D3100, and not at all 6 fps for the D7000.This is positioning the D5100 somewhere in the middle.
Since the advent of D3 and D300 in 2008, Nikon has deservedly gained a reputation as a DSLR manufacturer capable of shooting in low light conditions, providing images that are largely free of obsessive noise. The D5100 offers an ISO 100-6400 sensitivity range, expandable to ISO 25600. If this is not enough, then the Night Vision option can be triggered. It increases the sensitivity to ISO 104400, although in this case the images can only be recorded in monochrome and, as you might expect, look very grainy.
To reduce costs and provide a clear gap between the specifications and features of the D5100 and D7000, there were some other trade-offs. Therefore, the 11-point autofocus module and the 420-pixel measuring sensor D3100 and D5000 remained in this model. Of all the AF sensors, only central is of the cross type, and the others are linear. There is also no autofocus motor, which means that only Nikon AF-S and AF-I lenses have this feature. The rest must be focused manually.
Camera Nikon D5100 Kit has a polycarbonate case cheaper models of the manufacturer.The finish of the plastic shell gives it a metallic look. The rest is all that can be expected from the entry-level SLR cameras. There is a full set of programs, priorities aperture, shutter speed and manual control, automatic mode, forced flash and a set of scene modes. New additions are special effects, which are a series of digital filters, such as an enhanced ISO option.
The Nikon D5100 Kit allows you to select a JPEG processing method by fine-tuning individual elements, such as saturation, sharpness, brightness, and contrast. Although the default settings are limited to standard, neutral, bright, monochrome, and portrait, all of them can be changed individually, and you can add custom profiles.
As with the D5000 and D3100, the D5100's viewfinder spans 95% of the frame with a magnification of 0.78x. Image stabilization is also performed in the lens, so you need to invest in Nikon Vibration Reduction (VR) optics. Fortunately, the complete 18-55 mm lens has this technology. The chamber dust collection system consists of two stages and the sensor shaking technology.
The most obvious hardware upgrade for the Nikon D5100 Kit is the large LCD monitor that dominates the back of the camera.Although the D5000 also had a variable-position display, the screen of the model that changed it was superior in all respects. It is 3 times larger and with 921K points has a higher resolution. The hinge is now located on the side rather than the bottom, which provides greater flexibility in use.
In the screen sighting mode, you can capture video, and here the new model is also ahead of its predecessor, recording at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 at a frequency of 24 or 25 fps (30 fps in NTSC regions). The D5000 could record a maximum of 720p. Features D5100 brought it to the level of Canon EOS 600D and Sony A580. The video in the D5100 is saved in H.264 format.
The sound is recorded in mono by default, although there is a 3.5 mm jack on the side of the device where you can connect a stereo microphone (for example, ME-1 for 9000 rubles).
In the mode of screen sighting, there are 3 options for AF, including the option "always on". By selecting this option, the D5100 automatically focuses on an object in a green window located in the center of the display. The option is not available in viewfinder mode. Instead, you can select Continuous-server and assign one AF point. After that, the camera will focus on it while the shutter button is half pressed.
Another new feature is the Special Effects digital filter mode. This is not a new idea. It was first used in the Olympus E-30 back in 2008. After a bit of a hitch, she returned to the Pentax and Canon cameras, which added digital effects options to their entry level models. And now Nikon followed suit. Access to direct main shooting modes allows you to select 8 filters: selected color, thumbnail, color sketch, night vision, silhouette, in light and dark colors. In practice, the effects work quite well, and many photographers, especially those new to the DSLR world, can get a little pleasure from them. But no matter how fun it is, it should be borne in mind that special effects do not correspond to the level that can be achieved with the help of specialized graphic editors. And unlike competitors, the filters in this model cannot be individually customized.
Nikon D5100 Kit: Design Review
The model has received a new function HDR, which can be used to capture and merge two images taken with the difference in exposure up to 3EV. It only works to capture a frame in JPEG format and requires a quick transition to the settings of the main menu, if a separate button is not selected for it. For such a simple function, the results can be quite impressive.
For those who prefer to post-process images in the camera, in the Retouch menu, the D5100 offers a good set of editing tools, including options for resizing, straightening and cropping or retouching. Also, some special effects are applicable to JPEG files (for example, miniaturization and color thumbnails). Also useful is the ability to compress RAW files to JPEG.
Somewhat disappointing, according to users, the lack of built-in wireless flash control. Especially since Canon offers it in the EOS 600D.
In terms of design, the Nikon D5100 Kit is noticeably smaller and lighter than its predecessor. The shape of the camera has become more accented, with a less square and more refined appearance. The case is very small, and users with large hands do not always manage to grasp the holder with three fingers. Nevertheless, the camera is very light and comfortable, which makes it easy to photograph for long periods of time. With a VR lens of 18-55 mm, a very well-balanced set is obtained, although replacing optics with something larger and heavier can easily unbalance it.
Mainly due to the placement of the monitor hinge on the side, the layout of the D5100 buttons has undergone quite significant changes. For example, all controls to the left of the screen in the D5000 were shifted partly to the top panel and partly to the right of the monitor. The on-screen shift key, usually located at the back of other Nikon digital SLR cameras, has disappeared, and its functions have been transferred to a completely new lever near the mode dial top of the camera. The red video recording button is now located next to the shutter button.
Interface and autofocus
The simple menu navigation system remains the same. The main menu button to the left of the viewfinder is used to access more complex settings, and the convenient key to the right of the viewfinder brings up a single-screen menu of frequently used parameters - from ISO to AF mode, image management functions and exposure metering. Due to the fact that the monitor clearly shows all the parameters, access to them and changing these settings using the navigation bar makes them intuitive.
DSLR beginners can get information on various functions by simply pressing the “?” Button.
In general, according to user feedback, the Nikon D5100 SLR camera is extremely competent. When turned on, it is instantly ready for operation, although it usually takes 1.5 s to lock the autofocus. The 11-point phase AF system is usually quite fast when shooting through the viewfinder. Since the D5100 has no internal autofocus, this indicator strongly depends on the choice of optics. A complete 18-55mm VR lens is not the fastest, but its speed is sufficient for the vast majority of situations.
According to the owners, the AF sensors are too grouped in the center of the viewfinder. In addition, it would be nice to have a few transverse-type sensors, especially if you need to set your own point of focus, and not leave it to choose from the AF system. Another unpleasant thing is that when using single-point AF, there is no easy way to block the selection, which makes it too easy to change it with a random thumb movement on the navigation bar.
In the screen sighting mode, the AF contrast system works unexpectedly quickly, much more quickly than the Canon EOS 600D, and with a much smaller number of unnecessary movements.Permanent AF rather quickly reacts to focal length shifts in brightly lit situations, although it gradually slows down (with a concomitant increase in irritating “hunt” after the focus) as the amount of light decreases. Users are impressed with how quickly and smoothly the D5100 reacts to extreme changes in light, for example, when panning from a bright, sunny scene to shade.
Like other DSLR cameras equipped with a built-in microphone, lens noise can be a problem when recording videos, especially when shooting in a quiet place. To avoid this, it is best to use a directional microphone, such as the Nikon ME-1. In addition, you can configure the camera to manually focus and adjust it yourself, although this option requires some practice.
The LCD monitor is good at frame building. Indoors or in the shade, the screen remains very sharp and bright, with large viewing angles. And although it is difficult to see your own image in the sun, shooting when it is located behind your back presents almost no problem.
The overall controllability, ease of use and performance of the AF - all speak in favor of the D5100, but the quality of the images remains the trump card of the camera.Thanks to the editable settings, you can set any saturation, contrast and sharpness, so that the images look like the photographer wants.
Despite the cheaper measuring module, the Nikon D5100 Kit, according to reviews, remains reliable in all lighting conditions, without a tendency to overexposure or underexposure. In high-contrast scenes that go beyond the dynamic range of the camera, you can use Active D-Lighting technology, which allows you to save more parts of bright areas. She has 4 steps as well as an automatic mode. The technology works well and often turns out to be useful, although owners are advised to carefully set the super-high level, as this results in unrealistic images.
The Nikon D5100 18-55 VR lens is not the best optics manufacturer, but provides excellent value for money and is more than enough for general use as a starting point for DSLR users.
The 16-megapixel sensor is capable of capturing many details even at higher ISO settings. Although it is reasonable to expect this at low and medium sensitivity (ISO 100–800), the owners are particularly impressed with the quality of images in the ISO 1600–3200 range, in which the D5100 retains many details without showing excessive noise.At ISO 6400, interference becomes more intrusive, especially in shadow areas, although the images still look very good. At ISO 12800 and 25600 the noise level increases and is accompanied by the loss of small parts.
This is an extremely adaptable camera with excellent photos, the quality of which is close to the pictures on the more expensive model D7000.
Compared to the D5000, the Nikon D5100 Kit offers several notable updates that make the camera much more attractive than its predecessor. The camera is smaller and lighter, easy to use, has good performance and provides consistently good results both in the still image shooting mode and when shooting video. The drawbacks of the model are quite insignificant and are limited by the lack of such useful tools as the built-in wireless master flash and the lack of a preview button and a depth of field. These features are more useful and in demand than any of the special effects.
Overall, the Nikon D5100 Kit 18-55 VR is a great advanced entry level kit that can make great shots.