Featuring a new horizontal swing, vari-angle monitor, full-HD movie recording and Nikon's easy-to-use entry-level menu for easy photography from more angles.
The D5100 is equipped with the same DX-format CMOS image sensor and EXPEED 2 image-processing engine as the high-end D7000 digital-SLR camera. These features enable capture of high-resolution images with excellent expression of tones. With standard sensitivity settings of ISO 100 - 6400 and additional increases up to Hi 2 (ISO 25600 equivalent), the camera offers improved capability with shooting under dim lighting, such as in the evening or indoors, and also produces better results with capture of rapidly moving subjects.
The High Dynamic Range (HDR) function captures two shots of varying exposure each time the shutter-release button is pressed, and then combines the two shots into a single image with a broad dynamic range. Resulting images beautifully recreate the scene as seen with the naked eye, even with shooting of backlit scenes, with little or no loss of detail in shadows or highlights.
Visibility has been increased with the large 3-inch, approximately 921k-dot high-resolution vari-angle monitor adopted for the D5100. In addition, the range of colors that can be reproduced by the monitor is equivalent to that of the sRGB gamut.
Adoption of a side hinge for the vari-angle monitor prevents the monitor from hitting the tripod when it is opened while the camera is mounted on a tripod. The vari-angle monitor opens from 0 to 180° to the side, and can be rotated up to 90° clockwise and up to 180° counter-clockwise when it is open. This enables shooting from a wide variety of angles, from low to high, making even self portraits possible.
The D5100 is equipped with the D-Movie function that enables recording of high-definition movies (1920 x 1080p, 30p) exhibiting superior video quality. Autofocusing during movie recording is possible using contrast-detect AF. When the focus mode is set to full-time-servo AF (AF-F) and the AF-area mode to subject-tracking AF, the camera automatically maintains focus on a subject moving throughout the frame. The D5100 also offers in-camera movie editing functions that allow users to save a single frame as a still JPEG image or delete unnecessary portions from the beginning and/or end of movie files. What's more, the D5100 is equipped with built-in support for stereo audio recording via the Stereo Microphone ME-1 (available separately), and the mode dial and live view switch have been positioned on the same spindle in consideration of operational ease.
The optional Stereo Microphone ME-1 can be used to record sound in stereo while also preventing noise caused by lens vibration being recorded during autofocus.
The D5100 offers special effects that can be selected and applied with both shooting of still images and recording of movies. Special effects are displayed with the view through the lens in the monitor before shooting or recording begins, allowing users to confirm the desired results in real time. Users can easily enjoy adding special effects to movies. This mode was adopted to respond to the creative intent of users searching for a way to express their own unique style and creativity.
The Special Effects mode built into the D5100 offers seven special effects, including Selective Color and Color Sketch.
Favorite Special Effects
All colors other than those selected by the user are recorded in black and white. Up to three colors can be selected at a time.
The camera detects and colors outlines for a color sketch effect. Users can use the monitor display to adjust the vividness of colors and the thickness of outlines.
Distant subjects appear as miniatures for a diorama effect. Users can choose the orientation (vertical/horizontal) and width (narrow/normal/wide) of the area that will be in focus.
When this option is selected, extremely high ISO sensitivities are used (up to ISO 102400 equivalent). This enables shooting under conditions of darkness while verifying the subject and composition in the monitor.
* RAW recording is not possible. Still images can only be recorded in JPEG (black-and-white) format. Only contrast-detect AF can be used.
1 Manual focus, M or S mode, shutter speed 1/250 s or faster, and other settings at default values
Type of Camera
Single-lens reflex digital camera
Nikon DX format (23.6 x 15.6 mm) CMOS sensor
Image Size (Pixels)
4,928 x 3,264 [L], 3,696 × 2,448 [M], 2,464 × 1,632 [S]; D-movie: 1920 x 1080 / (30fps, 25fps, 24fps), 1280 x 720 / (30fps, 25fps, 24fps), 640 x 424 / (30fps, 25fps)
ISO 100 to 6400 in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV, plus HI-0.3, HI-0.5, HI-0.7, HI-1, HI-2 (ISO 25600)
NEF (12 or 14-bit lossless compressed or compressed RAW), JPEG (Baseline-compliant); MOV movie (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC compression format with Linear PCM sound; Stereo sound with external microphone)
SD memory card *1 (SDHC and SDXC compliant)
1) Single frame, 2) Continuous: 4fps, 3) Self-timer, 4) Delayed remote, 5) Quick-response remote, 6) Silent shuttle release, 7) D-Movie
Auto (TTL white-balance with main image sensor and 420-pixel RGB sensor), Incandescent, Fluorescent ( 7 types ), Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, preset manual
3.0", 921,000-dot, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD, allows up to 170-degree viewing angle, horizontal opening type vari-angle LCD
1) Full-frame, 2) Movie Playback, 3) Thumbnail (4/9/72, calendar) playback, 4) playback zoom, 5) Faces detected during zoom, 6) Slide show, 7) Histogram display, 8) Highlights, 9) Auto image rotation, 10) Image comment
Single image, Selected images, images taken on a selected date, All images (except protected images)
USB 2.0 (High-speed), Video output, HDMI output (Type C mini-pin connector), new 10-pin remote terminal, Connector for external microphone
Picture Angle (in 35mm  format equivalent)
Approx. 1.5x lens focal length
Eye-level pentamirror; built-in diopter adjustment (-1.7 to +0.7m-1)
Type B Brite View clear matte screen Mark VII screen
Viewfinder Frame Coverage/Magnification (with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1)
Approx. 95% / Approx. 0.78x
TTL phase detection, 11 focus points (1 cross-sensor) by Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module; Detection range: -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 at 20°C/68°F)
1) Autofocus (AF); Single-servo AF (AF-S); Continuous servo AF (AF-C); Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A), 2) Manual focus (MF) can be selected from 11 focus area
Exposure Metering System
1) 3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses), color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses), 2) Center-weighted (weight of 75% given to 8-mm circle in center of frame), 3) Spot metering (meters 3.5-mm circle centered on selected focus point)
Exposure Metering Range (at normal temperature [68°F/20°C], ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens)
1) Matrix or center-weighted metering: 0 - 20 EV 2) Spot metering: 2 - 20 EV (ISO 100, f/1.4, 20°C/68°F)
1) Digital Vari-Program (Auto, Auto [Flash Off], 2) Scene ( portrait, landscape, close up, sports, night portrait, child, auto (flash off), night landscape, party/indoor, beach/snow, sunset, dusk/drawn, pet portrait, candlelight, blossom, autumn colors, food, silhouette, high key, low key), 3) Programmed Auto [P], 4) Shutter-Priority Auto [S], 5) Aperture Priority Auto [A], 6) Manual [M], 7) [Special effects modes] Night vision, color sketch, miniature effect, selective color, silhouette, high key, low key.
Auto Exposure Bracketing
Exposure bracketing: 3 frames in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
X-contact only; flash synchronization at up to 1/200 s or slower
1) i-TTL flash control by 420-segment RGB sensor; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR, standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR
Flash Sync Modes
1) Fill-flash, 2) slow sync, 3) auto slow sync, 4) red-eye reduction, 5) auto with red-eye reduction, 6) slow sync with red-eye reduction, 7) auto slow sync with red-eye reduction, 8) rear-curtain sync, 9) rear-curtain with slow sync
2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1-9 exposures
Depth of Field Preview Button
Via Wireless Remote Control ML-L3 (optional)
Via GP-1 GPS Unit (optional)
22 languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish
Rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL14 battery 1030 mAh, EH-5a AC adapter (available separately; requires optional EP-5A power connector )
Battery Life (on a fully charged battery)
Approx 660 shots
1/4 in. (ISO1222)
Approx. 128 x 96.9 x 78.7 mm (5.0 x 3.8 x 3.1 in.)
Weight (without battery, memory card or body cap)
Approx. 509 g (1 lb. 2 oz.)
Supplied Accessories (may differ by country or area)
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL14, Battery Charger MH-24, Audio Video Cable EG-CP14, USB Cable UC-E6, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, Rubber Eyecup DK-20, Strap AN-DC3, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, Body Cap BF-1B, ViewNX 2 CD
Expeed 2 Image Processing Engine, D-Movie (Full HD recording; external stereo microphone input; in-camera movie editing), Full-time servo AF (AF-F) movie recording,Vari-angle LCD monitor, special effect mode
Standard zoom lens kit. Enables you to shoot in low-light without a flash, for more natural-looking images. Includes the D5100 camera and the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm VR that offers a precision 3x zoom lens and features Vibration Reduction to reduce the effects of camera shake.
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