1. A high-resolution Nikon DX-format CMOS image sensor with an effective pixel count of 16.2-million pixels, an image-processing engine that provides superior image quality and rich expression of tones, and the new High Dynamic Range (HDR) function
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.
HDR Sample Image
2. 3-in., approximately 921k-dot vari-angle monitor with wide viewing angle and increased visibility
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 colours 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.
Vari-angle monitor movement diagram
3. D-Movie for recording and editing of Full-HD movies
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.
Mode dial, live view switch image(s)
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.
4. The first Nikon digital-SLR camera to offer Special Effects mode
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 Colour and Colour Sketch.
Favorite Special Effects
- Selective colour
All colours other than those selected by the user are recorded in black and white. Up to three colours can be selected at a time.
Selective colour sample image
- Colour sketch
The camera detects and colours outlines for a colour sketch effect. Users can use the monitor display to adjust the vividness of colours and the thickness of outlines.
- Miniature effect
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.
- Night vision
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.
Additional Features and Functions
- High-speed continuous shooting at up to approximately 4 fps1, and a very precise and durable shutter unit that has passed testing for 100,000 cycles.
- Equipped with Quiet shutter-release mode for shooting in situations in which quieter shutter operation is desired. Infrared receivers for remote control operation on the front and back of the camera enable wireless control over the shutter from both in front of and behind the camera (optional ML-L3 wireless remote control supported).
- Equipped with 16 scene modes that enable the simple capture of beautiful photos of the desired scene with automatic optimisation of camera settings.
- Built-in HDMI-CEC compatibility enables control over playback of still images and movies using the television's remote control when the camera is connected to a high-definition TV via the HDMI connector.
1 Manual focus, M or S mode, shutter speed 1/250 s or faster, and other settings at default values.
- Selective colour