Nikon D5100: Budget- friendly yet with excellent stills and Video Capability

Pros: excellent colorization for both stills and videos, the 18-55 kit lens superbly match its capabilities.

Cons: Picture and video quality is great but still falls short behind other brands. It has no built-in image stabilization feature but rather rely on the VR capability of the attached lens.

Nikon’s non- pro digital SLR lineup has just been joined by the all-new Nikon D5100.Priced roughly between $799.95 and $899.95, it seems to be a cross between the beginner- friendly D3100 and the slightly high-end D7000 which means newbie photography enthusiasts can have the best without having to spend for the much pricier models.

The most striking feature of the D5100 is probably its 16.2 MP CMOS sensor which is featured on the D7000 model. This sensor is excellent in capturing full resolution stills as well as with recording Full HD videos which the D5100 can do as well. An affordable 18-55 mm f3.5- 5.6 VR kit lens is supplied   which complements perfectly with the D5100. The Vibration Reduction in this inexpensive lens helps in producing non- blurry images which makes it an advantage even if the camera lacks an in- camera image stabilization feature.

A new feature on the Nikon DSLR range is the Effects shooting mode that has 7 different filters to boast. The filters can be used not only with stills but with the video clips as well. Noteworthy is the camera’s Night Vision effect which turns the ISO sensitivity up to 102, 400. Previewing captured images and videos is made easier with its Live View mode which may be utilized via its flexible screen that can be folded out on the left side of the camera. The 3 inch screen has a high resolution at 920K dots and an anti- glare coating which makes it usable even in strong lights such as during outdoor photography. An accurate Contrast- detect- auto- focus (CDAF) is available which can be used effectively with the face detection feature.

The Nikon D5100 has 11 Auto Focus sensors that are sensitive to either vertical or horizontal details. An AF assist lamp is provided to help in achieving focus even in low light.

When it comes to in-camera editing, the D5100 offers a lot of retouching tools which makes one capable of enhancing the photos like a pro in just a few clicks of a button. One need not to buy computer programs to edit photos and instead just use the camera’s various editing tools like red-eye correction, monochrome conversion, fisheye, color outline, trimming, image resizing and overlaying, selective color, miniature effect, colour sketch, perspective control, and even in-camera raw processing.

To sum it all up, the Nikon D5100 may be just another entry- level camera but for both beginners and more experienced photographers alike, the features are as wonderful as compared to other cameras on its range. It is a versatile and not to mention compact digital SLR that could produce great images and videos without the need to shell out thousands of bucks. Exploring the camera itself will make one discover the possibilities that this nifty camera could offer.

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