Nikon D5100 review

16.2 megapixels, articulated screen, fun Special Effects modes and intuitive controls

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We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.

The Nikon D5100 results have been compared with those from the Nikon D3100, D3200 and D800 as well as the Canon EOS 600D and Canon 60D.

JPEG Signal to noise ratio

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

Nikon D5100 review

JPEG images from the Nikon D5100 compare well with the other cameras, even the full-frame Nikon D800. At sensitivities over about ISO 3200, the D5100 beats the new D3200 and the Canon 600D and 60D, indicating that images are cleaner, with less noise.

Raw (after conversion to TIFF) Signal to noise ratio

Nikon D5100 review

Though it is considerably older, the Nikon D5100 produces raw files which, after conversion to TIFF, have a signal to noise ratio close to that of images from the D3200 and D800. The two Canon cameras fall some way behind.

JPEG Dynamic range

Nikon D5100 review

This chart indicates that the D5100's JPEGs have a at least a 0.5EV higher dynamic range than the Canon EOS 600D's JPEG files across the entire sensitivity range, but they fall some way behind the newer Nikon D3200 and D800 at the lower sensitivity settings.

Raw (after conversion to TIFF) Dynamic range

Nikon D5100 review

This chart indicates that the D5100's raw files (after conversion to TIFF) follow a very similar pattern to the JPEGS with regards to dynamic range. In other words, they beat both the Canon EOS 600D and 60D's across the lower sensitivity range, but they fall some way behind the newer Nikon D3200 and D800.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution16.2 Megapixel
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesLive View, Continuous Shooting Mode, Manual White Balance, Aperture Priority
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime MOV, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)510 g
Image Sensor Size23.60 mm x 15.60 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4928 x 3264
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height97 mm
Width128 mm
Depth79 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelD5100
Product NameD5100 Digital SLR Camera
Exposure Control
  • Program (P)
  • Shutter Priority Auto (S)
  • Aperture Priority Auto (A)
  • Manual (M)
Manufacturer Part NumberVBA310AE
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The D5100 is a high-performance D-SLR designed to stimulate your creative side and help you create still images and movies like no other.

The swing-out vari-angle monitor combines with the camera's D-movie function to enable unique shots from any angle. Still images or movies can be shot using a special effect to add a sense of magic.

Package Contents
  • D5100 Digital SLR Camera
  • EN-EL14 Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery (with Terminal Cover)
  • MH-24 Battery Charger
  • AN-DC3 Strap
  • EG-CP14 Audio/Video Cable
  • UC-E6 USB Cable
  • DK-5 Eyepiece Cap
  • BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover
  • DK-20 Rubber Eyecup
  • BF-1B Body Cap
  • Software CD
  • User's Manual
Limited Warranty1 Year