A typical computer these days has little trouble dealing with still images, but high-definition video can be another matter. Overall, excellent results here, especially when the contrast setting is tweaked. Experienced videographers will find intriguing possibilities in the D5100's ability to control the lens aperture manually before capture starts, to accept an external microphone, and to adjust audio gain. Options like Active D-Lighting and contrast adjustment are a help when faced with tough conditions like these. By incorporating the high quality 16.2 megapixel sensor, great low-light performance, and full HD video of the pro-sumer D7000, the D5100 … Examples are all shot at ISO 100, and include in-camera Fine JPEG, the RAW file processed through Nikon's free ViewNX version 2.1.2 software, and the RAW file processed through Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) version 6.4, then sharpened in Photoshop. The intermediate 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution also has a 16:9 aspect ratio, and is better known as 720p. You can, however, adjust exposure compensation, and use the Autoexposure Lock button to lock the metered exposure, even after movie capture has already started. contrast. Compared to the Motion JPEG format used by some cameras, H.264 is much more conservative of memory card space. The effects can often be seen in shots of human hair, where the Indoors, under normal incandescent lighting, color balance was very warm and reddish with the Auto white balance setting. AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED. The Nikon D5100 allows you to set the exposure differential between the two images from 1, 2 or 3 EV, and there is also an Auto setting where the camera decides. Live-View is the display of the data from the image sensor on the camera monitor in real time. Nikon did a good job here. Despite the bright appearance, only a few highlights mainly in the red and blue channels were clipped in the model's shirt, pendant and some of the flowers. 2x better video recording quality (main camera)? ), Mouse over the links to see how the various levels of Active D-Lighting affects our "Sunlit" Portrait shot at default exposure. We were able to eke out a bit more resolution (about 2,000 lines) with RAW files processed through ViewNX 2 and Adobe Camera Raw 6.4, and both RAW conversions extended the extinction point of the pattern well beyond the in-camera JPEG. Below you can see the front view size comparison of Nikon D3100 and Nikon D5100. In the D5100 the biggest pro is the image quality, which as amazing for an entry level camera at this price point. The Nikon D5100 showed a few small color shifts relative to the mathematically precise translation of colors in its subjects, but its overall color accuracy was very good. Still, it's a useful feature for capturing static scenes with dynamic range that exceeds the sensor for those not willing to use manual HDR techniques (bracketing exposure and then combining images while post-processing). Sharpness. This software can see the Nikon camera’s USB video feed (keep in mind no audio will be fed over USB) and then use it to make a virtual webcam option that can be used in various streaming and chatting applications, such as Zoom, WebEx, Twitch, Facebook Live, and more. You can adjust Sharpening, Contrast, Brightness, Saturation and Hue for any of the settings. Images at 6,400 and ISO 12,800 are notably less detailed than those at lower sensitivity levels, with more visible noise reduction artifacts. Default contrast was a bit on the high side (as most users prefer), but shadow and highlight detail in the Portrait shot shown above was quite good. The D5100 is a DSLR, while the Z5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.The cameras are based on an APS-C (D5100) and a full frame (Z5) sensor. Detail was still very good at ISO 1,600, with a tight film-like noise "grain" and very little fine detail lost to noise reduction. (You can read details of this test here. To this end, Imatest computes a number of different dynamic range measurements, based on a variety of image noise thresholds. F/8 is slightly beyond the diffraction limit on the D5100, but our testing on SLRgear showed that the sharpness loss from f/5.6 to f/8 was very slight: So the slight softness here is almost certainly the result of the camera's low pass filter and its image processing, rather than any loss optically. As can be seen below, the saturation adjustment worked very well, providing a reasonably fine-grained adjustment over a useful range of control. As mentioned in the Field Test, colors can also be adversely affected in HDR mode, such as a drop in saturation. Active D-LightingActive D-Lighting attempts to preserve detail in both highlights and shadows in high-contrast situations, while maintaining moderate levels of contrast. This is an excellent score, among the best cameras we've tested to date. More saturated colors are located toward the periphery of the graph. You can apply Nikon's Picture Controls as well as specify the color space for movies, as long as they are selected before recording begins. The user can put a limit on the maximum sensiti… For this reason, we now routinely print sample images from the cameras we test on our Canon Pro9000 Mark II studio printer, and on the Pixma MP610 here in the office. The Nikon D5100's noise performance is very similar to that of the D7000. As is often the case, the D5100's metering system struggled a bit with getting the exposure right at the lowest levels though, so we used manual exposure for these shots. The Nikon D5100 and the Nikon Z5 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2011 and July 2020. Here, we can see the effects of the Nikon D5100's full Auto Exposure mode and face detection in Live View mode versus Aperture Priority mode. Here's a list showing what to expect for file sizes with the Nikon D5100's video recording: Nikon recommends using an SD card with at least a Class 6 rating to capture and playback movies. We used default settings for ViewNX. Mouse over the links above to see how various levels of HDR affects our "Sunlit" Portrait shot and click on a link to get to the full-res image. Click on a link to get to the full-res image. with explanations, See thumbnails of all test and gallery images, See full set of test images with explanations. That's how a saturation control should work, but we've often found interactions between saturation adjustments and image contrast (and vice versa) on the cameras we test. For those wanting the best audio quality, an external microphone will almost certainly prove a better choice, however, allowing selection of a microphone with the desired characteristics, as well as reducing the effects of noise from handling the camera body or using the focus and zoom mechanisms. This isn't without cost, though: While they don't look as crisp, the Nikon renderings are smoother-looking with less visible noise. With the Mode dial in any other position, movies will be recorded as if the Mode dial were in the Program position. The net result is that you'll want a relatively recent and powerful computer to play full-res high-def video files from the D5100 on your computer. All of Nikon's DSLRs, like the vast majority of interchangeable-lens cameras, must rely on contrast detection AF during video capture.) (Noise will be much more visible in subjects with large areas of flat tints and subtle shading than it would in subjects with strong, highly contrasting surface texture.). Nikon D5100 Design As noted above, the variable-angle LCD is a nice touch, and at 3-inches wide with 921K dots, it’s big, bright, and surprisingly sharp for an LCD this old. The Nikon D5100 pushes dark blues and some darker greens moderately, but actually undersaturates some yellow and cyan tones slightly. If you’re not familiar with the Nikon D5100 digital camera, here’s a quick guide to its buttons, dials, and other external controls. With this standard definition mode, recording frame rates are fixed at either the nominal 30 fps for NTSC, or 25fps for PAL. Regardless of resolution and frame rate, recording times are limited to 20 minutes or four gigabytes per clip, whichever limit is reached first. This not only provides greater depth of field at any given aperture, but is also more forgiving of diffraction limiting at very small lens apertures. As we've noted in other SLR reviews, the good news with focusing for video is that you can get surprisingly good depth of field in video mode by stopping the lens down, thanks to the relatively low resolution of the video image. Focus and zoom operation is likely to result in motor / handling noise being recorded on the audio track, although use of an external microphone that is distanced from the camera body should help minimize these issues. Like the D3100 before it, the D5100 can offer live contrast detection autofocusing with tracking capability during video recording, albeit with some adverse effects on video and audio quality. The blue channel was lost in some of the deeper shadows, but shadow noise was very low. Detail. Download firmware for Nikon digital products (firmware being the built-in software that controls cameras and other devices). The +1.0 EV exposure did the best job here, as the model's face was still a bit too dim at +0.7 EV. Again, results are very similar to those of the Nikon D7000, with nearly the same High Quality score (10.1 vs 10 f-stops) though the D5100 scored slightly higher in total dynamic range (12.5 vs 12.1 f-stops). When enabled, the D5100 captures two images with one push of the shutter button, one underexposed and one overexposed and combines them in-camera to produce a high-dynamic-range JPEG. Reds were shifted slightly toward orange, cyan was shifted toward blue, and there were slight shifts in some oranges, greens and purples, but shifts were relatively minor. Bottom line, with the Nikon D5100's lens set to f/16 or f/22 (assuming you're shooting under fairly bright conditions), you'll be surprised by how little focus adjustment is needed during a typical video recording. (Some users may prefer this look, though, as being more representative of the original lighting.) AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR. Controls on Your Nikon D5100 Digital Camera. ISO 25,600 images are too muted and noisy to be called good. You can, of course, view your movies on a TV -- either via the composite A/V Output, or on an HDTV via the Type-C Mini HDMI output. There is also an Auto setting available. A note about focus for this shot: We shoot this image at f/4, using one of three very sharp reference lenses (70mm Sigma f/2.8 macro for most cameras, 60mm f/2.8 Nikkor macro for Nikon bodies without a drive motor, and Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 for Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds bodies). The Manual white balance setting by far produced the most accurate results, if just a touch cool. When compared to the older Nikon D90, the D5100 has better colors, image quality, dynamic range, and high ISO performance – that’s with an increase of 4 megapixels. The top left jack is the Accessory port, which allows geotagging of still images when a GP1 GPS unit is attached (not applicable to movies), or remote shutter release with the MC-DC2 remote cord. Testing hundreds of digital cameras, we've found that you can only tell just so much about a camera's image quality by viewing its images on-screen. It's worth noting here is that ACR's default noise reduction settings reduced overall noise somewhat (see the plot in the lower left-hand corner) relative to the levels in the in-camera JPEG, which would tend to boost the dynamic range numbers for the High Quality threshold. The D5100's Linear PCM audio is recorded with a bit depth of 16-bits, and a sampling rate of 48 kHz, plenty enough for good quality audio. Here are some examples of video from the Nikon D5100, showing typical results under daylight and night conditions. Also note the slight blue cast in the white trim of the house as the strength of Active D-Lighting is increased. To insure that the hair detail we use for making critical judgements about camera noise processing and detail rendering is in sharp focus at the relatively wide aperture we're shooting at, the focus target at the center of the scene is on a movable stand. (Pocket-lint) - The Nikon D5100 is Nikon’s update of the D5000 that launched in 2009, so has been anticipated for some time. We did not detect any significant banding issues. like their color a bit brighter than life. With the Mode dial set to any position except A or M, the main exposure variables -- shutter speed, aperture, and ISO sensitivity -- all remain under automatic control when recording movies with the Nikon D5100. Thankfully, the D5100 also provides for an external mic, courtesy of a 3.5mm stereo input jack under a flap on the left side of the camera's body. Just as with its saturation adjustment, the Nikon D5100's contrast setting meets both challenges, the contrast steps actually being a little finer than those for saturation, and thus even more to our liking. The one foot-candle light level Minimal noise suppression artifacts at base ISO. Dubbed Full-time Servo AF (AF-F for short, as opposed to AF-C / Continuous-Servo AF for phase detect), this function does involve some hunting around the point of focus, and can lag behind changes in your subject's focus distance somewhat. This is true at ISO 200 and 400 as well. Please Note: A full video tutorial on how to do this will be presented on an upcoming episode of Category5 Technology TV. A full discussion of all the data Imatest produces is really beyond the scope of this review: Visit the Imatest website for details of what the program measures, how it performs its computations, and how to interpret its output. The D5100 groups several settings related to video capture in a dedicated Movie Settings menu, accessed from the last page of the Shooting menu. (We'd say unacceptably so.) The Nikon D5100 comes with a built-in intervalometer that enables you to capture incredible time-lapse sequences. Nikon recommends Ecamm Live for Mac and vMix or SparkoCam for PC. Of course, the impact of noise and detail loss are highly dependent on the size the photos are printed at, and pixel-peeping on-screen has surprisingly little relationship to how the images look when printed: See the Print Quality section below for recommended maximum print sizes at each ISO. Slightly above average exposure compensation required.*. The maximum image resolution on the D5100 is 4928, 3264 px, whereas the D5600 goes up to 6000, 4000px. For ACR, we found best results by disabling sharpening in ACR, and sharpening instead in Photoshop with strong but tight 350% unsharp masking with a 0.3 pixel radius. This, of course, is a very subjective matter, and will vary with the application and even the subject matter in question. oversaturation is most problematic is on Caucasian skin tones, as it's very The good news is that, while not quite in single-lens direct view or compact camera territory, the D5100's contrast detection autofocus is quicker than the average, among those offered by its peers. Some minor edge enhancement artifacts are visible on high-contrast subjects such as the crop above left, but overall results are still very good. Just a short video comparing the video quality of the Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i. The Nikon D5100 is the most advanced entry-level camera that Nikon has ever introduced. Sunlight:The Nikon D5100 handled the deliberately harsh lighting very well in the above test. There is also an Auto setting available. Given that most users will likely be using the D5100's video recording for short clips of memorable moments, its tendency to pick up every sound is probably a positive feature. A few highlights were blown in the model's shirt and bright flowers, though not as much as we're used to seeing, and good detail was preserved in the shadows with lower than average noise. Noise was quite low up to ISO 1,600, and even a higher ISOs there's still a lot of detail to work with when high ISO NR is set to "Off" (which still applies some noise filtering at ISOs over 1,600). These both offers a choice of three frame rates, nominally listed as 30, 25, and 24 frames per second, although the highest and lowest rates are actually 29.97 and 23.976 fps. We'd personally go the Adobe (or other high-quality third-party RAW converter) route here if we were concerned about making the sharpest-looking print possible from the D5100's files. NEF files, however, are tagged so that Nikon software can automatically apply the effect when converted. The D5100 also offers Full HD (aka 1080p) high definition video capture, ensuring that its movies -- all recorded using H.264/MPEG-4 AVC compression -- will look their best even on the latest high-def displays. ISO 100 images make excellent 24 x 36 inch prints with great detail and color. The Nikon D5100 also has ISO Sensitivity Auto Control, activated from the shooting menu. There is also an option to adjust the amount of "smoothing" that is applied to the boundaries between the two images, with selections of Low, Medium and High. This does mean, though, that the focus target itself may appear soft or slightly out of focus for bodies that front- or back-focused with the reference lens. Where On Select Maximum senstivity. digital cameras produce color that's more highly saturated (more intense) Overall a very impressive performance from the Nikon D5100, on par with the Nikon D7000 to a large extent. ViewNX 2 is an all-in-one image browsing and editing software application for both still images and movies. The Wide and Normal-area modes are self-explanatory, providing two different focus area sizes, which can be manually positioned anywhere within the frame (and even moved during video capture.) ISO 1,600 prints look quite good at 13 x 19 inches. We don't believe the Nikon D5100 performs any micro-alignment of the two images even though the user manual warns of possible cropping. It also offers limited in-camera movie editing functionality. Imaging Resource © 1998 - 2020. There are 9 ISO settings available on the Nikon D5100 and the ISO speed can be adjusted in 1/3 EV increments. Images were very clean at ISO 100 through 800, which just a touch of luminance noise becoming more visible in the shadows as ISO increased. As you can see, the higher levels make quite a difference to the overall exposure by opening up shadow detail and toning-down highlights while at the same time reducing shadow noise, but lower levels of smoothing can lead to artificial looking shadows around bright objects or halos and glowing around dark ones. Our test lighting for this shot is a mixture of 60 and 100 watt household incandescent bulbs, a pretty yellow light source, but a very common one in typical home settings here in the U.S. Outdoors, daylightGood color outdoors with very good highlight/shadow detail preservation. NOTE: This low light test is conducted with a stationary subject, and the camera mounted on a sturdy tripod. Movie editing. 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