Set the camera on 'P' mode. Video mode and Live View: The D5100 now offers full HD video, with multiple options: 1920 by 1080 at 30fps or 24fps (frames per second), with two quality (high and normal) settings for each. The Nikon D5100 is the most advanced entry-level camera that Nikon has ever introduced. With this standard definition mode, recording frame rates are fixed at either the nominal 30 fps for NTSC, or 25fps for PAL. Face-priority AF -- which can identify up to 35 individual faces within the frame during live view, but an (undisclosed) lesser number during movie capture -- will select the closest subject among the group when adjusting focus. 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. 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. This is an excellent score, among the best cameras we've tested to date. The Nikon D5100 has an internal microphone comprising three holes located directly above the D5100 badge on the camera's front panel. digital cameras produce color that's more highly saturated (more intense) 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. 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. Detail. 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. Unlike some of Nikon's digital SLRs, the D5100's Live View mode -- from which Movie recording is initiated -- lacks the company's separate Handheld and Tripod modes. The Nikon D5100 comes with a built-in intervalometer that enables you to capture incredible time-lapse sequences. The user can put a limit on the maximum sensiti… Skin tones. For most photographers and most applications, the noise thresholds of 0.5 and 0.25 f-stops are probably the most relevant to the production of acceptable-quality finished images, but many noise-sensitive shooters will insist on the 0.1 f-stop limit for their most critical work. Nikon D3100 is clearly the smaller of the two cameras. We found skin tones a touch warm in our "Sunlit" Portrait shot with Auto white balance, preferring the Manual white balance results here, while in our Far-field House shot, Auto white balance was a touch cool. The Nikon D5100's RAW file scored 2.3 f-stops more in total dynamic range than the JPEG (12.5 vs 10.2 f-stops) and the score at the highest quality level increased 2.26 f-stops from 7.74 to 10 f-stops. If your subject is relatively static, you can instead opt for the Single-servo AF mode, which will still allow you to perform single autofocus operations during video capture by half-pressing the shutter button. One very nice feature of Nikon's contrast adjustment is that it has very little effect on color saturation. A measure of Nikon's confidence in the D5100's contrast detection performance can, perhaps, be read from the fact that it not only offers full-time AF during movie capture, but also provides an AF tracking function. The Nikon D5100's noise performance is very similar to that of the D7000. As noted previously, the internal mic has a tendency to pick up camera handling and autofocus drive noise on the audio track of captured movie clips, with the severity of this likely varying significantly depending on the videographer, and the lens model in use. 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. Though contrast is a little high, highlight and especially shadow detail are very good. The Nikon D5100 produced very good detail, but there's a slight softness in its images overall, even when using the sharp Nikon 35mm f/1.8G prime lens at f/8 as was used for the house crop above left. Saturation. 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. Thus, hue-accurate, highly saturated colors appear as lines radiating from the center. If you’re new to digital photography, chances are you’ve resorted to using Auto mode for all subjects and situations. Taking the margin of error into account, dynamic range performance was indeed very similar to the Nikon D7000, which is to say, very good. Essentially every video capable digital SLR currently on the market exhibits motion-related distortions called rolling shutter artifacts. 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. The effect on moving objects is similar to that of a focal plane shutter in an SLR, but more pronounced, because the video frame is read out much more slowly than the slit of a focal plane shutter moves across the sensor. The Nikon D5100 pushes dark blues and some darker greens moderately, but actually undersaturates some yellow and cyan tones slightly. Color balance with auto white balance was fairly neutral at higher light levels, but took on an increasingly strong blue or magenta cast as light levels dropped. With true manual operation of its lenses, the Nikon D5100 doesn't have this problem, although it's possible that third-party or older Nikon lenses might produce audible noise while their focus was adjusted.). Download firmware for Nikon digital products (firmware being the built-in software that controls cameras and other devices). What makes most sense then, is to specify useful dynamic range in terms of the point at which image noise reaches some agreed-upon threshold. enlarge. Where The Nikon D5100 and the Nikon Z5 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2011 and July 2020. There are a number of hot pixels visible at higher ISOs (ISO 800+) and also at lower ISOs when Long Exposure NR is turned off, but that's not unusual. (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.). Depending on the file format involved, it can take a pretty beefy computer to handle HD-resolution video playback without stuttering or dropping frames. 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. Post your items for free. RAW vs In-Camera JPEGsAs noted above, the Nikon D5100 does a pretty good job at capturing lots of detail, but JPEG images are slightly soft at the default settings. As can be seen below, the saturation adjustment worked very well, providing a reasonably fine-grained adjustment over a useful range of control. Hue is "what color" the color is. Note the use of the qualifier "useful" in there: While it's tempting to evaluate dynamic range as the maximum number of tonal steps that can be discerned at all, that measure of dynamic range has very little relevance to real-world photography. The settings apply to the built-in microphone as well as to an external mic. Face Detection. Contrast AdjustmentWe really like it when a camera gives us the ability to adjust contrast and saturation to our liking. 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. Boxing week saw some great sales, but also, a lot of liquidation of refurb stock. Material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted or otherwise used without the prior written consent of The Imaging Resource. The series of shots below show the effect of the various Active D-Lighting settings available on the Nikon D5100 on our high-contrast "Sunlit" Portrait scene. See full set of test images Regardless of the metering mode selected, movies will always be recorded using Matrix metering, with the Center-weighted and Spot options available only for still image capture. This lets us compensate for front- or back-focus by different camera bodies, even those that lack micro-focus adjustments. Most digital cameras will fail miserably when faced with a moving subject in dim Obviously moving subjects should also be avoided. The Nikon D5100 does not offer a Kelvin color temperature setting as found in its higher-priced siblings. Overall, saturation levels are quite accurate, just slightly higher than the D3100, D5000 and D7000. See below for how Active D-Lighting worked on our Far-field House shot. Indoors, under normal incandescent lighting, color balance was very warm and reddish with the Auto white balance setting. be able to snap good-looking photos of street-lit scenes. When Active D-Lighting is enabled, the camera usually exposes for the highlights in an attempt to preserve them, then adjusts the tone curve to bring the midtones and shadows back up to produce an image that doesn't look underexposed. 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. To start and stop capture, you simply press the red button adjacent to the still image Shutter button, while live view is active. (See the Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II review for details on that model.). This can mean that focus operation is still audible, regardless of how slowly you turn the focus ring. Most consumer In Live View mode, the camera's contrast-detect autofocus was only able to focus down to just below 1/4 foot-candle and AF assist is not supported in Live View mode. Simply switching moving to a shoe-mount mic with some form of shock mount can do wonders for your DSLR audio, while moving the mic off camera at a distance can completely resolve the issue. The Nikon D5100 also has ISO Sensitivity Auto Control, activated from the shooting menu. More saturated colors are located toward the periphery of the graph. (It does affect only JPEG images though, Nikon very properly doesn't apply tonal adjustments like this to RAW file data. Nikon D5100 and 35mm f/1.8 DX lens. In the case of the Nikon D5100, with its variable frame rate, this means that image data for the last row of a given frame is captured and read out anywhere from 1/24th to 1/30th second after the data for the top row was captured. The Nikon D5100 performed well here, able to capture usable images down to the 1/16 foot-candle light level (about 1/16 as bright as average city street lighting at night), at all ISO settings. Total Number of Shutter Releases for Camera = 466 What we care about as photographers is how much detail we can pull out of the shadows before image noise becomes too objectionable. 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. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and RAW on the right. Again, detail in the shadows was very good, and shadow noise very low. The Incandescent setting was also too warm and yellowish for our tastes. Also note the slight blue cast in the white trim of the house as the strength of Active D-Lighting is increased. Nikon D5100 vs Z5. It also avoids some of the severe image quality loss suffered by AVCHD cameras, when faced with significant amounts of change in image content between frames. The more sophisticated encoding used in the H.264 standard requires quite a bit of processor power to pull it apart and put it back together again, so frame-accurate editing of H.264 requires a fast processor and capable editing program. Manual white balance produced slightly pinker tints, which had a "healthier" look. Nikon D5200: Image Quality Tone and Exposure Employing the same 2,016-pixel RGB sensor that’s used in the D7000, the D5200 offers a choice of … Normally, there is a noise penalty to be paid for boosting shadows, but noise levels in the shadows are very low with this sensor (on both the D7000 and D5100), so increased shadow noise is not much of a concern here. Overall, excellent results here, especially when the contrast setting is tweaked. ISO 25,600 images are too muted and noisy to be called good. Individual strands are still distinguishable even in the lighter shadows, though they begin to merge as shadows deepen, and in places where the tone and color of adjacent strands is very close. All in all, a very good performance here. Sharpness & DetailVery good detail but a hint soft straight from the camera, with relatively minor edge-enhancement on high-contrast subjects. As in the earlier consumer-oriented D3100 model, the Nikon D5100's contrast detection-based continuous autofocus mode carries a different name from its phase-detection equivalent. In the D5100 the biggest pro is the image quality, which as amazing for an entry level camera at this price point. The blue channel was lost in some of the deeper shadows, but shadow noise was very low. Nikon recommends Ecamm Live for Mac and vMix or SparkoCam for PC. 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. Our laboratory resolution chart revealed sharp, distinct line patterns down to about 1,900 lines per picture height in the horizontal direction, and about 1,900 lines per picture height in the vertical direction in JPEGs. (Keep in mind that the longer shutter speeds here demand the use of a tripod to prevent any blurring from camera movement. 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