For the non-professional, the Nikon D5100 D-SLR (Digital-Single Lens Reflex) camera (16.2 MP, DX-format, CMOS sensor, 4 fps continuous shooting, 1080p HD movie) is an excellent all around product especially when coupled with the Nikon 18-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR ED and 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor zoom lenses. For many, this camera will provide everything needed without having to reach up to the more expensive Nikon D7000.The image captures from the D5100 using either the 105 mm or the 300 mm glass are very high quality. The D5100 has the same image sensor as the D7000, which is an extremely nice benefit. When going out for a day capturing images it is nothing to snap two to four hundred clicks, and relatively few of them ever need to be deleted while they are on the memory card in the camera or later once they have been downloaded to either a pc or laptop.
The settings and functions are easy to learn and use. The additional “Scenes” and “Effects” features have delivered as Nikon promises. The selective color function is especially nice and works exceedingly well while being only hand-held without the assistance of a tripod. The results are quite remarkable considering the unit essentially snaps two photos. That, in itself, says much about Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) capabilities. However, the best thing about selective color is how effortless it is to learn.The High Dynamic Range feature allows the user to bring together scenes with deep contrasts by combining the two exposures with rich color and texture. Also available in the D5100 is Active D-Lighting, a feature that equalizes the differences between high and low light areas in an image.With a well-placed Start button, the D5100 full HD mode delivers a very high-quality movie (up to 22 minutes of 1080p HD) utilizing full-time autofocus and good sound recording quality, which can be greatly enhanced with an optional stereo microphone (Nikon ME-1).
Even though the D5100 has Liveview there are those who will prefer use of the viewfinder, but, either way, the camera should live up to all expectations when framing an image. The 3″ 921,000-dot LCD display is a great size and the color clarity is superb. The addition of the articulating display was brilliant on Nikon’s part as it assists framing many difficult shots (overhead, waist, ground level, etc) with relative ease.For the money the D5100 cannot be beat for quality of performance.