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4,346 of 4,406 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review Written for Beginner Photographers
I am a photography teacher in NYC and online. (See my Amazon profile for my website.) I teach beginner and intermediate photography students every week. I've also been a professional photographer for the last five years with images published in The New York Times, GQ, New York Magazine, Women's Wear Daily, The New York Observer, The Village Voice and Time Out New...
Published on October 12, 2011 by jpullos

versus
147 of 173 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Major issue with some D5100
The D5100 was a great camera for about 5 months. All of a sudden images where black. I called support and they had me fix it with a camera reset it worked. Two months goes by and the same issue again This time "reset" does not work. Other have had the same issues on the boards and Nikon support did not fix it when the camera was sent for repair. The Camera could be great...
Published on December 5, 2011 by THanley100


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really a great product from Nikon, October 21, 2012
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This review is from: Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
Its a brand new Nikon D5100 SLR camera....i got it last week...its as amazing picture quality and this is my first SLR camera...i have a conflict in buying Canon DSLR ...but finally i chose Nikon DSLR and i had the best one....
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best travel camera for me, June 18, 2012
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This review is from: Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I travel a lot and mostly use my camera for travel photography. I started with the wonderful D40, so I lean towards Nikon since I'm familiar with the menus and controls. I have tried these cameras for travel:

Canon G12 (401 grams) and S95 (190 grams) (very good but not wonderful picture quality bc of small sensor, very light and easy to carry);
Nikon D7000 and D700 (964 grams w/ kit 18-55 zoom)(unbelievable picture quality but to heavy to carry for 6-8 hours of walking);
Fuji X100 (440 grams)(great picture quality, very light but lens is fixed; and
iPhone 4S (140 grams) (easiest to carry, fixed lens, but good picture quality under most conditions).

At over 750 grams, the D5100 with 18-55 kit lens is heavier than most of these options and is almost too heavy to carry 6-8 hours. The padded Crumpler strap really helps, and I don't load up with any accessories (no extra lens, no flash, no extra battery, etc.). The quality, range and lightweight of the kit zoom is really what clinches this for me. The Fuji is amazing, but I find there are too many shots I miss because of the fixed lens. Plus, if I want to go super light and fixed lens, my iPhone is not a bad option.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blown, March 1, 2012
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This review is from: Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
Absolutely love it! Best purchase I had made in a long time! I highly recommend this camera. It shoots great pictures and hi-def videos. I highly recommend it!

I have an unboxing video of it on [...]
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! What a step up..., February 13, 2012
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This review is from: Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
...from a Canon PowerShot.

This is the first DSLR I've bought, and considering the lens the camera came with, I could not be happier. As an amateur just beginning to get into photography for eventual professional use, this camera boasts everything I've ever wanted but never found in cheaper digital cameras targeted at the average consumer. Primarily: incredibly fast snapping speed (especially compared against those cheaper digital cameras I was talking about... which take forever for every picture :/), and an incredibly intuitive interface for configuring everything.

I remember I had a real headache just trying to just change ISO settings on an old Canon PowerShot. I don't think I was even able to change shutter speed, much less manually focus the camera - but of course, all of these things that I've wanted to experiment with for years are now finally a snap with this camera. Consequently, every picture I take with this camera is eons ahead of anything any auto-focus camera I've used has ever been able to offer.

On a related note, the fact that you also get a heads up within the viewfinder about shutter speed, etc. - is awesome!

But if that's all I was looking for, I would've opted for a cheaper D3100. What really differentiated the D5100 was the additional abilitiy to capture full 1080p video. While I'm not aiming to create a film with this camera, I'd recently begun hunting for a cheap digital camcorder to use for motion capture for animation references. The fact that the D5100 was a step-up from the D3100 at the same cost of any decent camcorder sold me on the spot.

On a sidenote: I am thoroughly satisfied with the lens the camera comes with, but I'm already beginning to see what other sorts of lenses I want to explore and use. I'm glad the price-point didn't hit the one-thousand-wall because now I have more money to put into lenses later down the line.

Since I lack the experience to proffer a more technical review of the camera, let me make my concluding remarks: I am completely satisfied with my purchase and entry into the world of DSLRs. I don't see myself ever turning back, and I can foresee myself using this camera alone for at least several years. While the key distinguishing feature for the D5100 vs. the 3100 was the video capture (the MP increase isn't necessary for my needs), I doubt that's the case for everyone. If you're looking to purchase your first DSLR, not looking for video capture, and the increased megapixel count isn't necessary, I recommend you check out other reviews that make more point-by-point comparisons between the D5100 and D3100 to see if you might be able to save some money. Save it so you can put it into buying lenses, of course.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great Camera you got to have, February 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I am very happy that I have purchased this camera.
I bought both the body and 18 to 55 mm Lens.
The photo quality is super!! Even in low lighting environment. Have not had time to explore more features.
Afterward, I did more research and found out that I could have just bought a body and buy a 18 - 300mm or 200mm lens.
It seems to be the trend to have one lens for all situations rather than carry two lens.
Overall, I am very satisfied.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a great little camera, February 1, 2012
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
This camera doesn't replace my Nikon D90 (I actually have 2 of them and love them) - but it is a great "smaller" camera to cart around when I don't want to lug the D90. It isn't much smaller - but it is a little lighter and smaller. I haven't tried all the features yet - but I have been very pleased so far. The picture quality is great. I would have rated it 4.5 but I couldn't give a half star. The thing that drives me crazy is that in order to see a photo that I just shot - I need to have the flip screen open. This annoys me because with the D90 - I just look down and see it. The flip screen is taking some getting used to. However, having a swivel LCD screen also has benefits. I purchased the D5100 because it is rated very high when compared to the Nikon D7000. I wanted the D7000 but it is currently more than I am willing to pay. The D5100 gives me the higher megapixels, etc. that the D90 doesn't have and better and more user-friendly video recording (I don't use the video features often). This will be my "travel" camera. I am going to Bermuda in the spring and will be giving the D5100 a workout there. I only used the kit lens a couple time. I have placed my Sigma 18-200mm lens on this camera. I like that it uses the same lenses that I have for my D90.

UPDATE: I have to take back what I said about being annoyed by the swivel/flip screen - the camera is fairly new to me (and none of my other dSLRs ever had a flip screen), and I did not know that you were able to flip and turn it so you could snap it in backward so you could see it. Thanks to the reader below - I tried again. I had not tried that particular twist and flip sequence before. I still would rate the camera a 4.5.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great step up from my D40x, January 1, 2012
By 
B. Mayes (Austin, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I bought this to replace my D40x after the flash quit working (though I still have it as a backup). I had a few issues with the D40x, but I am extremely pleased with the D5100. There are only a few minor complaints I have, which I will detail below. I have only had it for about a week now but I think I made a great choice. I would consider myself a moderately skilled amateur but have absolutely no desire for anything bigger and better!

Pros:
- The colors captured on this camera are leaps and bounds better than my D40x. I put them on the same tripod and took the same picture using full auto mode. Everything on my D40x had a reddish tint and the colors were not quite true. The colors from the D5100 were simply stunning and were considerably more accurate.

- There are 23 different levels of ISO sensitivity (my D40x had 6), and the pictures are considerably less noisy, even at higher ISOs. I used the same lens/shutter speed/aperture/tripod for both cameras and shot each one at 200, 400, 800, 1600, and 3200 using my remote. The picture from the D5100 seems less noisy at 3200 than what the D40x produced at 800. Anything higher than 3200 seems to produce some fairly considerable noise however, especially if cropped.

- Continuous mode is finally continuous! Using the same SD card in both cameras (16GB class 10) I attempted continuous mode. The D40x will take 3 frames per second, but only for the first second. By then the buffer is full and the speed is drastically reduced. The D5100 shoots 4 frames per second and takes at least 17 photos before any buffering is required. In theory this means that you have 4 full seconds of shooting before any buffering occurs but I have never once filled the buffer (though I never tried to deliberately do so either).

- I didn't purchase this with the intention of taking many videos, but after viewing a test video on my computer I was extremely pleased with the quality. The video is very sharp and the file size is very reasonable (was about 30MB for a ~30 second clip...or roughly 1MB/second at 1920x1080 and 30FPS). Note that the audio is monaural however. If you want to use this for more professional videos then you'll probably need to purchase the external mic for stereo sound (which is quite expensive in my opinion). This may eventually replace my dedicated video camera, though further testing and a telephoto lens will almost certainly be required.

- Live mode finally works, if you prefer using that (note: live mode *must* be enabled to shoot video).

- 11 auto focus points instead of only 3. This is great if you're using a tripod and can't really recompose shots.

Cons:
- The biggest annoyance I have with this camera is that it does not show up as a USB drive when plugged into a computer. It will still show up as an import source in some photography software (Aperture, iPhoto, etc.) though I have found the easiest thing to do is to insert the SD card into my SD to USB converter. Using my converter it will show up just like a mass storage drive and I can browse the files and pull the pictures and movies directly. Otherwise one must install Nikon's software just to import the files (which seems like a pain, plus I'll soon be running nothing but Linux which isn't supported).

- Aperture 2.0 does not recognize the movies files so it cannot import them. I don't have Aperture 3.0 so I can't speak for that, and I have no experience with Lightroom or Bibble 5.

- Aperture 2.0 cannot read the new 14-bit RAW files that this camera generates (though it would read the 12-bit RAW files from my D40x). I ultimately decided not to shoot in RAW anyway, but it's sort of a bummer that it doesn't support it as Aperture offers more editing options for RAW files. Again, I cannot comment on how well any other software handles these files.

Other thoughts:
- I haven't had any issues with image sharpness. Whether I use the 18-55mm VR lens or my 35mm f/1.8 lens (which I HIGHLY recommend), my pictures come out perfectly crisp and sharp.

- It has not suddenly stopped taking pictures, though I did purchase an extended warranty (parts and labor) for it. I now have 4 years of protection instead of just 1.

- There is no auto-focus motor on the body of this camera so make sure to purchase a AF-I or AF-S lenses. The older AF lenses will still work with this camera but you will have to manually focus every shot.

- My 16GB card will hold roughly 1600 photos using JPEG (Fine) format.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent SLR with a couple minor quibbles, December 21, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been using this camera as a replacement for my D70s and couldn't be happier. The image quality is superb, the camera is lighter (yet doesn't feel cheap) than my D70s, and is very easy to use.

My only quibbles are:

-The area autofocus likes to grab the least interesting thing in the picture and use that as its focus point. Is that a dead tree 75 feet away? Perfect! Some random dude in a crowd behind your family? Excellent! You can change this in most modes, but in auto the setting doesn't seem persistent? It's a function I need to play with more, but once you're aware of the camera's habit, it's easy to correct for.

-Image stabilization in video mode. How did they justify cheaping out and not including this feature? The video quality is great, but lack of stabilization really hurts. Also, you tend to cover the microphone with your camera strap if you're not careful, adding some noise. Use a tripod, brace yourself, do something, otherwise you'll shoot some really shaky video.

-Buy a screen protector. I scratched mine within a week of having the camera. It would have been nice if the screen was recessed slightly to add a touch of protection, but that certainly would have cost it size.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nikon Does it Again, October 23, 2011
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I bought this camera as an upgrade from my D5000 and I would have to say I'm pretty pleased so far. I really like the more compact body and the greatly improved LCD. I'm shooting with the Nikkor 16-85mm lens and the shots look excellent. At the default settings the jpegs are kinda soft, but if you shoot in RAW you can sharpen them up in ViewNX and they come out looking excellent. The button placement is a bit strange but it is nice that you can now access most of the buttons with your right hand.

The first body I received had focusing issues, but Amazon provided excellent customer service and sent me out a new one right away.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING. Makes me look like a professional photographer., September 14, 2011
This review is from: Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I bought this camera to use in a professional capacity. I do marketing and communications for an NGO in Haiti and I've also done some work for an NGO in Afghanistan. I use it to capture photos and video to use in a marketing materials and communications for these organizations. Before I got the Nikon I was using a Canon Rebel XS 10.1 MP SLR and a separate Sony video camera. It was completely cumbersome and inefficient -- I wasn't working to my full potential in either photography or videography because of it. And although I was initially skeptical of a photo/video combination SLR, the sheer convenience of the idea won me over.

Let me stress that although I purchased this camera to use in a professional capacity I am not a professional photographer (whatever that means these days). But I swear with this camera I could be a staff photographer on National Geographic. I've photographed and shot some really interesting environments under harsh conditions and this camera turned everything into pure magic. The video quality is even better than what I got with a standalone video camera. You get stunning photographs and crystal clear video with bright, vivid colors at the push of a button.

And although I can't say enough good things about this camera, I do want to point out a few tips that potential buyers should be aware of:

1. The battery life on the video is really, really short. I had a backup battery that I kept in my bag fully charged and there were many days where I went through two batteries in the first half of the day. I eventually learned to manage my time a bit better and only film when I really thought it was needed, but I prefer not to have to work like that -- you never know what you might need later on. So I would highly suggest buying at bare minimum one extra battery if you plan to use this for anything more extensive that facebook video uploads.

2. Watch out for the auto focus on video mode. I wouldn't exactly say it's auto focus because on quite a few occasions the camera failed to auto focus or auto focused on the completely wrong thing in video mode. By the end of my first 3-week trip with this camera, I had learned the tricks to it: Like switch to photo mode on auto focus then back to video mode if you want to be sure it's focused, or just use manual focus if you know you'll be shooting a more or less fixed object. This was by far my biggest gripe with this camera.

3. The built-in mic is surprisingly good -- although I could see it being a problem for people who are picky about their sound. I was on the move all the time working in an austere environment, so I didn't want to bother with an external mic and the built-in sufficed. And I didn't feel like dropping another $200 on an external mic. But I may make this investment in the future.

4. It gets heavy. That's not to say this isn't a light, compact camera for what it does -- it definitely is. But I'm petite and found it a bit of an awkward challenge to hold this camera in the right position when shooting. Why didn't I use a tripod? Again, because I was on the move so much, shooting things that were happening in a chaotic environment. With a video camera, this wouldn't have been a problem -- I would have either been shooting off the shoulder or using a handycam. But with this you've got to hold it out. And it definitely gets tiring.

5. Don't forget to buy a gigantic, high-speed memory card for the video.

6. I initially bought a gray market version of this camera online. I had no idea what that meant until my friendly neighborhood camera shop owner told me what it meant. I ended up returning it and re-buying it, basically at full retail, at a camera shop. Was this necessary? Probably not. I could have saved myself the $100. But, like I said, I in and around some pretty harsh and unpredictable environments and the camera can take a beating. I wanted the peace of mind of knowing that if something happened, I could bring it back to the U.S. and get it fixed without any problems. I would encourage any buyer to do their research on this issue before making a purchase from any seller. I'm not accustomed to dropping $1,000 bucks on one item so I wanted to be really careful.

But anyway I am completely enamored with this camera. It was worth every penny.
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