on July 6, 2012
To be direct, I love this camera. I am just getting back into photography as a serious hobbiest (the last time was 35mm so much has changed). Others can review with fine detail, I will state my experience as a DSLR newbie.
First I chose Nikon as my product line. this is important for anyone to think about before jumping into a camera like this. Choose which brand of lenses and which camera layout, menus, etc make sense to you. You will own this camera for a very long time. Even if the body eventually is replaced the lenses if cared for will last a lifetime and fit on other Nikon cameras. Like Nikon glass, good
Next, are you professional? see other reviews, if not, are you upgrading or jumping in? Upgraders should consider their starting point and choose accordingly. Jumpers, this is the camera for you. If you can afford more, ok, but if you are not a pro do you need more? I've taken wonderful photos and blown them up to 30x20. Awesome quality, but you have to know what you are doing to really get that awesome shot. Study the craft not just purchase the toy.
All the features a hobbist is going to need. Intuative menus. Serious power in the software. I do make 2 suggestions for companion purchases. Buy a large fast storage card~ continuous shots are so fun, and a good book. I found From Snapshots to Great Shots series on the D5100 to be excellent. The manual isn't horrible, but if you want to see what this baby can really do spend few extra $.