My thoughts on the D5100 after some hands on


TPF Noob!
Jan 24, 2012
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Orange County, CA
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Here’s a brief review of my Nikon D5100 DSLR camera. I’ve been using upper-end point and shoot cameras (latest Nikon s8100) for a long time and finally decided to kick it up a notch! While the D5100 is not the top of the line $6000 DSLR, it’s a beast of a camera for $750 including a kit lens.

  • Newest in Nikon mid-range DSLR lineup, at least for now.
  • It has a bad-ass sensor! 23.6 x 15.6mm, CMOS, 16.2 effective pixels
  • 1080p video at 30 FPS (frames per second)
  • Swivel LCD
  • Excellent in low-light situations using higher ISO
  • Smaller, lightweight, ultra-portable body
  • Doesn’t break the bank
  • Manual adjustments during video recording sucks
  • Not enough dedicated hard buttons
  • Grip is small for people with big hands
I love it: Okay, now that I’ve laid that stuff out, I have a lot of fun with this camera. The kit lens 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 is okay but I’ve purchased two prime lenses for it already. I bought the 40mm f/2.8 Micro (macro) lens for my online eBay stuff and a 35mm f/1.8 for everything else. Basically, the kit lens that came with the camera has a small aperture. My favorite is the 35mm f/1.8 because I have the ability to open up the aperture a lot more under low light conditions and when I want bokeh. The 40mm 2.8 Micro is my go to lens for product photography, e.g. eBay items. Both lenses are absolutely amazing. They are inexpensive and produce high quality images.

Sample images and video:

Video: Click here and scroll down.

Street Photography (my favorite type of photography):

Landscape Photography:

Macro Photography:

Product Photography:

What a drag:
It would be nice if the camera had more hard buttons to make adjustments faster without going into the menus. I have to go into the menus to change the ISO, White Balance, and Exposure Compensation. Yes, I can program one of them to the function button but, that means you give up the shutter release button and have to go into the menu for that. Also, the function button is right under the flash pop-up button and is constantly mistaken for that. Even though I am accustomed to the camera, I still accidentally hit the flash button instead of the function button and it sucks when you’re in the middle of taking a picture.

Recommendation: If you’re looking at camera’s in this price range, buy this one. If you’re about to buy this camera, don’t buy it with the kit lens. Buy the body only along with the 35mm f/1.8 lens. You will love that setup and it will give you more versatility and higher quality pictures.
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Nice write-up. Are you into mechanical watches too? (I am) Wearing a Tourby Marine today.

I find another must have accessory for ebay auctions is a bounce flash. Instead of mounting it up on a tripod and trying to get just the right angle, I hand-hold it and use the bounce flash. The light looks great. It also does wonders for indoor flash photography.

Thanks for sharing that.
Thank you.

BTW, i added another watch.

I usually use my light box for products.

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