Absolutely dig the video, a review of the Nikon D5100
Being a still photographer, I have always had just lukewarm feelings towards DSLR video. Shooting with the Nikon D5100 sure warmed up my view. I absolutely dig the video. So, what changed? Well, first off the D5100 all-round is an awesome camera. Great build quality, good ergonomics, tilting LCD in top-notch 920k dot resolution, and a 16mp best-in-class sensor.
Secondly, when comparing the video to that of other cameras I have shot with and reviewed (Olympus E-P2, Sony NEX-5, Sony A33 and Nikon D3100), the D5100 has an intangible quality that I didn't see in the other cameras. The combination of the magnificent D5100 sensor and Nikon lenses (35mm f2 D, 50mm f1.8 G and 105mm VR f2.8) simply is a notch above what I saw from the Olympus and Sonys. On top of that, Nikon has dramatically boosted the in-video autofocus ability making it much more practical and fun to use. The Sony A33 and Nex-5 still sets the bar for in-video autofocus, but Nikon is not far behind now with the D5100.
Now mind you, shooting with a good quality, high aperture lens yields results not otherwise obtainable with the standard medium aperture kit lenses.
Let's round off with some non-motion, still images which the D5100 also excells at. Click on the thumbnails to view the gallery.
Summing it up
The D5100 is a very well suited camera for the first time DSLR buyer, or a DSLR owner with a 3-4 year old camera who is looking to upgrade to a newer camera. The camera slots well in between Nikon's entry level D3100 and mid-tier D7000 with a best-of-class 16mp sensor, 4 fps, and amazing full HD video quality. The good ergonomics, tilting high resolution LCD just makes the deal even sweeter.
All the Nikon D5100 sample shots are taken with the Nikon 105mm f2.8 VR Micro lens under natural light. The D5100 product shots are with the Nikon D700 and same Micro lens with added light from the SB-900 and SB-600 flashguns.
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