Nikon has announced a successor to its D5000 DSLR, the aptly-named D5100. The D5100 brings to the table a 16.2 Megapixel APS-C sensor, articulating 920k dot LCD screen, and most importantly steps up from the D5000's limited movie mode (5 minutes of 720p) to the ability to shoot 20-minute shots of 1080p at 24/30fps in h.264.
The D5100 maxes out at an extremely high 25,600 ISO and also has an HDR still mode, a monochromatic night vision mode, and a number of other in-camera effects that pros will likely never touch, like faux tilt-shift, color sketch and selective color. Pricing is competitive with the Canon T3i at $800 for the body-only and $900 for the kit w/ 18-105mm lens; the D5100 goes on sale April 21.
The D5100 ships with an external mic input, and so Nikon is also releasing a ME-1 microphone tailored for DSLR shooting; it's supposed to cut down on camera-originating noise (like the autofocus motor). Here's the official D5100 video and a hands-on look:
No word yet on the h.264 bitrate; we'll know soon enough, as the ship date of April 21 is just around the corner. The official press release:
Nikon D5100 Press Release
London, UK, 5 April 2011: Nikon introduces a new D-SLR to its line-up, the D5100, which is packed with features to make shooting stills or full HD movies more exciting than ever. The D5100 will give you a new creative perspective thanks to its improved Vari-angle screen, special effects mode and full (1080p) HD Movie.
Jordi Brinkman, Product Manager for Nikon Europe, says: "The D5100 is a great camera that allows you to express your artistic side through impressive images and movies. You can shoot with creative effects and unique angles, all at the level of superior image quality seen in the D7000!"
Unique viewing angles
The successor to the popular Nikon D5000, the D5100 features an improved Vari-angle LCD screen. The screen now opens horizontally for greater maneuverability, even when using a tripod. This freedom of movement adds unparalleled creativity when using Live View, allowing shooting from virtually any angle. You can also view pictures and movies in more detail on the high resolution (approximately 921k-dot), 7.5 cm (3-in.) wide-viewing angle monitor.
The Live View function is a simple and intuitive way of taking pictures and with the D5100's dedicated switch it is even more straight-forward to operate. When using Auto mode you don't even need to worry about the scene you are shooting, as Scene Auto Selector chooses the most appropriate settings to give you the best image.
Inspire your creativity
The D5100 has a newly introduced special effects mode to shoot amazingly unique pictures and full (1080p) HD movies. The range of seven effects include selective colour, where you select up to three colours to appear in the still or movie while other areas are monochrome, and miniature effect, which makes an image appear like a view of miniature scale. You can select which special effect to shoot in and they are directly accessible via the mode dial on the top of the camera.
Stunning HD movies
The Nikon D5100 makes it effortless to switch between shooting stills and movies as the D-Movie button is located next to the shutter release. This position gives a more stable grip on the camera when starting or stopping filming, or switching between shooting stills and movies. You can record all the action in full (1080p) HD at 24 / 25 / 30 fps whilst using the unique range of special effects and the AF-F will ensure your subject is always in focus. When you have finished you can use the in-camera-movie editing functions and it can all be viewed on HD television.
Nikon is also pleased to introduce an optional stereo microphone, the ME-1. Specifically designed for D-SLRs, it lets you record movie clips in high-quality stereo sound with no AF-noise.
Superior image quality
The D5100 makes it easy to achieve superior image quality, even in low-light conditions, with features inherited from the D7000. The DX-format 16.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, delivers rich colours and fine detail for both pictures and movies, whilst the powerful image-processing engine, EXPEED 2, maximizes the performance of the sensor for exceptional quality. Adding to this the D5100 has an expanded sensitivity range to further help capture brilliant images in challenging light conditions – the ISO ranges from 100 to 6400 and can be raised to ISO 25600 at Hi 2, for low-noise images that do not lose the details. Furthermore, there are a wide range of NIKKOR lenses which contribute to the D5100's impressive image quality.
Nikon's new High Dynamic Range (HDR) function and Active D-Lighting retain the detail when there are extreme contrasts in light. HDR takes two images at varying exposures in a single release, which are combined to produce a single image with a wider dynamic range.
Razor-sharp 11-point AutoFocus system
The 11-point AF system offers fast and precise autofocus coverage across the frame.
Four AF-area modes, including 3D-tracking AF, keeps your main subject in focus even if the composition changes quickly in action scenes. This can be accompanied with continuous shooting up to 4 fps to really capture fast moving subjects.
- Vari-angle LCD monitor: View life at a unique angle with high resolution 921k dot wide-viewing angle screen
- Live View with AF modes: Live View is a straight-forward way of taking pictures and AF modes keep the subject in focus
- Special effects mode: New to the D-SLR range, effects including selective colour and miniature effect for more creative expression when taking stills or movies
- DX-format, 16.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor with EXPEED 2: Inherited from the D7000 for exceptional quality even in poor lighting conditions
- High ISO (100-6400) extendable to Hi 2 (ISO 25600 equivalent): Keeps the detail with low noise in low-light situations
- D-Movie: Full (1080p) HD movies can be taken at up to 30fps. Simple edits can be made in-camera and movies can be watched on HDTV using the HDMI connectivity
- High dynamic range (HDR): Gives detailed shots of high-contrast scenes by combining two shots taken within a single shutter release
- Active D-Lighting: Retains details in highlights and shadows for well balanced images, even if the subject is moving
- Continuous shooting at 4fps: You will not miss that all important fast-moving action shot
- Retouch menu: Gives a range of post editing effects in-camera including movie edits and image resizing
- Picture controls: Lets you set the look and mood of your images before you shoot. Choose from six settings: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape
- Scene modes: Automatically adjusts camera settings, including Picture Controls and Active D-Lighting, for optimal results. Sample photos appear on the display to help select the right mode
- Front and back infrared receivers: ensure maximum usability of the optional ML-L3 remote control when taking self portraits or close-ups
- GPS compatible: Records the exact location of the camera when a picture is taken by using the optional GP-1 unit
- Dual integrated dust reduction system: Image Sensor Cleaning and Airflow Control systems keep dust away from the camera's image sensor for clear, spot-free images
- Stereo sound: Designed specifically for D-SLRs, Nikon's optional Stereo Microphone, ME-1, lets you record movie clips in high-quality stereo sound, with no AF noise. Comes with windscreen and soft case accessories.