A non-technical review by a traveller.
The Nikon D5100 is a great entry level D-SLR which gives you the ability to start taking photography more seriously, without costing you an arm and a leg. It isn’t a budget camera, but it fits somewhere happily between point-and-shoot and professional cameras. It has a full set of controls to help you get the shots you really want, although when you’re feeling lazy, you can simply put it into automatic mode. It offers good quality video recording and there are a large range of lenses available for whatever you choose to shoot.
- Great image quality
- Lots of controls
- Audio jack for improved sound quality
- Fully rotational LCD screen
- Works well in low light
- Preset shooting modes for lazy days
- Interchangeable lenses
- Quick start up time
- More expensive than a basic camera
- Terrible autofocus in video mode
- You need to know a little bit about what you’re doing
- Lenses are expensive
Who should get this camera?
- People who want to experiment with photography and take it a bit further than point-and-shoot
Initially I was torn between purchasing this or the Canon 600D. In the end, this came through as the majority of the reviews I found indicated that this was the better and lower priced camera. This is the camera I use for the vast majority of shots in my photo albums and gives you an indication of the quality. This camera is great for playing around with photography, although I haven’t used half the features that I should have used. If you won’t use any features, go for a small, more portable camera. I also carry a zoom lens and this works incredibly well for long distance shots.
Overall this is a great camera to get you into using an SLR. My one problem with it is the quality of video footage. It just doesn’t get it as cleanly as I like and has a really irritating autofocus that makes a lot of noise. Of course, you can turn this off when only shooting video at one focal length. For the price you pay however, this camera is great value.
If you want an additional lens, I recommend buying it at the same time as you buy your camera to save you money in the long run.