April 5, 2011: Nikon Australia has announced that the D5100, aimed at beginner DSLR photographers, will be available in Australia from late this month. (Contrary to reports on some other websites that it has already been launched).
The D5100 is an APS-C-format camera equipped with a new horizontal vari-angle monitor, Nikon’s latest 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor (as used in the D7000) and the new EXPEED 2 image-processing engine.
It also features Full (1080 x 1920p) HD movie recording with full autofocus. In addition, it’s the first Nikon DSLR to include a Special Effects mode including night vision and selective colour, allowing the user to be more creative with their photography all at the touch of a button.
The 920K-dot vari-angle monitor adopted for the D5100 has been enlarged to three inches and now utilises a side hinge that enables better flexibility during hand-held shooting or when mounted on a tripod. The side hinge prevents it from hitting a tripod when opened while the camera is mounted. It can be rotated up to 90 degrees clockwise and up to 180 degrees counter-clockwise when open.
The new camera also has a High Dynamic Range (HDR) function which captures two shots of varying exposure each time the shutter-release button is pressed and combines them into a single image with a broader dynamic range with little or no loss of detail in shadows or highlights, for improved results in high-contrast or backlit scenes.
Nikon says the camera excels in low-light situations, with sensitivity settings of ISO 100–6400 and additional increases up to what it terms the ‘equivalent’ of ISO 25,600.
Auto-focusing during movie recording is possible using contrast-detect AF. When the focus mode is set to full-time-servo AF (AF-F) and the AF-area mode to subject-tracking AF, the camera automatically maintains focus on a subject moving throughout the frame.
It offers in-camera movie editing functions that allow users to save a single frame as a still JPEG image, or delete unnecessary portions from the beginning and/or end of movie files.
In addition, the D5100 is equipped with built-in support for stereo audio recording via the optional Stereo Microphone ME-1, which can be used to record sound in stereo while also preventing noise caused by lens vibration being recorded during autofocus.
Special effects filters – which can be used shooting stills or video – include: Selective Colour; Colour Sketch; Miniature effect; and Night vision (up to ISO 102,400 equivalent).
The D5100 can shoot at up to 4 frames per second, and it also has a Quiet Shutter-Release mode for shooting in situations in which quieter shutter operation is desired.
Even though the camera is scheduled for launch in just over two weeks, Nikon Australia was unable to supply a local RRP. However, as an indication, pricing on the equivalent US press release is quoted as US$800 body only and US$900 with a Nikkor 18 – 55mm lens.