Nikon Announces D5100 DSLR And ME-1 Stereo Mic

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Nikon D5100 Digital SLR AnnouncedDetails about this are already all over the Web because of the bean-spillers but tonight Nikon officially announced a new digital SLR – the D5100. The 16-megapixel Nikon D5100 fits into the Nikon digital SLR lineup between the entry-level D3100 and the prosumer D7000. With the same imaging sensor and EXPEED 2 image processing as the D7000, the new D5100 offers significant performance improvements over the two-year-old D5000. It also has 1920 x 1080 full HD video with expanded resolution and frame rate options, a 3-inch 921k-dot tilt-swivel LCD, 4 frames per second burst rate, a new Effects Mode and two-frame in-camera HDR. Videographers will be excited about the new ME-1 stereo microphone, which uses a 3.5mm mini stereo jack and mounts on the camera hot shoe.

Nikon D5100 digital SLR with 3-inch Vari-Angle LCD display

It’s impossible not to compare Nikon gear to Canon gear. That being the case, the new D5100 looks to fall somewhere between the Canon EOS 60D and the new Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D. Compared to its Nikon siblings, the D5100 is a big step up from the D5000 and D3100 and looks perfect for photographers who want D7000 image quality but don’t need the D7000′s speed or auto focus performance (the D5100 uses the same 11-point AF system as the D3100). Basically, if you want a D7000 but aren’t shooting action, save a few bucks and buy a D5100 instead. That’s especially true for studio photographers and landscape shooters who work on a tripod – speaking from experience, the tilt-swivel LCD alone is a good reason to choose the D5100 over other cameras. If you haven’t worked with live view and a tilt-swivel LCD, you’re missing out. It’s a beautiful thing.

Nikon D5100 Key Features & Specs:

  • 16.2-megapixel DX format sensor (APS-C) – appears to be the same as the D7000
  • EXPEED 2 image processing
  • Sensitivity: ISO 100 to 6400, expandable to ISO 25,600 (Hi-2)
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 @ 30p, 25p and 24p; 1280 x 720 @ 30p, 25p and 24p; 640 x 424 @ 30p and 25p; MOV, H.264/MPEG-4
  • Display: 3-inch 921k-dot Vari-Angle LCD
  • Flash sync: 1/200th second
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • In-camera, two-frame HDR
  • Effects Mode, including Night vision, Color sketch, Miniature effect and Selective Color

The Nikon D5100 digital SLR and ME-1 stereo microphone are both scheduled to be on the shelves within the next couple weeks (mid-April). MSRP on the D5100 is $799.95 or $899.95 in a kit with the AF-S DX 18-55mm VR zoom lens. The price on the ME-1 microphone is $179.95.

Official Nikon D5100 Camera Press Release >>

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Nikon D5100 digital SLR - front

Nikon D5100 digital SLR - rear LCD display

The Nikon D5100 DSLR with 3-inch Vari-Angle LCD display

Nikon D5100 - 16-megapixel digital SLR with Vari-Angle LCD

About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • Omer says:

    Does the video have AF?

  • Quoc says:

    I have the D5000 and am very disappointed about the \live view\ lcd display. It takes several seconds to fire off a shot. It is basically useless. I ended up switch to live view to frame the picture (such as when I have to hold the camera way up) and switch back out of live view and blindly shoot the picture. Does this D5100 operate the same in \live view\ mode as the D5000?


    • Photo-John says:

      Live View isn’t a replacement for shooting with the optical viewfinder. It works well for some things and not for others. I love it for studio photography and landscape work where I’m using the tripod. But Live View auto focus isn’t nearly as good as the Phase Detect AF the camera uses for standard shooting. That probably accounts for the delay you’ve experienced. So, to answer your question, I don’t think the D5100′s Live View is going to function dramatically diferently from what you’re used to with the D5000. On the other hand, if you learn to use it more selectively, in situations where it works well, you might be happier. You won’t have to change cameras for that, though :-)

  • cathy says:

    I own a Nikon D40x and want to know if it is worth upgrading to this new D5100 or go after the D90 which I have heard is a very good camera? Thanks, Cathy

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