A high-resolution Nikon DX-format CMOS image sensor with an effective pixel count of 16.2-million pixels, an image-processing engine that provides superior image quality and rich expression of tones, and the new High Dynamic Range (HDR) function
The D5100 is equipped with the same DX-format CMOS image sensor and EXPEED 2 image-processing engine as the high-end D7000 digital-SLR camera. These features enable capture of high-resolution images with excellent expression of tones. With standard sensitivity settings of ISO 100 - 6400 and additional increases up to Hi 2 (ISO 25600 equivalent), the camera offers improved capability with shooting under dim lighting, such as in the evening or indoors, and also produces better results with capture of rapidly moving subjects.
The High Dynamic Range (HDR) function captures two shots of varying exposure each time the shutter-release button is pressed, and then combines the two shots into a single image with a broad dynamic range. Resulting images beautifully recreate the scene as seen with the naked eye, even with shooting of backlit scenes, with little or no loss of detail in shadows or highlights.
3-in., approximately 921k-dot vari-angle monitor with wide viewing angle and increased visibility
Visibility has been increased with the large 3-inch, approximately 921k-dot high-resolution vari-angle monitor adopted for the D5100. In addition, the range of colors that can be reproduced by the monitor is equivalent to that of the sRGB gamut.
Adoption of a side hinge for the vari-angle monitor prevents the monitor from hitting the tripod when it is opened while the camera is mounted on a tripod. The vari-angle monitor opens from 0 to 180° to the side, and can be rotated up to 90° clockwise and up to 180° counter-clockwise when it is open. This enables shooting from a wide variety of angles, from low to high, making even self portraits possible.
D-Movie for recording and editing of Full-HD movies
The D5100 is equipped with the D-Movie function that enables recording of high-definition movies (1920 x 1080p, 30p) exhibiting superior video quality. Autofocusing 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. The D5100 also 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. What's more, the D5100 is equipped with built-in support for stereo audio recording via the Stereo Microphone ME-1 (available separately), and the mode dial and live view switch have been positioned on the same spindle in consideration of operational ease.
The optional Stereo Microphone ME-1 can be used to record sound in stereo while also preventing noise caused by lens vibration being recorded during autofocus.
The first Nikon digital-SLR camera to offer Special Effects mode
The D5100 offers special effects that can be selected and applied with both shooting of still images and recording of movies. Special effects are displayed with the view through the lens in the monitor before shooting or recording begins, allowing users to confirm the desired results in real time. Users can easily enjoy adding special effects to movies. This mode was adopted to respond to the creative intent of users searching for a way to express their own unique style and creativity.