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Nikon D5100 (no lens included)

16.2-megapixel digital SLR camera body with HD movie mode

6 Reviews

Item # 054D51HBDY

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Our take on the Nikon D5100 (no lens included)

Uncap a well of creativity
The gentle blur of water in motion as it tumbles over a hidden mountain waterfall. The crisply focused portrait of your daughter's face against a softly blurred field of sunflowers. A spinning neon Ferris wheel at a nighttime carnival. Nikon's D5100 SLR camera offers the tools you need to paint pictures that tell stories with amazing image quality. Plus, it records stunning HD movies, for times when you'd prefer to capture the scene in full motion.

Uncap a well of creativity
The gentle blur of water in motion as it tumbles over a hidden mountain waterfall. The crisply focused portrait of your daughter's face against a softly blurred field of sunflowers. A spinning neon Ferris wheel at a nighttime carnival. Nikon's D5100 SLR camera offers the tools you need to paint pictures that tell stories with amazing image quality. Plus, it records stunning HD movies, for times when you'd prefer to capture the scene in full motion.

High-performance image sensor, tilt-and-swivel LCD, and more
The D5100's 16.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor ensures razor-sharp, detailed photos even when shooting in low light without a flash. The big 3" high-res LCD tilts and swivels, making it easy to grab shots high over crowds or down low from a toddler's point of view. And a 1080p movie recording mode with full-time autofocus helps keep your subjects looking crisp and detailed at all times (unless you choose to manually dial in a softer focus for artistic effect).

Add some special effects to make your pics and movies even more unique
The D5100 is Nikon's first digital SLR to provide in-camera effects that can be applied to both photos and movies for cool, creative options. Twist the cam's mode dial to the Effects position and select Color Sketch to create photos or a stop-motion movie with a colorful sketched drawing style. Or try the Miniature effect to record photos and high-speed movies that have the look of a miniature-scale model.

Along with the Effects settings, the D5100 can create photos with amazing tonal range thanks to a high dynamic range (HDR) mode. Select this function and the camera will automatically snap two images in rapid succession — one overexposed and one underexposed — to deliver a finished photo with an amazing range of midtones and highlights that wouldn't otherwise be possible in a single shot. Plus, Nikon's Active D-Lighting can be combined with HDR for an even more dramatic effect.

Product Highlights:

  • 16.2-megapixel effective recording
  • APS-C-size CMOS image sensor (23.6 x 15.6 mm)
  • 1080p high-def movie mode with sound and full-time autofocus
  • tilt-and-swivel 3" high-res (921,000 dots) LCD screen with Live View for composing stills and movies on-screen in real-time
  • optical SLR viewfinder (with diopter adjustment)
  • Nikon EXPEED 2 image processing engine for detailed photos and fast, responsive handling
  • 11-point autofocus system and 3D Color Matrix Metering II for precise autofocusing and accurate exposure
  • Auto Active D-Lighting mode plus HDR (High Dynamic Range) setting for better shadow and highlight detail in high-contrast shooting conditions
  • intelligent pop-up flash and flash exposure compensation
  • in-camera effects filters plus editing in both still and video modes
  • compatible with optional Nikon wireless and wired remote controls
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Compatible Lenses:
  • AF-S and AF-I Nikkor lenses: all autofocus and metering functions supported
  • AF Nikkor lenses (type G or D) not equipped with an autofocus motor: all functions supported except autofocus
Exposure Modes and Controls:
  • continuous shooting mode: 4 frames per second (up to 100 Large/Fine JPEG frames or 16 RAW frames)
  • shutter speed range: 30-1/4,000 seconds, bulb
  • sensitivity or ISO (film speed equivalent) range: 100-25,600
  • program auto, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, manual, and fully automatic exposure modes
  • auto exposure and white balance bracketing (up to 3 frames for each)
  • 17 preset scene modes for accurately exposed images in virtually any shooting environment
File Formats and Storage:
  • image storage modes: JPEG, RAW (NEF 14-bit), and RAW+JPEG (Fine)
  • JPEG options (pixels): 4,928 x 3,264; 3,696 x 2,448; 2,464 x 1,632
  • movie options: MOV (H.264/MPEG-4) up to 1920 x 1080 resolution at 24, 25, or 30 frames per second with mono sound
  • records photos and video onto SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards (not included)
Connections and Dimensions:
  • high-speed USB interface
  • mini HDMI output (cable not included)
  • accessory terminal for optional Nikon GPS unit and MC-DC2 wired remote
  • audio input terminal for optional stereo microphone
  • 5-1/8"W x 3-15/16"H x 3-1/8"D
  • weight: 18 oz.
Supplied Accessories:
  • rechargeable EN-EL14 lithium ion battery
  • battery charger
  • adjustable neck strap
  • USB and audio/video cable
  • software CD-ROM (PC and Mac)

What's in the Box:

  • D5100 Camera body with body cap and accessory shoe cover installed
  • Viewfinder eyepiece cover
  • EN-EL14 (7.4V/1030mAh) Lithium Ion battery pack with plastic cap
  • MH-24 Battery charger (8.4V/0.9A)
  • 5' UC-E6 USB cable with micro-USB type-B connector on one end and a USB type-A connector on other end
  • 5' EG-CP14 Audio-Video cable (with micro-USB connector on one end and RCA mono audio and composite video plugs on the other end
  • Nylon adjustable shoulder strap
  • ViewNX2 software on CD-ROM
  • Nikon Reference Manual on CD-ROM
  • User's Manual (English)
  • User Manual (Spanish)
  • Quick Start Guide (English)
  • Quick Start Guide (Spanish)
  • Nikon Digital Imaging Limited Warranty sheet
  • Product Registration card

Nikon D5100 (no lens included) Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(6 Reviews)

Very happy

Anonymous from Las Vegas, NV on 5/27/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Want an amazing camera



Nikon D5100

PD from Illinois on 2/11/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Have previously been using a point and shoot camera. Had a film SLR camera several years ago and still have. Liked the quality of those photos and was ready to go to a DSLR. Have been researching for some time and talking w/other DSLR owners. The Nikon seemed to fit the bill for what I wanted to do. So far have been very satisfied and hopefully that will continue. Haven't taken many photos yet as only had a couple of weeks but what I have has been great. Still have some learning to do on the operation but has been pretty user friendly so far.



Nikon camera

Gdaddy from Twinsburg,ohio on 10/4/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Went out of town on a weekend trip and took photos of the fall colors and they came out great.

Pros: Easy to use.

Cons: None

Nikon D5100

Gabe from Hawaii on 7/13/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have owned this camera for less than a month and love it. Takes amazing photos and is easy to use. A great camera for average photography enthusiast. Great service from Crutchfield.

Pros: Easy to use, great features, and a good price.


Great Camera Better Service

Cameraman from Memphis, TN on 3/22/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have been in photography since the 1980s and have own several makes and models ranging from the old Nikon F3 to the Canon EOS 1 film cameras to the modern DSLRs. The Nikon D5100 is a very capable camera that does not disappoint. The images, even jpegs, are very crisp and vibrant and accurate. I used it at my wife's school capturing over 150 images with only one disappointing image. Movies were very good as well. There are no quick dials like on the D7000 but the menu is easy to learn. The body isn't made like bodies of old, but is lighter in weight. But what is best of all is the great service that Crutchfield provides. There were a couple issues that were resolved above and beyond what I expected even though one concerned a mistake that I had made. I was in customer service for 25 years but Crutchfield takes it to a new level. They have competitive prices and great service.

Pros: Same sensor as Nikon D7000 HDR 1080p Movies jpegs need very little tweaking great service

Cons: none

Great light camera D5100

BobH from McKinney, TX on 3/7/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am 67, semi pro with 40 yrs. of photography under my belt. Last year I bought the D7000 over the D5100 because I use the veiw finder exclusiely and thought that was it for the 5100. Well, let me tell you! The D5100 has a lot going for it. This is only the forth day with it, but it has everything a non studio photographer needs. It can work for newbies, but I am going to take it to Canada & Ireland with me this year. If you plan to loan your camera....get the D7000. It has a medal case and the 5100 seems to be plastic. In hine sight, I wish I bought the 5100 insted of the P500 and YES I am a big fan of NIKON. A word to the wise....your pictures are only as good as the lens you use! And if you plan on watching your pixs on TV, like I do, go with the GLASS!

Pros: ALL you need and more. It will stay NEW for a VERY LONG time. The plastic frame has reduced the weight dramaticly and is my favorite thing to write about. I use zoom lens, so weight reduction is number ONE on my hit parade! This camera could bake a cake!

Cons: The only negative, this the plastic case. However, I take good care of my cameras..... all dozen!


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

LCD Screen Size 3"
Adjustable-angle LCD Yes
Wi-Fi No
GPS-enabled Optional
Lens 35mm Equivalent N/A
Optical Zoom N/A
Digital Zoom N/A
Filter Diameter N/A
Manual Focusing Yes
Manual Exposure Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output Mini
Internal Memory None
Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.6mm CMOS
Megapixels 16.2
Image Stabilization Optional
Highest Resolution 4928 x 3264
4K Video No
Video Resolution 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720
Width (inches) 5-1/8
Height (inches) 3-15/16
Depth (inches) 3-1/8
Weight With Battery (ounces) 18
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Recording Features
Playback, Editing And Printing Functions
Battery Information
Supplied Software
Image Capacity

Recording Features

Overview: This package includes the Nikon D5100 digital SLR camera body only. No lenses are included. The package also includes a EN-EL14 rechargeable Lithium Ion battery pack and a battery charger.

Vari-angle LCD Monitor: The Nikon D5100 has a 3" TFT LCD monitor featuring approximately 921,000 pixels and adjustable brightness (-3 to +3). The Vari-angle monitor opens outward 180°, and can be rotated 180° forward or 90° backward for high- and low-angle photography. The large 3-inch LCD monitor has large fonts with easy-to-view menus. The monitor can display shooting information such as shutter speed, aperture, and number of exposures remaining as well as the settings currently applied. You can choose from a classic information display or a graphic display.

Live View: The camera features Live View, which allows you to frame your photographs in the monitor instead of the viewfinder. When the Live View switch is rotated, the mirror is raised and the view through the lens will be displayed in the monitor. The subject will no longer be visible in the viewfinder. The Live View display will show up to 10 items, including shooting, focus, and AF-area modes, along with other status indicators. You can opt to hide many of the indicators, or overlay a framing grid in the monitor.

Optical Viewfinder: The D5100 uses a fixed eye-level penta-mirror single-lens reflex viewfinder with a built-in diopter adjustment to set the viewfinder to your personal eyesight (with or without glasses). The viewfinder's coverage area is approximately 95% horizontal and vertical. During self-timer or remote control operation when your eye does not cover the viewfinder eyepiece, stray light may enter the eyepiece and affect the exposure when the image is captured. To prevent this, you can use the supplied eyepiece cap to cover the eyepiece.

Image Sensor: The D5100 features a 23.6mm x 15.6mm CMOS image sensor with a total pixel count of approximately 16.9 million pixels and an effective pixel count of approximately 16.2 million.

Dust Reduction System: The image sensor is equipped with a low-pass filter to remove dust or dirt on the sensor. You can set the camera to clean the image sensor automatically at startup, or at shut down, or both. It can also be set to turn the auto cleaning function off.

Recording Media: The camera records images on Secure Digital (SD) memory cards up to 2 GB in size, SDHC memory cards up to 32 GB, and SDXC cards up to 64 GB. No SD cards are included with the camera. The camera has no internal memory.

Still Image Formats: The D5100 records still images in JPEG and NEF (RAW) formats. You can choose from the following Image Quality and Image Size settings:

Quality Option
(Compression ratio)
Available Image Sizes Description
NEF (Raw) 4928 x 3264 Raw 14-bit data from the image sensor is saved directly to the memory card in compressed Nikon Electronic Format (NEF). Settings such as white balance and contrast can be adjusted on a computer after shooting.
NEF + JPEG Fine 4928 x 3264 Two images are recorded, one NEF image and one fine-quality JPEG image.
NEF + JPEG Normal Two images are recorded, one NEF image and one normal-quality JPEG image.
NEF + JPEG Basic Two images are recorded, one NEF image and one basic-quality JPEG image.
L: 4928 x 3264
M: 3696 x 2448
S: 2464 x 1632
Fine image quality, suitable for enlargements or high-quality prints.
JPEG Normal
Normal image quality, suited to most applications
JPEG Basic
Basic image quality, suitable for pictures that will be distributed by e-mail or used in web pages.

Movie Recording: The D5100 records movies in High Definition in 16:9 aspect ratio and Standard Definition in 3:2. Movies are recorded in MOV file format, with H.264/MPEG-4 advanced video coding, and Linear PCM audio, recorded by the built-in monaural microphone. The maximum clip length is 20 minutes or 4 GB in size. The only metering method available is Matrix. Movies can be recorded in the following frame sizes and rates:

Frame Size (pixels) Frame Rate (frames per second)
1920 x 1080 (16:9) 30 fps (29.97)
25 fps (for PAL displays)
24 fps (23.976)
1280 x 720 (16:9) 30 fps (29.97)
25 fps (for PAL displays)
24 fps (23.976)
640 x 424 (3:2) 30 fps (29.97)
25 fps (for PAL displays)

Focus Modes: You can choose from the following autofocus and manual focus modes:

  • Auto-servo AF (AF-A): Camera automatically selects single-servo autofocus if subject is stationary, and continuous-servo autofocus if subject is moving.
  • Single-servo Autofocus (AF-S): For stationary subjects. Focus locks when shutter-release button is pressed halfway.
  • Continuous-servo Autofocus (AF-C): For moving subjects. Camera focuses continuously while shutter release button is pressed halfway.
  • Manual (M): Manual focus is available for lenses that do not support autofocus (non-AF Nikkor lenses) or when autofocus does not produce the desired results.

AF Assist Illuminator: The built-in AF assist illuminator enables the camera to focus even when the subject is poorly lit. This feature will light automatically to assist the autofocus operation when the shutter release button is pressed halfway. It has an operating range of 1'-8" to 9'-10".

AF-Area Modes: The D5100 offers a choice of four focus areas that together cover a wide area of the frame. The AF-area mode determines how the focus area is selected and what happens if the subject moves out of the selected focus area while the camera is still focusing. You can choose one of the following AF-area modes:

  • Single Point: You select the focus area manually and the camera focuses on the subject in the selected focus area only. The selection can be made from any one of the eleven AF spot sensors.
  • Dynamic Area: In AF-A and AF-C modes, user selects focus point manually but camera will focus based on information from surrounding focus points if subject briefly leaves the selected point. In AF-S focus mode, you select the focus point manually.
  • Auto Area: Camera automatically detects subject and selects focus point.
  • 3D-Tracking (11 points): In AF-A and AF-C focus modes, you select the focus point using the multi-selector. If subject moves after camera has focused, camera uses 3D tracking to select new focus point and keep focus locked on original subject while shutter release pressed halfway. If subject leaves viewfinder, you will need to remove finger from shutter release button and recompose photo with subject in the selected focus point.

Focus Lock: Focus Lock can be used to change the composition after focusing, making it possible to focus on a subject that will not be in one of the focus points in the final composition.

Release Modes: The camera can take pictures one at a time, or continuously as long as the shutter release button is pressed. You can also take photos using the self-timer or with an optional remote control. The camera allows you to choose from the following Release Modes:

  • Single Frame: The camera takes one photograph each time the shutter release button is pressed
  • Continuous: The camera records photographs up to 4 frames per second while the shutter release button is held down.
  • Self-timer: This mode can be used to reduce camera shake or for self-portraits. The shutter is released about 10 or 2 seconds after shutter-release button is pressed depending on setting.
  • Delayed Remote: Shutter is released 2 seconds after the shutter release button on the optional ML-L3 remote is pressed.
  • Quick-response Remote: Shutter is released when the shutter release button on the optional ML-L3 remote is pressed.
  • Quiet Shutter Release: The camera takes a single photograph, as in Single Frame mode, except that the camera makes no shutter sound when shooting or beep when focusing.

Nikon 3D Color Matrix Metering II: The D5100's 3D Color Matrix Metering II evaluates each scene for brightness, color, contrast, size and position of shadows and highlights, selected focus area and camera-to-subject distance, comparing that information against an onboard database of more than 30,000 actual photographic scenes. The result delivers instantly and precisely determined exposures for each scene, even in challenging lighting conditions.

Metering: You can choose from the following Metering Modes to determine how the camera sets exposure:

  • Matrix: Produces natural results in most situations. Camera uses 420-pixel RGB sensor to meter a wide area of the frame and set exposure according to tone distribution, color, composition, and with type G or D lenses, range information. (See 3D Color Matrix Metering II above). With other CPU lenses, the camera uses color matrix metering II, which does not include 3D range information.
  • Center-weighted: The camera meters the entire frame but assigns greatest weight to center area.
  • Spot: The camera meters exposure in active focus point only. This ensures that the subject will be correctly exposed, even when background is much brighter or darker.

Shooting Modes: The Mode Dial on the top of the camera offers a choice of shooting modes:

  • Auto Modes:
    • Auto: The camera handles exposure, shutter-speed, ISO sensitivity and White balance so you can just point and shoot.
    • Auto Flash Off: Captures scenes using only available lighting. Ideal for museums, weddings or any situation where a flash is prohibited or inappropriate.
    • Scene Auto Selector: When in Live View in Auto or Auto Flash Off modes, the camera will automatically analyze the subject and select the appropriate shooting mode when autofocus is enabled. Modes that can be selected include: portrait, landscape, close up, and night portrait (see descriptions below).
  • P, S, A, and M Modes:
    • Programmed Auto: Choose from one of the automatically selected shutter speed/aperture combinations and allows control over exposure compensation, metering and other features.
    • Shutter-Priority Auto: You determine the shutter speed to freeze or blur motion, while the camera decides the ideal aperture.
    • Aperture-Priority Auto: Simply select the aperture to control the depth-of-field and the camera determines the ideal shutter speed.
    • Manual: Choose both the shutter speed and the aperture on your own. You can refer to the electronic analog exposure display of the camera for help with appropriate exposures.
  • Scene Modes:
    • Portrait: Keeps your main subject in sharp focus with a soft background for more pleasing portraits.
    • Landscape: Ideal for beautiful scenery with great perspectives and optimized greens and blues.
    • Child: Delivers fresh, natural skin tones for stunning shots of children. Clothing also vividly rendered.
    • Sports: Freezes fast-moving subjects easily.
    • Close Up: Find beauty in small details by focusing sharply on a small area with a softly blurred background. Ideal for flowers and coins or other small treasures.
    • Other Scenes: After selecting Other Scenes, you can use the command dial to find these scene settings:
      • Night Portrait: Capture your main subject in low light while retaining a natural looking background exposure.
      • Night Landscape: For shooting night nightscapes with street lighting and neon signs (tripod recommended)
      • Party/Indoor: For parties and other indoor scenes.
      • Beach/Snow: Capture the brightness of sunlit expanses of water, snow, or sand
      • Sunset: For preserving the deep hues seen in sunsets and sunrises (tripod recommended when lighting is poor)
      • Dusk/Dawn: For preserving the colors in weak natural light before dawn or after sunset.
      • Pet Portrait: For portraits of active pets.
      • Candlelight: For taking photos lit by candlelight (tripod recommended)
      • Blossom: For fields of flowers, orchards in bloom, or other landscapes featuring expanses of blossoms.
      • Autumn Colors: For capturing the brilliant reds and yellows of autumn leaves.
      • Food: For vivid photos of food.
  • Effects: You can choose from the following special effects for still images and movies:
    • Night Vision: records monochrome images in darkness
    • Color Sketch: camera detects and colors outlines for a color sketch effect.
    • Miniature Effect: distant subjects appear as miniatures
    • Selective Color: records in black and white except those items in a chosen color.
    • Silhouette: silhouettes subjects against bright backgrounds
    • High Key: use with bright scenes to create bright images
    • Low Key: use with dark scenes to create dark, somber images with highlights

AE/AF Lock: If your subject is off-centered in the frame, it can become difficult to achieve proper exposure and focus. By engaging the AE/AF Lock feature, you can focus and meter on your subject, lock the exposure and focus by pressing the shutter release button halfway, then recompose your shot before taking the picture. You can choose from the following AE/AF Lock settings.

  • AE/AF Lock: both focus and exposure lock while the AE/AF lock button is pressed
  • AE Lock: exposure locks while the AE/AF lock button is pressed while the focus is unaffected
  • AF Lock: focus locks while the AE/AF lock button is pressed while the exposure is unaffected align
  • AE Lock Hold: exposure locks when the AE/AF lock button is pressed and remains locked until the button is pressed again
  • AF-On: the AE/AF button initiates autofocus while the shutter-release button cannot be used to focus

Exposure Compensation: You can alter the exposure from the value suggested by the camera, making pictures brighter or darker. You can adjust the exposure from -5.0 to +5.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps.

Noise Reduction: This option controls whether photographs taken at high sensitivities (over ISO 400) or shutter speeds slower than 8 seconds are processed to reduce noise before being recorded to the memory card. If turned off, noise reduction will only be performed at ISO sensitivities over ISO 800, and does not apply to noise caused by slow shutter speeds.

White Balance: White balance is used to preserve natural colors under different types of lighting. When the camera is set to one of the exposure modes, you can choose one of the following white balance options:

  • Auto: The white balance is automatically adjusted to suit the lighting conditions.
  • Incandescent: This is used under incandescent lighting situations.
  • Fluorescent: This is used for most fluorescent lighting conditions.
  • Direct Sunlight: This is for use with subjects that are under direct sunlight.
  • Flash: This is for use with built-in Speedlight or optional Nikon Speedlights are used.
  • Cloudy: This is used when taking pictures under overcast skies.
  • Shade: This is used under sunny skies when subject is in shade.
  • Preset: A white object is used as reference to set white balance under unusual lighting conditions.

Note: In addition to the the basic White Balance options, the camera features advanced White Balance (color temperature) settings for specific types of lighting. You can choose from Sodium-vapor lamps, Incandescent/Warm-white fluorescent, White fluorescent, Cool-white fluorescent, Day white fluorescent, Daylight fluorescent, and Mercury-vapor lamps.

ISO Sensitivity: ISO Sensitivity is the digital equivalent of film speed. When lighting is poor, the camera will automatically increase sensitivity, permitting faster exposures, and minimizing blur caused by inadvertent camera movement, up to a maximum equivalent of ISO 6400. Using the ISO button and main command dial, you can manually select from ISO settings 100 to 6400, with incremental steps of 1EV. You can also choose HI 0.3, HI 0.7, HI 1 (ISO 12800 equivalent) or HI 2 (ISO 25600 equivalent) for even higher sensitivity.

Active D-Lighting: Nikon's Active D-Lighting can correct exposure issues due to difficult lighting conditions instantly and automatically while you shoot. Active D-Lighting preserves details in highlights and shadows, creating photographs with natural contrast.

Speedlight With i-TTL Automatic Flash Control: Nikon's innovative i-TTL flash control evaluates flash exposure with incredible precision to achieve better automatic flash balance and deliver outstanding results. The built-in Speedlight is always ready to bring beautiful exposures to darkened conditions, as well as add sparkle for fill flash in outdoor situations for enhanced twilight shots or an added impact to daylight images. In low-light or back-light situations, added illumination from the built-in Speedlight can make the difference between an average snapshot and a great picture. You can choose one of the following flash modes:

  • TTL: output of built-in Speedlight is adjusted automatically in response to shooting conditions
  • Manual: allows you to adjust the power of the Speedlight to one of the following settings: 1/32 power, 1/16 power, 1/8 power, 1/4 power, 1/2 power, or Full power

Flash Sync Modes: The camera offers the following flash sync modes depending upon the shooting mode selected:

  • Off: flash does not fire even when lighting is poor or subject is backlit
  • Auto: When lighting is poor or the subject is back lit, flash pops up automatically when shutter-release button is pressed halfway.
  • Red-eye Reduction: reduces the red-eye effect sometimes caused by flash
  • Slow Sync: flash is combined with shutter speeds as slow as 30 seconds to capture both subject and background at night or under dim light
  • Slow Sync with Red-eye Reduction: combines red-eye reduction with slow sync
  • Rear-curtain Sync: The flash fires just before the shutter closes, creating effect of stream of light following moving subjects
  • Fill Flash: flash will fire whenever a picture is taken

Flash Compensation: In P, S, A, and M modes, the flash compensation can be used to increase or reduce flash output from the level chosen by the camera's flash control system. The flash exposure compensation can be set to values between -3 EV (darker) and +1 EV (brighter) in increments of 1/3 EV.

Accessory Shoe: The camera's integrate accessory shoe located above the viewfinder allows you to connect optional SB-series Speedlights. The shoe is equipped with a safety lock for flash units with a locking pin, such as the SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600, and SB-400. The camera supports the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) and can be used with CLS-compatible flash units.

Histogram: The D5100 features the ability to view a histogram on the LCD monitor screen. A histogram is a graph showing the distribution of tones in the image. Separate histograms of the red, green, and blue channels are also available for viewing.

Picture Controls: When the camera is set to one of the P, S, A, or M modes, you can choose from the following Picture Control options:

  • Standard: Standard processing for balanced results--recommended for most situations.
  • Neutral: Minimal processing for natural results. Choose for photos that will later be extensively processed or retouched.
  • Vivid: Pictures are enhanced for a vivid photoprint effect. Choose for photographs that emphasize primary colors.
  • Monochrome: takes photos in black and white
  • Portrait: lowers contrast while lending natural texture and rounded feel
  • Landscape: produces vibrant landscapes and cityscapes

Custom Settings: The D5100 features a custom settings menu that allows you to customize the camera settings to suit your individual preferences. There are six main setting areas:

  • Autofocus:
    • AF-C Priority selection
    • Built-in AF-assist illuminator
    • Rangefinder
  • Exposure:
    • EV steps for exposure control
  • Timers/AE Lock:
    • Shutter-release button AE-L
    • Auto off timers
    • Self timer
    • Remote on duration
  • Shooting/Display:
    • Beep
    • ISO display
    • File number sequence
    • Exposure delay mode
    • Print date
  • Bracketing/Flash:
    • Flash control for built-in flash
    • Auto bracketing set
  • Controls:
    • Assign function button
    • Assign AE-L/AF-L button
    • Reverse dial rotation
    • Slot empty release lock
    • Reverse indicators

Optional GPS: The GP-1 GPS unit (sold separately) can be connected to the camera's accessory terminal to allow information on the camera's current position to be recorded when photographs are taken.

Multi-Language Menu: You can choose from one of 22 languages for display of the camera menus and messages including English, French and Spanish.

Compatible Lenses: The D5100 is equipped with the standard Nikon F bayonet mount. It is compatible with the following types of optional lenses:

  • AF-S or AF-I: all functions supported
  • Type G or D AF NIKKOR (w/o built-in autofocus motor): All functions except autofocus supported. IX NIKKOR lenses not supported.
  • Other AF NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D color matrix metering II. Lenses for F3AF not supported.
  • Type D PC NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and some shooting modes.
  • AI-P NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D color matrix metering II.
  • Non-CPU: Autofocus not supported. Can be used in Manual mode, but exposure meter does not function.

Playback, Editing And Printing Functions

Auto Image Rotation: Photographs taken while this feature is set to "On" allow the image to be played back automatically in the orientation it was taken, including Landscape, Portrait (rotated clockwise) or Portrait (rotated counter-clockwise).

Rotate Tall: Portrait photos are displayed in tall orientation during playback. This feature can be turned off in the menu, if desired.

Image Review: When this setting is enabled, the camera displays the image on the LCD monitor after the picture is taken. You can choose how long photographs are displayed in the monitor after shooting. If Image Review is turned off, pictures can only be displayed by pressing the playback button.

Single-Image Playback: During single-image playback, you can view all the pictures stored on the memory card one at a time.

Thumbnail Playback: This feature allows you to view 4, 9, or 72 images at once on the LCD monitor so that you can search for an image quickly. You can also choose a calendar playback, sorted by date.

Slide Show: This features plays photographs back in an automatic slide show manner. You can set the frame interval (2, 3, 5, or 10 seconds) and the transition type (zoom/fade, cube, or none).

Playback Zoom: During single-image and thumbnail playback, you can zoom in on the selected image. You can zoom in up to 31x for large images, up to 23x for medium images, and up to 15x for small images. Once the image is enlarged, you can pan around the image on the LCD monitor using the multi selector.

In-Camera Image Editing with Retouching Menu: These options can be used to create, trimmed, resized, or retouch existing copies of the photographs in the memory card. You can choose from the following options:

  • D-Lighting: D-Lighting can be used to brighten dark or backlit subjects.
  • Red-eye Correction: Correct "red-eye" caused by flash.
  • Image Trimming: Create cropped copies of existing photos. You can change the aspect ratio from 3:2 to 4:3, 5:4, 1:1, or 16:9. Each copy is saved as a separate file.
  • Monochrome: Copy pictures in the Black and White, Sepia and Cyanotype colors.
  • Filter Effects: Create copies with color filter effects. You can choose from one of the following:
    • Skylight: Creates the effect of a skylight filter, giving the copy a "cold" blue cast.
    • Warm Filter: Creates a copy with warm tone filter effects, giving the copy "warm" red cast.
    • Red Intensifier: Intensifies reds
    • Green Intensifier: Intensifies greens
    • Blue Intensifier: Intensifies blues
    • Cross Screen: Just as with a cross screen filter, this feature produces a star pattern with lines radiating outward from bright objects.
    • Soft: Add a soft filter effect; choose from high, normal, or low effect.
  • Color Balance: You can create a copy with modified color balance using the multi-selector to increase the amount of amber, magenta, green, or blue.
  • Resize: You can create a small copy of a recorded image. The copy will be stored as a JPEG file. You can choose from the following sizes: 1920 x 1280, 1280 x 856, 960 x 640, 640 x 424, and 320 x 216.
  • Image Overlay: Combine two RAW photographs.
  • NEF (RAW) Processing: Create JPEG-format copies of NEF (RAW) photographs recorded at an image quality setting of RAW or RAW+B.
  • Quick Retouch: Create retouched copies in which contrast and saturation have been
  • enhanced.
  • Straighten: You can create a straightened copy of an image. You can rotate the image clockwise or counterclockwise up to five degrees in increments of 0.25 degrees.
  • Distortion Control: Create copies with reduced peripheral distortion (barrel distortion or pin-cushion distortion).
  • Fisheye: You can create a copy that appears to have been taken with a fisheye lens. You can increase or reduce the effect using the multi-selector.
  • Color Outline: You can create an outline copy of a photograph to use as a base for painting.
  • Color Sketch: Create a copy of a photograph that resembles a sketch made with colored pencils.
  • Perspective Control: Copies can be created that reduce the effects of perspective taken from the base of a tall object.
  • Miniature Effect: You can create a copy that appears to be a photo of a diorama. Works best with photos taken from a high vantage point.
  • Edit Movie: You can trim footage to create edited copies of movies or save selected frames as JPEG stills.
  • Side-by-Side Comparison: Compare a retouched copy to the source image by displaying them side-by-side.

Protecting Images: The protect feature allows you to protect important images from accidental erasure.

PictBridge Printing Capability: You can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer. PictBridge is a new standard that allows you to connect a PictBridge compliant camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer and make prints, regardless of brand. The supplied USB cable is required for connecting the camera to the printer.

DPOF: The DPOF feature enables you to create a digital "print order" for PictBridge-compatible printers and other devices that support DPOF.

Exif Print (Exif 2.3): The D5100 conforms to "Exif Print", a worldwide standard. Vital camera settings (such as: exposure mode, white balance, exposure time) and scene data are recorded to the image file when it is captured. Printers compatible with "Exif Print" are able to use this information to produce high quality photographs, exactly the way they were intended at the time of capture. This intelligent communication process also allows the printer to correct for poor lighting or mistakes, resulting in photos that can be even better than the originals.


USB/AV Connection: The Nikon D5100 utilizes a single connector for interfacing the camera with your computer via USB or with your standard definition TV. This micro-USB jack is USB 2.0 High-Speed compatible. A UC-E6 USB cable is supplied for connecting the camera to your computer. Also, the EG-CP14 audio/video cable is supplied for connecting the D5100 to your TV. You can select between NTSC or PAL video playback.

HDMI: For playing back High Definition movies and high resolution still images on an HDTV, you can connect the camera via an optional HDMI cable. A Type C mini-HDMI cable is required (such as 119HDMICAM). The HDMI output resolution can be set to Auto, 480p, 576p, 720p, or 1080i.

Microphone Input: A 3.5mm stereo mini-jack microphone input lets you connect an optional external microphone.

GPS: A proprietary connection is provided for connecting the optional GP-1 GPS receiver. The GP-1 can supply time and location information (latitude, longitude, altitude) to the camera, which can be recorded into the image file.

Battery Information

Li-ion Battery Pack: The D5100 comes with a long lasting rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (EN-EL14), with the capacity of approximately 660 shots per charge (when measured using the optional 18-55mm VR lens).

Quick Charger: The camera also comes with a Battery Charger (MH-24) to the charge the supplied Li-ion battery pack. The MH-24 will charge the EN-EL14 battery pack in approximately 90 minutes.

Backup Battery: The camera's internal backup battery can provide up to a month of backup power after about three days of charging from the EN-EL14 battery pack. The backup battery powers the camera's internal clock, and maintains settings when the power is turned off.

Auto Off Timers: This feature allows you to choose how long the monitor and exposure meters remain on when no operations are performed to prevent battery drain. You can choose from the following four selections:

Selection Playback/Menus Image Review Live View Auto Meter Off
Short 12 sec 4 sec 3 min 4 sec
Normal 20 sec 4 sec 3 min 8 sec
Long 1 min 20 sec 10 min 1 min
Custom Make separate adjustments to each of the three timers.

Optional AC Adapter: The optional EH-5A AC adapter and optional EP-5A power connector are recommended for extended playback.

Supplied Software

ViewNX 2 CD-ROM: The supplied ViewNX 2 CD-ROM contains Nikon Transfer 2, View NX and related software. Nikon Transfer is used to copy (transfer) pictures from the camera to the computer and to perform such other transfer-related functions as making backups and embedding information in pictures as they are transferred. View NX 2 is used to view pictures after transfer; among the other tasks it can perform are grouping pictures, restoring and making simple adjustments to NEF (RAW) images and converting the file format.

Supported Operating Systems: The supplied software can be used with computers running the following operating systems:

  • Windows:
    • Windows 7* (Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise)
    • Windows Vista* Service Pack 2 (32-bit Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate)
    • Windows XP Service Pack 3 (Home Edition, Professional)
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X (version 10.4.11, 10.5.8, 10.6.6)

* ViewNX 2 runs as a 32-bit application in 64-bit editions of Windows 7 and Windows Vista

Image Capacity

Estimated Image Capacity of an Optional 8 GB SDHC Memory Card:

Image Quality Image Size File Size (MB) Number of Images Buffer Capacity
NEF (Raw) + JPEG Fine Large 23.9 244 10
Medium 20.8 279
Small 18.4 311 11
NEF (Raw) + JPEG Normal Large 20.4 285 10
Medium 18.6 307
Small 17.4 325 12
NEF (Raw) + JPEG Basic Large 18.3 311 10
Medium 17.5 324
Small 16.9 333 12
NEF (Raw) ---- 16.4 343 16
JPEG Fine Large 7.1 844 100
Medium 4.4 1400
Small 2.0 3300
JPEG Normal Large 3.9 1600 100
Medium 2.2 2900
Small 1.0 6200
JPEG Basic Large 1.8 3300 100
Medium 1.1 5700
Small 0.5 11400

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