Nikon D5100 Video Review : Discover The Best Camcorder For You

nikon d5100 video camera review

When you’re ready for video quality that is pro-grade and powerful, the Nikon D5100 video camera delivers on expectation and offers a plethora of videography opportunity that has far exceeded the traditional expectations of a DSLR camera. Its leading competitors from Canon and Sony offer similar features at similar prices, but struggle to compete with Nikon’s ability to deliver quality video footage with exceedingly user-friendly functionality.

The Nikon D5100 is a powerful statement in the game-changing timeline of video features for DSLR cameras. In this article, we will break down this camera’s exceptional features compare them to other leading cameras on the market to help you best consider which of these cameras work best for you and your video production needs.

Nikon D5100 16.2MP Digital SLR Camera & 18-55mm VR Lens

The Nikon D5100 video camera is a DSLR (Digital Single--Lens Reflex) meaning this is a digital camera able to remove and add lenses to suit your shooting needs. Its initial design focus is for photography, but as has become the trend for many DSLR’s on the market, video function has either heavily influenced or dominated consumer needs in cameras today.

Nikon is noted to have heralded the DSLR videography revolution in 2008 and has continued to mark achievements in the field with many of its ongoing product installments. If you’re interested in photography but hope to have a flexible future in video, the Nikon D5100 may be the camera for you.

Product specs


With most digital cameras, the sensor is the first point of interest. The Nikon D5100 video camera boasts a 15.7 mm CMOS Sensor which offers 16 Mega Pixels of resolution and notable versatility in low-light situations. Internally it offers a slew of automated features including a fairly fast autofocus system, internal features like fisheye filters, color filters and more and obviously HD video recording formats and functions such as 24, 25 and 30FPS filming at 1080p.

The Autofocus is an 11-point autofocus system which can take up to 2.41 seconds in live view to focus. While recording this can be undesirable as the focus motors make a bit of noise and can pollute the audio in your footage. The 3 inch LCD screen plays back at 640x480 resolution, which isn’t necessarily the best but good for its size and era and the camera itself is a fairly lightweight 19.7oz.
 

Pricing


Now almost around 10 years old, the Nikon D5100 is an extremely reasonable and easy to find a camera on most online vendor outlets. Amazon lists it used (Body Only) for a little over $$$, and other vendors are not too far off from that figure.

How it Compares


To provide you with the most information and means available to better select the camera that works best for you, we have compared the Nikon D5100 with three other cameras on the market for a comprehensive breakdown of options and features against other competitors on the market.

These cameras span over five years of production range models but focus on quality photography in conjunction with stunning video capability so that whether you’re a photographer looking to segway into a videographer or vice versa, this camera can handle your needs and more.  The cameras for our list include:

Nikon D5100 16.2MP Digital SLR Camera & 18-55mm VR Lens
  • Product: Nikon D5100 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens
  • Product Number: D5100 18-55mm Kit
  • Resolution: 16.2 megapixels

If nothing else, this camera stands out for price. Used models online for less than $300 make this an absolute delight for first timers to get involved.

Video Quality

Resolution

Design Quality

Warranty

Pros

  • 1080p Video Recording
  • 11-point Autofocus System
  • 3″ Fully Articulated Screen

Cons

  • 16MP Sensor is smaller than competitors
  • ISO covers only 100 - 6400
  • No 60FPS shooting

Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Sensor DIGIC 4 Image Processor...
  • Includes T3I camera, 18-55 mm Lense, 55-250 mm lense,
  • Battery, spare battery, charger, software CD, Manuals
  • as shown in pictures. Just like new condition

The Canon T3i in so many ways is very much akin to the Nikon D5100 in performance ability and design. Both have their diehard fans, and both exceed one another in various forms, but overall this camera offers the same degree of photography ability and enhanced video ability that the Nikon D5100 contender offers. Some advanced features include the 18 MP sensor quality and the larger screen size but aside from that, the differences are small.

Video Quality

Resolution

Design Quality

Warranty

Pros

  • Low Cost
  • 1920x1080 HD video recording at 24,30 and 60 FPS
  • Supports more lenses than the Nikon D5100

Cons

  • Only 9 point Autofocus
  • 100-6400 ISO Range is relatively Small
  • Noted to have a slower Live View mode than the Nikon D5100 video camera

Pentax K-70 Weather-Sealed DSLR Camera, Body Only (Black)
  • 24.24 effective megapixel, APS-C AA filter-less CMOS sensor with ISO from 100-204800
  • Dustproof and weather-resistant with In-body "SR" shake reduction mechanism
  • Vary-angle LCD monitor with Night vision red light LCD display

This is a relatively new camera, so it’s tricky to find discounts of any kinds. Amazon.com lists this camera for around $600 for the body only.

Video Quality

Resolution

Design Quality

Warranty

Pros

  • High-Resolution Mode combines images for a much higher resolution camera
  • Anti-Aliasing Filter Simulator
  • 6000 X 4000 pixel resolution

Cons

  • Higher cost by comparison
  • Only 6FPS average continuing shooting
  • Low Battery Life: 410 shots

The Pentax K-70 is a relatively recent addition to the plethora of DSLR cameras on the market, only just making its debut in 2016. But compared to the Nikon and Canon contenders, it offers similar performance with some modern additions to its function.

With a 24 MP sensor and only 11 points of autofocus on screen, it is pretty competitive with its Canon and Nikon counterparts. Meanwhile, 1080p HD shootings mean its video component is no slouch either. Where this camera shines are its internal features like built-in Wi-fi, face detection focusing and time-lapse recording.

Sony Alpha SLT-A77 Translucent Mirror Digital SLR Camera - Body only...
  • 2nd Generation Translucent Mirror Technology camera
  • 24.3 MP for superb detail and amazing enlargements
  • World?s fastest up to 12 fps continuous shooting

For close to $600 body-only, this camera is an investment in refining the qualities of the Canon T3i and the Nikon D5100. It as a true advancement, but difficult to justify the price difference. Some advantages though come in the form of this cameras compatibility with Minolta alpha lenses which means more variety and availability as well as cost differentials for existing lenses on the market.

Video Quality

Resolution

Design Quality

Warranty

Pros

  • 79 Focus Points
  • Long Battery Life
  • Face Detection Focusing

Cons

  • Low Screen Resolution
  • Poor Low Light Performance
  • Expensive by comparison

Sony is often a leader in internal camera tech and processing power. This means the Sony A68 stands out against the Nikon D5100 video camera and others for its features more than the hardware.

Its 24MP APS-C CMOS Sensor makes it one of the strongest on this list, while its 79 Focus Points make it a triumph for automation and an exciting option for cinematographers interested in breaking into the scene.

Comparison Table

PRODUCT

Nikon D5100 Video Camera

Canon T3i

Pentax K-70

Sony Alpha SLT-A77

IMAGE

Nikon D5100 16.2MP Digital SLR Camera & 18-55mm VR Lens

Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Sensor DIGIC 4 Image Processor...

Pentax K-70 Weather-Sealed DSLR Camera, Body Only (Black)

Sony Alpha SLT-A77 Translucent Mirror Digital SLR Camera - Body only...

PRICE

EASE OF USE

ASSEMBLY TIME

DESIGN QUALITY

WARRANTY

Conclusion

For video production, versatility and price, the Nikon D5100 video camera is a marvel for its time and continues to provide an exemplary resource to photographers and videographers alike. Its HD shooting capabilities coupled with its ergonomic design assures this is a filmmakers tool that has and will continue to stand the test of time for years to come.

Its age shows and so certain missing features like Wi-Fi, AF micro adjustment, image stabilization and lacking environmental sealing have proven the camera to be only slightly less than immortal. In good hands, though this camera can still proudly produce images that’ll stand out and look great in many mediums.

For its price and functionality, the Nikon D5100 video camera is an exciting opportunity for new videographers to embark on quality video filmmaking without breaking the bank.

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