Nikon D5100 Specifications and Key Features with Overview

A summary, as well as a brief explanation of the Nikon D5100 specifications and key features with details, are listed in this article. If you read this article till last, you’ll have a total overview of the Nikon D5100, despite not having the camera in your hands.

Key Features

  • Sensor: 16.2 MP DX-format CMOS
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 4 FPS
  • Metering: 420-pixel RGB sensor
  • Pentamirror: Optical Viewfinder with approx. 95% frame coverage and approx. 0.78x magnification
  • Storage: Single SD Card Slot with SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory card compatibility
  • Flash: Built-in Speedlight flash with i-TTL support and up to 1/200 sync speed
  • Video: Full 1080p HD Movie capability and external stereo microphone jack (up to 20 minutes of recording time)
  • Native ISO: 100 to 6400 expandable to 25,600 (Hi2)
  • AF: 11-point AF System with one center cross-type sensor
  • LCD: 3″ 921,000-dot Super-Density articulated LCD Monitor with 170-degree viewing
  • Battery: EN-EL14 (660+ shots)
  • Built-in HDMI Connection: Yes
  • Active D-Lighting: Yes
  • Scene Modes: 16
  • Special Effects: Selective Color, Miniature Effect, Night Vision, and Silhouette
  • Shutter Speed: Up to 1/4000
  • Exposure Compensation: ±5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
  • Exposure Bracketing: 3 frames ±2 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps
  • Weight: 560 grams (body only)

Advantages and Disadvantages

These are the advantages of disadvantages of the Nikon D5100. This can also be referred to as what reviewers, as well as users, like and dislike.


These are the pros of the Nikon D5100:

  • 3-inch vary-angle LCD (921K pixels)
  • External microphone port
  • Supports optional geotagging
  • User selectable focus points
  • Great color reproduction
  • Strong low light performance
  • Excellent low light/high ISO performance
  • Full-time AF in Live View and video
  • RAW image format support
  • Timelapse recording
  • Selfie and vlogger-friendly articulating LCD screen
  • 11 focus points
  • 560g lightweight body
  • Flash sync port
  • 1 cross-type focus point


These are the pros of the Nikon D5100:

  • No wireless connection
  • No touch screen
  • No AF micro adjustment
  • No live histogram
  • No 720p60 video recording


TypeSingle-lens reflex digital camera
Release Date2011-04-26
Body TypeCompact DSLR
ProcessorExpeed 2

A 16.0 MP entry-level DSLR camera with a fully articulated screen, an APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm) sized CMOS sensor, and a Nikon F lens mount, the Nikon D5100 was introduced in April 2011. This model took the place of the earlier Nikon D5000, and the Nikon D5100 was eventually superseded by the Nikon D5200.

Dimensions and Weight

Dimensions(W x H x D)Approx. 128 x 97 x 79 mm/5.04 x 3.82 x 3.11 in.
WeightApprox. 560 g/1.23 lb / 19.75 oz. with battery and memory card but without body cap; Approx. 510 g/1.12 lb/ 17.98 oz. (camera body only)

The Nikon D5100 measures 128 x 97 x 79 mm (5.04 x 3.82 x 3.11′′) and weighs 560 g (1.23 lb / 19.75 oz) with a battery and memory card but without a cap. Only the camera body weighs Approx. 510 g/1.12 lb/ 17.98 oz,

 The Nikon D5100 is a relatively light camera for its class, especially when you consider that the average weight of DSLR-type cameras is 773g. It has an average thickness for its class, measuring 79mm.

Photography Features

Min Shutter Speed30s
Max Mechanical Shutter Speed1/4000s
Continuous Shooting4.0 fps
Shutter PriorityYES
Aperture PriorityYES
Manual Exposure ModeYES
Exposure CompensationYES
Custom White BalanceYES
Image StabilizationNO
Built-in FlashYES
Flash Range12.00 m (at ISO 100)
Max Flash Sync1/200s
Flash ModesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear-curtain
External FlashYES
AE BracketingYES
WB BracketingYES

Video Features

Video Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps),
1280 x 720 (30, 25, 24 fps),
640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
Max Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Microphone PortYES
Headphone PortNO

Image Sensor

Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeAPS-C
Sensor Dimension23.6 x 15.7 mm
Sensor Area370.52 mm2
Sensor Resolution16MP
Total Pixels16.9 Million
Effective Pixels16.2 Million
Dust reduction systemImage sensor cleaning, Airflow Control System, Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)
Maximum Native ISO6400
Maximum Boosted ISO25,600
Minimum Native ISO100
RAW SupportYES

A 16.0MP APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm) CMOS sensor and features are available in the Nikon D5100. Use two processors. You can capture images with an aspect ratio of and a maximum resolution of 4928 x 3264 pixels. The D5100 can save files in RAW format, which provides you more capacity for post-processing, and it has a native ISO range of 100 – 6400 that can be increased to 25600.

Nikon D500 DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark is a benchmark for evaluating the image quality of camera sensors scientifically. DxO Mark evaluated the Nikon D5100 sensor and gave it an overall score of 80 for picture quality. The specifics of their examination of the Nikon D5100 are available here.


ViewfinderEye-level pentamirror single-lens reflex viewfinder
Frame coverageApprox. 95% horizontal and 95% vertical
MagnificationApprox. 0.78 x (50 mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1)
Eyepoint17.9 mm (-1.0 m-1)
Diopter adjustment-1.7 to +0.7 m-1
Focusing screenType B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VII screen
Reflex mirrorQuick return
Lens apertureInstant return, electronically controlled

The built-in optical (pentamirror) viewfinder of the D5100 makes it simpler to take pictures in bright sunshine and other conditions where it would be challenging to see the LCD panel. The viewfinder features a 0.52x magnification ratio and 95% coverage. 95% coverage indicates that the image you see while shooting will be slightly different from what you see in your viewfinder.

As is customary, I had the most luck framing my photographs with the optical viewfinder. Simply put, the viewfinder is more similar to that of a Rebel. Slim black lines frame the AF points, which have black dots in the center that light up red when the focus is attained. 

The red squares of earlier designs were more difficult to distinguish against some backdrops, especially in shadow locations, than the bright red dots are now. The eleven AF points on the Nikon D5100 are more numerous than the Rebel’s nine, which are arranged in a horizontal diamond pattern.

The faster shutter lag and return to framing photos at the speed of light are also features of the optical viewfinder. Although regaining focus takes 0.41 seconds in wide-area mode, I found it to be quick enough in the majority of situations. By switching to single-point AF, you can reduce the lag to 0.27 seconds and reduce some of the guesswork.


Image size (pixels)4,928 x 3,264 [L]
3,696 x 2,448 [M]
2,464 x 1,632 [S]
File formatNEF (RAW): 14 bit, compressed

JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8) or basic (approx. 1:16) compression

NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Picture Control SystemStandard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls
MediaSD (Secure Digital), SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
File systemDCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format),
Exif 2.3 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras), PictBridge

Images are stored on SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, and the Nikon D5100 supports Eye-Fi cards for wireless WiFi networking.

Monitor Screen

Screen TypeVari Angle / Articulated
ScreenTechnologyTFT LCD
Screen size3.00 inch ( 7.5cm ) 
Screen resolution921k dots ( VGA )
Live viewYES
Frame coverage100%
Brightness AdjustmentYES
Touch screenNO

The fully articulated 3.00-inch LCD screen on the Nikon D5100 features a 921k-dot resolution. When opposed to just tilting or fixed screens, articulated screens are more video-oriented. However, people who are interested in photography tend to like tilting screens. The screen size and resolution meet the requirements for this class.

Nikon D5100 fully articulated LCD screen

Because of its Selfie-friendly screen, the Nikon D5100 will make life easier for those of you who enjoy taking individual or group selfies. Vloggers and any other single-person video production teams will benefit from the LCD screen of the D5100 as well.

Although having a swivel screen allows you to get a decent low angle on toddlers, I must admit that even when prefocused, I experienced a noticeable lag. According to laboratory studies, it takes 0.49 seconds. Let me tell you when photographing toddlers, nearly half a second is a long time. The screen turns black during that time, the mirror lowers, and then it rises again to make the exposure. Sadly what you saw when that screen went blank is too often not what you captured.


AutofocusNikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, 11 focus points (including one cross-type sensor), and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5 to 3 m/1 ft. 8 in. to 9 ft. 10 in.)
Detection range-1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)
Lens servoAutofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous-servo AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status

Manual focus (MF): Electronic rangefinder can be used
Focus pointCan be selected from 11 focus points
AF-area modeSingle-point AF, dynamic-area AF, auto-area AF, 3D-tracking (11 points)
Focus lockFocus can be locked by pressing the shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button

Normal, Wide area, Face Priority, Subject Tracking, AF-S (single servo), AF-F (full-time), and manual focus are all live view focus modes available on the Nikon D5100. When face detection is turned on, the Nikon D5100 starts monitoring faces immediately and draws a yellow box around each one, up to 35 at once. The box turns green at the spot where the focus lock was obtained once focus has been attained.


AF TouchNO
AF ContinuousYES
AF TrackingYES
AF SelectiveYES
AF CentreYES
AF Multi-viewYES
AF Live viewYES
AF Face DetectionYES
AF Contrast detectionYES
AF Phase detectionYES
Number of focus points11
Number of cross-focus points1

Although the viewfinder indicator is different from that of the Nikon D5000, autofocus remains the same. The 11-point Multi-CAM 1000 phase-detection sensor module that the D5100’s autofocus system is built around was previously used in the D3000 and D5000, among other cameras.

The Multi-CAM 1000 module has 11 focusing points, with a cross-type sensor as the central point. The D5100’s AF system has a detection range of -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 68°F / 20°C). 

The viewfinder point display has been upgraded by Nikon, however, the AF sensor itself has not changed. The approximate AF point locations on the D5000 were marked in the viewfinder with dark, dense markings. These have been changed for the Nikon D5100 with considerably fainter marks that are all centrally lighted by red LEDs. Like its predecessor, the Nikon D5100 features 3D tracking, which tracks moving subjects as they move across the picture from point to point.

The autofocus system works quickly and precisely in daylight, and I had no trouble establishing a sharp focus even when using telephoto lenses like the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 + TC-14E II teleconverter. The three AF modes that are available—AF-S, AF-C, and AF-A—all perform admirably. AF-S is excellent for single focus and low light circumstances; AF-C successfully tracks moving subjects, and AF-A performs admirably for the majority of photographic demands.

90% of the time, I left the AF-A setting on the D5100, and I got excellent results. I switched to AF-C mode and took some image bursts at a speed of 4 frames per second when photographing birds and other wildlife.

Video Recording

MeteringTTL exposure metering using main image sensor
Metering methodMatrix
Frame size (pixels)and frame rate1,920 x 1,080, 30p/25p/24p, ★ high/normal
1,280 x 720, 30p/25p/24p, ★ high/normal
640 x 424, 30p/25p, ★ high/normal 

A frame rate of 30p (actual frame rate 29.97 fps) is available when NTSC is selected for video mode; 25p is available when PAL is selected for video mode; Actual frame rate when 24p is selected is 23.976 fps
File formatMOV
Video compressionH.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
Audio recording formatLinear PCM
Audio recording deviceBuilt-in monaural or external stereo microphone; sensitivity adjustable

It’s simple to record videos using the Nikon D5100: Simply tap the dedicated Movie button on the top-panel while in Live View mode to begin recording. Movies can be recorded at resolutions up to 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, sometimes known as “Full HD” video (1080p), 1,280 by 720 pixels (720p), and 640 by 424 pixels in standard definition (a non-standard resolution). Regardless of resolution, you have an option of 25 or 30 frames per second, and for high-definition capture, you may even select 24 frames per second mode.

Movies taken with the Nikon D5100 are compressed using MPEG-4 AVCHD / H.264 and saved in the.MOV file extension. The Nikon D5100 does allow for rudimentary in-camera editing of movies, with the ability to cut undesired footage from both the start and conclusion of each clip. Each video clip has a maximum length of twenty minutes. A JPEG can also be saved from a video frame. The monoaural internal microphone of the Nikon D5100 can link to an external stereo microphone.

The Nikon D5100 offers full-time contrast-detection autofocus during movie capture, including support for face detection and tracking functionality, which is significant for consumer videographers. However, the number of faces that can be tracked at once is less than the 35 face limit in still capture mode. 

Given that Nikon F-mount lenses are made for still image shooting, it’s likely that autofocus drive noise will be audible on the audio track when using the Nikon D5100’s internal microphone, but given the challenge of learning to pull focus manually, this is probably a worthwhile tradeoff for many consumers.

While shooting movies, shutter speed and ISO sensitivity are always automatically controlled, but before entering Live view mode, lens aperture can be set in either Aperture Priority or Manual exposure mode. Although PASM modes offer exposure compensation and AE lock, matrix metering is always employed regardless of the metering mode chosen.

Compatible Lenses

Compatible lensesAutofocus is available with AF-S and AF-I lenses.
Autofocus is not available with other type G and D lenses,
AF lenses (IX-NIKKOR and lenses for the F3AF are not supported) and AI-P lensesNon-CPU lenses can be used in mode M but the camera exposure meter will not function Note:
The electronic rangefinder can be used with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster

There are presently 316 native lenses that can be used with the Nikon D5100’s Nikon F lens mount. Nikon F mount has one of the widest selections of lenses and has backward compatibility, allowing you to use lenses dating back to the 1960s. Additionally, it is highly supported by lenses made by independent producers.

The Nikon D5100 has a minor drawback in that it lacks an internal focus motor, making it incompatible with older screw-drive autofocus (AF) lenses. With contemporary Nikon AF-S, AF-I, and G lenses, it continues to function properly, while lenses from the 1980s may not autofocus on the Nikon D5100.

Best Lenses for Nikon D5100

  • Nikon 24-120mm f4G ED VR
  • Nikon 50mm f1.4G
  • Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM
  • Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3 VC
  • Nikon DX Fisheye-10.5mm f2.8G ED
  • Nikon Micro-105mm f2.8G IF-ED VR


TypeElectronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Speed1/4000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, Bulb; Time (requires optional Remote Control ML-L3)
Flash sync speedX = 1/200 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/200 s or slower

With a bulb position for longer exposures, the available shutter speeds range from 1/4000 to 30 seconds in stages of 1/3 or 1/2EV. The shutter mechanism on the Nikon D5100 has a rated lifetime of about 100,000 cycles. Within a +/-5.0 EV range, exposure adjustment is offered in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV. Additionally, the Nikon D5100 provides three-frame exposure bracketing with a step size of up to 2 EV.

Nikon D5100 can shoot continuously at a speed of 4fps.


Release mode (single frame), (continuous), (self-timer), (delayed remote), (quick-response remote), (quiet shutter release)
Frame advance rateUp to 4 fps (manual focus, mode M or S, shutter speed 1/250 s or faster, and other settings at default values)
Self-timer2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures

Nikon D5100 Symbol Auslöseverhalten Einzelbild: Single images =Each time the shutter release button is pressed, a single image is produced. 

Nikon D5100 Symbol Auslöseverhalten Serienbilder: Approximately 4 images per second continuous shooting rate

Nikon D5100-Symbol Selbstauslöser: Self-timer= Shutter release with a 10-second delay is a self-timer.

When using the D5100’s self-timer, you can program it to take a series of pictures by adjusting the delay time in the custom settings menu, section C3.

Nikon D5100 Symbol Auslöseverhalten Quiet: Quiet shutter release= The camera’s internal mirror rotates more slowly and only swings back when your finger is lifted. You can wait for an appropriate time for the second half when the shutter sound is significantly quieter.

Nikon-Symbol Fernauslösung: Remote release=. A compatible remote control from another manufacturer or the Nikon ML-L3 is required for this, which must be purchased separately.

Nikon-Symbol Fernauslösung 2s: The same remote release as before, but with a 2-second delay

It should be noted that the D5100 will switch off the remote shutter release receiver if you don’t capture a picture during the period of time specified in the custom settings menu under C4 Remote on duration. It is pre-set at one minute.

In the release mode, you may also use bracketing, multiple exposures, and interval shooting. See the titles at the end of this chapter for their respective menus, though.


MeteringTTL exposure metering using 420-pixel RGB sensor
Metering methodMatrix: 3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses)

Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8-mm circle in center of frame

Spot: Meters 3.5-mm circle (about 2.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point
Range(ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)Matrix or center-weighted metering: 0 to 20 EV

Spot metering: 2 to 20 EV
Exposure meter couplingCPU
ModeAuto modes ( auto; auto [flash off]), programmed auto with flexible program (P), shutter-priority auto (S), aperture-priority auto (A), manual (M), scene modes ( portrait; landscape; child; sports sports; close up; night portrait; night landscape; party/indoor; beach/snow; sunset; dusk/dawn; pet portrait; candlelight; blossom; autumn colors; food), special effects modes ( night vision; color sketch; miniature effect; selective color; silhouette; high key; low key)
Exposure compensation-5 to +5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
Exposure bracketing3 frames in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
Exposure lockLuminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
ISO sensitivity(Recommended Exposure Index)ISO 100 to 6400 in steps of 1/3 EV; can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.7, 1 or 2 EV (ISO 25600 equivalent) above ISO 6400; auto ISO sensitivity control available
Active D-LightingAuto, extra high, high, normal, low, off
ADL bracketing2 frames

In addition to Auto, Program, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority, Manual, Flash Off, Scene, Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-Up, and Effects, the Nikon D5100 also has these exposure modes. Instead of deserving separate spots on the Mode dial, the D5100’s scene modes are grouped together in the Scene mode position. The available scene modes have been slightly reduced to Night Landscape, Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Pet Portrait, Candlelight, Blossom, Autumn Colors, Food, and Night Portrait.

With regard to both still photos and videos, the D5000’s Silhouette, High key, and Low key scene modes have now been moved to the new Effects location on the Mode dial. New Night Vision, Color Sketch, Miniature Effect, and Selective Color choices are also available in the Effects mode. 

Except for the Night Vision option, which requires a little explanation, in particular, we’ve seen features like this on earlier DSLRs from Nikon or rival manufacturers. The caveat is that you can only take monochromatic photos in Night Vision mode, which raises the ISO sensitivity limit from its increased maximum of 25,600 equivalents to an astounding ISO 102,400 equivalent.

Similar to Pentax’s DSLRs, the Selective Color option desaturates all color ranges except for a few. The Nikon D5100 has a seven-step selection control that allows it to select three distinct colors, as opposed to the Pentax function’s two-color selection with a five-step control over how wide a selection should be preserved around this color. Color Sketch offers a sketch-like effect, while Miniature Effect produces a graduated blur along the opposing image frame edges, simulating a short depth of field and, when applied effectively, giving the impression that the image is of a model. This last effect slows down the movie’s recording frame rate, making it appear sped up when it is played again.

Flash( Built-in and External)

Built-in flash,,,,,,,: Auto flash with auto pop-up

P, S, A, M,: Manual pop-up with button release
Guide numberApprox. 12/39, 13/43 with manual flash (m/ft., ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)
Flash controlTTL: i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR using 420-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600, or SB-400 (i-TTL balanced fill-flash is available when matrix or center-weighted metering is selected)

Auto aperture: Available with SB-900/SB-800 and CPU lens

Non-TTL auto: Supported flash units include SB-900, SB-800, SB-80DX, SB-28DX, SB-28, SB-27 and SB-22S

Distance-priority manual: Available with SB-900, SB-800, and SB-700
Flash modeAuto, auto with red-eye reduction, auto slow sync, auto slow sync with red-eye reduction, fill-flash, red-eye reduction, slow sync, slow sync with red-eye reduction, rear-curtain with slow sync, rear-curtain sync, off
Flash compensation-3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
Flash-ready indicatorLights when built-in flash or optional flash units such as SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600, or SB-400 is fully charged; blinks for 3 s after flash is fired at full output
Accessory shoeISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts and safety lock
Nikon Creative LightingSystem (CLS)Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with SB-900, SB-800, or SB-700 as a master flash, or SU-800 as commander; Flash Color Information Communication supported with built-in flash and all CLS-compatible flash units
Sync terminalSync Terminal Adapter AS-15 (available separately)

The Nikon D5100 has an integrated pop-up flash strobe for shooting in dim settings as well as an ISO 518 intelligent hot shoe for adding external strobes. 1/200 second is the flash X-sync speed. 

Nikon provides an optional hot-shoe-mounted sync connector adapter for use with studio strobes even though there isn’t a built-in PC sync port. In Auto and most Scene settings, the built-in flash will activate automatically as needed and has a minimum 18mm field of view; in other modes, it can be manually activated.

At ISO 100 and 68°F/20°C, the Guide number is 12 metres (39 feet), but when handled manually, it rises to 13 metres (43 feet). I-TTL, auto-aperture, non-TTL auto, and distance-priority manual are some of the flash metering modes that are available, and their availability depends on the flash model. – Flash exposure correction ranging from 3 to +1 EV is available in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV. The integrated flash of the Nikon D5100 can support the Nikon Creative Lighting System, but it cannot function as a wireless commander.

Live View

Lens servoAutofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); full-time-servo AF (AF-F)Manual focus (MF)
AF-area modeFace-priority AF, wide-area AF, normal-area AF, subject-tracking AF
AutofocusContrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)
Automatic scene selectionAvailable in and modes

On the Nikon D5100, there is a novel way to activate Live view: a Live view lever that protrudes from the top panel to the right of the Mode dial and is simple to access with a fingertip flick. The mirror swings up and Live-view framing begins when the Lv lever is tapped. Similar to other contemporary DSLRs from Nikon, phase-detect AF isn’t supported, thus you can only focus in contrast-detect mode. In Live View-capable SLRs, phase-detect AF is usually noisy since it requires lowering and raising the mirror twice—once to focus and again to take the picture—but it is typically quicker than contrast-detect focusing.

Normal, Wide area, Face Priority, Subject Tracking, AF-S (single servo), AF-F (full-time), and manual focus are all live view focus modes available on the Nikon D5100. When face detection is turned on, the Nikon D5100 starts monitoring faces immediately and draws a yellow box around each one, up to 35 at once. The box turns green at the spot where the focus lock was obtained once focus has been attained.


Video outputNTSC, PAL
HDMI outputType C mini-pin HDMI connector
Accessory terminalRemote Cord MC-DC2 (available separately)GPS Unit GP-1 (available separately)
Audio inputStereo mini-pin jack (3.5-mm diameter)

Numerous connectivity possibilities are available with the Nikon D5100. There is a typical USB 2.0 High-Speed port for data transfer to a computer. Using the Type-C Mini HDMI port or the NTSC/PAL switchable composite port, respectively, videos can be viewed on low- or high-definition displays. The HDMI port overrides the camera’s LCD display whereas the standard-def composite port keeps the LCD active while in operation.

 Additionally, it complies with the Consumer Electronics Control (HDMI-CEC) standard, which enables remote control of some playback features using an associated display’s remote control via the HDMI cable. Additionally, the Nikon D5100 has an accessory connector that is compatible with the optional accessories GP-1 GPS and MC-DC2 remote cable release.

The Nikon D5100 features the previously mentioned 3.5mm stereo microphone input connection, and they even provide a brand-new add-on microphone, the ME-1 Stereo Microphone, which fastens to the camera via the hot shoe. For use with the ML-L3 infrared remote control, the Nikon D5100 includes two infrared remote release connectors on the front and back of the camera.

Power Source

BatteryOne Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL14
AC adapterAC Adapter EH-5a/5b; requires Power Connector EP-5A (available separately)

It has a lithium-ion EN-EL14 battery pack that is capable of 660 shots on a single charge with 50% of those images using the flash (CIPA rating). There isn’t a vertical battery grip for the Nikon D5100.

White Balance

White balanceAuto, incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual, all except preset manual with fine-tuning
White balance bracketing3 frames in steps of 1

The Nikon D5100 offers a minimum of 14 different white balance settings, including Auto, 12 presets, and a manual setting. Incandescent, Fluorescent (Sodium-vapor, Warm-white, White, Cool-white, Day White, Daylight, and High Temp. Mercury-vapor), Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, and Shade are some of the presets available. When shooting in JPEG mode, the D5100 also has white balance bracketing. The camera saves three copies of each image when bracketing is turned on: the original, one with a warmer tint, and one with a cooler tint.


PlaybackFull-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar) playback with playback zoom, movie playback, slide show, histogram display, highlights, auto image rotation, and image comment (up to 36 characters)

Tripod Socket

Tripod socket1/4 in. (ISO 1222)

Operating Environment

Temperature0 to 40°C/32 to 104°F
HumidityLess than 85% (no condensation)


Supplied accessories(may differ by country or area)Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL14, Battery Charger MH-24, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, Rubber Eyecup DK-20, USB Cable UC-E6, Audio Video Cable EG-CP14, Camera Strap AN-DC3, Body Cap BF-1B, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, ViewNX 2 CD-ROM

Supported Languages

Supported languagesArabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish

Memory Card Capacity

A rough estimate of how many images can be stored on an 8 GB Toshiba R95 W80MB/s UHS-I SDHC card at various image quality and size settings is shown in the table below.

Image qualityImage sizeFile size*1No. of images*1Buffer capacity*2
NEF (RAW) + JPEG fine*3LargeMediumSmall23.9 MB20.8 MB18.4 MB244279311101011
NEF (RAW) + JPEG normal*3LargeMediumSmall20.4 MB18.6 MB17.4 MB285307325101012
NEF (RAW) + JPEG basic*3LargeMediumSmall18.3 MB17.5 MB16.9 MB311324333101012
NEF (RAW)16.4 MB34316
JPEG fineLargeMediumSmall7.1 MB4.4 MB2.0 MB84414003300100100100
JPEG normalLargeMediumSmall3.9 MB2.2 MB1.0 MB160029006200100100100
JPEG basicLargeMediumSmall1.8 MB1.1 MB0.5 MB3300570011400100100100

Approved Memory Cards

The use of the following SD memory cards with the D5100 has been examined and verified.

For recording movies, cards with class 6 or faster write speeds are advised.

When using cards with slower write speeds, recording can finish abruptly.

SD memory cardsSDHC memory cards*2SDXC memory cards*3
SanDisk1GB, 2GB*14GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB64GB
Toshiba1GB, 2GB*14GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB64GB
Panasonic1GB, 2GB*14GB, 6GB, 8GB, 12GB, 16GB, 24GB, 32GB48GB, 64GB
Lexar Media1GB, 2GB*14GB, 8GB
Platinum II1GB, 2GB*14GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB
Professional1GB, 2GB*14GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB


Nikon D5100 specifications and key features have made it clear that this camera is best for amateur use. The features are excellent and meet modern requirements. The camera provides all basic and advanced level options for a good level of production. You should choose the lens for appropriate use in order to get the best results.


Is Nikon D5100 good for beginners?

YES. This camera is a great entry point for beginning photographers into the world of DSLR photography due to its abundance of capabilities and low pricing.

Is the Nikon D5100 waterproof?

NO. Depending on the lens port selected, the housing is fully functional down to a depth rating of 200 feet (60m) and just marginally negative in freshwater (lens port required, sold separately).

Does Nikon D5100 have WiFi?

Images are stored on SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, and the Nikon D5100 supports Eye-Fi cards for wireless WiFi networking.

Is D5100 full frame?

NO. Nikon D5100 is a crop sensor / DX-format camera. It has a smaller sensor than the full frame or FX-format cameras. The CMOS sensor measures 23.6 x 15.7 mm in D5100.

Can I take HD photos with D5100?

YES. The Nikon D5100 is a 16.2 megapixel DSLR camera with stereo sound recording capabilities for Full HD movies at 1920×1280 pixels/25 frames per second.

Is Nikon D5100 good for video?

YES. Nikon D5100 provides Full HD (also known as 1080p) high definition video capture, guaranteeing that its movies, all of which were recorded using H. 264/MPEG-4 AVC compression, would look their best even on the most recent high-definition monitors.

Does Nikon D5100 have GPS?

NO. For the Nikon D5100 and D5200, you can purchase the GP-1/A converter to add GPS location information to your images, but the D5300 already has GPS built in.

Is Nikon D5100 a 4K camera?

NO. D5100 offers maximum HD video shooting at 1080p but not 4K. In most circumstances, Full HD resolution is sufficient for beginners.

What mount does Nikon D5100 use?

Nikon F mount (with AF contacts).  Nikon F mount has one of the widest selections of lenses and has backward compatibility, allowing you to use lenses dating back to the 1960s. Additionally, it is highly supported by lenses made by independent producers.

Does D5100 have autofocus motor?

NO. there is no built-in autofocus motor in D5100. Since the D5100 lacks a focus motor, a focus motor incorporated into the lens is required if you want to use autofocus with the camera.

Does Nikon D5100 support SDXC?

YES. Memory cards with capacities of 16, 32, 64, and 128 GB for SD, SDHC, and SDXC are all compatible with the Nikon D5100 digital camera.

Does Sigma lens fit D5100?

YES. Since the D5100 has 16.2 megapixels, both the Tamron and Sigma 150-600mm lenses ought to function properly.