I had the opportunity to try out the Nikon D5100 for a week from a friend of mine of Proud 2 Be Geek and Power Play Game Wear. I did borrow this before, but for only a couple of days, this was before I had the Fujifilm HS25EXR and the Pentax K100D Super.
It is only now that I was able to get some time to actually practice using it. It took me a while to get used to the camera itself. I had to get some help from my friend to familiarize myself with it. Once I’ve figured out how to use the aperture, zoom, focus, iso, exposure, it was time for me to learn to take shots with it.
I was able to take a lot of pictures with it, although mostly it was because I needed to take pictures of cakes. But I had a few moments to experiment with it, I didn’t want to over use it because it wasn’t mine in the first place.
I am going to compare it with my HS25EXR and my K100D Super.
First thing I noticed, the shutter is very tight. Sounds very good and it still feels very new. Shutter count is at 7419. Very responsive which I really like. I suppose it’s because it’s barely used on my perspective. It even smells new, considering it’s about more than a year old.
The menu is quite confusing though, but I suppose it’s not something I am familiar with. I got used to using the Pentax and the Fujifilm that it took me a while to grasp what the menus are. I needed help finding where the settings for RAW are. The camera was set to capture at JPEG only, so I had to get help getting it to RAW.
Images are quite large once you get the RAW image saved. It’s around 17mb for each image. It’s a far cry from my Pentax which is 10mb. But I was surprised that the image quality is about the same with my Pentax K100D, although the image size is smaller on my Pentax, you do notice that if you reduce the image of the D5100, the images are quite similar in the amount of detail. I suppose the sensor is very similar, but because the D5100 has more megapixels than my camera, obviously, the larger image will help a lot maximizing the detail it captures than the K100D Super.
The D5100 has a good feature for night shots, it’s not hard to use it. Although you have to use settings like iso6400, and the grain can be a bit hard to use for print, but in terms of web images, I think it can be quite manageable. It does need a bit of editing by reducing the size and you may need to reduce the grain by software, but it’s not so bad. The best is the ability to use BULB mode, which can longer exposures than 30 seconds, although I couldn’t test this properly unless I get stiff hands. Best to use this feature with a remote, which I hear CD-R King has.
ISO settings has a special nightmode though, but when I tested it, I wasn’t too convinced that it’s the best way to use it since it produces a lot of grain. So, until I get to test them more, I do think I’ll stick with using the usual ISO settings.
I was surprised that I saw a lot of pixel burn on the images, I thought that it’s more of an issue with camera because it’s old, but it turns out that images on the Nikon D5100 produces almost the same amount.
Autofocus is quite good as long as the area is brightly lit. It can have a hard time getting to focus properly at night if you are in a dark large area. Using manual focus is a must, and because the camera doesn’t have any form of measurement for focus that I can find on the lens. it’s a lot of guesswork on how to focus in the dark.
I love the LCD screen since you can position it almost at any angle. I love the fact that you can take difficult shots at strange angles where your head is not possible to reach while you can still see what you are trying to shoot. But I do miss the feature from the HS25EXR where you can zoom to a particular area and focus on that one spot to make it more precise. Also, comparing the brightness of the LCD, it seems that the HS25 has a better screen since it’s easier to see the screen in bright light than the D5100, or maybe it’s just the settings.
Overall, I really enjoy using the camera. I do wish I have more time to play with it, I’m sure I will but not as much as I use the Pentax K100D Super and the Fujifilm HS25EXR. I’ll be adding more pictures and I’ll add more details on my reactions on using the Nikon D5100 in the future.
Thanks for reading.