Nikon D5100 Digital Camera Review$799.00
There wasn’t much in the way of compression artifacts or signal interference with the motion video on the D5100. We did notice a bit of rolling shutter when the camera is being panned, but not as much as previous-era DSLRs. The motion rendering was generally good overall, though perhaps lagging slightly behind the Canon T3i. More on how CamcorderInfo tests motion.
As you can see, the shallow depth of field of the D5100, even at an aperture of f/8, does keep a good chunk of our motion rig out of focus. Motion otherwise is rendered fairly accurately, with little signal interference. There is some ghosting and trailing, and the lack of shutter speed control is an unnecessary hassle, but otherwise motion is quite nice, as it is on all the cameras with this sensor.
We found the Sony A55V to offer superior video quality across the board compared to the D5100. It had better color accuracy, with more attractive motion rendering. Neither camera really had much of an issue with artifacting out of the camera, and there was only minor color bleeding and trailing.
The D5100 didn't offer much in the way of an improvement over the D7000's video in our eyes, as they share the same sensor. The D5100 does offer 1080/30p, as opposed to 1080/24p on the D7000, and it makes a slight difference, as the train seems to suffer less from trailing on the newer Nikon.
The Canon T3i and D5100 both produced good video results, but lagged behind the Sony A55V for quality. The Canon had slightly more accurate colors, while the Nikon favored underexposure, even in bright light testing.
Sharpness is good overall with the D5100, about on par with what we have seen from other similar D-SLRs. There’s about 600-650 lw/ph of resolution both vertically and horizontally. This doesn’t match high-end video cameras, but sharpness does extend a bit higher when shooting a subjects that are moving less. More on how CamcorderInfo tests video sharpness.
Low Light Sensitivity
We found the Nikon D5100 was able to gather a 50 IRE image with just five lux of available light. This is the least amount of light required, tying the Sony A55V. It was less than half the light required by the Nikon D7000, though the resulting image was far noisier.