HI, new here but long time photog and recently added Nikon gear to my kit.
I've been really enjoying the IQ of the low cost little D5100 I picked up last fall but the thing drives me nuts because the final image does not line up with the viewfinder.
If I set the left most and rightmost AF points in the viewfinder along a straight edge, that edge should be perfectly horizontal in the shot and also in live view.
I align my shot, then have to remember to rotate the camera body about 1 degree CW to get things level in the final file. Or slow down even more and use a tripod and live view.
I just find this very annoying! 1 degree off can be quite noticeable in some shots.
For reference, that means I have to adjust the tilt of the camera so the outermost AF points in the viewfinder are no longer exactly lined up with the reference line. The left AF point needs to be about half its height above the line, the rightmost AF point needs to be about half its height below the line, then I can get the reference line to be close enough to being aligned with the resulting image. That also equals about 3/8" over a 2 foot line.
Those of you using D5100s, have you noticed this same issue with your cameras? Of course, you may have to specifically check for it, then, upon discovering it, become similarly disappointed this otherwise great little tool may be slightly flawed. 8-\
Of about 15 SLRs I recently tested, mostly Canons and a couple Nikon models, only the D5100s, five of which I've tested, gave me results that were tilted up to 1 degree CW.
Of the five D5100s tested, one was nearly spot-on, one was off just a little, and the other 3 were off nearly 1 degree. All were rotated CW.
Considering that I'v also read of some people having AF issues with this camera, I'm wondering if there may be some slop in the mirror system or overall mirror-box component alignment that may be contributing to this.
I've taken close-up photos of the mirror box, mirror up and down, and tried to locate any misalignments using basic software tricks. Closest I'd found was the mirror frame, when it was up and therefore irrelevant, was tilted about half the angle of the experienced problem. It's really hard to tell if there's any tilt to it in the normal down position.
Your thoughts, commiserations and comments are requested. I'd like to get a feel for what proportion of D5100s may be affected before I consider sending mine in for a possible warranty fix.