The new “Night Vision” option of the Nikon D5100 will have ISO up to 102400

Here is a more detailed list of the Nikon D5100 specs:

  • Full HD video 1920×1080p at 30p
  • 16.2MP sensor
  • New HDR feature
  • New special effects during video (selective colors, miniature effect, etc.)
  • The already rumored Night Vision option with ISO up to 102400
  • EXPEED 2 processor
  • Standard ISO 100-6400
  • Stereo mic input
  • 4 fps
  • Quiet shutter mode
  • Side swivel LCD screen
  • EN-EL14 battery

Only the Nikon D5100 and the ME-1 microphone will be announced tomorrow (tonight US Eastern time).

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  • uuuaauuuu!
    Very nice!!!

    • LGO

      Just as I suspected … the D5100 has the EN-EL14 battery which is what is needed for video work. Great specs Nikon!

      I hope this also supports 1080p at 24fps.

      • Rabi

        I can’t imagine it possibly doing 1080p30 and not 1080p24.

        • LGO

          It is quite possible.

 is already putting down the D5100 for not supporting 24fps even though this is not yet confirmed. Pentax’s new camera for example support only 1080p in 25fps.

          But being obviously designed for video, I hope that the D5100 supports 1080p at 24fps as well as 30fps.

        • LGO

          The Nikon D5100 also supports 1080p at 24fps! Yes!!!!

          “The D5100 digital SLR offers variable frame rates and resolutions, and can record 1080p at a cinema-like 24 frames per second (fps).Alternatively, for playback on HD devices, it can record at 30 fps or a web-friendly 720p at either 24 or 30 fps. ”

          I would have also wanted 720p at 60fps but Nikon will perhaps reserve this for the D300s-replacement.

  • Braden

    Will it have a screw drive? Looking for a new camera to buy my dad. IF it does this might be it. If not i will find him a D90.

    • anon

      My story is the exact same as yours, my dad has several AF-D lenses in a bag he’s has for a decade or more, but it not interested in the least in a camera the size of a D300[s]. It’ll likely be a D7000, D90, or D80 later this year if this doesn’t have a BIM.

      • Dave

        I’d be shocked if the D5100 has the built-in lens motor. Nikon doesn’t want us to stop buying the D7000. If the D7000 had the lens motor and shot ~ 5fps, there’d be no reason for most of us (non-pros) to buy the heavier, larger, more expensiv D7000. My “plastic” D40-body is still in great shape. I’d like to upgrade and Nikon is making the decision pretty darn difficult all of the sudden! =)

        • Dave

          My bad, I meant “if the D5100 had the lens motor and shot ~ 5fps…”

  • FredDog

    Sweet nectar. The news is good. Hopefully that 720p at 60fps is in there too (intervalometer would be nice too).

  • FredDog

    Sweet nectar. That’s good to hear about the D7000 sensor. Hopefully 720p at 60fps is in there too (intervalometer would be nice too).

  • Oberhorst

    Night Vision my ass. It’s probably just radioactive. 😉

    • OMR


    • Sorry, poor taste. :(.

    • Banned

      Haha, poor taste maybe, but those are the best jokes.

    • Ronan

      Hahaha good one :p

    • It got Gilbert Godfried fired from AFLAC commercials. Now that’s sad.

  • J C

    can’t wait to see how this matches up against the D7000 in terms of build quality and video. The new HDR feature sounds nice…

  • Oberhorst

    Oh and btw., the D3100 does only 720p video and they scale it up to 1080p so this is most likely the case in the D5100 as well. I’m not sure about the D7000 though.

    • Sek

      What the hell… Any link explaining that with tests? Anyway since D5100 won’t have the same sensor as the D3100 but will have the D7000 one maybe this will not be true for the D5100…

    • roos

      WOW! Is the CPU in D3100 capable of realtime interpolation of 720p to 1080p? Thats a very impressive camere.

      • LGO


        Like you, I think this guy is spreading FUDD here.

        FUDD = Fear Uncertainty Doubt and Disinformation

        • Oberhorst

          Well, believe it or not. I’ve seen the confidential paper that says it. And I didn’t say anything about realtime. It’s filming in 720p, afterwards it’s scaled up. Upscaling is not a big deal though concerning CPU performance, it’s just adding similar pixels to every pixel. Downscaling is more of an effort because actual colour calculations have to take place.

  • richard

    HDR featuere is nice, i use in the sony nex camera, great for shadow background or indoor picture when lighting isn’t good. if d5100 is cheaper than 60d and has d7000 sensor expect sell tons of those.

  • I hope Nikon brings some of these things (like 30fps at 1920×1080) to the D7000 with a firmware update. It makes absolutely no sense for a higher-end model to not have that option.

    • Oberhorst

      The problem is that the D7000 most likely does real 1080p whereas the D5100 only does 720p that is scaled up later to 1080p. This is remarkably faster than filming in 1080p so the D7000 might just not be able to do that framerate.

      • Fredrik

        Why would the D5100 be upscaled if the D7000 does real 1080p?

        • Oberhorst

          Because it’s a lower model? The D3100 definitely only does 720p and scales it up, I’m not sure with the D5100 but it’s most likely doing the same. The D3100 and D5100 always were very similar. For example, they both don’t have an AF-motor whereas every other DSLR has.

          • LGO

            This is the first time I heard of a 14mp D3100 being down-res to 720p then being up-res again to 1080p. Not only does this require more processing power but it simply does not make any sense.

            Where and how exactly did you know that the D3100 video is 720p?

            • Oberhorst

              I work for Nikon. Confidential information! 😉 We’re not supposed to tell anyone. But I’m sure it can be tested and proven somehow. Maybe you should recommend a camera test site to check this if you don’t believe me.

          • LGO


        • Oberhorst

          I mean, the D3xxx and the D5xxx series are similar.

          • Fredrik

            Well anyone who uses their dslr to film does not use the AF function. The D5100 will feature the D7000 sensor and is a newer product, why would it not feature real 1080p?

            • Oberhorst

              Its processor might be slower. I have to see if I get more information on this and I will come back to Peter from NR. He might do an article about that.

            • Fredrik

              Well right now you have no “proof” that the D5100 wont be real 1080, so dont ruin it for me.

              And seeing how the 550D (T2i) has real 1080 and has been like that for a while will surely put pressure on Nikon, so im guessing the D5100 will have real 1080.

            • Global

              Nikon has a history of UPGRADING the lower models and trying out features on them before applying those features to the higher end bodies.

              Don’t be surprised that a D90 has video before a higher end body. Don’t be surprised that a D5100 might have 30p before the D7K. Its not like research and development holds still.

              Higher end bodies should have “tried and true” technology, whereas lower-end bodies are where you can experiment with stuff using cheap parts and in a mass market. What’s more difficult to accept, an $5000 D3s failing in its video, or a $600 D5100?

              So yeah, the D5100 can easily have better video than the D3, D3s, D700, D90, D7K and so on. There is no reason research and development should hold still.

              From a marketing point of view it doesn’t hurt Nikon. The D5100 and D7K are two different animals. No one who needs the D7K’s features for still photography including motor for -D lenses is going to worry about the D5100’s frame rate in video. But someone comparing Nikon to Canon, this might be what clinches the deal.

              People who have a D3s might want 24MP. And people with a D3x might want super-low-light ability. But hey, we pick our poison and our benefits at every price level and each camera is allowed to have (and should have) special points.

      • Fredrik

        Indeed, I bet he’s a Canon fanboi

        • Oberhorst

          You’re right that I don’t know if it’s in the D5100 as well. But I know that it is in the D3100. And no, I’m not a Canon fanboy but I work for Nikon. I’m allowed to see confidential papers whose content we’re not supposed to spread. Bad me. 😉

          • Jo

            sure, but i am nikon.

  • Nice specs Nikon.

  • Raymond

    So does this mean it will have 39focus points? Or does focus points have nothing to do with the sensor

    • Nothing to do, AF module uses a separate sensor.

    • Don’t think so – I did not see any info on the AF points, my guess is that there will be 11 AF points.

  • Ali

    Two questions remain:
    1- Does the D5100 include an AF motor for lenses that need it (like the powerful Nikon 50mm f1.8)
    2-The price of the beast

    • Oberhorst

      1. No it won’t
      2. TBA tomorrow – or later. 😉

    • Oberhorst

      It’s 699€ in Germany concerning the press release.

  • ccwong

    this is not officially announced yet, right?
    can’t wait for the official one.

  • Great for Nikon and nikonians, 16MP sensor on the D5100. Good choice.

    • Oberhorst

      No it’s not, it’s just ridiculous. They should improve ISO sensitivity without increasing the resolution. It would just make so much more sense in terms of image quality. Nobody needs 16 MP in a entry level DSLR. For the most people, this is just better because it’s “more” than it was before. Stupid.

      • James

        The 16mp Sony sensor has better resolution and noise than the 14mp Nikon sensor, so I see little reason to complain. I think it’s a bit much to expect an updated sensor on every camera they release.

        • Global

          Plus, 16mp is differentiating from the D3100 14MP sensor. They would be almost exactly the same if there wasn’t a step up somewhere. You can probably still use a 6MP or something mode, if that’s what you want.

          The D5100 does not look to be “entry level” per se. Its one step above and attuned for video. Its a Rebel hunter.

      • They have already done that, this 16MP sensor is the best APS-C sensor on the market, both high ISO wise (close to FF performance) and best DR of any camera, including FF.

        Good grief, people are never happy, we are already shooting things we cat even see with a naked eye.

        • Oberhorst

          Right, and it would be even better if it had only 12 MP. By increasing the resolution, you loose ISO sensitivity. I know, the sensitivity in this sensor is better than the old 12 MP sensors but as I said, it would be even better with a lower res.

          • This is not necessarily true. Sensors with a larger MP count actually produce less noise. See recent DxO and Luminous Landscape updates.

            • WoutK89

              sensors with a newer design produce less noise. But fewer pixels = less noise. Has to do with bigger photosides.

            • PHB

              Quite true.

              In general, the more information that is captured, the better. It is very rare that any photograph is going to be printed out at exactly 12MP resolution. There is almost always going to be a down-resolution step involved.

              ISO performance is determined by the light level at which the sensor generates a certain amount of noise at maximum resolution.

              If you pixel peep at maximum resolution for photographs taken on the D3 and D3x, the D3x is much noisier. But if you take pictures of the identical scene with each camera and downres in Photoshop to make a ‘retinal’ 6×8 or 10×12 print, the D3x actually does a bit better despite having rated ISO two stops behind the D3.

              If you look at exactly 12MP, then maybe the D3 is better, but the chance of that happening is rather small.

              All in all, if you look at the total workflow, you are almost always better off with a camera that captures more information to start with.

            • Unrelated: pixel count and noise, once you use same final size output. Technology is the only issue, see D5000 (12MP), D3100 (14MP), D7000 (16MP), last is best.

          • Mock Kenwell

            Ugh. You’ve been suckered into the Reverse Megapixel Myth. Has Nikon’s sensor engineering not yet proved to you that you can have both higher MP and low-light capability at the same time? DR suffers but not tremendously. If they kept the sensor 12MP, people would have been bitching about that.

            At some point, do we all need to shoot in the dark? Or do you just need to learn how to use a flash?

            • PHB

              If you don’t need to shoot in the dark, the EVIL system is likely to be a better bet than the D5100…

              But your point is well taken. I don’t buy a telephoto lens and then bitch about it not capturing a wide angle. I have different lenses because I want different characteristics and I cannot get every characteristic I need without compromise. My 18-200 zoom is great but I would not want that to be my only lens.

              Being able to take pictures in low light without flash is useful and may determine camera choice for some. I am finding that I am far more often looking for a neutral density filter than wishing that my camera had a couple of extra stops of low light performance.

              The night mode seems like a decent enough compromise. Give people the ability to take pictures in pitch blackness but warn them that the results are likely to be sub-optimal (aka ‘artistic’).

              ISO6400 is the same as the original D3 and the same as the D700. But really, the practical differences are rather small, take a look at KR’s photos and decide if you would be able to notice anything wrong with the D300 if you didn’t have the D3 and D700 to compare to.


              Bottom line is that these improvements are useful, but probably not significant unless you are a couple of generations back. The D5100 is going to be a good choice for anyone still on the CCD bodies, including the D3000 and D5000. But even though the D5100 and D7000 outspec both the D90 and the D300, a new lens is going to be a better buy than a body upgrade for most.

              My takeaway here is that the D400, D800 and possible D9000 are going to need to be even better.

            • Global

              Exactly. And as long as you are able to choose file size (internet, 6MP, etc), this shouldn’t be a problem for anyone.

              Maybe you have an argument for the D40 line. But the middle bodies need to keep moving in all directions.

              However, the concept of a low-light entry-level body is intriguing. What if Nikon made a D40s with 6MP extremely high sensitivity in low-light. That would be a huge curveball.

      • J C

        try explaining to that noobs going to Best Buy and buying a DSLR for the first time…

        Nikon has to cater to consumer trends and knowledge. Most consumers dont know squat about MP or ISO or whatever. They will assume higher = better.

        • Oberhorst

          Indeed. Sad story.

          • JED

            The only sad story here is that people continue to believe the myth that LESS MP means lower noise. With the current technology the exact opposite is true..

            • True, it´s a diehard myth, DxO Mark has dispelled it a long time ago, but DPReview stuck to it until recently, so many still believe that. Only things that matter are technology, size of sensor and enlargement factor.

            • Phil

              That’s not entirely false. If you improve the sensor technology of course you can have higher MP and similar or lower noise. But if you have a lower MP sensor made with the same technology it WILL have better noise figures. Physics is physics.

            • Oberhorst

              Thanks, PHB. That’s exactly what I wanted to say.
              Of course sensors get better and modern sensors with higher res produce less noise than older sensors with a lower res. But this doesn’t mean that more MP make less noise. False conclusion!

            • Oberhorst

              Ah I meant Phil not PHB, sorry!

  • This looks like a nice upgrade. I hope the price is in line with the T3i, if so I will pick one up for video work.

  • James

    This is all good news!

    My only remaining concern is handling; I used a D5000 for a while, and it always felt like it was going to fall out of my hand because of the design of the thumb pad — it felt convex instead of concave. I hope there’s more of a grove or channel on the D5100. The D3100 is better than the D5000 in this respect, so I’m hopeful.

    • Global


      Portable needs to mean also acceptable to full-grown male hands.

      The older lower bodies feel like they were designed for children’s hands ALONE.

  • ilovefreestuf

    This is great!

    Seal the deal with Flash Commander and especially FULL MANUAL CONTROL OVER VIDEO!

    (AF Screw Drive would be nice but highly highly unlikely)

    • Agreed on the full manual control video, but I can do without flash commander and screw drive, since who really takes video with that autofocus anyways?

      Then again I’m only going to use this as a backup to my D700 for photographs. For those wanting it as their main camera I would definitely miss the af screw.

  • Ben

    So how will the AF be like? just like the nikon d3100? or will nikon give us any surprises? :p

    Anyway, i’m really excited that it has a 16.2mp sensor! :))

  • Kingyo

    well finally the swivel LCD starts to make sense 😀

  • emmkayfive

    Can’t stand the idea of a side swiveling screen.

    16.2Mp is good – 60D smacked down, any word on the screen resolution?

    • Global

      Why don’t you like side-swivel?

      There seems to be two very entrenched camps. Those who want down and those who want side.

  • Pen Pockwell

    Will “Night Vision” be extremely noisy?

    • anon

      APS-C + 102,400ISO = HUGE noise. I see this ‘feature’ being the butt of many jokes.

      • What if it involves binning pixels? For example, 4x, it´ll be a 4MP sensor at that. Makes a lot of sense, especially if done in RAW. Could well works as well as a D3s at 4MP, very useful for most uses of suchan image.

        • Well we don’t need a new camera to downsize images to get noise improvements 🙂

      • ZoetMB

        If used by perverts at night, we’ll probably actually see many butts.

  • iamnomad

    If these camera companies/chip manufactures spent as much time on increasing dynamic range capabilities as they do with top iso speed (do we really need to be shooting under match flame lighting?), we’d never blow out highlights, lose detail in the shadows or need any hdr tweaking.


    • Pen Pockwell

      “Do we really need to be shooting under match flame lighting?”

      The answer to that question is yes. Example: a photojournalist shooting an outdoor memorial event at night in which the participants are holding candles.

      • Ronan

        Iv done that with a D300, with almost no noise.

        Try again.

        • Pen Pockwell

          “Try again”??? Try what again??? I was simply giving an example of a low-light situation (in response to iamnomad’s question).

          • Mock Kenwell

            In those circumstances, you should expect a little noise.

            • JorPet

              If it was a memorial, they wouldn’t want noise… Silence is golden.


        • JMJ

          You probable used wide angle? Try to do same with longer tele(portraits) perhaps when people are moving.

    • Global

      Range has been expanded incredibly. I don’t know if you spend time looking at photographs, but compared to the 1990s and early 2000s, range is absolutely stunningly beautiful these days.

      In less than a decade. I’d say they’ve been working on it a lot.

      And yes, its come at the expense of more noise — exactly what you were asking. (Think about dynamic range boosts, it always makes the scene nicer, but you do see bits of noise throughout).

      So, yes, they’ve focused on this issue and will continue to. We mention it every new high-end body. I don’t think people need to bother about it in a D5100 though.

  • Dr Poopie Pants phD

    I hope they dont tweak around with the sensor to make it a tiny bit worse than the d7000. Either just leave the way it is (which is perfect) or improve on it, although a d5100 with better IQ than d7000 is kind of wishful thinking right now. I sure hope the screen is 920k, or better yet 1million dot (like the 60d). 14-bit raw files would be a great addition too. 11 af points, with center one f2.8 (like the d90).. With the stereo mic input and the swivel screen and dedicated video button and the new mic accessory, i think Nikon is going mainly video with the d5100. Maybe super-fast AF during video this time?

    • Global

      The D90, in many ways, was better than the D300.

      So its possible. I think its rightful that products introduced later should have feature improvements. This doesn’t detract from higher end bodies that have far more features. Simply it allows every new body to be its best within its price range and segment.

      That’s common sense and as long as the products are specialized, they don’t cannibalize (not that that’s a problem since its the same company making profits either way — until the mass market collapses forcing higher expenses in one product over another, but, again, thats why there are price differences).

  • Couldn’t the “Night Vision” and “HDR mode” be implemented into the D7000 via firmware updates?

    • Don’t think the Night Vision will work via firmware, don’t know about HDR. I do hope they give us 60fps @ 720p. It’s only what everybody with/without a D7k has wanted EVAR.

  • Manfred

    The best of these news is, that they stir well-founded hopes on how loaded the D400 will be. The 5100 is not for me and even the D7000 isn’t a real replacement for the D300s nor is it meant to be.
    Though I wonder if the buyers of the 5100 get happy with the cheap kit-glass on a 16 MP sensor, but maybe there is a new lens with the 5100.

    Nevertheless a D3s feature in an entry-level with it’s ISO 102400 (though most likely at a reduced resolution) is something. But honestly, how often do you use / would you use this extreme ISO level? For my part I’d prefer a real clean (!) ISO 6400 and improved dynamic range.

    Now, Nikon, that you get your mass-seller into the shelves right before the summer holiday season, make the other end of the Nikonians happy. Tell us when we’ll get the D400, D800, D4 and some accordingly lenses, since we also got to make our budget planning and it’s already April of this year!

  • mwl

    The night vision sounds similar to the Sony a55 25,000 ISO where you take multiple shots and it throws them together and calculates where to reduce the noise. I’ve tried it and it’s okay but only for still life and if you have a very steady hand. The rumored a77 is supposed to have this option as well. Looks like Nikon beat them to it or Sony and Nikon are working together on it. Likely, since it is the same sensor.

  • Young Boy

    Full HD video 1920×1080p at 30p ======= yawn
    16.2MP sensor ======= YUPIIIIII
    New HDR feature ======= YUPIIIIII
    New special effects during video (selective colors, miniature effect, etc.) ======= yawn
    The already mentioned Night Vision option with ISO up to 102400 ======= tzzztzzztzzz
    EXPEED 2 processor ======= yawn
    Standard ISO 100-6400 ======= yawn
    Stereo mic input ======= yawn
    4 fps ======= yawn
    Quiet shutter mode ======= yawn
    Side swivel LCD screen ======= HOPEFULLY 921.000 – then YUPIIIIII
    EN-EL14 battery ======= ok

    • yes, the LCD will be 921k

      • Lagkage

        Nice! Have been waiting for the 921k dots screen !

      • Young Boy

        Great! Honestly, it was very coward to put 250.000 dot screen on D5000, already at that time, premium compacts had normally 450.000, and Canon/Pentax were at 900k… But finally, with live-view magnification function, one can use manual focus/non af-s lenses for some static subjects far more easily. =)

      • Simon

        The 600D has 104k. Clearly the D5100 is a 600D wannabe.

  • K

    Good thing I sold my d5000 back in september.

    I’ve been waiting for this day for awhile now.

    Good to see its being announced tonight! I’ll be here at 11:59 pm

  • Kiveh

    I’ve had my eyes on this beast for months and I almost 100% sure I’ll buy it!
    Great decision on the SIDE swivel screen, Nikon! 😉 the weird down-swivel screen was the only thing that put me off from buying the D5000

  • Roya

    This is looking awesome, exactly what I’ve been hoping for. The only thing that would make this camera perfect is an internal AF motor… To be honest I don’t understand how Nikon can get away with making so many of their lenses useless on their consumer cameras. (Can they at least make a DX version of the 50mm f/1.8 then, please?)

    But then again, I’m the idiot buying the camera regardless of AF motor inclusion. So I guess the joke’s on me.

    • James

      I think it would need a pentaprism viewfinder to be “perfect,” but then it would be too close to the D7000.

    • Royalan

      I’m in the same boat on the AF issue… If I didn’t have the Tokina 11-16 and the Nikon 50mm 1.8 i’d probably get this rather than the D7000. Not that I have any cash for either right now. I do wish Nikon would include some type of 4:5 aspect mode on their Dx bodies-I have enough trouble composing with 3:2. Maybe I’ll wait until christmas sales and just keep shooting my D70 and 6×7 Pentax.

      • Pen Pockwell

        I would love to be able to switch aspect ratio in the settings of a camera. And I would like the choices to be 3:2 and 4:3 and 1:1 (square).

        • ZoetMB

          Ever hear of cropping the photo AFTER you take it?

    • Ajay

      the AF-S 35mm f/1.8 is a decent lens for a DX body. at ~$200, it’s not shabby at all.

    • Global

      You can get a motor — but you need to pay $100 more for implementation and shrinking everything to make everything fit…….. or the manufacturer has to use cheaper parts for other specs.

      You can’t have everything and still have the same price.

  • Nathan

    Any detailed info on the HDR feature? Sounds really interestion

  • Ajay

    Until someone demonstrates reasonably good High-ISO NR in consumer grade DSLRs, ISO102400 is nothing but a nice marketing gimmick. I honestly don’t expect everyone** who buys entry level DSLRs to know where / what the NR settings are (Nikon probably knows this for a fact!), so I expect that this will probably (i) generate the idea that all kinds of noise & grains are not just nice & acceptable, but that is the norm, or, (ii) leave a lot of consumers kinda disappointed as to why their images are so noisy & grainy & suck-y.
    On a lighter note, everyone…. brace yourselves for a deluge of noisy grainy photos, as well as sub-par HDRs 🙂

    (** beginners / first time buyers / upgrade from P&S)

    • Simon

      Most likely postage stamp size image suitable for web use. Any high ISO image will look decent on your monitor when downsized to a thumbnail.

  • The Man from Mandrem

    Why leak all this good stuff and no price?

    • ZoetMB

      $900 CAD and I think it will also be $900 USD since the two currencies are only about 3% apart. You’ll know for sure by tomorrow. That’s $50 more than the D5000 at launch.

  • seb

    ….looks good,but I’ve been waiting for D700 upgrade,but is not comming,only full frame is real thing .Can not wait…

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