Nikon S5100

 
Nikon Coolpix S5100 front
 
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 1600
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 28-140mm (F2.7-6.6) lens
  • 132g - 97 x 57 x 22mm
  • Introduced August 2010
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
Portability
95
Imaging
37
Features
21
Overall
30

Nikon S5100 summary

Nikon S5100 is Nikon's Small Sensor Compact digital camera first launched on August of 2010. The camera has got a 12MP, CCD 1/2.3" size sensor with a max resolution of 4000 x 3000.

The S5100 is positioned #188 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras & overall #1090 out of 1422 for digital cameras in our database. You should test our Smart camera filter to find camera rankings based on your personal factors.

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Here is a diagram of specific factors used in the rating system.

Nikon S5100 history

The Nikon S5100 has a history of related digital cameras. Below, you can check out all previous and more recent models as well as important features.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Nikon-Coolpix-S9900 front thumbnailNikon S9900
S5100 vs S9900
25-750mm
F3.7-6.4
16MP1/2.3"2015
Nikon-Coolpix-S810c front thumbnailNikon S810c
S5100 vs S810c
25-300mm
F3.3-6.3
16MP1/2.3"2014
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Nikon-Coolpix-S9700 front thumbnailNikon S9700
S5100 vs S9700
25-750mm
F3.7-6.4
16MP1/2.3"2014
Nikon-Coolpix-S5300 front thumbnailNikon S5300
S5100 vs S5300
26-208mm
F3.7-6.6
16MP1/2.3"2014
Nikon-Coolpix-S3600 front thumbnailNikon S3600
S5100 vs S3600
25-200mm
F3.7-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2014
Nikon-Coolpix-S3500 front thumbnailNikon S3500
S5100 vs S3500
26-182mm
F3.4-6.4
20MP1/2.3"2013
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Nikon-Coolpix-S800c front thumbnailNikon S800c
S5100 vs S800c
25-250mm
F3.2-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2013
Nikon-Coolpix-S9500 front thumbnailNikon S9500
S5100 vs S9500
25-550mm
F
18MP1/2.3"2013
Nikon-Coolpix-S5200 front thumbnailNikon S5200
S5100 vs S5200
26-156mm
F
16MP1/2.3"2013
Nikon-Coolpix-S6500 front thumbnailNikon S6500
S5100 vs S6500
25-300mm
F2.8-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Nikon-Coolpix-S9300 front thumbnailNikon S9300
S5100 vs S9300
25-450mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2012
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
Nikon-Coolpix-S3300 front thumbnailNikon S3300
S5100 vs S3300
26-156mm
F3.5-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2012
Nikon-Coolpix-S4300 front thumbnailNikon S4300
S5100 vs S4300
26-156mm
F3.5-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2012
Nikon-Coolpix-S6300 front thumbnailNikon S6300
S5100 vs S6300
25-250mm
F3.2-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2012
Nikon-Coolpix-S8200 front thumbnailNikon S8200
S5100 vs S8200
25-350mm
F3.3-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2011
Nikon-Coolpix-S6200 front thumbnailNikon S6200
S5100 vs S6200
25-250mm
F3.2-5.6
16MP1/2.3"2011
Nikon-Coolpix-S100 front thumbnailNikon S100
S5100 vs S100
28-140mm
F3.9-4.8
16MP1/2.3"2011
Nikon-Coolpix-S9100 front thumbnailNikon S9100
S5100 vs S9100
25-450mm
F3.5-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
Nikon-Coolpix-S6100 front thumbnailNikon S6100
S5100 vs S6100
28-196mm
F3.7-5.6
16MP1/2.3"2011
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
Nikon-Coolpix-S8100 front thumbnailNikon S8100
S5100 vs S8100
30-300mm
F3.5-5.6
12MP1/2.3"2010
Nikon-Coolpix-S5100 front thumbnailNikon S510028-140mm
F2.7-6.6
12MP1/2.3"2010
Nikon-Coolpix-S8000 front thumbnailNikon S8000
S5100 vs S8000
30-300mm
F3.5-5.6
14MP1/2.3"2010
Nikon-Coolpix-S6000 front thumbnailNikon S6000
S5100 vs S6000
28-196mm
F3.7-5.6
14MP1/2.3"2010
Nikon-Coolpix-S640 front thumbnailNikon S640
S5100 vs S640
28-140mm
F2.7-6.6
12MP1/2.3"2009
Nikon-Coolpix-S570 front thumbnailNikon S570
S5100 vs S570
28-140mm
F2.7-6.6
12MP1/2.3"2009
Nikon-Coolpix-S1000pj front thumbnailNikon S1000pj
S5100 vs S1000pj
28-140mm
F3.9-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2009
Nikon-Coolpix-S630 front thumbnailNikon S630
S5100 vs S630
37-260mm
F3.5-5.3
12MP1/2.3"2009
Nikon-Coolpix-S620 front thumbnailNikon S620
S5100 vs S620
28-112mm
F2.7-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2009

Nikon S5100 Pros and Cons

Here is a checklist of pluses and minuses of the Nikon S5100 based on features that are often considered important in a digital camera.

built-in flash
built in image stabilization (Optical)
good minimum ISO (100)
good zoom range (28-140mm 5.0 x zoom)
lighter than average in class (132g)
really wide (28mm)
can't switch lenses (fixed lens mount)
cannot use external flash
does not contain selfie friendly screen
lack of external mic jack
lack of HDMI support
lack of headphone jack
lack of manual focus
lack of manual mode
lack of shutter priority mode
lack of Time Lapse recording
lacks phase detect AF
lacks RAW support
low resolution screen (230 thousand dot)
low res video (1280 x 720 resolution)
no aperture priority mode
screen does not articulate
screen is somewhat small (2.7 inches)
sensor resolution not great (12 megapixels)
slow maximum aperture (f2.7)
sluggish at full zoom (f6.6)
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
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Nikon S5100 Sensor specs

The Nikon S5100 is run by the Expeed C2 processor. The dimension of the sensor in the Nikon S5100 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the capability to capture 4000 x 3000 pixels with aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9. The camera comes with Image Stabilization (Optical). Optical stabilization is more effective than digital stabilization as the latter might cause cropping.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

The CCD sensor has 12 megapixels and provides a standard ISO range of 100 - 1600. Sadly, RAW files are not supported so you have less room to maneuver in post.

The image below displays the S5100's sensor size in comparison to other popular sizes. The S5100 sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is pointed out in green.

Nikon Coolpix S5100 sensor size Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Nikon S5100 dimensions

Nikon S5100 weighs in at 0.29 lbs (132 grams / 4.66 ounces) & has exterior dimensions of 97mm x 57mm x 22mm (3.8" x 2.2" x 0.9"). The weight of typical Small Sensor Compact camera is 174 grams so the Nikon S5100 is less heavy compared to its rivals.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Listed below is a photo of the Nikon S5100 besides a soda so you're able to get a feel for its size.

Nikon Coolpix S5100 dimensions scale

The top view here will highlight the button design on the S5100.

Nikon Coolpix S5100 topview buttons dials

Nikon S5100 Lens details

The S5100 has a built in lens giving a focal range of 28-140mm giving it a 5.0 x zoom which might not be ideal however it will surely be convenient in a few cases.

At it's widest 28mm, the lens comes with an aperture of f2.7 and that is quite sluggish and not ideal for low light situations and you will find it difficult to get a shallow depth of field. You will likely also need to increase your ISO resulting in noisy images. On the long end, 140mm comes to f6.6 making it pretty sluggish and you would have to set slower shutter speeds.

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Nikon S5100 Connectivity

The S5100 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Digital cameras that include NFC and / or Bluetooth support can easily be controlled wirelessly via smartphones. You can copy files and at times adjust camera settings with no need to connect straight with the camera.

A few apps also provide a Liveview and hit the shutter whenever you are not close to the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI port, it could be connected to an external monitor. A lot of cameras will allow you to charge the battery pack using the USB port.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

Nikon S5100 Video details

The max video quality in the Nikon S5100 is 1280 x 720 and you can save in Motion JPEG file format. 720p is awful for today's requirements. You really should aim for a minimum FUll HD quality for good video. The body does not have a microphone and / or headphone jack so you get zero control over the sound. It is probably a better idea to buy a different camera if you want good sound for your videos.

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Nikon S5100 Weather Sealing

Nikon S5100 does not have environment proofing so damp conditions could affect the camera.

Nikon S5100 Screen and Viewfinder

The Nikon S5100 has got a 2.7 inch fixed screen with a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Please note that the screen has no touch support.

Nikon Coolpix S5100 screen and viewfinder Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

The ViewFinder details for Nikon S5100 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders can be quite helpful during bright outdoor conditions which can easily make the camera screen washed out and difficult to see.

Nikon S5100 Shutter details

The max shutter speed is 1/1500s.

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Nikon S5100 Flash and Hot shoe details

Nikon S5100 comes with just in-built flash with no external flash support.

Nikon S5100 Autofocusing details

Nikon S5100 comes with only Contrast Based Auto Focus & doesn't have Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more snappier & exact compared to Contrast Based autofocusing.

Nikon S5100 does not have manual focusing. Manual focusing mode is good during low light situations or you want more precise focus control.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Nikon S5100 Battery life

The usual Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 has the maximum (470) battery life within this class of cameras.

Below is a collection of Small Sensor Compact cameras with the best battery life:

Nikon S5100 for varying types of photography

The following bar chart provides a outline of the Nikon S5100 for varying types of photography. To find out more, visit the specific paragraph below.

Nikon S5100 as a Portrait photography camera

The Nikon S5100 gets a points total of 22 which is awful, meaning that it is simply not very good for portrait photography. Taking portrait photos leans heavily to sensor specs, RAW support along with the capability to utilize external flash.

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lack of manual focus
lack of manual mode
can't use external flash
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
lack of RAW files

Nikon S5100 as a Street photography camera

Coming in at a above average points tally of 63, the Nikon S5100 is a fine option to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera features a good balance of picture quality and portability.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
has image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than average in class (132g)
screen does not articulate
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW support

Nikon S5100 as a Sports photography camera

A awful sports photography score of 28 suggests the Nikon S5100 is simply not very good for taking pictures of sports. A camera must have very good focusing plus fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
has image stabilization (Optical)
lack of shutter priority mode
MP count low (12 megapixels)
sensor is small (1/2.3")
doesn't have phase detect AF

Travel photography with Nikon S5100

Size is pretty crucial in picking a camera for travel. On the whole, the Nikon S5100 gets a nice 62 for a travel camera which makes it a very decent choice for your journeys.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
lighter than competitors in class (132 grams)
built-in flash
really wide (28mm)
no Time Lapse recording
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
screen is not selfie friendly
sluggish max aperture (f2.7)

Nikon S5100 Landscape photography advice

If you find yourself planning to purchase a digital camera for landscape photos, the most important factor is going to be image quality. The Nikon S5100 at it's awful score of 33 for a landscape camera is simply not very good amongst it's competitors.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
reasonably wide (28mm)
has image stabilization (Optical)
manual focus not available
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
slow maximum aperture (f2.7)
small screen (2.7 inches)
lack of manual exposure
megapixel count low (12MP)
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
no RAW support
does not have Time Lapse mode

Nikon S5100 Vlogging features

A camera for vlogging should posses a articulating display screen, microphone input and if possible IBIS. Considering all the details, the Nikon S5100 is simply not very good as a vlog camera as it delivers a awful score of 31.

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quite wide (28mm)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competitors in class (132 grams)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f2.7)
display is not selfie friendly
video res low (1280 x 720 pxls)
doesn't have external microphone support

Nikon S5100 Alternatives

If you are searching for replacements to the S5100, below is a collection of the top placed cameras that fall within the family of Small Sensor Compact.

The line chart followed below offers you a bird's eye view of the S5100 versus it's top ranked competitors shown earlier.

Following are additional cameras you may consider as alternate options. To read through a complete comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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Specifications

General Information
Brand Name
Nikon
Model type
Nikon Coolpix S5100
Class
Small Sensor Compact
Introduced
2010-08-17
Body design
Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
CCD
Powered by
Expeed C2
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor dimensions
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
12 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
4:3 and 16:9
Max resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW files
Max native ISO
1600
Minimum native ISO
100
Autofocusing
Focus manually
Touch to focus
Continuous autofocus
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Autofocus selectice
Autofocus center weighted
Autofocus multi area
Live view autofocus
Face detection focus
Contract detection focus
Phase detection focus
Cross type focus points
0
Lens
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
28-140mm (5.0x)
Maximum aperture
f/2.7-6.6
Macro focusing range
2cm
Crop factor
5.8
Screen
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen sizing
2.7 inches
Screen resolution
230 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch friendly
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
None
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Features
Min shutter speed
4 seconds
Max shutter speed
1/1500 seconds
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Fill-in, Slow Syncro
External flash
AEB
WB bracketing
Exposure
Multisegment
Average
Spot
Partial
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Max video resolution
1280x720
Video format
Motion JPEG
Mic input
Headphone input
Connectivity
Wireless
None
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
None
Physical
Environment seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight
132 gr (0.29 lb)
Physical dimensions
97 x 57 x 22mm (3.8" x 2.2" x 0.9")
Other
Battery ID
EN-EL10
Self timer
Yes
Time lapse feature
Type of storage
SD/SDHC, Internal
Storage slots
Single
Launch price
$200