Not only is it a good beginner camera but an intermediate and a more advanced camera as well. It will allow you to grow and not be held back by it's design and features. You'll know when you're beyond it's capabilities which might take some time. The two lenses with the kit are quite good as well. I would suggest getting a good book on the D5100 and learn it's capabilities.
Good luck with your new camera and welcome to Nikonians.
I have similar equipement (D5000) with same lenses. Mine is a recent purchase; a partially damaged kit off Ebay (350$). After a simple repair, it works fine. This was an upgrade from a Fujifilm Finepix S700 and Canon A560 I have had for several years.
One of the good points of the D5100 is the VR. This is quite helpfull to get clear pictures when the lighting is not too great. You can get by without a tripod in certain cases. But as a beginner, do not put all your faith in it or rely on it. Learn to shoot with the proper stance and proper grip to get the most stable shots. Once this is mastered, use the VR in specific, low light, shots.
(Digression: How anyone can claim to take good pictures holding an IPad at arms lenght is beyond me. When I walk around with my Nikon F2, people assume they have a PRO before them and ask me to take a picture for them and hand me an Iphone or Ipad. I allways ask them to check if it is clear. I can't see a thing)
One thing I added to this camera was an OEM battery grip. The size of these cameras, for me, does not suit my ergonomics (imagine the Fuji S700). The battery grip helps me get a "grip" on the camera. The added bonus of the grip is bettre flash responce time and duration. You double the battery power availlable to the camera and the flash with the grip. The camera itself does not need it, but the flash does. On camera flash may not be the greatest idea, but for fill flash, in daylight, it is quite usefull. This combination of on-camera flash and the Nikon metering system work very well together for beginners to learn by.
At 62, I still have my Nikon F2, Nikkormat and now a Nikon F4S that was mint but dead and was brought back to life by me. Serial number 2519895, a womping 90$ purchase in the last few months. I enjoyed taking this apart so much I purchased a second F4 and repaired it and now gathering odds and ends to turn it into a F4E with data back. Why? This was one "significant" Nikon camera as was the F/F2.
I find, if you want to learn photography, best place to really start is with a manual camera. The automation is great but you have a big learning curve ahead. Manual cameras give you a fighting chance to grasp the basics and then move into DSLR bells and whistles.
Hello, I 100% agree with all the above. I purchased my D5100 about 1 year ago. Previously I had no experience with DSLRs. The D5100 has been an excellent camera for me to start with... and as stated above, I do believe I will grow with it. I have very similar lens (18-55 and 55-300) as well as the Nikkor 35mm 1.8 prime. This is a very nice and fast prime lens for the money and it should help us beginners with composition... i.e.: not relying on zoom and having to slow down and think more about the shot. I have a small but very easy to use slingshot bag and a tripod. The bag holds my D5100, 3 lens, filters, some misc items and the tripod straps on the outside. I do not even have any software yet... I rely on Nikon's free ViewNX2.
The D5100 is an excellent body for a beginner or a seasoned pro looking for a small light body. I would recommend getting a few spare memory cards, a microfiber lens cleaning cloth, a Giottos Rocket Blower, and a camera bag. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
I moved up to a D5100 from a Fuji Finepix non DSLR digicam.
I don't know if I'll ever move up to a full frame camera, but who knows, I'm toying with the idea of 'going pro' when I retire in a few years and see if I can turn hobby in to income.
I bought my D5100 in July and have been having a lot of fun learning the basics of DSLR ~ this website if great for help, even if they are a bit biased towards Nikon brand, but with good reason.
The one shortcoming of the D5100 that I was disappointed to learn was that it did not have the command system for Nikons creative lighting system (CLS) built into the camera. That is remedied by adding an SB700 flash or better and the flash will serve as master of the Nikon CLS. and you will be wanting to add an SB700 soon enough.
But to learn how to take control of your cameras settings I think the D5100 has more than enough controls for this photo enthusiast. And when in a pinch there is the "auto-everything" mode that is pretty fool proof to ensure you get some good pictures.
>New here. > >The D5100 is a fine starting point. > >One of the good points of the D5100 is the VR. This is quite >helpfull to get clear pictures when the lighting is not too >great. You can get by without a tripod in certain cases. But >as a beginner, do not put all your faith in it or rely on it. >Learn to shoot with the proper stance and proper grip to get >the most stable shots. Once this is mastered, use the VR in >specific, low light, shots. >> >== > >Marc N Fournier >Quebec
just asking about is the VR. Is there a VR adjust on my D5100.
LIke most D5100 owners, I have18-55mm and 55-200mm and lately, 70-300mm.
#10. "RE: D5100 starter?" In response to Reply # 0
I have had mine for about less than 2 months and its great. Its my 1st dslr and the 1slr I have used in probably 15 to 20 years. The Auto mode wotks great then P, A, AND S modes are a bit more customizeable. The scene modes allow you to adapt to changing conditions as you develop un understanding of whats going on.
I bought mine as a factory refurb and have no regrets.
It does feel a little "plasticky ?" compared to what I remember from my old slrs but thats all and im sure typical of todays products.
Read the manual. You can download one before ever getting the camera.
#11. "RE: D5100 starter?" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 25-Feb-13 10:16 PM by arc2456
I just got myself a d5100 for Christmas, with the 18-55 lens. I lso have a 35mm 1.8 prime lens an I am having a great time with it. Good beginner, and one to grow into. A tripod, flash, and either a 55-200 or 55-300 are on my wishlist right now. You may want to consider a filter for the lenses to keep dust off.
#12. "RE: D5100 starter?" In response to Reply # 11
Be aware that in auto modes, when using the built in flash (don't know about sb700 - didn't have one at the time this occurred), the camera tends to blow the ISO setting through the roof. I found this out in a discussion here comparing quality of pix from my point and shoot with those fom my 5100. Someone asked me to post the settings for both cameras and that's when I found the 5100 was shooting at ISO 3200 even though it was set for ISO 100.
There is a setting somewhere in the menu that will limit how far up the camera can push the ISO on its own. It might be helpful to limit this "feature".