I'm getting back into photography and I'm in the market for my first D-SLR. I have an old 35mm Canon and a Nikon, both broke a long time ago The D5100 is one of my top 3 choices for a camera, and it will be one I will use often for videos as well. I know that the 51k cannot shoot video in full manual mode (auto adjusts ISO), but I have head rumors that you can run custom firmware that will alleviate this issue, much the same way you can put custom ROMs on cell phones. Is there any truth to this, and if so where can I get more info on the process? Thanks in advance.
I am not aware that anyone has hacked the Nikon dSLR firmware for any model.
The D5100 has a a sensor size of 23.6 × 15.6 mm which is approximately 1/2 of the 35mm media size, 36.0 × 23.9 mm. There is no software change that will logically expand the size of the sensor to the 35mm format or the change the affects of the crop from a 35mm size sensor size to the DX format.
The only dSLRs that have a 35mm size sensor are the D3/D3s/D3x/D700 and of these cameras only the D3s shoots video.
These camera can use the FX lenses, designed for 35mm format, and DX lenses, designed for the DX cropped sensor, and when a DX lens is mounted on one of these cameras, the area of the sensor that records data is reduced to the DX format area so only the image projected from the lens is captured. It is possible with these bodies to force the camera to record the full sensor when a DX lens is attached, but you will only add the image circle of the lens projection that are outside of the DX sensor area and recorded by the FX sensor, but this projection will not fill the FX sensor area. Please look at The DX and FX Formats for an illustration of what is being projected by the lenses and recorded by the sensor.
> I have head rumors that you can run custom firmware that will alleviate this issue, much the same way you can put custom ROMs on cell phones.
This is usually done by hacking the firmware unless the manufacturer approves or supplies the resources. Nikon has not. Canon has not. Canon firmware has been modified by others but not approved by Canon. Nikon's firmware appears not to have been hacked by anyone yet. The only exception is the authentication software. The EEProms or flash memory are soldered onto the circuit boards and there is not additional I/O port for any media containing firmware or software.
> Is there any truth to this, and if so where can I get more info on the process? Thanks in advance.
You can use Goggle and see all the discussions about this. Even with knowing the processor used in the D70 and access to the programing references for this processor, it appears no one has decoded or reverse engineered the firmware.
I would be one of the first to try the hacked firmware. But I would prefer to use it on my D7000 to produce HD 30fps video at over 20 minutes per shoot. Why do you want to shoot in full manual when the Nikon AF is so good?
>Why do you want to shoot in full manual when the Nikon AF is >so good?
The issue here is manual EXPOSURE not focus and it does seem to be a serious limitation of the D5100. There are quasi-over-rides using AE-L (Hold) and Exposure Compensation but it's still not full Manual Exposure mode. I'm a bit disappointed to find this out especially as the original Nikon release clearly states the D5100 had full manual control in video
"Why do you want manual exposure when the AE is so good?"
Well to be honest I don't know that I do! I got caught up in a web-chatter dissing the lack of manual exposure control. But in the past week as I've started to use the D5100 and learn and work with it, I've found it to be a non-issue, at least for my needs! I'm quite pleased with it. It's a nice leap up from my previous backup body (D3000).
Unfortunately technology is ahead of the learning curve. I think that is why so many skip a generation before upgrading DSLRs. I will probably just begin to become proficient when I upgrade to the next "latest & greatest". After all, I can't help myself, I've got NAS.