Wednesday, 29 Mar 2023
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How To Use The Nikon D5100 (Step-By-Step Guide)

Welcome to this detailed guide on how to use the Nikon D5100. If you just got the camera and don’t know your way around the system, this is for you.

In this article, we’ll show you everything you need to know in order to get started with this camera. So, without further ado, let’s begin.




How To Use The Nikon D5100 — Specs

The Nikon D5100 is an Entry-Level DSLR which was released on the 5th April, 2011. It has a 16-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. This gives you a lot of detail in your photos.

The D5100 is also fairly light. It weighs about 560g, making it easy to carry about for long lengths of time.

The Nikon D5100 also has Face Detection Focus, and an optical viewfinder. This gives you better framing, and more control. It also has long battery life, an articulating screen, and a microphone port for better audio recording.

The D5100 also has a few downsides. For instance, it has no touchscreen and no wireless connectivity. It also has no weather sealing, making it almost impossible to in harsh weather conditions.




How To Use The Nikon D5100 — Before You Start The Camera

Before powering up the camera, there are a few things you need to do. First you have to put the battery into the camera. To do this, simply open up the compartment at the bottom of the camera and insert the battery.

Next you need to put your memory card into the camera. If you are a beginner, you don’t need to worry about getting an expensive card.

An inexpensive SD card will do. To put card in the camera, open up the SD card slot at the side, and insert the card.

Finally, you need to connect your lens to the camera. To do this, look for a white dot on the lens, and look for a white dot on the camera. Line these two dots up, and turn the lens until you hear a click.

Once you’ve done all this, you can power up the camera by turning the On/Off switch below the shutter button.




How To Use The Nikon D5100: Buttons and Dials

The Nikon D5100 has quite a few buttons and dials. Let’s take a look at what they do. First, we have the Menu button. Pressing this button takes you to the main menu.

The D5100 also has a shutter button. This button is for taking pictures. If you are in burst mode, pressing the button once will capture multiple images.

The Nikon D5100 also has a Play button. You can use this to view your photos and videos after shooting. There is also a D-pad, which is used for navigating through menus, and changing focusing points.

Next we have the Zoom button. This button has a magnifying glass with a plus sign in the middle. You can use this button to zoom in on your photos. There is also a button with a picture of a garbage can on it. This button is for deleting pictures.

There is a dial at the top right of the camera. Depending on what mode you’re in, you can use this dial to control your aperture and shutter speed.

Next, we have the Record button. This button has a red dot in the middle. To start recording, simply press the button. Once you’ve finished recording, press the button again to stop.

The D5100 also has a Live View switch next to the mode dial. This deactivates the viewfinder, and turns on the LCD screen. This is useful for those who want to shoot video.

Finally, we have the mode dial. You can use this button to change your shooting mode. Here are the shooting modes available on the Nikon D5100…

AUTO mode

In this mode, the camera handles all the settings for you. This is the most ideal option beginners.

S – shutter priority mode

This mode gives you the ability to set the shutter speed by yourself, while the camera handles other settings.

A – aperture priority mode

Using the command dial, you can control the aperture by yourself, while the camera sets the shutter speed.

P – program mode

In this mode the camera sets the aperture and shutter speed, but still gives you the ability to tweak a few settings.

M – manual mode

This mode gives you full control over the shutter speed and aperture. The camera will notify you if the exposure is off, but won’t stop you.




How To Use The Nikon D5100 — Menus

To enter the main menu, simply press the Menu button. In the main menu, you will find sub menus such as…


In this menu, you can customize things like autofocus, exposure, shooting/display, bracketing/flash, timers/AE lock, and controls.


In the shooting menu you can change the size and quality of your images. You can also set your white balance, picture control, customize movie settings, and change ISO settings.

SETUP menu

This is menu is the easiest to customize. In the SETUP menu, you can format your memory card, lock the camera’s mirror for cleaning, clean the image sensor, control flicker reduction.

You can also set the language, time/date, location data, remote control, HDMI, video mode, and control Wi-Fi.


In this menu, you have the option of reviewing your images, rotating them, playing them as a slide-show, etc.



How To Use The Nikon D5100 — Frequently Asked Questions


Is the Nikon D5100 a good camera?

The Nikon D5100 is a great camera. It can be used for various types of photography such as landscape, portrait and sports.  However, if you are going to shoot in harsh weather conditions, do keep in mind that this camera has no weather sealing.

The Nikon D5100 gives great value for the price. It’s a great camera for both amateurs and hobbyists.


Is the Nikon D5100 good for beginners?

The Nikon D5100 is an amazing camera for beginners. It has easy-to-navigate menus, and simple controls.

The D5100 is also reasonably priced for beginners. If you are just starting out in photography, this would be a great option for you.


How do I change the aperture on the Nikon D5100?

To change the aperture on the Nikon D5100, turn the mode dial at the top of the camera to Aperture Priority mode. You can now adjust your aperture by turning the command dial at the back of the camera.

The D5100’s LCD screen will light up, giving you a visual example of your aperture’s adjustment.


How do I  change ISO on the Nikon D5100?

  1. Go into the main menu.
  2. Scroll down to the Shooting menu.
  3. Select ISO sensitivity settings.
  4. Make sure Auto ISO sensitivity is set to Off.
  5. Adjust ISO as desired.
  6. Press OK button to exit.





That brings us to the end of this guide. If you followed the steps above, you should have no trouble finding your finding your way around this camera.

Hope you found this helpful. If you are still unsure about anything, please refer to the camera’s manual, or leave a comment below.

Also make sure to check out our other guides and comparisons.