Situated right between the entry-level D3100 and the fantastic D7000, the new Nikon D5100 ($899) packs features from both its brothers making it a worthy alternative to the aging D5000 and still-popular yet dog old D90. At the camera’s core is a 16.2 megapixel CMOS sensor from the D7000 capable of 4fps, ISO100-6400 and 1080p HD movie capture. Also packed into the 5100 are Nikon’s Expeed 2 processor, a Vari-angle high contrast (1000:1) 3″ high-res tilt and swivel display and built-in HDR. New to the entire Nikon lineup though, and evidence that people are ditching camcorders for DSLR’s, are the ability to apply built-in image filters to video (e.g. selective-color, miniature, low key) and the new ME-1 external microphone ($180) that touts autofocus-noise cancelling technology. Thinking about buying a camera and a camcorder for under $1,000? Look no further, here’s one that might rule them both… at least until the D7100 lands.
Buy Now: $899 (with 18-55mm)