Wednesday, February 08, 2006

One year later: Nikon COOLPIX 5100

It was 365 days ago that I got myself my first and current digital camera, the Nikon COOLPIX 5100. Now, let’s see how this camera fares after a year of abuse.

The camera was imported from KL to Kuching for the Chinese New Year 2005 and also for my use in Brisbane (^.^).

Truly a standard-looking camera.

I wasn’t completely in love with it when I first had my hands on the COOLPIX camera, but I was surely satisfied that I didn’t have to bring my old Olympus camera to Brisbane and keeping poorly-taken photos of the city. Not to mention photo albums add unnecessary weight to my luggage.

Anyway, this digicam is basically your average, practical camera. With 5.1 Megapixels, 3x Optical Zoom, 4.5MB Internal Memory and 15 scene modes including movie mode…this is pretty much a point-and-shoot camera. Nothing fancy like Sony here.


Design wise, it is quite comfortable to your right hand. The curve on the left side of the COOLPIX camera assists your grip on the camera, hence having a more stable hand to shoot. If you have big, big hands though, chances are you might block the flash. This champagne-coloured camera is similar to the 4100 and the 3200. Meaning it has a ‘plastic’ look.

The power switch is a bit too near to the shutter-release button for my liking though. At times I accidently pressed 'off ' instead of the shutter-release button. Lost some rare pictures due to that.


At the back, the controls are easy to recognise. The mode dial, while definitely saves time to go to your preferred mode, wasn’t all that good though. Sometimes when you take the camera out, the dial mode would be in-between two modes. Of course on the LCD it would indicate that the dial mode is not in a proper position, but it would have been better if Nikon had some kind of a ‘lock-on’ function so that the dial mode would not twist that easily. Oh, the LCD size is eye-friendly.

Transferring pictures to the computer was a piece of cake. Simply plug in the USB to the computer (of course after installing the software la) and just click OK to transfer to your desired folder. Voila. I love it. I suppose most of digicams are as simple as that, but hey, this is my first digicam…I was converted from analogue camera leh.

I discovered only a few weaknesses of this camera throughout the year I’ve used it. For one, the macro zoom wasn’t good as the focus can be quite blurry. Another was the audio speaker's fairly weak.

Here are the addition things provided in the box:

From left: A proper manual, a quick-start manual, the installer and an instruction on taking care of…the batteries. In 16 different languages.Wow.

The Camera-PC USB wire and the battery charger

At the price of RM1588 (at the time) including the extras like 256MB SD Card, pouch and a small waist bag though, this camera was ideal for my needs. Photo printing in Subang Jaya was already disastrous to my wallet. What more Brisbane.

This camera was launched on 16 September 2004. The camera is no longer in production as Nikon has produced better compact cameras than the 5100. However, should you be looking for 2nd hand digicams or if shops are still selling it, I suggest the COOLPIX 5100. Only if you are looking for decent camera.

Oh, I took a picture of some flower at the garden. After six attempts, I decided to keep this:

The first picture I’ve kept till this day. Not that good, but hey…I like la

One year later, at almost the same spot:

Lacking some sunshine.

(For more reviews please click on the websites at the References section)

Pointless note: I'm currently using a 128 MB SD Card as my brother misplaced the 256MB. Shucks.

References:- (
LetsGoDigital (
Nikon Malaysia ( &


chris said...

Your camera don't have full auto mode leh! Not even shutter priority or aperture priority!

Well other than that its a decent camera. Good for point and click photography.

The Fuji was still better in the day time. Too bad it dieded liao.

chris said...

I meant you don't have full manual mode. :)