Nikon D5100 Camera Teardown: Not Made to be Messed With

We’ve previously brought you news about the Nikon D5100 with a look at specs, price and release and then brought news about an earlier release at Best Buy. Now we have more news of a different kind, on this camera that has gathered a lot of attention. This time we’re looking at a Nikon D5100 teardown and take it from us, this is not a device to be messed with.

As a brief recap the D5100 has a flip-out 2.7-inch screen, video recording of up to 1080p and a 16.2-megapixel sensor and news of this teardown was provided to us from the team over at iFixit, famous for their inside looks at popular devices. As a reminder we’d like to tell you not to use the teardown as disassembly instructions, best to leave it to the experts. Nevertheless iFixit give us a fascinating look inside the D5100. First up we should say that iFixit noted the great quality of photos they took with the Nikon D5100 and hoped they could put the thing back together so that it would still work!

Now to the teardown and iFixit stressed the importance of removing the 330µF flash capacitor before attempting to take the camera apart. The easily replaceable battery was noted as being a 7.4 V 1030 mAh EN-EL14 Li-ion, also used on the D3100 and COOLPIX P700. However the battery was found not to be compatible with others in the Nikon range. The big test though was the sheer amount of screws involved in getting into the interior. iFixit estimates this at 4 billion which may be an exaggeration but you get the picture. Needless to say there was a lot of intricate work needed to separate the rear cover before disconnecting cables and de-soldering some wires before they could lift out the motherboard.

Some of the chips found were a Nikon EXPEED 2 EI-154 1051 Z05 image processor, Samsung K4T1G164QF-BCE7 1Gb DDR2-800 SDRAM (total of 3 Gb = 375 MB), MXIC MX29GL128EHXFI-90G 128 Mb parallel flash memory, Toshiba TMP19A44FEXBG low-power microcontroller, Nikon EI-155 M4L1BA00 00151044 and a Nikon NHHS-2 049M8. More screws were removed to take off the front cover before the electric motor could be viewed. iFixit also revealed a light blue pad between the flash capacitor and frame, used to conduct heat away while using flash-intensive shooting. The top cover was another “feat of engineering,” containing the main control wheel, shutter/aperture control wheel, On/Off switch, record button and much more.

Following on is a look at the sensor and according to Chipworks, each pixel is 4.8 µm wide, or around half the size of a red blood cell to put it into perspective. Ultimately iFixit gives the D5100 a repairability factor of 2 out of 10, which is very poor and should warn you not to go delving too much. That’s not a reflection on the camera itself though so check out the full article over on iFixit to find out more about the incredible mechanics of this camera.

What are your thoughts on the teardown? Have you already made a purchase of the Nikon D5100, or will you be buying one now? Why not let us know by sending us your comments.