As a follow up to D5000, a discontinued DSLR model with a 12.3 megapixel sensor, the new D5100 will feature a 16.2 MP sensor- impressive for their advanced-beginner DSLR. Other new, innovative features of the D5100 include a “night vision mode” with stable ISOs up to 102400! However, Canon's somewhat surprising release of the Canon EOS 600D may be just what is required to spur Nikon into action. This is especially true as there is no new model with a vari-angle LCD and the new sensor.
Finally there is the video mode. While the AF-F focusing is a welcomed feature, it is simply not quick or accurate enough for general shooting with shallow depth of field. It's expected that with the Nikon D5100, the focusing can be improved for even better results. Of course, serious movie makers will simply find this feature meaningless as they would need to be completely in control of the focusing to anticipate the scenes they want played out.
Will we see some form of digital zoom like the Canon EOS 600D; it's quite probable as the concept is already extremely prevalent in camcorders before it was introduced in the 600D.