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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Nikon Coolpix 3100

Nikon Digital Cameras


Nikon Coolpix 3100 Review

Review Date: Oct 1, 2003

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Handling & Feel

Bananas, Green Peppers and Baby Bok Choys: 1/327.4 sec., F2.8 and ISO Auto
Bananas, Green Peppers and Baby Bok Choys
5.8 mm, 1/327.4 sec., F2.8 and ISO Auto

The Nikon Coolpix 3100 is a compact digital camera with dimensions of 87.5W x 65H x 38D mm (3.5W x 2.5H x 1.5D in.) and weighs 150g (5.3 oz.) without the battery and recording media card. It is constructed of solid plastic with an attractive two tone color. The hand grip provides a good and comfortable grip and one handed operation is possible.

When holding the camera with the right hand, the forefinger and thumb naturally falls on the shutter release button and Zoom toggle lever, respectively. Extend your thumb out a bit and it reaches the Mode Dial, which is almost flushed on top but projects out just enough at the back for the thumb to rotate it easily. Each selection clicks in place securely.

The wrist strap attaches to the strap eyelet at the top edge of the grip. The battery door is at the bottom of the camera, and the CompactFlash memory card goes through a door in the handgrip. I like the fact that the rubber Interface Connector Cover rotates completely out of the way, giving a clear path to the USB/Video-out and DC-in connectors.

The Coolpix 3100 feels very light, helped by the fact that it uses only 2 AA batteries. Which also means that battery life is low and you would well be advised to always carry a second set of 2 AA Alkaline batteries or 1 CRV3 Lithium battery with you.

The 1.5 in. LCD is 110,000 pixels resolution and quite good even in bright sunlight, allowing me to compose and review on screen, deciding whether to keep the shot or reshoot. The brightness is adjustable via menu.

The Playback function has a dedicated button on the back of the camera and makes it very convenient to switch between the Record and Playback modes, leaving my selected shooting mode unchanged on the Mode Dial.

The Coolpix 3100, though not ultra compact in size, still fits in a large pants pocket. I would not recommend you carry it in a tight jeans pocket, for you may end up inadvertently turning the Mode Dial to another setting or, worse, turning on the camera by mistake and risk damaging the lens. Carrying the Coolpix 3100 in a coat pocket or in a soft case hung on the belt is probably the best way to go. A soft pouch is recommended.

Overall, the Coolpix 3100 is well constructed, lightweight, easy to use and handle, and a take anywhere camera.

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