The Nikon D3100 is a Family Digital SLR camera incorporating Nikon’s latest imaging technology into an easy-to-use and relatively compact DSLR body. It features AUTO and Scene modes, Live View, Full HD movie with full-time AF, an improved Guide Mode, as well as manual exposure modes for those who want to go beyond point and shoot photography.
For those upgrading from a point-and-shoot compact digicam, the Nikon D3100 features DSLR performance for quick auto focus and no practical shutter lag so you can catch the moment. There are also a host of automatic exposure modes and a handy on-line Guide Mode to help you obtain those professional-looking results you’re after. After all, what is the point of upgrading to a DSLR if you do not know exactly which controls and settings to set to obtain the results you want? Though AUTO mode will help you capture well exposed pictures, a DSLR can take the same scene many ways, all correctly exposed, but each picture may look different from the other one, depending on the aperture and the shutter speed (beside other settings) you select. The D3100 Guide Mode asks what results you are after, walks you through the appropriate settings, and a sample (assist) image displays on screen as you adjust the shutter speed or aperture to give you a better idea of the result you’ll be obtaining.
The Nikon D3100 has opted for Lens-shift (Optical) Image Stabilization (I.S.). This means that there is no built-in I.S. in the camera body and it is up to you to purchase a lens with or without I.S. The 18-55mm kit lens has image stabilization (Nikon calls it Vibration Reduction, or VR for short). As the D3100 accepts interchangeable lenses, you have an incredible number of NIKKOR lenses to choose from for every conceivable purpose. Be aware though that not all of them will auto focus since the D3100 does not have a focus motor built into the body (as the more expensive Nikon DSLRs have). However, this only affects those who want to use their old style Nikon lenses; most new entry-level lenses are available with built-in focus motors.
A Live View lever allows you to switch to Live View quickly and and a Direct Movie button allows you to start recording movie instantly. Movie is recorded at Full 1080p HD with monaural sound and you can have full-time auto focus during recording. In practical terms, this means that as you zoom manually during movie recording, the camera will refocus automatically.
The D3100’s LCD is large at 3.0-inch and is quite good at 230k-dot resolution, though we would have preferred a higher (at least 420k-dot) resolution. More advanced photographers who may be considering the D3100 should take note that there is now no Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB). Thankfully, AEB can always be accomplished manually.
We’ve only had an opportunity to do a hands-on preview, but based on what we’ve seen so far, the Nikon D3100 should be yet another great Family DSLR ideal for beginners who desire DSLR image quality and performance in an easy-to-use package. It is built with the same care and quality that higher-level Nikon models are and beginners should find it easy to use and operate.
Available in Black only.[When we receive a production model, we’ll do a full review and post a link to the review here.]
|US | CA | UK | Imaging|
|Image Sensor||14.2 Megapixels, APS-C CMOS, 23.1 x 15.4mm|
|Lens Mount||Nikon F bayonet mount
Please see Compatible Lenses
|Image Stabilization||Lens-shift (optical), i.e. dependent on lens attached|
|File Format||NEF (RAW), JPEG, NEF (RAW)+JPEG|
|Media||SD / SDHC / SDXC|
|Viewfinder||Eye-level pentamirror single-lens reflex viewfinder; 95% coverage; 0.80x magnification|
|Shutter Speed||30 – 1/4000 sec. in steps of 1/3 EV, Bulb|
|Continuous Shooting||Approx. 3 fps|
|Exposure Modes||Auto, PASM, Scene Modes, Program Shift|
|Exposure Metering||Matrix, Center weighted, Spot|
|ISO sensitivity||ISO 100-3200, 6400, 12800|
|Dust Reduction System||Image sensor cleaning, Airflow Control System, Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)|
|Autofocus||Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection|
|White Balance||Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent (7 types), Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Preset Manual
All, except Preset Manual, with fine tuning
|Live View AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Display Monitor||3.0 in. 230k-dot|
|Movie||Full HD 1920 x 1080 @ 24 fps|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||124.46 x 96.52 x 73.66 mm / 4.9 x 3.8 x 2.9 in. (excluding protrusions)|
|Weight||body only: 455g / 16 oz.|
|MSRP||with 18-55mm: US $699.95 / CAD $699.95|
You can buy the Nikon D3100 from our Trusted Sponsor B&H Photo-Video, the Professional’s Source, satisfying millions of customers for over 35 years:
|with 18-55mm lens|
|with 18-55mm lens|
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