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Nikon D3100 Review Summary

14 Megapixels14 MegapixelsSingle Lens ReflexSingle Lens ReflexContinuous DriveContinuous DriveFull 1080p HD Video: 1920 x 1080 resolution or more but less than 4K.Full 1080p HD Video: 1920 x 1080 resolution or more but less than 4K.Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringAccepts Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), SDHC and SD memory.Accepts Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), SDHC and SD memory.Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed reviewDiscontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.

Nikon D3100 Assessment

The D3100 is a refinement of the D3000 which now sits at the low-end of Nikon's entry-level DSLRs. The notable changes are a 14 megapixels sensor and 1080p video capability with autofocus. It is a relatively compact DSLR with the most basic feature set. The D3100 is directly aimed at new DLSR owners.

Among entry-level DSLRs, the Nikon D3100 is one of the most basic but also one of the most consistent in terms of performance. Image quality is very good with low image noise, good dynamic range, conservative metering and excellent white-balance. The only issue to truly consider is slower than average autofocus, although the supplied kit-lens partly contributes to this.

Upgrading from a fixed-lens digital camera, this DSLR provides an almost complete experience thanks to its full HD video capability. The major drawback is that Live-View is not exposure-priority and has a limited metering range. As usual, new DSLR users should really learn to use of OVF and anticipate exposure rather then relying on Live-View which is slow and restrictive.

Competition among entry-level DSLR is fierce but not than many models currently offer 1080p video and no other does it with autofocus. This leaves the D3100 with the advantage of accessing the second largest in-production lens lineup and its very consistent and capable performance. For a simple SLR that works with the least involvement, the Nikon D3100 is worth a serious look.

Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed review Read the full Nikon D3100 review here.

PROS CONS
Very low image noise Slow autofocus
Excellent white-balance Uneven color response
Conservative metering Slight image softness
Accurate autofocus system LCD glare when settings are changed
Short shutter-lag Live-View not exposure-priority
Good shot-to-shoot speed Microphone records camera noise
Excellent time-to-first-shot Impossible to setup video framing
Generally good ergonomics Limited interface control
Full HD video with autofocus No exposure bracketing
Good build quality Odd Auto ISO behavior
Easily usable with gloves on Exposure steps always 1/3 EV
Lens mount lacks mechanical-coupling
ExcellentExcellent Excellent

Related Information

Sister Models
Nikon D3000
Nikon D3000
- 10 Megapixels, ISO 3200 Max, No Video Capture
Nikon D3100
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By on 2011/02/22
3

Nikon D3100 Facts

SLR digital camera
14 Megapixels DSLRISO 100-12800
Nikon F Mount
1.5X FLM

Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm

APS-C Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

Shutter 1/4000-30s
95% Coverage
Medium Viewfinder
Full manual controls, including Manual Focus
Built-in Dust ReductionCustom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning
3 FPS Drive, 16 ImagesSpot-Metering
1920x1080 @ 24 FPS Video RecordingHot-Shoe
3" LCD 230K PixelsLithium-Ion Battery
Secure Digital Extended Capacity
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