Nikon D3100 Summary
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.
|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|
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Nikon D3100 Highlights
Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|14 Megapixels DSLR||ISO 100-12800|
|Nikon F Mount|
|Full manual controls, including Manual Focus|
|Built-in Dust Reduction||Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning|
|3 FPS Drive, 16 Images||Spot-Metering|
|1920x1080 @ 24 FPS Video Recording||Hot-Shoe|
|3" LCD 230K Pixels||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
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