| Resolution||14.2 MP
| Display||3 Inch LCD
| Processor||Expeed 2 Processor
| ISO||Auto, 100-3200
| Battery||550 Shots
| weight||455 grams
| Warranty||2 Years
The Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera provides an easy-to-use and affordable entrance to the world of DSLRs. The 14.2-megapixel D3100 has powerful features, such as the enhanced Guide Mode that makes it easy to unleash creative potential and capture memories with still images and full HD video. Other great features include an 11-point autofocus system, 3-inch LCD monitor with Live View shooting, HDMI output, 6 automatic Scene Modes, automatic sensor cleaner, and much more. Includes NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens and a 55-200mm f/4-5.6G DX AF-S ED Zoom-Nikkor Lenses.
Product Overview for Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera
Made for newbies to D-SLR digital photography, the Nikon D3100 is a feature-rich, straightforward to make use of a camera that can show you much more concerning the art of photography with the intelligent step-by-step Overview Mode. Whether you are firing a naturally made up still life, everyday snapshots or complete HD motion pictures, the D3100 produces images with phenomenal specific and vibrant shades also in poorly lit setups. The D3100’s instinctive style with remarkable ergonomics supplies a protected hold with devoted manages close at hand for regularly utilized features like the shutter release, Live Perspective and Scene Awareness. The small, light in weight physical body, analyzing simply 455g, makes this SLR the optimal cam to take on vacation or out on long nation strolls. Available as body-only to make use of with your already existing DX style lenses, and in both solitary and twin-lens packages incorporating excellent Nikkor lenses, the smart Nikon D3100 supplies a relocating experience in electronic photography that everybody could delight in.
Review of Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera
Nikon has developed a habit of making very attractive entry-level DSLRs, which are rarely the best specified but cleverly designed so that they’re easy and enjoyable to shoot with. The D3000 fitted this pattern perfectly, a gentle refresh of the D60 (which was itself a slightly updated D40X), it added ease-of-use features to make it a pleasant little camera to use, despite a specification that was beginning to look rather out-of-step with the rest of the market. The D3000 sold well, despite its rather aged 10 megapixel sensor and lack of both live view and video. However, there’s only so long that clever product design and feature integration can make up for a specification that looks dated. So with this in mind, Nikon has announced the D3100 – probably the biggest refresh of its entry-level digital cameras since it really aimed at the low end market with the original D40. The D3100 is built around a 14.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, bringing not only live view but also Full HD video capture to Nikon’s entry-level model for the first time. In fact, this made it the first Nikon DSLR to offer 1920×1080 movie recording. It can only record clips up to about ten minutes long (due to a 4Gb maximum file size limitation shared by all DSLRs), but this still counts as an impressive feature addition at this level. The body gets a slight refresh from a basic design that essentially dates back four years to the D40, gaining an extra button to the left of the screen, a drive mode switch at the base of the mode dial, a sprung lever to engage live view and a direct record movie button. Revisions have also been made to feature-proofing, hand-holding ‘Guide Mode’, and an additional autofocus mode that’s designed to allow better focusing in live view and autofocus during video shooting. All of this adds up to a DSLR that incorporates all of 2010’s ‘must have’ features but looks like the product of evolution, rather than dramatic innovation. And 2010 was the year during which the rest of the market hadn’t devloped along such predictable lines, not least during the expansion of the large sensor, mirrorless interchangable lens camera crowd. Camera makers always try to stress that mirrorless cameras are creating an entirely new market, rather than competing with entry-level DSLRs, but it’s clear that many people planning to upgrade from their point-and-shoot compact will consider both types of camera when making their decision. So, while the D3100 is unequivocally a DSLR (in a time where the line between DSLRs and mirrorless cameras is becoming increasingly hazy), its beginner-friendly guide mode puts it squarely in competition with several of the mirrorless models that are equally eager to welcome point-and-shoot upgraders. Many of these cameras, such as Sony’s NEX-3 and 5, Olympus’ E-PL1 and Panasonic’s GF2, offer similarly accessible interfaces in a smaller, competitively-priced packages. They also, by eshewing the conventional DSLR design, are able to offer a shooting experience that is much closer to that of a compact camera – which even the best DSLR live view implementation can’t easily mimic at the moment. So, while the D3100 offers an improved feature set when compared to a camera we really liked, it remains to be seen whether these additions will be enough to make it stand out as well as its predecessor did.
The Nikon D3000 sold very well and continues to sell, in spite of its arguably outdated 10-megapixel sensor, no live view feature, and inability to record video. The D3100, however, boasts a wider ISO range (100-3200)and a 14.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor, which has allowed it to incorporate both live view and full high definition video recording, both firsts for a Nikon entry-level model and with this in mind it seems that the D3100 represents Nikon’s most comprehensive offering since it began to target the lower market with the D40.
Although video recording is restricted to 10 minutes due to the normal DSLR 4GB file restriction, the D3100 is capable of recording resolutions up to 1920×1080 and the quality of the video is really rather exceptional – many have likened it to ‘movie quality’ or that of video shot with professional cinematic cameras.
Another fantastic addition is the ability to shoot in both RAW and JPEG. I used to shoot all my pictures in JPEG and I’ll admit there were some great ones, but when I made the switch to RAW, my jaw literally dropped.
There have also been some nice add-ons to the in-camera editing feature, including the fish eye lens effect and monochrome – both of which is a huge bonus if you don’t have Photoshop.
I’ve mentioned some of the most important new features of the D3100, but there is still loads more to discuss how the D3100 excels over its predecessor (as it should) and we’ll get to all that a bit later.
To summarise this ‘what’s new’ section, suffice it to say that the D3100 represents Nikon’s most comprehensive offering since it began to target the lower market with the D40. Let’s take a look at some of the key features of the D3100.
Look & Feel
At a cursory glance, the D3100 looks a lot like its predecessor, but closer inspection and holding of the D3100 reveals some significant design adaptations that were necessary to incorporate the influx of new features, such the higher resolution sensor, live view, and video capabilities.
Of course, these new features also require the addition of a few new buttons, but goods news is that these design adaptations are subtle and don’t come at the expense of comfort. The intuitive feel and button placement that Nikon has become so well known for is not lost in the D3100, which is perhaps the most pleasant cameras to hold in its class.
Comfortability has also been enhanced by the inclusion of a quality rubber grip, as opposed to the rubberized coating found on the D3000. The first time I picked up the D3100, it was so light that I genuinely thought I had picked up a dummy model that didn’t have any insides.
Because I was aware of the d3100′s components before picking it up, I was truly amazed that it was actually the real thing I was holding, which felt so small, light and comfortable in my hands.
I could go on all day about the D3100′s bells and whistles, but if you’re anything like me then what you really want to know about this unit, considering that it is primarily a picture taking device after all, is its picture taking abilities. So, I have no compunction in saying that this is definitely the section I have been most looking forward to writing.
Before we get into the D3100′s picture taking abilities, I want to just briefly touch on a very significant issue which will have a huge impact on what you are able to get out of your D3100, and that is the issue of ‘Manual versus Automatic’ picture taking modes. Put simply if you use the D3100 automatic mode, you will produce amazing pictures without having to do much work other than pushing a button. But if you do a bit of homework and learn to shoot in manual mode, you will create absolutely breath-taking art.
So if you are just starting out or know a bit about photography but just want a device that will take fantastic pictures without having to play with any settings, you certainly will not be disappointed by the D3100′s automatic mode. But if you’re an expert or want to engage in photography as a serious hobby, then from the bottom of my heart I implore you to use only manual mode.
Sure, use automatic mode from time to time when image quality isn’t too much of an issue and you just need a convenient point and shoot, but when you want to use the D3100 to its full potential, go manual.
To get the best out of manual mode, those just starting out will need to grasp the concepts of aperture, shutter times and ISO, to name the fundamental few, but don’t let these terms scare you – they really aren’t that hard to learn.
Thousands of people have taught themselves these concepts, using free resources on the internet. Never underestimate the potential of free information on the internet, there really is a LOT of free, quality and expert information out there and more often than not can be revealed by spending just a few minutes on Google.
Alternatively, most colleges these days run affordable photography courses each semester that you can easily sign up for as a member of the public (yes you don’t have to be enrolled at a college to take college courses!). I would highly encourage that you take advantage of the real hands-on, practical and expert training that is offered by these courses.
So with that out the way, let’s discuss what this little puppy’s capable of. In general, the D3100 takes excellent pictures, as you would expect from such a veteran DSLR brand like Nikon.
D3100 pictures are typically characterized by punchy, saturated colors with a white balance slightly tending towards the warmer side: overall a wonderous melting pot of beauty, color and texture. The ISO image quality is fantastic (although this is the case with most APS-C SLRs). It can produce amazing results at ISO 800 and very acceptable even at up to ISO 3200.
When using JPEG, the sharpening excels over its peers, creating less detailed output and therefore decidedly conservative, which is a good thing. While you can increase the settings in the camera, my personal preference is to shoot RAW files and then to increase the sharpening levels when editing. I find that this produces noticeable better results and in fact, when you it this way, you can get your pictures damn near perfect, if not so.
For the sake of being critical and for keeping this review honest, I should point out that the D3100 does have a tendency towards overexposure in very brights, high contrast situations, which seems to be the case even when the Active D-light is on. A slight let down when considering that the ADL function is meant to allow for the lifting of the shadows and simultaneously preserve the highlights. However, you really should not let this minor set back discourage you as this tendency is invariably negligible when reviewing the final picture.
Below is a brief comparison of how the D3100′s competitor, the Sony Nex-3 measures up against it, both in JPEG and RAW.
Those familiar with the Nikon D3000 will know, and probably love, its in-camera editing abilities. Ofcourse, the D3100 can do everything the D3000 could do in this regard and more. These additions include Straighten, Distortion Control, Fisheye, Perspective Control, Miniature Effect and last but certainly not least, you can edit your videos in-camera, which the D3000 obviously could not do as it didn’t have a video shooting function.
Most of these additions serve a useful purpose, but to be honest I find the Miniature Effect function to be more of a novelty than anything else. What I really do like and want to briefly go over is the Active D-Lighting function (ADL), which can also be found on the D3000.
The ADL feature can be used on all your photos. You can turn it on before you take your shot, or you can just add it later using the in-camera editing feature. It ca be applied at three different levels, namely, moderate, normal and strong. See below for a demonstration.
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