Nikon D3100

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Nikon D3100

The Nikon D3100 digital SLR camera speaks to the growing ranks of enthusiastic D-SLR users and aspiring photographers by providing an easy-to-use and ...

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Review of "Nikon D3100"

published 17/05/2011 | Rostow
Member since : 05/12/2010
Reviews : 38
Members who trust : 3
About me :
Hi I'm Andrew. I enjoy reading, playing sport and socialising. I currently am studying History at the University of Kent.
Excellent
Pro the features, ease of use
Cons expensive in my mind - but not relative to its peers
very helpful
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use
Durability
Reliability

"What an SLR"

Nikon D3100 Review

Firstly I would like to say that I am not a camera expert and that this review is based entirely upon my own experience of this camera rather than an extensive knowledge of photography and cameras. Unfortunately my knowledge of cameras is fairly limited. This review would therefore only suit someone as a starting point for researching this camera rather than an all-encompassing one stop review that will give you everything you need to know and more about the camera in question.

Baring that in mind I will now tell you what I think of the camera and how it came to be that a complete amateur like me got hold of what is, put simply, a fantastic SLR camera.

I had a simple Panasonic Digital Camera which I had got a few Christmas’s previously so it wasn’t all that brilliant compared to modern cameras which the Nikon D3100 most definitely is. I gained possession of the camera thorough a semi-professional photographer friend who had upgraded to some uber-expensive need camera which was also, I think, a Nikon SLR camera. Therefore I had no experience of doing photography with a camera anywhere near as advanced as this one I now had. Rather stupidly I did not ask my friend how to use the camera as I thought it couldn’t be that complicated. I was right thankfully. The Nikon D3100 which is apparently an entry-level SLR camera has a Help Guide which I found very useful although I no longer have the camera so I cannot say much more about it. If I remember rightly though, it helped with things such as: how to create movies and just generally how to use the camera effectively.

Price

I bought my Dikon D3100 at well below market value at thankfully as this piece of kit does not come cheaply. It costs around the £440 mark and it is more for lenses and such extras although from my limited knowledge this seems to be about the average price for an “entry-level” SLR camera. The more advanced ones are over £1000 which is to me, CRAZY.

Size

The camera has small handgrips, which is a bit awkward sometimes but thankfully it is not all that heavy at all, weighing about 500 grams including the battery and SD memory card which I might add it needs as it has no internal memory. The camera is of a reasonable size which means that it can’t fit in your pocket by any stretch of the imagination but it would fit comfortably into most practical bags. The dimensions of the camera are as follows:
Height – 9.6 cm
Width – 12.4 cm
Depth – 7.45 cm
Obviously then this camera is not small but it doesn’t feel or look ridiculously cumbersome or large either.

Features

First off the camera has (which is very useful) large and well-labelled buttons and controls on it which greatly improves the ease of use of the camera overall.

The camera has no internal memory but does have an SD card for memory and I came nowhere near to filling that even though I took a lot of photographs and what is useful about having an SD card is that it can be put straight into a laptop or computer. I know my laptop has an SD card slot so I assume most modern laptops and probably desktop computers have an SD card slot as well. The result of this is easy transfer of photos from camera to laptop.

The camera allows you to make HD movie clips with sound. I made next to no use of this feature but it definitely sounds good and because of the high resolution and quality of the camera I am sure it makes great movies.

The 14.2 megapixels produces as you would expect very high quality pictures, at least compared to the ones I was used to taking.

The 3.0 inch LCD monitor is also a nice feature of the camera which gives a clear feedback of the pictures taken. It is a nice size as well as it fits the overall size of the camera well. It is not too large and not too small.

There are other features which I do not understand so well so I will just list these so that people more expert than me can be given more facts about the camera.

The camera has:
Image Stabilisation
52 mm filter
Is driven by Nikon’s potent EXPEED 2 image processor
A Scene auto Selector – this apparently chooses the best scene mode for your subject. I was never aware of this when i\ used the camera but there you go. May have gone some way as to explaining why the photographs were of such high quality.
Fully controllable shutter and aperture modes.

I would only recommend this to a friend who was serious about photography. It is a considerable investment considering that probably a lot of modern cameras take photographs of varying degrees of high quality.


That is the Nikon D3100. Hope you enjoyed this review and found it informative.

Andy.

Community evaluation

This review was read 2036 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • brereton66 published 04/10/2011
    Good review, I've got one of these and it is really good.
  • Jake_Speed published 20/05/2011
    Good review!
  • Zurich11 published 19/05/2011
    Really useful info in this x
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Product Information : Nikon D3100

Manufacturer's product description

The Nikon D3100 digital SLR camera speaks to the growing ranks of enthusiastic D-SLR users and aspiring photographers by providing an easy-to-use and affordable entrance to the world of Nikon D-SLR's. 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. Like having a personal photo tutor at your fingertips, this unique feature provides a simple graphical interface on the camera's LCD that guides users by suggesting and/or adjusting camera settings to achieve the desired end result images. The D3100 is also the world's first D-SLR to introduce full time auto focus (AF) in Live View and D-Movie mode to effortlessly achieve the critical focus needed when shooting Full HD 1080p video. Packed into the compact and lightweight body of the D3100 camera is a host of advanced Nikon technologies, such as the EXPEED 2 image processing engine. EXPEED 2 in conjunction with Nikon's 14.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor is the driving force behind the enhanced performance and rich image quality. Ready to go wherever life leads, the D3100 features split-second shutter response and a blazing fast 11-point AF system to help ensure tack-sharp images. For shooting in challenging lighting conditions, ISO 3200 (expandable to 12,800) enables versatility in environments such as indoors or in the evening hours.

Product Details

Product Description: Nikon D3100 - digital camera - body only, Nikon D3100 - digital camera AF-S VR DX 18-55mm lens, Nikon D3100 - digital camera AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses, Nikon D3100 - digital camera AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-200mm VR lenses, Nikon D3100 - digital camera AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-300mm VR lenses, Nikon D3100 - digital camera AF-S DX 18-55mm lens, Nikon D3100 - digital camera AF-S DX 18-105mm lens, Nikon D3100 - digital camera, Nikon Coolpix D3100 - digital camera AF-S VR DX 18-55mm lens

Product Type: Digital camera - SLR with Live View mode, movie recording

Lens Included: Body only, AF-S VR DX 18-55mm lens, AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses, AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-200mm VR lenses, AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-300mm VR lenses, AF-S DX 18-55mm lens, AF-S DX 18-105mm lens

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Image Processor: EXPEED 2

Sensor Resolution: 14.2 Megapixel

Max Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Viewfinder: Optical - eye-level penta-dach mirror, Optical - eye-level mirror pentaprism

Display: LCD display - 3"

Supported Battery: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( included ), 1 x Nikon EN-EL14 Li-ion rechargeable battery ( included )

AV Interfaces: Composite video/audio, HDMI

Microsoft Certification: Compatible with Windows 7

Dimensions (WxDxH): 12.4 cm x 7.5 cm x 9.6 cm, 12.4 cm x 7.45 cm x 9.6 cm

Weight: 455 g, 0.5 kg

Lens System: 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G Nikon AF-S DX VR, 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G ED II Nikon AF-S DX, 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 Nikon AF-S DX VR, 5.8 x zoom lens - 18 - 105 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G Nikon AF-S DX ED VR, 3.1 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G ED II Nikon AF-S DX

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 28 cm, 45 cm

Image Stabiliser: Optical

Lens System (2nd): 3.6 x zoom lens - 55 - 200 mm - f/4.0-5.6 G Nikon AF-S DX VR, 3.6 x zoom lens - 55 - 200 mm - f/4.0-5.6 G ED Nikon AF-S DX, 5.5 x zoom lens - 55 - 300 mm - f/4.5-5.6

Manufacturer: Nikon

Optical Sensor / Optical Sensor Type: CCD

LCD Display Size: 3

Flash Memory / Form Factor: SD/SDHC Memory Card

Optical Sensor / Sensor Resolution: 10.2

Long Name: D3100

Colour: Black, Red

General

MPN: VBA280AB, VBA280K001-8GBTP330BAG, 25472, VBA280K003, VBA280KU01, VBA280K001, VBA280K004, 9798, D3100 18-55 VR, VBA280AE, D3100 18 55mm Kit, VBA280K005, 418582, D310018-55VR-KIT1, VBA280SU04, VBA280K002, D3100+18-55VR+55/200VR, D3100, VBA280K006, 999D3100N4, NIK1247, NIK1272, D310018-55VR-KIT3, NIK1811

Product Type: Digital camera - SLR with Live View mode, movie recording

Lens Included: Body only, AF-S VR DX 18-55mm lens, AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses, AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-200mm VR lenses, AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-300mm VR lenses, AF-S DX 18-55mm lens, AF-S DX 18-105mm lens

Sensor Resolution: 14.2 Megapixel

Optical Sensor Type: CMOS

Total Pixels: 14,800,000 pixels

Effective Sensor Resolution: 14,200,000 pixels

Optical Sensor Size: 15.4 x 23.1mm

Field of View Crop Factor: 1.5

Sensor Dust Reduction: Yes

Sensor Features: Air flow control system, Self Cleaning Sensor Unit

Image Processor: EXPEED 2

Auto Focus: TTL contrast and phase detection

Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty: 11

Digital Video Format: MOV

Image Recording Format: JPEG, RAW + JPEG, NEF (RAW)

Max Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080

AV Interfaces: Composite video/audio, HDMI

Optical Zoom: 3 x, 5.8 x, 3.1 x

Image Stabiliser: Optical

Face Detection: Face-priority AF function

Enclosure Colour: Black, Red

Exposure & White Balance

Light Sensitivity: ISO 6400, ISO auto, ISO 100-3200, ISO 12800

Exposure Metering: Centre-weighted, spot, 3D colour matrix II

Exposure Metering Zones: 420

Exposure Modes: Programme, bulb, automatic, manual, aperture-priority, shutter-priority, i-TTL program flash

Shooting Programs: Landscape, portrait mode, close-up, night portrait, Children, sports mode

Special Effects: Neutral, Vivid, monochrome, landscape, portrait

White Balance: Custom, automatic, presets

White Balance Presets: Incandescent, fluorescent, cloudy, sunlight, Flash, shade

Max Shutter Speed: 1/4000 sec

Min Shutter Speed: 30 sec

Exposure Compensation: ±5 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps

X-sync Speed: 1/200sec

Exposure Range: EV 0-20 ( ISO 100 )

Lens System

Lens System Mounting: Nikon F

Type: 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G Nikon AF-S DX VR, 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G ED II Nikon AF-S DX, 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 Nikon AF-S DX VR, 5.8 x zoom lens - 18 - 105 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G Nikon AF-S DX ED VR, 3.1 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G ED II Nikon AF-S DX

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 27 - 82.5mm, 27 - 157.5mm

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 28 cm, 45 cm

Max View Angle: 76 degree(s)

Zoom Adjustment: Manual

Lens Construction: 8 groups / 11 elements, 5 groups / 7 elements, 11 groups / 15 elements

Filter Size: 52 mm, 67 mm

Features: Silent Wave Motor (SWM), aspherical lens, VR (Vibration Reduction)

Camera Flash

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Guide Number (m / ISO 100): 12, 13

Flash Modes: Fill-in mode, rear curtain sync, slow synchro, auto mode, flash OFF mode, red-eye reduction

Features: AF illuminator, flash +/- compensation, wireless off-camera control

Additional Features

Continuous Shooting Speed: 3 frames per second

Self Timer Delay: 10 sec, 2sec

Flash Terminal: Hot shoe

Additional Features: Direct print, USB 2.0 compatibility, date/time stamp, DPOF support, display brightness control, digital image rotation, camera orientation detection, PictBridge support, histogram display, AE lock, AF lock, in-camera red-eye removal, cropping an image, GPS ready, LCD live view mode, face-priority AF function, highlight point display, Active D-Lighting technology, 1080p Full HD movie recording, face detection, built-in help guide, Scene Recognition System (SRS), Exif Print support, in-camera RAW processing, text input to Exif header

Viewfinder

Viewfinder Type: Optical - eye-level penta-dach mirror, Optical - eye-level mirror pentaprism

Field Coverage: 95%

Magnification: 0.8x

Dioptric Correction Range: -1.7 to +0.5

Display

Type: 3" LCD display

Resolution: 230,000 pixels

Display Features: Built-in

Microphone

Microphone Operation Mode: Mono

Connections

Connector Type: 1 x USB ¦ 1 x HDMI output ¦ 1 x composite video/audio output

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Software

Software: Nikon ViewNX 2, Nikon ViewNX 2, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Nikon ViewNX 2

System Requirements for PC Connection

Peripheral Devices: USB port, CD-ROM Drive

Miscellaneous

Compatible with Windows 7: "Compatible with Windows 7" software and devices carry Microsoft’s assurance that these products have passed tests for compatibility and reliability with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7.

Included Accessories: Eyepiece cover, battery charger, body cap, neck strap, eyecup, shoe cap

Battery

Battery Type: Nikon EN-EL14

Details: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( included ), 1 x Nikon EN-EL14 Li-ion rechargeable battery ( included )

Battery Life Details: Photo shooting - 550 shots

Memory / Storage

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Supported Memory Cards: SD Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card

Image Storage: 4608 x 3072 ¦ 3456 x 2304 ¦ 2304 x 1536

Video Capture: MOV - 1920 x 1080 - 24 fps ¦ MOV - 1280 x 720 - 30 fps ¦ MOV - 1280 x 720 - 25 fps ¦ MOV - 1280 x 720 - 24 fps ¦ MOV - 640 x 424 - 24 fps

Included Memory Card: 8 GB SDHC, 4 GB SDHC

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 12.4 cm

Depth: 7.5 cm, 7.45 cm

Height: 9.6 cm

Weight: 455 g, 0.5 kg

Environmental Parameters

Min Operating Temperature: 0 °C

Max Operating Temperature: 40 °C

Humidity Range Operating: 0 - 85%, 0 - 85% (non-condensing)

Lens System (2nd)

Features: ED glass, Silent Wave Motor (SWM), aspherical lens

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 82.5 - 300mm, 82.5 - 450mm

Lens Construction: 11 groups / 15 elements, 11 groups / 17 elements

Type: 3.6 x zoom lens - 55 - 200 mm - f/4.0-5.6 G Nikon AF-S DX VR, 3.6 x zoom lens - 55 - 200 mm - f/4.0-5.6 G ED Nikon AF-S DX, 5.5 x zoom lens - 55 - 300 mm - f/4.5-5.6

Filter Size: 52 mm, 58 mm

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 1.1 m, 95 cm, 1.4 m

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