Nikon D3100 Review

david.smith.segarra March 12, 2014 2
Nikon D3100 Review

What can I say? I’m a Nikon fan! Nikon have a habit of developing very attractive entry-level DSLRs which are easy to use and enjoyable to shoot with and the Nikon D3100 is no different!

My good friend Zee lent me his Nikon D3100 and have been using it for over a month now and can say it is a great camera to start your photography journey off with.

The Nikon D3100 has a 14.2 megapixol CMOS sensor and has live view and also full HD video capabilities. 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 D3100 is light and portable, weighing 455 grams for the body only. Attach a non-kit lens to the camera, such as the excellent 35mm f/1.8 DX model, and away you go with lightweight shooting.

For beginners, the D3100 is equipped with Guide mode, just like the D3000, but it has been refined to make it easier to use. Guide mode provides an interface to help new users achieve specific looks from changing aperture and shutter speeds, but without using the photographic terminology, which is perfect for beginners like me!

The D3100 is really easy for a first-time user to pick up and start shooting with straight away, either using the Guide mode or full automatic, but there are plenty of other options for more advanced photographers.

Nikon D3100 Key Features

  • 14.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor
  • 3.0″ LCD monitor (230,000 dots)
  • Image sensor cleaning (sensor shake)
  • 11 AF points (with 3D tracking)
  • IS0 100-3200 range (12,800 expanded)
  • HD movies (1080p, 720p or WVGA)

 

As you can see from the table below the D3100’s specification not only exceeds that of its predecessor, but also in some respects that of its more expensive bigger brother.

Nikon D3100

Nikon D3000

Nikon D5000

Sensor • 14.2 million effective pixels• 23.1 x 15.4 mm CMOS (DX format) • 10.2 million effective pixels• 23.6 x 15.8 mm CCD (DX format) • 12.3 million effective pixels• 23.6 x 15.8 mm CMOS (DX format)
Image sizes • 4608 x 3072 (14.2 MP)
• 3456 x 2304• 2304 x 1536
• 3872 x 2592 (10.0 MP)
• 2896 x 1944
• 1936 x 1296
• 4288 x 2848 (12 MP)
• 3216 x 2136
• 2144 x 1424
Movie mode Yes
1080p24
720p30/25/24
424p24
No Yes
720p24
Live View Yes No Yes
Sensor cleaning • Image Sensor Cleaning
• Airflow control system
• Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)
• Image Sensor Cleaning
• Airflow control system
• Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)
• Image Sensor Cleaning
• Airflow control system
• Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)
Autofocus • 11 area TTL
• Nikon Multi-CAM1000
• 11 area TTL
• Nikon Multi-CAM1000
• 11 area TTL
• Nikon Multi-CAM1000
In-body focus motor • No • No • No
AF area modes • Single point
• Dynamic area
• Auto area
• 3D Tracking (11-points)
• Single point
• Dynamic area
• Auto area
• 3D Tracking (11-points)
• Single point
• Dynamic area
• Auto area
• 3D Tracking (11-points)
AF drive mode • AF-A
• AF-S
• AF-C
• MF
• AF-F (Live view only)
• AF-A
• AF-S
• AF-C
• MF
• AF-A
• AF-S
• AF-C
• MF
Live view AF modes • Face priority
• Wide area
• Normal area
• Subject tracking
N/A • Face priority
• Wide area
• Normal area
• Subject tracking
Sensitivity • ISO 100 – 3200
• To ISO 12800 with boost
• ISO 100 – 1600
• To ISO 3200 with boost
• ISO 200 – 3200
• ISO 100-6400 with boost
Continuous • 3 fps • 3 fps
• 25 / 7 frames (Fine JPEG / RAW)
• 4 fps
• 63 / 11 frames (Fine JPEG / RAW)
Viewfinder magnification • 0.8x • 0.8x • 0.78x
Viewfinder Frame coverage • Approx. 95% • Approx. 95% • Approx. 95%
LCD monitor • 3.0″ TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixel TFT
• 3.0″ TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixel TFT
• 2.7″ TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixel TFT
• Articulated
Dimensions 124 x 96 x 74.5 mm (4.9 x 3.7 x 3.0 in) 126 x 94 x 64 mm (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in) 127 x 104 x 80 mm (5.0 x 4.1 x 3.1 in)
Weight • No battery: 455 g (1.0 lb)
• With battery: 505 g (1.1 lb)
• No battery: 484 g (1.1 lb)
• With battery: 534 g (1.2 lb)
• No battery: 560 g (1.2 lb)
• With battery: 611 g (1.3 lb)
Image processing engine • Expeed 2
• 12 bit
• Expeed
• 12 bit
• Expeed
• 12 bit
Active D-lighting On/Off On/Off Auto, Extra high, High, Normal, Low, or Off
Automatic chromatic aberration correction Yes No Yes
In-camera retouching • D-Lighting
• Red-eye reduction• Trimming• Monochrome & filter effects• Color balance• Small picture• Image overlay• NEF (RAW) processing• Quick retouch
• Straighten
• Distortion control
• Fisheye
• Color outline
• Perspective control
• Miniature effect
• Edit movie
• D-Lighting
• Red-eye reduction
• Trimming
• Monochrome & filter effects
• Color balance
• Small picture
• Image overlay
• NEF (RAW) processing
• Quick retouch
• Color outline
• Miniature effect
• Stop-motion movie
• D-Lighting
• Red-eye reduction
• Trimming
• Monochrome & filter effects
• Color balance
• Small picture
• Image overlay
• NEF (RAW) processing
• Quick retouch
• Straighten
• Distortion control
• Fisheye
• Color outline
• Perspective control
Bracketing No No Yes

2 Comments »

  1. Damian Brown April 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    LOVED mine… Miss it!!

  2. david.smith.segarra May 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Hey Damian,

    Yeah it’s a great camera, isn’t it? Can’t wait to get my hands on a D7000 though…

Leave A Response »