Nikon D3100 14.2 Megapixel Digital SLR Reviews Roundup

Nikon announces its latest entry-level digital SLR - the D3100 DSLR camera. The Nikon D3100 comes in the company's product line between the D3000 and D5000 models. It is based around a brand new Nikon-designed, DX-format, 14.2 Megapixel CMOS image sensor, together with Nikon's latest generation EXPEED 2 image processor. Comparing to the existing D3000, this D3100 has about 20% increase in resolution and a much better ISO support (from ISO 100 to 3,200 and extendable to 12,800 in Hi setting).

In additions to offering a live view function with full-time autofocus, the D3100 can capture full HD 1080p movie at 24 fps (frames per second), or shoot at 24 or 30 fps at 720p. The D3100 is the first DSLR to implement full time AF for D-Movie video shooting and while in Live View mode. Using contrast based AF, the D3100 automatically focuses on subjects when Live View is activated when using the LCD. The D3100 camera also uses Face Detection technology to lock focus on up to 35 human faces. Live View can be activated at a single flick of a dedicated switch, and HD video recording is achieved by a simple press of a button.

The D3100 also features an enhanced Guide Mode (introduced first in D3000) to help customers through on-demand, step-by-step assistance. This enhanced help function now features sample assist images that change with camera settings to inspire consumers to achieve a desired look and feel to their images, while guiding through easy to understand photographic techniques. For example, to instill the majestic appearance of moving water, users can select 'show water flowing' from the Guide Mode, and simply follow the prompts to create the ideal camera settings to capture an amazing image. The D3100's still image burst rate is 3 fps, the same as that of the D3000, and it also retains the same eleven-point Multi-Cam 1000 AF system, 420 pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix II metering sensor, Dust Reduction, and Picture Control systems.

The D3100 with AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR image stabilization kit lens is scheduled to be available in mid September 2010, at an estimated selling price of $699.95. The AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens will be available starting in September for $399.95.
"The D3000 combines the best of both worlds, providing picture takers with the ease-of-use currently offered in point-and-shoot cameras alongside the speed, precision and exceptional results that have made Nikon D-SLRs so popular," said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR Systems Products at Nikon Inc. "The D3000 offers everyone the ability to discover the superiority of D-SLR photography at an affordable price point. We look forward to enabling more consumers to explore the possibilities of D-SLR picture taking and, more importantly, capture life's memories faithfully."

Intuitive Assistance On-the-Fly
The D3000 includes the all-new Guide Mode with an easy-to-use interface to help new photographers build confidence in using a D-SLR with step-by-step instruction and inspiration. The Guide Mode, easily accessed by the Mode dial on the top of the camera, displays a variety of shooting situations via the LCD screen, indicating the most appropriate settings for a particular scenario. Users can also see sample photos on the LCD screen, which illustrate the effects of different photo-taking techniques. The Guide Mode also helps users easily review, organize and delete images.

Whether new to D-SLR photography or simply mastering new shooting techniques, the D3000's Guide Mode assists users in exploring effective picture taking solutions at their own pace to make capturing great pictures even easier.

Small in Size, Big on Features
With elegant ergonomics, softly rounded corners, and a comfortable grip, the D3000 packs powerful technology into a compact form factor. Though the D3000 is tiny when compared to professional D-SLR cameras, it boasts a large, bright three-inch 230,000-dot LCD screen, and now features an easier-to-read font size, 20 percent larger than in previous Nikon D-SLRs.

Quick performance and response are at the core of the D3000's design and its 11-point Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus system makes it easy to find and focus on a subject. Also, the D3000 offers split-second shutter response, eliminating the frustration of shutter lag, as well as the ability to capture images up to three frames per second, allowing users capture every moment. Users can enjoy the benefits of Nikon's advanced 3D Subject Tracking, which continuously focuses on a fast moving subject throughout the frame.

The D3000 provides multiple ways for users to engage with their pictures, post capture. It uses Nikon's extensive in-camera Retouch Menu, which allows users to easily apply a variety of fun and dramatic effects to their images even when away from a computer. The D3000 introduces a new Miniature effect, which changes the appearance of distant subjects to look like close-ups of miniature models. The D3000 also inherits the Soft Filter and Color Outline Retouch options from the D5000, allowing users to express their photography in a new and artistic way. As with all Nikon D-SLRs, the camera creates the new retouched image, while preserving the original.

For users who want to take their creativity to the next level, the D3000 also includes the ability to capture images in the NEF (RAW) format, in addition to traditional JPEG. Images captured with D3000 in the NEF (RAW) format include a greater amount of image data, which in turn, affords finer image control and higher uncompressed lossless image quality. With NEF (RAW) images, users can fine-tune the appearance of an image with simple adjustments to things like exposure, color saturation, brightness, and overall tone �V especially in the post-production process. Users can use Capture NX 2, Nikon's powerful image editing software, to achieve these desired effects.

Nikon extends the creativity with Stop-Motion Movie Mode. With this mode, users can choose a collection of images within the D3000's Retouch Menu, and the camera then compiles and stitches them into a fun and creative video file.

Renowned Nikon Technology
The D3000 leverages proven Nikon technologies to create the most positive picture taking experience for consumers. The D3000 delivers highly detailed images with vibrant color reproduction and low noise across a broad ISO range, due to its 10.2-megapixel CCD image sensor coupled with Nikon's exclusive EXPEED image processing system. The D3000's normal ISO range extends from ISO 100 to 1600, allowing for low light versatility. Additionally, the D3000's ISO range can expand to a Hi-1 setting of ISO 3200, furthering the opportunities for shots that other cameras miss.

The D3000 also makes use of Nikon's Active D-Lighting system, which automatically compensates to reveal veiled details in shadows and highlights in high-contrast situations. For instance, when selected, Nikon's Active D-Lighting can improve the appearance of fine detail in a person's face that was previously hidden in dark shadows or bring out the highlights in a beautifully backlit landscape.

Nikon's exclusive 3D Color Matrix Metering II, in conjunction with the EXPEED image processing system, contributes to the D3000's ability to capture breathtaking images by instantly evaluating the exposure elements of each scene and comparing it to an onboard database of information from more than 30,000 images. These split-second calculations allow the D3000 to ensure beautiful exposures even when conditions are extreme.

The D3000 also incorporates Nikon's Integrated Dust Reduction System, which offers a comprehensive solution that combats the accumulation of image-degrading dust from the camera's image sensor. The system not only utilizes an active sensor cleaning function that activates whenever the camera is turned on or off, but also the Airflow Control System to redirect dust particles, limiting their ability to reach the sensor.

System Expandability
Photographers and enthusiasts alike can also appreciate the D3000's system expandability, as the camera can work in conjunction with a variety of Nikon accessories, including a broad assortment of legendary NIKKOR AF-S interchangeable lenses. While the D3000 offers a versatile built-in flash, the camera is also compatible with Nikon's Creative Lighting System and capable of Advanced Wireless Lighting when using the SB-900 Speedlight or the SU-800 Wireless Commander.
The D3000's design also supports Eye-Fi memory card functionality, enabling the convenient wireless transfer of images from the D3000 to a computer, when using Eye-Fi memory cards.* Additionally, photos can be securely written to readily available SD cards, high-capacity SDHC cards and Eye-Fi memory cards, offering users a range of data storage options. 

Nikon D3100 Sample Photos on Flickr



Nikon D3100 Camera Reviews Roundup


Digital Camera Info - Nov 05 2011
"The Nikon D3100 is a solid entry-level DSLR that is aimed squarely at those looking for an easy-to-use camera that offers affordable performance and interchangeable lenses. It's a lightweight camera that handles well, offers a great deal of control, and produces some very nice images without blinding the user with a glut of terminology and byzantine menu op..." More »
79out of 100
GearGuide - Apr 01 2011
"In several regards the Nikon D3100 is a very compelling choice for both inexperienced photographers looking to move up to their first DSLR camera, and for slightly more skilled photographers simply looking for an affordable entry into the Nikon DSLR stable. There are no worries here in the image quality department, as the D3100 delivers very attractive capt..." More »
70out of 100
bythom - Mar 23 2011
"The D3100 is very close to the D7000 here (but does not match it). The same things I see in D7000 low light work I see here: some modest luminance noise that can be tolerated, but noise reduction techniques tend to destroy edge and detail integrity. That's true of the in-camera noise reduction, too. The implication here is that the dynamic range is as good..." More »
60out of 100
digitalcameraHQ - Mar 05 2011
"This is perhaps the most well-balanced entry-level dSLR out right now. There aren't any deal-breaking flaws. Nikon knows how to design a comfortable, intuitive shooter, and even first-timers should feel relatively comfortable shooting this after a bit of practice. The control scheme is tight enough to keep owners interested as they become intermediate shoot..." More »
80out of 100
NeoCamera - Feb 23 2011
"Note that the Nikon D3100 is only sold with a kit-lens in some markets. This specific lens is the Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6G VR. As this lens is of poor quality, get a higher-quality lens to avoid disappointments. This is clearly visible in tests and real-world photography. Towards the long end, things are rather soft until stopped down to F/11. This..." More »
100out of 100
PhoBlographer - Feb 21 2011
"In my time with the Nikon D3100, I had an interesting thought. It will make a nice family DSLR. A camera like the D3100 can play many roles in a family without breaking the bank. It's features, menus  and ease of use make it an ideal camera to capture special moments. The camera is a great photography training tool for that your photographer in your li..." More »
Not Rated
Digital Camera Review - Feb 18 2011
"D3100 video image quality is pretty good in most cases and the camera can transition from still to video capture fairly quickly - flip the live view switch to enable live view, acquire focus with the shutter button and begin capture by pressing the movie record button. On the negative side, clip length is limited to 10 minutes no matter what resolution the..." More »
80out of 100
PCWorld - Feb 16 2011
"The image quality on the D3100 is average for its class and price range. The camera shoots JPEG and raw images, and noise reduction is surprisingly effective, even at 3200 ISO. Check out our lab's test images. Click the thumbnails at left to view the full-size, original files. In our subjective tests the camera received a word score of Good for exposur..." More »
70out of 100
Digital Camera Review - Feb 03 2011
"Our review D3100 kit arrived yesterday, along with a VR 55-300mm zoom Nikon debuted at the same time as the camera. Here's a few shots with the kit lens, and a couple hummingbirds with the 55-300. The D3100 starts quickly, with shutter lag and focus acquisition times in keeping with the high level of performance expected from even an entry-level DSLR...." More »
Not Rated
Trusted Reviews - Jan 10 2011
"Of course this model has been constructed to hit a certain price point and there are features that we would have inevitably liked to have had to hand that aren't here, such as a tilting LCD screen for a greater creative variety when it comes to lining up shots.  As with all kit lenses, in trying to be all things to all men, the supplied 18-55mm standar..." More »
90out of 100
dpreview - Dec 22 2010
"The D3100 is the latest entry-level Nikon DSLR in a line that dates back four years to the D40 and, in arguably the biggest upgrade yet, gains two key features: live view and movie recording. Both of these were starting to look like awkward omissions, and are made possible by the D3100's new 14Mp sensor. Despite this it successfully continues the emphasis o..." More »
72out of 100
Imaging Resource - Dec 15 2010
"While the Nikon D3100 carries a list price slightly higher than that of the company's most affordable SLR, it offers a number of very worthwhile improvements that make it easy to justify the extra cost. Key among these for most photographers will be its better image quality. For an extra $150 above the list price of the D3000, the Nikon D3100 not only provi..." More »
Not Rated
Digital Camera Resource Page - Dec 11 2010
"Camera performance was generally excellent. Flip the power switch and the D3100 is ready to start taking photos. If you're composing photos with the optical viewfinder, you'll find that the camera locks focus very quickly. In low light situations, the D3100's bright AF-assist lamp helps keep focus times under a second in most cases. As I mentioned above, li..." More »
Not Rated
Photography BLOG - Nov 30 2010
"If you've read the entire review, you will probably agree that the Nikon D3100 produces image quality that defies its entry-level status. Compared to the one-year-old D3000, Nikon has managed to simultaneously increase the pixel count and improve quality at high sensitivity settings, with the D3100 enjoying at least one stop of advantage over its predecesso..." More »
90out of 100
PhotographyBay - Nov 12 2010
"As usual with Nikons, I was impressed with the colors and saturation straight out of the camera.  Additionally, this is the first entry-level camera I have had the pleasure of using that produces usable photos throughout the ISO range.  Sure, there's some grain/noise at the higher sensitivity settings, but the ISO 12,800 equivalent is totally usab..." More »
Not Rated
ePhotoZine - Nov 05 2010
"The Nikon D3100 DSLR offers excellent value for money and is currently the cheapest DSLR with full HD video recording, as the nearest competitor, the Canon EOS 550D, costs over £100 more. If you want to be able to take great photos with low noise, and have the ability to record full HD videos, then the D3100 with VR kit lens makes a great case for itself.&..." More »
90out of 100
Camera Labs - Nov 03 2010
"With the D3100, Nikon has delivered what's arguably the most powerful entry-level DSLR to date. The image quality looks great, there's both Live View and 1080p HD video, and one of the friendliest user interfaces on the market. So it's the best budget DSLR, right? Not quite. Normally 'entry-level' and 'budget' describe the same category, but while the..." More »
84out of 100
PhotoRadar - Oct 30 2010
"Aiming to take the entry-level DSLR market by storm, Nikon's new D3100 boasts a 14.2MP CMOS sensor, Live View, Full HD movie capture and an impressive ISO range, offering major improvements to the best-selling D3000. But how does it stack up under our rigorous tests? Read our in-depth Nikon D3100 review and find out. Make no mistake, the Nikon D3000 wa..." More »
80out of 100
SteveHuff - Oct 27 2010
"The good: The Nikon is a nice little DLR that is small in size and can give you very good image quality. It has 1080P HD video capabilities, as well as a high resolution sensor that can give you enough power for big prints. It's an improvement over the D3000 without question and it has the Nikon look, feel and spirit. If you have some Nikon glass and w..." More »
Not Rated
DigitalReview - Oct 27 2010
"The Nikon D3100 offers some notable improvements compared to the earlier released Nikon D3000, both from a feature point of view and an ergonomic standpoint. The D3100's 14.2 megapixel (MP) sensor offers increased resolution compared to the 10.2 megapixel sensor in the D3000, allowing for more latitude in cropping into an image and even larger file sizes to..." More »
Not Rated
Pocket-lint - Oct 26 2010
"Assessing image quality when only utilising the provided kit lens can be tricky as using a different and better-specified lens would open up greater scope for quality (relative to the sensor's ability). As it stands the provided 18-55mm kit lens is fine, though couldn't be deemed as exceptionally sharp - it does a great job and there's plenty of scope to bu..." More »
90out of 100
CNET - Oct 15 2010
"The camera's response times are fast -- impressively so, given its target audience. A flick of the power switch and photographers will be shooting with the D3100 as fast as their fingers can reach the shutter-release button. The top photo-capture speed in continuous-shooting mode is a modest 3 frames per second, but the D3100 features a slightly better..." More »
90out of 100
PhotoReview Australia - Oct 11 2010
"Pictures from the review camera and lens were up to expectations. Exposures were better positioned than with the D3000 so we found less highlight clipping in JPEG shots. Colours were recorded with a natural-looking balance under most lighting types and in-focus images were sharp and detailed. Provided lighting was adequate, the review camera's autofocu..." More »
85out of 100
KenRockwell - Oct 06 2010
"In Auto ISO, it digs as deep as it needs to get the shot, up to ISO 3,200 by default. At ISO 3,200, image quality looks like it came from a cell phone: it's grainy and softer. A firmware defect causes the Auto ISO to rise to the same high ISO it would pick without flash. In other words, with Auto ISO and flash, you'll usually be shooting at ISO 3,..." More »
Not Rated
Pocket-lint - Aug 24 2010
"Naturally, there's plenty more to these cameras than a spec sheet can tell us, and the spec sheets for DSLRs are about as long as you can get. Beyond the physicals, each camera is packed full of its manufacture's latest and greatest technologies which are usually equivalent even if not directly comparable. For example while the D3100 has Nikon's Active..." More »
Not Rated
ePhotoZine - Aug 22 2010
"The D3100 was the headline news, but the four lenses are also significant. It was a pity that the samples on hand for us to handle were not final production samples. I did take a few shots with the 85mm f/1.4, 24-120mm f/4 and the 28-300mm on the proviso that they were not to be published, hence we have nothing to show here. Never the less, I was impre..." More »
Not Rated
Imaging Resource - Aug 19 2010
"For still-camera purists, the Nikon D3000 remains in the lineup, but if you want the second-highest resolution Nikon with full HD video, you can have it for just $l50 more with the Nikon D3100 digital SLR. With the D5000 selling at the same price, the only reason to consider that over the D3100 is the articulating screen. Much of Nikon's lineup, though popu..." More »
Not Rated
dpreview - Aug 19 2010
"At first glance the D3100 looks a lot like its predecessor but the changes are more significant than the small numerical change would suggest. The higher resolution sensor brings with it all manner of other enhancements such as live view and video capability. These additions, of course, require subtle changes to the camera body to accomodate them. In additi..." More »
Not Rated

DSLR Photography Latest Posts





Cameras In The Article
 
1595 user reviews


User Review of the camera - Nikon D3100

  • 2014-08-14 07:00
    Five Stars, sergio pena
    Verified Purchase(
    Excellent, arrived quickly
  • 2014-08-13 07:00
    Great camera, Matt
    Verified Purchase(
    Bought this for my wife a few years back and she loves it. Uses whenever we go on trips and for walks. Takes awesome pictures with a couple different kinds of lenses. Would definitely recommend getting photo editor software to play with the images.
  • 2014-08-13 07:00
    Five Stars, lisa
    Verified Purchase(
    Great purchase. It was nice that it even included the original box.
  • 2014-08-11 07:00
    Great for an entry DSLR, trshmnstr
    Verified Purchase(
    Really good entry DSLR. There are enough options that I can get my manual adjustment fix, and my wife can turn on an automatic mode to get it closer to a point and shoot. The lens does a great job, and is really sharp.
  • 2014-08-10 07:00
    BEST entry level dslr of its time, and probably STILL the best for this price., john howards
    I bought it when it was 550 and that was a great deal. now that its like 300, its a beautiful deal. this camera is one of the best cheap entry dslrs. (compares about even maybe a little ahead of canon's t1i.) autofocus on video is not great since it makes a lot of noise and the external mic options limited. still, took this camera under the niagara falls, it got wet and it works fine. amazing picture quality. upgraded to d5100 for the flip out (and nicer) screen, which i feel was the greatest complaint. the screen is okay, but might need to zoom in to see if the pic is focused or not. taken 10-20k pics on this camera maybe, and it works like a charm. guide mode helped me with some basics while i was still learning, but not too useful for most. if you want to take up dlsr photography but want to get good before you invest in a pro camera, this is it. i would have been content to use this body forever but the d5100 was a once in a lifetime deal from a friend so i upgraded.
  • 2014-08-09 07:00
    I love the results I get with my Nikon D3100!, Marty Harrison
    Verified Purchase(
    This camera has far exceeded my expectations. It is a very versatile camera. It's great for the novice photographer. It produces colorful, sharp images, has a long battery life, it is easy to use, and fairly compact in size.
  • 2014-08-09 07:00
    Five Stars, Abilio Barros
    Great pruduct!
  • 2014-08-08 07:00
    Terrific Camera, James F. Hassett
    Terrific camera. My pictures are getting to be of professional quality.
  • 2014-08-06 07:00
    Perfect for a beginner., EKPK
    Verified Purchase(
    Perfect for a beginner.
  • 2014-08-05 07:00
    great seller, Michele Cox
    Verified Purchase(
    Great lense great seller got what i wanted!
  • 2014-08-05 07:00
    Five Stars, Okairy vazquez
    Verified Purchase(
    Love my new camera
  • 2014-08-05 07:00
    Five Stars, Daniel Esquivel
    Verified Purchase(
    Amazing camera for starters. Great quality and cost effective. Very happy with this camera.
  • 2014-07-31 07:00
    Five Stars, Kialanda Nsidiovova
    Gooooood
  • 2014-07-31 07:00
    Great camera for begginers, Emily
    Verified Purchase(
    Great camera! This is excellent for somebody who doesn't have tons of money for expensive photography equipment, but still wants quality pictures. The quality is great, it's easy to work, and understand, and it's reasonably priced. I bought a 55-200 mm lens for it, however, because the zoom was not adequate enough for me. Overall, though, great camera.
  • 2014-07-30 07:00
    Five Stars, Eric Carter
    Verified Purchase(
    great camera works amazing
  • 2014-07-28 07:00
    Awesome camera for a newby like me, Thamyn
    Verified Purchase(
    Awesome camera for a newby like me. Just wish the site would have stated "memory card sold and usb cable not included"
  • 2014-07-28 07:00
    Five Stars, J. Byrne
    Verified Purchase(
    Real nice, Easy to use
  • 2014-07-23 07:00
    TOP NOTCH SHIPMENT OF THE WORLD CRAIG, Claude curry
    Verified Purchase(
    GREAT PRODUCT THE WIFE LOVES IT AND I LOVE THE PICTURE THANKS EVERYTHING I WANTED...
  • 2014-07-23 07:00
    Two Stars, Bryce B
    Just letting you all know the next model up, the d3200 is cheaper than this. Don't get ripped off.
  • 2014-07-22 07:00
    Love it, Timouth
    Verified Purchase(
    This camera was such a good deal, and it took my photography to a whole new level.