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
 
1564 user reviews


User Review of the camera - Nikon D3100

  • 2014-07-20 07:00
    Five Stars, Amazon Customer
    Super buy
  • 2014-07-17 07:00
    Love it, Javier Jose Ariza "Javier J. Ariza"
    Verified Purchase(
    Grate CAM !!!!! Love it
  • 2014-07-16 07:00
    This camera is amazing! The pictures are so much better quality than ..., Amanda
    This camera is amazing! The pictures are so much better quality than any camera I have had before. This is my first DSLR and I am really enjoying it.
  • 2014-07-16 07:00
    great camera with great pictures, grammieann
    Verified Purchase(
    husband bought it for me for chirstmas and now he uses it move than myself love the quality of pictures that it takes
  • 2014-07-14 07:00
    Five Stars, David E. Ruck "docdave"
    good
  • 2014-07-13 07:00
    Its ok, Jenny Tsai
    Verified Purchase(
    Not very intuitive and takes awhile to get use to settings as i am a Canon fan. Lens that comes with the camera is very limited and only good for closer range shots. Not great for low light indoor shots.
  • 2014-07-10 07:00
    perfect camera!, David
    As described, perfect camera!
  • 2014-07-08 07:00
    Five Stars, joaquin alfonso
    Verified Purchase(
    excelent
  • 2014-07-05 07:00
    Amazing camera! BUY it., HouseOfPink
    I have been wanting a "real" camera for a while now, and I did a lot of research, and I also asked a friend, who gets paid to take photos, what she uses. I needed something that I could afford, but something that I would not be wanting to replace soon. I love buying older model devices because I know all the pros and cons. I have had this camera only a few days, but I have used it a lot in this short time due to many activities that were planned for my children. I have shot so many pictures. I have never been so happy with a camera in my life. I already have other people wanting to buy this camera after seeing my pictures either on the camera or on Facebook. I was nervous about having this kind of camera since I have only used a point and shoot or my iphone, but I cannot believe I never did! The pictures I have taken are unbelievably good. The flash is amazing. Everything is crisp and beautiful when printed out. I want to take this camera everywhere! I bought a fast memory card, and I can take photos very quickly.
    This camera was a gift, but I was going to purchase it for Christmas. Amazon had a great price around $389, when bought. Give this camera a try. I will be surprised if you dislike it. I have an AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR/DSLR Cameras and Accessories - Black to carry it around. It is a very nice backpack. I wanted something that did not look like a camera bag to lessen the possibility of being beat up to take my camera, but protection for the camera and something that would not hurt my shoulders or back.
  • 2014-07-04 07:00
    Again I received a good product but not the lenses I ordered., amose
    Verified Purchase(
    Good quality product, like new however I noticed that the Dk -20 rubber eyecup was repaired ( ha! I found were it was repaired Nikon! you should be careful and leave no trace if the description is restored to "like new condition")
    Only 4 stars because I ordered the camera and the 18-55mm VR lenses, but I got the Non VR ED II instead. I will contact the seller and update this review.
  • 2014-06-11 07:00
    Great Camera., clicster
    Verified Purchase(
    I have only had the camera for few months now but it works great. Takes pictures quickly. The quality is good. And provides much better depth of field with the standard lens then I thought.
    We took it on vacation with us and came back with better pictures than we have ever had.
    I'm just a beginner to the DSLRs. This camera appears to have all of the features that I need to begin taking better pictures and to learn how to use some of the more advanced features. I'm glad I didn't spend more money on a camera with features that I probably wouldn't appreciate, at least not at my current level of expertise.
  • 2014-06-09 07:00
    Didn't get the VR upgrade on the 200 mm lens!, Xavier
    Verified Purchase(
    That's basically it, didn't get what I paid for! Everything was perfect until I noticed only the 55mm lens had VR. Thanks for cheating me out of my money.
  • 2014-06-07 07:00
    Absolutely amazing first DSLR for Mother's Day, Brandon
    Verified Purchase(
    I got this camera for my mom on mother's day, and she absolutely loves it! The camera provides excellent pictures and comes with a decent lens.
    Pros:
    -Very cost efficient DSLR capable of taking 1080p video with a 14MP sensor.
    -Great low light capabilities.
    -Stunning pictures and videos.
    -Comes with very strong flash, able to put external flash.
    -Accurate Autofocus with 11 points.
    Cons:
    -Autofocus during video makes a very loud noise and it shows up on video. Since you aren't able to plug in an external Mic, this takes off a star.
    -No simple way to adjust ISO and Aperture on the fly. Interface is a bit complicated for beginners.
  • 2014-06-04 07:00
    Nice camera, j.torok
    Verified Purchase(
    Takes great pictures, allows for customizing your picture content, and has decent memory. Picture quality is not as good as my old film version but what are your choices today?
  • 2014-05-31 07:00
    great camera, Andrea K "andrea"
    Verified Purchase(
    nice quality camera. easy to use. a professional photographer said to me, "D3100? nice choice" which made me extra happy with my purchase. lots of features i don't understand though...a class would be useful
  • 2014-05-30 07:00
    Perfect!, Marquise Ryan
    Verified Purchase(
    Came as described,all original boxes and packages,instruction manuals,great quality,alot of features,the manuals arent that helpful though,just a bunch of reading!
  • 2014-05-28 07:00
    Great camera, great price!, Frank Scott
    Verified Purchase(
    Very good entry level dslr, very easy to use. The extra lens is a great bonus, I am very pleased with this purchase.
  • 2014-05-26 07:00
    great, Gray Smile
    Verified Purchase(
    I got for a great price was cheaper than picking it up at a store and came with every thing u need. im so in love with it.
  • 2014-05-26 07:00
    Excelent, Argenis Andrade
    Verified Purchase(
    Great product I really do not recommend it for all those who want to acquire will not disappoint more thak
  • 2014-05-26 07:00
    Wonderful camera, S.L
    Verified Purchase(
    This camera, of course, is targeted to those entering the DSLR world. I am myself just beginning to take the baby steps and I got a really good camera to get me started! This camera is amazing. The pictures are crisp, and I definitely love the "Guide" mode. The camera is light weight and not so big like other DSLR cameras. I agree that the lens that comes with the kit is not that amazing, but it does a decent job. I had to spend quite an amount of money for this camera, so the lens is going to wait just a bit. Overall however, this camera is great. If you're contemplating between the D3000 and D5000, DON'T. Get the D3100. Period...OK...gotta go take some night shots...man this camera rules...