Excerpt: Nikon D3100 Review Nikon fixes the broken D3000, mostly Add a comment or send Thom feedback on this article. I'm going to try to keep this short, as there isn't a lot to talk about beyond what I've already written about low-end Nikon DSLRs.
Pros: Wide isn't wide . Nikon hasn't really produced a true wide angle that's small enough to complement this camera., Video is wobbly. Rolling shutter problems are about as bad as I've seen in a DSLR. Talking head videos are okay; roller blade action, not so much., Complicated for a beginner's camera . The "GUIDE" doesn't. The normal menu system scrolls too much (esp. the SETUP menu).
Cons: Wide isn't wide . Nikon hasn't really produced a true wide angle that's small enough to complement this camera., Video is wobbly. Rolling shutter problems are about as bad as I've seen in a DSLR. Talking head videos are okay; roller blade action, not so much., Complicated for a beginner's camera . The "GUIDE" doesn't. The normal menu system scrolls too much (esp. the SETUP menu)., Good AF. Like the D3000, the AF system is decent, even with Live View for stationary sub...
Conclusion: It's all very well having a posh specifications list and a barrow-load of features, but it's how they translate into photographic quality that's key. With great handling for such a small SLR and impeccable image quality in practically every shot, the Nikon D3100 is both highly impressive and utterly dependable.
Summary: Oddly, both Nikons lack standard exposure bracketing, where the camera takes three shots instead of one -- one normal, one at a slightly higher exposure and one slightly lower -- just in case the normal exposure wasn't quite right. Even so, PhotographyBlog.com calls the D3100 "a surprisingly well-featured and complete package for an entry-level digital SLR camera.
Pros: Great image quality for the price, Compact and lightweight, Easy for beginners to use
Cons: Movie mode is limited, No external microphone jack
Excerpt: The Nikon D3100 is one of the hottest digital SLRs on the market right now. The great price (under $600 with a lens), plenty of features, excellent image quality and access to Nikon’s excellent lenses make it a no-brainer for first time digital SLR buyers or even serious photographers on a budget.
Summary: The D3100 is a refinement of the D3000 which now sits at the low-end of Nikon's entry-level DSLRs. The notable changes are a 14 megapixels sensor and 1080p video capability with autofocus. It is a relatively compact DSLR with the most basic feature set. The D3100 is directly aimed at new DLSR owners. Among entry-level DSLRs, the Nikon D3100 is one of the most basic but also one of the most consistent in terms of performance.
Pros: Very low image noise, Excellent white-balance, Conservative metering, Accurate autofocus system, Short shutter-lag, Good shot-to-shoot speed, Excellent time-to-first-shot, Generally good ergonomics, Full HD video with autofocus, Good build quality, Easily usable with gloves on
Cons: Slow autofocus, Uneven color response, Slight image softness, LCD glare when settings are changed, Live-View not exposure-priority, Microphone records camera noise, Impossible to setup video framing, Limited interface control, No exposure bracketing, Odd Auto ISO behavior, Exposure steps always 1/3 EV, Lens mount lacks mechanical-coupling
Summary: Like earlier entry-level Nikon DSLRs, some older lenses that lack built-in motors won’t work with the camera. The unit feels plasticky in hand, and you should be careful in wet weather, as it’s not well-sealed. Video settings are limited, but this camera is a good foray into the DSLR world.
Pros: Lightweight and compact; low cost; good low-light performance.
Cons: Body balance feels awkward; limited manual (but built-in guide is useful)
Summary: With the addition of video and live view, Nikon has given its entry-level DSLR all the features its predecessor seemed to be missing. The result is an excellent beginners camera that encourages the user to grow into it whatever their existing level of knowledge. However, it's not alone in offering this and, though it's a great DSLR, there are plenty of equally attractive mirrorless alternatives.
Pros: Very good image quality, Unintimidating interface, but with plenty of manual control, Easily accessible Live View and Movie controls, Useful drive mode lever (unique on an SLR at this price level), Highly sophisticated AF system for the price, Easy manual selection of off-centre AF points, Unusually fast Live View AF for an SLR (but still relatively slow compared to mirrorless competitors), Lots of 'hand-holding' features for beginners (Guide mode, help screens for mo...
Cons: Slight tendency to overexpose in contrasty conditions, Buggy Live View / Movie Mode (movies aren't necessarily recorded at set aperture), Crude live view magnification is of little help for critical manual focus, No live histogram in live view, AF still a little sluggish in live view mode, full-time AF not very effective in live view or movies, Only direct external ISO control is via slightly inconveniently-placed 'Fn' button, ISO is only displayed in viewfinder when ...
Excerpt: Quote from review: "Ho-hum-another new DSLR that shoots HD video. That was our reaction at the announcement of this new Nikon geared for first-timers to interchangeable lens ranks. And yet there's something unique about this camera we'll share with you in a click or two.
Summary: Considering that you can get the D3100 for $250 less than Canon's Rebel T2i, the D3100 stacks up well against that top dog of the entry level. Sure, it trails the Canon a bit in resolution and focusing speed, especially in dim light. But the D3100 has even more accurate colors than the Canon and basically matches it in noise performance.