Excerpt: For many years I have been using a Nikon F60 35mm camera getting some great results in my amateur hands. Late last year I decided to upgrade and get a DSLR, and after trawling the internet for hours decided to stick with Nikon and purchased the D3100 18-55mm VR kit.
Summary: The D3100 is the newest entry-level Nikon DSLR in a line that goes returning four decades to the D40 and, in probably the greatest update yet, benefits two key features: stay perspective and film documenting.
Excerpt: In the last several years, Nikon has been updating their 10MP, entry-level DSLR on an annual basis. In the past, the D40X, D60, and D3000 all share a version of the 10MP CCD sensor that was also used on the D200 and D80, but there have been some significant improvements such as the AF system.
Excerpt: Apparently, when Nikon decided to add video capture functionality to its D3000 follow-up, they weren't just kidding around. Not only have they made it the first Nikon DSLR to capture full 1080p (1920 x 1080) footage, but they also made it the "world's first" DSLR with full-time auto focus in Live...
Excerpt: The Nikon D3100 ups the D3000’s megapixel ante from 10.2 megapixels to 14.2, adds Live View, video capture, and support for all functions of AI-P Nikkor lenses except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II.
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.
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...
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 beginner's camera that encourages the user to grow into it, whatever their existing level of knowledge.
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, Unusua...
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-t...
Excerpt: The D3100 is Nikon's entry-level digital SLR, priced from just $699 with an 18 - 55 mm lens. The D3100 is a very user-friendly camera, with help screens and a unique "guide mode" that literally spells out what you need to do in order to get the shot you want.
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.
Summary: In short, the Nikon D3100 is an excellent entry-level camera. The only real detraction from this camera is the crippled video capture mode, which fails to completely serve the needs of the consumer (no reliable autofocus) or enthusiast (no manual exposure controls) as a video camera.