Nikon D3100 review: A an entry-level digital SLR with great image quality and HD video recording
Good Gear Guide.au
14 April 2011
Summary: The Nikon D3100 may only be an entry-level SLR camera, but it's capable of supplying very good image quality and it also has the ability to shoot HD video. It's a comfortable camera to hold and an easy one to use, and its in-built guides allow you to learn how to use its manual features on-the-fly. It's a great model for a novice user.
Pros: Very good image quality, HD video capability, compact and comfortable body, built-in guides are useful, excellent high ISO performance
Cons: Menu could use more detail, no dedicated ISO button, no microphone jack, screen doesn't swivel
Excerpt: Like last year's D3000, the new Nikon D3100 is a rather small DSLR camera, although it does come with a fairly chunky right-hand grip that makes it better suited to hand-held shooting than some of its competitors. Still, expect having to find a place for your little finger under the camera if you have larger-than-average hands.
Excerpt: Falling into line just above Nikon's other entry-level Nikon D3000 DSLR, the Nikon D3100 has some fresh features that make it a very attractive DSLR option for photographers who are starting out.
Pros: Shoots HD video; Autofocus in movie and live view modes; Good image quality for the price; Intuitive controls and guide menu for beginners; Good low light abilites
Cons: Autofocus makes noise in movie mode; Fixed LCD screen; No exposure bracketing
Excerpt: The D3100 is the latest incarnation of a line of cameras that – if we’re brutally honest – we find a bit annoying. In an effort not to bamboozle first-time SLR users, it presents most photographic options via the LCD screen and navigation pad. That might feel familiar for compact camera owners, but are labelled buttons really so terrifying? We much prefer controls that keep key settings within easy reach and encourage experimentation.
Summary: 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.
Pros: 14.2 megapixel sensor with low noise, Lowest price DSLR with full HD Video, Very good ISO performance, Good battery life, Excellent video, Easy to use with built in guide, Quiet shutter – with additional quiet live view option
Cons: Only autofocuses with AF-S lenses, Continuous shooting not available with flash, 3fps continuous shooting beginning to look dated