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
Summary: Nikon has chucked HD movie capture into its DSLRs before, but the D3100 is the first where it feels properly thought out. This camera can snaffle movies at 1920x1080 resolution and a film-aping 24fps – yep, the same speed as proper cinema film. If you want more frames per second, you can drop the detail down to 1280x720 and get 30fps.
Excerpt: Nikon’s presence in the entry-level DSLR market has been strong for many years, and following the success of the D60 and D3000 , the latest D3100 amps things up a couple of gears. With a storming features-list that takes advantage of relatively sparse recent competitor model releases, can this new DSLR live up to the hype?
Pros: Guide Mode, Full HD movie capture, well-handled image quality
Cons: Pricier than many entry-level models, no Depth of Field preview button, limitations to movie capture
Summary: Nikon's new entry-level DSLR features a 14.2-megapixel sensor and 1080p video recording. The D3100 steps into the entry level position in Nikon's line-up featuring a new sensor with higher resolution than its predecessor's and an expanded sensitivity range. It also adds Live View shooting plus Full HD video recording. Autofocusing is supported in Movie mode and the Guide mode settings from the D3000 have been ported into the new model and enhanced with extra functions.
Pros: You want an easy-to use DSLR camera that will help you to use and understand common shooting controls., You want a wide range of post-capture, in-camera image adjustments., You require superior high-ISO performance., You'd like the option of shooting raw and RAW+JPEG files., You want a camera than can record HD video clips.
Cons: You want fast and accurate autofocusing in low light levels., You require fast continuous shooting speeds plus a large buffer memory for raw files.