Digital Cameras

Nikon D3100: Review

The Nikon D3100 is a digital SLR for families and younger users who want to explore the world of professional photography, thanks to its ease of use. Heir to the Nikon D3000, this camera has a 14.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, the EXPEED image processing system 2, wide range of available lenses, dual dust reduction system, Full HD movie recording, a sensitivity up to ISO 3200, Live View mode with the automatic scene recognition system, the AF mode, HDMI input, a 3-inch display with a resolution of 230,000 pixels and, of course, full manual control.

Nikon D3100: Design

The design of the Nikon D3100 recalls, in many respects, the aesthetics of the classic well-known brand. The camera body is made of high-quality resin with matt finished surface and effect. On the right side of the camera is the rubber insert to increase the strength of the grip as well as the rubber used for the support to the thumb.

The relatively low weight remains solid to the machine that gives us a feedback from real SLR, although it’s an entry-level. The overall design is very similar to that of Nikon D3000 with the exception of the new mode dial located on the back of the Nikon D3100. In addition to this new ring, we also find the button to play movies and the presence of the selection button live view. Overall, the design of the Nikon D3100 is valid as well as the build quality that distinguishes the brand.

Nikon D3100: Features and Functionality

The Nikon D3100 shows in a sense a step forward with the 3-inch LCD display on the back of the camera body, which is larger than the predecessors, though still not convince a lot. The resolution of the LCD is around 230000 pixels that return fairly reliably the image is in live view and playback.

Clearly, someone who will use a camera like this, even though entry-level, will prefer to use the optical viewfinder which comes with a coverage of 95%, which, by the way, is very bright. A lack in my opinion, quite serious with regard to the display is the absence of information on the ISO as well as the complete absence of a proximity sensor that would automatically shut down the display as soon as you approach it with an eye to the optical viewfinder: this lack will turn up their noses at some many fans.

Nikon D3100
Nikon D3100

The sensor of the Nikon D3100 is a 14.2 MP CMOS knows of 23.1×15.4 mm with a ratio of 3:2 which blends in well with the lens that came with the camera body an AF-S VR DX 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 ( the market is quietly the body only without lens included), to further improve the pictures, we think the new system EXPEED image processing 2.

Turning to the upper body in front of the new machine will be perhaps the most important of the Nikon D3100 and that is the control dial programs shutter, which was placed next to a lever for the final control of fast drive mode that allowed you to choose between shooting Single, burst, self-timer and silent shutter.

An interesting feature is represented by the way the “Help” that supports the novice user to understand the controls, settings and camera functions. On the back of the camera, in addition to the large 3-inch display, there are all the buttons for the various controls of the Nikon D3100, including the novelty represented by the Movie shooting button can be activated only after the activation of live view with the lever placed above the button (the trigger does not convince me by location and type).

The command type cursor located under the button for live view can be used to choose the point of focus among the 11 available. On the front of the camera, unfortunately, we do not find the button for the rapid control of ISO or white balance. One of my favorite aspects of this Nikon D3100 is the display of shooting parameters on the display that I find comprehensive and very convenient, especially relative to the image of the opening that gives direct feedback and intuitive to the user.

As mentioned earlier another interesting aspect of this is the introduction of the D3100 video recording in full HD D-Movie thanks to the work that you can review directly to your HD TV thanks to the HDMI port present on the D3100. On the right side of the camera body will find the memory expansion slot that will allow us to expand the internal memory of the D3100 through an SDHC or SDXC card.


The Nikon D3100 is an excellent non-professional SLR that well approaches the amateur world without making him feel inferior. The ergonomics and design are the classics of the house but at the same time are dusted with the new mode dial to some devices and functional.

Among the very positive aspects of the reflex, we find the very high efficiency at high ISO as well as the possibility of Full HD video with auto focus. Unfortunately, there are also some negative aspects among which we find the absence of ISO and aperture control during video shooting. Overall, the Nikon D3100 is excellent purchase thanks to the quality / price ratio.

Where to Buy Nikon D3100

Easy of Use
Value of Money

PROS : Double system of protection against dust; Reflex for families; Wide range of compatible lenses, viewfinder, the display size; HDMI Input.

CONS : Display resolution; Video limited to 10 minutes.

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