Nikon D3100

Released August, 2010
New: D3200 (Apr, 2012)
  • 14.2 MP
  • APS-C 23.1 x 15.4 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
At the highest resolution setting, the camera can record movies at cine standard 24fps; while at 1280x720 pixels you can choose from 24, 25 or 30 frames per second.
by Photography Blog (Nov, 2010)
8.7 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Nikon D3100

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

D3100
8.8
D5200
9.8
EOS 1100D
8.5
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

D3100
6.5
D5200
7.3
EOS 1100D
8.4
Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

D3100
8.3
D5200
8.1
EOS 1100D
10.0
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

D3100
9.2
D5200
9.2
EOS 1100D
9.0
Reviews from nikonrumors.com, techradar.com, trustedreviews.com, sonyalpharumors.com and 5 more

8.7

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

D3100
8.7
D5200
9.1
EOS 1100D
8.9

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Nikon D3100

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

D3100
919 ISO
D3300
1,385 ISO
D5200
1,284 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

D3100
2,400 LPH
D3200
3,000 LPH
D3300
3,000 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

D3100
279 ms
EOS 1100D
110 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

D3100
117 ms
D3300
81 ms
D5200
88 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

D3100
400 ms
EOS 1100D
100 ms
D5200
500 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

D3100
3 fps
D5200
5 fps
D3300
5 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Nikon D3100


7.2
With the standard AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 VR kit zoom, the focus speed is perfectly acceptable, but not spectacular (you really need to use a better lens for the true benefits of the D3100's sophisticated AF system to become apparent).

9.0
The Nikon D3100 lets you dial in shutter speeds of up to 30 seconds and has a Bulb mode as well for exposure times of practically any length, which is very good news if you are seriously interested in night photography.

9.0
Again some visible pixel fringing because of pointing the lens skyward and the contrast between light and dark, but that's not what draws the eye.

9.0
Even so, the LCD looks fairly accurate in terms of brightness, contrast and colour balance, and that's what is most important.

7.4
In addition to a composite, a HDMI out, and a USB connector, the D3100 has a connector for Nikon's proprietary GPS module.

Overall

8.5 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Lens

But once again, it's a great lens value.
by c|net (Oct, 2010)
Sharpness is, of course, lens dependent, but I was pretty happy with the various models I tested; generally, shots looked sharp but not oversharpened.
by c|net (Oct, 2010)
The Nikon D3100 follows conventional DSLR design in having a shooting mode dial on the top of the camera, which allows you to select either one of the advanced modes like Manual, Aperture- or Shutter-priority, or a number of scene modes.
by Photography Blog (Nov, 2010)

Video

Movie quality is, thankfully, good with excellent resolution and good dynamic range; although your footage may suffer from various “rolling shutter” effects when doing quick pans or shooting hand-held with a telephoto lens.
by Photography Blog (Nov, 2010)
Notable exceptions are a PC sync socket for firing studio flash and an input socket for using an external mic, which is a major letdown when it comes to high-quality movie recording.
by TechRadar (Nov, 2011)
The D3100's so-called Information Display works in a similar way and, while it's not quite as elegant, it still offers quick access to image quality and size, white balance, ISO, focus mode, AF-area, metering mode, Active D-Lighting, movie frame size, flash mode, flash exposure compensation and regular exposure compensation.
by TechRadar (Nov, 2011)

Sensor

It produces exceptionally clean JPEGs up through ISO 800 and very usable ones through ISO 3200.
by c|net (Oct, 2010)
Remarkably, at ISO3200 only the sharpest pair of eyes would notice any difference between this and the previous two ISO settings.
by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
Almost unbelievably it was only really at the top whack expanded ISO setting of ISO12800 that we felt image noise/grain was starting to become noticeably intrusive.
by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)

Focus

Autofocus speeds with the kit zoom weren't stellar, but focussing with the optical viewfinder was still a lot faster than in Live View mode.
by Photography Blog (Nov, 2010)
Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous-servo AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status.
by Photography Blog (Nov, 2010)
Great metering and autofocus accuracy, coupled with excellent performance in the sensor and image processor ensure that photos look stunning almost every time, straight off the camera.
by TechRadar (Nov, 2011)

Photography

Another neat novelty is the Airflow Control System, which teams up with the usual vibrating sensor cleaning function to direct dust away from the low-pass filter.
by TechRadar (Nov, 2011)
Taking the first step into DSLR photography can sometimes seem more like a daunting leap into the unknown, but beginner-oriented cameras don't come any friendlier than the Nikon D3100.
by TechRadar (Nov, 2011)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type CMOS
Megapixels 14.2 MP
Resolution 4608 x 3072
Size APS-C
Area 23.1 x 15.4 mm
Crop factor 1.6x
Pixel size 25.1 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 3,200 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 3,200 ISO to 12,800 ISO
Codecs
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,400 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,400 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection
Focus points 11
Cross type focus points 1
Supports continuous No

shutter

Min 30 s
Max 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 124.5 x 96.5 x 73.7 mm
Thickness 73.7 mm
Weight 505 g
Is weather sealed No

features

Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization None

video

Video 1920 x 1080 @ 24 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack None
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection

display

Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 230 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror Opaque
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Pentamirror
Coverage 95%
Magnification 0.8x
Viewfinder size 0.51x

performance

Max continuous shooting 3 fps
Battery life 550 photos
Continuous shooting 3 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 279 ms
Shutter lag 117 ms
Startup delay 400 ms
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