The Nikon D3100 is a digital SLR camera that, by looking at the price, is at the lower end of the SLR market. This initially makes you believe that it could be a fantastic introductory camera for the enthusiastic amateur, but to actually determine if this is indeed the case it is best to spend some time looking at what the camera is able to offer you and to compare the positives and negatives of potentially owning one.
First, the Nikon D3100 comes with 14.2MP and a CMOS image sensor and this means it is capable of giving you fantastic images with vivid colors and it is also powered by their fantastic EXPEED 2 image processing engine. When it comes to its ISO readings, then it can range from 100 to 3200 with this able to be extended up to 12800 with this having an impact on the noise that is picked up on the photos with it leading to you being able to take this crystal clear shots.
One thing that you will also find with this model is that it comes with the Nikon auto focus system and this is quite an impressive piece of kit as it is able to focus on those little movements and make sure that they come out looking sharp. The Live View is also impressive as it can pick out up to 35 faces in a single shot and if that person moves slightly, then the technology can follow them and keep them in focus until you are ready to take the snap. Finally, it also has a scene auto selector and what this does is it allows the camera to select the mode that it believes is the best one for the settings with this, yet again, making a real difference in the quality of the shot that you then take.
Apart from photographs, the Nikon D3100 is also capable of taking some movies as well and this is done in HD and with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and with built in sound it does mean that those little clips can come out looking and sounding pretty good indeed. You are then able to link it up to your HD television due to its HDMI cable and then look at your handywork on the big screen rather than the smaller one you are restricted to on the camera.
All of this is achieved with a camera that is lightweight since it weighs only 1lb, is relatively compact, but still offers you more than enough space on the back to play with all of the dials without you inadvertently hitting them with your fingers. This all sounds good, but what is it actually like to use and what are the main positives and negatives associated with the Nikon D3100?
A major positive has to be the vibrancy of the colors in the shots that you can take with this model as it does result in you being able to take fantastic shots that really do stand out without the colors being too overpowering and dominating the shot. The high ISO performance is also very good and it does mean that you are able to take great photos indoors and using artificial light without noise disrupting it and with it having a fantastic battery life you can take a number of shots without having to worry about losing power. The fact that it is also lightweight does mean it does not weigh heavily on your shoulders as you carry it around and overall it is a camera that can easily adapt to different conditions without too many problems.
There are one or two negatives, but how important they are does depend upon how seriously you take your photography and what you want to get out of owning the D3100. The LCD screen, for example, does come with a higher resolution on other models than it does with this, but as long as you take that extra few seconds to take your shot it should not affect things that much. The Live Mode is also quite slow at times, but the easy way to get around this problem is by using the viewfinder so this is also just a small complaint with what is otherwise a great camera.
So in conclusion it has to be said that if you want to start using an SLR camera, then the Nikon D3100 is certainly a good model to buy. It does all of the basics very well and it is a fraction of the price of other SLR cameras that are out there for sale right now, but when you see that the number of positives are far superior to the number of negatives, then this is all of the evidence you require to at least consider spending money and buying this.