Summary of reviews and tests
The D3100 films Full HD video and, above all, has a direct access video button so you don’t have to waste time fiddling around with the mode selection dial. This entry-level SLR [is] a top-notch consumer camera.
The AF-S 18-55mm VR kit lens proved to be amazingly versatile and I often used it when I wanted to take the D3100 out in its most portable configuration.
CameraGearGuide (no longer online)
If you are a beginner there are still some pretty nifty alternatives you might look at such as the Sony S390 and a the more powerful and feature loaded Pentax K-r.
Digital Photography School
Whilst only a few mill smaller than its earlier sibling the D3000, its stocky body sits well within an average male hand. So what you get is a responsive camera that can fire its first shot barely a second after startup.
Nikon says that the Nikon D3100 is not a direct replacement for the cheaper D3000, which is still available. However, the DSLRs have similar features and are aimed at the same audience.
In kit form, the D3100 ships with a decent 18-55mm zoom lens, but you will want to get something better eventually. The other neat thing about the D3100 is that it can capture impressive Full HD (1920×1080) video.
The body itself is mainly plastic, but while the camera certainly doesn’t feel as robust as some of the company’s higher specified models, it still exudes a degree of quality you might not expect at this price point. This is helped by the surprisingly classy rubber coating on the grip, which also appears on the thumb rest in the back of the camera.
Neocamera has posted their review of the Nikon D3100
Among entry-level DSLRs, the Nikon D3100 is one of the most basic but also one of the most consistent in terms of performance. The D3100 is directly aimed at new DLSR owners. The notable changes are a 14 megapixels sensor and 1080p video capability with autofocus.
The Nikon D3100 is a Small Camera with a Giant Punch. However, it also introduced much higher image noise that dragged its ratings down. Can the D3100 do better than its predecessor – and more importantly, stay relevant to the entry-level photographer?
If you are looking to buy an entry level DSLR camera, or a low cost one, the Nikon D3100 will be on your list.
The camera is offered in kit form matched to the AF-S 18-55mm VR (stabilized) zoom lens, covering approximately the 27 to 83mm focal range in 35mm equivalents. More importantly, the new lineup offers clearly defined entry and prosumer level equipment, leaving Nikon free to make the D400 a full-blown pro body if they so choose.
A smart and simple design aesthetic and clear and helpful Guide Mode combine to make it an ideal camera for new DSLR users who want to learn the basics.
As with all kit lenses, in trying to be all things to all men, the supplied 18-55mm standard zoom may be no match for a dedicated prime, but at the same time it isn’t bad at all. However we were really impressed with what this DSLR for beginners can do when faced with shooting in low light without flash. 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.
When we reviewed the D3000 it was one of the only large sensor cameras that encouraged the novice user to make the most of its capability, and it did so without interfering with more hands-on operation of the camera. However, while the D3100 represents a specification upgrade over a family of cameras we’ve generally liked, in some respects it has found itself rather out-paced by the market.
Since the cameras are so similar, portions of the D3000 review will be reused here.
Nikon is hoping to build on the success of its popular predecessor, the D3000, which was released in July 2009. Until now, micro-system cameras tended to have a broader range of features, a more compact body and a slightly higher asking price.
Compared to the one-year-old D3000, Nikon has managed to simultaneously increase the pixel count and improve quality at high sensitivity settings, with the D3100 enjoying at least one stop of advantage over its predecessor. Nikon D3100 produces image quality that defies its entry-level status. We definitely see room for improvement: the Live View mode desperately needs a live histogram and a higher-resolution live feed, while the movie mode is not complete without full exposure control.
Solid noise performance for its class. Sluggish AF, especially in low light. [Suggested for] Anyone looking for a low-cost DSLR or a budget entry to Nikon’s system.
About.com – A Review of the Nikon D3100 DSLR
The D3100 has 14.2MP and full HD movie mode. The D3100 is Nikon’s replacement for the D3000. Aimed squarely at the entry-level DSLR camera market, it’s certainly going to be a wake-up call for other manufacturers.
As an entry-level DSLR, the D3100 does a pretty good job of balancing easy access to shooting modes for novice users with advanced controls reasonably accessible for more advanced users.
The entry-level DSLR market has been relatively unstirred of late. That is, until the recent release of the Nikon D3100.
D3100 has a built in Guide, this will guide you through the various aspects of the camera including shooting, viewing, and setting up the camera. More advanced photographers may find the camera a little bit limiting because it doesn’t offer as many advanced options as some other entry level DSLRs.
There’s a veritable feast of in-camera retouching features, including after-shot D-Lighting adjustments for controlling dynamic range, red-eye reduction, trimming, straightening, distortion correction (also available while shooting), perspective control, colour balance and a range of filter effects. More impressively, continuous autofocus is also available in movie capture mode, the D3100 boasting full 1080p high-def at 24fps and 720p at 24,25 or 30fps.
Announced in August 2010, it’s the successor the best-selling D3000 and makes several key upgrades to that model. The resolution has also received boost from 10 to 14 Megapixels and there’s a number of tweaks to the controls and ergonomics.
Like the D3000 before it, the D3100 features a Guide mode which asks simple questions about what you’d like to take before setting up the camera appropriately.
DigitalTrends.com readers know we’re not big fans of DSLR video. Old-school photographers will embrace the Nikon D3100’s sharp stills and classic design, but noisy video keeps it out of the big leagues with competing models.
Ideal for family and beginner photographers, the Nikon D3100 incorporates many of the technologies found in higher end Nikon models, while adding some new, and provides plenty of versatility for those that are looking to expand their photographic skills and abilities. The simplicity is extended to the D3100′s movie recording function, with the camera’s convenient one touch video capture button providing an effortless way to complement your still photos with HD 1080p quality video clips when desired.
This review will include my 1st impressions, video of the camera, video taken with the camera, plenty of images, 100% crops, comparisons with the D3000 and Panasonic G2 and my overall feelings on the camera.
With a storming features-list that takes advantage of relatively sparse recent competitor model releases, can this new DSLR live up to the hype?
It’s priced the same as the still-available D5000, which is in many ways a better camera. So while the D3100 isn’t a bad camera, and for the most part holds its own against competitors from other manufacturers, it still pales in comparison with its own line mates.
It includes a feature no other D-SLR has—continuous autofocus during video recording, which makes the D3100 feel like a camcorder while it’s shooting. The camera can detect faces, lock on, and adjust the focus automatically to make video capture even easier. It stands as one of our 10 best digital cameras.
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.
I’ve been telling my normal friends who want a great camera to get the D3100 now while they still can, since it’s the same thing as the D3200, for a close-out price.