Nikon has unveiled the D3100, its latest entry-level offering and its first DSLR that can record full 1080p HD videos. Successor to the popular D3000, it is built around a 14.2 CMOS sensor and a 3 inch LCD. As well as movies it gains Live View shooting, a wider ISO range ( 100-3200 expandable to 12800) and a host of small revisions. The camera will be available soon at a retail price of £579.99 / €599 with the 18-55mm VR lens. We’ve been given access to a pre-production version of the camera which we’ve used to prepare a hands-on preview, looking at the changes Nikon has made to its best-selling DSLR.
Nikon introduces the D3100, the most easy-to-use D-SLR to date, with full High Definition (HD) video.
Jordi Brinkman, Product Manager for Nikon Europe, says: “The D3100 is the successor to Europe’s best selling D-SLR*1, the D3000, offering 14.2 megapixels, full HD movie, Live View with new AF modes and improved ergonomics. It also has the popular Guide Mode as seen on the D3000, which now shows you sample images of what you can achieve with certain settings, for example if you change the shutter speed or aperture. This is the ideal camera for families who want to capture all the important moments in perfect quality, without worrying about settings.”
Pure and simple D-SLR for the family
The D3100 is designed for newcomers to D-SLR photography, especially young families who want to take beautiful pictures without worrying about complicated functionality. A range of automatic settings means the camera is doing all the hard work much like on a compact camera: Live View with Scene Auto Selector selects the mode that matches your shooting situation; Scene Recognition delivers sharply defined images by analyzing the scene and optimizing the camera settings immediately before the shutter is released; and Guide Mode will take you step-by-step through the process of how to get the picture you want.
The 11-point autofocus system will make sure everything is in focus and ensures razor-sharp images to capture even the most fleeting of expressions or movements. Additionally, the bright viewfinder means you can see and focus precisely on the image you want to capture, quickly and easily. Live View with Scene Auto Selector is an intuitive and familiar way of taking pictures, useful for those who have only used a compact camera, and makes it easy to compose images using the LCD monitor. Scene Auto Selector will select the best mode for the scene and subject you want to capture, and Fulltime servo AF (AF-F) mode keeps subjects in focus without the need to press the shutter release button. Live View will also recognise as many as 35 faces at a time and even if people in the frame move, the camera will continue tracking and focusing on them.
Stunning pictures in every situation
The 14.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor, new powerful EXPEED 2 processing engine and a wide range of NIKKOR*2 lenses deliver excellent pictures with amazing detail wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It has ISO 100-3200 sensitivity, with the versatility of effectively boosting ISO up to 12800. This significantly reduces the risk of blurred images when taking pictures of the most energetic children or an evening barbeque with all the family.
Full HD movies for all the family
Using the easy-access movie record button you can instantly switch to video mode on the D3100, and the D-Movie function allows you to record stunning HD movie clips with sound. The camera’s large image sensor and high ISO sensitivity offers exceptional image quality, and the wide variety of NIKKOR lenses can be used to create cinematic effects. You can also make simple edits of your clips in-camera by deleting scenes or save specific frames as still images – nothing will be missed for the family photo album. The D3100 is also HDMI compatible so you can connect your camera to an HD television to view your movies in full HD from your sofa.
The Guide to great photos
For the newcomer to D-SLRs, the intelligent, improved Guide Mode, as seen on the D3000, gives you step-by-step instructions of how to change the camera settings. This means you not only get the picture you want but it helps you to understand how it was achieved so you can develop your photography skills. You can even view sample images of what you can expect from each setting, for example if you change the aperture or shutter speed settings.
Don’t miss a moment
The D3100 is the essential item for every family event or day out. The camera’s comprehensive technologies and tough exterior will keep up with any outing, whatever you’re doing. Its compact size and lightweight body make the D3100 easy to pack and carry around for all those unmissable moments.
- DX-format, 14.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor: The high pixel sensor will give you outstanding colour and detail in pictures and movies you’ll want to see again and again
- New EXPEED 2 image processing engine: Provides enhanced movie recording, high-sensitivity performance and maximum image quality. EXPEED 2 maximises CMOS sensor performance for clear, lifelike images that exhibit vivid colours, reduced noise and smooth tonal gradations for outstanding photos and movies
- High ISO (100-3200) sensitivity: Extendable up to 12800: Indoor shots or fast-moving children need never be blurry or dull again, even without a flash
- Guide Mode: Simply the easiest way to learn how to get great pictures, without having to read the manual
- D-Movie – full HD (1920 x 1080) at 24fps movie clips: Record beautiful HD movie clips with sound and achieve exceptional image quality with high ISO sensitivity. NIKKOR lenses can be used for cinematic effects and simple edits can be made in-camera. In addition, HDMI connectivity means you can watch your HD movies on an HD television
- Live View with new AF-F mode and Scene Auto Selector: The new Live View provides an intuitive and familiar way of taking pictures and it includes a Scene Auto Selector, which automatically selects the best mode to match the scene. The AF-F mode keeps subjects in focus without the need to press the shutter release button
- 7.5 cm (3-inch) monitor: A great platform on which to share your beautiful images and movies with friends and family
- 11-point autofocus system: The quick and accurate autofocus ensures everything is in focus so you get the sharpest image
- Active D-Lighting: Bright sunshine need never wash out detail again. The balance of light and shade can be preserved forever
- Picture control: Lets you set the look and mood of your images before you shoot. You can choose from six settings: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape
- In-camera image and movie editing: Why wait for a PC? Retouching, filter effects and red-eye correction can be achieved in the palm of your hand
- Compact, light and durable: It’s the smallest and lightest Nikon D-SLR yet so you can sling it over your shoulder, ready for any picture or movie moment. Also, with improved ergonomics, you’ll now have direct access to shutter release, Live View and movie modes.
- Dual Integrated Dust Reduction System: Image Sensor Cleaning and Airflow Control systems keep dust away from the camera’s image sensor for clear, spot-free images
- New software, ViewNX2 will be bundled with the D3100: It inherits the basic operations of ViewNX whilst providing much enhanced operability, including a refined GUI, and a range of easy-to-use features allowing you to edit photos as well as movie.
*1 Source: GFK, D3000 best selling D-SLR in Europe first half year 2010.
*2 The D3100 is exclusively designed for use with NIKKOR AF-S and AF-I lenses that are equipped with an autofocus motor