Nikon D3100

A new inexpensive Nikon DSLR has high-end features, 1080p HD and full-time AF while shooting video

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Fitting into Nikon’s lineup between the D5000 and D3000, the new D3100 tops them both in a number of areas, including pixel count (14.2 MP vs. 12.3 for the D5000 and 10.2 for the D3000) and full 1080p HD video with full-time autofocusing during recording. Like the D3000 and D5000, the D3100 doesn’t have a built-in AF motor, so the camera will provide auto focusing only with lenses that have the motor built in—primarily, the AF-S Nikkors, including the new low-priced AF-S 55-300mm zoom that was introduced with the camera.

For outdoor shooters who want to record the location in the metadata for each image, the D3100 offers a socket that accepts the cord from the optional Nikon GP1 GPS unit or the cord for the MC-DC2 remote control.

Automatic Chromatic-Aberration Correction
Higher-end Nikon bodies have provided automatic correction of chromatic aberration for a while, but now this very useful feature comes to an entry-level model. No more purple/green fringing; the camera automatically corrects it as you shoot.

New 14.2-Megapixel CMOS Sensor
Interestingly, at the time of its announcement, the D3100 offered the highest pixel count of any Nikon DSLR except the $7,999 24-megapixel, full-frame D3X. The new 14.2-megapixel CMOS DX (APS-C) sensor and new EXPEED 2 processing make possible full HD video and provide a normal ISO range of 100-3200, expandable to 6400 and 12,800.
Easy Operation
Improving on the D3000’s Guide Mode, the D3100 will lead a beginner through just about any shooting need, while providing full control of everything for the more experienced user.
Sensor-Dust Reduction
Especially useful for outdoor shooters who often change lenses in the field, the D3100’s Automatic Image Sensor Cleaning system uses ultrasonic vibrations and an exclusive Airflow Control to remove dust from the sensor assembly.
Light And Compact
At 4.9x3.8x2.9 inches and 16 ounces, the D3100 is easy to carry far afield. It’s sold with the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G VR zoom; add the low-cost new AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm ƒ/4.5-5.6G VR zoom and you have a lightweight outdoor shooting system with 35mm-camera-equivalent focal lengths from 27mm to 450mm.

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Full HD Video
The first Nikon DSLR to offer 1920x1080 full HD video, the D3100 can record it at 24 fps, plus, 1280x720p HD video at 30, 25 and 24 fps, and 640x424p at 24 fps. The 30 fps and 24 fps speeds are actually 29.97 and 23.976, respectively, to meet industry standards. Full-time servo autofocus while recording opens up new shooting opportunities. Videos are recorded as MOV files in AVCHD format with H.264 compression, with a maximum individual clip length of 4 GB per 10 minutes. Sound is mono via built-in microphone.
Easy Live-View/Movie Access
The D3000 features a button that provides easy entry to Live View mode. The D3100 uses a lever for that, with an adjacent button to start and stop movie recording.
3.0-Inch Live View LCD
The D3100’s Live View LCD monitor doesn’t swivel like the D5000’s, but it’s bigger—3.0 vs. 2.7 inches. Resolution is 230,000 dots, same as the D3000’s.
Maximum Memory
The D3100 can record images and video to the new high-capacity SDXC cards, and also is compatible with SD and SDHC.
Live View Scene Auto Selector
When using Live View mode, the camera automatically matches the mode to the shooting situation. Scene Recognition System in Live View automatically optimizes exposure, autofocus and white balance.


Image Sensor: 14.2-megapixel (effective) CMOS
Resolution: 4608x3072 pixels
Sensor Size: 23.1x15.4mm (APS-C); 1.5x
LCD Monitor: 3.0-inch, 230,000-dot Live View
Video: 1920x1080/24p full HD, 1280x720/30p (also 25p and 24p) HD, plus 640x424/24p
AF System: 11-point
Shutter Speeds: 1/4000 to 30 sec., X-sync up to 1⁄200 sec.
ISO Settings: 100-3200 (1⁄3 increments), expandable to 6400 and 12,800
Continuous Firing Mode: 3 fps
Recording Format: JPEG, NEF (RAW), NEF + JPEG
Metering: 420-pixel RGB evaluative, CW, 2.5% spot
Storage Media: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Dimensions: 4.9x3.8x2.9 inches
Weight: 16 ounces
Power Source: Rechargeable EN-EL14 Li-Ion battery
Estimated Street Price: $699 (with 18-55mm VR zoom)
Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US,

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