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Nikon D3100: The perfect beginner DSLR?

28 Aug Posted by Matt in News, Reviews |
Nikon D3100: The perfect beginner DSLR?

Nikon D3100 DSLR CameraThe recently announced Nikon D3100 promises a lot of bang for your buck, and is clearly pitched at those who are looking to up their game and move into digital SLR photography.

Nikons’ philosophy with this DSLR is refreshing; they’re encourage photographers to use the more advanced features of the camera and lure them away from the all-too-comfortable Auto mode by providing in camera guidance.  Having a bit of help to guide you through changing settings you might otherwise be scared to touch is something I’m sure every Digital SLR user would have welcomed at some point!

Nikon D3100 DSLR Guide Mode

Nikon D3100 DSLR Guide Mode

Nikon call this headline feature Guide Mode, and say it’s designed to boost your confidence when you’re keen to learn more about the extended features of your Digital SLR camera.

We certainly like the idea of your camera working with you, yet still giving you full control.  In the past I’ve been all too familiar with the frustrations of reading an article or book on a particular topic, then struggling to fully remember it later when I want to take a photo.  Sometimes this works ok, but if I don’t want to take a similar shot till several months later I’m sure to have forgotten at least one thing.

The Nikon D3100 also boasts excellent video capabilities for an entry-level DSLR, capable of recording 1080p (1920×1080) videos at 24 frames per second, or 720p video at 24 or 30 frames per second.  Nikon have named the movie mode D-Movie, which includes some slick technology to get great results for the sort of YouTube videos that most users are likely to be aiming for. Face detection and contrast based autofocus (AF) should help here, though it remains to be seen whether those looking for a bit more control will be disappointed.  Recording is to the common H.264 format, which is now pretty standard across most DSLR models offering video.

The Nikon D3100 is certainly a very appealing first or beginner DSLR, and in fact could even be a great choice for anyone who has DSLR experience but remains nervous to leave the safety net of Auto mode.  Launching with an extremely competitive sub-£600 price tag for the body and 18-55mm lens kit, the Nikon D3100 packs a lot of features into a physically compact camera.

Key Specs:

  • 14.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor
  • D-Movie: full HD (1920 x 1080) movie clips: record high-definition video with sound
  • Guide Mode: quick and easy-to-use in-camera assistance
  • High ISO (100-3200) light sensitivity – manually extendable up to ISO12800

The Nikon D3100 is .


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