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The Complete Nikon D3100 Review

by G Servo on 02/19/2011

This is it, and it looks good, the Nikon D3100. When I had my first hands-on I had hopes for this camera. Nikon did not let me down. If you are looking to buy an entry level DSLR camera, or a low cost one, the Nikon D3100 will be on your list. I have used it thoroughly, and had more fun with the Nikon D3100 than I thought I would. The Nikon D3100 has improved on the D3000, which I did not like. With its size, 11 points of autofocus, 95% viewer coverage, great metering, ISO capabilities and 14 megapixel CMOS DX sensor, it’s a very capable camera .

Testing

First Hands On: Nikon D3100

Hands On:  Samples D3100

Day 1 – First Impressions Getting to know the camera

Day 2- LiteBeer of the Snowpocalypse

Day 3- ISO Testing

Day 4- Using the D3100 with 50mm lens and Bokeh Masters

Day 5- Highlighting the Nikon  18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR & 55-200mm VR AF-S f/4-5.6G Lenses

Day 6- Family Considerations

Day 7- Food, Product and Portraits

Day 8- Video

Best Uses

This Camera was fantastic for photo walking. It was easy to put away or hold at your side with a Black Rapid RS-7 strap. Working with kids was fun too. The Nikon D3100 was not heavy and with care, my kids could try the camera out. My wife really liked the size of the camera. It fit her hands and she was able to use it right away. For folks making the move up to DSLR photography this camera is ideal. If you want to replace a camera like the Nikon D40 or D60 this is a camera to look at. You can use this camera to try every style of photography.

What I did not like.

I did not like the LCD screen of the camera, I wish it had a screen protector like the Nikon D90 or a fold away screen like the Nikon D5000. A new photographer will not always know how to take care of their camera. It is something that is learned. My old Canon Powershot S3IS has a fold away screen and that is one of the reasons I let my 3-year take photos with it. With the Nikon D3100, I did worry about scratching the screen and was always cleaning it.

I also wish there was an internal motor to autofocus older AF (screw-type) lenses. I believe all Nikon DSLR’s should have that.

Who Should Buy It?

The Nikon D3100 is a great camera for educational use. Its ease of use and low cost make it a great tool. Families will also love this camera, it is great for school photo’s, family events and vacations due to its convenient size. For Foodies this is a great camera to take to a restaurant. Folks who just want a decent camera for photo walking or street photography, this camera would fit the niche nicely.

Final thoughts

I thought I would have more problems with this camera because I am used to more robust DSLR’s cameras, like the Nikon D90 or the D7000. Strangely, however, I found myself liking the Nikon D3100. The camera was extremely practical, light, nimble, and easy to use.

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