Field Review: Nikon D3100 (Day 1)

In 2010, I has hands-on time with almost every new camera from Nikon. One, which I really wanted to review, was the Nikon D3100 a solid entry-level camera and upgrade to the discontinued D3000. This camera has lots of potential.

Day one Gear

Camera Nikon D3100 Exposure 0.017 sec (1/60) Aperture f/5.6 Focal Length 55 mm ISO Speed 400

Nikon D3100 (14.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor; 3-inch monitor with One-Touch Live View shooting and movie capture; ISO 100-3200 expandable to 12800; 11-point Autofocus System)

Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR Stabilization lens

Black Rapid RS-7

Crumpler Customary Barge



Camera Nikon D3100 Exposure 0.077 sec (1/13) Aperture f/5.6 Focal Length 42 mm ISO Speed 200

The camera is light and small: which is the first thing you notice when picking it up. The camera is easy to understand, especially if you have shot with a Nikon DSLR before. The grip is made of an interesting plastic. However, it is comfortable to hold.

For husbands: I let my wife hold the camera and she rather liked it. Her hands are much smaller than mine. Use this to justify the purchase 😉

The menu is and easy to navigate on the bright, sharp LCD screen. The dedicated advance-mode switch and dedicated movie-start and live-view controls, are much improved compared to the D3000. The control dials and buttons are also straightforward.

First Day with the Camera

Camera Nikon D3100 Exposure 0.033 sec (1/30) Aperture f/5.6 Focal Length 44 mm ISO Speed 450

My shooting reflexes are tuned for the Nikon D90. I realized this when I spent the first few shots going to hit buttons in specific locations only to realize that they were either not there or in a slightly different spot. I had to unlearn what I had learned and take a day to get a better understanding of the camera. Don’t let that intimidate you though, the learning curve and ease of use of the camera are good. I put the camera in the hands of a friend who never  shot with a DSLR before and he got the settings rather quickly and took a few interesting shots.

Autofocus System

Camera Nikon D3100 Exposure 0.001 sec (1/800) Aperture f/5.6 Focal Length 32 mm ISO Speed 200

I took the camera to Exchange Place (Jersey City, New Jersey) for some quick cityscape photography. Because I rarely ever use the feature anymore, I set the autofocus system to ‘auto area’ mode. The camera made smart and quick choices in selecting focus points.

Camera Nikon D3100 Exposure 0.005 sec (1/200) Aperture f/5.6 Focal Length 32 mm ISO Speed 200

I had a good time taking a new camera out to play. Now I can comfortably go into detail on the workings of the camera. Stay tuned!

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Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.