Nikon D3100 Review

11/11/2016 - 12:01
Nikon D3100 Review

Nikon D3100 — entry-level DSLR camera with APS-C sensor. All Nikon APS-C sensor cameras called DX. Produced since 2010, as the next upgrade basic line Nikon DSLRs, and replaced the Nikon D3000. In 2012, it has been replaced by next model Nikon D3200.

 

Nikon D3100 Specifications

Dimensions:: 124×96×74,5 mm
Weight (without lens): 500 gr

Sensor type: CMOS
Sensor resolution: 14,2 megapixels
Sensor size: 23.6 x 15.6 mm
Crop factor: 1,5x

Viewfinder Field Coverage: 95%
Shutter Speed Range: 1/4000 ­­– 30 sec, step 1/3 EV, Bulb
Auto Focus Points Qty: 11
Focusing modes: AF-S, AF-C, M
Continuous Shooting Speed: 3 frames per second
ISO range: 100-6400, Auto

Sensor dinamic range: 11.3 Evs (dxomark.com version)
Photo max. size: 4608 x 3072 px

Video: Full HD 1920x1080 px
Video format: MOV
Video speed, frame/sec: 25, 24 (PAL), 30 (NTSC)

LCD-display: 3" (resolution 230 000 pixels).
Power: Li-Ion battery EN-EL14 (7.4 В, 1080 mAh)

 

Nikon D3100 Ergonomics and Functionality

The camera has a compact design. At the time of release, it was the most light and compact DSLR Nikon camera. Further models of this line borrowed from it design and dimensions.

Nikon D3100 with Nikon Micro-Nikkor 55mm 2.8
Nikon D3100 with Nikon Micro-Nikkor 55mm 1:2.8

 

The housing is made of embossed plastic.

The camera fits well in the hand. Rubberized handle. Some photographers seems not very comfortable grip, due to small arms, but personally I do not feel inconvenience when shooting, even with large and heavy lenses.

Due to its size, the camera is suitable for continuous wear in the bag.

Nikon D3100 top

At the top of the grip under the index finger is placed shutter button. Beneath it are two buttons: Info button and exposure compensation.

Top right is placed a standard dial disc switching the shooting modes: Auto, M, A, S, P and scene modes. Under the disc on the right is the lever of shooting modes: standard (S), Continuous, with a time delay and quiet (Q).

In burst mode, you can continuously shoot at a rate of 3 frames per second.

The delay time can be set to 2 and 10 s.

The silent shooting mode, the camera shoots a little quieter than usual, but the noise is still there. Technically, there is a switch in LiveView mode and shoot from there. Therefore, the noise is the same as when shooting in LiveView.

Nikon D3100 back

Nikon D3100 with Tenpa 1.33x viewfinder

Behind, the 3-inch LCD display with a resolution of 230 000 pixels. Resolution is rather weak compared to elder models.

Top right thumb placed control dial, lock button AE-L AF-L, switching lever in LiveView mode and video record button.

Below, cursor buttons and OK button. Delete button.

To the left of the display are placed 5 buttons: view the photo / video menu, decrease when viewing photos, playback zoom, Info button.

Nikon D3100 jacks

Left to the body, under the left arm placed internal flash activation button and the Fn button. Under the rubber plugs placed: GPS, miniUSB, HDMI, AV output.

Nikon D3100 bottom

On top there is a hot shoe for mounting an external flash. Bottom is tripod mount screw.

Inside the grip placed battery.

Nikon D3100 SD card slot

Rightside is a slot for SD cards.

I actively use the camera for more than 4 years (can be seen on the photos). Embossed plastic seats became glance polished, lettering on buttons worn, gum is slightly deformed. But functionally, the camera works fine.

 

Nikon D3100 Sensor

The camera is equipped with a 14 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. Maximum photo size is 4608 x 3072 px. This A3 sheet size with a printing resolution of 300 dpi.

Sensor at the Nikon D3100 is less resolution than the elder models Nikon D5100 and Nikon D7000, but I do not see a lot of difference. All three cameras give almost the same quality of picture. The only thing is white ballance, on Nikon D3100 is different, it was warmer than the Nikon D7000 and I like it more like, but it is subjective. Maybe because the Nikon D3100 I shoot often than Nikon D7000.

As with other such class DSLR cameras, ISO speed range is adjusted to 1 stop: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200. Such flexibility is not enough for serious work.

I try not to lift up ISO values higher ​​800. Further details eaten noise. Even at ISO 3200 camera behaves with dignity. There are already as it is, sometimes it's better to shoot photos with noise than not shoot at all.

 

Video on Nikon D3100

The camera can capture video in Full HD (1920x1080 px). I often use the video capture for the home archive, for these purposes, the video features is enough.

The video quality, as the quality of the photo is more dependent on the stage lighting and the lens. Certainly a D3100 is not competitor to professional cameras, Canon advanced DSLRs such as the Canon 5D mark II, but the video quality is adequate for its class.

Below is an example of a video, taken at ISO 3200, you can see the level of noise. And to evaluate the sound quality, which records on internal microphone.

 

Handheld video on Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 Ai/s f/ 2.8 ISO 3200

It is a pity of course, that there is no possibility to connect an external microphone, this opportunity is only since Nikon D7000 camera.

 

Nikon D3100 Lenses Compatibility

On the Nikon D3100 autofocus lenses for Nikon F system will be working only those that have a built-in motor. Older autofocus lenses without built-in motor will only work in the AE mode, autofocus will not work.

In manual (M) mode, will work any manual focus lenses, but it is important that their flange distance fit the system Nikon F. For example, the M42 system lenses mounted on the camera with an adapter M42-Nikon focusingwill be available only for a few meters and infinity will not. System Lenses Nikon F, will fully operate with automatic preset aperture.

 

Nikon D3100 Battery

Nikon D3100 is equipped with a Li-On battery EN-EL14 7.4V 1050 mAh. Battery capability about 1000 shots under normal shooting conditions. The same battery goes in cameras D5100, D3200, D5200.

 

Nikon D3100 Sample Photos

Most of the examples taken on Nikkor native lenses. RAW export, with minimal exposure level adjustments.

Nikon D3100 sample photos yard
1/400 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos girls
1/125 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos underground<
1/60 ISO 800

Nikon D3100 sample photos cash
1/80 ISO 800


Nikon D3100 sample photos street
1/80 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos church
1/320 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos portrait
1/640 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos citylight
1/800 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos Lviv opera
1/125 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos Lviv street
1/80 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos singer
1/200 ISO 200

Nikon D3100 sample photos sport
1/80 ISO 400

Nikon D3100 sample photos musician
1/60 ISO 1600

Nikon D3100 sample photos sax

1/60 ISO 2000

Nikon D3100 sample photos piano

1/100 ISO 1600

Nikon D3100 sample photos indoor
1/80 ISO 400

Nikon D3100 sample photos conference
1/80 ISO 800

Nikon D3100 sample photos backyard
1/320 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos indoor portrait
1/80 ISO 400

Nikon D3100 sample photos festival
1/640 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos people
1/640 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos reportage
1/500 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos dancers
1/400 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos dancers
1/400 ISO 100

Nikon D3100 sample photos night
1/80 ISO 3200

 

Personal experience
I bought a Nikon D3100 in 2011, as a substitute for more advanced functionality, but outdated Nikon D70s. At that time I was impressed by the quality of the pictures, they were more vivid in comparison with images from the Nikon D70s, CMOS sensor is ​​still significantly different from the CCD. But at the same time I felt uncomfortable and at work, I lacked many features that were previous camera.

As a manual lenses fan, I have been actively using the camera in conjunction with them. The absence of an automatic metering, as in elder models did not bother me. It's more a matter of habit. Instead work with manual lenses with manual exposure settings, aperture, ISO taught me to better understand how these values ​​affect the exposure.

By the way, most of the examples in my reviews of manual lens is tested with this camera.

What used like this from the camera, so it's built-in motor for autofocus older lenses and ISO adjustment smoother. But, alas, to pay for everything, a smooth adjustment of ISO is available in the range of cameras Nikon D5100 and on, and the motor built only in Nikon D7000 and beyond.

 

Summary
Nikon D3100 is a good entry-level DSLR. Now discontinued, but the photo quality is not so loses more new models. On the contrary, due to the smaller size of the photos are easier to handle and store.





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