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Customer Review

470 of 485 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant D-SLR with the best image quality for the price, 11 Nov 2010
This review is from: Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (14.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
I have owned and used a number of Nikon digital SLR's. My first was a D50, then D80, D200 and more recently the D300. All great cameras and the D300 is amazingly good. But like all digital SLR's they are only as good as the sensor (chip) inside. For example, the 1999 D1 is better built than any modern consumer SLR but effectively useless due to the relatively poor pictures it takes.

The big change recently for Nikon was the switch to CMOS sensors from their previous Sony CCD sensors. CMOS is what Canon's have used for the last 10 years and offer a marked improvement in low light photography and power consumption. The D300 can take ISO 6400 pictures that will print out just fine. To put that in perspective that is a photo taken by candle light, hand held at 1/20 second.

Q: So why buy the D3100 then?
A: Because it has the latest sensor inside.

It is 90% of the Nikon D300 for less than half of the cost. It is also about half the size and weight. I am not a professional photographer and being able to carry a camera more often means I take more photos. The D3100 and 35mm DX lens I purchased fit in a large coat pocket. The D300 requires a strong bag and a stronger neck.

The D3100 is fast to use, has great autofocus and metering and takes photos in low light that embarrass the previous generation of Digital SLR's. It can also be used by anyone who can point and shoot. Sure, it cannot use old AF lenses or manual focus lenses but to be honest that is not a great problem. The bundled 18-55mm VR lens is light and sharp and if you spend another 150 and buy Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f1.8G you can take photos by moonlight hand-held.

The movie mode is also a big plus. You need to focus manually when using it but the results are film like rather than camcorder like. That is to say that things that are out of focus are REALLY out of focus. This is nice for videoing people as they are separate from their background. Don't buy this to be a camcorder replacement but if you want to shoot a short film you can do worse than this.

The construction is a bit plasticky and it is a shame that the LCD is not the 920,000 dot one from the D300 but really does it matter? These cameras are by their very nature disposable. In 4 or 5 years time the next generation will be even better but as of 2010 the D3100 has the best sensor at the best price.

[Update - August 2011]
-----------------------
I have been using this camera for nearly a year now. It has been on the beach, at kids parties, thrown in a rucksack and used for hundreds and hundreds of pictures and video. Yes, lots of video. Once you get used to the focus being more manual than on a video camera it is possible to get great results. For example, my son's birthday party indoors in dim light. I videoed the cake being brought out with the candles lit. Because the camera is so good at high ISO levels I got a much better result than my Canon DV camera - and got a still shot at the same time.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Feb 2011 17:04:01 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 21 Nov 2011 15:49:08 GMT]

Posted on 27 Mar 2011 15:55:11 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 27 Mar 2011 15:56:30 BDT]

Posted on 27 Mar 2011 15:59:51 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 27 Mar 2011 16:00:18 BDT]

Posted on 12 Apr 2011 22:21:27 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Apr 2011 22:57:55 BDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2011 11:54:43 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jun 2011 14:08:23 BDT
Yes but what about someone who doesn't want Sony lenses? Sony budget lenses are not known for being great and their pro lenses too expensive. The D3100's 18-55mm lens that is included is a good start and the 35mm AFS 1.8 is about 150. The 18-200mm VR is not THAT expensive and is accepted as one of the best superzoom lenses available. So I stick with the 5 stars! Please also bear in mind that I bought this camera last October and of course it will date eventually. The fit and finish of Nikon is also very much higher than on the consumer level Canon and Sony SLR's. Nikon is a byword for quality and this camera is quality.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2011 15:08:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 May 2011 17:12:25 BDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 18 Aug 2011 17:11:17 BDT
A Shelton says:
The Sony A33 is over 100 more expensive that the Nikon

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Aug 2011 18:11:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Aug 2011 18:14:14 BDT
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Mr. R. D. Turner
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Derby, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 180