113 of 122 people found the following review helpful
Quality at an entry level price,
This review is from: Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (14.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)I bought the D3100 after seeing how much sharper and more vibrant the pictures are (especially if they are bigger than 6x4) from a DSLR. I had been put off a DSLR in the past by the apparent complexity, and, the feeling that I might miss the "perfect shot" after seeing another novice photographer struggle with one on safari.
This Nikon camera is, in my view, the perfect entry level DSLR which delivers quality pictures and offers scope for creativity as you develop your technique. I take the majority of shots in "Automatic Mode" which delivers good quality pictures in almost any situation. However, the D3100 also has a "Guide Mode" which effectively walks you through set up and shooting which is very helpful in helping you understand the camera and build confidence. Naturally, it has numerous other options such as shutter/apeture priority etc.
The camera feels robust and is comfortable to hold being significantly lighter than my girlfriend's Nikon D90. The controls all seem logically laid out and the camera has both a high quality LCD screen and viewfinder. Video can only be taken using the "Live View" LCD screen but the quality (being full HD) is good plus you can zoom etc. during video recording. Battery life is also good - I am quite trigger happy and find the battery lasts a full day (a spare genuine Nikon battery is around £40 with generic versions around half that). There are also a good range of connectivity options including mini HDMI/USB etc. although, curiously, the camera does not come with a mini USB lead which I think is a useful extra. The supplied Nikon album/photo editing software is of very high quality, although, it does not have the pedigree of Adobe Photoshop Elements.
A few other things I'd mention (which probably betrays my novice photographer status further)-
- Think carefully about whether you buy the camera with the kit lens or body only. I bought the kit and love the standard 18-55mm lens which is fine in most situations. However, I also bought the Nikon 55-300mm zoom lens which is useful for wildlife. With this combination you have to be prepared to carry and change lenses in the field but the zoom is almost as powerful as my previous superzoom camera. The VR (Vibration Reduction)in both lenses is very effective. My father who also bought a D3100 took a different approach - he bought the body only and a 18-270mm third party lens which gives a effective wide angle/zoom performance without the need to change lenses.
- You may be used to a 16:9 picture aspect ratio if you have a compact or superzoom camera and have set it that way for your TV or digital photo frame. Remember, with DSLRs there is no 16:9 (widescreen) picture setting as such. I understand all SLRs display their pictures in a conventional aspect ratio.
- You may want to buy a clear plastic LCD screen protector for the D3100 - I bought the Lexerd one through Amazon which is excellent.
- The D3100 does not (in my understanding), have an IR eye for the Nikon IR remote shutter release but there are other options plus the camera has the usual timer function built in.
- The battery charger is unusual in that it fits directly into the mains socket - there is no lead to the charger. I mention this because you need space either side of the charger, something that might be limited in, say, an extension socket block.
The D3100 has been very well reviewed by the photographic press. In summary, the camera is well built, easy to use, produces quality output, and, has scope for most novice photographers to grow into. I would, on the basis of my experience, highly recommend it.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 May 2011 09:39:16 BDT
I have been reading the reviews of this camera and I am almost certain it is the camera for me.
I will be using it to begin with mainly for house shoots , for estate agents. Does anyone agree that this would be a good option for me
In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2011 10:54:59 BDT
Paul Madge says:
Andy, My thoughts about your question are this. If you are looking for high image quality this camera must be among the best at the price point. However, your reference to estate agent work begs a couple observations - how important is DSLR quality? - if your aim is to take pictures if the front of houses for estate agent info sheets/web postings then this camera might be overkill as the same need may be met by a more portable quality pocket compact camera. Additionally, the size (in Mb) of images produced by a camera like the Nikon D3100 will be quite large in normal mode, although, it does have a small picture mode which includes 640x480 - a standard web format. If you decide to go for this camera think carefully about your lens choice too bearing in mind your proposed application. I would suggest if you are going to take external pics of houses the 18-55mm kit lens may be fine, but, if the application is more sophisticated than I am interpreting it you may want to buy just the Nikon D3100 body and consider other lenses. Good luck with your purchase.
In reply to an earlier post on 22 May 2011 09:59:30 BDT
i may be late onto this, but what you really need is a compact camera. you only really need a dslr for really really fast response time, such as me, (i use mine for shooting riots and protests, etc). if you're just shooting landscape or house fronts, buy a compact, with an ultra wide lens, so you can get up close to the house, rather than having to take from across the street. this will also allow you to shoot inside the house more easily. i'd say buy a canon s95, which has essentially the same specs(it's actually better in some cases, such as landscapes or shooting manual, and it has a faster lens, allowing it to shoot in darker conditions), but takes a few milliseconds from when you press the button to taking the picture(note: press the button down 1/2 way, frame the picture and then shoot- it gets the colours better, and gets a faster response). but that's probably overkill for what you're doing, still. spend £100 on a compact, but make sure it's lens is wide (it should have a minimum lens focal length of at most 28mm, corrected for 35mm. if you don't know that it has, email me at tomw<point>45<at>gmail<poi
try living with the camera you buy in your pocket, and if you take a lot of photos, eventually upgrade to a dslr.
Posted on 4 Oct 2011 08:07:42 BDT
P. O. Harper says:
Paul - could I ask if you could explain further regarding 'other options' - I had hope the D3100 woudl have IR remote
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Oct 2011 16:45:32 BDT
Paul Madge says:
Look at the Nikon MC DC2 corded shutter release - would this help you? The Nikon website confirms its compatibility with the D3100 and you can buy it on Amazon for around £16.00 - there is a review from a customer (Gopi) who confirms it fits his D3100. Here is the Nikon site link - hope it helps -
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Oct 2011 16:55:17 BDT
P. O. Harper says:
Thats great of you to take the time to reply Paul and I think I am now going for the D3100. Thank you very much indeed. Phil
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