Nikon COOLPIX 3100 Digital Camera [3MP 3xOptical]
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- 3.2 effective megapixels for 2,048 x 1,536-pixel images
- 3x optical Zoom-Nikkor lens with 5.8-17.4mm coverage
- Nikon's advanced image-processing algorithm ensures faithful color reproduction
- Macro shooting capability as close as 4cm (1.6 in.)
- Simple buttons and interface enable easy operation, even for first-time digital users
- AUTO Mode for point-and-shoot operation
- 14 Scene Modes, including four with Scene Assistance function
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Small enough to fit comfortably in the hand, the 3.2 Megapixel Nikon Coolpix 3100 offers 3x optical zoom, multiple scene and movie mode and a super close-up macro mode enabling you to take a picture just 4 cm from the subject. The Nikon Coolpix 3100 has gone through a detailed moulding experience to make sure everything is in the right place. The grip on the front gives enough to hold with one hand, while the indent on the rear is just in the right place for your thumb to access the zoom controls and review button without too much effort. The back also sports a 1.5" LCD screen, which is sufficient to view images you're taking or have taken.
Power comes from a CR-V3 Lithium battery and Nikon has provided the charger in the box for you--a nice touch. Pictures are saved on CompactFlash and a 16 MB card comes in the box. Images can be transferred to a PC via USB or to the TV.
The 3.2 Megapixel camera will produce images up to B4 (250 x 353 mm) depending on settings. With the 3x optical and 4x digital zoom lens the camera offers the equivalent of 38--115 mm in a 35 mm camera with an F range of F2.8--F4.9.
When it comes to pre-programmed options though the Nikon Coolpix 3100 wins hands down, apart from the basic portrait, landscape, sports and night settings you can also set the picture via the scene option, which allows you to break down things further. Here you can chose from a range of options including party/indoor, dusk/dawn, close-up and museum. Add to this, four flash modes and seven white balance modes and you've got a camera with plenty of options.
Picture quality is very good and for a 3.2 Megapixel camera, the detail is very good on grass and greens; other surfaces such as brick and similar-patterned surfaces are slightly lacking in colour variation. The Nikon 3100 also coped well with depth of field being able to capture landscapes.
Overall this camera is a good starter in the field of digital imaging. It is more expensive that the other entry-level cameras, however you do get a charger included in the box, a hassle saved from the start. --Jason DenwoodSee all Product description
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I am not a professional photographer, and when my point-and-shoot 35mm died last year, I decided to "go digital".
I set myself various limits:
1) The whole package (including a colour inkjet printer) couldn't cost over £350.
2) On the advice of friends, I wanted at least 3 MegaPixels.
3) On the advice of a (pro) photographer, I wanted a genuine camera "name"; he said that the lenses on cheaper brands would be disappointing.
So I looked around, and eventually chose this camera. Everything was "right" about it, and when I held one in the shop, all the functions seemed to be where I expected them.
After a year, I am still enjoying it. I took it to Wales, and it took great pictures of my 2-yr old daughter, even on a grey, rainy day (and strong wind, making it hard to hold it steady!). I've taken it to Barcelona, and taken wonderful shots, both in bright sunshine (where any camera should perform well), but also really good pictures of the illuminated fountains, which are very bright against the night sky (a problem for many auto-exposing cameras).
I have used many of the pre-set "modes", (like "Indoor", "Macro" for close-ups, "Beach" for very bright scenes). These can sometimes make a big improvement (although not always; try it on "normal" mode as well, and delete whichever one's worse!). I must admit to being very much an amateur; so I have never used the "manual" mode, where you can change shutter speeds and other things that pros like to fiddle with.
Battery life has been fine; as mentioned elsewhere, the inclusion of a (fast; about 2 hour) charger / battery pack is a nice touch: I've invested in a second set of batteries so I always have spares. I've also bought a bigger CF card; 16MB really wasn't enough, but for the money, I didn't expect any more. A USB card reader (under £10) makes transferring images much easier and quicker, too.
Any niggles? Well, a couple. The time it takes between shots, and the slight shutter lag (it actually captures the image about 1/4 second after you press the button), means you can miss some shots (particularly with a very active 2-yr old!), but these are minor points.
Overall, I have been really pleased with this camera; and everyone who has seen the pictures is impressed too. (By the way, the printer I bought was the Epson Stylus Photo 830U, which has given really brilliant results in combination with the camera; but invest in heavy photo paper; it makes a big difference).
Now that the Nikon Coolpix 3100 is available under £150, though there are other cameras around with higher resolutions, this is an excellent intoduction into how easy digital photography can be. Thoroughly recommended.
The build quality is spot on, picture quality superb and all the features (& more) that I require whilst still retaining the point & shoot capabilities that make this straight forward to use.
As I suspect with all digitals, battery consumption is massive and be warned the supplied rechargeables take a few charges/discharges to achieve optimum efficiency. However a major plus point is the battery charger supplied with the camera - not all manufacturers do this. You will need to stock up on batteries (I've purchased a lithium battery as a back-up). Also a bigger flash card will be required (16mb supplied).
The download to PC could not be simpler - one click and it's there! The Nikon software appears more than adequate for my requirements although I suspect that more serious users may opt for a more advanced programme.
Overall my first impressions are very positive - for the money this camera has all the features to satisfy both the new entrant and the improver - a good choice!
The problem I find is it's size,it is to small,as a SLR user I have difficulty in getting a comfortable grip without blocking the view finder or the flash,otherwise this is a super little camera well worth buying.
On top of all of this, Amazon want about £80 less than most other places. Top.
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