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 Denwood
A compact, lightweight digital still camera with 3.2 effective megapixels and a powerful 3x zoom lens, the COOLPIX 3100 is a friendly and versatile model, even for those who are using a digital camera for the first time. The COOLPIX 3100 is ideal for people who want an easy-to-use digital still camera that offers great image quality, and who are looking to get more fun out of digital photography. The cameras compact body fits easily in a pocket for carry-anywhere portability.
Featuring a 3x optical Zoom-Nikkor lens and 4x digital zoom, the COOLPIX 3100 provides excellent optical performance. Coupled with Nikons advanced image-processing algorithm, this ensures vibrant color, contrast and clarity in every picture. The cameras 3.2 effective megapixels offer remarkable resolution in printouts as large as B4 size.
Shooting is simplified by general-use AUTO Mode and 14 Scene Modes, four of which offer a Scene Assistance function for perfectly composed pictures, which allow users to capture the essence of every situation and fully experience the fun of digital photography. The COOLPIX 3100 also features Continuous Shooting Mode and four Movie Modes, including one capable of recording a clip as large as 640 x480 pixels. Users can take up to 40 seconds of smaller-size video in color, B/W or sepia. In Macro Mode, the camera can shoot as close as 4cm (1.6 in.) from a subject and still get sharply focused shots.
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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.
At full digital zoom, pictures can look a little grainy on the lcd and indeed when you download to pc but thats why you get a camera with an optical zoom. Still plenty viewable though!!
Need to buy a bigger cf card when you buy camera you get a 16mb card with it (19 photos at 3.2mp but more if you are willing to sacrifice quality). I bought 128mb (159 pics at 3.2mp)and a usb cf reader (much more portable than usb lead and nikon software).
If you find the flash weak as some people have said,you could always buy a generic automatic flash (set off by the flash of your camera) but personally had no problems.
Very intuitive menu layout to camera, barely had to read the manual at all, but it is very comprehensive and worth a read for some of the finer points of this camera.
Video mode is reasonable quality although limited to about 40 seconds length and since camera has no microphone, no audio. However if you were after a digital video cam, you wouldn't be looking at this camera.
All in all a very neat, tidy, compact (imagine 2 pack of cards on top of each other), digital camera. Takes great photos simply and was one of the better investments I have made.
Autofocus is slow for indoor shots. Use sport mode. Also there is a long delay between shutter release and photo taken when using flash - frustrating when taking photos of children.
The software with the camera is excellent and easy to install.
I have no regrets about buying it, it's compact, light and is excellent value.
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