Sunday, 11 November 2012

Review - Nikon Digital SLR Camera D3100


Nikon Digital SLR Camera D3100

Nikon Digital SLR D3100


Product Spec

Lens mount
Nikon F mount (with AF contacts)

Effective angle of view
Approx. 1.5 x lens focal length (Nikon DX format)

Effective pixels
14.2 million

Image sensor
23.1 x 15.4 mm CMOS sensor

For the full specification write up from NIKON please click HERE

Overview

I have been using this camera for just over a year now, so I now think I am able to write a pretty comprehensive long-term test for this piece of equipment.
 From the initial unboxing of this unit to the putting together of the lens and battery pack it felt solid, well built and robust, unlike some of the earlier main competitor models that I tried to get to grips with.
 On startup the menu system is clear, concise and will navigate anyone from a total beginner to a seasoned professional to the places you need to be. Its form and functionality will ease you into the camera by giving really good instructions in regard what each of the settings will do for you. Set it to Auto and it controls everything from the ISO to Exposure compensation to the aperture. Using the D3100 in this mode will get you used to the feel of the camera as you chase the family pet around the house looking for that iconic professional shot that all SLR users strive for.
 From this the immersion of the user within the camera can be as little or as extreme as you make it. From clicking through he user friendly menus and snapping away to being knee deep in Long exposure Low ISO settings in difficult lighting conditions and having to think about your white balance; The D3100 will stand up well to all these tests should you want to push the envelope . If you try out the manual mode and all goes to pot then with the flick of a button in the main menu and all of your problems are reset once more.

18-55mm VR kit lens

The kit 18-55mm VR lens is pitched perfect for this kit with is broad zoom range, fast focusing and pin sharp images. It is a perfect accompaniment to the camera and balances well. It does need a protecting UV filter to help stop the scratching of the lens and the blocking of unwanted glare and reflection.

Conclusion

While I think that the D3100 is an amazing starter camera there is one point I would like to address  Now I know that not every unit that Nikon make will have the high end capabilities of the likes of the D3x and I guess its just me being fussy. The camera is not capable of auto-bracketing for those tricky lighting scenarios where the bracketing can help later on in post processing. This can still be achieved manually but in the world of HDR (High Dynamic Range) time is of the essence when capturing landscapes with ever moving elements.
        - To see a HDR Photo in progress with this camera please click HERE

Recommendations


When using the D3100 there are some accessories that I would strongly recommend that you use.
  • Memory card: The best  that you can possibly afford. The read speed of these cards will become crucial when dealing with combinations of  in camera RAW processing and long exposures.
  • Battery grip: One of these will prove so valuable that will wonder how you ever managed without one. Storing two Nikon batteries it will give you the added extra of shooting for longer; it has not be confirmed but i am positive that the in camera processing time is slightly reduced due to the increase in power form the two batteries.
  • UV Filters: I had briefly touched upon these earlier, but they are a worth while investment, they are not expensive just a few pounds (or dollars) each. A little spent here could save hundreds down the line should a lens get damaged.
All of the above items can be seen withing this post. Click HERE

OVERALL RATING 9/10

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