The Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera is a compact, DX-format DSLR that features a 14.2MP CMOS sensor and EXPEED 2 image processor to produce high resolution imagery with impressive low-light sensitivity to an expanded ISO 12800. Full HD 1080p video recording is supported at 24 fps and continuous autofocus is also available while recording, or when working in live view, with the full-time servo AF-F focusing mode. For controlling the look and feel of imagery, Active D-Lighting and Picture Control settings help to clearly render difficult lighting scenes and also give you the ability to refine the appearance over six different settings. Six scene modes are also available to help accurately depict common scene types, and Scene Auto Selector can work to intelligently determine the type of scene and settings needed to best represent it. A useful Guide Mode can be employed when beginning to help learn different camera controls and how and why to use them depending on the scene at hand in order to depict it as desired.
In addition to the D3100 camera, two lenses are also supplied and cover a wide range of focal lengths from wide-angle to telephoto lengths. the AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II gives a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 27-82.5mm while the AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED gives an equivalent length of 82.5-300mm. Both lenses incorporate a Silent Wave Motor for quick and controlled focusing performance and they also integrate aspherical and extra-low dispersion lens elements into the design to improve optical performance.
14.2MP CMOS Sensor and EXPEED 2 Image Processor
The combination of the 14.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor and EXPEED 2 image processor works to produce high resolution still imagery and full HD 1080p video with notable quality and low-light sensitivity to an expanded ISO 12800.
Active D-Lighting and Picture Control
Active D-Lighting aids when photographing in difficult lighting situations, such as backlit and direct sunlight scenes, and works to maintain detail in both the highlight and shadow areas to produce well-exposed imagery with greater detail. Picture Control provides six distinct settings to give further aesthetic control as to how images are processed in-camera. These settings include Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, and Landscape, and furthermore sharpness, contrast, brightness, and saturation can also be individually adjusted in each setting.
Scene Modes and Guide Mode
Scene modes help in placing the exposure settings correctly in order to properly render your designated scene or subject type. The six modes available are Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close up, and Night portrait. Additionally, Scene Auto Selector can work to automatically determine the type of scene you are photographing in and set the scene mode automatically.
For help when just learning to use the camera, a useful Guide Mode is available that provides assistance in learning how to achieve the effects desired for creating well-realized imagery. Step-by-step instructions are given on the rear monitor to lead you to adjusting the camera settings properly and showing you the effects of each exposure setting. When using the Guide Mode, you can shoot still imagery with either the viewfinder or in live view, and movie recording is also possible. 18 different Guide Mode options are available based on some of the most commonly encountered situations, including lessons on how to soften background, bring more into focus, freeze motion, and how to show water flowing.
Nikon D-Movie and Live View
Full HD 1080p video recording is supported up to 24 fps as well as standard HD 720p recording in multiple frame rates up to 30 fps. When recording movies, a 3.0" 230k-dot LCD monitor is available for live view monitoring, playback, and for making simple editing tasks such as clip trimming and pulling still frames from a movie. Additionally, an HDMI type C port is integrated into the camera's design to enable direct playback to an HDTV.
When working in live view for movie recording or for still shooting, full-time servo AF (AF-F) is available for continuous auto focusing. This aids in tracking moving subjects and face-priority AF also helps to ensure sharp imagery of people. Four distinct AF modes can be employed when working in live view; Normal-area AF, Wide-area AF, Face-priority AF, and Subject-tracking AF, depending on the specific type of subject matter you are working with.
Autofocus and Scene Recognition Systems
The 11-point autofocus system is able to quickly and accurately acquire focus on an array of subjects and maintain sharpness while the subject is moving. A cross-type central point provides the greatest accuracy while the 10 neighboring points help to ensure sharpness on surrounding subject matter. The Single-point AF mode gives you control over which point is used for determining focus; Dynamic-area AF divides the focusing pattern into areas and utilizes a selection of points within that area; Auto-area AF will intelligently determine which focus points to use based on recognized subjects; and 3D-tracking allows you to select a focus point on a moving subject and then will maintain focus on the subject as it moves about the image frame.
In addition to the intelligent autofocus system, the Scene Recognition System also works to provide accurate, automatic exposure settings by way of a 420-pixel RGB sensor that analyzes the scene prior to making an exposure. This system will optimize exposure, white balance, and focus together in order to depict the scene accurately and clearly. This system also benefits face detection modes by biasing the settings based on a recognized face.
Other Camera Features
Full resolution continuous shooting up to 3 fps enables greater efficiency when photographing fast-moving subjects.
The viewfinder integrates a system of well-positioned LED indicators to help increase usability by de-cluttering the effective field of view. An intuitive rangefinder system is also viewable within the finder for more effective focusing when working in manual focus mode.
A lightweight and compact shutter mechanism reduces noise and realizes greater operability when shooting in live view or with the viewfinder. The shutter itself is tested to 100,000 shutter cycles.
The Integrated Dust Reduction System incorporates an Airflow Control System that redirects dust away from the optical low-pass filter on the sensor to minimize the appearance of dust on imagery. When the camera is turned on or off the filter will automatically vibrate, too, in order to dislodge any adhered dust for clearer images.
A host of creative effects and in-camera retouch options are available: Miniature effect, Color Outline, Perspective control, Color balance, Monochrome (Sepia), Fisheye, Filter effects (Cross screen), Soft filter, and NEF (RAW) processing.
NIKKOR 18-55mm and 55-200mm Lenses
In addition to the D3100 camera body, this kit also comes with two lenses that provide full coverage amongst wide-angle and telephoto perspectives. The AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 27-82.5mm and features a compact, lightweight design that adds to its everyday shooting appeal. It integrates a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) to help acquire focus quickly and accurately and also incorporates both aspherical and extra-low dispersion glass elements to minimize aberrations and distortions and provide clearer imagery. The AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED picks up at the long end of the 18-55mm and gives a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 82.5-300mm. It, too, utilizes an SWM mechanism for controlling focus and also features a Super Integrated Coating to minimize ghosting and lens flare and increase overall contrast for more vivid imagery.