Nikon D3100 Features 1080p HD Video with Full-Time Autofocus

Nikon has announced the arrival of the D3100, a new entry-level DSLR that sports, among other cool features, a 14.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and Full 1080p (1920 x 1080) HD video capture @ 24 fps with—now hang on to your hats, kids—full-time autofocus with monaural sound. Now we're talking (and autofocusing)!

Like its predecessor, the Nikon D3000, the new camera is compact, light and well thought out in terms of usability. Shutter-release times are near instantaneous and an 11-point AF system helps you nail sharp snaps every time. When shooting under less than desirable lighting conditions, the D3100's EXPEED 2 image processor allows you to tweak the camera's native 100-3200 range up to an equivalent of ISO 12,800. 

Nikon's new D3100 with 18–55mm Nikkor VR lens

To enable easy, fumble-free composing, viewing and editing of stills and video, the D3100 features a bright 3" LCD with One-Touch Live View from which you can also call up the onboard Nikon Guide Mode, which explains, illustrates and walks you through the various Scene Modes made available on the new camera. There's also an Auto Scene Selector that automatically selects the best shooting mode when shooting in Live View mode. For "normal" shooting, the D3100 also has a bright penta-mirror, which displays approximately 95% of the image field (the 3" LCD displays 100% of the total image area).

The D3100 can capture JPEGs, NEF (RAW) or a combination of NEF(RAW)+JPEG at burst rates up to 3 frames per second. Shutter speeds range from 30 seconds through 1/4000th of a second and images can be recorded to your choice of SD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards.

Other standard features found on the Nikon D3100 include six Automatic Scene modes, Active D-Lighting, Automatic Image Sensor Cleaning, a built-in flash and in-camera picture editing.

Nikon's Easy Guide mode makes picture-taking intuitively easy for newbies and seasoned shooters alike.

The Nikon D3100 is available in a choice of two kits. The first kit includes an AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR zoom lens. A second Nikon D3100 kit includes an AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR zoom lens along with an AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED, which makes for a terrific two-lens travel kit that should cover all your bases.  

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Does the D3100 have an external mic input?

Any cameras with part-time sound?

No audio in and 1080 24 fps only.

 But all we really wanted was FULL Manual control...the D90 would have been cool if it had that....can't believe they haven't done a firmwear update for that...Nikon your loosing people fast

1/400TH OF A SEC ?


No Audio Input, manual audio control or 1080p30? No deal. The Canon T2i is still better.

Dear Manufacturers of Nikon, Canon, and to whom else it may concern regarding DSLR video:

Let me know when I can full-time auto-focus, select resolutions and fps speeds, manually control aperture/shutter ISO and color, and connect an external microphone.

Until you fill this wish list, don't waste my time by making me think I'm gonna get a usable video camera from my DSLR.

I bought a Canon 5D mkII (a GREAT still camera- no regrets) thinking I would be able to shoot videos as well as stills. I can, but how the heck am I supposed to manually focus the thing when I can't even look through the finder while I shoot? I know it can be done, but you really have to jump through hoops to do it.

Dose this camera have a Depth-of-Field preview button?

Will this be available as a body-only unit? If so, any idea how much it will cost?

Can it trigger an external flash wirelessly?

Reading this thread is like listening to compact car buyers complain about a truck bed that's too small. This is a camera with video capability. If you are that serious a videographer, this little toy wouldn't be for you in the first place. This rig cost less than most serious lenses. LOL

 What is the price expected for the two different configurations?

Thank you, kebwebs!

I want to recommend something for my brother to get his 15 yr. old who seems to like photography but outgrowing the point and shoot.  I would think the upside here is that you keep the price down and then she can upgrade the body later.

I assume htis is retailing in the $600 realm. Any other thoughts short of the $1,000 mark?

I bet they are going to release a replacement for the D90

I feel like this is Nikon trying to out do the Canon EOS 7D. I feel like this could be a very strong selling camera because of the price. With this being said I could only hope that the Canon EOS 7D will drop in price.  If this happened I would spend the extra money and get a great camera from Canon.  For those starting out I would recommend this camera if your a Nikon fan and you don't wish to spend much. That 1080 HD video always gives cameras a second look. 

Kebwebs, you mis the point. Pros with a major investment in Nikon glass want a Nikon that is competitive with Canon. Canon makes cameras that shoot 1080p with controllable stereo sound. Nikon counters with a camera only suitable for shooting video b-roll. Sigh.

HD Video recording Time is still limited to 10 minutes per clip. Until Nikon (and Canon) produce a camera in this price range capable of recording more than 10-12 minutes per clip. I'll stick to my Lumix GH1. There are fewer lens available, but at least I can record until the card is full. Plus the GH1 has full-time, dead-silent autofocus and a stereo external mike input. 

how much is this lovely camera?

Looks to me like a LOT of features have been added or upgraded compared to the D3000.  This just makes me drool to think of what the next Dxxx camera will bring to the table in terms of megapixels and low light performance.

meh. I am totally underwhelmed.

I still say the best way to shoot video of any kind is with a video camera, a camera designed to shoot moving pictures!!  They have all the features you want and then some!  Let still cameras shoot stills and video cameras shoot video!!

 you can shoot 30fps at 720p

The lack of a stereo mic, and especially an external mic input is really discouraging.

But the MOV format and especially the increase to 10min (still not Canon's 12mins) coupled with the low price makes this a good choice for a HDSLR backup vid cam for events and weddings if you already are invested in Nikon gear.

What this all should point out though is the next versions of the pro lines will have the video autofocus, 1080p, and 10min (or better?) video length.

 my t2i is still a better camera. I can do 1080p at 30 fps. and 720p at 60 fps. with 18.1 mega pixels and 3 inch screen with over 1 million pixels. Nikon needs to catch up and maybe I'll consider a Nikon for myself later.  

For the 15 year old, I'd start with the Nikon D5000. Much better camera than the D3000 and better value. Perhaps the D3100 will surpass the D5000, but I'd compare them.

Dear Nikon,

Please make a simple, non-automatic camera body that will meter with AI lenses, the same way my F2A bodies do. I have eight wonderful NIkkor lenses and have no desire for autofocus, zoom, or multiple "modes" and gimmicks.

Just make a basic camera body that meter-couples to AI lenses. If you must, automatic (as an option) like the F3 - but that's all.

That's not too complicated - and I bet, with millions of those lenses out there, it will be a very successful model - and the dilettants that want the cameras doing their thinking for them will still have plenty to choose from.

 I think people are missing the point on HD video, Yes you can record 10 to 11 min of HD video, But SLR's main purpose is to shoot stills. If your honestly worried about HD video get a Camcorder like a Canon XH-A1s. Thats what I'm shooting right now. Yes its big, built for video, and only has a 20 optic 72mm lens but, I can buy a DOFA like Letus 35mm and a nikon or canon lens and get way better video and features then any SLR at the moment.  For a company like Nikon and Canon to have the ability to do HD Video and "leave it out" of there SLR technology is a blow the the brain now-a-days. I would not be surprised  to see every SLR that comes out from todays date Aug-19-2010 to not have some type of video recording feature other then price holding the manufacture back. 

D3100 - A good omen for higher end Nikon DSLRs

I'm the in-house technical/creative for a manufacturing company. Every still and video image used in the training and promo videos for our latest product were captured with the Panasonic GH1.

I found that the GH1 produced better video images at 720p than our Sony HVR-V1U at 1080p. So YES, a $1,400 HD DSLR absolutely can - and did - replace a much more expensive semi-pro camera.

When evaluating HD DSLR cameras I found the GH1 to be more usable for the type of work I do than the Canon 7d and Nikon D90 or D300s. Unfortunately, its photo and video image quality are a step below the others. Ultimately I went with the GH1 because it gave me the best chance of returning with the shots I need and at a higher quality level than before.

Now that Nikon has released a camera that shoots at a usable frame rate and has full time AF, I'm anticipating higher end models with AF, manual control, more resolution and frame rate choices, and a mic input. It will be good to shoot with Nikon again...

All this talk of HD video is such a waste when talking about still photography. If you want the best quality of video and the features you can receive from video, get a video camera!! There are plenty of them out there and they're very good. If you are a still photographer, do still images, forget about video or get a separate video camera. Long live Still Photography!!! 

my question is: why does nikon insist on putting out half-assed products with mediocre features?

Yet another DSLR without a flip-out articulated monitor. Totally useless for shooting movies without that, unless you are a contortionist. Only Panasonic seems to understand this simple concept.

Does it have auto bracketing ability and to what extent?

constant auto focus, now we're starting to talk.....hey Canon, how about putting that in the 7D/5D/1D firmware.....

Somewhat short of the Canon 7D.

I like the fact that people keep comparing this to much more expensive cameras. How many companies are offering this stuff in their entry lvl bottom of the line equipment. Trying to compare this with things like the canon 5d mkII or the 7d is like saying that you have nothing at an equivalent price point to compare. Once Nikon pops out its next set of high end cameras you can do real comparison with your Canon equipment and to all those out there looking to shoot video pick up a video camera.

To those of us using our cameras for what they're designed for, taking pictures that is, long live the art of the still.

From a number standpoint 30 fps is more than 24 fps, however, I understand that the film standard for 35mm movie cameras is 24 fps.   Hollywood quality audio systems are based upon the 24 fps film standard.    

What  are the advantages of a 24 or 30 fps?   Is the 6 extra frams per sec so much better than to not match  up with the  audio editing standards?   And does either one make any real difference????

I just want Nikon to make an affordable DSLR with the FX format sensor. Why do they stick to the DX? Can the manufacturing cost be that different now that they've recouped [sic?] their research money?

I feel like they are holding back on us and crippling their lenses [sic?] at the same time. If I buy a 100mm I want it to mount on a camera that sees it as a 100mm and not a 1:1.4 ratio.

I own a nikon D90 and LOVE IT the video and quality of the photos....I think this camera could make a great back up for myself.

I shot with a canon and i personally sold it to get a nikon and will never trade back....its all in what you like though.

 Does this contraption have auto bracketing? No one has mentioned anything about this feature.

 gee just what everyone needs, another poor mans video camera.... just more garbage to throw away next year, wise up guys, save and get a decent video camera not this low end crap....

Does it have pop out wings and fly like a remote control airplane?  C'mon's just a camera...make it work...enjoy the challenge that ACTUALLY have to think and you ACTUALLY have to have a little skill to get past the shortcomings.

So what is in store for a D90 upgrade? Some of these new features would be sweet  on the D90.   NO

Well, webcurt, PROS get a video camera if they want video, and that could well be a Canon. PROS who want great still shots get a great still camera -- and that's a Nikon. PROS don't buy the 3100 anyway, so whats the big deal about it?

come on nikon ,, bring something ,, good!.... this is like  ashes too ashes. dust ..

Dear Nikon,,

I read almost all the coments ,, just to see if people feel the same like I do.

I  love nikon, but this last year I've been forced to used canon 5d M II because I dont understand,, what child  game are you playing.

I don't understand it. 

 Terrible everyone is bashing the efforts of Nikon

the fact is, quite simply, there are leaders and companies who try and play catch up...

dont be mad at Nikon, their trying and may the best camera be the consumers


in the end:

Samsung, Sony, Minolta, Pentax, Olympus, Nikon, Leica, Nikon,Canon

one of em will be a top choice for you, and competition keeps it real so the 

latest technologies and price remains tight.... where the real winner

is the consumer...

choose your camera and shoot!

Does this camera also provide auto focus-continous, shooting in the sports mode?

I shoot tons of basball games. Some of my shots are out of focus when I shoot

the batter and than swing out to the outfielder catching the ball.  I need a fast

focusing camera so I don't loose the focus following the action of the baseball.


I have a Nikon D70s with two lens. Would they work on the D3100 camera body or would I need to buy all new lens?

Can I spot meter with this new camera?