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.
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.
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.
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.