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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I had the camera nikon D3100 for maybe 1 year, if you are going to get good at taking pictures. I wouldnt recommend this camera. It doesn`t have the features that the level over "freshmen" would miss in that camera. So after one year I bought one with a screen you can wring out. D5100 is a much more expensive camera but you get so much more for the money. 

What about the autofocus? Has anyone actually used this option with the camera? Are you able to turn it off if you want to? And does it make any noise as it focuses while filming? I don't want a weird focusing noise while I'm filming, even if it is my son's end of the year classroom party.

your able to swich side of the auto and manual focus. So yes you can take the noise away, but then you need to focus it yourself, it doesnt do it itself without a noise

 No body-only is a rip-off.

Anything relating to video is a waste.

"Entry level" crawling with options is confusing. How's a kid to learn? M-S-A-P is all one needs for learning to take photographs. The rest of the garbage is a crutch for the unable and the snapshooter.

has nikon d3001 used digic 4 processor ?

I'm in the pro video business.  I like the full raster 1080 and love the fact that Nikon has gone from .avi to quicktime h.264.  As for the sound, I would only use the camera for beauty broll shots when needed.  So an external mic input isn't needed.  I'd use my video camera for any A-roll. 

DSLR cameras are designed for still shots.  The fact they do video is a bonus, but should not be the driving factor.  I'm told the autofocus on the D3100 constantly clicks and is ealy heard on the videos because the microphone is next to the lens. You can minimize or eliminate the need for autofocus.  With any camera all you have to do (assuming a well lit subject) is choose a higher ISO, close down the aperature, set the focus to infinity and not worry about it. 

Look Craigs list and see which brand of used lenses are readily available for good prices.  In a year or two (When full 1080p with autofocus and stereo comes standard on every DSLR in the world) it will be today's body you sell and the lenses that you keep. Arguing about video in  DSLR cameras is akin to debating power seats in a new car.  What matters is performance, milage, safety and resell value.  Who gives a crap about the video - what about the reliability of the camera and the quality of the images it produces?  

If you must have video, get a camcorder.  For as little as $350 they outperform any DSLR.  And most take still shots!   Hmmm,  I wonder if the hot topic on the video forums is which camcorder takes the best still shots?

 is this camera better or worse than the cannon eos rebel T1i and why

 I would be interested in the body only when it comes out as the kit lens has too limited of a range. I think the 18-105mm vr would combine nicely with this model as it would be a lens you could leave on the camera most of the time. The 16-85mm vr would also be nice but it is a bit overpriced for an entry-level model such as this one. 

The fact is... nowdays it is expected from a journalist, for example, that he produce still pictures, video interviews, texts for both the web and newspaper/magazines, and send them over the Net. It is a necessity to have one rather unconspicous camera that may do both jobs. As more knowledge is aggregated to theses activities, such cameras are demanded. They provide a basic audio recording. Also, they are not created to make a feature film, but they CAN do that, by a very persistent person... (Film making teacher, Brazil)

 This Nikon 3100 will do well since it fills the need for a large market. I'm sure it will wind up in Costco for a great price. I personally don't like gimmicks on a SLR and if I want to shoot quality video, I'll buy a good video camera. Also, the key ingredient to any SLR system is a high quality lens. An upgrade here is worth the expense. What is really coming down the pike is a SLR that shoots video where you can take each individual frame from that video and blow it up to large sized prints with excellent resolution. 

 Check the new Sony SLR's to be announced this week (24th Aug) - Closer to $1K but answers some of the complaints here.

what are the significant additional features that are not available in D3000.give comparison with other Nikon SLR cameras 

what are the significant additional features that are not available in D3000.give comparison with other Nikon SLR cameras 

Does this camera have ability to transmit to a printer  directly?

Fugg the stills technology I wish Nikon would just release a trick HD video cam just so I can have the option of using any one of my 5 lens.

With that said this seems like a nice and inexpensive unit to mess around with and still get things done.

This sounds like a stunning advance by Nikon. Fulltime AF - yes please. I've been dabbling with video  from my Canons, first with the 5D MK II and more recently with the 7D. I spent a lot of money upgrading my computer and buying Adobe Premiere only to find that I couldn't edit my MK II video files (thanks Adobe). I've been so discouraged I have yet to try my 7D footage.

But both of these cameras lack fulltime AF in video mode. I do a lot of underwater photography but none of my current housings allow me to manually focus lenses UW. So I'm stuck with the primitive auto focusing system on the Canons (about on a par with the very first Pentax autofocus camera, perhaps marginally slower) when I shoot video. Both are absolutely brilliant cameras and I wouldn't rade them for anything, but the focus system is the pits in video mode (and pretty pissy on the 5D MK II).

So I guess I'll have to buy the 9D or whatever the heck the next iteration will be and then of course I'll have to buy Adobe CS5 because there won't be a plugin for CS4 users to download. Adobe - I hate you with a passion. Canon - we all know where you need to go next.

 Im happy nikkon is making a step to HD video. Im really happy its MOV format. 1080 24p is all i would record at anyways and I like nikkon products better than canon, $699 is a great price for 1080 HD video with nikkon glass and DOF you cant go wrong with that price. Beggars cant be choosers if you want long record times and pro audio you gonna have to put up the big bucks buy a good HD camera with good color settings, Manuel iris, Plenty of frame rates, multiple recording formats, XLR audio etc... like a Sony EX1 and then buy a 35mm adapter such as, Letus, Red Rock, and even the Blade. If you want to buy a HD video camera for $699 all your gonna get is a wal-mart or best buy special. This is a great cinematic HD camera for a reasonable price, people forget it also takes amazing pictures!! So stop complaining about all the things it doesnt have and be happy with what it does have and that most pro video people can actually afford it. Why would Nikkon or Canon sell a camera that has everything for a low price anyways that would just be bad business for them, just like everything else in this world you get what you pay for this camera is no excepting so start saving up some money cry babies.

Why are people so concerned about autofocus and audio on these cameras? Barely anyone in the professional realm uses autofocus; simply because it cannot flawlessly predict what is inteded to be focused on unless it's in the center of the frame... (wouldn't that constant framing make some exciting movies?-blah).  About the only time continuous autofocus comes in hand is on a steadicam.

As far as audio goes, sure some professionals use on-board audio inputs, but that's only in broadcast and only if they can't bring other gear with them. DSLRs are not broadcast cameras.

If you're trying to get a film-like look (which is why many people buy these) start getting used to a professional workflow! I'm a fan of the HDSLRs, because you can't argue with results and they are putting out some incredible footage; and funny enough, the workflow is actually more similar to hollywood than it would be to ENG camera workflow. But, just don't complain about them not being broadcast cameras.

On-board audio is simply for reference sake. If you don't have the time to bring real audio equipment, you're probably not shooting a professional gig anyways. And if you're not planning to shoot professionally, well... maybe the in camera audio would be good enough for you.

Autofocus... please, do I need to say more? If you want professional looking footage; at least take a look at how the professional stuff is done.

Can I spot meter with this new camera?

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?

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.


 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!

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. 

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

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?

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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 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.

Somewhat short of the Canon 7D.

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

Does it have auto bracketing ability and to what extent?

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.

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

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...

 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. 

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.

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.

 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.  

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.

 you can shoot 30fps at 720p

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!!

meh. I am totally underwhelmed.

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.

how much is this lovely camera?

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