Nikon overhauls its starter DSLR, a solid choice for shooters on a budget.
The Bottom Line
Considering that you can get the D3100 for $250 less than Canon's Rebel T2i, the D3100 stacks up well against that top dog of the entry level. Sure, it trails the Canon a bit in resolution and focusing speed, especially in dim light. But the D3100 has even more accurate colors than the Canon and basically matches it in noise performance.
With more resolving power, a higher top sensitivity, and a compelling price, the D3100 beats out most of the rest of the competition. If you have been looking to enter the Nikon system, but want to stick to a tight budget, now might be the time for you.
IMAGING: 14.2MP effective, APS-C sized CMOS sensor captures images at 4608x3072 pixels with 12 bits/color in RAW.
STORAGE: SD/SDHC/SDXC stores JPEG, NEF RAW, and RAW + JPEG files.
VIDEO: Up to 1920x1080p, 24 fps or 1280x720p, 30 fps, MOV H.264 format files; built-in mono mic, no mic input, contrast-detection AF with continuous and subject tracking modes.
BURST RATE: Full-sized JPEGs (Fine mode), up to 100 shots at 3 fps; RAW, up to 13 shots at 3 fps; RAW + JPEG, up to 9 shots at 3 fps.
AF SYSTEM: TTL phase detection with 11 illuminated focus points (single center cross-type); single-shot and continuous AF with 3D predictive tracking. Tested sensitivity down to EV –1 (at ISO 100, f/1.4).
LIVE VIEW AF: TTL contrast detection.
SHUTTER SPEEDS: 1/4000 to 30 sec, plus B (1/3-EV increments); 100,000-cycle rating.
METERING: 420-pixel RGB sensor TTL metering, evaluative, centerweighted, and spot (approx. 2.5% of frame), EV 0–20 (ISO 100).
ISO RANGE: ISO 100–12,800 (in 1/3-EV increments).
FLASH: Built-in pop-up with i-TTL autoflash, GN 39 (ISO 100, feet); flash sync to 1/200 sec.
VIEWFINDER: Fixed eye-level pentamirror.
LCD: 3-inch TFT with 230,000-dot resolution.
OUTPUT: Hi-Speed USB 2.0, mini-HDMI video, composite video, remote/GPS jack.
BATTERY: Rechargeable EN-EL14 Li-ion, CIPA rating 550 shots.
SIZE/WEIGHT: 4.9x3.8x2.9 in., 1.1 lb with an SD card and battery.
STREET PRICE: $640, with 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6 VR lens; $1,100, with 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6 VR and 55–300mm f/4.5–5.6 VR lenses.