Nikon D3100

Last updated (19 July’13):
– Review by Shutterbug

Nikon D3100 is a 14.2-megapixel Digital SLR Camera features Full 1080p HD Cinematic Video, EXPEED 2 image processor, Built-in pop-up flash, Automatic Image Sensor Cleaning, and One-touch Live View and movie recording. The camera which includes 3x NIKKOR 18-55mm VR image stabilization zoom lens measures (W x H x D) 124 X 96 X 74.5mm and weighs 505g.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Expert Reviews

Nikon D3100 Reviews

Shutterbug reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“When all is said and done, this is a pleasant entry-level camera that could easily be considered “my first Nikon,” or by wedding photographers as a second camera they can use or hand off to an assistant to shoot candids or video coverage of the ceremony…”
Rating: N/A

CGC reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“..we continued to have largely positive feelings about the Nikon D3100 and can certainly warmly “Recommend” it…if you’re a less advanced photographer looking to purchase your first DSLR camera. For those with more skill, the D3100 is not recommended, “
Rating: ★★★★☆

ComputerActive reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“Overall it’s a great small SLR, but at around £450 in most shops it seems the addition of video has bumped the price up slightly – you could be forgiven for wishing that the cheaper D3000 was still available.”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“The Nikon D3100 may only be an entry-level SLR camera, but it’s capable of supplying very good image quality and it also has the ability to shoot HD video. It’s a comfortable camera to hold and an easy one to use”
Rating: ★★★★½

MacWorld reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“Overall, the D3100 makes it easier and faster for the amateur to achieve professional-looking pictures, which is all you can ask of a DSLR in its class. “
Rating: ★★★★½

NeoCamera reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“In the end, the D3100 is great because it delivers image quality in a simple and durable body that will appeal to DSLR novices. The well-specified video-recording capability rounds-off the Nikon D3100 as a camera which can replace a fixed-lens one without losing that major feature, which is probably a top concern when upgrading”
Rating: ★★★★½

HardwareZone reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“Even though it’s an entry-level DSLR camera, the D3100 delivers stunning image performance. Color us delighted as the D3100 solves the noise issues plaguing the D3000 and gives clear images all the way from ISO100 to ISO3200. Image resolution is average, scoring approx. 1400 x 1600 LPH vertical and horizontal on our test chart, but the ability to shoot at such high ISO speeds and still get clean results more than offsets the average resolution..”
Rating: ★★★★½

DCR reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“The D3100 turns in a pretty good performance – 100, 200 and 400 ISO are all very close, with 400 showing just the slightest hint of some graininess creeping in. The jump from 400 to 800 becomes the first where a slight increase in noise is apparent on the 800 image – but the overall image is quite good.”
Rating: ★★★★½

GoodGearGuide reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“The image quality on the D3100 is average for its class and price range. The camera shoots JPEG and raw images, and noise reduction is surprisingly effective, even at 3200 ISO.”
Rating: ★★★★½

TrustedReviews reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“the D3100 feels solidly constructed when gripped in the palm, is fast and responsive, and is capable of some sharp and colourful results thanks to combination of sensor and supplied 18-55mm test lens and is fairly priced. As such the D3100 is something of a no brainer choice for anyone who doesn’t already own a digital SLR, but desires the more professional in appearance results that such a set up can bring. “
Rating: ★★★★½

DCRP reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“Overall, I was pleased with the image quality on the Nikon D3100, especially in terms of high ISO performance. That said, there are a few areas in which things could improve. I found exposure to be accurate, which is a nice change from previous Nikon D-SLRs that I’ve tested, which always seemed to require some kind of exposure compensation adjustment..”
Rating: ★★★★½

PhotographyBlog reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“the Nikon D3100 produces image quality that defies its entry-level status. Compared to the one-year-old D3000, Nikon has managed to simultaneously increase the pixel count and improve quality at high sensitivity settings, with the D3100 enjoying at least one stop of advantage over its predecessor.”
Rating: ★★★★½

AmateurPhotographer reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“When compared to other models at the same level, though, I believe this is one of the best. The D3100 is a camera built for the beginner, but it should also satisfy photographers as their abilities grow. “
Rating: ★★★★½

PopPhoto reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“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. “
Rating: N/A reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“This is a fine camera which will please not only beginners but will also appeal to those with a little more experience. Image quality is exceptional for an entry-level camera, and the D3100 more than holds its own in its class of camera. “
Rating: ★★★★½

WDC reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“Image noise is absent from ISO 100-200, and a granular texture begins to creep in subtly hereafter. Images are of a good quality up to ISO 800, though colour noise begins to appear from ISO 1600. ISO 1600-3200 are still usable, despite notable softness from noise-reduction processing. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

PhotoRadar reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“It’s all very well having a posh specifications list and a barrow-load of features, but it’s how they translate into photographic quality that’s key. With great handling for such a small SLR and impeccable image quality in practically every shot, the Nikon D3100 is both highly impressive and utterly dependable.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

DigitalTrends reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“It’s a tough choice you’ll have to make (handle them both) but entry-level DSLR buyers can’t go wrong with the D3100 for taking photographs. People who want quality videos should look elsewhere.”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“Overall we were very pleased with the field performance of the Nikon D3100 in our tests, and have no hesitation in recommending the camera as a great family, travel SLR. With user-friendly operation the camera can be picked up right away and used in a point and shoot capacity delivering pleasing results. “
Rating: N/A

SteveHuffPhoto reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“PROS: It’s small! Nikons smallest DSLR!, You get what you pay for. This is the cheapest Nikon DSLR!, It’s a Nikon, and Nikon knows cameras, Decent high ISO (though not beating the new Sony A33 and A55), Improved controls over the D3000, Fast AF, Nikon added 1080P video with a dedicated button, but implementation is a bit clunky, Good battery life. CONS: There are better cameras in this class that will give you better image quality, The color seems a bit wonky to me (off), Body feels plasticky, and hollow, Still seems like it has a lack of control with many settings in the menu, Images lose some color quality at higher ISO, ISO does not beat the older D3000 but you can go up to 12,800”
Rating: N/A

PocketLint reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“The Nikon D3100 takes “entry-level” DSLRs up a notch. It’s a hugely well-specified model that trounces current competition at this level. The pictures are great as is the Full HD 1080p movie mode. Those looking for a DSLR for the first time need look no further, and those already familiar with photography will be equally gratified at everything on offer here too. Top stuff”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PCMag reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“Nikon’s D3100 is an excellent entry-level digital SLR, and is currently the only D-SLR to offer continuous autofocus during video recording for a true camcorder-like video-capture experience.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

CNET reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“The good: Excellent photo quality; well-laid-out controls; interesting, user-friendly Guide mode; full manual controls in video capture. The bad: Smallish viewfinder; slower than the competition; no bracketing.The bottom line: A very good entry-level dSLR, the Nikon D3100 delivers excellent photo quality in a body that’s streamlined for experienced photographers, but relatively unintimidating for the less advanced. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

PCMag reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“Nikon’s D3100 is an excellent entry-level digital SLR, and is currently the only D-SLR to offer continuous autofocus during video recording for a true camcorder-like video-capture experience.”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“If we could make one change to the Nikon D3100, it would be the addition of a tilting LCD screen — as found on Sony’s SLT-A33 and Panasonic’s new Lumix DMC-GH2 — rather than the current fixed variety. Oh, and the resolution could do with being boosted beyond the bog-standard 230k dots. Apart from that, there’s not a great deal wrong with the D3100. For the price, it should make for a very sound investment for first-dSLR buyers.”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“Video quality was good, but not outstanding and we only found slight evidence of the ‘rolling shutter’ problem that causes verticals to lean in the direction of pans. If all production units handle this problem as well as the one we reviewed we suspect few users will notice the leans – except in over-fast pans. Soundtracks were OK but not outstandingly clear and commanding..”
Rating: ★★★★½

T3 reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“WE LOVE: Well built, Fast and responsive, Fairly priced, Buttons large and obvious. WE HATE: Small-ish handgrip, video not as easy to access and use as on Panasonic and Sony rivals. WE SAY: The D3100 offers just about everything any serious amateur could want from a starter DSLR, and at a fair price “
Rating: ★★★★☆

KenRockwell reviews the Nikon D3100 and writes;
“I’d get a D3100 instead of other bigger, heavier and more expensive cameras unless you have a very clear, stated reason that the D3100 won’t work for you.”
Rating: N/A

Video Reviews

Nikon D3100 Reviews

Review Video By DigitalRevCom

Review Video By EverythingISTech

Review Video By JaredPolin

Nikon D3100 preview video by DigitalRev;


Nikon D3100 Sample Photos

Nikon D3100 Sample Photos @ NeoCamera
Nikon D3100 Sample Photos @ TrustedReviews
Nikon D3100 Sample Photos @ DCRP
Nikon D3100 Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
Nikon D3100 Sample Photos @ PopPhoto
Nikon D3100 Sample Photos @ PhotoRadar
Nikon D3100 Sample Photos @
Nikon D3100 Sample Photos @ Flickr

Nikon D3100 Sample Video

Nikon D3100 Sample video Download by DCR


Nikon D3100 User Manual (PDF)

Click to view or right click and select Save Target As..(Firefox) or Save link as.. (IE) to download

– Download Nikon D3100 User Manual (PDF – 15.8 MB)


Nikon D3100 Features

Nikon’s affordable, compact and lightweight D3100 digital SLR features a high-resolution 14-megapixel CMOS DX sensor, high-quality 3x NIKKOR 18-55mm VR image stabilization zoom lens and intuitive onboard assistance including the learn-as-you grow Guide Mode. Capture beautiful pictures and amazing Full HD 1080p movies with sound and full-time autofocus. Easily capture the action other cameras miss with a fast start up time, split-second shutter release, 3 frames per second shooting and 11-point autofocus.

Capture pictures and make movies in near darkness with an ISO range of 100 to 3200 (expandable to 12800-Hi2). EXPEED 2, Nikon’s new image processing engine, assures breathtakingly rich image quality, managing color, contrast, exposure and noise. One-touch Live View and movie recording lets you see the action on the 3-inch monitor and the Scene Recognition System automatically chooses the ideal settings.

You can also select from 6 Automatic Exposure Scene Modes: Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-up or Night Portrait for stunning results in otherwise challenging conditions. Active D-Lighting restores picture-enhancing detail in shadows and highlights. A built-in pop-up flash is ready for those times when there just isn’t enough light and in-camera image editing allows creative freedom and effects, without the need for a computer.

Nikon D3100 Highlights

14.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS Image Sensor
Delivers beautiful photographs and prints well beyond 20 x 30 inches.

Includes 3x 18-55mm Zoom-NIKKOR VR Image Stabilization Lens
Included lens offers the legendary NIKKOR optical quality and fast, accurate autofocus for vivid color, striking contrast and crisp detail and VR image stabilization to ensure the sharpest hand-held pictures and movies.

Full 1080p HD Cinematic Video
Features full-time autofocus and sound; record cinematic-quality movies in Full 1080p HD format (1920 x 1080 pixels).

The D3100 features Nikon’s Guide Mode with intuitive controls and on-board assistance helping you take better pictures every step of the way.

Compact and Lightweight Design
Beautifully styled–ready to go wherever life takes you.

Split-second Shutter Response
Eliminates the frustration of shutter delay, capturing moments that other cameras miss.

Fast 11-point Autofocus System
Delivers razor-sharp pictures.

ISO sensitivity 100-3200, expandable to ISO 12800 equivalent
Delivers exceptional results, even in the most challenging low-light situations.
Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Highlights

3-inch monitor
Features One-Touch Live View shooting and movie capture.

Scene Auto Selector
Lets the D3100 decide the best mode to match the shooting situation when using Live View.

Nikon’s new image processing engine assures breathtakingly rich image quality, managing color, contrast, exposure, noise and speed.

Scene Recognition System in Live View

Automatically optimizes exposure, autofocus, and white balance, allowing you to obtain beautiful photos without the hassle of making complicated camera adjustments yourself.

6 Automatic Exposure Scene Modes
Just set the Mode dial to Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-up or Night Portrait for stunning results in otherwise challenging conditions.

Active D-Lighting
Restores picture-enhancing detail in shadows and highlights.

Picture Control
Choose from Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, or Landscape to apply a personal look and feel to your pictures.

Automatic Image Sensor Cleaning
Ultrasonic process and exclusive Airflow Control combats the accumulation of dust in front of the image sensor, safeguarding image quality shot after shot.

Built-in pop-up flash
Perfect for those times when there isn’t enough light.

In-camera Image Editing
Allows creative freedom, without the need for a computer, offering easy editing functions.

Compatible Lenses

* AF-S and AF-I: All functions supported
* Type G or D AF NIKKOR without built-in autofocus motor: All functions except autofocus supported. IX NIKKOR lenses not supported.
* Other AF NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D color matrix metering II. Lenses for F3AF not supported.
* Type D PC NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and some shooting modes.
* AI-P NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D color matrix metering II.
* Non-CPU: Autofocus not supported. Can be used in exposure mode M, but exposure meter does not function.


Listed below are some of the rivals of the Nikon D3100

Canon EOS 550D Reviews

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Pentax K-r Reviews

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Sony A390 Reviews

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

28 Responses to “Nikon D3100”

  1. photographer sagar says:

    I think this camera is going to be a success. I just got a chance to go thru its features in an exhibition and seems better than d5000 and a formidable competitor to d90.

  2. D90 fanboy says:

    this camera has no motor and no top lcd, 230k screen not 980k, but still be ok. I’m buying one.

  3. D90 fanboy says:

    Are you frigging nuts? this is not even close to d90 so don’t even compare the two. you don’t know what you’re babbling about!…

  4. Yesenia says:

    i like to buy my first nikon camera, but to be honest i am no t very good on selecting. i am looking into the
    SLR cameras from Nikon the D3100 and the Nikon D5000.
    wish on e would u suggest me to buy it…i usually take many pics and enjoy it when traveling, family and friends.

    thanks yesenia

  5. rob says:

    The D90 is better to operate and has a higher buildquality.
    And some features are missing on the D3100:
    Exposure delay for tripod shots.
    High-res LCD

    But image quality is sligtly better than D90, especially for high iso.

  6. Zoe says:

    I’m going to be buying me first DLSR camera in 3 days and I had my heart set on the D90, but then I was introduced to the D3100.

    What I think I know is that the D3100 offers higher ISO (12,800 versus 6400?)and has CMOS whereas the D90 doesn’t, but is still good in low light. The D3100 is supposed to reduce grain in low light even more than D90. I like that.

    However, the D3100 seems a bit like the D60 in that is seems too much of a beginner camera. I feel like the D90 is more professional (although I’m pretty sure it still counts as an amateur camera)

    I’ll be using the 18-200 lens for sure. I’ll be doing a lot of action photography, nature photography, and shots in low light. What do we think? I need some professional opinions please!!

    email me –

  7. Tyler says:

    Nikon D7000

  8. Fotopratica says:

    Hi guys, hallo from Italy; check your first link to T3 reviews, it actually point to Ken Rockwell…Have a good work

  9. Night says:

    Is twice the price

  10. sohel says:


    I bought a Nikon D3100 from Nanjing, CHina on 30 October 2010. Ironically, the user manual is in Chinese and not English! I tried to get a copy download from the official website. But whenever I tried to register, the answer was – the mail ID and the password combination does not match!! How can I get a printable version of the same manual in English? Without that, I can not start with my dream machine! Can anyone help me here?

  11. KNL says:

    you can download it from official web site of USA. It is PDf version with non printable.

  12. J J Sifontes says:

    I have owned the D40,60,70,80,3000 and D90.The D90 is an excellent camera,,but as far as technology and image quality goes this D3100 seems like a great buy.If in doubt,the D90 is a no brainer.Suggest not even look at the D5000,, owned that too, avoid it.Good luck

  13. Masters86 says:

    Great camera, but video is a letdown. You can get a much better deal with the Sony a33 or a55.

  14. Jeannie says:

    My husband and I had a Christmas Party last Sat. and he took over 95 pics and he was messing with the camera the next day and it asked him if he wanted to reformat it or something and he said yes and all the pics were gone. Is there any way to retreive them at all or are they history. Does anybody know if there is anything we can do to retrieve these very special pics. Thanks J

  15. Matt says:

    if you’re doing action photography, go with the D90, it has a higher FPS than the D3100,

  16. Barb says:

    You can try to take the camera and card to a camera store and they might be able to get them back. Roberts camera shops in Indiana do it. Your husband reformatted your memory card.

  17. Tonia says:

    go back to school!

  18. vIZnquest says:

    I have too many cameras to begin with but I can say having two D200’s with battery grip, D40, D5000, D90 and now the D3100 that they all have their merits as being a very good camera.
    I find the D3100 to be much better in what it does for images for the price. It is definitely much more simplified and less featured of any camera that I have not counting the video capabilities.
    The use of video on any of the dSLR’s I have are not something I considered to replace a true video camera nor do I compare it to one. It does provide a creative medium in addition to the main purpose of the camera and from watching videos produced using them I find it to be quite capable. It will take time to learn how to make the most of what it is and what it can really do. If one just wants point and shoot away in video mode for a lengthy period of time is not going to make anyone happy.

    Overall, I find the D200 to be the best for what I like to shoot. I do find the low iso from the D3100 to be the best of the lot. If push came to shove I would go with the D90.

  19. under18(-) says:

    i,m beginner..
    what do we use to get a best pics
    m,a,,s,p,auto,no flash etc.

  20. vIZnquest says:

    Starting out as a beginner the auto mode is where most start but it is not the best.

    Learn about, iso, shutter speed, exposure, white balance for those who choose not to shoot raw and the like is what you will learn.

    Each mode has its reason for use but the sooner you learn about photography which has many forums and websites that explain it in detail the better.

    Program is where I started then Aperture and now full Manual. I rarely use Shutter Priority.

    Flash is an entirely seperate subject that will take time to learn about as well.

  21. Christina says:

    I’m looking a Nikon D3100 for using on this Chinese New Year. Unfortunately,i can’t get it in Northern Malaysia.So Badddddddddddd!!!!!><

  22. lalalalala says:

    lot of DSLR beginner always ask, and read diffrent reviews before they buy their first DSLR. But Personally, i dont think the brand name or the pic quality isnt that matter as long as you enjoy photography. I do not have DSLR, but Im happy with my small compact camera. Its not that high quality as DSLR. Also everyone has diffrent taste..some people go for the camera’s design.. some people go for vid. quality etc…. The camera you want is probably what you really want! Other’s opinion does not matter.. Its your camera.. , so your opinion is so much better. because your gonna be whos gonna take photo with the camera. anyways.. I hope thoes people who is still wondering what DSLR to buy.. i hope this helped!!!

  23. gamboa says:

    d5000 does everything better. measurements show that, no doubt! go for d5000 or even better for d90!

  24. a_d55 says:

    the nikon d3100 is an amazing entry level camera. if you are one of the people who just enjoys takin pics with friends and family its just the camera but you could get the d90 if you want even better results.

  25. ms says:

    Yeah! Same problem with me. But I require a printable. Is there any method of printing the same?

  26. Alex Nikon says:

    This is my top of choice. But the price still too high for me. So, if somebody wanna sell his used camera, contact me pls

  27. lonicoffee says:

    The image quality achieved at High ISO with the Nikon D300 DSLR is very high..!!!!

  28. GIANCO says:


    Nikon D700 features an FX-format first introduced with the Nikon D3. Highly praised for its outstanding features, the D3 established a new level of professional performance in terms of overall image quality, extraordinarily low noise, ISO sensitivity range, continuous high-speed shooting, color gradation, image crispness, durability, weather-resistant operation, system versatility and more.


    1 Nikon D700 DSLR Camera
    1 EN-EL3e Battery Pack
    1 MH-18a Battery Charger
    1 UC-E4 Data Cable (USB)
    1 EG-D100 AV Cable
    1 AN-D700 Strap
    1 CD-ROM
    1 LCD Protect Cover

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