Product Listing

The Nikon D3100 - A Small Camera with a Giant Punch

By Alvin Soon - 13 Feb 2011



Ever since the D40's debut in 2006, Nikon has been steadily releasing a cadre of entry-level basic DSLR cameras with attractively low prices. And for good reason, entry-level to prosumer models sell more than niche professional models.

But the entry-level DSLR camera, which has become more popular thanks to consumers who graduate from compact cameras, is facing ever greater competition in today's market, which includes Olympus' and Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds cameras, Samsung's NX cameras and Sony's NEX series. All of them feature interchangeable lenses, and promise higher quality images than compact cameras with sensors larger than compact cameras or even as large as entry-level DSLR cameras' APS-C sensors.

After Nikon introduced the impressive entry-level D40 and D40x, they released the D3000 in mid-2009, which introduced Guide mode for beginner DSLR users. However, it also introduced much higher image noise that dragged its ratings down. Can the D3100 do better than its predecessor - and more importantly, stay relevant to the entry-level photographer? We find out in this full review.

  • Performance 9
  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • User-Friendliness 9
  • Value 9.5
The Good
Small, lightweight design makes for easy carrying
11 AF points make focusing more precise
Very good ISO performance
The Bad
Mono microphone
Rolling shutter effect in videos
Lens focusing sound can be heard while recording video