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2,493 of 2,553 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nikon D3100 VS. D300 VS. D700
For the cost of this camera, I don't think you can get anything better. The low light performance is off the charts. As a wedding photographer I regularly shoot with Nikon's high end professional equipment and I was amazed how close this camera is to a pro camera. Now let me get specific. In order to compare I took a look at 100% files out of each camera I own...
Published on September 23, 2010 by Michael Allebach

330 of 346 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars D3100 with one year update
For people looking for new DSLR camera, stop, this is it. It has none of the D3000 drawbacks: Fast buffer, never overloaded. When intentionally overloaded by myself on continous shots, it will clear the buffer very fast(ADL on if you're wondering). Image sensitivity at high ISO is great acording to random reviwes, but I'm still waiting a prof test. But think about it, on...
Published on September 28, 2010 by Dan Aurel Cristescu

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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Pictures, BUT..., January 3, 2011
This review is from: Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I purchased a Nikon D3100 about a month ago and right out of the box I noticed the Auto (point and shoot) Mode was not taking the quality of pictures I was hoping for. The pictures looked dull and when I looked at the original file, I noticed it was from the amount of grain in the picture. The grain was drowning out the details, and almost made the picture look out of focus. It was happening whether I was indoor or outdoor, flash or no flash. I changed the camera to P, S, A & M modes, and it took extremely sharp pictures in those modes, which is what I was expecting from the camera. I sent that camera back and purchased a new one from Amazon. Same problem. Well, I have since done some research and participated in forums, and found out there is a problem with the D3100 choosing very high ISO levels in Auto Mode, no matter the setting. This is causing the grain/dull/no detailed photos. You would expect Auto Modes to take easy, great pictures in an entry level camera, most people coming from point and shoot cameras. If you want sharp pictures, you have to use P, S, A or M modes with the D3100. There, you can control the ISO manually, or use Auto ISO and choose a lower maximum ISO setting. Apparently this is a discussed firmware issue, but Nikon claimed they hadn't heard about it when I messaged them... Well, go take a look at the forums out there, it is an issue for those of us who expect quality shots in all modes. Other than the ISO firmware issue, it is a great camera, capable of very good pictures, just not in the auto point and shoot modes.
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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nikon D3100 and ISO Sensitivity in Auto Mode - You must know., January 1, 2011
This review is from: Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I recently purchased Nikon D3100 to replace my Nikon D60.
I did research for more than a month going through all the reviews in the Internet. Generally, review on this Camera is good. I purchased this Camera for its Full HD Video capability, Live View and SD-XC (up to 64 GB) memory card compatibility.

I am not a professional photographer, but have passion to photography, So, I bought this entry level D-SLR camera for better quality image than POINT-AND-SHOOT camera.
I have read lot of books on D-SLR settings like ISO, F-Number, Aperture, Exposure compensation etc, in actual shooting; I end up using AUTO mode.

THE PROBLEM WITH NIKON D3100 (I use with NIKON SB-600 External Flash Unit)
In AUTO mode, Nikon D3100 selects only "AUTO ISO SENSITIVITY"

WITH FLASH UNIT: In indoor shooting; it selects very high ISO Sensitivity (mostly ISO 3200). So the image quality is not good. In the same condition Nikon D60, selects ISO value of 200, whereas, Nikon D3100 selects ISO 3200. I mean, the Nikon D3100 is not considering the Flash Unit and is not adjusting the ISO accordingly.

WITHOUT FLASH IN CLOUDY MORNING TIME: Even in outdoor daylight shooting, Nikon D3100 uses wide variety of ISO sensitivity (100 to 1600) whereas D60 used between ISO 100 to 400, in the same lighting condition. The image quality of the D3100 is not good in AUTO mode and it is only comparable to any POINT-AND-SHOOT camera.

You can check this in dpreview site; in D3100 (in pg 14 of review) photo of the reviewer taken with built-in flash has ISO 3200, whereas for D60 (in pg 21 of review)photo of the reviewer taken with built-in flash has ISO 100. In the review they have not mentioned about this, but for curiosity, I downloaded the images and checked the EXIF information.

Even the reviewer in has not noticed this biggest flaw!!! It's actually a casual shot with built-in flash, the end result is grainy ISO 3200 picture.

Also, try with PASM mode, by setting SOME max ISO value. In flash mode with Auto ISO, it sets this MAX ISO. The only option we have with camera is setting ourselves an ISO value. D3100 selects high ISO values in AUTO ISO setting and the resulting in high grain pictures, which prevents you to use this entry level D-SLR for Casual photography.

I am just back from 15 days vacation, with more than 1500 pictures taken, out of which 90% taken in AUTO mode. only 3 pictures are in ISO 100. All other in ISO 400 to 1100 in daylight, and ISO - 1100 to 3200 in flash mode.

If you are owner of D3100, please check / review your own photos.

Nikon D3100 has biggest flaw in Auto ISO logic, which prevents you to use this entry level D-SLR for Casual photography. Also Live View and Video is not meeting expectations. My D60 is much better than D3100. I am going to sell D3100 and retain my D60. (If Nikon can fix this in firmware, I like to retain D3100, I have written to Nikon, awaiting reply)

If you want to buy an entry level D-SLR Camera to use like POINT-AND-SHOOT, Nikon D3100 is NOT the ONE.

(Nikon D3100 may produce excellent images with Pro Modes like P,S,A & M, but certainly not in AUTO mode)

Comments added on JAN 31 2011.

I explored more on this D3100 Camera. Now I am using Aperture priority in most Outdoor situations and Changing ISO values to get desired Shutter Speed. I try to keep ISO at 100, if light is not sufficient then I Change ISO to 200 or 400+, to avoid slow shutter speed. It works fine produces excellent results.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget all the others, November 19, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
First impression:
I have tried Nikon d40, d5000, d90, canon xsi, and canon 40d. I would say d90 and d40 are the only two cameras comparable to this. when I received the camera,the kit lens is too tight to auto focus. I called up and asked a replacement. Even for this, I still give it 5 stars as it is the problem with the kit lens. before the replacement, I tried it on 55-200mm vr. I found I can easily pull out super quality pictures from this camera without tweaking settings. This gives me the d40 feeling. I did not see this from other cameras that I tried, especially the canon peers. This camera will make you shoot like a pro if you get some basic knowledge on how to compose your frame. Although it is an entry level camera, it produce as good if not better pictures from its expensive brothers. Unless you have a specific goal and purpose that you need its heavy brothers d90 or d7000, you should definitely go for this, as well as 50-200mm VRlens, then you are all set. I have a gut feeling this will become another legendary entry DSLR like d40.

Update (11/22/2010):

Color tone: Besides the super image quality, the color tone is more on the cold side while d40 is more on the warm side. The color is less saturated then d40 either. This is really personal taste. For me, I prefer warmer color and a little more saturation.

So if you want warmer and more saturated pictures, please follow Ken Rockwell's tips
Shooting menu->standard>+2 Saturation>OK (used for people)
Shooting menu->Vivid>+3 Saturation>OK (use for places and things)
Shooting menu->White balance->Auto->click right to A3->OK

Battery life: The battery life is not good. after dozens of low light shots and videos, your battery are done. So be careful with shooting videos in low light. A backup battery becomes necessary.
Focus: focus very fast
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first step on a new adventure, March 28, 2011
This review is from: Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
A little background about me: I have owned this camera for 2 months. I have owned a Samsung point-and-shoot for three years and have taken thousands of photos with it, and for the past few months I had been using only the limited manual mode on my camera, and wishing for a camera whose settings I could tweak more. That's when I started drooling over DSLRs.

After months of reading about photography, I finally bought myself this camera. It was the best option for the price and for my experience level. It was easily one of the best purchases I have ever made. I bought a kit that also came with a 55-200mm 4-5.6 lens, a case, a tripod, an SD card, and some extra goodies.

First, it takes amazing pictures.
- It performs far better in low light than any point-and-shoot. With the right tools, it's usable right up to ISO 1600. Compared to my old point-and-shoot, this is a huge bonus.
- It's an SLR, so you can take those pictures with shallow depth of field (blurry background).
- Its pictures are sharp, clear, and beautiful. The high MP count makes details pop and cropping easy.
- It's incredibly easy to use - Nikon has an amazingly well thought out body design, and within weeks I felt more at home with this camera than my old one.

Second, I have to agree with the reviews that say the following.
- The Live View mode is a gimmick. Don't use it if you can help it. It's clunky and slow and drains your battery. Only use it if you absolutely cannot hold the viewfinder up to your eye.
- Video is high quality, but requires a lot of skilled technique to use properly - continuous autofocus does not work that well.

Finally, some advice that relates to the purchase of the camera.
- The lenses that associate with this camera are the kit zooms - the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm. These are good lenses, but the maximum apertures (3.5 and 4) do leave a lot to be desired in many situations. Within a few days of using the camera, I knew that a better lens would have made all the difference. SO - if you have the money, don't use the kit zooms. Sell them and buy lenses with larger maximum apertures. I don't personally own one of these, but I know from experience that taking pictures would be a lot easier with them.

That's all I have to say about the camera. If you are a first time DSLR user, you can't go wrong with this camera. It fulfills all your expectations, and more. If you care at all for your photography and are considering buying an SLR, do it. You will not regret it.

Some notes about techniques.
- The GUIDE mode is supposed to ease transition, but I spent a long time reading about the technical aspects of photography - I rarely use anything but full Manual (M) Mode. On occasion, I'll use Program (P) if I don't have time to quickly change the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed - and of course I'll set it to Auto when placing my camera in the hands of someone who doesn't know how to change the settings - but otherwise, any of the multiple settings on the dial go quite unused. The reason being is that the light meter often over or underexposes depending on your metering mode, and unless you set an exposure bias, you sometimes won't get the picture you want.
- That means, if you know how the technical aspect of photography works, use Manual Mode. Jump right in and allow yourself to match the full flexibility of the camera. If you are still learning, by all means use the many modes Nikon offers to facilitate learning - but don't forget, Manual offers the ultimate in control. You get exactly what you want.
- USE RAW. I used JPEG for all the first few hundred pictures I took, and they're great. But when I switched to RAW, my jaw LITERALLY (yes, I really DO mean literally) DROPPED when I saw what I could do with RAW files. You have just as much control with your pictures as you do in Manual mode. You can make your pictures look EXACTLY how you want them to look, and more. Caveats: This requires some familiarity with image editing terms, and a program like Photoshop or Lightroom or Aperture (Mac), and there's a bit of a learning curve, and the files are really big (buy an external hard drive just for photos), but the payoffs are FAR greater. With RAW, photography just opens up from pictures to art.

- Amazing pictures - beautiful in all ways
- Low light performance is excellent
- Easy to use, but also very flexible
- Video and Live View are gimmicks or specialty tools
- Included lens(es) is(are) fantastic, but better lenses will blow you away
- Learn technical aspects, then use MANUAL mode
- Use RAW once you feel comfortable
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great camera, except for one serious firmware issue, December 16, 2010
This review is from: Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I purchased this camera in October and have used it a lot since then. It takes great pictures, feels good in my hand, is very easy to use, and I think overall a great value.

However, it also has an extremely annoying problem that Nikon has yet to fix. This problem has been discussed in at least one other review, in Ken Rockwell's review of the camera, and in the customer discussions forum here: [...]

While I read about this problem before purchasing the camera, I didn't know what it meant or how it would effect me. Now that I've become more proficient with the camera, it's become a real issue. The problem is, when the camera is set to use auto ISO and the flash is used in a low-light condition (in AT LEAST Program mode, and I believe in Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual modes as well), the camera uses an extremely high ISO and overexposes the picture. This means that for low light shooting in shutter priority mode, you have to choose between auto ISO and flash...a real annoyance.

As I know that people get upset when a product they like is criticized, I've uploaded pictures in the "customer images" section to show what I'm referring to and how big an issue it is. They are the three pictures of a wreath, and an explanation follows (and is included in the comments of the pictures). And instead of a washed out picture of a wreath, imagine that it's a washed out picture of your family - a very annoying issue.

These pictures are to show how the camera incorrectly uses Auto ISO when flash is used in low light settings. All three are taken in Program mode with the same ambient lighting conditions and all settings the same besides the ISO and flash settings. I recognize that they don't have much artistic value; they're just to show this issue.

#1 - Flash on, manual ISO set to 100. Camera picked: SS 1/60, F2.8
#2 - Auto ISO turned on - it chose SS 1/60, F6.3, and inexplicably picked an Auto ISO equal to the max allowed of 3200. Resulted in a terribly washed out picture.
#3 - No flash, auto ISO still on. It chose SS 1/60, F1.8, and an ISO of 1100

This shows that the auto ISO of 3200 is ridiculous (as it's much higher than the auto ISO picked with no flash). I guess just seeing picture #2 shows this as well, as it's terribly washed out.

Ultimately, the camera is great in other respects, and I would rate it 5 stars if it weren't for this issue. However, this is a big issue and I have to rate it 3 stars for this reason. If Nikon updates the firmware to fix this issue, I will gladly revise my review, give the camera 5 stars, and remove the pictures showing the issue.

UPDATE: I've just learned to adapt to this issue and just set ISO manually when I want to use flash in a low-light situation. I am updating the rating to 4 stars, as I still get great shots from the camera and just treat it like it doesn't have auto ISO.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing camera for a beginner, March 4, 2011
This review is from: Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
this is my first dslr camera, and i'm new to photography in general, so this review is geared towards those who are new to photography too and are looking for thier first dslr camera. experienced shooters really wouldn't/shouldn't be looking at this camera as it is limited on advanced/pro features. but for a newbie it's an excellent purchase.

this camera is awesome! being a camera, i'll only spend time talking about it's picture taking ability. i've taken video with it, and it works fine. the camera only has a mono mic so sound quality is kinda bad. but if you're looking for video get a dedicated video recorder, you'll be happier.

as for pictures, this camera rocks! the d3100 offers a new expeed2 sensor, which is an amazing sensor for an entry level camera. it's low light high ISO performance is excellent, given it's an entry level camera. it will shoot cleanly through ISO 800, and can go as high as ISO 1600 if you run some noise reduction in post production. what does that all mean? ISO is a camera's light sensitivity. the higher the number, the more sensitive the sensor is to light. but when increasing ISO you also increase noise levels in an image. noise is visible small dots on the image, it looks like grain. the ability of a camera to produce relatively noise free images at higher ISO is very important as it will allow you to shoot in lower and lower light conditions without using a flash. so as i've said, noise is very well controlled at ISO 800 and below, and acceptable at ISO 1600, unless you're going to be blowing up and printing large prints.

if you can achieve adequate exposure you'll be very pleased with the image quality of the camera. the sensor delivers sharp, high contrast images. the auto focus system is very good, a hand me down from the mid level Nikon D90. in low light, low contrast conditions it can hunt for focus a bit, but that's common to all cameras. the kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6) is a decent all around starter lens for general photography. it's very capable of producing stunning images. all in all the image quality of this camera is beyond reproach. this new entry level camera is capable of images that older mid level cameras would be proud of (D90 i'm talking about you!).

the camera body handles very well. it's a small and lightweight camera, the smallest dslr in Nikon's lineup. all the buttons and controls are clearly labeled, and intuitevely laid out. being an entry level camera it is somewhat lacking on controls. there is only one control wheel, which defaults to shutter speed. you have to hold the aperture button and use the wheel to adjust aperture. there is an FN (programable function button) that can be set to whatever function you'd like. i have ISO set to the FN button so i can change my iso without having to get into the on screen menu. the more expensive mid level and professional camerasa have more wheels and buttons to make on the fly adjustments as quick and easy as possible. but this is an entry level camera, so you shouldn't expect that. as is it's a very easy camera to handle. i dont have any issues with my adjustment settings. i shoot in M mode (manual control), and can easily adjust my ISO, shutter speed, and aperture on the fly with minimal fuss. and as i've gained experience shooting i can quickly and easily go into the on screen menu to adjust the more advanced features before i start my shooting. i suggest just shooting as much as possible to get used to the layout. before you know it you'll be changing settings on the fly like it's 2nd nature. when you do need to get into the onscreen menu you'll find it very intuitively laid out, and very logical to use. my first time using it i found everything i was looking for in menu without fuss. so as long as you're not expecting a professional layout, i think you'll be very happy handling the d3100.

this camera does not have an internal auto focus motor, so be aware that you must use only the G series lenses (ex. Nikkor 35mm 1.8G lens). you'll see the "G" series marker after the max aperture on the lens description. G series lenses have an auto focus motor built into the lens itself, which allows it to auto focus on the camera bodies that lack such motor (hello d3100 and others!). you can still mount the D series lenes on the camera, but you'll have to manually focus with those lenses. i thought that was worth pointing out so you dont go buying this camera and a bunch of the D series lenses (which are cheaper). the good thing is in general the G series lenses are newer tech lenses and offer a small performance advantage over the D series (in general terms).

so the camera offers great image quality, handles well, seems perfect doesn't it? yeah, but it's not. it's an entry level camera and as such omits some potentially important features. the camera doesnt offer exposure bracketing, which allows you to take a series of photos at incrimentally higher/lower exposures. for me this isn't a big deal at all. i've used a D90 and bracketing, and i found it to be of limited use for my beginner skills. the camera also does not support off camera flash via the CLS (Creative Lighting System) mode. what this means is you cannot remotely fire a speedlight flash (SB900-600) that isnt directly mounted on the camera. you'll have to go buy manual flash triggers. cheap ones can be had for under $40, but don't support iTTL (auto flash mode). the triggers that do support iTTL cost a few hundred. if you get into advanced lighting with your flash you'll want to set the light off camera to create direction to the light, to cast shadows and such. but you cant do that without cls support by the camera. so you either have to use manual triggers, or go buy a SB900 or SB700 and mount that on your camera, then buy another speedlight (SB900-600) and use that as your remote light. the SB900 and 700 can enable the cls system on the d3100, it's called commander mode. sorry if that's confusing, it's hard to explain. the bottom line is commander mode from the cls system is not supported by the d3100 unless you go out and buy an SB900 or SB700 speedlight. if you want to know more about commander mode and the cls system google it. the camera also does not support the mode Auto FP, a mode which allows for high speed sync (hss) with a flash. what this means is you're limited to 1/200 shutter speed when using flash. you cannot go faster. what does that mean? well hss is a great feature that if supported would allow you to sync your flash (not the pop up flash, but a seperate speedlight flash like the SB900 through 600) to your shutter at any speed. so you could still use your flash at the max shutter speed of the camera. this would allow you to greatly limit ambient light when out in sunlight, while still properly exposing your subject via the flash. and it's great to use to freeze motion, especially really fast moving subjects like birds/water/bugs etc. for me this was a huge ommission that i was totally unaware of when i purchsed the camera. i didnt find out till i got my new SB600 speedlight/flash. i tried to increase my shutter speed past 1/200 and it wouldnt go. after hours of reasearch i found out hss just wasnt possible on the d3100. i was really upset, i wont lie. in hindsight it's not that that big of a deal, it's just a limitation i have to be aware of. as mentioned earlier you have to use the G series lenses, which are more expensive. to me this isnt a big deal, i like the G series more than the D series anyways. the final shortcoming i'll mention is the lcd screen. at 230k dots it's a very low res screen. for comparison the D5100's screen is over 900k dots, almost 4 times the resolution. how this hurts is when you're shooting and your focus is slightly off, or the exposure is slightly off. on the lower res screen the image might seem ok, but when you get home you'll find the image isnt ok, it's a bit blurry or dark/light. this isnt a huge thing for me, more of a wish list item. great if it were better but can live with it as is. those are my major complaints, make of them what you will.

all in all this is a great camera. if you're just starting out i highly recommend it. i will offer a suggestion to you, though. if you feel/think you're not going to grow and advance a lot in photography, and are just looking for a great camera that's a nice step up from a point and shoot, buy this camera, you'll love it. but...if you plan on growing your skills and becoming an advanced photographer, maybe save up more and get a mid level camera like the D7000. now why would i say that after gushing over the d3100 in my review? becuase as great as the d3100 is for a beginner, it IS a beginner camera. once you start getting into more advanced photography you're going to want some of the abilities that just aren't supported by the d3100. that's the boat i'm in. i LOVE my d3100, it's been amazing. i'm still blown away by some if the images i've been able to capture with it. but i fell in love with photography and i've started learning advanced techniques, and the d3100 isnt keeping up with me. but there usually are workarounds, so dont despair. and dont think the d3100 isnt a great camera, because it is. my last few statements were only directed to those who plan on becoming advanced photographers. for most people, especially those who will never even try to manual control the camera, the d3100 is plenty of camera for you, you won't be dissappointed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this camera... a real step up from the D3000, November 28, 2010
This review is from: Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I purchased a D3000 a couple months ago and, even though it is a fine camera, I was simply not impressed with it. I mean, it is capable of taking some mind-blowing pictures when in the right conditions but I was really disappointed with how poor it was in low light situations.

So I went out and bought a D3100 this weekend (still have to sell my D3000) and literally from the very first image I noticed that the image quality was much more crisp even at a high ISO. My D3000 could handle up to ISO 800 but after that you really began to see a whole lot of noise. The D3100 image quality is clean up to 1600, shows little noise at 3200 and is still usable at even 6400!! Now I don't have a problem when shooting in lower light areas and I love it. For me, the ISO performance alone in this camera was worth the money and trouble I've had to go through to switch to this model... I can now say that I LOVE my D3100! :)

The live view is actually a nice and handy feature to have if only for framing shoots in awkward positions. I switched from a point and shoot (even then I preferred using the electronic viewfinder) so I was used to live view when I got my D3000. Of course, the viewfinder is how you want to take all your pics but it is still very nice to have live view for framing shots while my camera is on a tripod or propped on a table. I just frame my shot in live view and then switch back to the viewfinder and take snap it. Also, I at first thought it was dumb of Nikon to remove the grid lines in the viewfinder (which aren't in thirds anyways, which is stupid) but I found that they actually function better in the live view anyways. So if you are shooting landscape pics and have your camera on a tripod; pop to live view, frame your shot with the grid lines then switch back to the viewfinder to snap it.

I think the video blows and I'm glad this is not why I bought this camera. I didn't know why so many people were complaining about the focusing noise during recording until I heard it... it's atrociously loud! I can actually see myself using manual focus because the auto is just too loud. I was also not blown away with the video quality and the file sizes are too huge for me to warrant filling up my memory card with video clips. Also, when I go to load the clips on my computer, the files seem like they are almost corrupted. Once they are on my computer I can't delete or move them and when I try my computer just crashes. It's really strange and maybe it's just my computers problem but all this means that I won't be using the video feature a lot because it's just not that great. However, this doesn't effect my rating for this camera because.... ITS A CAMERA!!!... It is NOT meant to take good video. Video is just a nice feature but I don't even find it that useful on this camera. Don't judge a DSLR on the video... judge it on the PICTURE QUALITY!!

The camera feel is a little nicer then the D3000 and a lot nicer then the D5000, which felt a little too bulky for me. It is a very nice, ergonomic feel to it and, for me, that's important because I travel a lot and I want my camera to be lightweight and comfortable to hold and shoot with.

At first, I thought it sucked that they got rid of the wireless remote but by getting rid of this feature, Nikon has actually given you more creative control over your camera. Let me explain... if you have ever experimented with long exposure photography, you will know that you can produce some pretty mind-blowing pictures by shooting in low light situations with exposures rangeing from 30minutes to 5 hours. Now, to do this you need to use a remote and set your camera to BULB MODE. The D3000 (with the wireless remote) would only let you take a maximum exposure of 30 minutes and I always thought it was because the wireless remote times out to save battery life. With the D3100 remote, you have no limit to how long your exposures can be!!! This means you actually have complete control over your camera in long exposure photography and, to me, this is a HUGE BONUS. Sure the wireless remote is nicer for snapping photos... but you still have a 10-second delay and now you have no limit to how long your exposures can be! So, for me, this is another reason why I like my D3100 over the D3000... a wireless remote is nice but if it limits what I can do creatively then I'd rather have a cord based remote.

I think the Guide Mode was a neat feature... until I used it for about five minutes. It really isn't that helpful for someone who isn't a complete noob to photography. I wish they could have added some more tips for the more advanced photographer because after using for a short time, I had really gotten all the help info I will ever need from it and now it's just a waste of dial space. I get that Nikon is trying to gear their camera more towards the novice but I just think they got pretty lazy with the guide mode and could have added a lot more to it to really make it a ground breaking feature. Ultimately, I look at the guide mode as a feature that looses it's value after a while. The D5000 was better in that, instead of guide mode, they used that dial space to hold more scene modes which will have continual usefulness.

All in all... this is a must have camera. If you are looking for an affordable, high quality camera that you can really grow into, then look no further. If you have a D3000 and are unhappy with it's low light performance then you will be very pleased with the vast improvements in this camera.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beginner couldn't ask for anything more!, January 24, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
First off, I'm a beginner with DSLR photography....or any photography for that matter. I don't count my old point and shoot pics as "photography"
...because well, they just don't compare. This camera is amazing. It has so may options that you can get some of the sharpest, coolest pictures.

Granted, you have to actually try to learn how to use it. It isn't a point and shoot camera, and requires a little more work to master. But once you learn the basics of Aperture, ISO and Shutter speed, you should be armed with everything you need.

The lens that it comes with is great. It doesn't zoom too far though, so I bought the 55-200mm lens as well. I'm actually kicking myself for that decision now though, as I would really have loved to try out a Prime lens ("non zoom-able" for you newbies like me) since they are faster and able to shoot in lower light, with larger aperture. If you search on Flickr, you can actually filter pictures that use certain lenses, so you can get an idea of what you want.

Once you get the hang of it, the camera takes such beautiful pictures, you'll start to think you are a professional. Now, everywhere I go, I find myself thinking, "oooo that would be a cool shot".
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great performance and amazing value, September 28, 2010
This review is from: Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I'm an beginner at photography and this is an upgrade to my D50 and alternate to my Canon S90. The specifications on this camera are simply amazing and simply blow away the previous generation for features and value. Picture quality is great and low light performance at high ISOs are dramatically improved over the D50 which gives you a lot of flexibility. I found Live View to be a great addition but does take slightly longer to take a photo in this mode. Video is a great option to have but I do have to note that it is not a camcorder replacement but more of a fun way to take artsy clips. The autofocus during video works but is fairly loud and noticeable in the clips. I love the lightweight body, it feels solid and can be used one handed but I could see where people with larger hands may get frustrated with the smaller grip as my my pinky barely has any room to hang on.

So the only two major cost cutting negative points which is why I would rate this as 4 stars is firstly for the below average resolution for the screen. I find myself constantly zooming in to be able to see if my photo was in focus and difficult to assess the quality of photos from a quick glance which is important in a SLR. I think the 400k display from the S90 would have been excellent and I would have traded less megapixels from the sensor to have them screen instead. Also, some lenses including the 50mm 1.8 will not autofocus with this body which may not be an issue for some people.

Overall, this is a great camera and I can't wait to take more photos.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camera!, October 22, 2010
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This review is from: Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
its a very compact camera in the dslr range, about the same as the d3000 or d5000 in weight and dimensions. but, the features on this beginner level camera are amazing. id highly recommend this camera to anybody who wants to move beyond point and shoot into slr. for a camera that was supposed to be equal to canons xsi, this is amazing. 1080p video, high ISO ranges, sleek body design, and a 14.2 mp sensor makes for a great camera, even for professionals. it would be a great side camera to pull out. for those who really want to compare it to canon, id say its equal to a T1i. i love both companies, but id say until you get up to over $1000 canon doesnt match nikons body quality. so if youre looking to spend $700-800 on a camera, this is the one for you! if youd like to start out on a higher level, you could jump to a D90, or the new Nikon D7000, yet youll be paying about $400 more, so in that case i would recommend canons 60D. but again, if youre looking at this camera thinking, i want to shoot family pictures and sports events but im not that experienced yet, id say its a great choice!
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