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Nikon D3100 PREVIEW

It is a huge day for Nikon Shooters and future DSLR camera owners. The announcement of the D3100 is a sign of things to come from Nikon. This will usher in a whole new crop (no pun intended) of sensors that should produce better quality photos and video. The D3100 will most likely be the first camera out of the gate with a D90 D300s and D700 replacements to follow.

Let’s look at the main features I am most interested in in the new D3100. The new CMOS sensor is a step forward over the CCD of the D3000. It should produce much better still images at all the different ISO settings. Keep in mind, higher ISO is in no way a replacement for using faster glass (F1.4,1.8 and 2.8 lenses)

The new sensor also gives the D3100 the capability of recording full HD 1080 video at 24 frames a second. At lower quality settings you have the option to change the frame rate. The coolest most exciting addition for me is the ability to have continuous Autofocus during video recording. This means you will have an easier time when zooming and tracking a subject to hopefully get your focus right. A side note is that your internal microphone will pick up the sound of the focus motors when recording video.

I feel that this will be a very very solid camera for capturing still images. The new sensor will certainly make this a better camera in higher ISO’s. I do have a few concerns about this camera and they mostly fall on the video side of things. In my research so far I can not find information that tells me I can manually set my exposure during video recording. Sometimes it is important to be able to override the camera to create certain effects.

A major omission in the D3100 is there is no audio input for connecting external audio recording devices. Now I am sure this is done to keep the price down and most likely will signal the difference between this and the next cameras in line.

All and all this will be a very solid beginner camera for anyone just starting out in their photographic journey. I can see myself purchasing at least one of these cameras to act as a B-Roll camera to give me the ability to cut in a second angle.

To get on a list to purchase a D3100 please call Allen at Allen’s camera 215.547.2841. You can also pre-order the D3100 on Amazon by clicking this link.

Key features: FROM NIKON (With some Commentary from me)

DX-format, 14.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor: The high pixel sensor will give you outstanding colour and detail in pictures and movies you’ll want to see again and again. This is a huge step forward in the low end camera and should create some fantastic results.

New EXPEED 2 image processing engine: Provides enhanced movie recording, high-sensitivity performance and maximum image quality. EXPEED 2 maximises CMOS sensor performance for clear, lifelike images that exhibit vivid colours, reduced noise and smooth tonal gradations for outstanding photos and movies. Just a cool name to make you think its something AMAZING.

High ISO (100-3200) sensitivity: Extendable up to 12800: Indoor shots or fast-moving children need never be blurry or dull again, even without a flash. Will be interested to see how this camera handles the Higher ISO’s

Guide Mode: Simply the easiest way to learn how to get great pictures, without having to read the manual. Wonder if this is like having the FRO in your camera?

D-Movie – full HD (1920 x 1080) at 24fps movie clips: Record beautiful HD movie clips with sound and achieve exceptional image quality with high ISO sensitivity. NIKKOR lenses can be used for cinematic effects and simple edits can be made in-camera. In addition, HDMI connectivity means you can watch your HD movies on an HD television. The lack of Audio input sucks but can not wait to use this as a second angle camera.

Live View with new AF-F mode and Scene Auto Selector: The new Live View provides an intuitive and familiar way of taking pictures and it includes a Scene Auto Selector, which automatically selects the best mode to match the scene. The AF-F mode keeps subjects in focus without the need to press the shutter release button

7.5 cm (3-inch) monitor: A great platform on which to share your beautiful images and movies with friends and family

11-point autofocus system: The quick and accurate autofocus ensures everything is in focus so you get the sharpest image

Active D-Lighting: Bright sunshine need never wash out detail again. The balance of light and shade can be preserved forever

Picture control: Lets you set the look and mood of your images before you shoot. You can choose from six settings: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape

In-camera image and movie editing: Why wait for a PC? Retouching, filter effects and red-eye correction can be achieved in the palm of your hand

Compact, light and durable: It’s the smallest and lightest Nikon D-SLR yet so you can sling it over your shoulder, ready for any picture or movie moment. Also, with improved ergonomics, you’ll now have direct access to shutter release, Live View and movie modes.

Dual Integrated Dust Reduction System: Image Sensor Cleaning and Airflow Control systems keep dust away from the camera’s image sensor for clear, spot-free images

New software, ViewNX2 will be bundled with the D3100: It inherits the basic operations of ViewNX whilst providing much enhanced operability, including a refined GUI, and a range of easy-to-use features allowing you to edit photos as well as movie.