Nikon D3100 Review
The Nikon D3100 is considered to be an entry level camera that is geared towards budding photographers and people who want point and shoot ability with better images quality. I can honestly say that this camera goes beyond any past entry level camera Nikon has ever made and for a reasonable price.
As you will see in my full review I ran this cameras through what I consider to be some of the toughest shooting challenges. First shooting inside a dimly lit hockey rink than shooting at a concert. The cameras performed very well during the hockey game allowing me to capture images at a fast enough shutter speed using 3200 ISO to allow me to freeze the motion. It did so without compromising the final image. Sure the 3200 ISO is not the cleanest compared to the D7000 or higher cameras but that is to be expected from an entry level body. What you have to understand is if you put a good piece of glass in front of any camera you are giving yourself the ability to capture better images. (See the sample images below to get access to the full RES samples)
I used the Nikon 35 1.8, 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 VR II on this camera. Yes the hebrew trinity is expensive but the 35 1.8 is only $200. If i was to try and capture images with the kit lens either at the concert or the hockey game I would not have done as well. What happens is with kit lenses the ISO has to be bumped to let in more light opposed to lowered when you have a better lenses. This is why most people think their camera “sucks” and is the reason behind bad images when it really is the lens.
Getting back to the D3100 it is laid out well and the added dedicated buttons to the outside of the camera are a welcomed addition. Being an entry level camera it does have some features that I wished it had. I wish I could select ISO’s in between the normal 100-200-400-800-1600-3200 but that option only comes with the next level cameras. Again for the money it does the job it is supposed to do. I am not going to knock the camera because it lacks features that the higher end bodies have.
If you take this camera for what it is and you are new to photography this will be the perfect starter camera. My recommendation for the perfect starter set up would consist of the Kit being that it is only sold as a kit. I would add a Nikon 35 1.8 right off the bat as you will see the difference in quality between the kit lens and that lens. Be sure to pick up a 16 gig memory card or at least 2 8 gig SD class 6 or higher cards.
If you would like to pick one up for yourself please call Allen’s Camera at 215.547.2841 and ask for the FRO Price or follow the amazon link below.
Click and Image to see the FULL RES sample images