Nikon D3100 – First Impressions

I was fortunate enough to have had a brief – very brief – encounter with Nikon’s D3100 today as well as some of the new lenses they announced last week. I thought you may like my first impressions on the camera which still strikes me as being one of the most exciting announcements thus far. If you want to know more, read on.


I admit, I was not a big fan of the D5000 body though it was certainly not the worst in its class, but with the D3100 Nikon have made a camera that while still being compact feels good in the hands.


I cant comment on everything performance related here as one cant review a camera in 10mins but here is my feeling about some of the features I manages to test – briefly.

  • ISO

The D3100 is the first camera under the price of a D3s that offers real ISO 100 and then heads on up to 3200. With Hi1 and Hi2 you will take the ISO up to 6400 and 12800 respectively. Noise look like they may give all of their other APS-C size sensor cameras a run for it.

  • Video

The new 1080p video is a huge plus. Quality is good and a big round of applause to Nikon for integrating Full Time Autofocus. A word of warning with a disclaimer. First the disclaimer, we did not get to shoot more than 3 or so mins of video so this is by no means a final verdict. Now the warning. While the video quality is fantastic and there is one of the best Autofocus systems I have seen in a DSLR that shoots video (though this is really Greg’s area of expertise) it is still not a ‘replace your video camera’ type experience. Certainly used indoors there was some hunting experienced.


As mentioned earlier, this brief post by no means serves as our verdict on this camera – here is holding thumbs that we get a review sample soon – but even with that disclaimer, on a first impression the D3100 impresses. Hats off to Nikon for raising the bar on entry level cameras.