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.?
Which camera excels Nikon D3100($Cheap) VS. D300($1600) VS. D700 ($2,700):?
* Lens = The D3100 is the only camera that comes with a lens at it's normal price?
* ISO Performance = Tie between D3100 and D700! (It could be Nikon's new processing but the JPEG looks fantastic I was shooting D3100 on 6400iso with very little noise at all)?
* Low Light Focusing = D700?
* Focus Speed = D700?
* External Buttons & Controls for Pros = D700?
* Menu Navigation = D3100?
* Ease of Use = D3100?
* Megapixel = D3100 (14.2)?
* Sensor size = D700 (Much more important than megapixels but I won't get into this)?
* Can use older lenses with functionality = D700 & D300?
* Video = D3100 of course! 1080P video looks amazing.?
* Frame Rate = D300 at 6 photos a second?
* Weight = D3100 (light as a feather)?
* Ergonomics = D700 (big enough for all my finger)?
The lens is a kit lens, it will work outside but not so great in low light. The Vibration Reduction will help indoors but Vibration Reduction can't stop a child or pet in motion indoors. Consider buying a 35mm 1.8dx AFS for around $200 and you will be super happy with this camera.?
I purchased the 3100 specifically to shoot video, so I put on Nikon's brand new 85mm 1.4g Nano lens and shot video with it. The lens costs more than double the camera but I wanted to see how the 1080P video looked. It has the look of a cinematic movie. After the 85mm, I put on Nikon's 50 1.2 manual focus lens and was able to take very cinematic video in manual mode. In order to make it brighter or darker you either need to use a really old lens like the 50mm 1.2 and hit the AE-L (auto exposure lock) and twist the aperture to change exposure. Or you can hit the AE-L button when you get the exposure you like. Its not a perfect system but it works well for me. Inside the menu options you can change the AE-L button to hold the setting until you reset which is helpful.?
Jello Cam (What's not so great):?
This camera still suffers from the "Jello Cam" look in video if it is not on a tripod and you are shaky. The video can look like jello if moved too quickly. Use a monopod or tripod when shooting to avoid this. I'm not sure if a faster video frame rate 60fps would help - but at 24 and 30 it can suffer badly.?
This is an amazing deal! Unless you make most of your income from photography or have a stockpile of old lenses (this camera can only autofocus with AFS lenses) then this camera is the must have camera of the year. If you have good composition skills and an eye for light you can take photos worthy of a magazine with this. Seriously, you won't regret buying this camera. When you do, do yourself a favor and buy an additional Nikon AFS lens that has a maximum aperture of 2.8, 1.8 or 1.4. These lenses will take better portraits and deal better in low light than the kit lens.?
I recently updated my DSLR collection to the Nikon D3100 from the Nikon D70. There are good reviews out there that you should check out. However, I would like to share some of my first impressions.?
-Better image quality and lower noise at high ISO with the D3100?
-MUCH MUCH lighter, which will be nice when traveling?
-Larger LCD screen?
-11 focus points, including 3D focus which tracks the motion of the subject or camera.?
-2nd Generation DSLR?
-Quiet, quiet, quiet?
-No bracketing option. Not a huge deal since I only bracket once a year?
-Cannot use my old 50mm 1.8 lens. I knew this before purchasing the camera.?
-As of 10/1/2010, Camera RAW for the D3100 is not supported in Photoshop or Lightroom. Need to shoot .jpg + RAW or use Nikon Capture NX2 for RAW files. That should be updated soon, so not a big deal.?
-Can hear the lens focusing when recording video.?
-No depth of field preview.?
-Can't use wireless remote?
I'm an amateur photographer and this camera meets my needs. I love the fact that it's small and light, with great quality images. If I were a serious photographer and had more money to spare, I would wait and check out the D7000, which appears to have phenomenal specs. I'm happy with my purchase and I highly recommend this camera.
All good things come in small packages! How true for Nikon D3100!?
Hurray! The long wait is over! Nikon had us wait for such a long time for its newer models (D3100 and D7000) and it was just when we started thinking if Nikon will ever have an answer, anytime soon, to Canon's T2i, 7D and 60D) they released these two wonderful cameras - D3100 and D7000. Let's focus on D3100, shall we??
So I finally had a chance to get hold of this D-SLR at Best Buy today. I am not a pro by any means but I have used many different D-SLRs including Canon (40D, T2i, XSi) and Nikon (D90, D5000). When I picked-up the camera for the first time, my initial reaction was, "whoa - this is so small and light weight"! It wasn't that I wasn't aware of the specs - I knew them beforehand but I was still blown away by how small and light it felt when I held it in my hands. Then, I thought, the grip would not be very comfortable but I was wrong as holding and operating the camera is just fine - thanks to Nikon's well-thought-out design and grip. For the size and feel, it's very similar to D3000 but has more goodies from the higher versions. So from an initial wow factor, I quickly moved on to focusing on features and capabilities.?
I have just started using this camera so more update will follow but in the meantime my initial assessment of this camera is - I am impressed! It is one heck of a camera which can certainly compete against the best in its class (Canon T1i, T2i, Nikon D5000). Check out detailed reviews at dpreview (.com) and cameralabs (.com) - they should be added soon if not already there.?
I love this camera because it:?
+ has enough mega pixels for my needs (14.2).?
+ captures crystal clear images (thanks to EXPEED2 processor & the CMOS sensor, the sensor is slightly smaller than the one used in D7000).?
+ offers 1080p (HD) recording, AF subject tracking is awesome (10 min max is fine with me; it records outstanding videos even in low light and to me that's big).?
+ offers ISO from 100-3200 (D90 starts at 200), it can go higher but I really don't think why I would need anything above that.?
+ is small & light weight yet has good grip, easy to carry around in hands or neck.?
+ supports SDXC cards on top of SD and SDHC - now that's nice.?
+ (25-Sep-2010): has buttons that are well organized especially the video recording mode with a lever so you cannot mistakenly activate recording. That video recording lever once unlocked, gets locked in 30 seconds if you do not record and the countdown begins as soon as you unlock the lever. Also you can record video while you're in any dial (imaging) mode (Auto, P, A, S, M, and so on) where as in Canon T2i, etc. you have to move the camera dial to movie mode. So this is a great convenience - you can jump between taking pictures and recording videos with a simple unlocking of the lever. Additionally, you can be in a preferred dial (imaging) mode (Auto, P, A, S, M, and so on) and change the release mode to Single, Continuous, Self-timer or Quiet mode (this is located right underneath the main dial) - another great convenient feature.?
+ (04-Oct-2010): In-body photo and movie retouch menu. This is great as we don't need any special software to apply certain touches. I love it.?
Could have been even better if:?
- it had the bracketing option (not too much to expect at this price point level but oh well I don't use that much but for some people this could be a big plus).?
- grid lines were available (I miss them in both in live view and in the view finder).?
- Active D Lighting was not limited to just ON or OFF (either you have it or not at all, instead of low, medium, high, etc.). Don't get me wrong the ON just worked fine (better than Canon T2i) but I can't compare with all other modes.?
Recommendations (optional accessories):?
* In my personal order of importance - your preference may differ. *?
1. Nikon UC-E4 USB Cable - not included. (~$6)?
2. UV filter - a must for protecting your lens against accidental damage. (~10$)?
3. Carrying case is a must to protect your investment. There are many cases to choose from and it's up to you to decide but I suggest getting something like Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW (all weather proof carrying case) so if it rains, you can pull out the weather guard and cover it up. ($90)?
4. Additional rechargeable Lithium Ion EN-EL14 battery so you never run out the juice when you're traveling and do not want to miss capturing a moment for good. (~$35)?
5. SB-600 Speedlight. Those who have used speed lights would know what difference it can make to an image with adjustments you can make to light for an image. (~$225)?
6. 18-55 VR lens has its limitations so if you have extra $$$s, buy body only (if that even is an option) and get yourself a 18-105 VR lens. But at that point, you may want to consider D90 which still is a good camera and offers many more controls. (~$325 to $350)?
I give this camera 5 Stars because it takes excellent pictures in almost all conditions (bright or low-light) and that is exactly what I wanted this camera to do for me. Period.?
I must commend Nikon for not getting into the mega pixel race (read marketing). They instead kept the photographer in mind and focused on delivering greater picture quality. Kudos to Nikon for having that courage.?