The Nikon Coolpix 3100 is a great choice for digital photography beginners, offering a compact size, 3.2-megapixel resolution, 3x optical zoom, and a bevy of automated scene controls that are customizeable.
One of the most impressive features of the Nikon 3100 is its size. From the online pictures we originally viewed, we imagined it to be large and a bit clunky. And while its a bit chunkier than other sleeker cameras, the 3100 is surprisingly small. Plus, the rounded ergonomic hand grip rested comfortably and securely in our hand.
The Nikon 3100 offers a whopping 14 scene modes that automatically set the cameras white balance, exposure, and focusing point for different situations. The easy-to-learn software system features large icons and text to guide you through your choices. And some of the modes even provide an “assist” feature, with outlines of figures or landscapes to help line up the shot.
We had fun playing around with the scene modes and snapping pictures that made the most out of the shooting environment. However, we felt we lost some spontaneity if we relied too much on switching through the modes.
The 3.2-megapixel CCD sensor captures bright images that can be printed up to 11 x 14 inches. The movie mode captures smooth video up to 640 x 480 pixels for 20 seconds (or a more jaggy 40-second, 320 x 240-pixel videos), but it doesnt offer any sound.
The Nikon 3100 is an affordable choice for a point-and-shoot camera that offers sharp, bright images and brings a lot of flexibility to the party. It comes with a starter 16 MB memory card and alkaline batteries, and we recommend a higher-capacity Compactflash card and rechargeable AA-size NiMH batteries. –Agen G.N. Schmitz
- Compact size, comfortable in the hand
- Customizeable scene modes
- 3.2-megapixel resolution for prints up to 11 x 14 inches
- Scene modes can be a bit too customizeable, and distract you from the shot