Nikon’s new entry level DSLR offers nice still image quality with good high ISO performance all rolled in to a compact and light DSLR. The 18-55mm kit lens is a solid if unspectacular performer with average AF times, but generally good image quality and a very usable close focus distance. Shutter lag seems minimal despite timings that place it toward the bottom of the pile amongst entry level DSLRs.
Equipped with a 1080 HD video capability, the D3100 can produce good image quality but is hampered by a short 10 minute recording time, and Nikon doesn’t seem to have figured out how to deal with rolling shutter effect in videos as well as some of their competitors have. Battery life is not overly generous for a DSLR.
No camera is perfect, but happily most of the D3100’s blemishes are video related – and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll say it again: if video is your thing, get a video camera. For still images, however, the D3100 will do just fine.
- Good image and color quality
- Good high ISO noise performance
- Light and compact
- Kit lens offers good close up capability
- Short video capture time
- Fairly noticeable rolling shutter effect