Nikon's highly popular D3000 gets a refresh today with the announcement of the Nikon D3100 DSLR. Nikon adds 1080p HD video recording to the entry-level DSLR.
The D3100 will offer a 14.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor (a jump from the D3000's 10.2 megapixels) and a new EXPEED 2 image processor. Like the D3000, it offers help to beginners by way of special Guide Modes, and they've been updated for this iteration. The new system will offer helpful tips to consumers trying to achieve specific results in different shooting situations. Burst shooting is available at a maximum rate of 3 fps.
Images can be manipulated in-camera with a few different creative filter effects like miniature and color outline. A quiet shutter mode has also been added to the D3100.
Recording video in 1080p HD or using Live View mode, users can employ a new full-time contrast-based AF system. Movies are recorded in H.264 AVCHD, and the D3100 will offer in-camera clip trimming. Video recording at 1080p is available at 24 fps and 720p videos can be recorded at 24 or 30 fps. To activate video recording mode, the D3100 provides a Live View switch with a dedicated video record button.
ISO sensitivities can be expanded from the native 100 to 3200 range up to an equivalent of 12800 at the Hi-2 setting. The D3100 uses a 420-pixel RGB color 3D Matrix for Meter to determine proper exposure settings. Auto Scene Selector is available for a little more help in choosing settings.
The Nikon D3100 will accept SD/SDHC memory media as well as the new high-capacity SDXC format.
Pricing and availability
The Nikon D3100 will be available starting mid September. Coupled with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens, it will sell for $699.95. A new AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mmm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens will be available for a little more zoom power at an additional $399.95.