Nikon D3100 Pt. 1
Adam Scorey, editor of Digital SLR User Magazine gets creative in the kitchen as he reviews the Nikon D3100.
The D3100 is small and light and very much aimed at the DSLR beginner. There are no fiddly buttons and confusing choices and the main control dial on the top plate is the guiding force for operation of the camera.
Though aimed at the beginner, the spec list is far from being a sparse wasteland of missed opportunity. At the heart of the Nikon D3100 is the new 14.2-megapixel (DX or APS-C) sensor, which is coupled with the equally new EXPEED 2 image processor. ISO range is from 100 to 12,800 in expanded mode, but the Auto option is where most will leave it. It can take movie clips in Full HD and you can shoot using the 3 inch rear LCD in Live View mode for both stills and movies.
Delving a little deeper into the camera you'll find a plethora of automatic shooting modes to enable risk-free picture taking in virtually every possible photography scenario. Looking through the viewfinder, you can choose from 11 autofocus points, or let the camera sort that for you too with a variety of automatic modes. There are even in-camera editing options so you can make changes/creative edits to your images without the need for computer, and they are non-destructive so the original file is kept intact.
Probably the most useful innovation the D3100 has, which is not a new concept but certainly the best I've seen, is the Guide Mode. By pressing the '?' button in virtually any of the menu options and a explanation of that feature or function will pop-up on the LCD screen. It will even ask questions and set the camera up for you...
The 7 Building Blocks of Photography has massively improved my photography overall. It has made me think about how I want an image to look, rather than just going out looking for an image, then get home and be disappointed. My approach now is to visualise, construct it block by block then make it happen. My 'hit rate' has soared.
- Neil Hanson -