Nikon D3100 Review The Best Budget Dslr Camera

By Chris Carson

The Nikon D3100 is an entry level in Nikon’s line of digital single lens reflex cameras. Released in August 2010, the initial price was around $550. It has great features – in fact, features that other expensive DSLR cameras from Nikon and other brands do not have. One can definitely say that this is the best budget DSLR camera.

Nikon D3100 Review: Features

The Nikon D3100 is a great camera in terms of performance due mainly to the following features: new image sensor, new image processing engine, ISO sensitivity, active D-lighting and picture control. All these features make the Nikon D3100 a great camera in terms of performance.

The Nikon D3100 has a new CMOS image sensor. The 14.2 megapixel is responsible for achieving clear images and defocused backgrounds that are free from grains. The noise is very minimal. The Nikon D3100 allows you to have detailed textures. The image sensor makes focusing on the subject and making it stand out much easier. It is also the main responsible for the quality of full HD movies that you can record using the Nikon D3100.

Nikon also has a new image processing engine, EXPEED 2, and it is in the D3100. Its main job deals with the gradations so the pictures’ color is smooth. The image processing engine also maximizes the benefits you get from the CMOS image sensor. The result is lifelike colorful images and videos.


The Nikon D3100’s ISO sensitivity ranges from 100-3200. It’s expandable to meet an ISO 12800. It is a great feature for people who will use the camera for low light settings. It is reliable in terms of reducing blurs especially those that are due to camera shake. You would not need to use the tripod all the time just to get clear and sharp images. This feature is also responsible for clear pictures at fast shutter speeds like when you are taking photos of running children, athletes, dances, etc.

The D-lighting also unleashes the photographer in you. It helps in balancing light and shade. You can get photos with better contrast. The tone and detail of the photo will be better.

Lastly, the picture control is one of the most useful features for DSLR users. It lets you customize the image even before you press the shutter. There are six settings to choose from: standard, neutral, monochrome, vivid, landscape and portrait. It also allows you to change the brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness.

Nikon D3100 Review: Material and Size

The Nikon D3100 is made from composite material. The right side has rubberized material on it which was designed to help people get a better grip.

Nikon D3100 Review: Buttons, Monitor, etc.

The button is properly positioned so that the user would not have to look for it. Your index finger basically finds itself on the shutter button when you hold the camera. The mode and shooting setting selector is conveniently located on top near the shutter. The monitor is 3-inch wide and has several brightness levels.

Nikon D3100 Review Conclusion

For less than $600, the Nikon D3100 is definitely the best option considering its features and built. It may be an entry level DSLR but it has a lot to offer including two new features – image sensor and processing engine – for better performance.

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