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August 22, 2010

New Nikon D3100 adds Live View, LV/Movie AF, and 1080p

After a few years at 12mp APS-C, Nikon has now jumped to 14mp APS-C with the brand new Nikon D3100 DSLR which also steps into the world of 1080p video recording. Despite the model number, the D3100 is not a sequential update to the Nikon D3000 {reviews}, as it adds Live View, movie AF, and 1080p video recording, three attention-grabbing additions for potential buyers of this camera. It also gives Nikon a more competitive model in the marketplace - a lot more people would have to at least consider it as an option before deciding which DSLR to get. One cannot necessarily say the same thing about the D3000 at this point in time. The game of "DSLR leapfrog" continues...

Some of the many features are:
+ 14.8mp (14.2 effective) 23.1x15.4mm CMOS sensor (APS-C)
+ 3-inch (230K) LCD with Live View
+ eye-level pentamirror, 95% H/V
+ Movie and LiveView auto-focus
+ 11-point MultiCAM 1000 autofocus
+ cannot autofocus with non AF-S/AF-I lenses
+ ISO 100-3200 (expandable to ISO 12800)
+ 1/4000 to 30s shutter speed
+ 1/200s flash sync
+ 3fps burst mode
+ 24fps 1920x1080 video (max 10 minutes)
+ choice of 24/25/30fps for 720p (max 10 minutes)
+ EXPEED 2 engine (2 is a version number, not dual-core)
+ SDXC support
+ weighs about half a kilo
+ new EN-EL14 LiIon battery gives 550 shots (CIPA)

Hands-on previews
+ six-page Nikon D3100 preview by R.Butler at dpreview
+ D3100 preview at Imaging Resource
+ text-only preview at Photoxels
+ short hands-on at Engadget
+ hands-on with camera body at Photography Blog
+ camera body hands-on at Pocket Lint

Nikon D3100 sample pictures
+ five full-size samples by Nikon

Nikon D3100 pre-orders
The D3100 is available for pre-order in a kit with the 18-55mm DX VR lens for $700 at Amazon, Calumet Photo, Adorama, B&H Photo,, et al.

In the US market, the two-lens kit will open at $950 ($250 more than the one lens kit) and will include the current 55-200mm DX VR lens, which currently goes for around $225 on its own, thus making the two-lens kit price a non-starter. Some photographers had hoped to see the new Nikon 55-300mm DX VR lens instead. But with a starting price of $400, this would have either made the two-lens kit more expensive, or cut into Nikon's profit margins :)

Read more about it
+ commentary by Hogan (Aug-20, 2010 comment)
+ featured in official Nikon podcast
+ discussed in Nikonians podcast
+ Photoinduced
+ Nikon Imaging w/16-page PDF brochure
+ DC Views
+ Opinion by Terry White

Reactions in the forums
+ D3100 vs D40 in dpreview forums
+ What featured do you miss? in dpreview forums
+ D3100 beginning of end for Nikon DSLR bodies asks dpreview forum user
+ Is it a thread to Canon T2i/550D asks Canon dpreview forum users
+ Initial reactions in the dpreview forums

Video content: Nikon D3100 previews or discussion

Nikon D3100 HD DSLR launched from UrbanFox.TV on Vimeo.

More Video content
+ Kamera & Bild (in Swedish)
+ Zoom Denmark (in Danish)
+ DSLRMedia (in Dutch)

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