Nikon updates its entry-level dSLR with the addition of video capture, new processing algorithms, and the de rigeur bump in resolution. The D3100 adds HD video capture with continuous autofocus. Continuous AF is unusual in dSLRs, but for good reason; the focusing mechanisms in the lenses are generally too noisy and an unwelcome addition to your soundtrack. This remains true for Nikon's solution, and without a mic input, you really have no way around it. Consider it a tradeoff. The camera does have a direct-access button for movie mode rather than shunting it off to the mode dial.
Here are some basic comparisons with Nikon's other current entry-level models (tables updated with more specs):
Nikon D3000 Nikon D3100 Nikon D5000 Sensor (effective resolution) 10.2-megapixel CCD 14.2-megapixel CMOS 12.3-megapixel CMOS 23.6 x 15.8.mm 23.6 x 15.8mm23.1 x 15.4mm 23.6 mm x 15.8mm Sensitivity range ISO 100 - ISO 3200 ISO 100 (expanded)/200 - ISO 3200/12,800 (expanded) ISO 100 (expanded)/200 - ISO 1600/3200 (expanded Continuous shooting 3fps n/a raw/n/a JPEG 3fps n/a 4 fps 9 raw/100 JPEG (medium/fine) Viewfinder magnification/effective magnification 95% coverage 0.80x/0.53x 95% coverage 0.80x/0.53x 95% coverage 0.78x/0.52x Autofocus 11-pt AF center cross-type 11-pt AF center cross-type 11-pt AF center cross-type to f5.6 Shutter speed 1/4000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/200 sec x-sync 1/4000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/200 sec x-sync 1/4000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/200 sec x-sync Metering 420-pixel 3D color matrix 420-pixel 3D color matrix 420-pixel 3D color matrix Live View Yes No Yes Yes Video No 1080/24p; 720/30p AVCHD MOV 720/24p LCD size 3 inches fixed 230,000 dots 3 inches fixed 230,000 dots 2.7 inches articulated 230,000 dots Wireless flash Yes Yes No Battery life (CIPA rating) 500 shots n/a shots 510 shots Dimensions (inches, WHD) 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 4.9 x 3.8 x 2.9 5.0 x 4.1 x 3.1 Body operating weight (ounces) 18.8 17 (est) 21.6 Mfr. Price n/a n/a $629.95 (body only) $549.95 (with 18-55mm lens) $699.95 (with 18-55mm lens) $699.99 (est, with 18-55mm lens) n/a n/a n/a Ship date July 2009 September 2010 April 2009
In 2009, Nikon released the Coolpix S1000pj, a compact camera that had one very notable feature: a built-in projector for on-the-spot viewing of photos and videos. It was otherwise a fairly standard point-and-shoot, and since you couldn't beam content other than what was taken with the camera, it definitely fell under "niche product"--especially at $430. It was a solid idea, though, so it's nice to see a second generation on its way in the form of the S1100pj.
This time around the 14-megapixel camera is fuller featured, but most importantly you can connect it to … Read more
As I mentioned back at the end of June, camera manufacturers are beginning to announce models for the second half of 2010. Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, and Samsung have made their announcements, three of them doing so early Wednesday morning.
Sony and Panasonic are launching mostly high-end models as well as a couple updates to older, popular models. Samsung refreshed its flagship DualView cameras and introduced a 7x zoom ultracompact for $180. And Fujifilm announced replacements to three models that were barely six months old as well as a significant update to its groundbreaking F200EXR.
Here are links to all the … Read more
The number of compact and ultracompact digital cameras available from major manufacturers is overwhelming--and it's about to get worse. Before summer's out, most of the companies will have announced a new batch of point-and-shoot models in an attempt to woo you into upgrading or at least penciling them into your holiday shopping budget. Judging by the reader e-mails I receive, none of the current crop seem to have all of the features you desire, so maybe some new options are exactly what's needed.
My fear, though, is it'll just be more of the same, with too … Read more
A friend asked me a few days ago if he should spray-paint his Canon EOS 500D white with black accents so it'll look like a Stormtrooper. I told that him an easier way would be to get the Pentax K-x, which comes in a similar shade. However, he has already invested in a Canon system, so the only way to get a white EOS 500D is to paint it.