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Nikon D3100: Entry-level 1,080p dSLR for £500

The Nikon D3100 replaces the D3000 as Nikon's entry-level dSLR, and it's made some major changes

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Richard Trenholm
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Richard Trenholm
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Nikon's entry-level dSLR camera has had a facelift and a half with the arrival of the D3100 today. The D3100 packs a DX-format, 14.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and a new Expeed 2 image processor.

The successor to the D3000 sees a significant refresh to the spec sheet, adding full-time autofocus, live view, 1080p video, a wider ISO range up to 3,200, and higher resolution -- all for just under a monkey.

As Nikon's entry-level dSLR, the D3100 includes an improved guide mode. An onscreen guide walks you through the camera's advanced features, showing sample pictures to demonstrate what each feature will do. You can set the guide to show a simplified layout of shooting options, or when you're more confident show the full range of features and options.

The D3100 shoots 1,920x1,080-pixel high-definition video at 24 frames per second. Basic in-camera editing is included, and the option to save individual frames as stills. Stills can be retouched, with filter effects or red-eye removal available right there on the 76mm (3-inch) screen.

Cleverly, the new 11-point autofocus and face detection work in video mode as well as when shooting stills.

The D3100 goes on sale at the end of September, and the body will cost a very respectable £500. A kit containing an 18-55mm lens with vibration reduction will cost £580. Click through our gallery for more pictures and details.

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Single, continuous and timer modes are selected by a switch next to the mode wheel.
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The rear of the camera includes a dedicated video button, with a switch around it that flicks between the viewfinder and live view.
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The D3100 includes HDMI outout for connecting to your HDTV.
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The D3100 will be available with an 18-55mm kit lens, or on its own for just under £500.

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