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Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera Review
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Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera Review

Hi there, and welcome to my Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera review. Since I recently bought the Nikon D3100 a few weeks ago, I thought I would put together a review for all you folks interested in buying it.

If you're a beginner to intermediate photographer on the search for a new camera, chances are you've heard of the Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera. It is supposedly one of the best entry-level digital SLR cameras on the market, and boasts an easy to use "guide mode" to help out novice photographers.

But does the Nikon D3100 work as well as the company suggests? Does it really fulfill the role of an "entry-level" digital SLR camera?

The purpose of this review is to help you make an informed decision before you buy the Nikon D3100. First I'm going to talk about Digital SLR cameras in general and why they are so important if you're looking to take professional quality photos. Then I'll provide a brief review of the Nikon D3100's guide mode and key features. 

Finally, I'll wrap up my Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera review with my thoughts on whether the D3100 is a good camera for beginners/intermediate photographers, and provide recommendations on where to find the best deals on the Nikon D3100.

What Is A Digital SLR Camera?

The Nikon D3100 is a digital SLR camera that supposedly brings the world of professional photography into the hands of beginner photographers. But if you have limited knowledge about cameras to begin with, how would you know how to assess the Nikon D3100's key features?

Well first of all, you should know that a digital SLR camera is much different than a point-and-shoot-camera. A digital SLR camera is sensitive to adjustments from the user, including focus adjustments, lens changes, etc. For professional photographers, these adjustments are key, because they insure the best possible image depending on what you're photographing.

For instance, taking a picture of a mountain landscape would require different settings than taking a close-up picture of a person. A digital SLR camera allows you to make the necessary adjustments to achieve the best possible image.

For beginner photographers, this may seem rather complicated. But in fact, all these adjustments are fairly intuitive and will make sense once you know how an SLR camera works.

Which is why the Nikon D3100 has received so much attention - because it helps the user make the necessary adjustments to take professional quality photos.

Now that you know a bit about digital SLR cameras in general, let's get right into my Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera review!

The Nikon D3100 Guide Mode

To help the user out as they take photos, the Nikon D3100 features an on-board guide mode. To enter guide mode, you simply turn the mode dial to "guide". Once you're in guide mode, the camera will provide onscreen information as you operate the camera.

One of the great things about the Nikon D3100, is that you can choose to go into "easy operation" or "advanced operation" in the guide mode. Easy operation automates the more finicky camera details and allows you to select from a number of common options (distant subjects, moving subjects, close-ups,  landscapes, night portraits, etc.).

Going into advanced operation makes things a little more complicated, but also gives you more freedom to take even better photographs. Once you're in advanced mode, you can soften backgrounds, bring subjects more into focus, apply freeze motion to people, or show water flowing. But despite being in advanced operation, the guide still tells you what to do every step of the way.

Overall, instructions in guide mode are clear and concise and very easy to follow. I was actually quite surprised, because I thought the onscreen instruction would at times be frustrating or confusing. But Nikon did an excellent job providing just enough details to help you take excellent pictures, without getting bogged down in technical information.

Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera Review of Key Features

Even outside of the guide mode feature, the Nikon D3100 boasts some pretty top-notch technology - which is why even some professionals use the D3100.

First of all, the Nikon D3100 is super light weight and portable. It weighs just over a pound, which is far less than most Digital SLR cameras. This makes the D3100 ideal for vacations or family functions.

As far as its technology goes, the Nikon D3100 features a DX format, 14.2 effective megapixel CMOS image sensor, which allows the camera to shoot pictures with excellent subject detail and color gradation. And I can attest to the effectiveness of the CMOS image sensor - you will notice much clearer photos, with every nuance taken into account.

It also features an ISO sensitivity range of 100 - 3200 (although it is expandable to an equivalent of ISO 12800). This allows you to make proper adjustments relative to lighting conditions. With the Nikon D3100, even dimly late subjects come out clearly.

Also, Nikon has spent a lot of time marketing the D3100's full HD movie mode. Being able to record full HD video's is not something that Digital SLR cameras generally have the capacity to do. But with the Nikon D3100, you can record full HD videos and then play them back on your HDTV right from the camera.

And those are just some of the key features I decided to include in my Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera review. There are other Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera reviews out there that go into even more detail than I have. In my opinion, it is well-worth taking a look at product reviews before you buy something, so you know exactly what you're buying.

Buying the Nikon D3100

I decided to include a section on buying this camera in my Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Review because there are lots of good deals out there worth checking out. Generally speaking, most of the best deals to buy Nikon D3100 Digital SLR cameras are found online.

Online retailers have access to a much larger market, and are therefore able to offer their products for far less than local retailers. When I was searching for the Nikon D3100 in my city, I could not find it for less than $649. But after searching around online, I found places where you could buy Nikon D3100 DSLR camera for way less than the retail price.

I highly recommend checking online first before buying this camera from a local retailer.


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