Digital Cameras Guide
Even though it's an entry-level DSLR camera, the D3100 delivers stunning image performance. Color us delighted as the D3100 solves the noise issues plaguing the D3000 and gives clear images all the way from ISO100 to ISO3200. Image resolution is average, scoring approx. 1400 x 1600 LPH vertical and horizontal on our test chart, but the ability to shoot at such high ISO speeds and still get clean results more than offsets the average resolution.
Video recording, once a novelty first introduced in the D90, has exploded into popularity with quick adoption of HD DSLR cameras by news crews and guerilla filmmakers. To compete, Nikon has introduced full HD recording into the D3100. While video quality is decent with the D3100, the rolling shutter effect - where objects look slanted if the camera moves left and right – is readily seen. Nikon introduces continuous AF with video recording in the D3100, but it doesn't always work, and whether you let the camera auto-focus or you tell it to by half-pressing the shutter, you'll have to contend with the audible noise of the lens motor focusing. All these factors, together with the mono in-built microphone on the D3100 with no external sound input, make video on the D3100 a convenient added feature for the non-demanding consumer, but not for professionals who need more.