After many weeks of rumors and leaks, Nikon has officially unveiled its D3100 digital SLR camera, featuring a 14.2 megapixel resolution, a new enhanced guide made to help users step into DSLRs, and—in a first for a DSLR camera—the ability to shoot 1080p high-definition video with autofocus, subject-tracking, and face detection.
“People are stepping up to digital SLR cameras—consumers are embracing the enhanced performance, amazing image quality, and options for lenses and accessories that only a D-SLR can provide,” said Nikon marketing general manager Lisa Osorio, in a statement. “The D3100 is a camera that makes it easy to take beautiful pictures and will grow with the user, unlocking their potential and assisting in creating lasting memories or amazing art.”
The D3100 can shoot 1080p video at 24 frames per second, or step down to 720p and shoot at 24, 25, or 30 frames per second; of course, being a DSLR< users can shoot video with a variety of lenses to achieve unique effects, and the camera's Vibration Reduction II technology keeps the footage smooth. The D3100's contracts-based autofocus works while choosing video, and the face detection technology can handle as many as 35 simultaneous faces. Video gets recorded as H.263 AVCHD, and users can do basic video trimming right in the camera itself. The D3100 sports an HDMI output for pushing content to a high-definition TV, and the camera uses SD/SDHC/SDXC data cards for storage.
Video aside, the D3100 sports a 14.2 megapixel resolution, a 3-inch LCD preview display, Nikon’s new Expeed 2 image processing system, ISO sensitivity down to 12,800, and Nikon’s Active D-Lighting system that “rescues” dark or backlit images to help with portraits. Being a DSLR, the camera has full manual controls, but Nikon has also rolled in Coolpix technology to offer an auto scene selector in Live View, and the camera offers a Quiet Shutter Release mode so camera noise doesn’t interfere with an event.
To help customers get into DSLRs, Nikon has also put a Guide Mode into the D3100, which offers step-by-step instructions through a simple interface—and it’s there anytime users want it, with sample images to help users know when they’ve found the settings for the effect they want.
The Nikon D3100 DSLR with a AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm ƒ/3.5–5.6G VR image stabilization lens should be available in mid-September at an estimated price of $699.95. A AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm ƒ/4.5–5.6G ED VR lens should be available in September for $399.95.