"Small, fun and perfectly capable"5.0 starson by GilbertoMoore
Pros: Excellent Image Quality
The HD video mode is also impressive
Battery life is superb
Menu screen are intuitive and easy to navigate
Great feel and ergonomics
Cons: Noisy in video mode
Summary: I bumped up to a DSLR after owning a Fuji S9600 bridge camera which was pretty close to the real thing anyway. Not being particularly flush at the time, I was careful about making the right choice of camera as well as a relatively cheap choice. I was in two minds as to whether to purchase this camera or the more expensive Rebel T1i, but after hearing that the Nikon produced slightly better images, I made my choice and haven't looked back since!
If you're considering buying this camera, I'd always advise having a hands-on trial in a high-street shop first as you'll be surprised at how small it is! I have relatively nimble hands, so is perfect for me, but slightly heavier mits might struggle to get a good grip. With the kit lens, it's a nice weight and well balanced, though anyone moving up from a super zoom like me will be opting for a tele-zoom as you'll miss the extra reach. The buttons are well laid out and the main functions in the menu screen are intuitive and easy to navigate quickly when needed.
If you're a beginner, the D3100 has many features which will ease you into the advanced features over time though if you are a more intermediate user like me, you can switch these off. You'll notice you'll get impressive images straight away with the 14mp CMOS sensor with some rich, vivid colours. I tend to take a lot of outdoor photography so was impressed with the greenness of the grasses and blue of the skies etc.
The HD video mode is also impressive for an entry level camera, though the sound is only what can be expected from an onboard microphone and no external mic can be attached. Saying that, as long as you keep the auto focus off (it's very noisy in video mode, sounds like an imp scratching inside) you can get some passable sound quality if you're recording Youtube vids etc.
Battery life is superb and a far cry from the rechargeable AA's I used to use in my old bridge camera. Best stick to the one and only upgrade to two batteries if you really think you'll be hitting the battery life hard as you'll get a good few hundred shots out of it before it needs a charge.
Despite my initial reservations price-wise (you can see best deal for this camera at " bestmerchant.blogspot.com/2011/09/best-merchant-for-nikon-d3100.html "), I haven't at all regretted buying this camera. It'll see me through a good few years of quality photography.
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