Of course this model has been constructed to hit a certain price point and there are features that we would have inevitably liked to have had to hand that aren’t here, such as a tilting LCD screen for a greater creative variety when it comes to lining up shots.
As with all kit lenses, in trying to be all things to all men, the supplied 18-55mm standard zoom may be no match for a dedicated prime, but at the same time it isn’t bad at all. If we’ve a grumble it’s that the results from our sensor and lens combo were generally a tad soft for personal taste. However we were really impressed with what this DSLR for beginners can do when faced with shooting in low light without flash. Almost unbelievably it was only really at the top whack expanded ISO setting of ISO12800 that we felt image noise/grain was starting to become noticeably intrusive. Check out our test examples over the next couple of pages to see for yourself.
Overall then, with the bonus of minimal effort and a shallow learning curve, Nikon has created a camera that emphasises ease of use as well, while offering a smattering of the latest must have technology.
Despite this, the Nikon D3100 DSLR doesn’t come across as ‘dumbed down’ in an obvious way, but rather provides gentle hand holding, if and when necessary, to enable the less experienced to up their photographic game.
In summation then, the D3100 feels solidly constructed when gripped in the palm, is fast and responsive, and is capable of some sharp and colourful results thanks to combination of sensor and supplied 18-55mm test lens and is fairly priced. As such the D3100 is something of a no brainer choice for anyone who doesn’t already own a digital SLR, but desires the more professional in appearance results that such a set up can bring.