Buying a DSLR camera can be daunting. Descriptions are laced with complex jargon and the array of features means that you will probably feel under qualified to make sure you get the right one. Short of hiring a photography expert as your personal shopper, buying an entry level model is likely to be your best choice. Cameras like the Nikon D3100 are not only cheap for the range of features they offer, but they are designed with the DSLR newcomer in mind. Essentially, they are the ideal choice if you want something more than the point and click features of a compact camera.
The Nikon D3100 is a couple of years old now, having been released as a replacement to the popular 3000 in 2010. What this means, though, is that you can pick one up for very little money and you will find that it costs less than some of the higher specification and more expensive compact digital cameras. Bargain hunters will truly appreciate the value that the D3100 has to offer.
If you’re a resolution junky then you won’t be disappointed either. The D3100 has a 14.2MP CMOS sensor which is very good quality especially for the price tag. The sensor is also capable of capturing full HD video clips at 24fps, which is virtually cinematic quality. Whether you want to watch your favorite home movie clips or view your best photos, the 3 inch LCD screen on the rear is a useful addition too and one of the reasons that you may want to shy away from a more expensive and professional grade SLR camera.
As a beginner you shouldn’t be too fearful of the D3100 because it will guide you take you by the hand and guide you step by step; especially useful if you’re moving up from a compact camera and have little or no idea about the right flash settings, ISO settings, and manual shooting modes. The Guide mode is one of the Nikon’s proudest boasts. It dispenses with technical terms and gives it to you in plain English so you have a greater chance of getting the best photos.
The thing about being a beginner, though, is it doesn’t last forever. There will inevitably come a time when you have mastered the basics and want to step out from the shadows of the Guide mode. The Nikon D3100 is not only useful during the initial transitional period because, once you have a greater handle of the different settings and you want to start experimenting, it has a wide array of features and settings that will enable you to do exactly that. Don’t be afraid to have a play around because it is this investigation that will help you develop into a more accomplished photographer.
There’s really only one reason to make the move from a compact camera to a DSLR and that is the quality of photos that you can take. The Nikon D3100 may not be professional quality, and it certainly isn’t professionally priced, but it does offer excellent quality throughout a range of shots. The auto focus settings are intelligent and effective while burst photography is offered at three shots per second and you can choose from a number of quality settings. You may be surprised at the quality of photos you can actually take even when you are only starting out.
The Nikon D3100 was a worthy successor to the popular D3000 and even though it is a couple of years old now it remains one of the best entry level DSLR cameras money can buy. It is even more affordable than it was at release, especially as you can purchase good quality refurbished and pre-owned models.
About the Author
A natural born writer, Stacey Barton writes professionally and for fun across a wide range of niches with particular attention to how classic brands can continue to offer the same product for decades and somehow survive the turbulent and ever changing consumer market.
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