Nikon D3100: The DSLR for the new DSLR user

As expected, Nikon has, on Thursday, launched the D3100, a new, in its own words, "easy-to-use" DSLR camera with HD video capabilities.

“The D3100 is the successor to Europe’s best selling D-SLR, the D3000, offering 14.2 megapixels, full HD movie, Live View with new AF modes and improved ergonomics. It also has the popular Guide Mode as seen on the D3000, which now shows you sample images of what you can achieve with certain settings, for example if you change the shutter speed or aperture. This is the ideal camera for families who want to capture all the important moments in perfect quality, without worrying about settings”, says Jordi Brinkman, product manager for Nikon Europe.

That means users will get a range of automatic settings, allowing  the camera to do all the hard work, much like on a compact camera: Live View with Scene Auto Selector selects the mode that matches your shooting situation; Scene Recognition analyses the scene, optimising the settings before the shutter is released; and Guide Mode will take you step-by-step through the process of how to get the picture you want.
 
There is an 11-point autofocus, Live View with Scene Auto Selector with the ability to recognise as many as 35 faces at a time, tracking and focusing on them like they are in Orwell's 1984.
 
The D3100 will sport a 14.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor, have an ISO 100-3200 sensitivity, Full 1080p video offering and let you edit of your clips in-camera by deleting scenes or save specific frames as still images.

The D3100 is also HDMI compatible so you can connect your camera to an HD television.
 
For the newcomer Nikon says Guide Mode is just for them.  As seen on the D3000, gives you step-by-step instructions of how to change the camera settings.

The new model will cost £499.99 for the D3100 body and £579.99 for a body and 18-55mm lens kit. It is expected in shops sometime around the end of September.

Key features according to Nikon:

DX-format, 14.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor, the high pixel sensor will give you outstanding colour and detail in pictures and movies.

New EXPEED 2 image processing engine: Provides enhanced movie recording, high-sensitivity performance and maximum image quality. EXPEED 2 maximises CMOS sensor performance for clear, lifelike images that exhibit vivid colours, reduced noise and smooth tonal gradations for outstanding photos and movies.

High ISO (100-3200) sensitivity: Extendible up to 12800: Indoor shots or fast-moving children need never be blurry or dull again, even without a flash.

Guide Mode: Simply the easiest way to learn how to get great pictures, without having to read the manual.

D-Movie - full HD (1920 x 1080) at 24 fps movie clips: Record beautiful HD movie clips with sound and achieve exceptional image quality with high ISO sensitivity. NIKKOR lenses can be used for cinematic effects and simple edits can be made in-camera. In addition, HDMI connectivity means you can watch your HD movies on an HD television.

Live View with new AF-F mode and Scene Auto Selector: The new Live View provides an intuitive and familiar way of taking pictures and it includes a Scene Auto Selector, which automatically selects the best mode to match the scene. The AF-F mode keeps subjects in focus without the need to press the shutter release button

7.5 cm (3-inch) monitor: A great platform on which to share your beautiful images and movies with friends and family.

11-point autofocus system: The quick and accurate autofocus ensures everything is in focus so you get the sharpest image.

Active D-Lighting: Bright sunshine need never wash out detail again. The balance of light and shade can be preserved forever.

Picture control: Lets you set the look and mood of your images before you shoot. You can choose from six settings: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape.

In-camera image and movie editing: Why wait for a PC? Retouching, filter effects and red-eye correction can be achieved in the palm of your hand.

Compact, light and durable: It’s the smallest and lightest Nikon D-SLR yet so you can sling it over your shoulder, ready for any picture or movie moment. Also, with improved ergonomics, you’ll now have direct access to shutter release, Live View and movie modes.

Dual Integrated Dust Reduction System: Image Sensor Cleaning and Airflow Control systems keep dust away from the camera’s image sensor for clear, spot-free images.

New software, ViewNX2 will be bundled with the D3100: It inherits the basic operations of ViewNX whilst providing much enhanced operability, including a refined GUI, and a range of easy-to-use features allowing you to edit photos as well as movies.