1. ausemmao

    ausemmao

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    So, the D3100 has been out a few months, there must be a few of us on here. Whether it's your first DSLR like it is mine, or it's a portable second body or you're thinking of getting one, this thread is for you :)

    I've got big hands (big enough to palm a full size basketball) so when handholding I grip the body like a pen between thumb and first two fingers, (no I don't mince around while doing that not always) so the smallness hasn't been a problem. I like that it's relatively discreet. Being able to shoot and get usable images at ISO1600 is also very nice.

    Seeing as this is a photo forum and all, picture time!

    [​IMG]
    Croccamel by ausemmao, on Flickr

    First shot I took with the camera. I was excited to have the ability to change the depth of field.

    [​IMG]
    JJ by ausemmao, on Flickr

    This is my favourite person shot from my first month with the camera. The light looked good from the screen so had to take the shot.

    On to the rest!
     
  2. oldnick

    oldnick

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    218
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    Critical mass has been achieved - long live the 3100!


    Still loving it - used it for video this weekend. My tip for shooting video, is to set the focus mode to continuous and the area to wide, this stops it hunting all the time. I didn't expect it to be a practical replacement for my DV camera. After the results this weekend I think it is.
     
  3. Dale_tem

    Dale_tem

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    2,866
    Name:
    Dale
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    Yay for the d3100!

    Had mine for 2 weeks now.

    I have...
    18-55 VR
    55-300 VR
    35mm F/1.8
    NIKON SB400 Flash

    Loving the zoom, loving the prime, but not had much time for the wide-angle yet.

    I highly recommend the flash for indoor work.
     
  4. Dale_tem

    Dale_tem

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    Name:
    Dale
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    Quick question to save me looking in the manual, how do you change between af-s and af-c?
     
  5. trebor1892

    trebor1892

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    36
    Name:
    Rob
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    Yes
    Would you recommend this for a beginner over a D90?
     
  6. Dale_tem

    Dale_tem

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    2,866
    Name:
    Dale
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    Yes
    D90 will probably give better pictures, however the interface and info display on the d3100 is better IMO.

    On the d90 you do some bits through a menu and some by holding various buttons down and turning the jog wheel.

    On the d3100 the main bits are easy to adjust, the rest is through a simple menu. It's more centralised.

    My mum has the d90 and I have the d3100. We both prefer using mine. Haven't compared side by side images though for quality comparison.
     
  7. ausemmao

    ausemmao

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    517
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    An SB-700 is on the list for some point in the future, but with the rarity of flash in my shooting at the moment, it'll be after a certain lens or two (someone list a used 70-200 in near new condition in a few weeks please :p)

    What have you been shooting video of, oldnick? I found the AF took a bit to realise something was no longer in focus before adjusting.

    I think IQ wise the D3100 edges out the D90 from what I've seen - slightly better high ISO and MP, but not enough to notice unless you pixel peep, which makes sense with the D90 being two year old sensor tech.

    The info button makes adjusting settings not as bad as it has been on entry level cameras from what I hear, and depending on how much of a beginner you are, you might not be changing the settings that are more quickly accessed that often. That said, the dual control wheels already seems something that would make life a lot easier.

    I'd choose based on price and how they feel in your hand.

    You can change between af-a, af-s and af-c using the info button, 4th option down. I just checked the camera because it seemed an odd question. Turns out you can only do this in P,A,S,or M. If you're using the other modes, it will only let you choose between AF-A and manual.
     
  8. Dale_tem

    Dale_tem

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    2,866
    Name:
    Dale
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    The ad mode is the only option not in the menu. I hadn't used the i button on the back before. Makes options easier to use.
     
  9. oldnick

    oldnick

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    I killed my 3100 on saturday together with my 55-20mm lens. I was attempting to take pictures of the moon, from our lounge, but brushed against the tripod whilst moving a chair.
    The 3100 now just says "shutter error and the lens is 2 parts.


    I am going to claim on contents insurance - now the question is, another 3100 or a D90?
     
  10. Zarch

    Zarch

    Messages:
    1,167
    Name:
    Mick
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    D3100, SB 400 Flash, 18-55 kit and 35mm 1.8 here.

    Loving my first foray into dSLR, but not getting enough chance to use the thing at the moment. (damn you WORK!)

    So I spend my time on here looking at other people's great work and advice.

    I've been impressed with the quality over my old bridge camera though. (you'd hope so wouldn't you?)
     
  11. Zarch

    Zarch

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    1,167
    Name:
    Mick
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    I take it the camera hit the ground and went crack?

    I suppose the warranty doesn't cover that? :crying:
     
  12. ptdborth

    ptdborth

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    Name:
    Paul
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    Another D3100 owner here :) Very impressive little camera! One of the biggest negatives is the fact it uses af-s lenses..they're good..but blimey they're expensive :p ..saying that, the whole hobby is! Paul
     
  13. ausemmao

    ausemmao

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    Sorry to hear that :(
    Deciding between the two would come down to whether you felt the D3100 was holding you back in any way - if not I don't see why you wouldn't get another. Plus the IQ is better on the 3100 :p

    In my case I'm fairly certain I'd get another. While I know I will upgrade camera in in the future, I also know I'd want something the size of the D3100 - I love being able to use it one handed.

    Welcome Zarch - yep, the jump in IQ going up to an SLR is definitely an eye opener. Looking forward to seeing your pics.

    ptdborth the prices make my wallet shrink in horror haha. The upside is the focusing speed though :)

    Picture again. This time it's capoeira, taken at the end of January.

    [​IMG]
    Dcat by ausemmao, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Au by ausemmao, on Flickr
     
  14. oldnick

    oldnick

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    218
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    Actually I went through the D90 thing in September, it was quiet a close thing then, but it was the Cannon 550 that really gave me problems. Basically there is no question, it is the better camera, but its bigger, heavier and ugly as hell.
     
  15. Zarch

    Zarch

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    1,167
    Name:
    Mick
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    What points and modes do you use for focusing on your D3100?

    I have mine set to single point (centre point) as that was what i was used to on my old Bridge camera. But when chasing my 15 month around I constantly don't seem to hit her right between the eyes (not literally obviously).

    I'm wondering if i'm not using the right mode though.... when she moves the focus doesn't track her?
     
  16. Claudio17177

    Claudio17177

    Messages:
    280
    Name:
    Claudio
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    I have a d3000 (almost for a year now) and my partner is getting into photography, so she seriously considering to start with a d3100 thousands, do you guys think there s a world apart between the 2 cameras or in a way would be like having a double ?(somehow i dont think so)
     
  17. HuntMike

    HuntMike

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    125
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    The D3100 should be easy enough to use if you're already comfortable using your D3000. The D3100 is better though, especially with things like low light performance. :) In fact I'm tempted to flog my D60 and get a D3100 but I'm happy with my D60 for now.
     
  18. oldnick

    oldnick

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    The D60 and D3000 share the same sensor, the 3100 has a new one. Apart from slightly increased resolution it has (in my opinion) much better dynamic range resulting in far fewer burnt out hightlight.
     
  19. HuntMike

    HuntMike

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    125
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    Yep, the new sensor in the D3100 is very nice from what I've seen of the photo's that I've seen...

    One of the main issues with my D60 is the low light performance, or lack of it... ISO 800 is pretty damn noisy and ISO 1600 produces a lot of noise.


    I've seen photo's from the D3100 at ISO3200 and above that look better than ISO1600 shots on my D60, so I would say that if you own a D60 or D3000 and need better low light performance then a D3100 is a good option. (y) It's always nice to have a few extra stops to play with...
     
  20. ausemmao

    ausemmao

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    517
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    What kind of light are you in? The outer points do alright in good light, although in poor light the centre point is the only one you can use without turning the camera seeking contrast to get focus - it's the only cross point sensor.

    If you want the camera to track, you need to set it to AF-C then select 3D tracking (AF-C must be selected to have 3D as an option) and then it will try. For babies it should work. It doesn't for wakeboarding, and doesn't if there are other things in frame that are the same colour as your subject :(

    The size of the AF points is...irritating at times. Was out with the new lens today, and it was 50/50 whether it would choose what was right under the point or something near it but 60 feet behind :banghead: What would have been some of the best shots were wrecked. That said....I'm so happy I prioritised money on lenses over camera bodies. the 70-200 is :naughty:

    I tend to use AF-S most of the time, and then switch to AF-C when I'm shooting rapidly moving targets. Never use AF-A as it just gives the camera another excuse to focus on the wrong thing :LOL:. That's incidentally the same reason I only really use spot focus and very rarely dynamic area. 3D would be way nicer if there were more points so that it follow the target better.

    Claudio, A D3100 is an updated D3000, so it should feel very familiar.

    These are some of the shots I got with the lens today. Looking forward to more practice.

    [​IMG]
    R2 by ausemmao, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Duck chasing by ausemmao, on Flickr
     
  21. Zarch

    Zarch

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    Mick
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    I think its just a learning curve for me Ausemmao, the camera is no doubt very good, probably just the mug holding it at the moment who isn't.

    The recent batch of snaps I took were out in the garden in late afternoon the other day, so light was okay. I think i've been AF-A from the start, so yesterday I changed to AF-C to like you say, stop the camera making poor decisions. Although i've not changed to 3D tracking, i'll have to dig that menu option out.

    I think another problem i'm having is that i'm too eager to have the Aperture at 3 or 4 so unless I hit the face spot on with focus (a problem with a 15 month old moving target) then things look out of focus pretty quickly.

    Will make the change to AF-C, 3D tracking, keep at single point and see how I get on.

    Agree about the size of the focus point on the viewfinder, they are tiny aren't they?
     
  22. Zarch

    Zarch

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    1,167
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    Mick
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    Another thought that you alluded to Ausemmao. Could it be that the lens can't focus quick enough chasing the little on around?

    I have the18-55 kit lens and a 1.8 35mm....... are these going to be quick enough to focus? :thinking:

    Or am I getting worried about nothing?
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  23. ausemmao

    ausemmao

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    517
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    Yeah, the camera s in AF-A by default.

    Well, the 3D tracking is ok, but on the D3100 is still a bit of a gimmick - there aren't enough AF points so it gets fooled quite easily.

    If you use AF-C, you cannot focus and recompose (unless you use the AF lock button on the back) as the camera will look at what's directly under the chosen AF point. AF-S is better for that.
    You could use AF-C, but choose the point nearest to where you wanted your kid to be and use that to focus.

    Yep they are tiny, and sometimes I wish the sensors were too (the grass 60 feet away thing).

    It could be the lenses, but I don't think so. Under AF-A, the camera has to realise they're moving first and you want them as your subject before anything happens. AF-C will help with that, or repeatedly half-pressing in AF-S.

    The narrowness of the depth of field can be a problem, but it shouldn't been too much of an issue once you get more familiar with the focusing unless you lock that 35 at 1.8 ;)
     
  24. ausemmao

    ausemmao

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    I'm thinking next on the list is a 35mm prime and a 60 or 90 macro. Have to save the pennies and then decide. Still enjoying the two zooms though :)

    Capoeira from Tuesday, will have some wakeboarding as well once they're processed. These were shot with the 17-50 and 70-200, locked at 2.8, and ISO 800 or 1600. Shutter speed around 1/400 for the movement. I hate flouresent light cycling :banghead::

    [​IMG]Berimbau by ausemmao, on Flickr

    [​IMG]P5 by ausemmao, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Jogo 5 by ausemmao, on Flickr

    [​IMG]B3 by ausemmao, on Flickr


    I need to start trying out some more deliberately composed shots, still life and the like. Looking forward to trying it out.
     
  25. oldnick

    oldnick

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    218
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    I've said it in another thread but I'll repeat it here. The video performance of the 3100 is brilliant, and well worth experimenting with. Full time auto focus works well if you put it in "wide" mode so that it doesnt hunt all the time. I was going to hang on to my DV Camcorder because I didnt have any faith in DSLR video, how wrong I was. Its infinitely superior, and for some reason you dont feel quite so much like a dope shooting video on as SLR as you do with a camcorder.

    Just sold the camcorder - brought for £450 7 years ago sold for £15 - and lucky to get that. Tape really is dead, long live the memory card.

    Shamless promotion, but shot with my 3100 before I killed it.:crying:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkQA_QT-zWs
     
  26. JSG

    JSG

    Messages:
    6
    Name:
    John
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    No
    Hi,

    I bought my first DSLR a couple of months back after getting my son one in January he could use for his degree for his 21st.

    Looking for a good entry level camera is simple when you start and then when you talk to a few people your budget gets edged up.

    I'd been told the key thing was the lens quality - ie an average body with a good lens will take better pictures than a cheap lens on a pro body so didn't want to spend a fortune on the camera.

    We tried quite a few for 'feel' and wanted either a Canon or Nikon due to the availability of lenses etc available. The D3100 was out of stock everywhere at the time but the display model at Jessops seemed much better to hold than the rest and I liked the spec. Got one ordered for my son and it arrived a week later - he loves it.

    When my OH offered to buy me a DSLR in Feb (after me moping about saying I 'needed' a new camera to replace the old compact) I went straight for the D3100. The kit lens - 18 - 55mm seems good enough to knock any photos taken on my old cameras into a cocked hat and I've been really pleased with it.

    As a newbie to anything other than point and shoot I used it always on auto and got good results. I've now learnt a bit about the 'buzzwords' and bigger apertures being better so bought a prime lens AF-S 50mm f1.4 which I've only had a couple of days but will be a lot better for me to learn with.

    I think the D3100 does everything I need - very pleased with it (y)
     
  27. Zarch

    Zarch

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    1,167
    Name:
    Mick
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    Anyone got any video shooting tips for the D3100?

    Especially around auto-focus, does AF-C track movement as it does when shooting stills?

    I've only played briefly with video, but I was struggling to get it to track!! :thinking:
     
  28. ausemmao

    ausemmao

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    517
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    No
    I've not used camcorders much before, so can't compare to those.
    To track movement while recording, you need to put the camera in AF-F after activating live view.

    How well it tracks? It does ok, though not amazingly - I can focus faster than it can, but if you've got other stuff to pay attention to it does the job.
     
  29. oldnick

    oldnick

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    218
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    Yes
    1. select "wide mode" this stops it hunting all the time.

    2. You can only change aperture settings in normal mode, ie not live view or whilst shooting video
     
  30. ohjin22

    ohjin22

    Messages:
    279
    Name:
    Owen
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    No
    I previously owned a Sony a200 for a year. Even though everyone sais the D3100 is a beginner camera, I view it as a step up from my last camera. The image quality is much better and the low light handling is much much better.

    As for video I love the narrow depth of field, but have the 50mm D, so I have to manual focus.

    For the small size, i compensated with the added battery grip. I am amazed by the difference it makes. I wont be taking it off anytime soon, unless im going somewhere where i want it to be easily concealable.

    I am very happy with my cam.

    At the time i was looking at buying this, it was going up against a 550D, but this was within my price range.
     
  31. explicit4u

    explicit4u

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    66
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    I've been using and abusing my D3100 for a few months now and I love it! I only have the kit lens at the moment but I plan on buying the 35mm 1.8 and a nice zoom (55-200?)!
     
  32. oldnick

    oldnick

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    218
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    Yes
    I've got both those lenses. The 35mm is a must buy - an utter joy. The 200mm is great value, I just don't find it very useful. Not taken anything with it that I have kept.
     
  33. rodman

    rodman

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    400
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    No
    Do you know if you get £40 cashback for Nikon D3100 when you buy it from BestBuy?
     
  34. Zarch

    Zarch

    Messages:
    1,167
    Name:
    Mick
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    Yes
    Back in January when I was looking to get mine I phoned Nikon to ask if BestBuy were on the list of suppliers eligible for cashback. Nikon said they saw no reason why BB shouldn't be as long as the camera is one for the British market (ie, not imported).

    I did consider BB so I could get Quidco etc, but got a better deal elsewhere without that in the end.
     
  35. mike84

    mike84

    Messages:
    1
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    I've read that this is a cam for beginners. It's fast, fexible and the battery is good. But may be could need more battery.

    I've read it from here

    I wish I have helped you :)
     
  36. Zarch

    Zarch

    Messages:
    1,167
    Name:
    Mick
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    Yes
    No problems with the battery so far for me.
     
  37. rodman

    rodman

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    No
    how long is for HD videos? (y)
     
  38. ausemmao

    ausemmao

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    No
    You're limited to 10 minute segments, but that aside I reckon you could get 1-2 hours' footage off a single charge. Not the best, but not terrible.
     
  39. oldnick

    oldnick

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    Yes
    As with all rechargeable batteries, the best way to get good life out of them is to make sure that you fully discharge them before recharging. I get 3 - 4 days use out of my iphone between chargers, using this approach.
     
  40. roseway

    roseway

    Messages:
    172
    Name:
    Eric
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    Yes
    That isn't the case with Li-Ion batteries, as used in the D3100 and many other cameras. In fact there is a small possibility of over-discharging a Li-Ion battery, and there's no need to fully charge them. Read about it here.
     

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