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Nikon D3100 14.2 SLR Camera

Updated on September 4, 2014

Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera

I have been investigating this camera and as I do I love it more and more. I thought I would share some tips for using this camera that I have been coming across. These tips could help sway your decision of whether or not to buy this camera which after comparing to others in the same price range this one seems the best to me and many others. There are a number of things I like about this camera for the newbie to SLR cameras like myself.

This camera ranks in the top 10 in SLR camera on Amazon. It was also on Oprah's favorite things list. Many of the reviews are favorable for this camera that I have come across.

Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera - 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

What is in the Box

D3100 digital SLR camera body

AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens

EN-EL14 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery

MH-24 Battery Charger,

DK-5 Eyepiece Cap

DK-20 Rubber Eyecap

AN-DC3 Camera Strap

BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover

BF-1B Body Cap


Pictures Taken with my 55-300 Lens

If you have this camera or are thinking of buying it make sure you get the 55-300 lens. It makes a big difference in your photography and is my favorite lens. It gives a very nice bokeh or blurred background as you can see in many of my pictures.

You can zoom quite far with this lens also so I have been able to take pictures of birds much closer up. You can see the blue bird, black bird and the killdeer I have taken pictures of below.

Beautiful Spring Poppy Stretched Canvas Print

I decided to use the guide on the camera and see if I liked it. Usually I use the macro setting for flowers, but this day I decided to do half of the pictures with the guide where I changed the aperature to low. I think around 5 or 6. I can't remember the exact number, but I like the way it focused on the subject and blurred the back ground. It seems to do that much more with this setting than it does in macro setting.

This photo was also done in this setting.

Nikon 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR Lens

This is a new lens for this camera that is great for taking pictures of flowers and insects. I bought this lens this year and love it! It is great for macro photography. You do have to get close up which I am not used to because I use my zoom lens most of the time even as a walk around lens.


This is a favorite shot of mine I took with this camera.


This is a daisy I took a picture of. You can see daisies within the water drops. This is with the kit lens!

Nikon D3100

The dial you see in this picture gives easy access to deciding different scene modes.


This is the face with a hat on it icon on the dial. It is a good choice when doing a portrait when the subject you are taking a picture of is being still. It will smooth the complexion and blur the background so the person in the picture pops.


The flower icon captures small objects sharply and is great for flowers.


The icon is a square with a mountain in it for this choice. It is easy to guess that this is your best choice to put your dial if you want to photography landscapes.

Child Mode

This is a child face icon and is best for taking pictures of children. It gives alot of color and looks great.

Sports Mode

The icon on the dial that will do this function is the person that looks like they are running. It is best for when your subject is moving. Any sort of action scene you photograph will do good with this choice.

Night Mode

This is of course great for photographing night scenes, especially lights outside.

You might notice there is also 4 letters: A, P, M and S

These each have different functions:

M is for when you want to do all your settings manually or for the newbie when you are ready to. The great thing about this camera is it has a guide that will walk you through using the camera in a manual way which is one of the things I love about it.

A is for controlling the blur in the background of a picture. If you want no blur in the back ground but would rather everything come out clear in the picture. Choose a wide apperature while on the A to blur the background behind a subject. A smaller aperature will not blur the background.

S is for shutter priority on this camera. Use this to select shutter speed to freeze or blur motion in a picture such as a windmill turning around for instance.


I love this feature on this camera! This is great for the SLR newbie! It will walk you through what to do for settings, for deleting and viewing pictures and set up. This is the only camera out there that does this and I think it makes learning to use an SLR camera less intimidating.

There are three main AF modes:

AF-S (Single Servo AF), AF-C (Continuous Servo AF) and AF-A (an Auto mode which selects between them depending on whether the subject is in motion - this is the default option). These are selected from the main information display screen, where you'll also be offered a Manual focusing option. The single mode or AF-S is what you want if the subject you are photographing is not moving. The AF-C option is what you want to choose when your subject will be moving.

Set Picture Control

Standard : +2 Saturation (use this choice for people.)

Vivid : +3 Saturation (use this one for places and things.)

Live View

As you can see on the screen it is showing a live view of the picture. It will Automatically optimize exposure, autofocus, and white balance, allowing you to take beautiful photos without having to make camera adjustments yourself. For a newbie this a great feature to have. The Scene Auto Selector lets the D3100 decide the best mode to match the shooting situation when using Live View.

June Daisy and Ladybug

Do you prefer Canon or Nikon cameras?

Nikon D3100 Highlights

14.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS Image Sensor

Includes 3x 18-55mm Zoom-NIKKOR VR Image Stabilization Lens

Full 1080p HD Cinematic Video


Compact and Lightweight Design

Split-second Shutter Respons

Fast 11-point Autofocus System

ISO sensitivity 100-3200, expandable to ISO 12800 equivalent

3-inch monitor

Scene Auto Selector


Scene Recognition System in Live View

6 Automatic Exposure Scene Modes

Just set the Mode dial to Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-up or Night Portrait for stunning results in otherwise challenging conditions.

Active D-Lighting

Restores picture-enhancing detail in shadows and highlights.

Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Highlights

D-Lighting in action.

Picture Control

Choose from Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, or Landscape to apply a personal look and feel to your pictures.

Automatic Image Sensor Cleaning

Ultrasonic process and exclusive Airflow Control combats the accumulation of dust in front of the image sensor, safeguarding image quality shot after shot.

Built-in pop-up flash

Perfect for those times when there isn't enough light.

In-camera Image Editing

Allows creative freedom, without the need for a computer, offering easy editing functions.

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    • mel-kav profile image


      5 years ago

      Great lens - awesome photos!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a great example what a gifted photographer can do with a great camera and beautiful flowers. I especially enjoyed your daisies in water droplets, daisies have always been my favorite flower and you made magic happen!...*

    • bikerministry profile image


      7 years ago

      I have a Nikon D100, just learning. Your work is amazing. Blessings.

    • masaad profile image


      7 years ago

      gud nice, this will be my first dslr camera :D

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 

      7 years ago

      I think I need to upgrade my camera. Your photos are simply gorgeous! Great review, Patricia!

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      7 years ago from California

      You do some amazing flower photography, and nice review of your camera :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      Great camera and photos. I am Nikon all the way, but don't have this particular camera. I can tell I would like it, though. Thanks for this valuable review. Appreciated!

    • adamfrench profile image


      7 years ago

      Impressive lens, thumbs up

    • filmic profile image


      7 years ago

      great lens, heaps of content!

    • jnstewart profile image

      John Norman Stewart 

      7 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      This lens has some gorgeous photos on it. Thanks for sharing. j:^D

    • emmaklarkins profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, these are some truly amazing photos! I just got myself a Canon Powershot s95, and I hope I can take some pretty pictures as well :)

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      Don't have this Nikon camera, but have the D90. I absolutely love it, as well as my bunch of Nikkor (Nikon's) lenses. Great DSLR cameras!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      I don't own this camera but I have borrowed a Nikon like it and it's absolutely amazing - love the pics you've shown too. It is an awesome camera.

    • hlkljgk profile image


      7 years ago from Western Mass

      i do, and it's my go to camera from traveling; it's so light and fast! but i still rely on my full sensor d700 for professional shoots.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      This camera is too much for my pocket, but I enjoyed the lens and especially your lovely photography.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful pictures. I'm thinking to get a SLR camera, any recommended brand?

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      7 years ago from United States

      I have always thought your photography was phenomenally beautiful and this lens really makes me want to treat myself to the camera. I think I shall slip a little note to my son who always whispers in his dad's ear and they go together to get special gifts for me. This would be awesome! Dang, the next gift occasion is not until October though :( Oh, well, I shall love it then :)

    • hessa johnson profile image

      hessa johnson 

      7 years ago

      Hope to buy a Nikon SLR in the future. I'll bookmark this! Thanks!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Great review on this camera and I love your photos. If I were in the market for another camera you would have sold me :) Blessed.

    • bkarsono profile image


      7 years ago

      Awesome lens. I have just sold this NIKON on ebay. It was a great camera.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a great lens. I really want one!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      cool pics time for an upgrade on my point n click

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      7 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      No. I've just a an inexpensive little point and shoot and I'm thinking of upgrading, but not yet ready for anything this expensive. Great information and fabulous photos on this lens are tempting me though.

    • blue22d profile image


      7 years ago

      I am considering this camera. I want to say you have done an excellent job of informing us about this model and I am giving you a Squid Angel blessing. Great job!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      want to buy one.

    • deyanis profile image


      7 years ago from Oz

      This is a well-comprehensive lens about D3100. Lenroll-ed it to my Nikon D7000 lens =)

    • photofk3 profile image


      8 years ago

      I don't have this camera. If I will buy a new camera, I only want to buy a full frame camera, whether it's a Canon or a Nikon. Great lens by all means.

    • TapIn2U profile image


      8 years ago

      I don't have it yet but I'd like to own one. I love taking pictures of places and people especially when I travel and I always have my handy point-and-shoot digital camera with me. But once I download the picture, I always say to myself "darn, these would've looked better taken with an SLR". But don't you need to take photography classes to really be able to know how to use one? Hmm..Hey, Iâve just finished my second lens on a 3-step plan to achieve your Goals and New Years Resolutions.When you have a moment, I would love to hear what you think. If you have a suggestion- please let me know. Iâm learning as I go and so appreciate your help. Sundae ;-)

    • TapIn2U profile image


      8 years ago

      I don't have it yet but I'd like to own one. I love taking pictures of places and people especially when I travel and I always have my handy point-and-shoot digital camera with me. But once I download the picture, I always say to myself "darn, these would've looked better taken with an SLR". But don't you need to take photography classes to really be able to know how to use one? Hmm..Hey, Iâve just finished my second lens on a 3-step plan to achieve your Goals and New Years Resolutions.When you have a moment, I would love to hear what you think. If you have a suggestion- please let me know. Iâm learning as I go and so appreciate your help. Sundae ;-)

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 

      8 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Not yet. :-)


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