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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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The Nikon D3100

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