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Nikon D7000 vs D3100 | Comparing Cameras

Updated on March 5, 2013

Comparing the Nikon D7000 vs D3100

Confused between the Nikon D7000 vs the D3100? Well, you're not alone! If you're in the market for a new Nikon DSLR and aren't sure which model number, then you're in the same boat as many people.

Finding the perfect Nikon camera can be quite tricky especially when you are looking at investing a good sum of money. Many people have a hard time choosing between the Nikon D7000 and the Nikon D3100. That is why I have done this comparison review.

Here is will compare the Nikon D7000 vs the Nikon D3100. This comparison will feature the pros and cons of each camera and help you decide which one will suit your needs the best. Buying a new Nikon DSLR is simlar to buying a new car - so many models and features to choose from!

Each camera has different strengths and weaknesses and knowing what those are will help you choose the perfect DSLR for you. Here is my side by side comparison of the Nikon D7000 vs Nikon D3100, pros and cons and other spec comparisons for you to make a sound decision.

Nikon D7000 16.2MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR
 

The Nikon D7000 Highlights:

Stunning image details: 16.2 effective megapixels
Whether you want to make large prints or crop tightly in an image, the D7000 delivers the resolution you need. At its heart is a DX-format CMOS image sensor with 16.2 effective megapixels, optimally engineered to gather more quality light through sharp NIKKOR lenses.  Coupled with 14-bit A/D conversion (12-bit selectable), the D7000 produces stunning images that are richer in tone and detail than previously possible in DX format.

The A/D conversion happens within the sensor, thereby maintaining exceptional image integrity without sacrificing shooting speed or energy efficiency. Combine these with the agile DX format and its signature 1.5x focal length telephoto potential and you can begin to see where this kind of shooting power can take you. Nikon D7000 vs D3100

Improved image quality and speed: EXPEED 2 image processing engine
Sometimes you want to capture the subtle tones of a sunset. Other times you want to freeze the action. The D7000 delivers both, thanks to the newest generation of image processing engine, EXPEED 2, which performs multiple tasks with more speed and power.

Expect smoother tonal gradations, even in difficult shadows and highlights, for a greater sense of depth in your images. Shoot continuously at 6 frames per second so you can capture the action you’ve been missing. Focusing performance such as face recognition in Live View mode is also further improved, letting you concentrate on your composition. Nikon D7000 vs D3100

Standard ISO 100 to 6400, expandable to ISO 25600 equivalent
With improved pixel quality of the image sensor comes a wider ISO range from the DX-format — ISO 100 to 6400 has now become standard with the D7000, enabling you to handle a wider range of lighting situations: from the bright and sunny outdoors to low-lit evenings and interiors.

Nikon’s renowned noise reduction technology has been upgraded even further. Throughout the range, the D7000 delivers sharp images with minimized color noise. And thanks to the higher processing speed, even when High ISO noise reduction is activated, you can keep shooting continuously without stress. Quality high-ISO performance can also enhance a lot for movie shooting, allowing you to capture the mood of a scene using only available light. Nikon D7000 vs D3100

Capture Full HD 1080p D-Movie with full-time autofocus and manual exposure
The D7000 welcomes in a new era of movie capture: Full HD 1080p and movie editing functions for exceptional cinematic reproduction and quality. In addition to smooth-moving images, the camera can compensate for distortion and other image-degrading problems.

Besides auto exposure mode, the D7000 offers manual exposure mode, which locks in the exposure value when shooting scenes with varying contrast levels, such as when panning from a bright window to a dark interior. Aside from a built-in monaural microphone, the D7000 incorporates an external microphone jack for high-quality stereo sound recording options. Nikon D7000 vs D3100

Improved quality in highlight and shadow: Active D-Lighting

Nikon’s exclusive Active D-Lighting offers the ability to preserve details in the highlights and shadowy areas of images shot in high-contrast scenes.

Whether you’re dealing with bright skies and a dark foreground or deep shadows where you can’t use a flash, the EXPEED 2 image processing engine renders those scenes with smoother tones — even at its highest settings.

Simply select Auto in Active D-Lighting mode and the camera can adjust to the scene’s contrast levels or bracket them into three frames of varying strength levels. Even when Active D-Lighting is activated, you can still maintain the continuous shooting rate. Nikon D7000 vs D3100

Now even more precise: The Scene Recognition System
The D7000 incorporates a built-in exposure-metering sensor with a far larger pixel count than any other D-SLR camera before it. The 2,016-pixel RGB sensor reads the scene’s brightness and colors more accurately, and then applies this reading to optimize not only exposure, but also autofocus, white balance and i-TTL flash calculations — all in mere milliseconds prior to the actual exposure.

With more pixels, the D7000 can recognize even smaller subjects — both moving and stationary. The newly improved Scene Recognition System delivers better photographs in every way.

Wide-area coverage, powerful 39-point AF
The D7000’s strategically positioned 39 AF points cover a significantly wide area of the frame, giving you flexible compositional possibilities. The nine AF points in the center utilize powerful cross-type sensors — especially useful when you need tack-sharp focus such as with portraits and macro work.

And unlike other manufacturers’ systems, the D7000’s nine cross-type sensors work with all AF NIKKOR lenses f/5.6 or faster. The D7000 offers a variety of AF area modes, including dynamic-area AF using 9, 21, 39 points. Switch between the three, depending on the predictability of your subjects’ movement, and the selected AF point and surrounding points will track your intended subject automatically. Nikon D7000 vs D3100

There is also 3D tracking, which continuously follows moving subjects within the 39 AF points, indicating the activated AF point in the viewfinder. Utilizing Nikon’s Scene Recognition System, Auto-area AF properly judges the main subject within 39 AF points and focuses on it. Therefore, no matter what the situation or composition calls for, the D7000’s autofocus system will be ready to meet your focus needs. Nikon D7000 vs D3100

39-point AF & 2,016-pixel RGB sensor
Stay focused on what matters most.

Sophisticated AE with highlight analysis
After the incredibly accurate 2016-pixel RGB sensor reads a scene’s lighting information such as brightness and colors, the D7000 cross-references what it sees with imaging data from 30,000 real-world shooting situations. This way, the renowned 3D Color Matrix Metering II delivers exposure results that are faithful to how you see light and shadow interplay, even in difficult lighting situations. This intelligent metering technique also delivers exceptionally accurate i-TTL flash exposures, and it all happens within milliseconds for both speed and precision. Nikon D7000 vs D3100

Informed auto white balance (AWB)
Based on its massive collection of shooting data compiled from various light sources, the D7000’s intelligent AWB algorithm renders white as truly white — even when shot under a wide range of light sources, including the difficult mercury vapor lighting. The D7000 also carries another AWB mode that maintains incandescent warmth in your images. Nikon D7000 vs D3100

Contrast AF for live view and D-Movie
Live View and D-Movie users can rejoice, because with the D7000, face-priority AF is now faster and more powerful than ever. Up to 35 people can be. For moving subjects such as pets, subject-tracking AF keeps them in focus. Normal-area AF is recommended for pinpoint focus and wide-area AF for handheld shooting. All are effective both for Live View shooting and movie recording.

Picture Control: Portrait
You can transform the look of an image simply by selecting from the camera’s Picture Control menu. Choose from the following settings: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Landscape, and Portrait. You can even adjust parameters such as sharpness and saturation and then save them as Custom Picture Controls.

ViewNX 2 — Your imaging toolbox
Browse and organize images easily and efficiently with ViewNX 2. This bundled, all-in-one software helps you view, edit, store, and share both photos and movies. Attach labels to your images for simpler searching and browsing, or choose from an array of editing functions such as resize, crop, rotate, straighten and auto red-eye correction. You can even delete scenes from movies taken with your D7000.  Nikon D7000 vs D3100

Nikon D7000 vs D3100
Nikon D7000 vs D3100

Reasons to consider the Nikon D7000

Sensor Type   CMOS  

above average

Size   APS-C 23.6x15.6mm  

above average

Megapixels   16.1 MP  

above average

Light sensitivity (boost)   25,600 ISO  

above average

Lenses Lens availability   169 lenses  

above average

Lens focus motor   Yes      

Movies Format   1080p @ 24fps  

above average

Supports 24p   Yes  

above average  

Autofocus   Contrast detection  

unique

Continuous focus   Yes  

unique

All formats   640 x 424 @ 30fps
720p @ 24fps
720p @ 30fps
1080p @ 24fps

Performance Startup delay   400 ms  

above average

Shutter lag   238 ms

Battery life   1050 shots  

unique

Continuous shooting   6 fps  

above average

DXO Mark Scores Image quality   80.0  

unique

Color depth   23.5 bits  

unique

Dynamic range   13.9 EV  

Nikon D7000 vs D3100

Nikon D7000 Hands-on Review - ...Using the D7000

Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera
Nikon D3100 Highlights

14.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS Image Sensor
Delivers beautiful photographs and prints well beyond 20 x 30 inches.

Includes 3x 18-55mm Zoom-NIKKOR VR Image Stabilization Lens
Included lens offers the legendary NIKKOR optical quality and fast, accurate autofocus for vivid color, striking contrast and crisp detail and VR image stabilization to ensure the sharpest hand-held pictures and movies. Nikon D7000 vs D3100

Full 1080p HD Cinematic Video
Features full-time autofocus and sound; record cinematic-quality movies in Full 1080p HD format (1920 x 1080 pixels).

Easy-To-Use
The D3100 features Nikon's Guide Mode with intuitive controls and on-board assistance helping you take better pictures every step of the way.

Compact and Lightweight Design
Beautifully styled--ready to go wherever life takes you.

Split-second Shutter Response
Eliminates the frustration of shutter delay, capturing moments that other cameras miss.

Fast 11-point Autofocus System
Delivers razor-sharp pictures.

ISO sensitivity 100-3200, expandable to ISO 12800 equivalent
Delivers exceptional results, even in the most challenging low-light situations.

3-inch monitor
Features One-Touch Live View shooting and movie capture.

Scene Auto Selector
Lets the D3100 decide the best mode to match the shooting situation when using Live View.

EXPEED 2
Nikon's new image processing engine assures breathtakingly rich image quality, managing color, contrast, exposure, noise and speed.

Scene Recognition System in Live View
Automatically optimizes exposure, autofocus, and white balance, allowing you to obtain beautiful photos without the hassle of making complicated camera adjustments yourself.

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.

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.

Niko D7000vsD3100
Niko D7000vsD3100
  Significantly larger screen 3.0" vs 2.7"   More than 10% larger screen

  Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 24fps vs 720p @ 24fps   Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video

  Continuous video focus Yes vs No

Record movies without worrying about focus

  Slightly lower noise at high ISO 919 ISO vs 868 ISO   The D3100 has a slight edge (0.1 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance

  Smaller 124x96x73 mm vs 127x104x80 mm   Around 20% smaller

  Higher true resolution 14.2 MP vs 12.2 MP   Capture around 20% more detail in your photos

  Better boost ISO 12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO   The D3100's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better

  Slightly longer battery life 550 shots vs 510 shots   Around 10% more shots per battery charge

  Lighter 505 g vs 590 g   More than 10% lighter

  Thinner 2.9" vs 3.1"   Around 10% thinner

  Slightly less expensive

Nikon D3100 Hands-on Review - ...Using the D3100

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