While the name Kodak was associated with film and early photography and Leica was associated with early serious photography, real 35mm photography received its biggest boost from the Nikon camera line as journalists and other professionals made great use of the line’s fine optics and multiple single lens reflex bodies and now with image world turned digital Nikon still leads the way.
When Nikon announced that it would be upgrading its D3000 line of digital single lens reflex cameras (dSLRs), many photographers waited with baited breath to see if the upgraded D3100 was better than the D3000.
The easy answer is yes, it is better in many ways. For example, while the D3000 offered high resolution, the D3100 offered not only a 3X 18-55mm zoom lens as standard, the lens was part of the Nikkor line. Nikkor lenses have been among the best-rated lenses for the past 30 years in chroma, spherical aberration and internal reflection (chroma is color rendition, spherical aberration is whether you see distortion at wide angles and short range and internal reflection is just the way the internal mirror handles light bouncing around the back end of the lens). Since the days of the old film models D1 and D2 and Nikormat cameras, Nikkor lenses have been the lenses of choice among Nikon photographers and that continues with the D3100.
The D3100 features not only a 14MP high-resolution CMOS DX sensor, but the electronics built into the camera incorporate Nikon’s VR image stabilization feature so that when you use the 3X feature and zoom, you can handhold images that are rock steady.
The D3100 is also high-definition ready as it shoots at the native high-resolution mode of 1080 p so that you can shoot not only moving imagery but also still imagery or, if you are creative, you can use the best of both worlds to use a longish lens, for example, sit in a tough corner of a motor race and using a little slower setting have a blurred image of a car entering the corner, hitting an exact…