I finally got my Nikon D3100 which I bought from e-Bay after winning an auction I got it for $560.
I decided to buy the Nikon D3100 after doing a long search online for camera capabilities against price as I wanted to get a beginner camera.
When I received the shipment it included the following
- The Camera body
- AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18 – 55mm f/3.5 – 5.6G lens
- AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G lens for telephoto.
- Cyber Optics 40 mm lens for wide angle.
As a novice photographer I have to say that I was astonished with the capabilities of this camera as I open the box and explore what the camera can do starting from the full control of almost everything (shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity, white balance, etc) and as I explore and read more I discover the real value of the Nikon D3100 as I almost have everything I need in it.
The first thing I noticed about the D3100 is how big is the LCD screen (called live view) it is crisp and wide which allows me to see the subject in front of the camera very clear. This on the other hand means that the LCD of the camera consumes more battery than other cameras which in fact I could notice while going out taking photos that the battery does not stay for long.
The AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18 – 55mm f/3.5 – 5.6G lens
When you first receive the camera the standard 18-55 mm lens would not be mounted in the camera body it actually took me few seconds to find how to mount the standard lens to the camera body by aligning the 2 white dots on both the camera and the lens and rotating the lens clock-wise till it ticks of course you have to do this when the camera is turned off to avoid any damage.
The standard AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18 – 55mm f/3.5 – 5.6G lens has a switch for the auto focus AF or manual focus M when you set it on AF the camera will try to get the focus on the object in the view finder or the live view when the user presses the shutter button halfway. once the focus is acquired the user then press the shutter button all the way to get the shot. But sometimes the camera would not get the correct focus in certain conditions like when the object is very dark or there is no contrast between the object and the background. In such case you would use manual focus which will allow you to set the focus using the focus ring on the lens. The lens also comes with the VR (vibration reduction) switch which will turn on the vibration reduction ability in the lens for making sharp images when the camera is moving.
The AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G lens
Along with the same specifications above for the standard lens the AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G lens is great for taking photographs for distant objects. Just mount the lens and adjust the zoom and the focus and you will get a sharp clear image of that faraway building or boat you couldn’t take before with the standard lens. But when taking photos with this lens you need to be careful as the slightest movement (even when using the VR system) will affect the resulting image. I was lucky that the box of my camera included a camera lens hood for that fits this lens and thus I could reduce glare from far lights when taking the pictures.
The camera does not contain built in memory you need to use an SD card. I tried a Transcend class 4 SD card and it was working perfectly even with videos then I bought a 32GB class 10 SD card for higher capacity and performance which was great and let me take much more images in RAW format.
The camera has many options for storing the images on the SD card including
- RAW (The camera stores the censor RAW image on the SD card which will take around 15MB per picture)
- JPG Fine (The camera will compress the images to JPG format with high quality and store it on the SD card which will take around 3MB per picture)
- RAW+JPG Fine(The camera will store both the RAW image and the JPG files with the same name except the extension)
- JPG Normal
- JPG Basic
After purchasing a 32GB SD card I was able to switch the camera output from RAW only into RAW + JPG to avoid the hassle of converting the RAW into JPG files to easily manipulate and show the images (the high pixel resolution of the camera makes my laptop take a bit of time converting the RAW into JPGs but taking that aside the quality and scale of the images are amazing)
The next post I’ll continue describing the features of the camera and the Nikon software that comes with it.