Nikon D3100 Upgrade Options

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: January 8, 2022
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Nikon D3100 Upgrade Cameras

The Nikon D3100 was released in 2010. Since then many cameras have come out that offer higher image resolution, better video framerates, 4k video, faster continuous shooting, and many other features that can be had by upgrading your Nikon D3100.

Where to Sell Your Nikon D3100

The Nikon D3100 has value. Lenses that are compatible with the D3100 are also compatible with all the recommended cameras below.

One way to make an upgrade less expensive is to sell off the gear you are upgrading. If you don't want to take the time to sell locally through something like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Kijiji, or eBay, there are places willing to buy your used gear.

Each site will give you a quote. Shop around for the best offer.

Best Value - Nikon D3400

Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera Body
Nikon D3100Nikon D3400
Released20102016
Resolution14 Megapixels24 Megapixels
Continuous Shooting3 fps5 fps
Video1080p 24 fps1080p 60 fps
WirelessEye-FiBuilt-in
Touch ScreenNoNo

The Nikon D3400 is 3 generations newer than the D3100. There are noticeable improvements, such as the 10 Megapixel increase in resolution.

Another big improvement is the increase in maximum frame rate at full HD. Being limited to 1080p 24 fps is a big disadvantage if you want to record video with your DSLR.

Not being the current entry-level camera means great deals can be found on used Nikon D3400 camera kits and bodies. Any lenses that you have that work on the Nikon D3100 are compatible and will work on the Nikon D3400.

The D3400 was also sold with a red body variation. I would not recommend paying extra for a red body as you could put that money towards an even better camera.

Check Nikon D3400 Prices:

Amazon, eBay, KEH

Pros

  • 6 years newer.
  • 10 MP increase in resolution.
  • Continuous shooting +2 fps.
  • Faster video frame rates.

Cons

  • Need to purchase used.
  • No touch screen.

Current Gen - Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 Camera Body
Nikon D3100Nikon D3500
Released20102018
Resolution14 Megapixels24 Megapixels
Continuous Shooting3 fps5 fps
Video1080p 24 fps1080p 60 fps
WirelessEye-FiBuilt-in
Touch ScreenNoNo

The Nikon D3500 does not feel like a big upgrade from the Nikon D3400. This is in large part due to the fact that the Nikon D3500 does not have a flip screen. The LCD screen is fixed to the back of the camera.

The sensor size is the same, as well as the video frame rates. Depending on your specific needs, it may be better to get a Nikon D3400 and spend the difference on a lens.

Check Nikon D3500 Prices

Amazon, eBay, KEH

Pros

  • 8 years newer.
  • 10 megapixel increase in resolution.
  • Increase in FPS.
  • Better video.

Cons

  • No flip screen.
  • No touch screen.

Semi-Pro - Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200 Camera Body
Nikon D3100Nikon D7200
Released20102015
Resolution14 Megapixels24 Megapixels
Continuous Shooting3 fps6 fps
Video1080p 24 fps1080p 60 fps
WirelessEye-FiBuilt-in
Touch ScreenNoNo

The Nikon D7200 has a high quality build as it was originally targeted towards prosumer and professional photographers. While it is the oldest recommended upgrade for the D3100, it contains tech that eventually filtered down into the D3400 and D3500.

Camera menus and controls are targeted towards a more advanced user. This is great for doing photography in aperture priority, manual mode, or shutter priority.

For video, look at the Nikon Z50 as it will allow you to shoot 4k video.

Check Nikon D7200 Prices

Amazon, eBay, KEH

Pros

  • 5 years newer.
  • 10 more megapixels.
  • 3 FPS increase in continuous shooting.
  • Dual SD memory card slots.

Cons

  • Need to purchase used.
  • Similar used price to a used Nikon Z50.

Mirrorless - Nikon Z50

Nikon Z50 Camera Body
Nikon D3100Nikon Z50
Released20102019
Resolution14 Megapixels21 Megapixels
Continuous Shooting3 fps11 fps
Video1080p 24 fps4k 30 fps
WirelessEye-FiBuilt-in, with Bluetooth
Touch ScreenNoYes

The Nikon Z50 uses the newer Z lens mount. This is because unlike the Nikon D3100, the Z50 is a mirrorless camera.

Instead of using a reflex mirror and optical viewfinder, the Z50 has a electronic viewfinder. This allows you to see what the exposure and white balance of an image will look like before you take the photo.

F-mount lenses can be used on the Z50 with the use of the Nikon FTZ or FTZ II lens adapters. The FTZ corrects for the flange distance and bridges the lens connections so that autofocus and electronically controlled aperture are fully functional.

Check Nikon Z50 Prices

Amazon, eBay, KEH

Pros

  • 9 years newer.
  • 7 MP increase in resolution.
  • Huge increase in continuous shooting FPS.
  • Can record 4k video.

Cons

  • Will need a Nikon FTZ or FTZ II lens adapter to use F-mount lenses from the Nikon D3100.
  • Expensive compared to the Nikon D3100.

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