Nikon D3100 What You Need to Know for Best Performance

The D3100’s original MSRP was $699.95

Used D3100 cameras fall into a price range of $100 to $175. The difference will be due to condition and accessories included.

The Nikon D3100 uses a Lithium-Ion EN-EL14 rechargeable battery & charger.

The battery can not be charged via USB. This means a battery charger will be necessary. There are third party battery chargers available.

The Nikon D3100 is compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards.

That means compatible D3100 SD cards can have a maximum storage capacity of up to 2TB.

If you need a card, my recommendation is to get a 128GB SD card with UHS-I. This will provide the best price to performance, capacity, and compatibility with other devices.

The D3100 is compatible with Nikon F mount lenses. This opens up a wide range of lens possibilities. A full range of lenses exists including circular fisheye, ultra wide angle, perspective control, macro, telephoto, mirror, bellows, and all kinds of zooms.

There is a list of the best Nikon D3100 lenses that covers lenses for all different types of photography.

The camera has an APS-C “crop” sensor that has been designed to use DX lenses. These lenses are smaller and less expensive than FX lenses, which are designed to be used on full frame cameras.

The D3100 can also use full frame, ‘FX’, lenses. However, the downside to these lenses is that they tend to be larger, heavier, and more expensive than DX lenses.

  • Active D-Lighting
  • 3.0 fps continuous shooting
  • Auto Active D-Lighting System
  • Custom Setting Options
  • Red eye correction

The D3100 has an APS-C (23.1 x 15.4 mm) sized sensor. This is paired with the Expeed 2 image processor.

The Nikon D3100 can record video at 1920 x 1080 (24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30, 25, 24 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps) in MPEG-4. The fixed screen on the D3100 can make shooting video difficult.

The lack of a fully articulated LCD screen is a big drawback for video use.

Manufacturer Nikon
Model D3100
MSRP $699.95
Body type Compact DSLR
Max resolution 4608 x 3072
Other resolutions 3456 x 2304, 2304 x 1536
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 14.2 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 15 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (23.1 x 15.4 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Expeed 2
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (12800 with boost)
Boosted ISO (minimum) None
Boosted ISO (maximum) 12800.0
White balance presets 12.0
Custom white balance Yes (1)
Image stabilization No
Image stabilization notes None
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, Normal, Basic
Autofocus ['Contrast Detect (sensor)', 'Phase Detect', 'Multi-area', 'Selective single-point', 'Tracking', 'Single', 'Continuous', 'Face Detection', 'Live View']
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 11.0
Lens mount Nikon F
Focal length multiplier 1.5×
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3″
Screen dots 230000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT LCD monitor
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage 95%
Viewfinder magnification 0.8× (0.53× 35mm equiv.)
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes (Pop-up)
Flash range 12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe, Wireless plus sync connector)
Flash modes Auto, Red-Eye, Slow, Red-Eye Slow, Rear curtain
Continuous drive 3.0 fps
Self-timer Yes
Metering modes ['Multi', 'Center-weighted', 'Average']
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing None
WB Bracketing No
Format MPEG-4
Videography notes None
Modes None
Microphone Mono
Speaker None
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (Mini Type C)
Microphone port None
Headphone port None
Wireless Eye-Fi Connected
Wireless notes None
Remote control Yes (Optional)
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion EN-EL14 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) None
Weight (inc. batteries) 505 g (1.11 lb / 17.81 oz)
Dimensions 124 x 96 x 75 mm (4.88 x 3.78 x 2.95″)
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording None
GPS Optional
GPS notes GP-1