By Andrew Liszewski
Even though it’s squarely targeted at consumers who are new to the DSLR game, the Nikon D3100 has some new tricks that have us pretty excited for what the company is cooking up as a replacement for the D90. For the moment, the DSLR PR race seems to be focused on video capabilities, so the D3100 gets a bump to full 1080P video recording at 24 fps, captured as H.264 AVCHD files, and a 720P mode that allows you to shoot at 24 or 30 fps if you’re after that coveted ‘video look.’ But more exciting is the D3100′s ability to continually auto-focus while shooting video, or in Live View mode, and Face Detection technology that can automatically track up to 35 human faces at once.
On the still camera side of things the D3100 sports a 14.2-megapixel CMOS sensor with ISO settings that range from 100 to 3200, which can be expanded to a Hi-2 setting of 12,800 for particularly low-light shots. It’s also got the D3000′s Guide Mode which basically holds a new user’s hand when it comes to choosing non-Auto settings, and an intriguing ‘Quiet Shutter Release’ mode which “substantially reduces the sound of the mirror while shooting” if you’re trying to remain less conspicuous like at a wedding or when snapping a sleeping child. The D3100 kit will come with an AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens and should be available around mid-September for $699.95.
[ Nikon D3100 ]