D3100 gets full-time AF for video

by valrac4_a3kqdy

Leaked details of Nikon’s latest entry-level SLR surfaced last week, but today, the company officially announced the D3100. Among the significant additions are 1080p HD video and a 14.2 megapixel DX sensor. To support moviemaking, the D3100 uses what Nikon calls “full-time auto-focus for D-Movie.”

The D3100 includes a continuous focusing mode called AF-F. When you use it, the camera maintains continuous AF without you having to hold the shutter halfway down, the normal way to get AF.

The camera supports video resolutions of up to full 1080p HD video (1920×1080 at 24 fps) and 720p video at 24 or 30 fps. Nikon has adopted mov (wrapping a modern H.264 AVCHD codec) as its movie file format

Oh yeah, it’s an SLR and there are some nice tweaks to enhance the still photography experience too. It now uses a 14.2 megapixel sensor, up from the 10.2 mp sensor in the D3000 and a new image-processing engine Nikon calls EXPEED 2. ISO range is now ISO 100-3200 and two “HI”extended modes take it to ISO 12,800.

The D3100 also contains a teacher of sorts within its software. By setting the mode dial to Guide Mode, users get guidance on how to set the camera for advanced techniques.

The D3100 is compatible with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System and can be used wirelessly with SB-900 Speedlights. A different kind of wireless functionality comes with the camera’s support of Eye-Fi memory cards (SD cards with built-in WiFi). This means you can transfer images from camera to computer wirelessly.

As a kit the D3100 and AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (image stabilization) lens has an SRP of $699.95. Nikon Canada says the new camera will be available in stores September 17.

Specification Highlights

  • 14.2 megapixel DX sensor
  • Full 1080p HD movie mode (1920 x 1080 x 24 fps)
  • MOV movie file format (H.264 AVCHD codec)
  • Full-time AF using Live View in movie mode
  • EXPEED 2 Image processor
  • 11-point AF
  • ISO 100-3200 plus Hi-1 and Hi-2
  • Scene modes plus Guide Mode

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