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August 19, 2010

Nikon announces new D-SLR and four new NIKKOR lenses

D3100-Front.jpgOne full month ahead of the world's largest imaging exhibition (Photokina 2010) Nikon has announced a brand new Digital SLR and four new lenses.

The new Nikon D3100 assumes a numerical position in between the D3000 and D5000 but close examination of the specs shows it has all the potential of rivaling the D5000 in pure "wow" factor.

D3100_-Back.jpgAs you can clearly see by the side-by-side comparison of the D3100 and D5000 above, the newer model is smaller and lighter.
Both sport the AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR image stabilization lens.

From the back, you immediately spot the 3-inch LCD screen which is larger than the D5000's 2.7 inch version (lacking the variable angle feature). That screen will come in handy for entry-level consumers (Nikon's target market with this camera) as they follow the enhanced Guide Mode introduced in the Nikon D3000.

Here's the bullet point view:
▪Nikon’s first D-SLR with 1080p HD video capture
▪Enhanced Guide Mode teaches users how to control advanced photo techniques
▪First SLR with full-time AF in Live View and during movie capture
▪14.2 megapixel CMOS Sensor and 11 point AF
▪Available in September for $699.95 USD (with the AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens).

We checked with our fellow Nikonian Darrell Young (Digital Darrell ), who has published the Rocky Nook/NikoniansPress joint venture books Mastering the Nikon D5000 and Mastering the Nikon D3000 for his "quick-take" comparisons — based purely on the specs:

Darrell-Young-bio-mug.jpgAs I read over the specs of the new Nikon D3100, I'm impressed with the list of features added to this camera. Comparing it to the previous D3000 is not entirely useful since it has a feature set that makes it more like the Nikon D5000. In fact, some of its features exceed what the D5000, and even the D90 are capable of, such as full-time autofocus in Live View and D-Movie modes. The fact that it has an extended ISO range (100–3200 expandable to 12800) and a 14.2 megapixel imaging sensor means that it can be even more useful in low-light and large image situations.

There are several things I'm interested in discovering whenever I can get my hands on one of these new D3100s. The questions I have are: How much will the new EXPEED 2 microprocessor improve things like autofocus speed, camera responsivness, and noise control. Will it adjust automatically for chromatic aberration? Will the new full-time autofocus in Live View/D-Movie modes be accurate and manually overridable? How will the image quality compare to a camera like the D5000, D90, or D300S? Is this the perfect small carry-everywhere camera?

The Nikon D5000 certainly has a direct competitor in the new D3100. At the current time, they have similar pricing. However, the feature set on the D3100 seems to show better capability, for the money, than the D5000. When I saw the announcement concerning the "entry-level" nature of the D3100, I was a bit disappointed. Then I read over the features and they raised my eyebrows. If Nikon can create a camera in this price range, with this amazing set of features, and still offer reasonable speed and high quality, I think the new D3100 will be an immediate and world-wide hit. When Nikon finally comes out with technology, it's often superior to the competition, sometimes even setting new standards. Will the new D3100 be the next standard-setting Nikon? With a price and features like this, they've got my interest!

And Now-- let's check out those new lenses:

The four new lenses from Nikon (and USA $ MSRP) include:
▪AF-S NIKKOR DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR - $399.95
▪AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR - $1049.95
▪The AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR -$1299.95
▪AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G - $1699.95

Here's the full Press Release from Nikon USA.

Posted by flashdeadline at August 19, 2010 6:45 PM