The new Nikon D3100 vs D3000 vs D5000

Price Comparison (as of 9/26/11): D3100 is $529 (big drop from $600) at Amazon and the D5100 is $759


Update 5/09/2011: D5100 was announced at the beginning of April. See what’s new and some of my thoughts at this post: Nikon D5100 DSLR – What’s New and Impressions

The new D3100 really shakes up Nikon’s lineup of lower priced DSLRs. In my previous comparison between the D90, D5000 and D3000 I had a hard time recommending the D3000 and the extra money was well spent on the D5000. The D3100 changes this recommendation.

Major revisions to the D3100:

  • New 14MP CMOS sensor – big improvement over the D3000’s ancient CCD sensor
  • 1080p24 video – nonexistent on the D3000 and better than the D5000 and D90
  • Autofocus while recording a movie – a first on any Nikon DSLR, before you had to lock focus before recording and tweak it manually
  • Live view mode – brought over with the video features
  • Automatic chromatic aberration correction – This is big, fixes fringing in your pictures before they are saved, previously only on the D90 and D5000
  • Customizable function button

The D5000 is essentially obsolete now. The D3100 and D5000 have comparable sensors now and the inclusion of better video capability makes the decision between the D3100 and D5000 simple; until the D5000 is updated just get the D3100.

A lot of features from the D90 have been pushed down to the lower price points and the one thing that really sets the two consumer segments apart is the inclusion of an AF motor on D90. If you are going to use lenses without built in AF motors then the D90 (or it’s soon to be announced replacement) is still your only choice. If I was just starting out though, I wouldn’t hesitate to get the D3100 which beats the D5000 in bang for your buck.

You can get the Nikon D3100 from Amazon at a very competitive price.

92 thoughts on “The new Nikon D3100 vs D3000 vs D5000”

  1. Andrew
    Thanks for the reply. We can use AF-S motor lenses with d90 also right. Other than more button controls on d90 do you think there will be big difference in picture quality? Somebody telling me that d90 is a professional camera. It stands on top of d5000 and d3100. what do you say?

  2. Nurul,

    Yes, the D90 can use AF-S lenses. From a picture quality standpoint there’s not much difference between the D90, D5000 or D3100. The D90 is old technology at this point and it is matched by the other two. I wouldn’t classify the D90 as a professional camera, but more as a serious consumer camera. The D7000 and D300 start getting you into the professional line up with better autofocus, metering and faster FPS.

  3. Hi Andrew

    I too am thinking between D5000 and D3100. I want the camera to take on holidays to Europe with us and hopefully get some better photo’s then our Fuji point and shoot.

    I also would like to attempt to photograph the Aurora Borealis while i am over there. I understand that this needs Time lapse photos. i understand that the D5000 has this feature and the D3100 does not. Is it worth me buying the D3100 and then a D5000 body only to do the time lapse. or just buy the D5000…. Thanks for any thoughts you have .

  4. Michael,

    Pretty much you’ll be sticking the camera on a sturdy tripod, manually setting everything and taking a long exposure.

    The intervalometer settings on the D5000 would let you set it to take x number of pictures with y number of seconds between each. This could be useful, but it’s not going to be much different than getting a wired shutter release and tripping the shutter yourself.

    There’s just really not a whole lot of difference between the D3100 and D5000. I would probably buy whichever is cheaper and use the money saved to buy a nicer tripod. You’re going to need something sturdy enough (or have the ability to hang weights on it) to keep that camera steady for a long time.

    If you are going to be traveling with the camera then the reduced size and weight of the D3100 might be nice.

    And for those long exposures remember to turn VR (vibration reduction) on the lens OFF when shooting on a tripod. The lens will try to correct for shake even though there is none causing the picture to blur a little.

  5. Thanks Andrew for your help and advice. I have to weigh up the need for the extended exposures. I believe the D3100 does not allow for that or are you able to use a remote on it. Im considering the 3100 as it is newer, however I like the moving screen and the extra scene modes to help my wife on the D5000. I guess it really does not matter which one I remember film slrs were the rage when I was in school and am sure some people are still making fantastic shots from 5_6 year old cameras with “old” tech inside.
    Once again thanks for your help and advice

  6. Hi,I currently own a Nikon D70s.Bought it used on Ebay. At a birthday party a few months back someone with butterfingers dropped it on the floor. Now it won’t take pictures correctly.I was looking to upgrade anyways. I have 4 kids and they are my main subjects when I take pics.I also take landscape pics as well. I love to take sunset and sunrise/sky pictures.Now my D70s worked fantastic for me.One of my problems with the D70s was that I couldn’t get it to take continuous photos while my kids were playing.I want a camera thats going to let me take crisp, clear, sharp pictures that can be printed as 8×10’s.The two I have been looking at is the D5000 and the D3100. I glanced through some of the posts here but don’t have enough time to read them all.Can someone who has owned either of these cameras please tell me the pros and cons of both. Feel free to email me at mollyr1@tds.net

  7. I forgot to mention that I also take pictures of lightning storms and if it’s possible fireworks.I also take alot of pics close to nightfall. My camera didn’t do a real good job of this.I’m hoping an upgrade will fix this little problem. Yeah I know,I’m not asking for a lot am I :) Also my kids are in a lot of programs at school so a good long range lens (at a good price)recommendation would be nice as well. My D70 allowed me to take some pretty good pics of Hummingbirds too. Just blurry wings which you’re not gonna change I don’t think & I really don’t care about anyways. So to sum it up this is what I need:(1)A camera that takes crisp,sharp images. (2) has a pretty fast shutter speed. (3)takes good lowlight pics. (4)takes motion pics pretty well. I REALLY need to get a good camera before January 28 as their next program is on the 29th so if anyone can help then please do. Oh and my price range for a cam and the stock lens is about $600-$650. Willing to buy the bigger lens separate.Thanks everyone!

  8. Hello. I am currently trying to make the same decision as everyone else who’s posted. I have read this entire thread so as to finally, desperately, try and make some decisive distinction between the 3100 and 5000 after reading review after review basically saying they are the same camera, with the only differences being that one has better video, the other has faster performance and an articulated lcd.

    I am concerned with one thing and one thing only–overall photo quality. This site claims a noticeable difference in photo quality saying the 5000 has a full 10% better image quality, 1.4 fstops more dynamic range, and 10% more color depth: http://snapsort.com/compare/Nikon_D3100-vs-Nikon_D5000

    Would you please comment on this and offer your true, exact opinion of the photo quality comparison between these two cameras. I’ve read that they are about the same, but are they exactly the same, or is the claim I cited correct..

    Also, can the kit 18-55 achieve high quality closeups? If not, is there an alternative under $250?

    Thank you,
    Michael

  9. Michael,

    The numbers at that site aren’t very meaningful. They are running pictures through some software and it spits out a number. Whoopdy doo.

    The fact is these two cameras are extremely similar as far the sensor and image quality goes. Two photos taken at the same time with the same settings and the same lens would likely be indistinguishable. You could hunt around in Photoshop zoomed in at 400% for some difference, but what’s the point? Shrink them down for the web or even print at 8″ x 12″ and you wash away an minute difference that was there.

    This is why the D5000 is being retired soon, the bottom end of the Nikon line is too similar.

    For close ups do you mean macro work or just portraits? For macro work and taking pictures of bugs and stuff, it’s not going to be great because it only has a 0.31x max reproduction rate. Real macro lenses will get you a 1.0x reproduction rate.

    For portraits it will work reasonably well, but as you zoom in the higher aperture will stop you from being able to control depth of field. Most classic portrait lenses are prime f/1.8 lenses because you can shoot wide open and get smaller DOF. The 35mm f/1.8 would be a good low cost option for portraits.

    I’d buy whichever one is cheaper because in the end the person behind the camera has more to do with taking good photos than the camera itself.

  10. Molly,

    Coming off the D70, the D3100 or D5000 will be a slight downgrade in terms of control. You lose the front index finger wheel and top LCD screen. Besides that though, these two cameras will perform better than the D70 on nearly all fronts.

    Some of the things you mentioned about the D70 not doing well aren’t necessarily issues with the camera. Lenses play a huge role on your photos, especially in low light and when you need a really fast shutter. Both these situations are address with a larger minimum aperture (f/1.8 or f/2.8). That’s why most professional lenses are f/2.8 and they have the price tag to go with it.

    1. The D3100 and D5000 will take sharp photos and can capture more detail than the D70.

    2. The D90, D5000 and D3100 all have a minimum shutter of 1/4,000 sec. The D70 could do up to 1/8,000 sec. You either need a lot of light or a fast shutter to get to these speeds.

    3. The newer Nikons will perform much better in low light than the D70. The new CMOS sensor presents noise in a monochromatic fashion. I remember on my D70 at ISO 1600 the noise showed up as hot colored pixels. I’m much happier with the noise on the D90 than the D70 and the same will be true for the D3100 and D5000.

    4. Like #2, this is going to depend on light and your lens. If you crank your ISO all the way up and you’re still getting motion blur then either your lens is limiting you or you have to add flash.

    If you are going to be taking photos of your kids from the audience then you will want one of the zooms. I’ve heard favorable things about the newer 55-300mm over the older 55-200mm.

    And next time you try firework photos a tripod can make a huge difference. With a longer shutter like 1 second, you can capture more of the bursts and the long trails while keeping the camera steady.

  11. Andrew,

    Thanks for your reply. I have always wanted to get into photography, like many, and even bought a used nikon n80 and 50mm f1.8 a while back to learn on, but found it too inconvenient to try and learn by taking notes while changing settings one at a time and waiting for the pictures to be developed to see what setting affected what. Finally, I’m in a position to spend a little money at a time when one can get a decent digital camera for an afforable amount. I began my search for a dslr by trying to decide between canon and nikon (canon T1i/T2i, and nikon 3100/5000). But I’ve learned that personal bias plays a big part in the camera review world. I’ve found so many contradicting assessments it’s really impossible for a beginner like myself to believe anything. For example, I’ve read that canons are better in low light; I’ve read that nikons are better in low light. I’ve read that canons have better image quality; I’ve read that nikons have better image quality. For me I guess it will ultimately be based on the sample images I can find online. Honestly, from what I’ve seen so far of samples with supposedly identical conditions, canons seem to have better looking photos than nikons of the same level. And the $6-700 canons seem to have better features, such as a much higher res lcd which seems like a huge deal, and a live histogram which also seems important.

    However, I, like you, just like the way a nikon feels in my hand. Even though they’re both made of plastic, the nikon feels more solid. From what I saw the nikons in RAW will offer as much detail as the canon T1/2i in JPEG. So I’ve more or less decided on nikon and I’ll just have to buy a big sd card.

    Between the 3100 and the 5000, the size is almost as big a factor as image quality for me. I have large hands and the 3100 is tiny. The 5000 isnt much bigger but it is bigger. Also like yourself, I couldn’t really care less about the articulated lcd. I also don’t like the added risk of breaking, and would probably leave it fixed in the normal position 99.9% of the time. I really liked the way the d50 felt, but at the time it was available I didn’t have the bread.

    I will take one more trip to the store today for a hands-on inspection, and look for some more 3100 and 5000 samples online. If you know any good sites please mention them.

    Either way, I’m incredibly inredibly siked to begin learning. Cool site.

  12. I want the BEST Image quality I can get for Mountains, ocean, outdoors- Landscape, Will Olympus E-620 do good on this, or Nikon D 5000 the same. That photo grading Snapsort claims for example that Panasonic Lumix has a rating of 27 for Image Quality and Nikon D90 has 74. And Olympus E-620 gets a 36 as opposed to Nikon D-5000 a 72… Is this really accurate. Wolf Camera when I enquire of buying an Olympus they try to stir me into a Nikon.. they claim Olympus is a wash out and push Nikon. Are only Nikon and Canon the best for Landcape and true to life colors. I want the Blues and Greens to be Intense. Will Olympus work in this regard and have okay image quality? Or is Nikon my only bet. How about Sony A-290??

  13. Michael,

    I think you’ve pretty much figured out the entire amateur DSLR market. Technology seems to create large polarizations. Nikon vs Canon. Microsoft vs Apple vs Linux. iPhone vs Android. If someone owns a device it is automatically the best.

    For amateur DSLRs, the fact is they are practically the same. At a given price point, image quality and high ISO performance will be equal. None of the sensors or bodies are doing anything magical to create a “better” image. When I got started I fell into the pixel peeping trap instead of just focusing on taking better photos.

    I also shot RAW when I got started with my D70 and finally learned how to shoot so that I didn’t need post-processing. I don’t think I’ve shot a frame of RAW in over 3 years. It’s a personal decision, I just didn’t have enough time for it in my workflow.

    Great source of samples is Flickr. Photos get tagged with the camera and you just have to do a search:

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=d3100

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=d5000

    Andrew

  14. Patti,

    You’re the second person to point out scores from Snapsort and I have to say their numbers are meaningless. If you want a good conclusion about the Olympus E-620 try DPReview:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse620/page31.asp

    Olympus uses Four Thirds sensors and lenses which is different then the CMOS sensor used in Nikon, Canon and Sony bodies. The sensor itself is slightly smaller with a 2.0x crop factor and puts it at a slight disadvantage when it comes to high ISO noise, but it seems to hold up against the competition quite well. I don’t have any hands on experience with Olympus DSLRs. The sensors are also different aspect ratios, Nikon is 3:2 and Olympus is 4:3. So for landscapes, Nikon will get you an 8″x12″ without any cropping.

    Sony is fine, again not much experience, but go for the A500 over the A290. The A500 got a new CMOS sensor and will perform better than the A290’s CCD sensor. This is the same situation as the D3000 and D3100, don’t even bother with the D3000.

    The E-620, A500, D90, D5000 and D3100 will be pretty close in terms of image quality. The biggest factor will be which one feels best in your hands. The D3100 is the smallest and lightest of the bunch (E-620 might be close) and is priced very well at $600 at Amazon. Not having a lot of experience with Olympus and Sony, all I can say is the D3100 is a pretty safe bet. You’d have to decide if any of the small difference between each body would make you go one way or another.

  15. Hi Andrew

    Thanks very much for your advice earlier.

    I am wondering if i can bother you one last time?

    I am considering puchasing my Dslr this week. I am considering either the Nikon D3100 or ( what do you think) the Pentax K-r or K-x or Sony A550? is it worth it.

    they are both roughly the same price here in Australia .

    As said before i want the camera to work in low light quite well and to work in snow, to take clear shots of landscapes and portraits.

    In your Honest opinion what do you think is the better camera, or which do you think would suit my needs. I have been to the camera shops and they just try and push whatever special they have at the time.

    Thanks again

  16. Also does anyone have any dealings with the tamron 18-200mm f3.5 – 6.3 xr di II lens.

    Is it a good lens. does it have image stabilising to help with low light noise.

    Is this going to give just as good shots as the Nikon 18-55mm and 55-200mm lens (Genuine)

  17. Michael,

    If you want to consider Pentax, look at the K-r since it is a little newer. I can’t say much about the Sony, but all of these cameras will be fairly similar. If you can get your hands on each one then that might help you make a decision. Handling and ergonomics comes down to personal preference.

    Going Nikon might get you two things: greater lens availability and better flash system. Third party lens manufacturer’s like Sigma, Tamron and Tokina always target Canon and Nikon, Sony and Pentax support could be hit and miss (the Tamron 18-270 VC I mention below isn’t available for Pentax). Nikon’s external flashes are excellent if that’s something you think you’ll ever need.

    The 18-200mm “superzooms” do make trade offs in image and build quality for that flexibility. I really like my Nikon 18-200mm and use it as my walk around lens. The Tamron probably does the job as good as any other superzoom. The Tamron 18-270 VC (vibration compensation) has stabilization. Stabilization only helps with static subjects. You can shoot at a slower shutter speed to reduce the need for higher ISO’s, but if the subject is moving then stabilization won’t do a whole lot.

    If you know you are going to be shooting low light action (or people) then the only good solution is a lens with a wider maximum aperture. That’s where a 35mm f/1.8 comes in handy.

  18. Hi, I was reading the comments above and I still can’t decide which camera to choose. My choices are currently a Nikon D5000, Nikon D3100 and a Sony NEX-5D. Hope you can help. Thanks :)

  19. The Nikon D3100 is an excellent camera but is not too different to the Nikon D5000.
    D5000 has a smaller screen BUT can be rotated so you can take perfect picture at difficult angles. D5000 has 4fps D3100 has 3fps.
    D5000 has 720p recording D3100 has 1080p. Now I don’t about you but they both look exactly the same to me. The continious autofocus on D3100 is rubbish, the noise that the autofocus makes can be clearly heard and ruines the footage.
    D3100 is smaller, to some this may be a good thing but for me I like my DSLR to be abit ruggid and have the feel of the camera for a better grip.
    Most of the bigger lenses are too big for D3100 doesnt look professional.

    Unless you are getting a very good deal with a lense go for D3100 otherwise D5000.
    If you look on websites the Nikon D5000 is more expensive than D3100. :)

  20. If you want something small and light, D3100.
    But if you are going to use a bigger lense than the 18-55 the D5000 is the one.
    The ability of the screen being able to rotate is a real bonus and proves to be helpful.
    I’ve got the D5000 and its perfect.

  21. Jhoana,

    I read a little about the Sony NEX-5 and I’m not sure I would recommend it. Image quality would be good, but things like ergonomics, durability, menu system, sluggishness and no built in flash seem to keep it back. The cheaper D3100 beats it in all those categories and isn’t a whole lot bigger. I think the lack of a viewfinder is an issue, especially when shooting in sunlight as the screen will be washed out. I would be weary slinging the Sony over my shoulder and going on a hike.

    If you just want a fancy point and shoot the Sony would work, but you aren’t getting all the nice features of a DSLR. If you really want to get into photography I would recommend an actual DSLR. The D3100 and D5000 are very close in terms of features. I don’t like flip out screens and the smaller size and weight of the D3100 might fit your hands better.

  22. Hi Andrew
    I am new to DSLR and am using canon point and shoot. I have two daughters and I need to buy DSLR for so many magical moments. Which one should I go for specially beginner like me. I am leaning towards Nikon but confused about 3100 or 5000. Also guide me on extra lens i might need. like 50-200 or 70-300. How should I decide on that? Please advise.

    thanks
    Shailja

  23. Shailja,

    Coming straight from a Canon P&S I would probably suggest the D3100. It is very similar to the D5000 and is a little smaller and lighter.

    There is a bit of a learning curve with a DSLR, but once you figure out the basics you’ll be able to get shots you might have missed with a point and shoot. Faster focus, almost zero shutter lag and faster continuous shooting give you a better chance of catching great moments as they are happening.

    After the 18-55mm kit lens there are two other areas you’ll want to consider covering: a longer zoom and a fast prime for low light. Your main options for the zoom are the 55-200mm ($200), 55-300mm ($340) and the 70-300mm ($520). The 55-200mm will probably give you the best bang for your buck. It really depends how far away you’ll be when taking photos. Do your daughters play sports or do anything where you won’t be close?

    The Nikon 35mm f/1.8 ($200) is the fast prime I was referring to. The f/1.8 maximum aperture lets in a lot more light than the 18-55’s f/3.5 maximum which goes up to f/5.6 as you zoom in. This gives you the ability to capture action in lower light without flash. It’s just a great little overall lens and you could get by shooting with it all day. It’s small and lightweight like the D3100.

    If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

  24. Hi Andrew
    thanks for the wonderful update. My daughters are into dance and sports(like swimming/tennis) sometimes I have to take from far. which one will be better deal. do I have to buy more lenses in future too. I am leaning towards Nikon 3100 and 55-200mm. Should I go for both in long run? Do advice. what about canon counterpart for Nikon 3100.. I can’t wait to buy and start clicking.. look forward to hear from you..

    thanks
    Shail

  25. i have the feeling that a newer model for advance ameteur (something like d5100) will be released? i can’t wait for it.

  26. Rudolf,

    That is the rumor considering the D5000 has been discontinued for so long. I think Nikon is expected to make new product announcements in the next week or two. Hopefully it creates more difference between the entry and mid amateur model levels.

  27. Shail,

    A zoom like the 55-200mm will do well for outdoor sports like swimming and tennis. For dance indoors your results will depend on the lighting. As light levels drop you need a lens that can collect more light or you increase your ISO to maintain an adequate shutter speed. If you are maxed on both then you might not be able to shoot fast enough to freeze action consistently.

    If you can get close, the 35mm f/1.8 would help you gather more light and giving you a faster shutter speed at a given ISO setting. This might not give you enough reach if you’re 15 or 20 rows back in an auditorium. If the room is well lit then it might not be an issue. Light is one of the most important factors when it comes to photography.

    The D3100 is in between the Canon T1i and T2i in terms of features, but cheaper than both. The Nikon 55-200mm is also significantly cheaper than the Canon version of the same lens. I tend to like the build quality and feel of Nikon’s bodies, but it really comes down to personal preference. Going to a store to get your hands on both would be helpful. They’re all very capable cameras, but one might just feel better in your hands or be more intuitive to use.

  28. Thanks Andrew for the update. I really appreciate the way you write and with so much clarity. It really helped me.. I will explore hands on Nikon models. thanks again for the update on amazon deals too.

    thanks
    Shail

  29. Hi Andrew,
    I have a Nikon F50 with lens 35 – 80mm f4.0 – 5.6 and i dont use it anymore. tell me what best i can do with it.
    Thanks.

  30. Well for me the deciding factor was that I bought a gently used d5000 kit for only 499. I wanted to upgrade from my Nikon d40. It also came with a 4gb shc card, extra battery, and a bunch of other stuff. I think the d5000 is great and the hd video is surprisingly much better than what people have been saying. I don’t use it often, but it’s nice to have on hand when you want to capture a moment. Also, I prefer the manual focus of the auto focus of the d3100 for video because of the noise and jerkiness. The swivel screen is AWESOME!!!! It’s so useful for unique shots and video.

    The d3100 is a great camera, but if you can find a (GENTLY) used or refurbished D5000 for the price I did, than get it.

  31. Hi guys
    I actually started out in the 1970s. with a poloroid and grew up to a Yashika 35MM with all of the fancy lenses. I’m just getting into the DSLR arena from my Elf 5.0.
    I have two major requirements.
    Number 1 is I want to be able to photograph old photographs. I am making a movie of the photographs I have of me and my deceased wife over the course of the past 62 years. Amazingly I have that much material. (31 photo albums starting all the way from when we were born.) Because some of the photographs are in books where they cannot be removed I can’t scan them and have opted to photograph and reprint them. I have swung from the Canon T2I to the Canon XS to the Nikon D3000. An article I read said anything over 8-10 megapixles is overkill and distorts the photos in the opposite direction – plus you have a hard time emailing them. Is that true? Requirement 2 is that I am trying to photograph a few jewelry pieces for insurance purposes. Would the Nikon D3000 allow me to take those kind of macro photographs without having to buy another lense?
    I read the comments above and I am one of the guys that doesn’t care about taking video with this camera. I will eventually get a camcorder to make the movie and to film my new grandughter. So,,, if the D300 is not the answer can you recommend a camera that will do those two things well? Thanks for reading my question,

  32. Hi! I browsed some of your posts about D3100 and D5000 but I’m still confused on what to buy. My first choice is actually D3100 but I like the revolving LCD screen of D5000. I’m not really into shooting videos and not really into which is faster in shooting. Since my budget is tight, I’m still choosing between the two. Can anyone help me? Which is really better for me who is a beginner and new to photography? Or can you suggest any other models of DSLR?
    Will be glad if anyone can help me! Thanks a lot! :)

  33. Hi Kat,

    If you don’t really want to shoot video and budget is important then the D3100 is probably your best bet. The D5000 was just replaced by the D5100. You can still get the D5000, but you’ll be paying a slight premium for the swivel LCD over the D3100 for practically the same camera when it comes to still photography.

    Note about the swivel LCD: it’s nice in some situations, but with a DSLR you really want to learn to use the viewfinder. With the LCD turned on, focus time is slowed down a lot and all that speed you are paying for is gone. I have live view on my D90 and I’ve used it a couple times over the past 3 years. It really eats up the battery too.

    There are comparable models from Canon, Sony, Pentax and Olympus, but the cheaper ones are quite a bit older than the D3100. In terms of overall performance and value I think the D3100 is hard to beat right now.

  34. Hi Andrew!

    Thanks for that answer. It will surely help me in deciding!
    By the way, someone told me that DSLRs are really hard to maintain, especially on the inside. He told me that the DSLR must be stored in cold places. Is that true? My parents suddenly burst out when they knew about this storage and maintenance thing. I’m from the Philippines. The weather here is not really good. Most of the time it’s sunny and very hot here. Do you think this would matter? And how do you maintain your camera?
    Thanks again! :)

  35. Kat,

    There aren’t any specific things you need to do to maintain a DSLR. The professional DSLRs are weather sealed and can survive practically anything. The cheaper ones will stand up to some light rain, but aren’t completely weather sealed. Dust is your biggest enemy as it can get inside the body and on the sensor if you start swapping lenses which can be blown out with a hand blower. The most I do is keep the lens glass clean with a soft cloth. I would invest in a good little bag to carry your camera in just in case you get caught in nasty weather and to help protect it.

  36. I guess I’m late joining this party but I figured I would jump in since I just went through an agonizing month trying to decide on an upgrade from my d40… I love everyone saying the d3100 has 2 more MP.. my lowly d40 at 6mp prints stunning 13×19 photos, however as my photography has evolved I occasionally need to crop an image and thats when the 6mp starts to hurt a little.. The most painful part for me is that I am cheap!!! My decision came down to the 5000,3100 and even a used 200 and 80(the 90 was still out of my price range)… I was very close to choosing the 200 simply because it does not have video, a good 10MP sensor is more than adequate for 95% of casual photography IMHO, the built in motor, 5 FPS and the better control layout… In the end I went with a new clearance 5000 for a few reasons one being the price, another is the 4 FPS(huge upgrade from 2.5 on my d40) which is useful trying to catch a fleeing bird and most of the technology is passed down from the 90 and 300… I bought the best camera I could afford as camera(mid $400).. I will never use it for video and will probably never use live view… My battery grip will go right onto this camera to increase the weight… The dxo score is higher for the 5000 also and as I await for it to be delivered My only hope is that it shoots as well as my d40…

  37. Kris,

    If you don’t need anything on the newest cameras, then it is more cost effective going with a discounted and discontinued model. That’s a pretty good deal for a good camera (probably about the same or less than your D40 a few years ago). When I went from the D70 to D90 I found that white balance and high ISO performance was improved. The old CCD sensors have a nasty hot noise character while the new CMOS sensors are more monochromatic, see the fifth picture down in this post:


    http://geekyweekly.com/2008/d90-vs-d70-image-quality-and-pixel-peeping

    Have fun shooting.

  38. Hi Andrew Thanks for the link… I’m thinking roughly d40=d70 and d5000=d90 as far as sensors so I am hopeful to have great results, especially going from the ccd to cmos sensor. Cheers

  39. Hi Andrew,

    I desperately need your help, ASAP, since I have until tomorrow to return or not my Nikon to the store. I will bore you with my story!!! :) (don’t mind my writing and English since I am from Brazil, I live in the US.)

    I am so happy that I found this link…I’ve been reading like someone reads the best book…well…I got all the info that is posted here from you and also the experiences from everybody else.

    I always loved taking pictures… I have two very active kids and they are my pride and joy…so they will probably grow to hate it, because I take about a million pictures of them. About three years ago, my sister bought a Nikon D60…and I loved all the sharp and bright colors…every special occasion she would have to come to take the pictures with her camera…since my kids are 5 and 2…I’ve been trying to convince myself that a point and shoot are best for me, so I own my second Lumix (zs3)…which gives some good pictures but very pale faces most of the time. Since my second new born is getting big and now I have free hands to carry the bag with a dslr not the diaper bag anymore…I have decided to buy a NIKON, always wanted one, grew up hearing Nikons are the best. So off we go, since I am no photographer lots to learn yet but lots of love for this area…I wanted a entry level, D3100, brand new out there, good reviews…seems like the one…I bought it + the extra 55 – 200 mm lens…now my problem is the color (face) are very neutral, almost too PALE (comparing to the D60) I am sure I am not doing something right, but even on the automatic mode…I took about 1000 pictures of my children and things around the house and outside in about a week…since I am too ADD and very OCD I am maybe asking too much of a entry level…

    SO my question to you is did you actually put your hands and tested one of those babes…did you experience the same I read another real life, down to earth review by a photographer and he also says he thinks the colors are a little (OFF)

    I went to the store to check other possibilities and the D5000 is actually less expensive right now (80bucks) but I feel uncomfortable by the swivel screen, it just feels like a sensitive part prone to break anytime…it’s a older camera…bigger and heavier…I sure could make good use of the menu (tutorial thing on the 3100), the screen is smaller…less pixels…better pictures quality????????is it really better…is it as easy as the 3100….don’t care much about the video…it’s good to have…I wonder if I should get the D60 since I like the color so much, but I am sure isn’t as good as the 3100…please share your thoughts with me!!!

    HELP HELP HELP…

    loved all your comments.

  40. Confused between Nikon 3100D and Canon 1100D. Okay I know the spec difference – one is full HD and the other half. But does that really matter? Further I’m used to Canons. Also I heard the 1100 D has a better low light performance than Nikon. DPreview, which is somewhat realiable rates 72/100 to Nikon and 69/100 to Canon. At the same price what would be a real life better buy?
    Also, if im not buying a new one, then im gonna go for either nik d3000 or can 1000d. Again the same confusion. Some say canon lens are more easier to find and fits more.

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