D3000 or D3100

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ComanWilson, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. ComanWilson macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2010
    Nashvill, TN
    First let me say this, I'm a broke college student.

    Now, i'm looking to make the transition to shooting with a DSLR. A friend of mine has offered to give me his kit 18-55mm and 55-200mm from his D5000, since he has upgraded his glass. I've searched the web and I've found a D3000 body for around $300, and a D3100 for about $500. I wont have the camera for very long, I'm only trying to get familiar with using a DSLR before I invest in a better camera.

    The question that I have is the difference between the D3000 and D3100 that significant to warrant spending the extra 200?
  2. Waybo macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2011
    New Hampshire
    I have a D3100, which I received at Christmas, as my first DSLR. In some areas, I feel like I've already outgrown it. (But note that I'm not working, and have lots of time to take, literally, thousands of photos.) Replacing it, however, is not an option at this time, or any time soon.

    Neither of your choices do bracketing. If you are interested in doing HDR, then neither is a great option. My next DSLR will certainly have this feature.

    At Christmas time, the D3100 was not available without the kit lens, so you may end up with two 18-55mm lenses.

    All of that being said, the D3100 it isn't a bad entry level camera, especially at $500. I've had some fine shots with mine that I would never have been able to achieve with the old point and shoot.

    The D3100 is a new model, replacing the older D3000. (Note that there have already been firmware updates.) You may find it a better investment when you are ready to move up. If it comes with the kit lens, all the better.

    If you want to do movies, then this is easily your choice. I'm guessing that this will give better movies than your buddy's D5000! (1080p24 vs. 720p24) (Although the audio isn't great, at least on the D3100. If you REALLY want movies, then you would want a dedicated camcorder, but this is great for fun things, like kids playing or parties.)

    I found this review, which does a nice job of comparing the D3100 to the D3000 and the D5000: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3100/

    Good luck in your decision!

  3. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I wouldn't consider bracketing to be all that big a deal, I normally bracket with a tripod, and even with Nikon's top-of-the-line cameras (D3x and D2x,) I often bracket manually. If you don't want video, get the D3000.

  4. admwright macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    What about a D40? This is a great little camera and very good to learn with. I have been using one for the last three years and have been very pleased with the photographs I have taken with it. I did get a D3100 at Christmas and have found that the higher resolution highlights any weaknesses in your shot discipline - you will get less sharp shots unless you are able to use higher shutter speeds.
  5. flosseR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2009
    the cold dark north
    well, the video is the feature that stands out most BUT as far as I can tell the sensor is also better with 14mpix and better noise sensitivity. Will it all warrant the 200 USD? tough call. I would agree with the dual kit lens that might happen.
    I would say get the 3100 and yes you might outgrow it but the bracketing, IF you need to do that a lot, can be done as computer said, otherwise you can achieve reasonable good results with a single RAW and create an HDR from that.
  6. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    In a short time you won't miss the $200 and you will have an excellent up to date camera capable of most anything and which will remain perfectly capable for years, thus making it a better investment than an older model.
  7. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    The extra $200 won't help in learning photography- the extra resolution isn't going to make much difference, and the extra high-ISO isn't a learning tool- I'd save the $200 for the next camera.

  8. peepboon macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2008
    I agree, save the 200 for the next upgrade.

    I started with a D60, outgrew it pretty quickly. I was onto a D90 within 6 months.

    I made some amazing HDR shots with just a single image (use RAW if you wanna do this).

    I think it is necessary to start off with a simple DSLR that focuses on learning about the main components such as aperture, shutter speed, etc etc. You really only need a better body for the features that make shooting easier. Such as high FPS, dedicated buttons, etc etc.

Share This Page