Previous news story    Next news story

Nikon Coolpix 3100 - Quick Preview

By dpreview staff on Feb 18, 2003 at 03:16 GMT

Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 TOKYO: Nikon today announced three new digital cameras, the Coolpix 2100, 3100 and SQ. This article is a quick preview of the three megapixel, three times optical zoom replacement to the Coolpix 885, the new Coolpix 3100. This preview is based on an early pre-production model, as such I won't be presenting any image samples or a particularly in-depth analysis of performance.

Nikon Coolpix 3100 - Quick Preview

As you can see the Coolpix 3100 is rounder, smaller and better designed than the 885 it replaces, several subtle cahnges such as the more rounded hand grip and vertically centered lens barrel make the 3100 far more attractive. Nikon have concentrated on keeping controls simple, as such the number of buttons have been reduced but intelligently selected. The on / off switch is now the spring loaded 'flick lever' type, zoom controller has been shifted slightly.

Major new features / changes

  • RGB color filter array
  • New menu system
  • Powered by 2 x AA batteries instead of Lithium-Ion pack
  • New LCD monitor with anti-reflective coating
  • PC screen (1024 x 768) / TV screen sizes (640 x 480)
  • Date imprinting (on the bottom right corner of the image)
  • Multi-shot 16-2
  • TV movie (640 x 480), B&W movie (320 x 240), Sepia movie (320 x 240)
  • Custom welcome screen
  • On-dial scene modes
  • No '1/4 image quick view', instead directly into a shooting priority play mode
  • Camera can be powered into play mode by holding play button
  • Up to 6.0x playback zoom with cropping feature
  • Pic enhance playback menu (Halo filter, Monochrome filter, Sepia filter)
  • Faster operation, much faster playback and browsing
  • Supports direct printing via USB

Side by side

As you can see the new Coolpix 3100 is surprisingly small, certainly a little 'chunkier' than the tiny Canon IXUS v³ (S230) but still very pocketable (and with a three times optical zoom, compared to the two times of the v³). The 2100 / 3100 body is noticeably smaller than the Coolpix 775 / 885. The Coolpix 3100 weighs just 215 g (7.6 oz) including batteries and a CF card (exactly the same weight as the thinner but metal clad Coolpix SQ).

The Coolpix 3100 beside the lesser zoom Canon IXUS v³ (S230) The Coolpix 3100 beside Nikon's new ultra-compact split bodied 'Coolpix SQ'.

Camera elements

Rounded styling, better design layout, the new Coolpix 3100 is a good looking little camera Behind a simple compartment door is the Compact Flash slot, Type I only
In the base of the hand grip is the battery compartment, the 2100 / 3100 now take AA batteries Included with the camera are a set of these excellent 2000 mAh NiMH batteries and a charger

Camera display / menus

Unfortunately the camera I had didn't come with a video cable so I wasn't able to capture the full range of screens as I would normally. Below you can see a quick selection of menu options, below that a table of menu options available on this pre-production camera. Note that the fifth capture is an example of the 3100's new overlayed portrait guide scene mode, this helps you to position your subject in the frame for better portrait shots.

Menu options: Shooting menu (M-REC mode)

Image quality / size  • 3M High quality (2048 x 1536)
 • 3M Normal (2048 x 1536)
 • 2M Normal (1600 x 1200)
 • PC screen (1024 x 768)
 • TV screen (640 x 480)
White balance  • A: Auto
 • PRE: White balance preset
 • Daylight
 • Incandescent
 • Fluorescent
 • Cloudy
 • Speedlight
Exposure +/-  • +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Date imprint  • Off
 • Date
 • Date and time
Continuous  • Single
 • Continuous
 • Multi-shot 16
 • Multi-shot 16-2
BSS  • BSS Off
 • BSS On
Image sharpening  • Auto
 • High
 • Normal
 • Low
 • Off
CF card format  • No
 • Format

Menu options: Shooting menu (Auto mode)

Image quality / size  • 3M High quality (2048 x 1536)
 • 3M Normal (2048 x 1536)
 • 2M Normal (1600 x 1200)
 • PC screen (1024 x 768)
 • TV screen (640 x 480)
Exposure +/-  • +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Date imprint  • Off
 • Date
 • Date and time
CF card format  • No
 • Format

Menu options: Scene modes

SCENE mode  • Party / Indoor
 • Beach / Snow
 • Sunset
 • Dusk / Dawn
 • Night landscape
 • Close up
 • Museum
 • Fireworks show
 • Copy
 • Back light
Portrait mode  • Portrait
 • Portrait left *
 • Portrait right *
 • Portrait close-up *
 • Portrait couple *
 • Portrait figure *
Landscape mode  • Landscape
 • Scenic view *
 • Architecture *
 • Group right *
 • Group left *
Sports mode  • Sports
 • Sports spectator
 • Sport composite
Portrait mode  • Night portrait
 • Portrait left *
 • Portrait right *
 • Portrait close-up *
 • Portrait couple *
 • Portrait figure *

* Each of these menu selections applies a transparent shooting 'template' on the LCD monitor

Menu options: Setup Menu

Welcome screen  • Disable welcome
 • Coolpix
 • Select image >
Language  • Deutsch
 • English
 • Francais
 • Japanese
 • Espanol
Date  • Set
Brightness  • Set (+/- 2 levels)
Volume  • On
 • Off
Auto off  • 30 sec
 • 1 min
 • 5 min
 • 30 min
CF card format  • No
 • Format
USB  • PTP
 • Mass storage
Video mode  • NTSC
 • PAL
Reset All  • No
 • Reset

Comments