Rear of camera controls

The rear of the Coolpix 3100 continues its modernized, round 'comfortable' styling, the few buttons are intelligently placed with clear labeling. This is a camera aimed at novice users and shouldn't therefore overload them with visible controls.


W / T

Zoom (record mode)

The Coolpix 3100's zoom lever is a single piece which pivots around its center. The zoom motor is relatively fast taking only 1.5 seconds to zoom from wide angle to telephoto. As with most Nikon Coolpix digital cameras the 3100 has a very commendable 20 steps between wide angle and telephoto, compare this to the average of between 7 and 10 for most other brands.

Thumbnail index (play mode)

Press the zoom lever towards wide angle in play mode to switch to a 2x2 and then 3x3 thumbnail index. If the image is magnified this button steps out of magnification.
Magnify (play mode)

Press the zoom lever towards telephoto in play mode to magnify the displayed image, you can magnify from 1.2x to 6.0x in 0.2x steps. It takes just 2.5 seconds to magnify all the way to 6.0x. Use the four way controller in magnify mode to pan around the image.
Four way controller

In record mode three of the four arrows are mapped to control flash, self-timer and macro focus. In addition the controller is also used to confirm settings and navigate menus. In play mode the controller is used to browse images, left or up for previous image, right or down for next image.

Flash Mode

Displays the flash mode 'pop-up menu' which allows you to select flash mode:
 • Automatic flash
 • Flash on & Redeye reduction
 • Flash off
 • Flash on (fill-in in daylight)

Self Timer

Displays the self-timer 'pop-up menu' which allows you to enable or disable the self-timer:
 • On
 • Off
Macro Focus

Displays the macro 'pop-up menu' which allows you to toggle between normal focus range (30 cm / 11.8 in) or macro focus (4 cm / 1.6 in):
 • Off
 • On

Displays a 'Erase one image, Yes / No' confirmation screen. This button can be used in play or record modes, in record mode it allows you to erase the last image taken (or the last image on the CF card).
Display Mode

Toggles between LCD monitor display modes:
 • Record mode: LCD Off, Brief information, Detailed information
 • Play mode: Single image no overlay, Single image information overlay

Pressing this button enters the current mode menu (record or play).
Play mode

Enters the Coolpix 3100's play mode, despite being a single press button this mode is not 'shooting priority', you must press this button again to return to record mode (which is a shame and must be easy to implement). Also you can not (unlike some other digital cameras) use this button to power the camera on into play mode.