Nikon D100 Review
The D100 has two dials, both of which are mounted horizontally in the body. The dial at the rear of the camera ('under your thumb') is called the main command dial. The dial at the front of the camera is called the sub command dial. It's important to remember which is which when reading the next few pages of this review.
|Main command dial (rear)||Sub command dial (front)|
Top of camera controls (left)
I have to say that the mode / settings dial is probably the D100's least well thought-out pieces of design. It completely defeats the concept of the D100 being a 'shooting priority camera'. To change focus area mode, image size / quality, white balance or ISO sensitivity via this dial you are switching the camera out of its exposure mode (and thus out of shooting mode).
Obviously you can instead use the LCD menu and simply not use this dial to change such settings. Considering this shortcoming I suggest it should be possible to select a default exposure mode (P, S, A or M) via the camera menu for use when the dial is turned to any of the four settings positions.
Mode / Settings Dial: Settings
HI-1 (approx. ISO 3200)
HI-2 (approx. ISO 6400)
White Balance Fine Tune /
For Preset white balance rolling the sub command dial allows you to shoot a grey / white card to preset the white balance.
|Image Size (not
in RAW mode)
|AF Area Mode
Single area AF
Dynamic area AF
Mode / Settings Dial: Exposure Mode
The D100 remembers the selected offset from default metering, the only way to reset this is to quickly turn the camera off and on again.
30 seconds - 1/4,000 sec (in 1/3
or 1/2 EV steps)
Range depends on lens max. and min.
apertures (in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)
|M||Full Manual Exposure
In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above (plus BULB for shutter speed, apertures limited by the lens used). Main command dial selects shutter speed, sub-command dial selects aperture. The meter on the viewfinder status bar and top LCD will immediately reflect the exposure level compared to the calculated ideal exposure, if it's outside of +/- 2EV the indicator bar will add an arrow '<' or '>' on the end of the meter.
Drive Mode Dial
|Single frame shooting
One frame is taken when shutter release is pressed. You can take another shot almost as quickly as you can re-press the shutter release. The remaining indicator on the viewfinder status bar shows current buffer space.
Camera takes a single frame after a predefined delay, this delay can be set to 2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds via a custom function 8.
Top of camera controls (right)
Top of the camera on the right side are the two sub and main command dials (front and back), the power switch, shutter release, flash mode, exposure compensation and LCD illumination button.
Switches camera on, this is virtually instant, there's no perceptible delay between turning the dial to the On position and being able to shoot. Quite noticeably quicker than Canon's EOS-D60.
|Flash sync mode
Front-curtain sync (normal flash)
Red-eye reduction with slow sync
+/-5EV in 1/3EV or 1/2EV steps
This button illuminates the top LCD panel with a green backlight for as long as the "Auto Meter-Off" time (custom function 7). You can also program the backlight to come on with any button press (custom function 16).