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Old August 19th, 2010, 09:55 AM   #1
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Nikon 3100 Announced

This new Nikon camera shoots 720 24P/25P/30P and 1080 24P video formats with full autofocus. The price below is the list price, so I would expect the body to sell by itself for about $500 once it hits the stores in September.

Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm NIKKOR VR Lens : $700 US

Nikon 3100 Web Page Detailing HD Video Modes

Lots of very interesting autofocus / focus-tracking modes. I would ignore the sample video for now, as it was probably made with a pre-production camera. ( the exposure looks a little wacky to me )
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Old August 19th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #2
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I'm curious if they have improved the aliasing artifacts.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 12:42 PM   #3
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Interesting little camera. The sensor claims to be physically bigger than a Canon 7D but has less pixels if I am reading the specs correctly. Does this mean it is more sensitive with bigger pixels? Does the HDMI output have a clean settings and does it stay on when recording video?

Nikon D3100 Sensor 23.1 x 15.4mm Nikon DX-format CMOS sensor
Resolution Total: 14.8 Megapixels, Effective: 14.2 Megapixels

Canon 7D Sensor 22.3mm x 14.9mm CMOS
Resolution Effective: 19.0MP, Recorded: 18.0MP
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Old August 19th, 2010, 07:53 PM   #4
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Manual control in video mode? I can't seem to find anything about it on the website. Am I missing something?
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Old August 20th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #5
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I think this is just another version of "canon t2i" I can not see any major improvement! maybe I am wrong it is a wait and see game for now.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 01:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Daniel Epstein View Post
Interesting little camera. The sensor claims to be physically bigger than a Canon 7D but has less pixels if I am reading the specs correctly.
I've never been a Nikon fan, so I don't know much about their cameras. But to my knowledge, they have always favored the larger sensor, and lower pixel count. I think this is part of the reason they have always been great with high ISO performance.

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Old August 20th, 2010, 01:20 PM   #7
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Does this mean it is more sensitive with bigger pixels?
Well, generally they are the same, but sensitivity isn't really what we care about most anyway: it's noise. And when it comes to noise, sensor size (not pixel size) is by far the most important factor (all else being equal).
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Old August 20th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #8
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Mic input?

Hmmm..... not one word about a mic input.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 01:42 PM   #9
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I just called Nikon concerning the new D3100 DSLR's HDMI output.

They state that the HDMI output is only active when playing back pre-recorded footage.

They state that one cannot use the HDMI output for "Live View", such as for composing shots or checking focus prior to recording.

They state the one cannot use the HDMI output while recording.

They were very confident that what they were stating was correct.

This appears to be confirmed by a very careful reading of the D3100's specifications.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 11:21 PM   #10
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This camera has no mic input, internal mic only.

Dan
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Old August 21st, 2010, 03:12 AM   #11
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They state that the HDMI output is only active when playing back pre-recorded footage.
But does that mean that it's deactivated by design and could theoretically be activated by going into the software/hardware, or is it just not physically possible for it ever to work?
I don't see any reason why it should not be active while recording, there isn't much/any extra processing needed is there? Dan, you'd know a lot more about this than me, should it be feasible? It'd certainly make a HUGE difference, as the codecs on all these DSLRs are a bit iffy to say the least.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 03:42 AM   #12
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Dear Steve,

When I first read the spec's for the D3100, it appeared that they were saying that the HDMI output only worked in Playback Mode.

When I called Nikon, I asked if the HDMI output was active for "Live View" and while Recording.

The person understood the question, then put me on hold.

When she came back, she stated it very clearly that the HDMI is only active for Playback.
She explained that the camera goes into a different mode when the HDMI output is activated.
In this mode, one can not take a picture, or record a movie, or even see the live image via the HDMI output.

She was very confident in her details as to how this worked.

I was rather surprised by this.

I think we will have to wait for detailed reviews to learn more.

Here is Nikon's wording:

Is it possible to play recorded movies on a TV monitor?

If an HDMI terminal is incorporated in your TV, movies you have recorded can be played back by connecting the camera and the TV using an HDMI cable. 1,280 x 720 and 1,920 x 1,080 (16:9) modes are suitable for HD playback
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Last edited by Dan Keaton; August 21st, 2010 at 10:30 AM.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 09:15 AM   #13
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Any processing power or other other reason why playback is different to recording Dan?
Doesn't seem to me that there is anything extra to be done to show the live view image on the camera's screen and at the same time output a feed through HDMI, or am I missing something? It definitely sounds to me that they've chosen to disable it rather than been forced into it.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 10:30 AM   #14
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Dear Steve,

I do not know why they would have eliminated HDMI out for Live View and while recording.

For us, it certainly makes the camera more useful when these are included.

One possible technical reason would be memory capacity. Nikon does describe this as an "Entry Level" camera.

The Nikon representative indicated that the D3100 goes into a different mode, when the HDMI output is activated.

We do this on the nanoFlash. We reboot the nanoFlash, using different code, when certain options are selected in the menu.

For example, our MPG support requires one of these Reboots, which only takes a few seconds.

This allows us to have more memory space available to perform the requested tasks.

When one selects MOV or MXF, we reboot the nanoFlash into code specific for both MOV and MXF. (There is no reboot when switching from MOV to MXF or back.)

We also reboot into different code for 3D mode.

In 3D, we have eliminated support for Standard Definition, thus freeing up room for 3D features, such as Image Flip, Image Flop, and image combining functions.

We do not expect anyone will want to shoot 3D in SD.
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Last edited by Dan Keaton; August 22nd, 2010 at 04:38 AM.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 09:44 PM   #15
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Being their most entry-level D-SLR, I think they disabled the HDMI Out when recording on the D3100 intentionally so that they can try and motivate people to buy their future 1080p cameras (surely there will be a D90 with 1080p soon) which will probably have the feature enabled.
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