I used to hold good photographers in the same high esteem as airline pilots. They, like pilots, had a kind of mystique about them, an aura that made them different to most of us. The sheer ability to create a visual masterpiece in a second, capturing a moment in time for ever, seemed to me to be the work of pure genius.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a creative brain, and there have been many times when I’ve sensed an opportunity to grab the moment and create digital history, it’s just I’ve never had the right type of equipment to do it justice. I’ve gazed enviously at many a photographer, crouching down and aiming the SLR two handed like a pistol at yet another potential masterpiece and wishing it was me. But of course it would never be me; the sheer plethora of dials, buttons and lenses, aperture time, sensor sensitivity, and all round complexity would have me twiddling for hours instead of snapping my money shot.
It seems that those lovely people at Nikon, clearly hearing of my plight, took pity on me and created the perfect solution, the D3100.
Not only does it look the part with a two handed grip body, a choice of high quality lenses and Nikon’s legendary image making prowess, it also has a whole set of options for first time DSLR users who up to now, have just been content using a compact camera. It is in short, the perfect bridge into the SLR world.
There’s a range of automatic settings for example. Live View with Scene Auto Selector selects the mode that matches your shooting situation; Scene Recognition analyzes the scene and optimizing the camera settings immediately before the shutter is released; and the brilliant Guide Mode will take you step-by-step through the process of just how to capture that perfect picture. Wonderful, but it gets even better.
The D3100 carries a 14.2 megapixel DX format CMOS image sensor, whilst Nikon’s EXPEED 2 processing engine effectively boosts the ISO (100-3200) capability significantly. So there’s a much lower risk of blurred images when you take pictures of your kids running around the room or poor image quality when you’re outside with the family having an evening get together. And talking of family, it’s also got full HD quality video built in too.
You can view your scenes either through Nikon’s viewfinder which now incorporates an 11 point autofocus system, or via the built in 3 inch LCD colour screen.
Now, show me a sunflower and I’ll show you an award winning image. Bring it on.
Nikon 3100 from £430 www.nikon.com