Coolpix 3100 digital camera

Nikons have a reputation of being cameras for the hard-core photographer, but the company’s new Coolpix models are targeted at the neophyte. I looked at a pre-production version of the $849 Coolpix 3100, a small, light and nicely designed 3.2-megapixel camera.

It comes with an astounding 14 scene modes, plus something new to Nikon cameras: settings that help novices compose their shots.

Most digital cameras include a few scene modes that let snapshot photographers quickly fine-tune the camera’s exposure settings for different types of shots. Picking sports mode, for example, tells the camera to use faster shutter speeds, while choosing portrait mode on a sunny day tells the camera to use the fill-flash function. On the 3100, Nikon placed the four most commonly used scene modes — portrait, landscape, sports and night portrait — on a dial; the remainder are found in the camera’s menus.

Each of the four primary scene modes has several assist modes — think of them as built-in training wheels for proper composition. The assist modes are helpful, but using them takes a bit too long for quick snapshots.

Don’t assume that this camera is strictly for beginners. Though the 3100 has few advanced features and takes only silent video, it does include white-balance calibration and in-camera image cropping. In addition, the Coolpix 3100 feels solid in your hand, and its zoom buttons are large and easily worked. Most important, it takes pleasing shots.

In brief: Nikon Coolpix 3100
(Pre-production unit)
Moderately priced, pocketable, light and especially easy to use.
Price: $849
Distributor: Maxwell Optical Industries
Phone: (02) 9390 0200

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tracey Capen

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?