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Jillian23 May 5, 2003 2:48 PM

Coolpix 3100 or 4300?
Is there anyone who has had experience with both of these cameras? I like the size of the 3100 but I have read reviews stating that it has a very poor flash.

Most of my pictures will be indoors in low light situations (well, normal lamp lighting at night) and I was just wondering if anyone has experience with both of these cameras in that situation. For instance, does one camera take much brighter pictures than the other? Or is it not that much of a difference to even matter?


SSD May 5, 2003 5:49 PM

My 3100 does fine indoors. I take a lot of indoor pics under normal lights and the camera does fine. Last night I even took pics outside when it was almost dark and they were sharp and focused. I recently discovered though, if you take people pics with the white balance set to speedlight (under Manual on control dial) skin tones are more natural. I also like that the 3100 runs on AA batteries, unlike the 4300. I love the 3100!

tealblue May 5, 2003 7:54 PM

Hi. I own the 3100 and the 4300. Yes there is a difference!! The 3100 is a simple point and click camera. It does do a very good job and i have little trouble with in side pix. The 4300 is 4mp. and you can set a lot of things the way you want like the ISO and others . You cant on the 3100. On a side by side test i can tell which pic. is from from what camera. If you want simple go 3100. If you want to be able to grow some with your camera go 4300 This is just M H O.

Jillian23 May 5, 2003 8:02 PM

tealblue, when you say you can notice a difference with the pics side by side, generally what kinds of differences are you talking about?

For example, if I took a picture of my daughter standing in my living room with a lot of toys behind her, will the 4300 pick up the details of the toys in the background whereas the 3100 would not? Is there a big difference in how bright the pictures come out?

Thanks a bunch for your input!

tealblue May 5, 2003 8:39 PM

To Jillian 23. Yes and yes.LOL. The 4300 is better at pulling out the detail than the 3100. But you need to understand that it SHOULD be.Its 4mp and not 3mp like the 3100,and you can set it to do things on manual to help push that 4mp. that you cant set on the 3100. I think that the macro on the 4300 is far better than the 3100,And so do the nikon reps that i have talked to (face to face). Its really your call!! The 3100 will do a great job,but its NOT the 4300 and dont let people make you think other wise. SORRY ill get of my box now!! Tealblue

Jillian23 May 5, 2003 8:53 PM

Thanks Tealblue!

Most of my prints will be 4x6 so I was leaning towards 3 megapixel cameras and I liked the 3100 because of its size. BUT getting bright pictures in low light is really important to me so I would be willing to spend the extra money for the 4300 if I knew it would perform a lot better in that area. I hope I don't ask too many questions, but does the 4300 perform WAY better in dim light or just a little? I'm being nit picky I know!

Aubrey May 5, 2003 9:58 PM

Jillian, I got my 3100 last Monday (Apr 28) and the pictures come out great. I've taken a few indoors, inside a restaurant, by the pool, close ups, etc. I'm very happy with it. I heard about the supposed "low light" deficiencies and still bought the camera. No regrets so far.

One thing is that the 3100 doesn't have sound in Movie Mode. That was a sacrifice I was willing to make. I think the 4300 records sound.

Try to see if you can find a retailer that will let you test the 4300. Maybe take a memory card to the store like I did and take pictures.

I compared the 3100 against the 2100 and the Canon A70. Both Nikons looked good but the Canon didn't have the colors as rich and sharp as the Nikons. That made my decision easier.

mdparker May 5, 2003 11:26 PM

I own the 4300 and unforturnately it does not record sound in the movie mode. I love the quality, but I have no experience with the 3100 so I can't say how the two compare in quality wise. All I can say, is that if you think you're going to do a good bit of cropping or blowing up of pictures, buy the 4300. Since it records in 4MP, you'll have more pixels to play with and discard if need be before you start loosing picture quality. Since the 4300 has more manual controls, it also gives you more flexibitly and the ability to grow with the camera. Some people only want point and shoot ... they just want to be able to take good picutures and print them out. I've heard the 3100 does a great job at this. If that is you, then perhaps you might want to consider the 3100 so as not to pay for features you won't use.

tealblue May 6, 2003 7:25 AM

Jillian. The reply you got from mdparker is 100% on the mark. I do see a difference of about half in the low light area on the 3100-4300.with the 4300 having far less trouble in low light. But that might be me knowing what to do so i can get around this problem. I have had these coolpix units from the day they hit the street. (family in the camera buss.) So i have had some time to learn them. If you are going to print 8x10 or larger you want the 4300. I print 11x17 from it and it is a SHARP CLEAR pic. from my epson 1280 . Time to get off that box again!!!!!!!

Salvin May 7, 2003 4:28 PM

I have a 3100 and I really like it so far. I love the size of the camera and the pics are nice and sharp. I was looking at the 4300 too but wasn't too keen on the pop off lens cap and the zoom button was awkward for me. My hands are quite little so the 3100 is just perfect for me!

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