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Old Dec 27, 2010, 7:28 PM   #1
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Default Got a D3000 for Christmas - do I really want the D3100?

Hey guys,
So I'm totally brand new to the dSLR work (and a newbie to photography in general). For Christmas I got a D3000. I've been playing around with it, and starting to get the hang of it. BUT I've also been reading about how the D3100 is leaps and bounds better than the D3000. People constantly seem to be saying how it's out-of-date, etc. Honestly the $500 I spent on the D3000 is right about what I wanted/expected to spend on my first dSLR camera. $650 is a definite reach, but on the otherhand, it seems like that upgrade could make sense. I definitely don't want to spend more than that (so IF I decide to exchange, the D3100 is the highest I'll go).

From what I can tell, the major differences are the live view, and the 14mp instead of 10mp. In layman's terms, what else is different and why is that better?

Also - what would I potentially use the liveview for (I ask because the guy at the camera said the equivalent Rebel, which has liveview, really can't be used to frame photos as you would with a point-and-shoot).

The increase in megapixels - does that create better images regardless of image size? What size images does that difference start to show?


And the main question here: what would you do in my shoes? Love the D3000 and not worry about the unfavorable reviews, or make the upgrade?

Last edited by KevRC4130; Dec 27, 2010 at 7:31 PM.
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Old Dec 27, 2010, 8:39 PM   #2
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Keep the D3000 and put the extra money toward good lenses.
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 9:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevRC4130 View Post
From what I can tell, the major differences are the live view, and the 14mp instead of 10mp. In layman's terms, what else is different and why is that better?

Also - what would I potentially use the liveview for (I ask because the guy at the camera said the equivalent Rebel, which has liveview, really can't be used to frame photos as you would with a point-and-shoot).

The increase in megapixels - does that create better images regardless of image size? What size images does that difference start to show?


And the main question here: what would you do in my shoes? Love the D3000 and not worry about the unfavorable reviews, or make the upgrade?
The 3100 also has better imaging at high ISO, which can be helpful in low light situations or for extending the tility of the rathe dark kit lenses.

The only thing I ever use live view for is manual focusing (which I only do in macro photography, but it would be generallly useful in any scenario where you are manually focusing.) You zoom the live view as far as it will go (or back off one zoom step if that is too grainy) and adjust the focus until the image is at its sharpest where you wish the focus to be. You should realize that, for non-macro lenses, the focusing is designed for computer use, so it's a lot harder to manually focus most lenses than it used to be -- the focus ring tends to move the lens too much to allow you to tweak the setting optimally. Nonetheless, live view is good for manual focus (and not much else AFAICS).

The increased pixel count is mostly of value when you crop an image. But, truthfully, the difference between 10 and 4 mp is probably not worth agonizing over.

I second TCav's suggestion -- get another lens. I would suggest that you take a serious look at the Nikon 55-200mm VR lens, which can be had factory refurbished for about $140 and is a wonderful supplement to the 18-55 VR kit lens that you probably got with the 3000. (Adorama or B&H are two very good sources of refurb Nikon equipment) Alternatively, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens, which can be had new for about $175 and is basically unavailable used or refurb, is a wonderful introduction to bright glass. Be warned, though -- fast glass is both addictive and usually expensive. Sometimes ignorance is bliss...
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