This past weekend I finally was able to get my hands on a Nikon D3100. A friend and I were out for a walk in the woods with our cameras, and after an hour walking, we came to an area with green leaves in the trees and orange leaves in the air and on the ground. I didn’t understand it, but I did want to take a picture of it. I set up my tripod, got out my Canon, and realized I had left the memory card on my desk. At this point, my friend came to the rescue and handed me her camera, a new Nikon D3100.
I’ve heard in the past of photographers buying more expensive cameras purely because they had more wheels on the back with which to quickly adjust settings. Now I understand why. Nothing on the D3100 can be easily changed without going through a menu. Fortunately, the Nikon has excellent automatic settings, so manual and semi-manual modes only need be used in tricky situations. This was one such situation, and it took me some time to take this 8 frame panorama:
I’m somewhat disappointed after using the D3100 — the relative difficulty in using manual settings on that camera must be discouraging for developing photographers. I can only imagine that automatic modes are frequently used in situations that really favor manual control, simply because of the complexity. At this point I must sound like a broken record — I’m not commenting on the image quality, build, lenses, or anything else. They all seemed fine, and for that matter, probably better than other offerings in this price range. In the future, I’ll simply be much more outspoken about the benefits of having a pro-style body, with plenty of input wheels and buttons.