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Nikon D100 Comparison Review

The Nikon D100 is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was officially introduced in February 2002 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 6 megapixel.

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Is the Nikon D100 a good camera? The D100 has a Camera Elo of 835. This rating puts the D100 below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the D100 also ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 2.5-star performance rating. – Well, the Nikon D100 is more than 20 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2002.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D100
Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses
6 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video
ISO 200 - 800 (200 - 1 600)
Optical viewfinder
1.8 LCD, 118k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge
144 x 116 x 81 mm, 780 g

Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The physical dimensions of the Nikon D100 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Nikon D100 vs credit card front
D100 versus credit card top view
D100 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon D100 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999ebay.com
2.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999ebay.com
3.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
4.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799ebay.com
5.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499ebay.com
6.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D1X 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon D100 was launched in the US market at a price of $1,999. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Check D100 offers at
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Nikon D100 features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon D100 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Nikon D100 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.49.939448
2.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
3.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
4.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
5.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
6.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
7.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
8.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
9.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364
10.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
11.
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none........
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the D100 does not provide the possibility to capture videos.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D100 has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.53x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D100 and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D100optical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Nikon D90optical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5/s Y n
4.
 
Nikon D300optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0/s Y n
5.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
6.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
7.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
9.
 
Nikon D200optical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s Y n
10.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y2.0 / 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0/s n n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One convenient feature of the D100 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon D100Y- / ----1.1---
2.
 
Canon 10DY- / ----1.1---
3.
 
Nikon D90Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Nikon D300Y- / ---mini2.0---
5.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D200Y- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
11.
 
Nikon D1XY- / ----FW---

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D100. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D100......+ +o.. Feb 2002 1,999ebay.com
2.
 
Canon 10D......+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999ebay.com
3.
 
Nikon D90..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
4.
 
Nikon D300..+ +..+ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799ebay.com
5.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499ebay.com
6.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D200..+ +..+ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D1X......+ +.... Feb 2001 5,999ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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Nikon D100 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the D100.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the D100?

The camera has a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor at its core.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the D100?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 800.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon D100?

Nikon mentions a shutter rating of 50 000 actuations for the D100. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the D100 over, say, three years, one would have to take about 50 pictures each and every day.

Does the Nikon D100 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The D100's flash sync speed is 1/180 sec.

Which battery does the D100 use?

The camera gets its power from the EN-EL3 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the D100?

Yes, Nikon offers the MB-D100 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review with another camera, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Nikon D100
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2002
    Launch Price USD 1 999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 370 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3 008 x 2 000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost 200 - 1 600 ISO
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel
    LCD Size 1.8 inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Touch Input No touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy50 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 1.1
    HDMI Port no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type EN-EL3 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 144 x 116 x 81 mm
    (5.7 x 4.6 x 3.2 in)
    Camera Weight 780 g (27.5 oz)

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