PW

Nikon D3100 vs D3000

The Nikon D3100 and the Nikon D3000 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2010 and July 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D3100 has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the D3000 provides 10 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D3100   Nikon D3000
Nikon D3100 Nikon D3000
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
14.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 10 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/24p Video no Video
ISO 100-3200 (100-12800) ISO 100-1600 (100-3200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
550 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
124 x 96 x 75 mm, 505 g 126 x 97 x 64 mm, 536 g

Body comparison: Nikon D3100 vs D3000

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D3100 and the Nikon D3000. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The D3100 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the D3000 is only available in black.

Compare Nikon D3100 and Nikon D3000
Compare D3100 versus D3000 top
Compare D3100 or D3000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3000 is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Nikon D3100. Moreover, the D3000 is markedly heavier (6 percent) than the D3100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3100 nor the D3000 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D3100 gets 550 shots out of its EN-EL14 battery, while the D3000 can take 500 images on a single charge of its EN-EL9a power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3100» 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 550 n Aug 2010 599- i Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D3000« 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 18.9 oz 500 n Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D3200« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 540 n Apr 2012 599- i Nikon D3200
 
Nikon D5100« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.8 oz 660 n Apr 2011 749- i Nikon D5100
 
Nikon D7000« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499- i Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D5000« » 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 500 n Jan 2008 629- i Nikon D60
 
Nikon D40X« » 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 520 n Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D40« » 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 470 n Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
 
Sony NEX-5N« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.5 oz 460 n Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 7.9 oz 400 n Jun 2011 599- i Sony NEX-C3

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D3100 vs D3000

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D3000 is 5 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of chip-set technology, the D3100 uses a more advanced image processing engine (EXPEED 2) than the D3000 (EXPEED), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Nikon D3100 and Nikon D3000 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Nikon D3100 offers a higher resolution of 14.2 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Nikon D3000. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.01μm versus 6.11μm for the D3000). However, it should be noted that the D3100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the D3000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The Nikon D3100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3000 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200..

D3100 versus D3000 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the D3100 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D3000 (overall score 5 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.2 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3100» APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D3000« APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.156362Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D3200« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181Nikon D3200
 
Nikon D5100« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380Nikon D5100
 
Nikon D7000« » APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D5000« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.511.456265Nikon D60
 
Nikon D40X« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.411.451663Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D40« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-21.011.056156Nikon D40
 
Sony NEX-5N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.612.7107977Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« » APS-C 16.0 4912 3264720/30p22.712.2108373Sony NEX-C3

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The D3100 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D3000 does not. The highest resolution format that the D3100 can use is 1080/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D3100 vs D3000

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D3100 and the D3000 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), as well as the same magnification (0.53x). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D3100, the Nikon D3000, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3100»optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D3000«optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D3200« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 4.0 Y n Nikon D3200
 
Nikon D5100« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y n Nikon D5100
 
Nikon D7000« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D5000« »optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 4000 4.0 Y n Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D60
 
Nikon D40X« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D40« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Nikon D40
 
Sony NEX-5N« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 4000 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.5 n n Sony NEX-C3

The D3100 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D3000 uses SDHC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Nikon D3100 vs D3000

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 D3100 and Nikon D3000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3100»Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D3000«Y-----2.0---Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D3200« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D3200
 
Nikon D5100« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D5100
 
Nikon D7000« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D5000« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D60
 
Nikon D40X« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D40« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D40
 
Sony NEX-5N« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-C3

Both the D3100 and the D3000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D3000 was replaced by the Nikon D3100, while the D3100 was followed by the Nikon D3200. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Nikon website.


Review summary: Nikon D3100 vs D3000

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D3100 or the Nikon D3000 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3100:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14.2 vs 10MP) with a 19% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (EXPEED 2 vs EXPEED).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year after the D3000).


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3000:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2009).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3100 is the clear winner of the match-up (6 : 1 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

D3100 06:01 D3000

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D3100 or the D3000. 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.

Expert reviews: Nikon D3100 vs D3000

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3100»++72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599- i Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D3000«+72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D3200« »++73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599- i Nikon D3200
 
Nikon D5100« »++76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749- i Nikon D5100
 
Nikon D7000« »-80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D5000« »++75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60« »80/100++4/5o4.5/5 Jan 2008 629- i Nikon D60
 
Nikon D40X« »79/100++4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D40« »81/100++o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
 
Sony NEX-5N« »++79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« »++74/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599- i Sony NEX-C3
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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.

Nikon D3100:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D3000:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

~

    Specifications: Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D3000

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D3100 Nikon D3000
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2010 July 2009
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Nikon D3100 Nikon D3000
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.1 x 15.4 mm 23.6 x 15.4 mm
    Sensor Area 355.74 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.8 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 14.2 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3072 pixels 3872 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.01 μm 6.11 μm
    Pixel Density 3.98 MP/cm2 2.69 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-3200 ISO 100-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-12800 ISO 100-3200 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 2 EXPEED
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 67 62
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.5 22.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 11.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 919 563
    Screen Specs Nikon D3100 Nikon D3000
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D3100 Nikon D3000
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D3100 Nikon D3000
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D3100 Nikon D3000
    Battery Type EN-EL14 power pack EN-EL9a power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)550 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 96 x 75 mm
    (4.9 x 3.8 x 3.0 in)
    126 x 97 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 505 g (17.8 oz) 536 g (18.9 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here  »   »