The rumored Nikon D3100 was announced last month, but has not yet been released. Slowly however, sample images, and videos, and hands on reviews are starting to trickle in. Here’s the first video I’ve seen recorded by the D3100, demonstrating use of the continuous autofocus.
I think the quiet ticking noise you’re hearing is the camera focusing the lens. The author comments that he has the camera in spot focus mode, so presumably its trying to focus on whatever is in the center of the frame, and you can see it have some trouble once in a while trying to find focus, or shifting focus from one subject to another. The autofocus looks similar to camcorders to me. Continuous autofocus is probably what you want if you just shooting casual video and don’t want to worry about focus. The video is shot using the new Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 lens. The video has a nice fairly shallow depth of field, which is probably created by shooting at a long focal length such as 200mm.
Nikon is now the first DSLR manufacturer to support continuous autofocus while shooting video, and I expect we’ll see others follow shortly. However, Panasonic’s mirrorless micro four-thirds cameras (such as the Lumix GF1) already support continuous autofocus while filming, as do the newly announced Sony translucent mirror cameras, the SLT-A33 and SLT-A55. In fact, you can explore all the interchangeable lens cameras that support continuous autofocus while filming at Snapsort. Sony’s SLT cameras are rather unique though. Unlike the rest of the competition that use slow contrast detection for focusing while recording movies the Sony SLT-A33 and A55 use phase detection focusing even while recording movies, which is the fast high quality focusing normally used by DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. The reason most camera’s don’t or can’t use phase detection during movies is that they have lifted their mirror up to let light into the sensor, which means the phase detection focusing system doesn’t receive any light. Sony gets around this with their translucent mirror, which lets both the sensor and the focusing system receive light at the same time. This means the Sony SLT cameras have the potential to have the best focusing systems for recording movies of any interchangeable lens camera.
How did we come up with our guessed specs? First we started with the full specs from the Nikon D3000, so for example we’re guessing the D3100 will be the same size as the D3000. Next, we updated the specs with the rumored leaked specs, including 14MP CMOS sensor, 1080p video with continuous focus capabilities etc. Next, we made some inferences/guesses. These include:
People have speculated that the Nikon D3100 will use the Sony manufactured sensor found in the Sony A450, so we took the native resolution of 4592×3056 pixels from it, and took the DXOMark image quality scores from it too, placing it between the D3000 and the D90 for low light image quality.
Next we guessed that the D3100 will get the same high resolution 920k screen that recent Nikon DSLRs including the D90 and D300s. Here we made a leap, we assumed the D3100 will have a flip-out (or articulating screen) since the D3100 is packed with video features (similar to the D5000 and rumored Canon D60).
The only information we’ve seen regarding the video specs is that it will record 1080p video using the AVCHD codec. We went ahead and guessed that it will record 1920×1080 video at 24fps, and also record 1280×720 video at 24fps, consistent with the other Nikon DSLRs that record HD video (the D5000, D90, D3s and D300s)
We also guess that the D3100 will shoot at approximately 5ps, slightly faster than other entry level DSLRs from Nikon
This is likely to be an exciting few months for DSLR fans, with Nikon set to announce the D3100 on August 19th, and speculation they will announce the D95 (D90 replacement) in September, along with Canon introducing their 60D (a 50D replacement).
We’ll update our specs as soon as we learn more. How accurate do you think Snapsort’s specs for the D3100 will turn out to be?
The rumor is that Canon is set to release a new professional DSLR, the Canon EOS 60D, to replace the existing 50D.
The specs that we’ve heard about so far are:
18 megapixels (same as the 7D and Rebel T2i, up from the 50D’s 15.1MP)
A flip-out/tilt screen, looks to be 3.0″ I’d say. This looks like Canon’s first DSLR with a flip-out screen, should be great for video. The Nikon D5000 has a flip-out screen already, and the rumored D3100 will likely have one too.
Its being called video optimized, I imagine that means better auto-focus capability while recording movies, hopefully to compete with the D3100’s continuous auto-focus while recording!
Check out Microsoft’s Zoom.it, a great way to turn your high resolution images into an interactive google-maps like widget!
Here are two zoom-it’s I made with flickr photos. Use your mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out, and you can pan around with your cursor. Or use the overlay-controls in the bottom right to zoom in and out or even go fullscreen.
Visit zoom.it if you’d like to create your own, just give it the url of a photo and let it do its thing.