Nikon D3100 ISO performance tests

January 11, 2014
After using Nikon D3100 for almost 3 years, I thought of performing an ISO test and see how the machine behaves on pushing it to its limit.
Each time the sensitivity rating is doubled – for example - ISO 100 to ISO 200 OR ISO 400 to ISO 800, the shutter speed also gets doubled for any situation when keeping the camera at constant aperture. This is true throughout the D3100′s ISO range (ISO 100- ISO 3200). As you crank up the ISO beyond 3200 i.e. Hi 1 (ISO 6400) and Hi 2 (ISO 12,800), the image noise becomes quite evident.
Here is a small comparison of the images (Straight out from the camera & processed ones after noise reduction applied). All the images were taken in Nikon's NEF (RAW) format and down sampled for web.
Nikon D3100 ISO performance-1Nikon D3100 ISO performance-1Nikon D3100 ISO performance
Nikon D3100 ISO performance-2Nikon D3100 ISO performance-2
Nikon D3100 ISO performance-3Nikon D3100 ISO performance-3
Nikon D3100 ISO performance-4Nikon D3100 ISO performance-4
When shooting at Hi 1 or Hi 2 sensitivity settings on your Nikon D3100, image noise is likely to be clearly noticeable, especially when images are magnified in prints or on screen but the RAW file still holds a lot of details to make them usable after post processing.
D3100 being a beginners camera has always been underestimated. I personally feel that it is one of the best choices out there for amateur / hobbyist photographer and performs really well in low light.
If you don't believe my words, you can see Ken Rockwells post on Recommended Cameras.
So get out and start shooting!
Feel free to leave you comments/ questions, if any.


Rohan Mishra Photography- Creative Weddings and lifestyle photoshoots.