Nikon S3100

Nikon Coolpix S3100 front
  • 14MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Display
  • ISO 80 - 3200
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 26-130mm (F3.2-6.5) lens
  • 118g - 94 x 58 x 18mm
  • Launched February 2011
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Nikon S3100 overview

Nikon S3100 is Nikon's Ultracompact camera first released on February of 2011. The camera uses a 14MP, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a peak resolution of 4320 x 3240.

The S3100 is positioned #84 out of 151 in Ultracompact cameras & all-around #1068 out of 1465 for cameras in our database. You can test our Smart camera search to get camera rankings based on your personal requirements.

Photography Glossary

The following is a diagram of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Nikon S3100 family

The Nikon S3100 is part of a family of cameras. You can read the complete range below.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Nikon-Coolpix-S6900 front thumbnailNikon S6900
S3100 vs S6900
Nikon-Coolpix-S7000 front thumbnailNikon S7000
S3100 vs S7000
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Nikon-Coolpix-S2900 front thumbnailNikon S2900
S3100 vs S2900
Nikon-Coolpix-S3700 front thumbnailNikon S3700
S3100 vs S3700
Nikon-Coolpix-S6400 front thumbnailNikon S6400
S3100 vs S6400
Nikon-Coolpix-S1200pj front thumbnailNikon S1200pj
S3100 vs S1200pj
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Nikon-Coolpix-S4100 front thumbnailNikon S4100
S3100 vs S4100
Nikon-Coolpix-S3100 front thumbnailNikon S310026-130mm
Nikon-Coolpix-S80 front thumbnailNikon S80
S3100 vs S80
Nikon-Coolpix-S1100pj front thumbnailNikon S1100pj
S3100 vs S1100pj
Nikon-Coolpix-S4000 front thumbnailNikon S4000
S3100 vs S4000
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Nikon-Coolpix-S3000 front thumbnailNikon S3000
S3100 vs S3000
Nikon-Coolpix-S70 front thumbnailNikon S70
S3100 vs S70
Nikon-Coolpix-S220 front thumbnailNikon S220
S3100 vs S220
Nikon-Coolpix-S230 front thumbnailNikon S230
S3100 vs S230

Nikon S3100 Pros and Cons

Below is a list of pluses and minuses of the Nikon S3100 based on criterias that are generally seen as crucial in a camera.

above average min ISO (80)
fairly wide (26mm)
features face detect focusing
features tracking focus
flash built-in
good zoom range (26-130mm 5.0 x zoom)
megapixel count good (14 megapixels)
display is not selfie friendly
does not have image stabilization
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
lack of HDMI socket
lack of headphone socket
lack of mic socket
lack of phase detect AF
lack of RAW files
lack of Time Lapse recording
low fps (1.0 fps)
low resolution screen (230 thousand dots)
low res video (1280 x 720 resolution)
manual focus not available
manual mode not possible
no aperture priority
no external flash support
no shutter priority mode
screen does not articulate
screen is somewhat small (2.7 inch)
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
slow at tele end (f6.5)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.2)
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Nikon S3100 Sensor details

The Nikon S3100 is run by the Expeed C2 processor. The sensor dimension on the Nikon S3100 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor can resolve 4320 x 3240 pixels .

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The CCD sensor has 14 megapixels and supports a native ISO range of 80 to 3200. Sadly, RAW photos are not saved which means that you have less room to maneuver in post.

The picture below displays the S3100's sensor dimensions compared to other common sizes. The S3100 sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is shown in green.

Nikon Coolpix S3100 sensor size Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards

To get an idea of different aspect ratios, you can refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Nikon S3100 dimensions

Nikon S3100 weighs about 0.26 pounds (118 grams / 4.16 oz) & has exterior proportions of 94mm x 58mm x 18mm (3.7" x 2.3" x 0.7"). The weight of general Ultracompact camera is 121 grams and the Nikon S3100 is very similar compared with its rivals.

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The following is a visual of the Nikon S3100 next to a soft drink to help you to get a feel for its scale.

Nikon Coolpix S3100 dimensions scale

The top view here will show you the button arrangement on the S3100.

Nikon Coolpix S3100 topview buttons dials

Nikon S3100 Lens specs

The S3100 includes an inbuilt lens featuring a focal range of 26-130mm making it a 5.0 x zoom which is not at all amazing but it will surely be very helpful in certain situations.

At the widest 26mm, it features an aperture of f3.2 which is rather slow and not very good for low light occasions and you will struggle to get a shallow depth of field. You will also have to increase the ISO setting which results in noisy photographs. Towards the tele end, 130mm comes with f6.5 making it pretty sluggish and you might need to set slow shutter speeds.

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Nikon S3100 Connectivity

The S3100 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Cameras that incorporate NFC or Bluetooth support can easily be controlled wirelessly by smartphones. You will be able to transfer photos and oftentimes alter camera settings without the hassle of connecting straight to the camera.

Several applications even give a Liveview and press the shutter if you aren't close to the camera. If the camera has a HDMI port, it could be connected to an external screen. The majority of cameras will allow you to charge the battery with the USB socket.

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Nikon S3100 Video specs

The highest video quality on the Nikon S3100 is 1280 x 720 and you can shoot in Motion JPEG format. 720p is terrible for today's requirements. You should target at least FUll HD quality for video. The camera doesn't include a microphone or headphone socket which means you have little control over the sound. It is probably a better idea to look at an alternative camera if you want better sound for your video clips.

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Nikon S3100 Weather Sealing

Nikon S3100 doesn't include weather proofing so damp conditions may damage the camera.

Nikon S3100 Display and Viewfinder

The Nikon S3100 houses a 2.7 inch fixed screen supporting a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Sadly the screen is not a touch screen.

Nikon Coolpix S3100 screen and viewfinder Photography Glossary

The ViewFinder specs for Nikon S3100 are the following:

  • ViewFinder None

For bright outdoor conditions which make the camera screens washed out and hard to see, viewfinders can be quite useful.

Nikon S3100 Shutter specs

Nikon S3100 continuous shooting speed is 1.0 fps. The highest shutter speed is 1/2000s.

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Nikon S3100 Flash and Hot shoe specs

Nikon S3100 features only integrated flash without external flash ability.

Nikon S3100 Autofocus specs

Nikon S3100 features just Contrast Based Autofocus & lacks Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is more faster & precise when compared to Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera boasts Face detect which makes it valuable for people photography.

It boasts 9 focus points to pick from. It also has Tracking Autofocus for objects on the move. Nikon S3100 doesn't have manual focusing. Manual focusing mode can be useful in low light or you need more precise control on focus.

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Nikon S3100 Battery life

The battery power (EN-EL19) for the Nikon S3100 is designed to last for 220 photographs based on the CIPA benchmarks which is comparable with it's competition. The typical Ultracompact camera battery life is 214. Nikon L32 has the highest (320) battery life in this kind of cameras.

Listed below is a listing of Ultracompact cameras which have the strongest battery life:

Nikon S3100 for specific forms of photography

The following chart provides a analysis of the Nikon S3100 for specific forms of photography. To learn more, check out the specific section below.

Nikon S3100 Portrait photography highlights

The Nikon S3100 has a points total of 33 which is subpar, and means the camera is just not appropriate for portrait photos. Shooting portraits leans greatly towards sensor dimension, RAW support and ability to work with external lighting.

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megapixel count good (14 megapixels)
features face detect autofocus
no manual focus
manual exposure not possible
can't use external flash
small sensor size (1/2.3")
does not have RAW support

Nikon S3100 Street photography info

Coming in at a reasonable rating of 48, the Nikon S3100 is relatively appropriate for street photography. A decent street photography camera features a perfect balance of picture quality and portability.

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fixed screen
lack of image stabilization
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
does not have RAW format

Nikon S3100 Sports photography highlights

A subpar sports photography score of 32 suggests the Nikon S3100 is just not appropriate for taking photos of sports. A camera needs great tracking plus fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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good resolution (14 megapixels)
provides tracking autofocus
max fps low (1.0 fps)
no shutter priority
does not have image stabilization
small sensor size (1/2.3")
lacks phase detect auto focus

Nikon S3100 Travel photography advice

Size is extremely critical in picking a camera for travel. All round, the Nikon S3100 gets a nice 65 for a travel camera which makes it a respectable pick for your trips.

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MP count decent (14MP)
built-in flash
pretty wide (26mm)
missing Time Lapse recording
does not feature selfie friendly screen
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.2)

Nikon S3100 Landscape photography factors

If you are looking to choose a digital camera for landscape photos, the most vital factor will no doubt be image quality. The Nikon S3100 with it's subpar grade of 33 as a landscape camera is just not appropriate in the current marketplace.

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pretty wide (26mm)
decent megapixels (14MP)
manual focus not available
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.2)
screen is small (2.7")
no manual mode
does not have image stabilization
very small sensor (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW format
does not have Time Lapse function

Nikon S3100 Vlogging highlights

A vlogging camera should posses a moving screen, microphone input and if possible IBIS. Taking all things in to account, the Nikon S3100 is just not appropriate for vlogging as it delivers a subpar rating of 28.

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rather wide (26mm)
comes with face detection focusing
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.2)
doesn't have a selfie friendly screen
does not have image stabilization
low res video (1280 x 720 resolution)
no external microphone support

Nikon S3100 Alternatives

If you are trying to find alternatives to the S3100, below is a list of the highest scored cameras which fall within the class of Ultracompact.

The line chart listed below offers you a bird's eye view of the S3100 versus it's top scoring competitors shown previously.

Following are several cameras you might look into as alternatives. To read a thorough comparison, simply click the "compare" link.

Photography Glossary


General Information
Model type
Nikon Coolpix S3100
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Processor Chip
Expeed C2
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
14 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Maximum resolution
4320 x 3240
RAW pictures
Maximum native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focusing
AF touch
AF continuous
Single AF
Tracking AF
Selective AF
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Total focus points
Lens support
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
26-130mm (5.0x)
Maximal aperture
Macro focusing range
Crop factor
Type of display
Fixed Type
Display sizing
2.7 inch
Display resolution
230 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch capability
Display technology
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Lowest shutter speed
4 seconds
Highest shutter speed
1/2000 seconds
Continuous shooting rate
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Change WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
4.50 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1280 x 720p (30fps), 640 x 480 (30fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video format
Motion JPEG
Mic port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
118 gr (0.26 lbs)
Physical dimensions
94 x 58 x 18mm (3.7" x 2.3" x 0.7")
Battery life
220 images
Form of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (10 or 2 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Storage type
Card slots
Pricing at launch