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Nikon D100

Nikon ups the ante with 6 million pixels, superb color and resolution, at a 'bargain' price!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 5/31/2002


True Nikon pro SLR that just happens to be digital
6.1- megapixel CCD, 3,008 x 2,000-pixel images
ISO from 200 to 1600 ("ISO Boost" to 6400)
2.5 frames per second, super-fast shutter delay!
Part of Nikon "Total Imaging System" - Compatible with >90% of all Nikon F-mount lenses ever made!
Want to learn how to *really* use this camera? Visit our free Photo Lessons area!

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Manufacturer Overview

As I say before each of my Nikon reviews, Nikon is one of the names that literally needs no introduction in the world of photography. Long a leader in the film world, they offer cameras for both the serious amateur and working professional. Their professional line contains cameras like the legendary F3, continuously produced for over 20 years now, and new "legends in the making" like the F5 and F100, renowned for their toughness and advanced features. In the digital world, Nikon has developed a commanding presence in the "prosumer" market with their Coolpix series. They broke new ground for usability and features with their Coolpix 900 several years back, building on that success with the 2 megapixel 950, followed by the 3 megapixel 990, which has now been upgraded to the 995 with a 4x zoom lens and improved flash configuration, and the five-megapixel Coolpix 5000. At the same time, they've broadened their line to include more purely consumer-oriented cameras like the Coolpix 775 and 885, and the new internal-swivel Coolpix 2500. The "Nikon Total Imaging System" also includes the hugely successful Super Coolscan 4000ED and Coolscan IV film scanners, which we've reviewed elsewhere. (Well, technically, only the 4000ED is "reviewed" as we write this, the Coolscan IV will be going up on the site soon.)

In early 1999, Nikon announced their first all-digital professional SLR, the D1. At the time, the specifications and price point (2.7 megapixels and a list price of $5850 for the body) rocked the pro camera world, and left many wondering whether Nikon could actually do it. They did. Not quite two years later, they raised the bar again with the D1x, a 5.47 megapixel camera at an even lower price point than the original D1. Now, they're bringing their digital SLR technology down from the pro market into a range accessible to well-heeled amateurs and the vast majority of professionals, with the D100. With a full 6.1 megapixel sensor and all the "Cameraness" of a true Nikon SLR, the most amazing aspect is its selling price of under $2,000 US! There's no question that this new price point for a Nikon digital SLR will revolutionize photography yet again, as literally thousands of Nikon shooters can now afford to enter the "no excuses" territory in the digital realm. Naturally, price by itself doesn't constitute a revolution - The camera itself has to meet the needs of photographers in the areas of resolution, color, image noise, tonality, and operating characteristics. After spending some time with a late-model "Initial Production" version of the D100 though, I can confidently say that it measures up in every category. Read on for all the details!

High Points

  • 6.1-megapixel CCD delivering a maximum image resolution of 3,008 x 2,000 pixels.
  • SLR design with true, TTL optical viewfinder.
  • 1.8-inch TFT color LCD monitor.
  • Interchangeable “F” mount lens design, accommodates a wide range of Nikkor lenses.
  • Manual and automatic focus modes, with adjustable AF area selection.
  • Program, Flexible Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual exposure modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds, with a Bulb setting for longer exposures.
  • Depth of Field Preview mode.
  • TTL exposure metering with three modes.
  • Adjustable sensitivity from 200 to 1,600 ISO equivalents. (plus 3,200 and 6,400 as "ISO Boost" options)
  • User-selectable white balance with eight modes and manual adjustment.
  • Three Color modes, plus a color balance fine-tuning adjustment.
  • Hue, Tone, and Sharpness adjustments.
  • Built-in, pop-up flash with five operating modes.
  • External flash hot shoe.
  • Continuous Shooting, Auto Exposure Bracketing, and Self-Timer modes.
  • JPEG, uncompressed TIFF, and RAW file formats.
  • Image storage on CompactFlash Type I or II memory cards, or IBM Microdrive.
  • USB cable for connection to a computer.
  • Included CD-ROM loaded with Nikon View 5 software.
  • NTSC video cable for playback on a television set (PAL for European models).
  • Power from lithium-ion battery pack, optional AC adapter, or optional Nikon Multi-Function battery pack.
  • Optional remote control accessory.

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