Nikon D3100: 1080p Video, Full-Time AF

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Shaking up the DSLR market is something Nikon does extremely well. And they’ve just done it again with the D3100, the first DSLR to record video at 1080p with persistent auto-focus. Retailing for only $700 is another reason to consider the Nikon as your first DSLR.

The 14.2-megapixel (CMOS) D3100 records 1080p video at 24fps in h.264 rather than using Motion JPEG like past models. But you’ll have drop down to 720p if you want to switch between 24fps and 30fps. Not quite as advanced as the Canon models but it’s a step forward considering it’s the first DSLR to have constant auto-focus when shooting video or Live View.

Like its smaller point-and-shoot counterparts, the D3100 can be flicked into Live View or HD video recording mode with the touch of one button. Face Detection is another notable feature because it can track and lock up to 35 human faces.

Other specs include a 3-inch LCD, 11-point AF system, ISO from 100 to 3200 (expandable up to 12,800), and a 420-pixel RGB color 3D matrix meter. The aforementioned features only soften the blow you’ll experience knowing it only shoots at 3fps.

A bundled kit includes an 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens and will be available next month.

Press release after the jump.

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