Nikon D100 SLR Review

Steve's Digicams

Nikon D100

First Look posted 5/29/02
Full review posted 7/28/02
Page 3a added, Conclusion updated 10/07/02

Click to take a QuickTime tour of the D100

The Nikon D100 is a high-performance yet affordable digital SLR camera with a 6.1 effective megapixel CCD imager. The D100 provides high-end amateurs and professionals with a compact and lightweight camera that is compatible with the majority of Nikon's 35mm lenses. Its advanced SLR functionality and digital capabilities deliver high-quality images that rival its more expensive D1X SLR counterpart.

Incorporated within the compact body is a high-resolution CCD that produces up to 3,008 x 2,000-pixel images. The D100's improved image processing algorithm ensures superior image quality with increased detail, while its enhanced auto white balance system assures accurate color rendition. Integrated features including the 3D Matrix metering system and D-TTL flash control capability work with the camera's advanced image-processing abilities to ensure well- balanced exposures and rich, true colors. The one-chip system LSI (Large Scale Integrated Circuit) provides super-fast image processing while keeping power consumption to a minimum.

Nikon D100 SLR

The D100 features a top shutter speed of 1/4000 second, a high-performance built-in speedlight with D-TTL flash control and a flash sync speed of up to 1/180 second offer convenience with impressive results. Three-color mode options customize the camera for different color gamut environments. Additionally, on-demand grid lines and a five area autofocus with dynamic AF operation make composition, autofocusing and manual focusing with the D100 fast and accurate. A plug-and-play USB 1.1 interface enables images to be downloaded quickly onto the computer. It also offers system-wide compatibility with more than 50 AF Nikkor Lenses, advanced speedlights, including the new SB-80DX, and other accessories.

The D100 is complemented by the new Nikon View 5 software that offers photographers a host of facilities to enable easy transfer and viewing of images on a computer. A new version of Nikon's optional camera control and image-editing software package, Nikon Capture 3, will be available separately. Offering innovative new features and abilities for post-picture making processes, Capture 3 software allows the D100 to be controlled remotely from a computer. Capture 3 works seamlessly with Nikon's exclusive NEF (Nikon Electronic File) RAW image file format to enable reading and adjustment of these files. Once images are downloaded into the computer, the full advantage of Nikon's Total Image Quality processing algorithms can be applied to the files to produce 16-bit color depth images. Additional post processing of images from the D100 will be possible using many of today's advanced image editing software, such as Adobe's Photoshop 5 and higher.

Nikon D100 Features:

  • 6.1-Megapixel CCD imager yielding 3008 x 2000 pixel images
  • Compact and lightweight digital SLR camera
  • Nikon F-mount lenses (1.5x multiplier same as D1 series)
  • Program AE w/Shift, Shutter priority, Aperture priority and full Manual
  • Auto Bracketing of exposure, white balance or flash
  • Exclusive 3D-Color Matrix metering
  • TTL auto white balance, presets and custom set
  • Shutter speeds from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds plus Bulb
  • Continuous drive at 2.5fps up to 5 frames (usually more!)
  • Five area AF with dynamic tracking, single or continuous servo
  • Three color spaces (two sRGB and Adobe sRGB)
  • 1.8-inch color LCD with 118,000 pixels and white LED backlight
  • Onscreen menu for Playback, Shooting, Custom functions and Setup
  • Review with zoomed-playback & pan, histogram and highlights
  • ISO sensitivity 200 to 1600 plus two ISO Boost settings and Auto
  • Noise Reduction circuitry for long exposure images
  • In-camera finished JPEG in three quality levels and sizes
  • Uncompressed TIFF and raw NEF (compressed and uncompressed) formats
  • 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash with SB-28DX, SB-50DX, SB-80DX
  • NikonView 5 and PhotoShop plugin (supplied) supports raw NEF
  • CompactFlash Type II storage, Microdrive compatible
  • Selectable video output with NTSC or PAL format
  • USB 1.1 data and control interface
  • High capacity EN-EL3 Battery Pack and MH-18 charger

The D100 is available now with an MSRP of $2499 ($1999 street price), along with the optional MB-D100 Multi Function Battery Pack that features voice-memo, vertical shutter release button, command and sub-command dials, AF start button and a 10-pin remote terminal.

Physical Views

Nikon D100 SLR

Nikon D100 SLR

Nikon D100 SLRNikon D100 SLR

Nikon D100 SLR

Nikon D100 SLR

Nikon D100 SLR

Here's the D100, the Coolpix 4500 and the Coolpix 5700

Compare the Nikon D100 and Fujifilm S2 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro SLR

Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro SLR

Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro SLR

Go to
Page Two

Nikon D100 Specifications

Type of Camera Lens-interchangeable digital SLR camera Nikon D100
Effective Pixels 6.1 million
CCD 23.7 x 15.6mm RGB CCD; 6.31 million total pixels
Image Size Large (3,008 x 2,000)
Medium (2,240 x 1,488)
Small (1,504 x 1,000)
Sensitivity ISO equivalency 200 -1600 in 1/3 steps (can be boosted to higher ISO equivalency)
System: Exif 2.2 file (uncompressed TIFF or compressed JPEG);
uncompressed RAW (12-bit) or compressed RAW (12-bit lossless compression)

Media: CompactFlash (CF) Card (Type I/II) and 512MB/1GB IBM Microdrive

Number of frames per 96MB CF card (Image size: L)

Shooting Modes
Single frame shooting (S) mode,
Continuous shooting (C) mode: approx. 3 frames per sec. (up to 6 consecutive shots with JPEG or TIFF format, 4 shots with RAW format),
Self-timer mode: time duration can be set
White Balance
Auto (TTL control using image sensor),
Manual (6 settings with fine tuning),
White Balance Bracketing Captures images at three different white balance settings
Color Modes 3 modes available
Color Adjustment +3 to-3 step for each colour setting
LCD Monitor 1.8-in., 120,000-dot, low-temp. polysilicon TFT LCD with LED backlighting
Playback Function 1 frame; Thumbnail (4 or 9 segments); Magnifying playback; Slide show; Histogram indication; Highlight point display
Delete Function Card format, All frames delete, Selected frames delete
Video Output NTSC or PAL (switchable)
Interface USB 1.1
Viewfinder Optical-type fixed-eyelevel pentaprism;
built-in dioptre adjustment (-2 to +1 m-1);
Eyepoint 24mm (at -1.0 m-1)
Focusing Screen B-type Bright View Clear Matte screen II
Viewfinder Frame Coverage Approx. 95%
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.8x with 50mm lens set to infinity and -1.0 m-1
Viewfinder Information Focus indications, Metering system, AE lock, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure/Exposure compensation indicator, Exposure mode, Flash output level compensation, Exposure compensation, Number of exposures remaining
On-Screen Information Focus brackets, Grid lines, Reference circle for centre-weighted metering area
Autofocus TTL phase detection, Nikon Multi-CAM900 autofocus module with AF-assist illuminator (approx. 0.5m to 3m); Detection range: EV -1 to EV 19 (ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature: 20°C)
Lens Servo
Single Servo AF (S),
Continuous Servo AF (C),
Manual focus (M)
Focus Area One of five focus areas can be selected
AF Area Mode
Single Area AF,
Dynamic AF (Dynamic AF Mode with Closest Subject Priority is available)
Focus Lock Focus is locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button or lightly pressing shutter release button in Single Servo AF (S)
Compatible Lenses AF Nikkor, D-type Manual-Focus Nikkor, AI-P Nikkor; Non-CPU is usable in [M] mode (camera's built-in exposure meter does not work); IX-Nikkors cannot be used.
Picture Angle Approx. 1.5x focal length in 35mm [135] format equivalent
Exposure Metering Exposure Metering
3D Matrix Metering with 10-segment SPD,
Centre-Weighted Metering
(approx. 60% of meter's sensitivity concentrated on the 8mm-dia. circle),
Spot Metering (3mm-dia. circle, approx. 2% of entire frame)
Exposure Metering Range
Matrix Metering: EV 0-21,
Centre-Weighted Metering: EV 0-21,
Spot Metering: EV 3-21 (at normal temperature, ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens)
Exposure Modes
[P] Auto-Multi Program (Flexible Program possible),
[S] Shutter-Priority Auto,
[A] Aperture-Priority Auto,
[M] Manual
Shutter speed/aperture adjustable in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps; ISO Automatic Control Mode (Custom setting) is available in any exposure mode (P, S, A, M)
Exposure Compensation Exposure can be compensated in ±5 EV range in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
Auto Exposure Lock Detected exposure value locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
Auto Exposure Bracketing Two or three shots, ± 2 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps
Shutter Speeds 30 to 1/4,000 sec. and Bulb
Sync Contact X-contact only; flash synchronisation up to 1/180 sec.
Flash Control
1) D-TTL Flash (Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash controlled by five-segment TTL Multi Sensor) with built-in Speedlight and external Speedlight such as SB-80DX / 28DX / 50DX, three modes available, Sensitivity range: ISO 200 - 1600 equivalent.

2) Non-TTL Auto Flash with an external Speedlight

Flash Sync Mode
Front-Curtain Sync (normal sync),
Red-Eye Reduction,
Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync,
Slow Sync,
Rear-Curtain Sync
Built-in Speedlight Manual pop-up type; Guide number (ISO 200/ISO 100, m): 17/12 (D-TTL auto) or 18/12.7 (manual full output); Flash coverage: 20mm or longer lens; Recycling time: approx. 3 sec.; Sensitivity range: ISO 200 - 1600 equivalent
Ready-light Red LED indicator inside the viewfinder
Accessory Shoe Standard ISO-type hot-shoe contact; safety lock provided
Sync Terminal Available in optional sync terminal adaptor AS-15
Self-timer Electronically controlled; timer duration: 2, 5, 10 (default), 20 sec.
Depth-of-field Preview Button Stop-down lens aperture by pressing depth-of-field preview button (Electronically controlled type)
Voice Memo Available in optional Multi-Function Battery Pack MB-D100
Letter Input Multi selector enables inputting of alphanumeric characters (max. 36)
Release Terminal Available on the shutter release button
Remote Control 10-pin remote terminal available in optional Multi-Function Battery Pack MB-D100
Battery Life Approx. 1,600 shots can be taken with a fully charged EN-EL3
*As measured with an AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G lens at room temperature (20¡C) under standard Nikon test conditions: M image size, BASIC image quality, continuous shooting mode; continuous-servo autofocus; shutter speed 1 / 250 sec.; shutter-release pressed halfway for three seconds and focus cycled from infinity to minimum range three times with each shot; after six shots, monitor turned on for five seconds and then turned off; cycle repeated once exposure meters have turned off.
Power Requirements Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3 (7.4V DC), AC Adaptor EH-5 (100-240V AC), Multi-Function Battery Pack MB-D100 [six 1.5V LR6 (AA-size alkaline) or AA-size lithium batteries or one or two Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3]
Tripod Socket 1/4 (ISO1222)
Custom Settings Can be selected on LCD monitor, 26 settings (28 settings with the MB-D100 attached);
(W x H x D)
Approx. 5.7 x 4.6 x 3.2 in.
144 x 116 x 80.5mm
Weight (without battery) Approx. 24.7oz. / 700g
Supplied Accessories* Strap, Body cap, Eyepiece cap, LCD monitor cover, Video cable, USB cable, Rechargeable Li-ion battery EN-EL3, Quick Charger MH-18, Nikon View 5 CD-ROM
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area.
Optional Accessories Multi-Function Battery Pack MB-D100, Li-ion Battery Pack EN-EL3, Multi Charger MH-19, AC Adaptor EH-5, CompactFlashTM Cards, Speedlight SB-80DX/SB-50DX, "Nikon Capture 3" Software
Nikon View 5 System Requirements

Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.

Return To Steve's
Reviews Menu

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.