How to record videos on Nikon D3100 – Easy Guide

One of the queries by beginners mostly is “ how to record videos on Nikon d3100 “.Beginners find it challenging to operate with the controls on a DSLR camera because of the unfamiliar interface. Because the user interface of a DSLR is relatively new, using it with buttons and controls might be tricky.

Here is an easy-to-understand guide for the video recording of the Nikon D3100. You can start recording videos by following this method. Furthermore, you must also know how to charge your camera without a charger


  • Turn ON the camera.
  • Put the camera in “ Auto “ or “ Manual(M) “ settings by rotating the dial on top.
how to record longer videos on nikon d3100
  • Turn the live view mode ON by sliding the slider with the red dot button.
Where is the ISO button on Nikon d3100
  • Press the Video recording button(red dot button) to start recording.

How to adjust the video shooting settings on a Nikon DSLR?

Once you’ve adjusted a few basic settings on your Nikon HDSLR camera, shooting video is simple.

  • Set your camera to PROGRAM and let it control the exposure.
  • Choose the quality/frames per second under the MOVIE SETTINGS. The majority of the videos are taken in 1920×1080/30p. This is a Full HD video with 30 frames per second recording.
  • Choose 24p for 24 frames per second if you want your movie to seem more cinematic or filmic. The resolution of HD is 1280×720 pixels. The greater the file, the higher the image quality.
  • Set your D-movie camera’s ISO to AUTO to allow it to adjust the ISO as needed.
  • Choose a focus mode. You may wish to choose a different Focus Mode depending on the topic you’re shooting. AF-S will be adequate for most video filming. AF-S is best for non-moving images, whereas AF-F is best for moving subjects. The second option is MF, or Manual Focus, which you might want to explore as you get more expertise with your HD-SLR and shooting video.
  • Toggle the AF Area Mode on or off. Face Priority, which focuses the camera on faces; Wide, Normal, and Subject Tracking, which is fantastic for moving subjects, are the options. For the most part, normal should suffice.
  • Activate Live View.
  • You’re filming a video now that you’ve pressed the Record button.

Nikon D3100 Video Specifications

These are the video specifications of the Nikon D3100 DSLR camera:

  • Full HD recording at 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) at 24 frames per second
  • HD recording in 720p (1,280 x 720) @ 30 / 25 / 24 frames per second
  • SD recording at 640 × 424 pixels at 24 frames per second
  • The compression is MPEG-4 / H.264 AVC.
  • Container for MOVs
  • During recording, full-time live autofocus is available, including tracking and facial identification, albeit actuation noise levels vary depending on the lens used.
  • Auto and manual focus with a single servo are also options.
  • The size and position of the AF point may be adjusted manually.
  • Exposure is limited to what is programmed (that is, no true aperture priority or shutter priority)
  • Both before and during recording, exposure compensation, and lock are accessible. The picture control system offers a variety of creative choices.
  • Built-in microphone for monaural audio recording.
  • If the lens allows it, image stabilization can be used during video capture.

Nikon D3100 Recording Formats and Video Resolutions

Just knowing how to record videos on Nikon d3100 is not enough to have a grip over video shooting, the formats and resolutions for better results should also be known.

The Nikon D3100 captures video in a variety of resolutions and frame rates, compressing it with H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC and saving it as an a.MOV file. A frame rate of 23.976 frames per second is available at all resolutions, with alternative frame rates of 29.97 or 25 frames per second available exclusively at the 1,280 x 720-pixel frame rate. The sample rate of the audio track during movie recording is not specified, however, video players report monaural 16-bit PCM audio at 24 kHz regardless of visual quality or frame rate.

The specifications for various video recording choices are listed in the table below.

Menu DesignationResolutionFrame RateCard Capacity(very approximate)
1080 / 241,920 x 1,080(16:9 aspect ratio)23.976 fps~2.3-2.5 MB/second(~14 minutes on 2GB card)
720 / 301,280 x 720(16:9 aspect ratio)29.97 fps~1.3-1.5 MB/second(~24 minutes on 2GB card)
720 / 251,280 x 720(16:9 aspect ratio)25 fps~1.3-1.5 MB/second(~24 minutes on 2GB card)
720 / 241,280 x 720(16:9 aspect ratio)23.976 fps~1.0-1.2 MB/second(~30 minutes on 2GB card)
424 / 24640 x 424(3:2 aspect ratio)23.976 fps~0.5-0.6 MB/second(~60 minutes on 2GB card)

As previously stated, the Nikon D3100 only supports one video recording format: H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC, which is far more efficient in terms of memory card capacity than the older Motion JPEG standard utilized by several rivals but requires a more powerful, current computer for viewing and editing.

When shooting video with the Nikon D3100, you may choose between three frame rates: roughly 24, 25, or 30 frames per second, but only when utilizing the 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) resolution setting.

Movies are always recorded at around 24 frames per second in 1080p (Full HD, or 1,920 x 1,080 pixel) and non-standard 640 x 424 pixel video formats. Nikon advises using at least a Class 6 SD memory card due to the high data rates at Full HD quality, according to the instructions.

Nikon D3100 Video Focusing Mode

The Nikon D3100’s movie mode is notable for providing live focusing while shooting video, a first for Nikon’s DSLR family. For still photos, the majority of DSLRs employ phase-detect autofocus.

Phase-detect AF is quick, but it needs light to be focused onto a separate AF sensor through the reflex mirror, which isn’t always possible while capturing video.

Contrast-detect AF is an option, in which the camera examines the image to determine its sharpness, makes a little focus adjustment, and then double-checks the sharpness. As a result, focus happens in tiny stages, making it slower than phase-detect systems.

Contrast-detect AF, on the other hand, may be tuned to be virtually as quick as phase-detect AF, as Nikon has done with the D3100. It’s not as fast as a phase-detect system, but it’s rather speedy for contrast-detect techniques, and certainly fast enough for most consumer video applications.

Nikon D3100 Video Exposure Control

While the Nikon D3100 allows you to shoot movies straight from any of its still-image exposure modes, such as aperture-priority, shutter-priority, and full manual, the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings for video recording are always handled automatically.

While the buttons imply complete PASM (programmed, aperture-priority, shutter-priority, and full manual exposure) exposure control for movies, none of the modes allows you to manipulate depth of focus directly.

For the understanding of how to record videos on Nikon D3100, it is better to be aware of this as well. Although the stiff detent on this will cause very noticeable handling noise if the audio recording is enabled, the change in brightness between exposure compensation steps will be clearly visible in the recorded video. You can adjust the overall exposure both before and during exposure by holding down the D3100’s top panel Exposure Compensation button and turning the Command dial on the back panel.

Holding down the AE-L / AF-L button (or repeatedly pressing the button if AE lock (hold) is set in the Setup menu) to lock exposure during video recording is maybe more beneficial.

The Nikon D3100 has access to its Picture Freedom technology for movie recording, which gives you some creative control. This permits camera settings for sharpness, contrast, brightness, saturation, and hue to be altered, either automatically via presets or manually by fine-tuning the presets.

The D3100 also has movie recording capabilities, while exposure settings from the scene modes do not appear to relate to movie capture, only AF variables do (as mentioned previously).

Nikon D3100 Audio Recording for Video

The Nikon D3100, like many other entry-level SLR/SLD cameras with video recording capabilities, can only record audio with its inbuilt monaural microphone. The D3100’s audio recording capabilities isn’t specified by Nikon, although video players claim monaural 16-bit PCM audio at 24 kHz. Although we don’t currently evaluate frequency response or sensitivity, audio recorded with the camera’s internal mic seems to be rather clear. In calm circumstances, we did hear some audible hiss in audio files captured with the in-camera mic. Fortunately, we didn’t notice any audible “breathing” from the auto-gain mechanism as sound levels increased or decreased.

The Nikon D3100 does not feature a manual audio volume control option, as previously stated. This isn’t a major flaw with the D3100, as manual level control is a capability present on just a few digital SLRs, and they are far more expensive than the D3100.

To get around this constraint, many amateur videographers simply record a separate soundtrack on a second, inexpensive digital audio recorder, which they then synchronize with the audio from the camera in their editing program.

With little effort, software synchronization of audio tracks achieves practically flawless alignment of the video and externally recorded video.

Nikon D3100 movie-mode Image Stabilization

The availability, usefulness, and influence on the audio track of Nikon’s image stabilization technology are all determined by the lens you’re using. The IS on the kit lens seems to operate well and had minimal effect on the audio.

Even with the camera very stable, we could hear it as a background hiss in calm portions, so you’ll definitely want to turn it off while filming in quiet circumstances.

Does Nikon D3100 have video mode?

YES. The Nikon D3100 makes it simple to capture movies since you may start filming at any moment, independent of the mode dial setting: To use the D3100 in live view mode, just flip the Live View switch and then hit the Movie Record button, which is conveniently situated in the middle of the Live View switch.

Is Nikon D3100 good for video recording?

For individuals who wish to get into photography, the Nikon D3100 is an entry-level DSLR with plenty of capabilities and functionality. The D3100 is a wonderful camera to consider because of its superb 14.2 MP DX CMOS sensor, which is capable of great image quality, full HD video recording capabilities, and a solid focusing system.

How long can you record video on Nikon D3100?

The Nikon D3100, D5100, and D7100 DSLRs may use the web tool to record films longer than the 29-minute restriction, which is a great upgrade for filmmakers. Nikon cameras are rarely capable of filming for more than 29 minutes for a variety of reasons.

Can Nikon D3100 use external mic?

Because the Nikon D3100 is an older model, it does not enable the use of an external microphone. It is entirely reliant on the internal microphone system. To utilize an external camera, you’ll need to update your camera.

How do I transfer photos from my Nikon D3100 to my iPhone?

Using Apple’s Lightning-to-USB adaptor is the simplest way to transfer photographs from your camera to your iPhone. Simply attach your camera to this particular gadget with a USB cord. Then, connect this adaptor to your iPhone’s Lightning connector. Your iPhone’s Photos app will then open.


The most irritating query for beginners “ how to record videos on Nikon d3100 “ can be easily solved. Put your camera in auto or manual mode, slide the slider on top of the recording button and then press the recording button. Your Nikon D3100 will start recording videos now.


Does Nikon d3100 have manual mode?

Select a higher ISO level by pressing down on the Multi-selector, then OK to save the adjustment. Depress the shutter button halfway to activate the camera meter, then point the camera towards your target.

What is a mode on Nikon D3100?

The Aperture Priority (A) setting is quite beneficial for managing the depth of field in your photographs. It is, nevertheless, crucial in establishing the boundaries of available light in which you may photograph. The maximum apertures of various lenses vary.

Is there an app for Nikon D3100?

The Nikon D90, D3100, D5000, or D5100 are compatible with the blueSLR for Nikon Essential DSLR SPP, which works with an Android or BlackBerry mobile.

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