Nikon D100 Review

The introduction of the EOS-D30 by Canon marked the beginning of a new market subsegment for digital cameras, and Nikon has now moved into that space with the D100. It falls between the high-end prosumer digital cameras that cost $1,000 and the professional digital single-lens reflex cameras.

At this year’s PMA, no fewer than four new digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) at price points between $2,000 and $3,000 were introduced. It’s hard to believe that a digital single-lens reflex camera with six megapixels can now be purchased for less than $2,000, but it’s true.

Since the first publication of this article as a preview, Canon, Fujifilm, and Nikon have all made their pricing announcements, the whole equipment for the Canon EOS-D60 costs $2,199. In contrast, the entire kit for the Fujifilm S2 Pro costs $2,399, and the complete gear for the Nikon D100 costs $1,999.

The D100 has a sensor with a resolution of six megabytes, a body that is primarily inspired by the F80 (although Nikon is quick to point out that it only shares some of its components with that camera), a Nikon F mount, and a collection of features that combine to make it an extremely appealing and capable proposition.

Nikon D100 Major Features:

  • This list, which was made available by Nikon Europe
  • 6.1 effective megapixels producing 3,008 x 2,000-pixel pictures
  • It is also rather portable, weighing only about 700 grams (24.7 ounces) in total.
  • Low-noise CCD sensor
  • 3D Digital Matrix Image Fine-tune the exposure control for best color accuracy, as well as the auto-white balance and adaptive settings.
  • Built-in Speedlight with D-TTL control for its high level of performance
  • There are three color settings available to accommodate various workflow contexts.
  • Autofocus on five different areas, including dynamic AF operation
  • High-speed image processing is made possible by a brand-new LSI system on a single chip
  • The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 of a second, while the maximum flash sync speed is 1/180 of a second.
  • USB 1.1 interface with plug-and-play capability for speedy PC connection
  • Grid lines can be shown on demand in the viewfinder of the camera.
  • The LCD monitor allows for the selection of user-defined settings.
  • Compatibility with the CompactFlash card format
  • cards of types I and II, as well as 512 MB and 1 GB versions of the IBM MicroDrive

The included Nikon View 5.1 software simplifies transferring and viewing photos on your computer. It also provides fundamental RAW file processing and conversion capabilities.

Capture three software from Nikon is optional but provides superb picture management and remote operation.

For a more extended shooting capacity, the optional Multi-Function Battery Pack MB-D100 may take either one or two Li-Ion batteries or six 1.5V LR6 (AA-size alkaline) batteries. These batteries come in AA size. Includes a capability for recording and playing back voice memos, a vertical shutter release button, Command, Sub Command Dials, an autofocus start button, and a 10-pin remote terminal.


Anyone familiar with the F80 (N80) or who has used it will recognize the D100 immediately due to its strikingly similar look. It would appear that the F80 inspired a significant portion of the camera’s design and layout.

The camera’s height is the most noticeable difference between the two models. Whereas the F80 ends right below the lens mount, the D100 has roughly an additional 20 millimeters (0.8 inches) of body. In addition, the D100 features all the hallmarks of a contemporary Nikon SLR, including a good, clean design and a wealth of controls for various functions.

Nikon is capable of producing modern SLR cameras that nevertheless have the allure of having complete manual control over the camera’s settings.

The D100 is a camera that feels “just right” in your hand; the hand grip size is virtually ideal, and an excellent sticky rubber covering covers it. The overall distribution of weight is exceptionally well done, the camera has a light yet sturdy feel, and it is pretty simple to operate with only one hand.

Purchase the optional battery pack and portrait grip. You will be able to take vertical photos and get access to more battery power, a remote jack, a speaker, and a microphone for recording your voice. Compared to the EOS-D60, I found that the D100 had a more satisfying overall feel.

We now see the two cameras that, for at least some prospective purchasers, will compete against one another. On the left is Nikon’s six-megapixel D100 camera, which has a contemporary look but maintains a “manual appeal.”

On the right is Canon’s six-megapixel D60 camera, which features a tried-and-true design but falls short of the D100 in terms of its tactile control feel. The D100 is just 9 millimeters (0.4 inches) taller than the D60, even though you would believe there is a more significant difference between the two. The higher location of the Nikon lens mount may make the D100 appear taller than it is.


Audit of the Records

You have the option of configuring the D100 such that it shows you a preview of the image as soon as the photo is taken. This can be a standard image view, an image view with a histogram, an image view with highlights, or an image view that combines the two.

There is no difference between these picture views and the playback view (except for combined histogram and highlights). The image will continue to display on the LCD monitor until the monitor off’ period has passed (custom function 6) or until you half-press the shutter release button.


When you press the display button (), the most recent image that was taken will be shown. Similarly, as with the D1x and D1H, you may examine up to seven different “pages” of visual information by pressing the four-way controller to the left or right (including exposure details, histogram, etc.).

To navigate between the photographs, use the up or down button on the 4-way controller (this is remarkably quick, although it would have been nice if the command dial also performed the same function). You may safeguard photographs by pressing the protect button () or unprotect them by pressing the button again.

ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels

The ability to enhance the sensitivity of the sensor of a digital camera to allow for quicker shutter speeds and better performance in low light is referred to as the ISO equivalent setting.

This is accomplished with a digital camera by “turning up the volume” on the CCD’s signal amplifiers. However, this action has a cost, as it amplifies any noise that may be present and frequently alters the color saturation.

The D100 has a wide range of customizable sensitivities, ranging from ISO 200 up to ISO 1600 in 1/3-stop increments. In addition to this, it offers the HI-1 and HI-2 sensitivities, which correspond to an ISO setting of 3200 and 6400, respectively.

Nikon D100 Specifications

Body materialHigh-impact plastic/rubber (metal sub-structure)
PriceUS – $1,999 (Body only, no lens) [check /order]
UK – £2,099 (Body only, no lens) [check /order]
SensorCCD, 23.7 x 15.6 mm
Sensor total pixels3110 x 2030 (6.31 megapixels)
Sensor effective pixels3026 x 2018 (6.11 megapixel)
Final image size3008 x 2000 (RAW images are recorded as 3034 x 2024)
Sensor CFAPrimary (GRGB)
Pixel pitch7.8 µm x 7.8 µm
Analog to digital converter12-bit
Optical filterIR cut & Optical LPF (uses LiNB)
Sensitivity • Auto (200 – 1600) – enabled via custom func.
 • ISO 200
 • ISO 250
 • ISO 320
 • ISO 400
 • ISO 500
 • ISO 640
 • ISO 800
 • ISO 1000
 • ISO 1250
 • ISO 1600
 • HI-1 (~ISO 3200)
 • HI-2 (~ISO 6400)
Image sizes • 3008 x 2000 (L)
 • 2240 x 1488 (M)
 • 1504 x 1000 (S)
Image formats • JPEG (EXIF 2.2) – Fine, Normal, Basic
 • Uncompressed RAW (12-bit per pixel)
 • Compressed RAW (12-bit per pixel)
Recorded pixels • JPEG/TIFF – 3008 x 2000
 • RAW – 3034 x 2024
Color mode • I (sRGB)
 • II (Adobe RGB)
 • III (sRGB – stronger greens & blues for colourful landscapes)
Lens mountNikon F mount (with AF coupling & AF contacts)
Lens compatibility • D-type/G-type AF Nikkor: All functions possible
 • D-type Manual-Focus Nikkor: All functions except autofocus possible
 • AF Nikkor other than D-type/G-type: All functions possible except 3D Matrix Metering
 • AI-P Nikkor: All functions except 3D Matrix Metering and
autofocus possible
 • Non-CPU: Usable in [M] mode (camera’s built-in exposure meter does not work)
Electronic Rangefinder usable with a lens with a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster; IX-Nikkors cannot be used.
Field of view crop1.5x (also known as focal length multiplier)
AutofocusTTL phase detection, Nikon Multi-CAM900 autofocus module; Detection range: EV -1 to EV 19 (ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature: 20°C/68°F)
AF Area mode • Single Area AF
 • Dynamic AF (Closest Subject Priority is available)
AF IlluminatorLamp, range 0.5 – 3 m (1.6 – 9.8 ft).
Focus areaOne of five areas can be selected
Lens servo • Single Servo AF (S)
 • Continuous Servo AF (C)
 • Manual focus (M)
Focus lockFocus is locked by pressing the AE-L/AF-L button or lightly pressing the shutter release button in (S) AF
Metering • 3D Matrix Metering with 10-segment SPD
 • Center-Weighted Average
 • Spot
Metering range • Matrix: 0 – 21 EV
 • Center-Weighted Average: 0 – 21 EV
 • Spot: 3 – 21 EV
(Normal temperature with F1.4 lens)
Exposure mode • [P] Auto-Multi Program (Flexible Program possible)
 • [S] Shutter-Priority Auto
 • [A] Aperture-Priority Auto
 • [M] Manual; shutter speed/aperture adjustable in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
ISO Automatic Control Mode (Custom setting) is available in any exposure mode (P, S, A, M)
Exposure compensation+/-5 EV in 0.3 or 0.5 EV steps
AE LockDetected exposure value locked by pressing the AE-L/AF-L button
AE Bracketing • Number of shots: two or three
 • Compensation steps: 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 step
Shutter type • Electronic controlled vertical slide FP shutter
 • Speed: approx. 6.3 m/s (equiv. to 24 mm)
 • Curtain direction: bottom to top
 • Number of blades: 4 blades each (front & rear)
 • Blade material: aluminum
 • Blade color: Front: Grey (50% +/-5%), Rear: Black
Shutter speedBulb, 30 sec – 1/4000 sec (1/3 EV steps)
Depth-of-field previewButton, stops-down lens aperture
X-Sync shutter speedUp to 1/180 sec
Shooting modes • Single frame (S)
 • Continuous shooting (C)
 • Self-timer mode
Continuous mode • 3008 x 2000 RAW, three fps, max ~3 frames
 • 3008 x 2000 TIFF, three fps, max ~5 frames
 • 3008 x 2000 JPEG Fine, three fps, max ~6 frames
~ = approximately
Self-timer • 2 sec
 • 5 sec
 • 10 sec (default)
 • 20 sec
White balance • Auto
 • Incandescent *
 • Fluorescent *
 • Sunlight *
 • Flash *
 • Cloudy *
 • Shade *
 • Preset
* Can be fine-tuned +/-3 levels
White balance bracketingYes
Sync contactX-contact only
Flash control • D-TTL (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
 • 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, GN: 11/36 (ISO 100, m/ft.)
 • Sensitivity range: ISO 200 – 1600 equivalent
 • Sync flash system with external Speedlight: Not available
 • Ready light indicator inside the viewfinder
ViewfinderOptical-type fixed-eye level pentaprism; built-in diopter adjustment (-2 to +1 m-1)
Viewfinder eyepoint24 mm (at -1.0 m-1)
Viewfinder frame coverageApprox 95%
Viewfinder magnificationApprox. 0.8x with 50mm lens set to infinity and -1.0 m-1
Viewfinder informationFocus indicator, Metering mode, AE Lock, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure indicator, Exposure compensation, Flash output level compensation, frame count, etc.
Focusing screenB-type Bright View Clear Matte screen II
Focusing screen information • Focus frame
 • Gridlines
 • Center-weighted metering area
Shooting memory banks • A
 • B
Image sharpening • Auto
 • Normal
 • Low
 • High
 • None
Tone compensation • Auto
 • Normal
 • Less contrast
 • More contrast
 • Custom
Hue adjustment • -3 to +3 in 1 increment
Settings memory banksTwo: A & B
StorageCompactFlash Type I/II
Microdrive compatibleYes
LCD monitor1.8″ 118,000 pixel TFT (100% frame coverage)
Compliance • DCF
 • ExifPrint (EXIF 2.2)
Playback functions • Single image
 • 4 or 9 thumbnails
 • Magnified playback
 • Slide show
 • Histogram indication
 • Highlight point display
Custom func. memory banks • A
 • B
Custom functions• 24 functions
Image commentIt can be input and automatically attached to the image
Video outputNTSC or PAL selectable
ConnectivityUSB 1.1
Voice memoOnly with an optional multi-function battery pack
Remote controlOnly with an optional multi-function battery pack
Power • Lithium-Ion battery pack EN-EL3 (7.4V, 1400 mAh)
 • AC Adapter EH-5
 • Multi-function battery pack MB-D100
Dimensions144 x 116 x 81 mm (5.7 x 4.6 x 3.2 in)
Weight (no battery)700 g (1.5 lb) – approx.
Included SoftwareNikon View 5
Optional accessoriesMulti Function Battery Pack MB-D100, Li-ion Battery Pack EN-EL3, Charger, MH-18/19, AC Adapter EH-5, CompactFlash™ Cards, Speedlight SB-80DX/SB-28DX/SB-50DX, Semi-Soft Case CF-D100, Nikon Capture 3
MB-D100 Battery packAdditional function: Sound record/play, 10pin terminal
Operating buttons: Shutter Release button, Lock-lever, Main command dial, Sub-command dial, AE/AF-L button & Focus area selection button, Sound record/playback button, Battery chamber cover, Attachment wheel
Display: Sound record/playback display LED


Nikon launched the current D-SLR revolution. Yes, digital SLRs existed before the D1, but that specific camera was a breakthrough. It eliminated pricing restrictions and clarified that conventional camera makers were committed to making their digital SLRs. Without dependent on Kodak’s digital back, Nikon’s designers created a severe camera with superb image quality, a small(er), a more durable body, and a price that completely altered the D-SLR market.

Since then, Nikon has improved upon the D1 design with the D1x and D1H, but at the same time, Canon believed it could do better and launched the EOS-D30 at the end of 2000, driving prices further lower and perched precariously close to the lucrative “prosumer” end of the market. In addition, d-SLRs were becoming widely available.

Thus, we have not one, not two, not three, but four new high-resolution digital SLRs in 2002, the first three of which are currently reaching end consumers’ hands. The most remarkable thing is that six-megapixel digital SLR cameras are available for under or equal to US $2,000. Pretty amazing when you realize that as recently as August 2000, Kodak was selling six-megapixel D-SLR cameras for $16,000.

Knowing where the market was going this year, Nikon had to add a resolution increase in its D100 answer to Canon’s EOS-D30 (six megapixels). Once again, Nikon’s designers deserve much praise for creating such a beautifully crafted camera. The D100 feels professional enough to be used on the most critical days and compact and light enough to be taken out on the most informal outing, thanks to superb ergonomics, balancing, and control arrangement. However, you re getting a camera that costs $2000 in build and finishes quality.

Performance is also excellent; menus and playback seem quick, and you never wait for the camera. Power-up times are rapid, so the camera will always be ready for your shoot. The continuous shooting performance is adequate, albeit not quite as excellent as the double buffer of the EOS-D60 (but this is picking at straws).

The feature set of the D100 is also perfect; including a customizable color space indicates that Nikon takes the D100 very seriously. Despite its price point, practically any user can use this camera. Nearly all camera features may be controlled via custom functions, including setting a self-timer for 2, 5, 10, or 20 seconds, turning on mirror anti-shock, turning on or off noise reduction, adjusting the EV step level, and even adjusting how long the meter display is shown. The photographer will find much to shoot here.

Nikon D100 Price


How old is the Nikon D100?

Since it was first made available to the public in February 2002, the Nikon D100 is now more than 21 years old.

How many megapixels is the Nikon D100?

A camera with an APS-C (DX) configuration and 6.1 megapixels can be found in the Nikon D100.

Is Nikon D100 a DSLR?

The Nikon D100 is a type of camera known as a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex).

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