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The Sell: A DSLR at an entry-level price.
The Test: It isn’t quite as nice as Nikon’s popular D7000 (a pro-grade shooter with a more versatile lens and a tougher body), but at $600 less the 14.2-mp D3100 is plenty of camera for most. Like all Nikons, it has unparalleled autofocus and color fidelity, plus 1080p HD video capabilities. DSLR newbie? The D3100 has an easy-to-use guide mode, translating stuff like aperture and F-stops into language that even the most inexperienced can understand.