Nikon D1 vs Nikon D3100

This is a full comparison between the cameras Nikon D1 and Nikon D3100. We compare them by looking at the categories you see below.


These cameras are both manufactured by Nikon.

Nikon D1 were released 1999 and Nikon D3100 was released 2010. That is a 11 years difference. In tech, this period can be of interest since technology is always improving, etc.

Camera Released
Nikon D1 1999
Nikon D3100 2010

Type of camera

Both these cameras are DSLR cameras. No difference there.

Sensors / crop factor

Both these cameras have the same sorts of sensor (called "Nikon DX") which means that if you compare these cameras side by side the lenses will also have the same experienced focal length. Neither of the cameras has a Full frame sensor which means that you will get a "crop factor" where the camera's sensor size affect the focal length with a multiplier.

Camera Focal length, 50mm f/1.8 **
Nikon D1 75 mm
Nikon DX sensor
Crop factor/focal length multiplier by * 1.5
Nikon D3100 75 mm
Nikon DX sensor
Crop factor/focal length multiplier by * 1.5

** Experienced focal length when using a lens such as a common "50mm f/1.8"

Learn more about crop factor and focal length multiplier here:
Camera selection can affect the focal length (Nikon)


Nikon D1 has a 2,7 MP (Megapixels) resolution while Nikon D3100 has 14,2 MP. If we break down this in more detail this is the data behind the numbers:

Camera Megapixels
Nikon D1 2,7 MP
2624000 pixels
2000 x 1312
Nikon D3100 14,2 MP
14155776 pixels
4608 x 3072

Nikon D3100 has a 439 % larger resolution than Nikon D1. This could give you more details in the picture but also a possibility to crop more in the pictures, afterward while editing the pictures, if needed that is.

ISO range

Nikon D3100 has a larger ISO-range than Nikon D1. Nikon D3100 has an ISO range that stretches from 100 to 12800 while Nikon D1 has 200 to 1600.

Camera ISO Range
Nikon D1 200-1600
Nikon D3100 100-12800

Autofocus and lens compatibility

There is a big difference between these two cameras. Nikon D1 has a built-in autofocus motor but Nikon D3100 does not. If you want to be able to use autofocus on Nikon D3100 there is a need for having an autofocus motor inside the lens. We really encourage you to look closely at our lens compatibility charts at the links below.

Here is a complete overview of which lenses work with each camera:
Lens compatibility chart for Nikon D1
Lens compatibility chart for Nikon D3100

Pictures per second

Depending on what you are shooting the FPS, or frames/pictures per second, can definitely be of interest. Nikon D1 can shoot up to 4,5 pictures per seconds and Nikon D3100 can shoot up to 3 pictures per seconds.

Camera FPS (Frames per second)
Nikon D1 4,5
Nikon D3100 3

Ability to record movies

It is becoming more and more popular to record movies with digital cameras.

It is only one of these two cameras that support recording movies and movie clips and that is Nikon D3100. Sadly, the Nikon D1 does not support this.


The weight of the camera can be an extremely important factor, especially if the camera is about to be used, or carried around, for several hours at a time.

Nikon D1 weighs 1200 gr (equal to 2.65 lb) which is 138% heavier than Nikon D3100 and its 505 gr (or 1.11 lb).

Camera Weight
Nikon D1 1200 gr
2.65 lb
Nikon D3100 505 gr
1.11 lb

Nikon D1 vs Nikon D3100 Specs

Below you will find the complete and detailed technical specs for both Nikon D1 and Nikon D3100, next to each other. Each category of data is a link to an article covering the subject, giving you a deeper understanding so you can better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the two camera models.

Nikon D1
Nikon D3100
Name Nikon D1 Nikon D3100
Manufacturer Nikon Nikon
Release Date and Price
Nikon D1
Nikon D3100
Release Year 1999 2010
Release Date 1999-06-15 2010-08-19
MSRP 4999 USD 699 USD
Buy it today
Camera Type
Nikon D1
Nikon D3100
Camera Type DSLR DSLR
Nikon D1
Nikon D3100
Sensor Size APS-C (approx 23.7 x 15.5 mm)
Also known as "DX"
APS-C (approx 23.7 x 15.5 mm)
Also known as "DX"
Sensor Type CCD CMOS
Resolution 2000 x 1312 pixels 4608 x 3072 pixels
Megapixels 2,7 MP 14,2 MP
Image Processor Nikon LSI (Large Scale Integration) EXPEED 2
Nikon D1
Nikon D3100
ISO Range 200 - 1600 100 - 12800
White Balance Presets 6 12
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Image Stabilization CIPA Rating 0 stops 0 stops
Uncompressed format RAW RAW
Optics & Focus
Nikon D1
Nikon D3100
Autofocus Motor Yes No
Autofocus Phase Detect
Multi Area
Selective Single Point
Contract Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi Area
Selective Single Point
Face Detection
Focus Points 5 11
Lens Mount Nikon F

See Compatible Lenses
Nikon F

See Compatible Lenses
Focal Length Multiplier DX / APS-C (1.5x)
1.5x multiplier
24 mm becomes 36 mm
50 mm becomes 75 mm
100 mm becomes 150 mm
200 mm becomes 300 mm
DX / APS-C (1.5x)
1.5x multiplier
24 mm becomes 36 mm
50 mm becomes 75 mm
100 mm becomes 150 mm
200 mm becomes 300 mm
Screen & Viewfinder
Nikon D1
Nikon D3100
Articulated LCD Fixed Fixed
Screen size 2 3
Screen dots 130000 230000
Touch screen No No
Screen type N/A TFT LCD monitor
Live view No Yes
Viewfinder Type Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder Coverage 96% 95%
Viewfinder Magnification 0.8 (0.53 35mm equiv.) 0.8 (0.53 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder Resolution N/A N/A
Photography features
Nikon D1
Nikon D3100
Frames per second 4,5 fps 3 fps
Minimum Shutter Speed 30 seconds 30 seconds
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/16000 seconds 1/4000 seconds
Built-in Flash No Yes
Built-in Flash Range N/A 12 meters
External Flash Yes Yes
Self-Timer Yes Yes
Time-lapse No No
Metering modes Multi
Center Weighted
Center Weighted
Exposure Compensation +/- 5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps) +/- 5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Nikon D1
Nikon D3100
Video recording No Yes
Video format N/A MPEG4
Video resolution N/A 1280 x 720
1920 x 1080
Built-in Microphone No Yes
Built-in Speakers No No
Nikon D1
Nikon D3100
Memory Card Compact Flash
Nikon D1
Nikon D3100
HDMI Output No Yes
Microphone Port No No
Headphone Port No No
Wireless No Yes
Eye-Fi Connected
Remote Control Supported Optional
GPS No Yes
Body & Dimensions
Nikon D1
Nikon D3100
Enviromentally sealed No No
Battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Details Rechargeable EN-4 Ni-MH battery
Lithium-Ion EN-EL14 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) N/A N/A
Width 157 mm 124 mm
Height 153 mm 96 mm
Depth 85 mm 75 mm
Weight 1200 gram 505 gram