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Nikon Coolpix 3100 Digi Camera


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Old 05-08-2013, 23:31
ThePenkethPedan
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Acquired from a charity shop (3-99) a small Nikon Coolpix 3100 digital camera, but no instructions with it.

The battery compartment seems not to close completely, but keeps the batteries in and connected.

No CF card -what`s that, and how much would one cost?

The on/off button has a knurled finger piece, but this springs back when released. The camera remains `on` only for the `set-up` stage -there`s a larger wheel button filled with various symbols, but only the `set-up` setting keeps the green light (`on`) alight. The screen shows a fleeting picture for a fraction of a second, then a series of options. Eventually a messsage shows `No Card`, which of course refers to the CF card.

Any help with this will be most appreciated. For example, is it likely to be worthwhile buying a CF Card, or would it be too much of a gamble? I`m wondering why it was given to the charity shop if it was working OK. (I am able to return it if it proves unusable.)..
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Old 05-08-2013, 23:39
alan1302
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CF card is a compact flash memory card - you can get them for about 15 on Amazon but it will depend on what size card the camera could read.

To be honest unless you are keen on it then it would probably be better buying a cheap compact camera new as it's likely to be better than a 10 year old model that may or may not work.
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Old 06-08-2013, 13:22
evil c
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User manual download from Nikon USA here: https://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8415/~/user's-manual-coolpix-3100---guide-to-digital-photography

I still have my Nikon 2100 from 2003 which was the model before yours. I found the rechargeable AA batteries lose their charge very quickly and now the camera won't hold the charge for newly charged batts for more than 5 minutes. It was a good camera for 10 years ago and the macro mode is excellent, but the screen is tiny and the zoom is a joke.

It's been vastly superseded by modern cameras. I use a Nikon S9100 now. You can buy a 3100 from Cash Converters for 10 or less. Return it and get your money back. If you do keep it you'll need a card similar to this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FUJIFILM-6...-/190881166318
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Old 07-08-2013, 00:16
ThePenkethPedan
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Thanks for the gen,guys, both very helpful.
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Old 08-08-2013, 00:42
barbeler
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I have the same battery problem with a 5100, but find that if I hold the battery in the charger under pressure it will charge up for much longer. I used to clamp it in using the clamp of a mini tripod, but several strong elastic bands also seems to do the trick. Every cheaper, non-Nikon battery I bought for it was totally useless.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:13
evil c
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Interesting. I use AA Tronic Energy 2100 mAh rechargeable batts at present (from Lidl), and the charger slots are spring loaded so they do effectively clamp the batts. I reckon it's just that the camera is knackered. The Li-ion batt with the S9100 is far superior....as is the camera.

I only kept the 2100 for sentimental reasons but I suppose I should throw it away seeing it drains the batts. I haven't used it once since I bought the new one over 12 months ago.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:27
barbeler
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Interesting. I use AA Tronic Energy 2100 mAh rechargeable batts at present (from Lidl), and the charger slots are spring loaded so they do effectively clamp the batts. I reckon it's just that the camera is knackered. The Li-ion batt with the S9100 is far superior....as is the camera.

I only kept the 2100 for sentimental reasons but I suppose I should throw it away seeing it drains the batts. I haven't used it once since I bought the new one over 12 months ago.
I didn't realise you were using those kinds of batteries. My method only works using the Lithium-ion battery and the charger supplied. You seem to need pressure on the sides of the battery, not the ends.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:34
Winston_1
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Return it and get your money back.
What! From a charity shop. Have you no compassion?
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Old 08-08-2013, 23:08
evil c
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What! From a charity shop. Have you no compassion?
I take it you are joking or you didn't read the original OP fully. Last line of OP - ....(I am able to return it if it proves unusable.)..
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Old 08-08-2013, 23:21
alan1302
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I take it you are joking or you didn't read the original OP fully. Last line of OP - ....(I am able to return it if it proves unusable.)..
I'd not return it to a charity shop when it only cost 3.99. I'd have taken it as a gamble and if it didn't pay off then I'd be more than happy to have given the charity 3.99.

Just because you can return it does not mean that you should. IMHO.
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Old 09-08-2013, 23:54
ThePenkethPedan
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My wife bought the item and although at the time I asked if we could return it should it prove unusable, in the event we decided not to bother returning it. Still hope to experiment a bit with it... few things to ascertain though: the battery compartment seems not to close properly and I`m wondering if the Duracell batteries I`ve tried are ever so slightly longer than batteries you have mentioned: what batteries should I be using -are there Nikon batts as one reply seemed to suggest? Next, the little knurled finger section on the on/off button - does this always spring back to face in the same direction as the lens? Is the central button on this device the `take the photo` button? Finally, how much approx is a CF card? Thank you, guys.
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Old 10-08-2013, 00:31
mac2708
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Finally, how much approx is a CF card? Thank you, guys.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_nr_...&rnid=10391961
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:50
evil c
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Didn't you read my post #3? If you download the manual from the Nikon USA link I gave you that explains how the camera works. Likewise I posted a link to a suitable CF card or if you can find one a 32MB card might do or even a 128MB if you want the capacity to take several hundred pics. I think the link to cards from mac2708 exceed the capacity for the 3100. It took me a few minutes searching to find the right card as they're not commonly used any more due to the advance in technology. I've put 2 rechargeable AAs in mine just to check and on the 2MP (Normal) setting it'll take 123 pics on my 64MB card.

I don't know what I've done with the user manual so I can't check maximum CF card size but anyway I don't know if it's the same as yours...just download the manual.

Yes the knurled finger button always springs back and yes the middle button takes the pic. Any AA batts will fit but bear in mind that alkaline ones similar to the Duracell will run down after a few minutes use, and cost you a fortune. Rechargeable batts is the only option. Mine came with 2 Nikon rechargeables and a Nikon charger but they were both rubbish. You'll need a USB lead like this as well: http://compare.ebay.co.uk/like/11113...f13=80&ff14=63

You might find this review from 2003 interesting and instructive: http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...00-review.html
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Old 10-08-2013, 20:14
Kodaz
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Any AA batts will fit but bear in mind that alkaline ones similar to the Duracell will run down after a few minutes use, and cost you a fortune. Rechargeable batts is the only option. Mine came with 2 Nikon rechargeables and a Nikon charger but they were both rubbish.
Yep- this is a common issue with digital cameras. Apparently they're very demanding on batteries and alkalines (which are quite good for most other uses) don't work well under the strain- they go flat long before they've delivered their expected capacity.

Rechargeable NiMH batteries don't have this problem. Nor apparently do single-use Lithium cells, but those are quite expensive.

The problem with most NiMH rechargeables is that they quickly go flat just sitting on the shelf (or in your camera)- usually within weeks. The Sanyo Eneloops supposedly last much longer in this respect, and I'm considering buying some myself.
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Old 11-08-2013, 23:26
ThePenkethPedan
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My apologies to evil c (Clive, at a guess?) and Alan too - I did try the links but couldn`t locate the correct section for the Nikon Coolpix 3100 manual - tried twice. I did reply on this thread yesterday but it`s mysteriously disappeared.

The batteries business is worrying, we do have a Practika digi camera which works well with Duracell batts -they seem to last well enough.

The link provided for the camera review worked well, thank you for that, it was well worthwhile checking it out.

Thanks to all for the advice and suggestions.
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Old 11-08-2013, 23:57
evil c
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The link to the manual on Nikon's page is on the left with the pdf icon, but not to worry, here's a direct link to the download page: http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/.../CP3100man.pdf

It may depend on how much the camera has been used that'll determine how long the batts last, those Sanyo Eneloops sound promising but expensive. I know now that the 3100 is a 3MP camera as well, so if you intend to keep it and the batts don't run down too quickly then a larger CF Type 1 card would be better I guess.

I didn't use the auto (camera with green border icon) mode at all, preferring the manual mode (M in a square icon) and then accessing the Shooting menu and setting up BSS as this takes several pics and chooses the sharpest. Likewise I didn't use the auto brightness but manually selected daylight, tungsten etc.

As I said, the macro mode is excellent, the Scene menu has some useful options and overall I find the colour balance to be almost perfect. It's just the zoom lets it down and the small screen is almost impossible to see in bright sunlight. The viewfinder is an option but only shows about 85% of the scene.

Amazingly the batts I put in yesterday still have power now, perhaps the camera was listening to me!
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:57
Kodaz
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The batteries business is worrying, we do have a Practika digi camera which works well with Duracell batts -they seem to last well enough.
Sorry, I should have made clear that not *all* digital cameras have a major problem with alkalines (or at least, not to the same extent). If yours is okay, that's great- just bear in mind that if you use another camera and the batteries go flat very quickly, this may be the cause.

Those Sanyo Eneloops sound promising but expensive.
The link I gave includes the charger- and apparently they are best used with the Eneloop charger- so that was actually quite cheap. From what I've seen, the batteries aren't that much more than other "name brand" NiMHs. (Which still cost way more than single-use cells, but work out much cheaper in the long run).
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Old 13-08-2013, 23:59
ThePenkethPedan
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Cheers for the last two replies. I`ll have another try for the manual, e.c., and thanks for the other info too. If and when I manage to take any pics with the camera it`ll be down to this forum !
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