New button/lever on the Nikon D3100

There seems to be a new button/lever on the Nikon D3100 picture from "Foto Digital" - maybe for direct video recording? On previous Nikon models you had to switch first to Live View and then start video recording.

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  • Juan Pablo Vasquez

    Look’s like the power switch of a Canon

    • Marc W.

      Either a power switch or the “Video / Still” switch.

      • QZTRONIC

        Not a power switch, because the old kind powerswitch is still there.


      Did anyone noticed a curved-cut on the lower left side of the body (lower right side in the image) What is that? hahaha, just DOF preview?, or something else!!

      • It’s not a cutout, it’s actually a slight ridge. It’s there on a D3000, too, and seems to serve no external purpose.

        • f/2.8

          The ridge allows for better grip by the left hand fingers.

          • Foto Toe

            Seems that once again Thom Hogan didn’t note his sources in his blog. Once again Thom Hogan writes an article as if the information from Foto Digital magically appeared to him in a vision where no one else deserves credit. The reason Thom is here is to data-mine for personal profit.

            Thom’s website should be changed to “”

            • El Aura

              There are other websites than NikonRumors that have eye-witness reports of the Foto Digital article, eg:

            • El Aura

              BTW, that linked forum post was Friday 3 PM CET or in other words 9 AM US East Coast time. The first comment on the NikonRumors articles was 45 minutes later.

            • Anonymous

              Thom always “gets the news” after NikonRumors, this is a fact

            • Joel C

              So stop reading his blog…

            • Erik

              I think Thom has his own sources, but never reveals the information before it has been revealed elsewhere in order to protect his own sources.

            • Anonymous

              you guys are funny

            • Let’s be better than this an not turn this into another blog that is just a big pissing contest.

              ALL Nikon forums are so starved for real product news that of course they are going to report on anything new as soon as they can. I’d rather read intelligent discussions about Nikon gear, not pointless snipes about “who saw it first.”

              I agree with Joel C, if his blog bothers you so much, don’t read it or comment about it. Do you realize by posting this that you just sent a bunch of people to Thom’s site out of curiosity?

            • Foto Toe seems to think that the only source of any Nikon news is Nikon Rumors. Foto Toe might be surprised to find that I send Peter tips for Nikon Rumors from time to time myself. I ask him not to tag me as a source, as the only things I feed him are coming from internal contacts. I do this so that Peter has additional sources to ferret out the likely from the unlikely in his reporting.

              El Aura’s suggestion is correct. I saw the Foto Digital mention elsewhere prior to seeing it on Nikon rumors (full disclosure: I only saw some text from the article in an email sent to me prior to seeing the images on Nikon rumors). Foto Toe might better direct his complaints to places like Gizmodo and Engadget that often verbatim copy Nikon Rumors, right down to the graphics. I’ll bet that they didn’t see the information anywhere else before Nikon Rumors printed it ;~).

              Phillip’s suggestion that a lot of people go to my site because of mentions here is way off target. I get four times the site referrals from m4/3 Rumors than I do from Nikon Rumors, and neither even manage to rise above .1% of my site hits.

  • The invisible man

    It may be the button you have to press to take a picture, nowadays many camecorders like the D3100 are able to take pictures.

    • Anonymous


    • Lolly


    • hahahah :thumb:

    • Nicola

      You made my day

    • It’s not a button, it appears to be the knob of a lever. Note that the D3100 has video and live view, but the D3000 design doesn’t have any controls for these. Thus, Nikon would either have to add more buttons on the back and change the body molds and wiring/manufacturing sequence or they could find a clever way to add a control without changing many (if any) body parts and assembly instructions. It appears that they chose to alter the top plate slightly to accommodate the extra control. That actually makes more sense to me than the way they did it on the D90, D300s, et. al. On a small camera that’s highly likely to be handheld, putting another button below the equator for major functions means moving the hand out of shooting position to invoke.

      • Thom, what about the rumor that D90+ will use same sensor as this 14MP running at DPR? It could be that Nikon will be splitting sensor for DX line, one for the lower cameras and one for the top (Dx00 line), this one being Nikon designed and made to order. The lower bodies would getthe Sony APS-C sensors, mass produced and adapted by Nikon. It makes sense to make refresh at bottom faster (2years) and at the top the usual 4-year cycle.

        • zzddrr

          rhlpetrus – Nikon has no other choice but to use the sony 14MP sensor at this level. I think pentax uses the same as well. The D90s will be 16MP and again we will see a sony sensor under the hood.

          I think the FF line will switch to 24MP since sony does not have a lower resolution FF sensor. Also, sony is about to release the second generation of the same sensor. Again, same improvements such as better iso and video capabilities will be there as we can see with the 14MP DX in the D3100.

          Now the only question is when? 🙂

          • Nikkorian

            I hope the FF line will stay with 12 Mpx! Or at least, they should give a choice, like a D700s with the D3s sensor, and a D700x with the D3x sensor.

            • The invisible man

              @ Nikkorian
              That’s an excellent idea.

            • Tabitha Green

              I really don’t see why they’d stay at 12mpx, since the current 12mpx cams are about as good as it gets at that level. Release higher-MPx, definitely. Also they really won’t be able to keep up with the competition by stagnating. Higher mpx cameras is inevitable, good for business, and definitely what most people want (one day there’ll be a 24mpx cam with d3s high-iso levels, i know it :D)

          • PHB

            Nikon does not use Sony sensors. They use the Sony fab and they use standard cells that are produced by Sony. But every sensor is at least semi-custom.

            The customizations mean that Nikon is not using Sony masks to make the chips. And that means they can make the sensor at any resolution they choose. Sony really does not mind, I assure you.

            14MP and 16MP sounds a little bit odd to me. Bringing out a 16MP after 14MP might make sense, but two so close in resolution at the same time?

            • zzddrr

              PHB – you have a valid point but I am afraid the customization is much less than we think. I think to optimize the costs the sensor itself will almost be the same at this level. The real different comes with the data processing.

              I know it sounds a bit odd but I think 14 and 16MP what we will see in the DX line.

            • Discontinued

              “… but two so close in resolution at the same time?”

              LOL, OMG, this will be the death of me. I’ll explode laughing … Jesus, must be the best one I’ve ever read on NR, a good one indeed. I wish I had written it.

              Let me see, Nikon has 12MP, 12MP and a 12MP and then another 12 MP and two more 12 MP all the way up from D5000 to D3s.

              “… two so close in resolution at the same time?” Hahaha, this is really really good. Oh, PHB you made my day. I like starting it like this – laughing.

            • > Every [Nikon] sensor is at least semi-custom.

              Difficult to say for sure. There have been a few clear differences:

              D40, D50, D70, D70s: electronic shutter
              D200: different access
              D300, D300s: different access, 14-bit
              D3x: toppings, 14-bit

              But Sony has stopped publishing APS/FX sensor specs lately, so it’s getting more difficult to tell whether there’s a real difference in the sensors Nikon uses or whether Nikon is just using a buried feature.

            • zzddrr

              Thom – that is exactly what I am talking about that it is possible that sony and nikon developed the sensor together with unique features that each can use but they will basically be the same sensor. It makes sense when it comes to optimizing the cost.

              I firmly believe that the difference is much less than we think and the real differentiation happens outside of the sensor with the data processing.

      • lolcatmaster FTW

        Tom I respect you a lot but I will tell you what it is with an explanation:

        Wifes over the world have no control now of their horny husbands who buy cheap DSLRs to take photos of MM models semi naked (in exchange these models ask for all Raws unedited and full copyrights to them) since most of them do it hush-hush and spend more time with models than with their wives Nikon developed the GWC wife alert mode (or GWAM!) when the lever is turned to the right it is actually locked (wife has the key) and when the sensor detects:

        Waist, boobs, derriere, curves or tacky tattoos it alerts the wife via a text message sent by a little wi-fi module in the camera :).

        With this wives can go and kick their husbands ass with an efficiency raise of 78% compared to older methods of catching his husband being a GWC!.

        GWAM! is in its early stages but soon it will form part of the I-TTL and CLS technology too (whenever the camera detects super blonde dye it will underexpose the shot 6 stops below the proper exposure).

    • Anonymous

      ouch, lol

  • Kevin

    Thats a big button…

  • If it makes things easy sounds good to me 😀

  • That looks like a lockable mode dial to me – or at least a lever that can be used in conjunction with the mode dial?

    • SZRimaging

      Agreed. Reminds me of the one on my D200.

      • Nicola

        Chances are it’s a lock for the mode dial….like the lock for the iso dial on the olympus om-1

        • WoutK89

          +1 I agree on the lock like on the higher end models of Nikon to prevent the dial from being turned accidentally (happened to me plenty times on my D80…)

          • M!

            in that case, you need a lock button for every dail.

            • WoutK89

              there is only 1 on my D80, so I dont know why I need more than 1? 😛

            • Discontinued

              “… a lock button for every dail.”

              The F4 used to have it. Playing the piano was a big advantage for using the F4. Unfortunately I learned drums but still managed somehow.

        • Anon

          That would be a great feature. The mode dial on my D40 always gets knocked into the wrong position when i stuff it into the bag. I just taped it in place, I never use it anyway. Looks ugly, but it works.

        • Doesn’t seem like a lock to me. Plus the D3000 Mode dial is already quite stiff, it’s not likely to be dislodged by accident. Moreover, Nikon’s usual “lock” strategy is to have an interlock button, not a lever (e.g. press the button and turn the dial).

    • f/2.8

      +1 on it being the lock button for the Mode Dial.

      Or, it is a raised tab that serves as the index mark for the Mode Dial.

    • On balance, I don’t think it’s a lock. Like Thom says above, it’s most likely part of a lever – many other cameras have similar controls.

      Best guess is that it’s going to be an extra control for video, but we’ll know for sure pretty soon. I think having a video switch here makes a lot more sense than adding a button on the back – one up for Nikon ergonomics 🙂

  • Ant

    Not sure, could be.

    It seems that the lens mount has moved to the left a little though. Either that or the whole body is a little smaller.

    • reD

      Whole body is smaller than the D5000

    • astrorami

      indeed it does look smaller, and then lens mount is shifted more to the right (front view) of the body.

  • disco

    it’s the ken rockwell button

    • Bob

      Nikon’s version of Canon’s Direct Print button.

    • Vandyu

      So, if it’s the Ken Rockwell button and you press it, does it automatically debit your checking account to help support his family? Also, can you change the designation? Say to support my family instead??

      • Kevin

        nah, it’ll just play a video of his lecture on how the 18-55 is the best lens ever

      • Nikkorian

        Pressing the button will convert the camera back to D40, so KR can recommend it again!

        • James


  • canapé

    it’s a switch, not a button

    • The invisible man

      It’s a buitch

  • Lolly

    It looks too big to be a button … some sort of lever. Maybe it’s got something to do with video and live view … I guess we’ll soon find out.


    It look like Canon’s power switch, So sure, This kind of switch will be used for toggling between some kind of “big-function” back n forth but it’s also not a kind of switch that they think you would play with it every half second.
    Let us think…..What is so important, enough to make a dedicate toggle switch for and most user will not toggle it that often!
    – not a video record button
    – not video AF button
    – …Just a new design LV button?? maybe? ^ ^

  • Anonymous

    Looks like a lever attached to the mode dial, or a button mounted flush to the dial. Got to have something to do with the dial.

  • Lola

    That’s the digital radio, apparently people on blogs like this have been saying how bored they get while taking pictures so Nikon have added a radio to keep them amused.
    I’ve heard a rumour the D4 will have a playstation ?

    • Anonymous

      NO, not a playstation I demand Nikon fit a Wii or else I’m going to Canon.
      When will Nikon start treating us customers right.

  • StickingZoom

    No, this button throws out the lens.

    • xscream

      Actually, where is the knob to release the lens on this model?

      • Manne

        The lens release button is where it always has been – partially hidden behind the AF/M and VR switch panel of the lens. Look again carefully.

  • cirtap

    WHO CARES….Where is my D700X???? or D700SX???? or D700S????
    WHERE IS MY D800
    WHERE IS MY D900



    • Juan Pablo Vasquez

      jhajhahjahjahj SO TRUE!

    • Vandyu

      Older kids need their starter kits.

      • Older kids should buy D70’s off craigslist.

    • Darklight

      Say after me: Naikon give me that camera!

  • Ren Kockwell

    It’s the button to activate Nikon’s new “cleavage detection” feature.

    • Bob

      I wonder if it’s selectable “on the fly” or you have to do menu diving for–A, B, C, D, DD, etc….

    • Joe

      Now THAT is a swell function !


    Puke ?

  • John

    Could it be, dare I say it, a zoom lever? If you have a video-centric body, the other thing people want is power zoom.


    • f/2.8

      So we can whine about when Nikon will release lenses with power zoom?

    • SGN

      Power zoom is nice, but is that possible with existing lenses? Dont think so.

      It looks as if it would rotate with the lower part of the mode dial.

      Simple solution, STILL MODE, VIDEO MODE selector. Then Shutter release can start/stop recording, unlike the OK button as of now.

    • Kevin

      canon’s crop mode?

    • John

      Yes, I know it’s not for power zoom, but isn’t that day coming?
      My miniDV camcorder can take stills and it has power zoom, so why can’t (some day at least) a video-enabled DSLR have a power zoom rocker control for use with a special video-dedicated zoom lens?


      • Lolly

        Yes, that day will come. Probably the hybrids (like Sony NEX) will have it first because these are like compact P&S.

  • IRH

    My guess its the shooting mode selector (the D100 had a fully spinning mode dial and a lower dial combined with it. probably set up like this…

    Top normal dial =
    Auto, M, A, S, P, auto (no flash), usual scene modes, Guide (like d3000).

    Bottom dial / switch =
    Single Shot, Continuous, Timer, Live View, Video

    Cant see it being used for anything else.

    • SGN

      On body switch for Single shot/Continuous would be COOL!
      COOLER would be AF mode selector!

      Wouldn’t hope for THAT much, even D90 didn’t have that much external control.
      Could buy it if it had the AF mode selector.

      Though, in all probability our next buy would be a cheap canon body and the 400/5.6. Tele use apart, D5000 based Nikon system meets all our needs now even tele use is great with 70-300 VR, just not for birds.

    • Manne

      Makes much sense to me. At least a still/video switch.

      I wouldn’t expect a dedicated AF mode switch on an entry level model. But I’m really missing it on my D90.

      Furthermore, the position of the AF button on the D90 is a pain. You really have to be skilled to press the button and turn the dial with one hand. It would already be helpful if one could use the front dial in combination with that button. It would be an issue for a firmware update. But, nope.

    • James

      A shooting mode selector would be an unexpected improvement.


    Great for facebook pics!

  • Ken Rockwell’s Cat


    • WoutK89

      woof woof 😛

  • Esbullbear

    Any chance this is an aperture control during live view?

  • Pablo Cocito

    It also looks rubberized like the higher end models, its not shiny plastic like the others, the light doesnt reflect as much from the grip

    • WoutK89

      didnt all lower end cameras have this stick on “rubber” already?

  • Andrea Leganza

    Simply a level to increase gripping to turn the right wheel imo.

  • It’s the film advance… oh, wait, nevermind.

    • fork()

      A-ha! Now I know how Nikon will surprise the market! @aslightdelay: I think you’ve just solved a mystery… the D3100 will be an APS film camera 😉

      • Nicole

        Cool! I want one. 🙂

    • Alex

      I was thinking the same thing! Haha. No Advantix film though!!!

  • Dirk

    Dear Nikon,

    I am not the first one to say this:
    Please, please also notice that there are many FX users who desperatly wait for an upgrade! I want MP, I want HD and I want it NOW!
    Ok, I hear now again all that voices “D700 ist state-of-the-art” No it´s not! You can build high quality DSLRs with >20MPs AND low noise, you can integrate HD.

    And even with this, as far as I can see now, fine D3100: Make it better in ANY point than D550 etc. Dont´t do things like 1080i, don´t do “avi” or any other codec worse than h.264!

    I am a patient guy, but I don´t want to miss the HD train.
    And I don´t want to sell my FX stuff. Anyway, at least there are some pretty nice adaptors for EF mounts.

    • Anonymous

      Dear Nikon,

      I am not the first one to say this:
      Please, please take no notice of the people who post here, they know little or nothing about photography and just want to show off by saying “my camera has 300mp and 4320p Ultra High Definition Video.”

      I am a patient guy, and will continue to take images with my current gear until I decide to upgrade to the newer technology.

      • Enesunkie

        Do the have a 300 MP camera? I need it to pictures of my cat.

        • Enesunkie

          Oops… Do they…

      • Dirk

        Dear Anonymous,

        there are people who know about photography AND want to have the latest technology AND new features. It is very funny how sometimes “I-don´t-know-what-people” react when others requesting features (which they simply want it or professionally need) other vendors have.
        And it really is amusing to me to hear something like “The elder stuff is completly satisfying, you don´t need much more to take better pics”. I often would have needed higher resolution for cropping issues, just for example.

        Hopefully Nikon is a company that listens to most of it´s customers.

        But the most funny thing is, I know already that YOU did not understand anything I said 🙂 Keep your old stuff and be happy!

      • Broxibear

        You’re wasting your time Anonymous, this place is overflowing with people who can’t live without the highest this, the most that and will complain the day after a new release because it isn’t good enough for their requirements.
        There are people here looking for that perfect camera in the hope that it’ll mean their pictures will be better…what they don’t understand is that it’s not the camera, it’s them that’s not good enough.
        There are so many cameras available from different manufacturers at different prices…If you can’t find one that best suits then it’s your own fault, use your brain and compromise.

        @Dirk “Keep your old stuff and be happy!” that’s an interesting comment Dirk because I get the feeling that posters like you will never be happy with “old stuff” as you put it or the latest new equipment… I hope you find the camera you’re seeking.

    • Alfredo Fernandez

      Better equipment does not make you a better photographer,
      and if you want , switch to canon, we wont miss you

      • Dirk

        ooops.. NR Police Law and Order got me.
        Sure, MPs do not make the picture better but it helps you to deal with it afterwards.
        But I am repeating myself and you cannot judge my demands! A lot of techniques helped millions of users to get easier better results (just to mention noise e.g.)
        I still use my old Nikkormat analogue and I know when to use it and it made some of my most beautiful pictures!
        And sometimes ask I myself why some people are in this forum if they do not care about improvements and always tell that same story about “wont make better pics”. Sure, Ansel Adams did not need anything like this. But as I said, it helps.

        And HD is a beautiful new medium which I would love to explore

        I will definitly not miss comments like “Why do you need something?” “it won´t help you” without knowing any requirements of the user.

        • Broxibear

          “I still use my old Nikkormat analogue and I know when to use it and it made some of my most beautiful pictures!”
          Sorry Dirk but no photographer calls their film camera “analogue”… lie down for a while, make yoursef a hot tea…relax !

          • preston

            I think your “no photographer calls their film camera analogue” statement may be incorrect. At least one does, because he just did. Or are you making a completely blind assumption that he isn’t a “REAL photographer” just because he is using the term ‘analogue’ incorrectly? I’m sorry he doesn’t fit your expectations of how a ‘photographer’ would speak, even though speaking has nothing to do with taking beautiful pictures. Please get down off your high horse and take your own advice – make yourself a hot tea and relax. .

      • Anonymous

        Some will never understand that a bad photographer will take bad photographs irrespective of the camera in their hand.

  • There are subtle changes to the body. The finish is different, more contoured on left-hand side (+ microphone holes), and where are the eye-lets for the neck strap?
    D3000 jpg from nikon site:-

  • Manne

    Finally a better scan. Can your informant provide you with a better scan of the lenses, too? As the magazine doesn’t seem to be delivered regularly until now, that would be quite nice.

  • Al0n

    It is simply the new feature that the Nikon big head was talking about.

    It connects wireless to the Internet with three levels: Facebook – Twitter and normal browsing.


  • JG

    That is the Canon selector. Activate to use Canon lenses, disable autofocus and hamper flash exposure.

    • fork()

      You forgot the automatic noise overlay 😉

  • Pablo Cocito

    also it doesnt look like it has a pop up flash, ahhh i cant wait to see this camera to get all these doubts of my mind, although i amm waiting to replace my D300s maybe to FX this time 😀

    • WoutK89

      to take out pop-up flash, would mean very cheap flash coming + replacement for existing flashes, otherwise I dont see a low end cam without flash

  • maybe it is a TV tunner switch/button.

  • John L

    I don’t know what that button is but I WANT IT. Now I don’t have to think any more about what I’m going to replace my stolen D40 with.

    • bensS

      d40 ? wow the d40 was out of production a long time ago.

      Oh i guess it got stolen only recently ha. What have u been shooting with since then ?

      Wait for the d90 replacement or upgrade 🙂

    • I won’t be happy ’til I have a camera with the bright red button. The GLEAMING, CANDY-LIKE BUTTON!

  • It is a lock button, same as D300, D700 and D3 have one on the left side. This one is to prevent to go from sports to landscape for example.

  • Highlight

    Looks like a lever to wind the film..

  • I think it’s the “miss AF” button for a Canon effect on your pics, so that you wouldn’t envy your neighbor’s photos.

  • IncredibleUlk

    You are all wrong.
    It’s an air valve. For the new lilo airbed Nikon special edition.

  • Mark

    I just want to post my thoughts which come from photo education perspective. I teach photography at a college and my biggest desire (other than a D700 with more MP) is a DSLR that is more affordable to my students.

    I have read complaints about the D3000 from photo nerds but truth be known, the D3000 has had good sells and there 2 basic reasons, it is a good quality camera and more important the price, which on most occasions was lower than the lowest price Canon DSLR.

    This D3100 could be a real boost if the starting price point is competitive.

  • isnt it mini paintball lever?

    • WoutK89

      *say cheese* (clicks the shutter and splatters paint on the person in front of the cam)

      • That’s it! Not paintball, spray cheese! Now we can redefine both “Spray n’ pray” and “Say cheese!” in one fell swoop… this is sheer brilliance on Nikon’s part.

        • and that´s the surprise for the market…

  • Mark

    Oh yeah, this could find some buyers with the right price point and if it can do some quality higher ISO shooting which the early specs suggest. Think of it as a Pentax K-x but Nikon and more refined. The K-x is a nice camera, I got to test drive one.

  • Max

    Looks alot like the drive selector lever on my N75…

  • We’ll find out but my guess is that it selects camera or camcorder function in the camera.

  • joey

    It is an customizable function lever to make changing settings easier/smoother while recording.

    For example it can be assigned to change video quality, +/- exposure, iso adjustment etc…

  • nir.ex

    I KNOW!!!

    It is the self distraction button!!

    • WoutK89

      haha, self distraction, in case you are only checking mature things through your camera, to keep your mind focussed again?

  • SimonC

    AF Servo and AF Continuous switch. Much better than having it on the other side, which required your other hand to toggle.

    • SimonC

      Or, more likely, a toggle between still and video mode.

  • Kingyo

    I think NR needs to start a new completely separate section called NFXR (Nikon FX Rumors) in order to let the kiddies go check out these coolpix/D3100/D90+ rumors and leave the juicy D700s/D700x/D800/D900/D4 rumors to the FX bad boys/girls 😉 least then you won’t have to deal with “who cares! where’s my D700 replacement!!?” in your D3100 comments 😀

    • Denko

      Call the site “Nikids Rumors” for the low end stuff… yeah that’s going to go over well 😉

      • WoutK89

        or are the FX people the kids, that whine about things they cant have/dont have yet?

        • Denko

          How about everybody? Big whiners are in both camps. Just sayin’

    • S

      strongly agree.

  • Hamuga

    Haven’t any of you used a camera before????
    It’s a film advance lever.

    • Eric Pepin

      if that is a film camera that nikon released for the lols i would buy it, period.

  • safeg

    NR admin
    you should up German Magazine scanning image!!

    • WoutK89

      You dont read other threads, he can not, because of copyright issues

      • f/2.8

        You are expecting people to respect other’s copyright?

  • astrorami

    It’s a transformer button. Click it, and it turns into Optimus Jizz!

  • Joe

    It’s either the rubber band release or the stealth X-Ray mode activation button … he he.

  • Huggs

    I’m going out on a limb and call it a “Turbo” button.

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