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Nikon D100

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18 51960 Dec 11, 2009
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94% of reviewers $1,637.85
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Sensor: 6.1 Effective megapixel CCD
Max resolution: 3,008 x 2,000 pixels
Lens conversion factor: 1.5x
ISO 2001600
Flash synch: 1/180 sec.
Storage media: CompactFlash Type I and II
USB interface
Optional battery pack


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Registered: May 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 222
Review Date: Dec 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,695.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great focus time with all my lens. Very balanced camera. Now have a D-80 but still shoot the D-100 most of the time. Camera is now over six years old and has never 'missed a beat'.
None noted.

Dec 11, 2009
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Registered: Nov 27, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 61
Review Date: May 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Love it Period. Has a Pro feel to it and if you take the time to study it you'll get fab results.
LCD to small for my eyes, and I got humidity inside once when out by boat for a few hrs

I've had it since December 2005 and after going through the manual extensively I was able to get all good shots pretty much anywhere inside or out. Manual WB is great, AF very fast with all my lens. I noticed somebody complaining about the buffer speed, well it's 20mbs in Raw and with an extreme III card I get 4 continuos shots shooting Raw and it takes but a couple seconds and ready again. I found that pretty fast when shooting hockey. I'm not going to go on cause I wouldn't have any room to give all it's qualities. My only problem was the LCD being to small for my eyes. Gotta carry my reading glasses. I will eventually get a D200 mainly because of the 2.5" LCD. If it wasn't for that I'd get a second D100.

May 7, 2007
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Registered: Sep 5, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 35
Review Date: Jan 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Awsome camera, love it, 4 years and its still running. Works great with my lenses, solid built.
Compressed RAW buffer, just a tad bit old. Rubber on camera going bad, probably from my use.

Awesome camera, got it since early 2003, I think, and I've bin through it through hot, cold, freezing cold, and only thing I can complain about is maybe I didn't take good care of it, and the rubber on the camera stretched, something I see the newer cameras improved on.
Love this camera, almost 20,000 shots, works great with all my lenses, extremly fast AF on my 70-200, great color, control, outdated on RAW processing speed, but I'm writing this because this camera is great, like severeal things more than a D70, I'd say what they are if I wasn't too sleepy to think.
Well its been replaced, I don't doubt the new cameras surpass this one so maybe I'll get a cahcne 2 put my hand on one, but until then, D100=great camera.

Jan 6, 2007
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Registered: Jan 22, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 1, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Long Battery Life Light Weight It can use Nikon Glass
-Soft Focus, Back Focus, Inability to focus -WB is crap shoot at best, inability to do Tungsten lighting in Auto WB -Noise at higher ISO -200 ISO is the lowest speed available

I know I'm going to get it for attacking this sacred cow. First the good... battery life exceptional. I would routinly get 1000 shots per charge (if you don't use the built in flash too much). The camera is very light weight and ergonomically one of the easiest to hold and operate that I've yet seen. Canon could learn a bit here. OK that about covers it. Image quality is not bad if you don't rely on the auto WB. I can't quite explain it but just about everything shot outside would end up with a blue cast. Inside was a complete waste of time because auto WB would only start working at 4000K... pretty much useless under tungsten conditions. Even when using the the incandecent lighting selection on the manual WB it would still be too warm. The saving grace here is the "pre" position with which you could set your white balance by shooting a grey card and I must admit when using this method WB was smack on every time, but it is extremly cumbersome especially shooting outside where colour temp can change constantly. The WB issues I could even live with but what I found more fustrating than anything was the miserable, intolerable, and abismal CAM 900 focusing unit. What an unadulterated piece of garbage. If you got a truely sharp image out of this thing then either it was a fluke or the camera focused incorrectly. This one short fall jaded me against Nikon cameras for all time. The Fuji S2, Nikon D70 (not the D70s) use the same focusing unit and none of these cameras that I've tried have been any better than the original D100. Don't get me wrong I absolutly love the Nikon glass and am of the opinion that Nikon DX digital only glass is much better than Canons EF-S digital only glass, but it is sad that they had attach such fine lenses to a lump as usless as the D100. I finally gave up on Nikon as a result of this camera. Sure the D2X was available but I wasn't going to take a chance that the $5500 camera could focus no better than the $1800 one. Sadly the D200, which seems to have most of my complaints fixed, arrived too late. I ran off with that sweet little unit with the great big white lenses and haven't looked back. I do miss that 10.5 fisheye sometimes though. sniff.

Jun 1, 2006
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Registered: Jul 22, 2004
Location: Argentina
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Robusta, muy buena calidad de imagen cuando le pegas con el WB, la tengo desde el 2002 mas de 100.000 disparos, sin ningun service.
wb., un poco ruidosa en 1600 iso

Excelente camara, la tengo desde el 2002 y realmente he gatillado a morir, a veces en condiciones dificiles, con golpes y todo, y siempre respondio, hay que usarla mucho para realmente conocerla y sacarle lo mejor de si, la recomiendo altamente, mucho mas ahora que su precio esta rebajado.

Oct 16, 2005
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Registered: Jan 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 56
Review Date: Jul 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great image quality. Great saturation, contrast and color tone. Fast focus. Great flash photography (Just like a Nikon). User-friendly controls. Great ergonomics.
A slight trend towards underexposure, maybe 1/3 stop. But I'd rather be slightly under, than slightly over, as it's easier to lighten a photo than it is to darken one. Expose for the highlights, and let the shadows fall as they may.

After comparing the Nikon D70 to the Canon 20D and being absolutely blown away by the image quality, I compared the D70 to the D100. I prefer the larger feel of the D100, and the ability to use a vertical grip. I sold all of my Canon lenses and cameras to get this camera, and I don't regret it. I like the bright, contrasty, informative viewfinder, as well as the ability to use a screw-in shutter release, which also let's me use a soft-shutter button.

Start-up time is instant, rather than the Canon DSLR's that I've shot which take anywhere from 2-5 seconds to 30 seconds. Menu controls are easy to use and easy to read in bright sunlight. Even direct sunlight isn't a problem. I also appreciate the inclusion of a protective LCD cover, something Canon still hasn't gotten the right mind to put in.

Focus is quick and accurate. I've never had a problem with back focusing, or front focusing. Exposure is always dead on, or tending towards a slight underexposure of about a half stop. But with the trend of digital photography, the old style of 'Cram as much light in as possible' doesn't work as well. It's easier to add that little bit of extra light then it is to darken the over-exposed highlights.

And of course, you have the ability to use Nikkor lenses, the sharpest glass made.

Jul 15, 2005
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Registered: Nov 19, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Review Date: Nov 21, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: High build quality, great image sensor, nice use of dials for controlling functions, long battery life.
Small buffer size, somewhat sluggish autofocus, horrible automatic white balance, limited dynamic range.

Out of my seven Nikon cameras - digital and film - this is my favorite. The layout of the controls and quality of construction make this camera a joy to use. I'm not sure what more I can say about this camera other than I have never regretted it's purchase.

Nov 21, 2004
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Registered: Oct 15, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 4814
Review Date: Oct 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Nice ergonomics. Transition from film to digital easy with this camera. Excellent quality using RAW files.
Software is poor at best. JPEG images could be a nightmare. Use low or no sharpening for best results. Slow buffer.

The D100 has been accused of underexposing. No difference with other exposure meters so the problem is the software that was designed to prevent overexposure. Learn to expose and no more "underexposure."
External flash tend to underexpose also which I fix with + 1 exposure compensation indoors.
I recommend cloudy - 3 for JPEG images at low resolution. For critical work I use RAW and Capture 4.0.1. Auto WB does a decent job but shoot RAW and forget about all this.
If something I do really love about this camera is the fact that with a little conversion I am using Nikkor lenses on it which are over 20 years old. I also love having a real spot meter.
Noise reduction, mirror lock-up and control of noise at high IS0s work well. Although 3 FPS slow for many it is more than enough for me.
A great camera that I highly recommend.

Oct 25, 2004
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Ivo Heshusius
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Registered: Dec 24, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 656
Review Date: Dec 26, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great picture quality (especially in NEF), low noise, easy learning curve, Nikon lay-out, light weight
Flimsy CF-card door, small burst-mode buffer, USB 1.0 instead of Firewire

It's just a dream come true: great picture quality, Nikon-built, lay out is very similar to other Nikon camera's...... it's just like shooting with my old F90X on Velvia! The main difference is that you can easily correct (in NEF-format), review and post-proces your pics at home to make them exactly the way you want them to be ... and bring them to your favourite printshop for some excellent copies!

Dec 26, 2003
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Registered: Aug 19, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Dec 2, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great color accuracy. Partial mirror lockup. Shoots like my Nikon N80.
Slight underexposure. Needs firewire, but a cardreader will suffice. No image preview on the LCD for composition.

I was reluctant to move to digital. I had been shooting Velvia abd Provia 100F on my Nikon N80 and getting 20 megapixel scans on my Nikon 4000, so I would cringe at the thought of losing the resolution. Then one day I took my family up shooting at the Mt Baker ski area. I had just finished a roll and as we were driving down the mountain we took a turn to see a beautiful view of Mt Shuksan. My wife asked if I was stopping, but I did not want to load a new roll just for the one shot. That did it. It's better to have less resolution with the shot than no shot at all.

After having the D100 for two weeks I am very impressed. The camera shoots slightly underexposed (for defined reasons - see elsewhere), but I normally shoot RAW, so can deal with this easily enough. It shoots like my N80, with controls easily accessible. I shoot with white balance set to cloudy -1 and have had great color accuracy. I recently shot my neighbor's three year old's birthday party, indoors under fluorescent lights, in jpeg, with great results. A minor levels adjustment cleaned up the images beautifully with no curves required for color shifts. The flash does quite well as a fill flash.

Overall, I am quite happy with my D100. No, I am thrilled. I have no desire to return to film.

Dec 2, 2003
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Registered: Mar 17, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 5207
Review Date: Sep 14, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,850.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great images when shot RAW (NEF), nice ergonimics, light, excellent battery life, snappy focus, instant on, easy menus, grid lines, powerful pop-up flash, standard threaded shutter release, Nikon F lens mount (with limititations) pretty affordable ($1699 USD)
Small buffer, dark finder, no PC sync, noisy images, NEF raw files are HUGE, 102 shots per 1gb card, compact flash door is too flimsy, maximum flash speed 1/180th of a second, extremely slow saving NEF (compressed) or TIF, auto white balance is a joke, firmware upgrade must be done by nikon, no firewire, to take advantage of NEF raw file features, you'll need $129 for nikon capture 3.5

I use this camera at work, along with a D1x, although they both have their pluses I find the D100 to be a great camera to tote around. It's light, especially with a nikon 50mm 1.8. The first thing I would recommend is NIKON glass. I tried 3 sigma lenses, a tokina lens, and a tamron, finally went with 3 nikon primes, a 50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8, and a 180mm ED-IF 2.8. They all gave me excellent results. Sharp.

As far as disappointments... slow writes when shot NEF compressed, or tif. Otherwise it was adequate enough for concert photos. I do admit I lost many shots due to slow buffer. It's battery gave me 1400 shots on a single charge, compared to the D1x, which battery power is a joke.

Exposures tended to slightly over-expose, shooting above 400 iso was noisy but OK. I shot live bands at iso 1600 and the noise added to the blurring of the images... I thought it was great.

My gripes to nikon: larger buffer, adjustible white balance (kelvin level), PC sync, smaller NEF files, user-upgradeble firmware, full nikon F mount compatibility, free copy of nikon capture, better noise reduction, firewire connectivity.

My advice to nikon users going digital: Get a very fast compact flash card, you'll need it, stick to nikon lenses, shoot raw (NEF) uncompressed, get a firewire card reader.

Sep 14, 2003
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Review Date: May 13, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,995.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Quick start-up, excellent metering, excellent auto-focus, compressed RAW image option, wide latitude, great battery, auto mirror lock, auto ISO, built-in flash with exposure control, mechanical cable release socket.
Small buffer, excessive image noise, cannot tolerate overexposure.

I managed to find one of the first D100s when they were released last June and have not upgraded my firmware or anything else. I just haven't had the time to do without it for two weeks!
My photography is almost entirely of static landscapes so I can't comment on how well this camera does with action subjects except to say that one would not want to use the compressed RAW image feature for sports. Otherswise, I am very pleased with compressed RAW images as they offer lossless compression resulting in well over 200 pictures from a 1GB microdrive compared to 107 pictures with uncompressed files.
A D100 feature I really like is the brief, auto mirror lockup which reduces camera vibration at slow shutter speeds. I just leave this on all the time, something else a sports photographer wouldn't want to do.
I can't see how anybody can complain about the D100 meter as it seems to be flawless in the matrix mode. I've always used spot metering in the past, and the D100 has an extremely fine spot meter, but by moving the metering point around to prevent overexposure I am quite pleased with the matrix operation. IMHO, the D100 meter is way ahead of the F-100 meter, at least in this regard.
Exposure-wise, the D100 has a wide latitude but it's all on the underexposure side of Zone 5. This is one camera with which you want to expose for the highlights to make sure they aren't blown out, letting the shadows fall where they may. That said, I've never used any film with so much apparent shadow detail, so the underexposed details are not a problem.
I've always felt that "pro" cameras without a built-in flash were elitist, because it can be so useful for fill. At a -2 EV setting the D100 flash excels at filling in foreground shadow details; it is simply undetectable except for the reduction in contrast it provides.
I honestly haven't tried the TIFF or JPEG file options of the D100 because RAW files are so obvioulsy superior. I use Adobe CameraRaw now, but preferred RAW files even with the Nikon View utility that came with the camera. With CameraRaw, it's so sweet to make all the Photoshop adjustment before opening Photoshop, resulting in images that are clean and crisp requiring little, if any, further correction or enhancement.
Another feature I like is the auto-ISO because it can save pictures that would otherwise be lost, by increasing sensitivity to maintain shutter speed, albeit at the expense of higher noise levels. But this is one feature you never want ON when taking panoramas as it may change the ISO across the width of an outdoor subject, changing sky exposures in the process. Ouch, but a lesson well learned the first time!
On the down side, I find the image noise excessive, especially in low light and with high ISO settings. However, a program called Neat Image can do wonders with noisy image files so, in the end, the noise is rarely a problem.
Okay, it might be nice to have a larger buffer when in compressed image mode, or a less noisy sensor at high ISOs, but I have cheerfully abandonded film since getting my D100, with no regrets. As digital technology progresses and prices continue to fall I'm sure I'll upgrade eventually, but I feel that I'm already beyond anything film has ever offered and wholeheartedly recommend the D100 to anybody interested.

May 13, 2003
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Registered: Apr 24, 2003
Location: Belgium
Posts: 5
Review Date: Apr 24, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,100.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: F-mount, Batt life, custom curves, low light cond., good AF, ergonomic, properly build, quality, getting afforrdable
no perfect Jpeg software, little soft in detail when shooting jpeg, some underexp. no sync (only optional via MBD100), no firewire

By all means, I love my D100. I have 4 lenses on it and I can tell, invest in good glass, this camera gives you the best if you mount the best.

I shoot mainly in jpeg for daily stuff, using a custom curve by JTgraphics and most of my exposure is spot on now (flash to). I review all my shots with histogram so I can see how I'm doing.

Still have to learn to stop down sometimes when bright light hits the subject, DSLR tends to be more unforgiven than film.

I have printed out 8x12" photo's and also by photolab, results are great, colors are fine and neutral, some post processing is needed but I love the results I get with this D100.

What I would improve :

- firmware upgrade possible by user.
- exposure correction in new firmware
- jpeg engine could be little better (detail - sharpness)
- sync terminal not optional
- CAM 1300 AF
- shutterspeed 1/8000
- buffer up to above 10 (better 15) images at high write speed
- +4 fs/sec
- High flash sync (up to 1/4000)

But maybe I'm talking about a D200, who knows ;-)


Apr 24, 2003
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Registered: Dec 11, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 6359
Review Date: Apr 14, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,999.95 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Image quality and lack of defalut in-camera corrections: Battery life: Intuitive menus and controls:
Small, dark viewfinder: Lack of ISO-100: Lack of fast flash sync:

My problems with this camera all stem from the fact that I came from the F series of Nikons. The D-100 was never touted as a professional camera, and it is not. The negatives I listed above are a factor to at least some extent in all of the "Prosumer" DSLRs. If you buy any of these cameras, you should not expect a pro level camera.

Having said that, I must say that I really like the D-100. I use it with studio strobes to take pictures of small, intricate machines, and my customers have been very happy with the results in litho print and in photo print. Several posters above have made mention of noise, but coming from the film world, I have had no problems with noise, even when blowing these studio shots up to 12x18.


I have also used it extensively for architectural, and landscape photography where it has also performed quite well. There have been complaints about chronic under-exposure with this camera, and I have found that, as with my film cameras, proper exposure, especially in difficult situations, takes some getting used to. The camera does have its quirks, and one of them seems to be that Nikon doesn't ever want to blow out highlights. Just remember that exposures on a digital camera should be thought of as like those on transparency film as opposed to negative film. If you blow out the highlights, you can't get them back. I use the histogram feature on the review screen extensively, and rarely have exposure problems.


I think that the D-100 performs superbly in low light. Most low light work I do is concerts, or other low light "people pictures". I routinely use ISO 1600 (like the photo in the link below), or higher and achieve good results. Again, the low light auto-focus is very good, but not as good as in the pro series of Nikons, but I tend to use manual focus in these situations quite a bit. Low light photography is where I would really like a pro viewfinder.


I do not do a lot of sports or action photography, but I have done some with the D-100. I have been pretty happy with the results (see the link below), but I am not completely happy with the ability of the camera to follow a moving object in "continuous auto-focus" mode. It is not that this mode does not work, it does. It is just that I know that the pro series of bodies work so much better. If you are an action photographer and want to get the highest yield of keepers, spend the extra money and get a pro body. If not, you can get superb results with the D-100.


I would say that the aspect of this camera, which really took some getting used to, was using the TTL flash. I have an SB-80-DX, which is a excellent unit, with plenty of power. My first efforts with TTL flash with the D-100/SB-80 unit were less than perfect. Again, as I began to use the histogram function, and began to anticipate issues in the scene I was facing, which might fool the TTL metering, I began to achieve better results, and now I am quite happy with the combination.


One thing I would say to someone who was thinking of the purchase of any DSLR, but the D-100 in particular, is that it seems that you get much better results with good lenses. On my film cameras, I could notice the difference in color and sharpness between lenses, but on the digital body, the difference is startling. Start out with the best glass and avoid the disappointments. You will be poorer, but more happy in the end.

In conclusion, I would say that a potential buyer should realize that the D-100, or any other DSLR is not a point and shoot camera. Hopefully you are buying a camera like this because you are sick of the difficulties of achieving control over your photography with a point and shoot. There are probably "prosumer" DSLRs, which come closer to giving point-and-shoot results than the D-100, but if you are looking for a photographic tool at a "prosumer" price, I think you will not be disappointed with the D-100. However, if you need a workhorse pro camera, and need to rely on it as your main tool to produce income, you might want to look at a pro body.

Apr 14, 2003
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Registered: Jan 19, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Apr 8, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,995.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: It's a Nikon! Good construction, 6 megapixels, easy access to most control features.
Sluggish autofocus, a buffer that should have been at least twice as large, no external synch connection, have to buy the battery holder/recorder if you want a 10 pin terminal.

I've really enjoyed this camera a lot in the five months I've owned it. I knew when I bought it I wouldn't be able to work with it in the same way as my F5's, in fact, using it reminds me more of the old days when I used to shoot with a Contax RTS. With the D100, I find myself manually focusing most of the time, and really thinking through when I want to depress the shutter since I have only three or four quick shots at best before it's going to need a buffer break. All that whining aside, the D100 takes great pictures....and that my friends is what a camera is supposed to do.

Really, really petty complaint department: $2000 camera and they can't throw in a hot shoe cover? I suppose no one at Nikon has ever spent an hour at the end of the day cleaning bird poop out of their hot shoe with a toothbrush.

Apr 8, 2003
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Registered: Aug 17, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 161
Review Date: Apr 7, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,995.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Ease of use. Great quality...resolution, color, low noise. Easy learning curve. Excellent battery life. Fast recording on CF cards.
Low light auto focus can be problematic but has not been a big problem.

I am very pleased with this camera. I have been using film cameras for 30 years. I have been studying and comparing digital cameras for over a year before deciding the D100 was the best combination of price and quality. I agree the D100 is probably not quite as rugged and well sealed as the D1x, but unless you are really that rough on a camera, the price difference is not worthwhile. I have been very pleased with the build quality. I do not share the complaints I have seen from others regarding high noise and lack of sharpness. All digital cameras have noise and all digital captures require post processing including sharpening. The noise from this camera is easily controlled with the Fred Miranda noise reduction action for the D100. I shoot everything in RAW format. RAW adjusts and sharpens beautifully in Photoshop using Adobe Camera Raw to read the NEF file. I have completely abandoned film for digital. I traded all my film based 35mm and medium format gear to purchase this camera. Highly recommended.

Apr 7, 2003
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Nikon D100

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
18 51960 Dec 11, 2009
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $1,637.85
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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