We’ve written previously here at Variety about the growing importance of
digital SLR cameras
to Hollywood. Indie
filmmakers use them to shoot on a budget and bigger budget content producers use 'em to help cut costs (like “Saturday Night Live,” which shoots its opening credits with a
Nikon d3100  

Now Nikon is adding some new features to better compete with
Canon, which has had the lead among film makers for a while.

The camera-maker has announced its first DSLR with 1080p
video. What makes this more than just catch-up, though, is the camera’s ability
to constantly autofocus during video recording. Even better, it’s cheap!

The D3100 will sell for roughly $700, a very competitive
price in the DSLR market. Nikon says the camera can autofocus on and track up
to 35 faces at a time, thanks to its new Expeed2 image processor.

For still pictures, the camera is capable of shooting up to
14.2 megapixels, using a CMOS sensor. It shoots three frames per second (since
it’s entry level) and will come with an 18-55mm kit lens. (For more tech specs, check out the official announcement.) 

It’ll hit stores toward the middle of September. 

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