I own a Nikon D3100 and I need a way to see the live view of my camera on my laptop screen.

There must definitely be a way (I am not just aware of it). I have searched all around the web sites... I could not get a solution.

The Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 does not support D3100, and "Camera Control 5.1" connects and shoots remotely from a laptop but does not show live-view nor shoot in RAW.

There is a way of connecting my camera to a TV or monitor directly via an HDMI cable and getting the live view, but I want it displayed to my laptop screen.

  • 8
    "There must definitely be a way (I'm just not aware of it)" Why must there be? If the hardware doesn't allow it, there won't be a way to get near-real-time video over USB. There are, however, video dongles you can get for your laptop that will allow you to use the HDMI output. It will mean using two applications (a viewer plus tethering capture).
    – user2719
    Mar 25, 2013 at 14:32
  • What, exactly, do you want to be able to do while the camera is connected to the laptop? Using the HDMI output during Live View will display what the camera sees, but will also disable the ability to capture images or video with the camera itself. See page 42 of your owner's manual.
    – Michael C
    Mar 29, 2013 at 15:14
  • absolutely , all i want it to do is display. Apr 8, 2013 at 4:05
  • If you are seeking HDMI support in a laptop. I know my Samsung Series 5 has an HDMI port, but to be honest, I've only used it for output and I'm not sure if it will accept input from the D3100. I don't have a mini HDMI to HDMI cable to test if it will work. The Series 5 is priced midrange for a laptop, only running about $600. Hope that helps some.
    – user25121
    Jan 5, 2014 at 4:19

8 Answers 8


Most tethering softwares that list support for Nikon cameras do not include the D3xxx series. Most of the Dx, Dxx, and some of the D7xxx and D5xxx bodies are at least partially supported. The D3100's firmware or hardware may limit this capability.

If all you want to do is view the output of your camera without controlling it, you just need to connect it to a device that accepts an HDMI input. The easiest and most economical solution would be a display only device such as a portable HDMI monitor. Most laptops do not accept HDMI inputs due to copyright constraints on the licensing of the HDMI technology. Alienware once made a couple of models, the M17X and M18X, that would do this, but they were very expensive. Dell, who bought Alienware, still lists the M17X and M18X with HDMI-in capability. They're still very expensive. There may be other models that also do this. Be aware that according to page 42 of your D3100's user manual:

When the camera is attached to an HDMI video device, the camera monitor will turn off and the video device will display the view through the lens as shown at right. Movies can not be recorded and photographs can not be taken in live view while the camera is connected to an HDMI-CEC device

If you are willing to drop down to standard video quality using the TV out port on your camera, a USB video capture device will allow you to display photos from your D3100 on any laptop with a USB port, but you would not be able to view the live view output this way, only captured images or video.

  • I am aware that nikon d3100 ans some more series are not supported in most tethering software. that's why i am looking for some which do. Mar 26, 2013 at 4:31
  • 1
    If the hardware (the D3100) doesn't support it, then none of the tethering softwares will be able to.
    – Michael C
    Mar 26, 2013 at 13:02
  • Some months ago I published a list of functions controllable over USB with gPhoto2 available at: docs.google.com/spreadsheet/…
    – Ryccardo
    Mar 26, 2013 at 16:57
  • 1
    If you don't care about camera control, you may have better luck with asking "How do I view HDMI input on my laptop" on superuser.com
    – mattdm
    Mar 28, 2013 at 11:24
  • 4
    @pradeepsekar: viewing the HDMI output on a screen isn't exactly tethering, which involves controlling the camera from the remote device as well. If all you want to do is view the output, then just get a laptop that accepts HDMI input and displays it on the screen. They are a niche product due to HDCP rules. Alienware once made such a model, but it is very expensive. A portable battery powered monitor would be more economically feasible.
    – Michael C
    Mar 28, 2013 at 14:22

You could try digiCamControl. One of its advanced features is Live View via computer display. However, the D3100 may not support that feature.

The Nikon SDK allows you to capture Live View images as JPGs. So a program could be written to loop, capture and display those JPGS. Someone has written a C# wrapper for the SDK which gives an example of this (see the bottom of this page - Nikon SDK C# Wrapper FAQ )

  • 2
    I am a developer of camera remote control / live view tethering software, and I can confirm that D3100 does NOT support live view tethering. Jan 5, 2014 at 12:44

If you only need standard definition output, cheap capture cards can be readily had for under $50 including a double RCA cable and a jack to RCA converter.

An HDMI-based solution will be obviously more expensive, but they're almost equally available on the market.


D3100 cannot support the feature that you want to implement, but the new Nikon D3200 has change the image of the D3xxx series. with the help of WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter, you can connect it to the DSLR, to automatically send your images to your Smart phone and even use your smartphone to remotely capture images from D3200 and D5200. I'm not sure if it has a live you feature can can be viewed to the smartphone.


i used Digicam Control on my Nikon D3200 and it works ! by the way, it works for Nikon D3100 too. You can see supported camera for Digicam Control here


I use my d3100 with a HDMI monitor to record videos and take pictures all the time. Not sure about what the user manual says about it, but works well for me (tip: live view turns off after 30 seconds but this can be changed in camera menu). Live view with USB is not possible with D3100, as far as I have been able to research. Other than that, Digicam Control allows you to control the camera, but could be more user friendly. Digicam is FREE. I like to use Digicam Control for timelaspe, and it can be used for HDR, neither of which D3100 has built in.


Almost everything that I've seen don't support the 3xxx series, but these two claim to... You can give these a shot, they seem to be quite techy and not extremely user friendly. I've never used either one, so proceed at your ow risk! ;-)




diyphotobits does support the 3100 but it gives you a view of the image after it's been captured. I haven't tried it with the live view switch yet but, it's a easy to use program.

  • 1
    Perhaps you could try it and include the results of your test in your answer?
    – Michael C
    Apr 19, 2013 at 11:50
  • i have already used the diyphotobits and its not what i was looking for :) thanks anyway mike Apr 22, 2013 at 8:30

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