Flapping its arms around and hoping to attract mobs of festive buyers in the hugely competitive budget dSLR market is Nikon’s new D3000 camera.
Replacing the D60 – Nikon’s best-selling DLSR – the d3000 follows the same ethos of serving up a user-friendly package designed to guide nervous newbies into the world of dSLR photography, with a new ‘guide’ mode and a ton of auto features onboard to help make snapping pics a cinch.
The D3000 retains the stripped down look of its predecessor, with no top mounted LCD and a minimum of knobs and buttons on the body, making a fairly small and attractive camera.
Inside, there’s the same sensor as the D60, but Nikon have dumped the earlier bog-standard 3-point AF system and replaced it with the same 11-point system seen in the D90.
Crucially, there’s no live view or video modes in the D3000, which may seriously disappoint users and send them scuttling off in the direction of other budget offerings.
Seeing as Nikon are targeting consumers looking to upgrade from compacts, leaving out LiveView is a baffling omission to our eyes.
The camera comes with a 3″ fixed LCD monitor (with a low res 230k pixels), image sensor cleaning (sensor shake and ‘airflow’) with the ISO range covering 100-1600 (100-3200 expanded).
Shooting is quite nippy for a budget camera, whipping out 3 frames per second in continuous shooting mode (buffer: 6 raw, unlimited JPEG), powered by Nikon’s Expeed image processing engine.
The subject of a comprehensive review on DPReview, the D3000 was found to be a “thoroughly satisfying camera, without being exceptional,” losing marks for a white balance system that struggled with with artificial lighting.
Also annoying Mr Barnaby Britton of DPR was the smallish viewfinder, the lack of a front control dial or depth-of-field preview button and the absence of onboard stabilisation.
However, ol’Barnaby positively purred at the D3000’s excellent combination of advanced features and ease of use, declaring it to be great value at its current street price.
Awarding it a coveted ‘highly recommended’ tag, the camera was praised for offering “one of the best all-round feature sets of any entry-level DSLR, and is definitely worthy of consideration.”
Amazon is currently offering the Nikon D3000 camera plus 18-55 mm VR Lens Kit for around £380 – grab it here
Effective pixels 10.2 million
Image sensor CCD sensor, 23.6 x 15.8 mm; total pixels: 10.75 million; Nikon DX-format
Image size (pixels) 3,872 x 2,592 [L]; 2,896 x 1,944 [M]; 1,936 x 1,296 [S]
Sensitivity ISO 100 to 1600 in steps of 1 EV. Can also be set to approx. 1 EV above ISO 1600 (ISO 3200 equivalent), ISO sensitivity auto control available
Storage media SD memory cards, SDHC compliant
Monitor 3.0-in., approx. 230k-dot TFT LCD, and brightness adjustment
Exposure metering 3D Color Matrix Metering II, Center-weighted, and Spot Metering
Exposure modes Auto modes (auto, auto [flash off]), scene modes (Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close up, Night portrait), programmed auto with flexible program (P), shutter-priority auto (S), aperture-priority auto (A), manual (M)
Interface Hi-Speed USB
Power source One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9a
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 126 x 97 x 65 mm (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.6 in.)
Weight Approx. 485 g (1 lb. 1 oz.) without battery, memory card, or body cap