Nikon D3000







Most helpful reviews according to Amazon.com…

#1:  392 of 402 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars

Outstanding Starter Camera, September 3, 2009
By J.D.

Looking over several cameras and choosing one for someone who has outgrown point and shoots, I came back to the Nikon D3000. By no means will this model blow away the seasoned photographer, however it does cover the basics and more. We picked it up and tried it out over the weekend.

First time DSLR users will enjoy the Guide Mode. It literally walked us through different shoot scenarios via the fixed 3″ LCD screen. An excellent tool, its step by step instructions allowed my niece to move from the operating booklet in no time. After a few more runs, I am sure that she will feel quite comfortable shooting in the manual mode. The quick shutter release was a nice surprise.

Upon completing two days of shooting with the Nikon D3000, I walked away impressed. In manual mode, indoor shots were a balanced and perfect mix of shadow and color. As usual with shooting in low light, noise will make an appearance. However this system can be tweaked to deliver some outstanding indoor photographs. The bottom line is proper settings.

A basic fix is the VR (Vibration Reduction) feature located on the lens. This should be activated, especially indoors. A tripod will certainly help. In auto mode, just set the camera to night portrait and sit back and enjoy the rest of your flight.

Outdoor shots were vibrant, sharp and rich in color without editing. The onboard flash system was more than capable in meeting fill flash requirements. Without a doubt the overall performance of the camera, features and image quality is excellent.

With 10.2 megapixels to work with, I easily blew up a personal favorite my niece had taken to 16″ x 20″. Even though I don’t see myself trading in my Nikon D300 for this model anytime soon, this camera is by far an upgrade over any of the souped up point and shoots out there.

Its easy to see that the real jewel in this model is the auto focus system. With six auto mode settings (Landscape, Sports, Child, Closeups, Portrait, and Night Portrait) each and every photograph can be a keeper. Onboard editing tweakers won’t be disappointed with this model. It covers the basics. The D3000 operates with both SD & SDHC cards.

The Nikon D3000 is paired with a Nikkor 18-55mm AF-S DX lens. It will operate with any Nikkor DX and AF-S lens. Older Nikkor or similar AF lens is a no go when shooting in auto but will function in manual mode. Since this model is not fitted with the built in optical image stabilizer, I recommend switching on the Vibration Reduction (VR) feature located on the lens. Still the best anti vibration tool is a tripod.

Nikon makes it really simple with a thumb dial for tweaking aperture and shutter speed. Metering, focus modes, and exposure compensation are easily controlled via the menu. The D3000 does not shoot in video mode. This model easily shoots over three frames per second in continuous mode. The 3D tracking sensor operates quite well in low lighting.

The Nikon D3000 camera kit comes packaged with a EN/EL3e Li-ion battery, charger, USB cable, video cable. strap, eye cap, eye cup, software CD-ROM, 18-55mm Nikkor lens, lens cap, instruction booklet and a one year Nikon warranty.

Coming out of the gate, I still find this model a little pricey for a basic DSLR. I am sure heading into the fall and holidays buyers will begin to see a noticeable price drop. Even so, the D3000 is a fine tuned replacement for the immensely popular entry level Nikon D40. Newcomers to the DSLR community will certainly enjoy this outstanding alternative.

Nikon D3000 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens (Electronics)


#2:  217 of 224 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars

Excellent first DSLR, September 5, 2009

By Alexis Coxon (Holt, MI, USA)
Amazon Verified Purchase

My good old point-and-shoot camera (one of the Canon PowerShot series) had served me faithfully, but I was growing frustrated with its limitations. It seemed SO slow — I was always missing great shots of my kids. The low-light performance was not particularly good. And I knew if I ever wanted to take more than basic family snapshots, I was going to need to bite the bullet and buy a DSLR. But they seemed so intimidating!

After doing a ton of research online and trying out my sister-in-law’s slightly older Nikon D40, I settled on the new D3000. And I love it! It really is easier to use than I could’ve imagined, and the shots I’ve gotten so far are amazing. I have no photographic training, but I am really delighted with the pictures I’ve been getting so far. I never could have imagined there would be SUCH a huge difference. I’ve actually gotten -sharp- pictures of my toddler in motion, rather than just kid-shaped blurs! I took it to a local park last night for a couple hours and took some really nice photos there, too.

Some things you might want to know if you, like me, are new to DSLRs:

* Everything you need is in the box (flash, lens, camera body, camera strap, manual, etc.) -except- for a memory card. You’ll need to get an SD or SHDC card to use with your camera. These are quite affordable. Of course, you may WANT more lenses, etc., later, but the kit lens is very nice, and offers a decent amount of flexibility. I would suggest, however, get a lens filter to help protect the lens,

* The D3000 comes with a “Guide” — it helps you choose what effect you’re looking for (freeze motion, blur background, etc.) and then helps you pick the right settings. But even just on “auto” mode, it takes some really fabulous pictures.

* Even as a relatively small DSLR, it’s definitely bigger and heavier than most point-and-shoots. This wasn’t a big issue to me, as I mostly plan to use it at home, but if you want something you can stick in your pocket, a DSLR may not be for you. (I plan to keep my old point-and-shoot as a backup for times when I want something I can just stow in my purse.)

* The D3000 does not have “Live View,” where you can frame your shot in the LCD screen. I was a little concerned about this at first, but surprisingly, I’ve found that I really don’t miss it at all. It also does not have video mode (which I find I don’t miss, either, because I’ve always hated taking videos with a camera! They come out all shaky for me.)

* The included printed manual is pretty short and sweet. There is a manual on CD included that is much more complete. Neither, of course, really explains DSLRs in depth or photographic principles, so if you’d really like to learn more about using your camera to its fullest, I’d suggest Digital SLR Cameras and Photography For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) and Digital Photography Workbook For Dummies (For Dummies (Sports & Hobbies)). The former does a great job of explaining how your camera works, why DSLRs are different from point-and-shoots, how to care for your camera, and what accessories you may want. The latter has tons of hands-on exercises to help you learn your way around your camera and improve your photography.

In short, if you’d like to jump into the DSLR pond, the D3000 is definitely an excellent introduction. Come on in — the water’s great!

Nikon D3000 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens (Electronics)


#3: 182 of 192 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars

Super user friendly beginner camera with great AF system and image quality, September 11, 2009
By Enche Tjin (Philadelphia, PA)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)
Amazon Verified Purchase

Nikon D3000 is Nikon beginner / entry level camera. It replaces Nikon D60. There are three major upgrade of D3000 from D60. There are 11 Auto focus system with dynamic tracking and 3D tracking. This AF system is the same as Nikon mid-range/enthusiast camera, D90. Also, the LCD screen has been enlarged to 3 inches from 2.5 inches. However, the screen resolution remains the same at 230,000 dots. Also new is the Guide mode, this new mode is working as your tutor on basic photography. It helps you set up your camera, in the same time, it tells you about basic photography setting and concepts. Other than that, everything looks the same, buttons, placement, viewfinder and image quality/resolution.

It is an average size for beginner DSLR camera. But if you are coming from compact camera, you might a bit surprise of the size. On the other hand, if you are coming from advanced DSLR cameras, then you will feel this camera is compact and light.

Nikon D3000 has a thumb dial, which you will use most of the time to change shutter speed and aperture. There are mode dial on the top of the camera. Several basic buttons such as playback, delete, menu, magnifiy/zoom, and exposure compensation. There is also a function (Fn) button on the left side, near the flash that you can customize according to your need.

Coming from more advance Nikon camera like Nikon D90, what missing are the ISO button, Image Quality button, Release mode button, AF mode button and White Balance button. If you want to change above settings, you need to go to shooting menu (green camera icon). I recommend you to customize the Fn button so you can change you favorite button faster. I change my D3000 Fn button to ISO setting.

Build quality and Ergonomic
Nikon D3000 body is built by rugged plastic. There is texture in the grip area to ensure comfortable grip. The built quality of outer shell is the same or almost the same as Nikon D90. The difference is there are more textured finish in Nikon D90 body. Ergonomically, it is good to hold, but the space between lens mount and the grip is pretty tight. If you mount bigger lens or if you have big hands, then you might not feel it comfortable. Compare to Nikon D60, I noticed that the pistol grip is more curvy instead of pointy. This is a small improvement that you might appreciate.

LCD Screen
D3000 has 3 inches LCD screen with 230k resolution. This is considered basic, but the screen is clear, sharp. If you like to check on the details or pixel levels, it is best to check the images on your computer. In the bright light condition, this screen is relatively good. There is minimal glare/reflection.

Nikon D3000 has 95% coverage and 0.8x magnification viewfinder. It is considered small for DSLR size, but for people who moves from superzooms or advanced compact, this viewfinder are big and a lot clearer. Manual focusing is more challenging than the other Nikon’s more advanced DSLRs.

Like Nikon D5000, Nikon D3000 does not have top LCD screen like D90 or more advanced camera. Unlike many of competitors entry level DSLR cameras, Nikon D3000 does not have any live view feature.

Lens and Compatibility
Nikon D3000 comes with Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens. This lens has a plastic mount, but the image quality and the light is recommendable. It never get super sharp like pro grade lens, but pro grade lens might costs more than ten times, so 18-55mm VR is one of the best value lens out in the market.

The lens has image stabilization feature which is called Vibration Reduction (VR). It works well and quietly up to 3 stops. If you hold the camera tight and still, you can shoot up to a quarter second without motion blur.

Unfortunately, D3000 does not have built in focus motor in the camera, therefore, it can’t auto focus older lenses such as the venerable Nikon 50mm f/1.8 or the legendary Nikon 85mm f/1.4D. Lenses that compatible with this camera are lenses that has built in motor (usually has AF-S code on it) and for third party lenses, look for HSM (Sigma lens).

Image Quality and ISO
Nikon D3000 employs 10 megapixel image sensor. This sensor is a bit inferior than sensors in the D90 and D300. But still this is more adequate for large print.

Image quality is excellent up to ISO 800. At 1600, a lot of noises start to creep in especially in shadow area. At 3200 (or Hi setting), the image is unacceptable only for very small print of web.

If you turn on Noise Reduction or NR (unfortunately no low-medium-strong option), the camera with smooth out the noises, but the image become softer and lose some details. If you concern about the lost of details, I suggest you to shoot with NR off, and then take care the images with image editing software to treat the noise.

Like other Nikon DSLR cameras, D3000 also has Auto ISO limiter. You can effectively limit the ISO and minimum shutter speed. The Auto ISO works very well and accurate most of the time. My favorite way to use this is to set the camera to Auto ISO, and then use Aperture mode and let the camera adjust the rest for me.

D3000 does not have 1/3 stops ISO increments, so you only can set ISO to the regular base level or 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 (HI). But to be fair, most of the entry level DSLR cameras does not have that too.

Auto Focus and Continuous burst
The new 11 AF points are miles better than old 3 points AF system. It helps a lot in composition and fortunately, it also comes with dynamic tracking and 3D tracking which is great for moving objects and sports. The auto focus is very fast and responsive. However, D3000 has only 3 frame per second, so you might miss some shots when shooting sports or fast moving objects.

Guide Mode
Nikon’s Guide mode is a tutor for absolute beginner. It does a good job on helping you to set up the camera and also help you to get the best setting for particular kind of photography. For example, when you choose sports mode, it suggest you to set high shutter speed to eliminate motion blur.

Guide mode is basically a super duper friendly menu that consists of three major options: Shooting, playback and camera setup. Shooting menu (the most important of all), divided into two, easy operation and advanced operation.

Easy operation consists of Auto, no flash, distant subjects, sleeping faces (children), moving subjects, landscapes, portrait, and night portrait.

Advanced operation consists of soften background, freeze motion (people) and freeze motion (vehicle). Unlike the usual mode, Guide mode explains to you what kind of setting is important for particular kind of photography, so you can gain insight and knowledge of basic photography concept.

However, keep in mind that although his guide menu is very helpful, but it does not replace basic photography course or seminar.

Photo Retouch
D3000 offers some basic camera processing such as quick retouch (camera automatically enhance or optimize the image). Miniature effect which is fun to play with. Basically you will need to choose a point in the image, and then the rest of the image will be blurred, giving a depth of field illusion.

Other basic retouches are also available such as crop/trim, filter effects, color balance, BW, sepia, etc. The downside is the processing time of one image could take up to 10 seconds.

Conclusion
I applaud Nikon for D3000 because the design is very user friendly through Guide Mode. With the help of this mode, beginners will able to learn basic photography faster. Various photo retouches ignite creativity and fun. I also love the the installment of 11 AF system which is usually reserved for higher end cameras. D3000′s competitors does not have this sophisticated AF system.

On the other hand, Nikon D3000 have two main weaknesses, first it does not have built-in AF motor for older but great lenses. D3000 also does not have live view mode which actually can help tremendously in focusing those old lenses.

If you have Nikon D60 you might want to look for more advanced camera such as Nikon D90 or D300. However, if you have Nikon D40 or compact cameras, this camera is a very good upgrade choice.

In short, Nikon D3000 is a solid camera for beginner that is simple, fun, and has great image quality. It is definitely worth your money.

Subjective Rating – Relative to entry level DSLR cameras
Image Quality : 4/5
Features : 4/5
Performance : 5/5
Body and Handling : 4/5
Value for Money : 4/5

Nikon D3000 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens (Electronics)