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Nikon D3000 review

Probably the most beginner-friendly DSLR on the market

Our Verdict

For

  • User friendly
  • Feature-rich
  • Great ISO performancel
  • Sturdy build
  • Excellent value

Against

  • Guide mode needs improvement
  • No Live View
  • No decent video features
  • No ISO button
  • Sluggish image preview

The Nikon D3000 represents Nikon's attempt to put a DLSR into the hands of people who would normally feel out of their depth with that kind of high-end camera.

While there are lots of great digital SLRs out there, nobody has quite worked out how to make them really easy for novices.

Even confident and creative compact-camera users tend to blanch when you pass them a DSLR; there's something about that foreboding black body and plethora of buttons and dials that puts people off.

So Nikon deserves a big round of applause for the D3000, which is the most beginner-friendly SLR we've ever seen. This £500, 10.2MP DSLR is a direct challenge to the well-received Canon EOS 1000D, as well as entry level rivals such as the Sony Alpha A330, the Olympus E-450 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1.

As such it's perfectly placed to attract the still-substantial number of compact owners who are looking to buy their first SLR. The entry-level SLR market remains massively profitable for makers for one simple reason. Once you've attracted somebody to your SLR system, you can keep flogging them lenses and accessories for the rest of their photographic career.

At first glance, the Nikon D3000 looks like standard fare, with its diminutive proportions and modest but effective 18-55 zoom lens (a very similar spec to Canon's entry-level kit lens).

nikon d3000

You only notice the camera's unique selling point when you glance at the top shooting dial. As well as the usual PASM exposure modes, there's a new addition called GUIDE. Select GUIDE and this SLR suddenly resembles a compact. A big colourful screen pops up with three options: Shoot, View/Delete and Set-up.

nikon d3000

The last two are self explanatory, but Shoot is a unique addition that lets you choose from a range of shooting options – from close-up to action, and from night shots to blurred backgrounds in portraits.

Nikon d3000

While nigh foolproof, it's far from being Fisher Price, as each shooting option explains how to achieve the effect you're after, rather than just being a dumb pre-set – so it's a useful learning tool for getting to grips with the creative exposure controls on a D-SLR.

Nikon d3000

There's also a More Settings option that takes you straight to Flash and AF modes. It's all explained very well. So what doesn't the camera have? The biggest omissions, apart from a top LCD, are Live View and the ability to record HD video.

This is quite a risky strategy, but Nikon's obviously hoping that SLR beginners will be happy to sacrifice these handy extras in return for an easy to use stills camera.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Effective Camera Resolution10.2 Megapixel
USBYes
Product FamilyD
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom3.1x
Brand NameNikon
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)485 g
Minimum Focus Distance280 mm
Maximum Image Resolution3872 x 2592
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Total Camera Resolution10.8 Megapixel
Camera AssemblyBody with Lens Kit
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Height97 mm
Width126 mm
Depth64 mm
Autofocus Points11
Product SeriesD
Focal Length18 mm to 55 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelD3000
Product NameD3000 Digital SLR Camera
Manufacturer Part NumberVBA250K001
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.nikon.co.uk
Marketing Information

The D3000 is a high-performance DX-format SLR that delivers superb images and boasts a range of functions, which make photography simple and fun. Nikon's intelligent Guide Mode offers incredibly user-friendly in-camera assistance, enabling even beginners to capture wonderful images. Perfect for shots that you are not sure how to take, Guide Mode will ask you about the image you want to capture and automatically optimize the camera settings for the best possible results. The D3000 is the camera that shows you how to capture stunning shots with ease.

Package Contents
  • D3000 Digital SLR Camera
  • 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR DX Nikkor Lens
  • EN-EL9a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • Quick Charger MH-23
  • Eyepiece Cap DK-5
  • Rubber Eyecap DK-20
  • USB Cable UC-E4
  • Video Cable EG-D100
  • Camera Strap AN-DC3
  • Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1
  • Body Cap BF-1A
  • Software Suite CD-ROM
Display Resolution230000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year