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I have had my D3000 for about a year now and I am still as taken with it now as I was when I first bought it. It is a great camera for an amateur or beginner photographer who wants to do more than just take snapshots. It is very easy to use, including a guide mode which talks the user through most of the aspects of photography, while the manual modes are very intuiative for the more advanced user. However the advanced user may expect a better performing camera, as it only has only 12.2 MP resolution and the kit lens, 18-55 mm isn't the best performing lens. However the camera can be used with almost all Nikon and Nikkor accessories as well as Tamron and Sigma. Any F mount lens will work with this camera so any lenses used with older cameras or nikon film cameras are compatible. The camera also also the user to do great amount of in-camera editing including making an image look as though it was shot with a tilt/shift lens (minature model like images). And even for an SLR it is quite light weight and easy hold and handle.
Firstly, I should say that I write this review from the perspective of someone who just wanted a decent digital camera rather than a photography professional, so you'll forgive the lack of technical details which are covered in other reviews.
I've had various compact digital cameras for several years. All have been good, but they had their limitations. I don't have any intention of being a professional photographer; I just wanted a camera which would actually capture the images I wanted to take. The Nikon D3000 was my first outing into DSLR photography, and I'm pleased to say it's been an enjoyable one.
The camera arrived and was very easy to set up. The instruction manual is comprehensive, but to the point. I was able to set it up and be taking photos within the hour. One of the things which was tricky to get used to was going back to looking through a viewfinder as opposed to a back screen. I really didn't like this at first and it felt very clumsy, but actually, I get much better photos.
The camera is a good weight - not too heavy, but feels solid. As you might expect from such a camera it boasts a variety of automatic and professional settings. I thought that I'd be stuck on the auto setting for the first year, but actually, I quickly began to use the 'P' and 'A' settings to good effect. The screen on the back is a good size and very clear. It is very easy to see immediately what settings you have it on. One criticism is that the menus are rather tricky to navigate and everything isn't necessarily where you might expect it. I would also value a way of getting back to some sort of original setting, particular in the professional modes.
The photographs taken so far have, in my opinion, been excellent. The camera boasts many different settings and features, and no doubt I'll get round to using them all eventually. Overall, it seems to me to be an excellent camera if you want to dip your toes into the waters of DSLR for the first time. I would never go back to a compact camera now!
It's worth pointing out that the rechargeable battery pack lasts a long time. OK, I don't use the camera more than a few times a week, but I rarely need to recharge the battery more than once a month. I have a 4GB memory card and this holds around 400 photos on the current settings.
I purchased my Nikon D3000 as I had for years wanted a digital SLR camera but did not want to spend the earth on my first one as I am not a professional just yet. Having tried and tested a number of cameras in store I came home with this model and have not looked back since. My camera has been with me from the hottest of temperatures in Death Valley to the cold of Prague in December and has never failed me yet.
The Nikon D3000 is a sturdy and compact digital camera which is smaller than a number of the other models and relatively lightweight. In appearance the camera is a good looking model with a black body and the standard Nikon red trim detail, is also has a good size LCD screen which measures 3'' at the back of the camera for viewing the images taken. All images are viewed through the viewfinder however unlike many other standard digital cameras there is no live view option within the screen
The camera comes with an array of information including a leaflet explaining the camera functions, camera strap, Nikon software to edit photos, a cable for transferring images from the camera to your computer and a battery power lead. It is worth noting that this camera (as the majority of Digital SLR models) has a rechargeable battery. However the life of the battery always lasts for a good 2 weeks on holiday before it begins to need charging again. The screen also displays the amount of life left on the battery so there is plenty of time to charge it.
This camera largely appeals to many like minded photographers due to the good price and high quality that Nikon achieve with most of their cameras. I bought my D3000 as part of a package deal and got the camera, basic camera lens and memory card together with a Nikon bag and UV lens filter for just under £400. Additionally, Nikon offer a 2 year warrantee with this model which is free to the consumer and covers you against any electrical faults that might happen.
The best feature of this camera is its consistent performance. Although it does take a small amount of time to understand the various features of the camera it is very easy to use with practice. The camera dial allows the photographer to select their chosen mode of shooting which can range from automatic which suit pictures requiring instantaneous shots to manually selecting the aperture and shutter speed to suit different locations.
The dial also allows for other options including landscape, portrait, night-time and moving shooting. The menu on the dial also gives the photographer the usual options including the brightness of the LCD screen and the type of photo required. Additionally, the menu allows the photographer to choose the speed of shooting and the option of a timer to take photos. I have found the timer to be particularly helpful when on holiday as it allows the camera to be set to a delay of 10 - 20 seconds before the scene is shot. This delay gives plenty of time to position yourself in the photo with other people when there are no bystanders around to ask.
It is worth noting that images can be formatted as RAW or JPEG depending on whether the photographer wants to edit the image afterwards. Speaking from experience, I made the mistake when I first purchased the camera of selecting RAW images as the Nikon leaflet explained that this was standard. However, unlike JPEG photos most computers will not allow you to view RAW images on screen, a problem which I also found when trying to print the images at a Boots photo counter. Having downloaded the free translator software from Nikon I was able to view the photos however I learnt that JPEG is the easier picture format to choose if you are taking standard photos.
The quality of the images is very good being that it shoots at 10.75 megapixels and this quality is easily noticeable over a standard digital camera. The standard lens which is usually sold with the camera produces fairly good quality images although I have noted blur on some taken. However when used with other speciality lenses this problem is easily overcome. The camera has an in built flash which is useful for informal and unprofessional shooting. However, given more formal shoots a detachable flash would be needed.
Arguably another great feature of this model, which is particularly good if this is your first digital SLR, is the fact that it is compatible with all other Nikon lenses. This is particularly good when wanting to build up a collection of lenses as it means that as long you continue to purchase Nikon SLR's the lenses can always be recycled. The quality of photos is instantly improved when using a different lens to the standard one supplied. From personal experience I have found the image quality to be much better when used with the Nikon 70-300 lens, the usefulness of which is the ability to manually focus the lens. Additionally, the lenses are very easy to take on and off. The body has a white dot over the hole of the lens which when lined up with the lens required clicks easily into place. Again the sound of the click suggests the quality of the camera.
Another useful feature of this SLR is that it has a number of interchangeable filters which can be screwed over the lens to prevent glare, protect the lens or to create a different colour way. It is worth noting that a UV lens is a must for this camera to protect the lens and that any brand will do, this is not limited to a Nikon only filter.
Although the Nikon D3000 is relatively lightweight it does become awkward when doing a lot of walking and shooting photographs as the strap means that the camera bounces off your body as you walk. To combat this, I have bought a camera bag both to protect the camera form weather and to make is easier to carry over the shoulder.
In summary, this is a great camera for a first time digital SLR and the cost of this model reflects this. The use of different lenses with the camera means that the products that you buy for it can last for many years to come with all future Nikon SLR's.
Thank-you for taking the time to read my review.
This review is also on Ciao under the same user name.
I bought this camera when my old camera (Canon SX1000IS(?)) packed up after a couple of years heavy usage. I saw this camera on Amazon for £304 and decided I would make the jump from consumer digital camera to amateur profession. And guys, let me tell you this: "I would NEVER look back!".
This is the best camera I've laid my hands on, it's got a great range of lenses that you can buy for the camera using the F-Mount technology used in most modern Nikon DSLR's.
What I would say are the bad points about this camera are the fact that you cannot see the picture on the LCD (LiveView) as I would have hoped and it does not record video.
But if you are looking for a camera that delivers time and time again to a professional standard then I would definitely say that the D3000 is the camera to go with!
If you have any questions about the D3000 then do not hesitate to get in touch with me.
The Nikon D3000 is a great DSLR, at a very reasonable price, for someone who is an intermediate photographer who is into family, travel and childrens photography. It is good for someone who wants to take pictures without worrying about what the camera is doing. The D3000 has some older Nikon technology like the 10.2 megapixel CCD from the D60/D80 but also has a new 11 point autofocus system. The D3000 also has a large 3 inch LCD screen, it has a great menu system whereby the Custom Functions menu is now replaced by having everything in the SETUP, SHOOTING or PLAY menus. It also features an intelligent Guide Mode that asks you about the image you want to take and automatically optimises the settings for the best result. It is equipped with a new automatic sensor cleaner, and also has a more powerful battery as standard.
The Nikon D3000 only autofocuses with AF-S lenses with built-in motors, unless you are confident to focus manually using other lenses.
Overall, I think that this camera is good for a step-up from point-and-shoot compacts.
I have lost a lot of cameras in my time. Anyone who goes backpacking knows what I'm talking about. They get stolen from airports, hotels, hostels, buses, trains and pushbikes, the camera the one thing of value in a rucksack for the quick grab. When it is my fault and I have physically lost them it's usually been spectacular, one dropped in the Grand Canyon, another left on top of a hire - car in Texas in a severe thunderstorm and another I had to leave sharpish as it had naked photos of the bloke's wife pursuing me! From these mishaps I have learnt to take a cheap camera abroad and keep my best one at home. The number of those Kodak and Fuji cardboard throwaway cameras I have had to buy because of camera failures is endless.
But Kodak film is a thing of the past and digital is king. Expensive cameras can take 10 very high quality stills a second and that makes photography much easier, especially when you can buff up your shots with the likes of Photoshop to a good standard, websites like Flickr now paying money for members of the public digital photos so they can sell them on to the media and various publications for profit, the newspapers and magazines especially pleased to bypass the expensive paparazzi and agency snappers. A good sports photographer mate of mine was the guy that pioneered automatic camera timers that allowed cameras to be placed in goalmouths and clicked from a far by a hand held shutter to get better action shots, but has lost a lot of work because the general public have these smart digital cameras and with the internet now a good way to make some money - like opinion site websites are for wanna be writers. You don't even need to have top of the range digital cameras to make good picture as the software does most of the work now, and you can download or buy that for fairly cheap. I prefer digital SLR cameras over the smaller digital standards with their tiny zoom lens because these feel and look like a proper camera, giving you a better feel for the shot and the ability to add bigger lens and zoom capabilities. I also prefer Nikon over Cannon as they are heavier and easier to balance in your hands and on the tripod and so help you capture the moment in your head, as well as on the camera, SLR (single lens reflex) what taking pictures is really about.
The Nikon D3000 is a cheaters camera and aimed at people like me who want the camera to do most of the work, but making you look cool in the process. Rather than packing the camera with extraneous features it simplifies most stuff with fewer levers and gizmos, the guide mode helping you set up the various types of photos you can now achieve in digital. It replaced the D40 which replaced the F range, the F50 my previous digital camera. All you have to do is learn the on-screen symbols and instructions from the excellent 3.5 inch plasma screen stuck on the back of this and point and fire. You centre your image there for panoramic or close up standard shots and 'click'. Obviously you can quickly deleted any shot your not happy with, the big money save with digital over Kodak film. Digital cards offer a huge amount of space for images, which can be deleted.
The more expensive 10 mega pixel cameras will give you a sharper image but you can boost that up with the provided software or online locations. It also has the built in auto-focus facility for all Nikon lenses, old and new. The computer or your lap top becomes the developing labs and away you go. You still have to have a good eye for a good photo and that's what I have, the photo not a reflection of what you see before you but a story or moment to be recovered. It shoots six frames (100 JPEG) per second and so good for sports and action photography. If you buy an additional battery pack you can rev it up to eight frames per minute. I think it can do time lapse but I have never tried that type of stuff yet. Leaving the shutter open option is also available here so you can flood light in to capture better night panoramas...how those shots of electrical storms are done now.
On the whole I love my Nikon D300 and the fact it survived a recent storm and so fully water proof I'm even more chipper about it. They are sturdy and reliable babies and with this model digital photography isn't intimidating to the beginner, yet you are in possession of a camera well capable of taking a very high standard of photo. I use a 28-80 Sigma lens so the basic set up. And if the image is not quite right you can brush up some of the photo there and then on the camera at the location, which is again rather useful, although I don't know if other cameras around £400 offer this kit. The days of celluloid are over guys and its time to let technology do the work.
3 inch hi-res LCD monitor
New Guide Mode for easy operation and enhanced picture taking skills
11-point autofocus system for tack sharp results
Active D-lighting for shooting in high contrast conditions
* Nikon's 10.2-megapixel Nikon DX format CCD sensor.
* Nikon's EXPEED image processor.
* Camera assisted "Guide" mode.
* Active D-Lighting.
* Sensor cleaning.
* 3.0-inch 230,000-dot resolution fixed TFT LCD
* Continuous Drive up to 3 frames per second.
* 3D Color Matrix Metering II with Scene Recognition System.
* 3D Tracking Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus sensor module with 11 AF points.
* ISO sensitivity 100 to 1600 (3200 with boost).
* Nikon F-mount lenses.
* i-TTL flash exposure system without built-in wireless control.
* File formats: JPEG, NEF (Nikon's RAW, 12-bit compressed)