Nikon D3000

Nikon D3000

In the world of professional DSLR photography, there is a strong temptation to be contemptuous of entry-level cameras such as the Nikon D3000, especially among those of us who shoot and test DSLRs for a livelihood.

First-time DSLR customers, on the other hand, are extremely essential to camera makers, and there is fierce competition among them for a piece of the entry-level market. This success is what drives the development of everything from low-cost Coolpix models to the recently announced professional-level D3s.

The D60 was Nikon’s best-selling DLSR until it was replaced by the D3000, and it is the success of products like this that drives the development of everything from low-cost Coolpix models to the recently announced professional-level D3s.

It’s important to note that the popularity of entry-level DSLRs isn’t simply good news for camera manufacturers; today’s ‘low end’ products are well detailed, powerful instruments that, had they been launched a few years ago, would have commanded far higher costs.

Nikon took the choice to produce an entirely different sort of DSLR with the 6 million-pixel D40, which was announced in 2006. This was a departure from the company’s prior low-end products. The D40, as well as the D40x and D60 that succeeded it, were created with the goal of being both user-friendly and budget-friendly addition to being both.

Top-plate-mounted LCD screen and several external control points were replaced with a stripped-down, minimalist design and a mostly screen-driven interface, which was a departure from the “conventional” configuration. Because of the addition of a new “guide” mode, the D3000 follows in this tradition, if anything, making it even simpler to get to grips with than its predecessor.

The D3000 uses the same 10 million pixel CCD sensor as the D60, as well as a body and design that are nearly identical to the earlier model, however, this camera is more than just a cosmetic upgrade over the previous model.

The D60’s acceptable but uninteresting 3-point AF system has been replaced by the same 11-point system found in the D90, which is a significant improvement. This venerable autofocus module (officially known as the Multi-cam 1000, in case you were interested) has a long and illustrious history, having been initially designed for the professional-level Nikon D200.

Others may be frustrated by the lack of live view and video modes in the D3000, which makes this camera a bit of an “outsider” when compared to many of its entry-level competitors.

Do a revised autofocus mechanism and a new, even more, user-friendly UI go far enough to convince first-time DSLR customers to part with their money? Or does the Nikon D3000 fall short of competitors with live-view capabilities, such as the Canon EOS 1000D and Olympus E-450?

Key Characteristics of the Nikon D3000

  • CCD sensor with 10.75 megapixels in DX format (effective pixels: 10.2 million)
  • LCD display with a constant size of 3″ (230,000 dots)
  • Cleaning of the image sensor (sensor shaking and ‘airflow’).
  • 11 AF points are available (with 3D tracking)
  • IS0 100-1600 MHz frequency range (100-3200 expanded)
  • Continuous shooting at a rate of three frames per second (buffer: 6 raw, unlimited JPEG)
  • Expeed image processing engine is a high-performance image-processing engine.
  • In-camera retouching, including raw development and straightening 72 thumbnails and a calendar view during playback

The D3000 and the D5000 are very closely connected to one another. There are several significant distinctions, which are discussed in further detail below.

  • CCD sensor with a resolution of 10 MP (D5000: 12.3 MP CMOS)
  • D5000: Tilt/swivel LCD screen (D5000: Fixed LCD screen)
  • There is no Live View available (D5000: Live View with contrast detect AF)
  • There is no movie mode (D5000: Movie Mode with contrast detect AF)
  • ISO range is now more restricted (100-3200 as opposed to 200-6400)
  • There is no control over the intensity of Active D-Lighting (D5000 has three options: low, normal, and high).
  • There is no automated correction for lateral chromatic aberration (available in D5000)
  • When shooting RAW+JPEG, there is no option to choose the JPEG quality (JPEG basic available only)
  • Continuous filming at a slower pace (3fps compared to 4fps from the D5000)
  • There is no exposure bracketing (available in D5000)
  • Compared to the Nikon D5000 and D60, there are significant variations in terms of features and specifications.
  • As you can see from the chart below, the D3000 and D5000 have a lot in common in terms of capabilities, including a powerful 11-point autofocus system. In certain ways, however, particularly in terms of resolution and frame rate/buffer, it is more similar to the now-discontinued D60 than it is to the D70.

Nikon D3000 specs

Price (Body + 18-55mm VR Lens)US: $449.00
UK: £379.99
EU: €440
Body colorBlack
Sensor• 23.6 x 15.8 mm CCD sensor
• Nikon DX format (1.5x FOV crop)
• 10.2 million effective pixels
• 10.75 million total pixels
• RGB Color Filter Array
• 12-bit A/D converter
Anti-dust measures• Image sensor cleaning system
• Airflow control system
• Image dust off from reference frame (using optional Capture NX software)
Image sizes• 3872 x 2592 (L)
• 2896 x 1944 (M)
• 1936 x 1296 (S)
Image quality• NEF (12-bit compressed RAW)
• JPEG fine (1:4)
• JPEG normal (1:8)
• JPEG basic (1:16)
Color space• sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Lens mountNikon F mount (with AF contacts)
Lens compatibility• AF-S, AF-I
• Other Type G or D AF Nikkor
• Other AF Nikkor/AI-P Nikkor

• Type D PC Nikkor

• Non-CPU

• IX Nikkor/AF Nikkor for F3AF
• AI-P NIKKOR-All functions supported
– All functions supported except autofocus
– All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
– All functions supported except some shooting modes
– Can be used in mode M, but the exposure meter does not function; an electronic range finder can be used if the maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster
– Cannot be used
-All functions supported except 3D color matrix metering II
Autofocus• 11 area TTL phase detection
• Nikon Multi-CAM1000 autofocus module
• Detection range: EV -1 to +19 (ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature)
• Manual focus [M], Electronic range finding supported
Lens servo• Single-servo AF (AF-S)
• Continuous-servo AF (AF-C)
• Automatic AF-S/AF-C (AF-A)
• Manual focus (MF)
AF Area mode• Single Area AF
• Dynamic Area AF
• Auto Area AF
• 3D Tracking (11 points)
• Closest Subject Priority Dynamic Area AF
Focus trackingPredictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status in continuous-servo AF
Focus areaCan be selected from 11 focus points
Focus lockFocus can be locked by pressing the shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing the AE-L/AF-L button
AF AssistWhite light lamp
Exposure mode• Auto
    – Auto
    – Flash off
• Scene Modes
onereview menu 1Portrait
onereview menu 1Landscape
onereview menu 1Child
onereview menu 1Sports
onereview menu 1Close up
onereview menu 2Night portrait
• Programmed auto (P) with flexible program
• Shutter-priority auto (S)
• Aperture-priority auto (A)
• Manual (M)
• GUIDE mode
    • Easy operation
onereview menu 1Auto
onereview menu 1No flash
onereview menu 1Distant subjects
onereview menu 1Close-ups
onereview menu 1Sleeping faces
onereview menu 1Moving subjects
onereview menu 1Landscapes
onereview menu 1Portraits
onereview menu 2Night portrait
    • Advanced mode
onereview menu 1Soften backgrounds (aperture priority)
onereview menu 1Freeze motion (people) (shutter priority)
onereview menu 2Freeze motion (vehicles) (shutter priority)
MeteringTTL exposure metering using 420-pixel RGB sensor
• Matrix:3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses)
• Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to an 8mm circle in the center of the frame
• Spot: Meters 3.5 mm circle (about 2.5% of frame) centered on the active focus area
Metering range• EV 0 to 20 (3D color matrix or center-weighted metering)
• EV 2 to 20 (spot metering)
Meter couplingCPU coupling
Exposure comp.• +/- 5.0 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
AE LockExposure locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
AE BracketingNone
Sensitivity• Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200 Equiv. (Hi 1)
Auto ISO options• On/Off
• Maximum ISO (200, 400, 800, 1600 or Hi1)
• Minimum shutter speed (1 to 1/2000 sec)
Shutter• Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
• 30 to 1/4000 sec (1/3 EV steps)
• Flash X-Sync: up to 1/200 sec
• Bulb
• Time (requires optional Wireless Remote Control ML-L3)
White balanceAuto (TTL white-balance with 420 pixels RGB sensor)
• Twelve manual modes with fine-tuning
    • Incandescent
    • Fluorescent
onereview menu 1Sodium-vapor lamps
onereview menu 1Warm-white fluorescent
onereview menu 1White fluorescent
onereview menu 1Cool-white fluorescent
onereview menu 1Day white fluorescent
onereview menu 1Daylight fluorescent
onereview menu 1Daylight fluorescent
onereview menu 2Mercury-vapor lamps
    • Direct sunlight
    • Flash
    • Cloudy
    • Shade
• Preset white balance (immediate or from photo)
WB fine-tuningYes, (except preset manual)
Image parameters• Picture controls: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape
• Quick Adjust: 5 settings (adjusts Sharpening, Contrast, and Saturation by preset amounts)
• Sharpening: Auto, 10 levels
• Contrast: Auto, 7 levels
• Saturation: Auto, 7 levels
• Hue: 7 levels
Viewfinder• Optically fixed eye-level
• Pentamirror type
• Built-in dioptre adjustment (-1.7 to +0.5 m-1)
• Eye point: 18 mm (at -1.0 m-1)
• Frame coverage 95% (approx.)
• Viewfinder magnification approx. 0.8x with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1
• Focusing screen: Type B BriteView clear matte screen Mark V with superimposed focus brackets
LCD monitor• 3.0″ TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixel
Built-in flash• Auto, Portrait, Child, Close-up, Night portrait
• Auto flash with auto pop-up,
• Manual pop-up in P, S, A, or M modes
• Guide number approx. 12/39 at ISO 100 (am/ft)
• Guide number approx. 13/43 at ISO 100 (m/ft) in manual mode
Sync contactX-contact only; flash synchronization at shutter speeds of up to 1/200 sec
Flash control• TTL flash control by 420-segment RGB sensor. i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR and standard i-TTL fill-flash for digital SLR available when CPU lens is used with built-in flash, SB-400, SB-800, and SB-600
• Auto aperture with SB-800 and CPU lenses
• Non-TTL auto with SB-800, 80DX, 28DX, 28, 27 and 22s
• Range-priority manual with SB-800
Flash mode• Auto, Portrait, Child, Close-up: Auto, auto with red-eye reduction; fill-flash and red-eye reduction available with optional Speedlight
• Night portrait: Auto, auto slow sync, auto slow sync with red-eye reduction; slow sync and slow sync with a red-eye reduction available with optional Speedlight
• Landscape, Sports: Fill-flash and red-eye reduction available with optional Speedlight
• P, A modes: Fill flash, rear-curtain with slow sync, slow sync, slow sync with red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction
• S, M modes: Fill flash, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction
Flash compensation• -3 to +1 EV
• 1/3 steps
Nikon Creative Lighting system• Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with SB-900, SB-800, or SU-800 as commander
• Flash Color Information Communication supported with built-in flash and all CLS-compatible flash units
Shooting modes• Single frame shooting (S) mode
• Continuous shooting (C) mode: approx. 3.0 frames per second
• Self-timer
• Quick-Response Remote
• Delayed Remote
Continuous buffer• JPEG: 100 frames in a burst but limited only by storage
• RAW: Approx. ~ 6 frames (shooting continues at a slower rate)
Self-timer• 2, 5, 10, or 20 sec
Remote control• Remote Control ML-L3 (optional, Infrared)
• Camera Control Pro software (optional)
Text inputUp to 36 characters of alphanumeric text input is available with LCD monitor and multi-selector; stored in EXIF header
Playback functions• Full frame
• Thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar)
• Playback with Playback zoom
• Playback of stop-motion movies created with D3000
• Slide Show
• Histogram Display
• Highlights
• Auto Image Rotation
• Image Comment (up to 36 characters)
Orientation sensorYes (Rotates user interface when using the camera in portrait orientation)
Storage• Secure Digital / Secure Digital HC
• FAT / FAT32
• Supports firmware update via SD card
Video outputNTSC or PAL selectable
Connectivity• USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed)
• Mass storage / PTP selectable
• Video out
• DC-IN (optional AC adapter and adapter connector)
LanguagesChinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
PowerLithium-Ion battery pack EN-EL9a (7.2 V, 1080 mAh)
Working environment• 0 to 40°C (32 to 104°F)
• Less than 85% humidity
Dimensions126 x 97 x 64 mm (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in)
Weight (no batt)485g (1.1 lb)
Weight (inc. batt)536 g (1.2 lb)
Supplied accessories• Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9a
• Quick Charger MH-23
• Eyepiece Cap DK-5
• Rubber Eyecup 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
Optional accessoriesWireless Remote Control ML-L3, Capture NX2, Camera Control Pro, AC Adapter Connector EP-5, AC Adapter EH-5, Video Cable EG-D100, Semi Soft-Case CF-DC1, Speedlight SB-900/600/400/T041/R1C1

Nikon D3000 Price

About Author


Freelance journalist Corey has been writing about digital photography since 2006, first as a deputy editor and then as the editor of a variety of photographic journals. Featuring expert product reviews and in-depth features

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