Nikon D3000 review

Probably the most beginner-friendly DSLR on the market

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nikon d3000 review

If you've got a friend or relative who's outgrown their compact and looking for their first SLR, point them in the direction of the D3000.

The combination of beginner-friendly features and Nikon optical quality is hard to resist. Owning this camera for a couple of years will give anyone an excellent foundation in serious SLR photography.

Be warned though, more intermediate users will outgrow it pretty quickly, and soon rue the lack of decent video recording and Live View.

We liked

This is the best attempt so far to make a D-SLR truly beginner friendly.

While purists may dismiss the GUIDE mode as a time-wasting nanny or crutch, there's no doubt that it will really help beginners figure out the core creative controls, namely Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO and lighting, and so on

And once you graduate from the hand-holding GUIDE mode, there's the full range of PASM exposure modes to experiment with. We also like the impressive ISO performance, intelligent metering system and sturdy build quality. The kit lens is great value too.

We disliked

The GUIDE mode doesn't always make it clear how to use the PASM dial yourself to achieve a particular effect, and the lack of Live View is a real drawback – more so than the lack of decent video recording, as it restricts how you can compose the shot. We also missed a dedicated ISO button and soon became impatient with the sluggish image preview on the rear LCD.

Final verdict

This is a great first SLR and a genuine pleasure to use. It's fast and intelligent, with a good quality kit lens, and comes with all the advantages of Nikon's optical heritage. The ISO performance is great for the money, and the clear LCD makes it easy to make adjustments as you go along.

If Nikon could see fit to throw in Live View or decent video recording (or both), we'd have the perfect first SLR. As it stands, though, it comes pretty close.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Effective Camera Resolution10.2 Megapixel
Product FamilyD
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom3.1x
Brand NameNikon
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)485 g
Maximum Image Resolution3872 x 2592
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height97 mm
Width126 mm
Depth64 mm
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 Address
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
Limited Warranty1 Year