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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Nikon D3000 DSLR

Nikon Digital Cameras


Nikon D3000 DSLR

Review Date: Aug 24, 2009

Nikon D3000
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Photoxels Editor's Choice 2009 - Family DSLR
Photoxels Editor's Choice 2009 - Family DSLR

Category: Beginner Amateur - Family DSLR

The Nikon D3000 DSLR is Nikon’s newest affordable entry-level DSLR camera. It replaces the award-winning D60 (or D40 before it). The Nikon D3000 is packed with Nikon’s latest digital technology and know-how found in its more expensive DSLR models. It retains 10.2MP resolution and all the practical features that made its predecessors so popular. Main features are:

  • 10.2 MP resolution (on an APS CCD image sensor)
  • Guide Mode
  • Active D-Lighting
  • PASM
  • RAW
  • Picture Control
  • 3.0 –in. LCD (230K dots)
  • 11-point AF

The Nikon D3000 is meant to be as user-friendly as possible for entry-level DSLR camera users upgrading from a point-and-shoot digital camera. Select the brand new Guide Mode right on the Mode Dial and it displays an easy-to-use interface to walk you thru selecting the appropriate shooting mode and other appropriate settings. The Shooting options are divided into 3 sections:

  1. Easy Operation: Auto, No Flash, Distant subjects, Close-ups, Sleeping faces, Moving subjects, Landscapes, Portraits, Night Portrait,
  2. Advanced Operation: Soften backgrounds, Freeze motion (people), Freeze motion (vehicles), and
  3. Timers and Remote Control.

As you grow more confident with using your camera, you can, of course, bypass the Guide Mode and select the desired shooting mode and settings directly.

A must-have feature that helps both beginner photographers and advanced photographers capture better pictures is Active D-Lighting which restores details in the highlight and shadow areas of an image, ensuring all parts of the image is properly exposed.

The Nikon D3000 also allows beginner photographers to express their creative and artistic side with features such as Soft Filter and Color Online Retouch options. New is the Miniature effect that changes the appearance of distant subjects to make them look like close-ups of miniature models.

The Nikon D3000 DSLR also caters to the more advanced photographers. They have the full PASM modes and can record pictures in RAW for maximum control over image quality. Furthermore, the Nikon D3000 camera also features a Picture Control System that allows key digital image capture characteristics to be customized to suit your exacting personal preferences. You can select the default or customize settings for sharpening, contrast, saturation and hue for the following 6 picture controls:

  • Standard
  • Neutral
  • Vivid
  • Monochrome
  • Portrait
  • Landscape

The D3000 comes with the AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR kit lens which is optically image stabilized. Manual focus is possible. The D3000 also accepts any AF-S and AF-I NIKKOR lenses.

A built-in flash allows indoor photography. For professional flash photography, a hot shoe accepts an external flash. Advanced wireless lighting is also supported when using the SB-900, SB-800 or SU-800 speedlights as commander.

The Nikon D3000 DSLR camera provides an affordable and easy way for those looking to step up from point-and-shoot to digital SLR photography.

If you want Live View, an articulated LCD, and Movie in your DSLR, check out the Nikon D5000 for about US $250 more.

Read our Nikon D3000 Review...

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  • QuickFact Sheet / Buy
  • Specifications
Nikon D3000 DSLR
QuickFact™ Sheet
Nikon D3000 US | CAN | UK | Imaging | Microsite
Image Sensor 10.2 million pixels, CCD sensor, 23.6 x 15.8 mm; Nikon DX-format; Dust-reduction System
File Format NEF (RAW), JPEG, NEF (RAW) + JPEG
Viewfinder Pentamirror, 95% horizontal and 100% vertical frame coverage, 0.8x magnification
Shutter Speed 1/4,000 to 30 s
Flash Sync Speed: 1/200 s
Frame Advance Rate 3 fps
Exposure Modes Auto, Programmed auto with flexible program (P); Shutter-priority auto (S); Aperture-priority auto (A); Manual (M), Scene Modes
Exposure Metering Matrix, Centre-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation: -5 to +5 EV
ISO sensitivity ISO 100 to 1600, ISO 3200 equivalent
Active D-Lighting ON or OFF
Autofocus 11 focus points with AF-assist illuminator
White Balance Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, preset manual
Live View n/a
LCD Monitor 3-in.230,000-dot, with brightness adjustment
Movie n/a
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 126 x 97 x 64 mm / 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in.
Weight Approx. 485 g
( without battery, memory card, or body cap)
MSRP Body only: UK 429.99 / 522.00
With AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens: US $599.95 / CAD $639.95 / UK 499.99 / 607.00

Related Links:
- Nikon D3000 Press Release
- Sample Images | more
- DSLR Comparison

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Nikon D3000
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Nikon D3000 DSLR
Technical Specifications
Nikon D3000 US | CAN | UK | Imaging | Microsite
Type of Camera Single-lens reflex digital camera
Lens Mount Nikon F mount (with AF contacts)
Effective Picture Angle Approx. 1.5 x lens focal length (Nikon DX format)
Effective Pixels 10.2 million
Image Sensor CCD sensor, 23.6 x 15.8 mm; total pixels: 10.75 million; Nikon DX-format
Dust-reduction System Image Sensor Cleaning, Airflow Control System, Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)
Image Size (pixels) 3,872 x 2,592 [L], 2,896 x 1,944 [M], 1,936 x 1,296 [S]
File Format NEF (RAW)
JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8), or basic (approx. 1:16) compression
NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Picture Control System Can be selected from Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape; selected Picture Control can be modified
Media SD (Secure Digital) memory cards, SDHC compliant
File System DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), Exif 2.21 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras), PictBridge
Viewfinder Eye-level pentamirror single-lens reflex viewfinder
Viewfinder Frame Coverage Approx. 95% horizontal and 95% vertical
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.8 x (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1)
Eyepoint 18 mm (-1.0 m-1)
Diopter Adjustment -1.7 to +0.5 m-1
Focusing Screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark V screen with focus frame (framing grid can be displayed)
Reflex Mirror Quick return
Lens Aperture Instant return, electronically controlled
Compatible Lenses AF-S and AF-I NIKKOR: All functions supported
Type G or D AF NIKKOR without built-in autofocus motor: All functions except autofocus supported. IX NIKKOR lenses not supported.
Other AF NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D colour matrix metering II. Lenses for F3AF not supported.
Type D PC NIKKOR: All functions supported except some shooting modes.
AI-P NIKKOR: All functions supported except 3D colour matrix metering II.
Non-CPU: Autofocus not supported. Can be used in exposure mode M, but exposure meter does not function.
Note: Electronic rangefinder can be used if lens has a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster.
Shutter Type Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speed 1/4000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3 EV, Bulb, Time (requires optional Wireless Remote Control ML-L3)
Flash Sync Speed X=1/200 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/200 s or slower
Release Modes Single-frame, continuous, self-timer, quick-response remote, delayed remote
Frame Advance Rate Up to 3 fps (manual focus, mode M or S, shutter speed 1/250 s or faster, and other settings at default values)
Self-timer Can be selected from 2, 5, 10, and 20s duration
Exposure Metering TTL exposure metering using 420-pixel RGB sensor
Exposure Method Matrix: 3D colour matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); colour matrix metering II (other CPU lenses)
Centre-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8-mm circle in centre of frame
Spot: Meters 3.5-mm circle (about 2.5% of frame) centred on selected focus point
Range (ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20oC) Matrix or centre-weighted metering: 0 to 20 EV
Spot metering: 2 to 20 EV
Exposure Meter Coupling CPU
Exposure Modes Auto modes (auto, auto [flash off ]), Scene Modes (Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close up, Night portrait), programmed auto with flexible program (P), shutter-priority auto (S), aperture-priority auto (A) manual (M)
Exposure Compensation -5 to +5 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
Exposure Lock Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button

ISO sensitivity
(Recommended Exposure Index)

ISO 100 to 1600 in steps of 1 EV. Can also be set to approx. 1 EV above ISO 1600 (ISO 3200 equivalent), auto ISO sensitivity control available
Active D-Lighting Can be selected from On or Off
Autofocus Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, 11 focus points (including one cross-type sensor), and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5 to 3m / 1 ft. 8 in. to 9 ft. 10 in.)
Detection Range -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 20oC/68oF)
Lens Servo Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous-servo AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status
Manual focus (MF): Electronic rangefinder can be used
Focus Point Can be selected from 11 focus points
AF Area Mode Single-point AF, dynamic-area AF, auto-area AF, 3D-tracking (11 points) AF
Focus Lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (Single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
Built-in Flash Auto, Portrait, Child, Close-up, Night portrait: Auto flash with auto pop-up
P, S, A, M: Manual pop-up with button release
Guide Number Approx. 12/39, 13/43 with manual flash (m/ft, ISO 100, 20oC/68oF)
Flash Control TTL: i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR using 420-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash and SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, or SB-400 (i-TTL balanced fill-flash is available when matrix or centre-weighted metering is selected)
Auto aperture: Available with SB-900, SB-800 and CPU lens
Non-TTL auto: Supported flash units include SB-900, SB-800, SB-80DX, SB-28DX, SB-28, SB-27, and SB-22S
Range-priority manual: Available with SB-900 and SB-800
Flash Sync Mode Auto, auto with red-eye reduction, fill-flash, auto slow sync, auto slow sync with red-eye correction, and rear curtain with slow sync
Flash Compensation Auto, auto with red-eye reduction, fill-flash, auto slow sync, auto slow sync with red-eye correction, and rear curtain with slow sync
Flash compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
Flash Ready Indicator Lights when built-in flash or optional flash unit such as SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-400, SB-80DX, SB-28DX, or SB-50DX is fully charged; blinks for 3 s after flash is fired at full output
Accessory Shoe ISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts and safety lock
Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with SB-900, SB-800, or SU-800 as commander; Flash Colour Information Communication supported with built-in flash and all CLS-compatible flash units
Sync Terminal Sync Terminal Adapter AS-15 (optional)
White Balance Auto, incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual, all except preset manual with fine turning
Live View n/a
LCD Monitor 3-in., approx. 230 k-dot TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
Movie n/a
Playback Function Full-frame and 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, and image comment (up to 36 characters)
USB Hi-Speed USB
Audio Video Output Can be selected from NTSC and PAL
Supported Languages Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Battery One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9a
AC Adapter AC Adapter EH-5a; requires Power Connector EP-5 (optional)
Tripod Socket 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Operating Environment Temperature: 0 to 40°C
Humidity: Less than 85% (no condensation)
Supplied Accessories
(may differ by country or area)
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9a , 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
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 126 x 97 x 64 mm /
5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in.
Weight Approx. 485 g without battery, memory card, or body cap

Specifications and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.

Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!






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