Nikon D3000 replaces the venerable D40 entry-level DSLR

Nikon D3000 replaces the venerable D40 entry-level DSLR

Summary: Nikon has finally officially announced the D3000, a long-rumored replacement for its popular entry-level D40 dSLR. Taking the D40's place as Nikon's lowest-price dSLR, the compact D3000 borrows many features from the 16-month-old D60, such as the 10.2-megapixel, 23.6x15.8mm CCD.

TOPICS: Hardware, Processors

Nikon has finally officially announced the D3000, a long-rumored replacement for its popular entry-level D40 dSLR. Taking the D40's place as Nikon's lowest-price dSLR, the compact D3000 borrows many features from the 16-month-old D60 (which currently sells for about $50 more), such as the 10.2-megapixel, 23.6x15.8mm CCD. But the new D3000 steps it up with a 3.0-inch (230,000-dot) LCD, an 11-point autofocus system, and a new Guide Mode that caters to dSLR newbies by offering step-by-step instructions and an easy-to-use interface. Unlike the similarly priced Canon EOS Rebel XS, the D3000 does not offer Live View shooting, but does offer Nikon’s 3D Subject Tracking feature, which lets you continuously autofocus on a subject as it moves throughout your frame.

Other features that new and experienced dSLR users will appreciate include a slew of in-camera retouching features that let you eliminate red-eye or add various special effects to your images. A cool Stop-Motion Movie mode lets you choose images within the Retouch Menu and compile them into a video.  The camera will ship in late August for about $599.95 including an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. See the chart below for a quick comparison with its most likely competitors.  For a look at screenshots of the new Guide Mode, check out DPReview's very brief hands-on preview.

Nikon D3000 Canon EOS Rebel XS Pentax K2000
Price $599.99 (with 18-55mm lens) $599.99 (with 18-55mm lens) $599.95 (with 18-55mm lens and flash)
Sensor 10.2 megapixels, 23.6 x 15.8mm CCD 10.1 megapixels, 22.2x14.8mm CMOS 10.2 megapixels, 23.5x15.7.6mm CCD
Continuous Shooting Speed 3 fps 3 fps 3.2 fps
LCD 3.0-inch, 230,000 pixels (fixed) 2.5-inch, 230,000 pixels (fixed) 2.7-inch, 230,000 pixels (fixed)
Autofocus 11-point 7-point 5-point
Sensitivity ISO 100-3200 (expanded) ISO 100-1600 ISO 100-3200
Live View No Yes No
Storage Media SD memory card, SDHC memory card SD memory card, SDHC memory card SD memory card, SDHC memory card
Dimensions 5.0x3.8x2.5 inches 5.0x3.8x2.4 inches 4.8x3.6x2.7 inches
Weight (body) 16.1 oz 15.9 oz 18.5 oz

Topics: Hardware, Processors

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  • Kodak Z1015IS

    Why doesn't anyone mention this wonderful camera when doing comparisons. Great lens.
    HD video. Similar features/functionality. Less than 1/2 price. With 15X OPTICAL zoom, macro, digital zoom to "who knows what", OPTICAL image stabilization, who needs interchangeable lenses with their risk of contaminating the CCD during lens change, to say nothing of having to schlepp around a huge camera bag full of lenses. I'm not arguing for pros. If you want that, go buy a Hassie with a digital back for 20 grand. But for the rest of us, hey.
    • Kodak?

      I work at a camera shop and, thankfully, we no longer carry any of the Kodak line of cameras. When we did, there were nothing but problems with them. They're incredibly cheap and the build quality suffers for it. There's a reason that Kodak's cameras are half the price of similarly-equipped Nikon, Canon and Panasonic cameras. They simply just don't perform.

      Weighing your self-proclaimed pros of the Kodak against your self-proclaimed cons of a proper DSLR setup is like comparing apples to oranges. They aren't even in the same category, nor should they be compared as such. A Nikon D40 or similar camera takes up just a touch more room than this camera and delivers in speed, focusing and, above all else, image quality. Point and shoot cameras just can't compete with DSLRs. Especially above ISO 100.

      Consumer reports always rates Kodak highly based on BEST VALUE. Basically, they're cheap. You get what you pay for. People buy Kodak cameras because they see a giant zoom range (which causes image quality to suffer even more), lots of megapixels (again, an image quality killer in tiny sensor digial cams) and a magnificent 3 inch LCD all for under $300. BAM! Great deal, right? Maybe for grandma. But for the avid picture-taker (not photographer), an entry-level DSLR can't be replaced by a super-zoom camera. No matter how many features it has.

      And Hassy's...well, that's just something entirely different.
  • RE: Nikon D3000 replaces the venerable D40 entry-level DSLR

    Is Nikon running out of number-naming schemes?
    I don't see the logic in naming their entry level model the D3000 so closely to their flagship D300 which costs $1,800. I'm not trying to protect the "status symbol" of a more expensive camera but for those like me who own the D300, who wants to have these 2 cameras confused?
    • What's in a name?

      I it's rather silly that you would even mention this. Who cares what the name is? The D5000 has the highest number of any SLR I've ever seen. I don't care what the name is. And I don't think it'll be confusing.

      You probably won't be walking down the street with your D300 and hear someone go, "Hey! I've got that camera...Or is it the 3000? At any rate, it's top notch and I'm going to go PRO!"

      I work at a camera store, and generally the kind of people that buy entry level DSLRs, can't even remember the name of it the next time I come in. They just point at the case and go, "I have a camera like that one, or maybe it's the one over there...Anyways, I need a lens cap for it." They know absolutely NOTHING about the camera, they shoot on Auto and the only reason they bought an SLR is because they demand higher quality images than even the best point and shoot can deliver.

      Stop whining about the naming of Nikon's new soccer-mom cam and go make some money with that pro equipment of yours. Who cares if people think you've got an entry-level camera. It's the images that count in the end.
  • RE: Nikon D3000 replaces the venerable D40 entry-level DSLR

    The culture of the Nikon company has always been still photography, so they have been resistive to fulfilling the capability of a still/video SD camera.

    Canon on the other hand, has a company culture equally embedded in still and video. So it was natural that Canon would come out with a device that blows away the field with 10MP RAW and 1080 30p in a point and shoot device with a wide angle optical zoom [28mm-560mm].

    The only problem is this marvelous device undermines all the more expensive SLRs in all brands. The model we're referring to is the SX1 IS.

    It is a genuine field camera that is compact and powerful. We have done extensive battery testing on the much maligned C cell Nicads and find them to be quite up to the job of recording a full 4GB HD movie in one charge.

    So tell us why we NEED a mechanical SLR mirror in a video device, when we're happy with the lens we have?

    Bob Kiger - Videography Lab
  • RE:Nikon D3000 replaces the venerable D40 entry-level DSLR

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