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)|
|Sensitivity||ISO 100-3200 (expanded)||ISO 100-1600||ISO 100-3200|
|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|