The Nikon D3000 is an entry-level Nikon digital SLR designed for people stepping up from a point-and-shoot camera. The camera shoots only still shots, not video. Reviews like the way Nikon builds in help; the Nikon D3000 even has a guided shooting mode for extra assistance. Image quality is fine, and the kit lens is image-stabilized. However, this camera lacks quite a few features available on other digital SLR cameras in the same price range. For example, there's no depth-of-field preview, exposure bracketing or live view. Unless you're committed to Nikon, most reviewers judge the Canon EOS Rebel XS (Discontinued) to be a better buy. However, the top-rated entry level digital SLR is the slightly more expensive Nikon D3100 (*Est. $500 with kit lens), which can shoot high-definition video.
We found the most thorough tests of the Nikon D3000 at Amateur Photographer, the U.K. equivalent to PopPhoto.com. CNET rates the Nikon D3000 and compares it with other current entry-level digital SLR cameras. The detailed review at Imaging-Resource.com lacks such comparisons but tests the kit lens as well as the camera body. We also found useful reviews based on hands-on use, at PhotographyBlog.com, Photo.net and KenRockwell.com. A longtime fan of Nikon entry-level digital SLRs, Rockwell is especially outspoken in his negative evaluation of the D3000.
1. Amateur Photographer
This thorough, detailed review based on lab tests as well as hands-on use is mostly enthusiastic about the Nikon D3000 as an entry-level camera, but it notes that the less expensive Canon 1000D Rebel XS also offers live view.
Review: Nikon D3000, Richard Sibley
CNET praises the Nikon D3000 as a good choice for users switching from a point-and-shoot camera to an SLR, though it lacks quite a few desirable features. A separate comparison review notes that the Canon Rebel XS offers better image quality out of the box.
Review: Nikon D3000, Lori Grunin, Sept. 2009
This well-illustrated review notes that the Nikon D3000 kit includes an image-stabilized lens, a big improvement over the discontinued D40 kit. Other improvements include better dust control for the sensor, a more durable shutter and more built-in help for new SLR users.
Review: Nikon D3000, Shawn Barnett, Mike Tomkins, Zig Weidelich and Dave Etchells, Oct. 2009
Based on hands-on use, this U.K. site says the Nikon D3000 is "highly recommended," with praise for its solid feel and ease of use. Image quality and value for the money get slightly lower ratings.
Review: Nikon D3000 Review, Gavin Stoker, Aug. 2009
For "family, travel and children sports photography" the Nikon D3000 is judged "an excellent camera at a reasonable price." However, autofocus in dim light is problematic, and the camera lacks many features that amateur photographers will want.
Review: Nikon D3000 Review, Shun Cheung, Aug. 2009
6. Ken Rockwell
Though he's an avowed Nikon fan, Ken Rockwell has no use for the Nikon D3000 -- which he finds noisier at every ISO level. He doesn't mind the lack of live view, calling it "fluff," but he notes that the D3000 also lacks wireless flash control.
Review: Nikon D3000: Nikon's Worst DSLR -- Ever, Ken Rockwell, July 2009
This hands-on preview focuses on features but is useful because it highlights the differences between the Nikon D3000, preceding the Nikon D60 and the more expensive Nikon D5000. The D3000 has a few improvements over the D60, but clearly the D5000 is worth the extra money for consumers who are serious about photography.
Review: Nikon D3000 Brief Hands-On, Richard Butler, July 2009
This hands-on review of the Nikon D3000 praises its 11-point autofocus (exemplary in a budget digital SLR) and 3-inch LCD (though the LCD isn't the sharpest by current standards). Due to the D3000's limited feature set compared to the competition, Ryan recommends the Canon EOS Rebel XS or Nikon D90 for budget shoppers.
Review: Camera Test: Nikon D3000, Philip Ryan, March 2010