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301 of 306 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic starting DSLR for the budding beginner
Having bought a DSLR from Amazon a couple of years ago in the form of a Sony alpha 200K, and being in the market for a second "entry level" DSLR for my other half so we could go shooting stuff together, this Nikon popped up amongst the competition and we decided to take a punt.

Most of my comparisons will be directed against the afore-mentioned alpha 200, which...
Published on 27 Oct 2009 by Chappers

versus
284 of 315 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What good are the bells and whistles if it doesn't take a decent photo?
The other customer reviews rightly praise this camera for it's excellent tutorial Guide system and the vibration reducing technology in the lens (we'll get to those). But what good are these things when your camera takes photos that are so flippin' dark?
So please, please try this camera before you buy it. It is a very expensive item and you may find that you are...
Published on 19 Nov 2009 by i wrote this


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301 of 306 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic starting DSLR for the budding beginner, 27 Oct 2009
By 
Chappers "chappers" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nikon D3000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (10.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having bought a DSLR from Amazon a couple of years ago in the form of a Sony alpha 200K, and being in the market for a second "entry level" DSLR for my other half so we could go shooting stuff together, this Nikon popped up amongst the competition and we decided to take a punt.

Most of my comparisons will be directed against the afore-mentioned alpha 200, which at the time was considered the entry DSLR of choice by many but has since been replaced by a newer model.

Anyone looking to choose their first DSLR will no doubt come across their advocates of each brand, and nay sayers of the competition. Brand loyalty is pretty fierce amongst the more serious DSLR camera-toting fraternity. It's easy to understand why, as there are various proprietary reasons why someone buying into the field would want to stick with one manufacturer, as invariably most of the accessories will only fit other cameras of the same brand.

When it comes to entry-level DSLRs like the Nikon D3000 and Sony alpha 200, the competition amongst the brands is no less fierce, but fortunately there is no such thing as a bad device in the current offerings from the major brands (also consider Canon, Panasonic and Pentax in this regard). There are some headline features and little nuances that each brand like to highlight, and it will be these things that mark the cameras out.

On initial impressions of the D3000, it fits very nicely in the hand. This alone is an important factor. The alpha is comfortable too, but in a different way as it's grips aren't laid out the same. It's down to personal preference, and I would strongly recommend anyone considering buying a DSL to handle a few in shops before they decide.

The actual feel of the camera, once you've attached the lens, is very good - it feels fractionally more "grown-up" than the alpha, if that makes sense.

The screen on the rear is large and clear, and the menus are ok to navigate, although the alpha trumps it in my opinion with some more logical menu trees, and a convenient quick-access button to some frequently used features.

One thing I felt was particularly useful - but only if it's something that you feel you will make use of - is that it incorporates a full guide within the camera, which can help a new user to learn the features of the camera. Considering I have only flicked through the Sony's manual at rapid pace and then stabbed blindly at the features when out in the field due to my eagerness, it would have been good to have access to an explanation or assistance with some of the features whilst I was out, so having the guide built-in to the Nikon is a bit of a boon. Anyone who already knows how all the features work however, will not be even remotely interested and should strike it off their list of pros.

The included lens is of good quality, and is in Nikon's "VR" range. The range is only 18-55mm, which although pretty common in entry lenses it would be nicer to have something a bit wider. The Sony bundled lens that I got at the time is an 18-70mm. One of things you'll likely find if you do get into photography, is that you'll be hankering after a second lens. Either something speciality, like a fish-eye or telephoto, or one with a greater zoom-range, like a -/200mm or even -/300mm. Having a greater degree of flexibility with the equipped standard lens could delay that possible purchase.

As far as I know, the Nikon actually uses a Sony CCD sensor (as is often the way that there are technology shares going around in the industry). The quality of the shots are all fine for an entry model as is pretty much the case across the board. In my opinion the Nikon can handle higher-sensitivity shots better than the Sony - Sony don't seem to have figured this out in any of their cameras as far as I can tell, but I have first-hand experience of the alpha 200 being really quite useless at high ISOs unless you've got great lighting. The Nikon is by no means great at high ISOs either, with grainy noisy images as you'd expect, but I did find them to be an improvement over the Sony.

There are 2 other key points that I think are worth highlighting - 11 point auto-focus is to be fair, very good for any size DSLR, let alone an entry-level model and is something Nikon is right to shout about. The other point is the 3 fps shooting mode. Very often you'll find that DSLRs can burst shoot a few frames but then trickle down to a relatively slow pace. The Nikon boasts up to a continuous 3fps which is a good performance. - Do bear in mind that you'll be wanting a high-speed memory card to take the strain if you plan on using that feature, else a slower card might slow things down a touch.

There are some features not included in this camera that are coming into fore in the world of DSLR cameras, such as being able to record HD video - but I for one think that goes against the ethos. Maybe I'll be proved wrong in time, but if I wanted an all-singing-all-dancing multimedia camera, I'd get one and I wouldn't expect it to be a DSLR. Another feature that is prevalent in newer DSLRs is something called "Live View" - which if you've been used to using camera phones and compact cameras with no glass viewfinder, basically means the image is presented live on the LCD screen at the rear. Entry DSLRs invariably don't have this feature, and the D3000 is no exception and neither is my old alpha 200. You'd have to go further up the range to get this, and might be a factor worth considering if you think it's going to be important to you. If it is an important feature, then consider a model which can swivel the screen round to different angles as I've trialled this in a shop and can see the benefits if you plan to use the camera in that way.

The included VR lens in the kit does some image stabilising, and works as well as can be expected. The Sony trumps Nikon here in my opinion by building anti-shake in the body of the camera, so any lens you attach is automatically stabilised and helps to bring down the cost of extra lenses. This could be an important consideration for some.

When it comes to Memory cards, unusually, it only accepts SD (or SDHC) cards. I guess this is probably the way forward, but the old chunky CompactFlash is still pretty much a stable to anyone in the DSLR world, so not being able to use CF cards might be a stumbling block for some.

On the whole, I am more than impressed with the D3000. I think perhaps the single overriding thing I like about it is that it feels more substantial, more professional than the Sony alpha200. Granted, I'm comparing a brand new Nikon with a nearly 2 year old Sony which has since been superceded by a newer model (A230K), but the price banding is similar and the target markets are/were the same. I think part of the chunkiness I like is down to the bundled lens which is very good, albeit with a limited if predictable range, but it's got a nice heft to it. The Sony loses out on the heft because it gains in-built stabilisation, so it's swings-and-roundabouts. I can easily recommend this model to anyone new to the world of DSLR's who would appreciate having some useful features and primarily having an in-built guide to using the camera and all its settings. Anyone after something more of a step-up would probably need to go higher up the range.
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274 of 279 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect beginner DSLR, 22 Oct 2009
By 
Alison "runninggirlcycling" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nikon D3000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (10.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
To summarise my opinion of the camera: it's the perfect DSLR for a beginner. That's not just because this is priced at 'entry' level, it's because Nikon have developed this camera with the novice in mind. So often people buy SLRs and never move on from the automatic Program mode. This camera teaches you how to take control of the camera.

Switch the camera dial to "Guide" and three options appear on the 3" LCD screen. "Shoot", "View/Delete" and "Set up". The shoot guide includes three options - "Easy Operation", "Advanced Operation" and "Timers and Remote Control". Choosing one of the options then takes you to a further set of options with choices where the camera not only guides you through making the right settings but it also explains why. For example, in advanced operation you can choose to "Soften Backgrounds". The guide tells you about the Aperture-priority mode and then visually demonstrates what happens when you change the F number with a guidance note telling you to "Choose lower f-numbers to blur the background".

Other modes range from the point-and-shoot modes (Auto where the camera controls everything or the no-flash mode where the camera controls everything but the use of flash), Program (you control things like ISO, flash etc., and the camera controls exposure), Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority, Manual and then a range of preset modes (portrait, landscape, child, sports, close-up and night portrait).

The camera also helps when you haven't got things set up correctly. A "?" flashes in the corner of the LCD screen - press the ? button and a message will pop-up telling you what the problem is i.e. "The subject is too dark, cannot adjust exposure. Use the flash." The information available on the LCD while you take a photograph is excellent and very helpful for getting the settings right.

The kit lens is a good compromise lens for an entry level camera set-up like this. It's quite a slow lens (aperture ranges from f/3.5 to f/5.6 depending on the focal length selected) but the VR (vibration reduction) will help with hand-held shots with slow shutter speeds. If you can afford to get another lens for your camera, I'd definitely recommend the 50mm f/1.4 AF-S as a fabulous fast lens that's relatively inexpensive compared to other lenses. Thanks to a comment left below by it's been pointed out to me that the D3000 will only work with Nikon's new AF-S range of lenses. If you already have a collection of Nikon lenses and are thinking of this camera, check compatibility. Older lenses will still work, but you will have manually focus.

If you are a camera expert looking at this as a lower value choice for casual use such as taking on holiday rather than your more expensive kit - I'd probably look elsewhere. Something like the new Olympus PEN cameras are only slightly more pricey than this and are well worth looking at if you already know your A from your S.

However, for novices at SLR photography, this is a great choice and the perfect place to start learning how to take advantage of all the options and settings that an SLR offers you.
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540 of 551 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DSLR, 6 Oct 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nikon D3000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (10.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
I recently ordered this camera, and I am completely in love with it!

I am currently doing an AS in Photography and it is certainly meeting up to the expectations I need it to. There is a fantastic range of shutter speeds, ISOs, and also aperture, however it would be nice if it could go a bit lower for low light situations.

When looking around I couldn't decide on what make to buy, with the Sony Alpha 200, I found that the lens wasn't that fantastic, however it is a bit cheaper and also doesn't come with as many features. The nearest match to the D3000 for Canon was, what I felt, is the 1000D. This is currently under 400 which is fantastic value, and had it been that price when I brought the D3000 I may well have brought the 1000D.

Once I had decided on getting a Nikon, I originally decided to get the D60, however I found that the D3000 was on offer and was therefore cheaper. I did quite a lot of research into the difference, and found that, they both had 10.2MP, same frames per second (3), same range of shutter speed (1/4000 to 30 s ). However I found that the D3000 could go from 100-32000 ISO, whereas the D60 is only 100-1600. The D3000 also has a 3" screen, instead of 2.5" with the D60.
The D3000 also has a Guide system which means that supposedly anyone can take a photo and works almost like a compact digital camera.

Another fantastic feature with the lens is the VR (vibration reduction) feature which means nearly all the time photos come out crisp, even in low light conditions.

My one slight problem with the camera is that it lacks a studio light cable, however from what I understand neither does the D60, nor the 1000D nor the Alpha 200. - This wont be a problem for most, however it would be nice to have one as I will be using studio lighting with my course.

I am not sure what storage the other cameras have, however the D3000 uses SD cards which means very cheap prices for lots of memory!

Finally, the lens: I have had no problems with it and am really pleased with it, however I have found that when doing very close up photos, it can be hard to focus on the subject- which often results in zooming out a bit until I can get it into focus.

All in all.. a fantastic buy! I am really pleased with it and have had no problems.
I would recommend it for sure!
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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb entry level DSLR, 20 Oct 2009
By 
M. Price (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nikon D3000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (10.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Small, lightweight and packs a real punch for every pound it costs, it may well be Nikon's latest entry level Digital SLR camera but this little beauty is astonishing, I wish this was my first Digital SLR it would have saved me a fortune in magazines and books learning how to use it properly and how to use flash - this camera not only teaches you but allows you to be lazy if you wish whilst still capturing fantastic pictures.

The Goods - Image quality, fantastic night outdoor portraiture shooting, guide mode very clever for SLR beginners, On/Off button position, rear screen lens aperture diagram, fast write speed, lots of focus points, battery performance astonishing, well built, "?" button for help is fantastic, 3" screen, quiet mirror box assembly, great lens cap design, VR lens in Kit, almost full frame sensor, Sensor vibration to remove dust particles.

The NOT so Goods - Slow(ish) Focus Speed, Not designed for larger Hands, ISO grain over ISO 400, no video mode, no live view, focus point colour is black and is not very visible, Manu Layout, SD Cards Only and No Compact Flash, Very Stiff Hot Shoe, VR Lens is all plastic assembly.

It benefits from having a huge 3" screen that shows you clearly what settings you have got enabled and also has a graphic of the lens aperture which is a fantastic addition to display to the user what the lens does.

New SLR shooters will benefit from `Guide mode', this tells you the settings and functions it sets up for you by asking you via the menu what you want to shoot, in simple terms if you forget what image selects which function simply select "Guide" mode on top and it will ask you through a couple of menus of what kind of imagery you want to shoot, it will set the camera up for you and will even let you tweak the settings giving you the ability to understand what settings were applied for a reason.

If I had to name one outstanding feature it is the ability to shoot an image with flash and expose the background perfectly without the hours spent trying to learn how... This camera will in fact do this better than someone that has spent a few hours trying to figure out how to, believe me I wasted a lot of time with my first DSLR.

The body takes SD cards only (including SDHC) so no compact flash, the battery is amazing 600 shots and half of them with flash and there is still a lot of juice left on the battery from a single charge. The camera being a 10mp body will if given a 4gb memory card shoot more than 400 pictures. I am also very pleased to say that the buffer size is amazing, write speeds are fast and you can shoot 4 to 6 RAW's before the buffer gets full and needs to write to the card before letting you shoot more pictures.

The only real down sides I can flaw it on is the size, I have medium sized hands for a man and the body does feel slightly small, aside from that the hot shoe for flash attachments is incredibly tight although will hopefully give a little with more use. Set to Manual and sync speed of 125th a second it did take some remarkable pictures in my home studio, in good light it focused fairly fast and am yet to find a picture that is not tack sharp from auto focus, the RAW's can benefit from a little extra sharpening afterwards which is also the same for JPEG's too and adding a little extra saturation helps too but straight from camera I was more than pleased. The menus are alright but occasionally if you know what you are after are not always the easiest to find as not in the most intuitive of layout.

All said this is a great little camera that you would be hard pushed to find something better for the price, not so much of an entry level Digital SLR at all - as far as I can see it's only entry level at price, performance is superb and I can recommend this to anyone looking to start out with their first DSLR.
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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shooting Star, 19 Mar 2010
By 
tallpete33 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nikon D3000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (10.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Before I begin, I am writing this as a keen amateur photographer so if you're looking to upgrade from a compact as I was this should hopefully be of use. Photography experts can move along now...

Anyway, I've been enjoying digital photography from the early days starting with a pretty ropey Hewlett Packard 1Mp (stop sniggering at the back) camera but thought it was time to step up from my trusty Canon Powershot to a DSLR. The Nikon D3000 fitted my bill perfectly from a price, size and usability point of view and I was always impressed by my old Coolpix which gave many a year's good service and produced some great shots. I shopped around the High St and got to hold the camera and get some good advice from Jessop's and a kid in Curry's but as they were not prepared to cut a deal I bought from amazon, later claiming cashback from Nikon which arrived promptly. When it arrived, the box contained

* Camera body
* 18-55mm Nikkor VR lens
* Nikon Strap
* EN-EL9a battery
* Battery charger and power cable
* USB cable
* Rubber eyepiece
* Manuals and CDs (Nikon Software Suite and Reference Manual)

Following the Quick Start guide, I was up and running within 2 minutes, the most enjoyable part being the fixing of the lens to the body of my first "proper" camera. The build quality to my eye and touch (I'm a computer server engineer of many a year) is second to none and in my quite large hands it feels exactly right, not too heavy or small.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating and having sampled the delights of this beauty for a couple of months now, I am very satisfied. At first the LCD info screen can be somewhat daunting but you do not need to stress too much about that as it gets more familiar with time. Alternatively you can completely ignore it and use the familiar icons (portrait, landscape, close-up, sports etc) on the top dial and shoot away. Happy snappers just looking to produce quality pictures with the minimum input are well catered for but those looking to hone their photography skills will find plenty of control at their fingertips. Using just the viewfinder took some getting used to, ditto removing the lens cap(!) but the rules are the same i.e. half depressing the shutter focuses the shot. The array of 11 autofocus points clearly show the main subject, useful if a stray branch is encroaching in the shot and hogging the limelight.

Twist the dial to Guide and a menu will walk you through the different shooting modes with the option to customise further although you are less likely to use it with time. The advanced mode explains the functions of Shutter and Aperture priority which is the next step for becoming a more accomplished "tog" that I'm working on with the help of an additional guide. I have found the 18-55mm lens very functional and definitely a good starting point for any DSLR newbie. It copes well with close-ups, portraits and landscapes although the zoom has it's limitations so I have my eye on a Nikon 55-200MM Lens for better wildlife shots. Make sure you specify the VR (vibration reduction) which is the better lens for little money. I'm a keen walker and most of my picture taking is outdoors and it has definitely delivered the goods as far as that is concerned and is less cumbersome in its case than I thought it would be. Indoor shots are improved by the Active D system which fills in the shadows and can be applied by the camera retrospectively too, as can other touch-up utilities. Rather than over-write the original, it will create a copy with a different prefix filename to avoid confusion.

The attractive menu system is quite intuitive and easy to use, no complaints there. In fact the only complaints I do have are the lack of live view (you cannot see what you are shooting on the LCD) and video but this is not uncommon at this price point for DSLR's. You should consider the D5000 or another make if you want these functions. The "Recent Settings" menu is particularly useful to save you having to hunt for a previous "favourite" change.

I can also recommend the following to go with the camera:

Nikon D-SLR Shooting Modes a handy little book that fits in your bag
Wireless Remote Control cheap as chips and very useful. No need to pay extra for the Nikon official remote either
Hama Lens Cleaning Pen great little device for cleaning your lens
Gem SLR Camera Case decent bag for the money though there are other options out there
Hama Circular Polarizer Filter 52mm another excellent accessory for not much money. Great for bright days

Overall, I'm luvvin' this bit of kit. It's a bit of a hot hatch - useable and affordable enough for everyday use but with the potential for even better performance in the right hands.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reliable Nikon - as always, 15 April 2010
By 
Mr. A. L. Browne (Bangor, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nikon D3000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (10.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
As a now retired professional photographer, I have obviously used a lot of Nikon (film) cameras in my lifetime, so I was not sure what to expect in a digital SLR.
I have now tested the camera in each of its modes and the software seems to set the camera up with exactly the preferences I would have chosen myself, to give excellent results for even less experienced digital users than me!
I was very impressed by the performance of this lens in close up mode, though at the telephoto end of the zoom it seems a little soft...
(Maybe this is to give more flattering images in portrait mode?)

In the world of professional photography Nikon has a well deserved reputation for rugged reliability.
The D3000 is no exception and does not feel so light and 'plastic' as other digital SLRs I have held.

Overall, I think this is an excellent camera and I'm looking forward to testing it to the limit in all situations.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent kit, 16 Feb 2010
This review is from: Nikon D3000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (10.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
The Nokon D3000 DSLR is an exceptionally good bit of kit. I have just upgraded from a compact coolpix tp the DSLR and I am really pleased with my choice. It took me two years before deciding on what camera to choose and so far it has not dissapointed me. The 18 55 lense covers most of the range of the photography i do in one easy package. I just ned to get a telephoto lense for some of the wild life shots. Luckily Nikon makes an excellent range of lenses.
I am truly impressed with the quality of the photos, especially ones taken in low light.
The camera looks bulky and heavy like all SLRs but in reality it is extremely light. Also the battery seems to cope with extreme cold.(-12C all day)
Controls and settings are easy to understand and the screen displays plenty of data to enable you to get the right shots.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant entry level dslr - ideal step up from digicams 10/10, 30 Dec 2009
This review is from: Nikon D3000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (10.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
I purchased this dslr after considering numerous other options available and had spoken to a number of friends with previous experience with this sort of equipment. I admit I am a total novice and wanted a dslr that could allow me to move over to something better than a digicam for pictures of my son and to take up photography as a new hobby. The price on amazon for this particular model is the best I have found even compared to eBay and various online-only offers especially when you factor in the current 30 gbp cashback allowance on this model from nikon. for 330 gbp you cannot get better. To date I have only used the auto functions but the built-in use guide function is excellent and helps you find your way around the different features - its idiot proof! I am pursuing an idiots guide to using a dslr in the new year 2010 so that I can get added value out of the camera and harness its full potential...

only thing to consider or remember is that you do not receive any memory cards with your purchase so invest in a couple of 4gb sandisk sdhc cards (cheapest genuine cards were on ebay uk at 7.50 gbp) and also a carry case or bag as the camera is of course a good size with the lens attached - again, i found a nikon bag on ebay for 8 pounds and this avoids you being confused with the tourists! if you do not have the sdhc card you cannot begin using the camera out of the box...remember this if you are short of time!

The lcd is a good size at 3 inch and the image quality of the D3000 is comparable to more expensive 10 megapixel cameras overall.

Highly recommend this camera to a beginner or novice like myself - at least until you discover the full potential of the camera you will at least look the part!

Hope this review is useful - I would certainly recommend this camera to anyone weighing up their options for an entry level dslr. 10/10
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nikon d3000, 13 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nikon D3000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (10.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
I purchased this camera for my birthday. What I wanted was a low-end SLR that was still fantastic quality and a step-up from my high-end compact. The problem was whether to get the olympus e-450 or this - Nikon D3000. Eventually I made the decision because I liked my Uncles Nikon D300S. Since I got this camera I have not looked back! It is excellent! The photos are great quality and it is very easy to use. I now use all the modes with automatic ease. Even though I do not use it, I have had a brief go with it and the guide mode seems like it would be most useful to a beginner. I don't like to say it but I always seem to get better photographs with my camera rather than my Uncles much more expensive Nikon. it is 7 months down the line and I've already bought the Nikon 55-200mm AF-S lens (also great - bargain- zooms far!) and the Nikon SB-400 flash which I can't fault one bit, the bounce flash on it makes indoor photography a dream - no more harsh direct lighting! It really makes a big difference to use bounce because everything looks warmer and more natural!
One word to sum up the D3000 - FANTASTIC.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect introduction to dSLR photography., 13 Jan 2010
By 
Nicholas Tier "nuck_the_king" (Danehill, West Sussex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nikon D3000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (10.2MP) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
The other half and I have been thinking about upgrading our "point and shoot" digital camera for about a year, and after dithering over loads of different choices (Canon, Sony, Panasonic, etc.), we eventually bought this just before Christmas.

And I must say that we have been REALLY impressed with it. From the title above, hopefully it is clear that we are dSLR novices, and so have nothing much to compare it to: but it does everything that we have asked of it. We have played with it indoors with only minimal light, outdoors in bright sunlight, overcast grey days and dusky evenings; and, with a few "tweaks", has given really good results. We have had a brief play with some of the settings, just to compare results, and the "GUIDE" mode has been really useful.

Battery life has been great (and only takes 2 hours to recharge when it's flat), taking multiple shots happens really quickly (but make sure that you get a fast SD card, or this, not the camera, will slow down the shooting process), and the results are, from our point of view, terrific. I must say that I can't see what the reviewer who complained about image quality was on about; I have viewed them on a 17" monitor, and printed some off A4 size, and they look brilliant: but, as I say, I am NOT a professional photographer, so perhaps have little to compare with. 11-point autofocus is really excellent (and unusual to find in a "budget"-end dSLR): it's also really easy to find the AF menu to change it so that it only focuses on the area you want in focus; really useful for setting up shots of things outside.

It feels really natural in our hands, but both of us have fairly large hands; so I would definitely recommend holding one before shelling out the cash; the "feel" of it could be the one thing that convinces you to go for one brand over another. It also feels very solid and well-built; but I suppose only time will tell! It regularly goes through a dust cleaning programme, so hopefully that should not spoil your pictures.

On the slight downside, there is no support for video (but that's not why I wanted a dSLR camera anyway). Also, you you can't view the shot you are about to take on the LCD screen; but this does mean that all the settings are clearly displayed, and you don't have to squint into the viewfinder to see them.

All in all, we do not regret this purchase one bit and cannot recommend this camera, as a first dSLR, highly enough. It is perhaps possible that it might be a bit basic for those with huge experience with professional high-end cameras; but as an introduction to this type of camera, I cannot imagine any of the others that I was considering doing a better job.

We are very pleased indeed. 5 stars.
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