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I purchased my Nikon D3000 as I had for years wanted a digital SLR camera but did not want to spend the earth on my first one as I am not a professional just yet. Having tried and tested a number of cameras in store I came home with this model and have not looked back since. My camera has been with me from the hottest of temperatures in Death Valley to the cold of Prague in December and has never failed me yet.
The Nikon D3000 is a sturdy and compact digital camera which is smaller than a number of the other models and relatively lightweight. In appearance the camera is a good looking model with a black body and the standard Nikon red trim detail, is also has a good size LCD screen which measures 3'' at the back of the camera for viewing the images taken. All images are viewed through the viewfinder however unlike many other standard digital cameras there is no live view option within the screen
The camera comes with an array of information including a leaflet explaining the camera functions, camera strap, Nikon software to edit photos, a cable for transferring images from the camera to your computer and a battery power lead. It is worth noting that this camera (as the majority of Digital SLR models) has a rechargeable battery. However the life of the battery always lasts for a good 2 weeks on holiday before it begins to need charging again. The screen also displays the amount of life left on the battery so there is plenty of time to charge it.
This camera largely appeals to many like minded photographers due to the good price and high quality that Nikon achieve with most of their cameras. I bought my D3000 as part of a package deal and got the camera, basic camera lens and memory card together with a Nikon bag and UV lens filter for just under Ł400. Additionally, Nikon offer a 2 year warrantee with this model which is free to the consumer and covers you against any electrical faults that might happen.
The best feature of this camera is its consistent performance. Although it does take a small amount of time to understand the various features of the camera it is very easy to use with practice. The camera dial allows the photographer to select their chosen mode of shooting which can range from automatic which suit pictures requiring instantaneous shots to manually selecting the aperture and shutter speed to suit different locations.
The dial also allows for other options including landscape, portrait, night-time and moving shooting. The menu on the dial also gives the photographer the usual options including the brightness of the LCD screen and the type of photo required. Additionally, the menu allows the photographer to choose the speed of shooting and the option of a timer to take photos. I have found the timer to be particularly helpful when on holiday as it allows the camera to be set to a delay of 10 - 20 seconds before the scene is shot. This delay gives plenty of time to position yourself in the photo with other people when there are no bystanders around to ask.
It is worth noting that images can be formatted as RAW or JPEG depending on whether the photographer wants to edit the image afterwards. Speaking from experience, I made the mistake when I first purchased the camera of selecting RAW images as the Nikon leaflet explained that this was standard. However, unlike JPEG photos most computers will not allow you to view RAW images on screen, a problem which I also found when trying to print the images at a Boots photo counter. Having downloaded the free translator software from Nikon I was able to view the photos however I learnt that JPEG is the easier picture format to choose if you are taking standard photos.
The quality of the images is very good being that it shoots at 10.75 megapixels and this quality is easily noticeable over a standard digital camera. The standard lens which is usually sold with the camera produces fairly good quality images although I have noted blur on some taken. However when used with other speciality lenses this problem is easily overcome. The camera has an in built flash which is useful for informal and unprofessional shooting. However, given more formal shoots a detachable flash would be needed.
Arguably another great feature of this model, which is particularly good if this is your first digital SLR, is the fact that it is compatible with all other Nikon lenses. This is particularly good when wanting to build up a collection of lenses as it means that as long you continue to purchase Nikon SLR's the lenses can always be recycled. The quality of photos is instantly improved when using a different lens to the standard one supplied. From personal experience I have found the image quality to be much better when used with the Nikon 70-300 lens, the usefulness of which is the ability to manually focus the lens. Additionally, the lenses are very easy to take on and off. The body has a white dot over the hole of the lens which when lined up with the lens required clicks easily into place. Again the sound of the click suggests the quality of the camera.
Another useful feature of this SLR is that it has a number of interchangeable filters which can be screwed over the lens to prevent glare, protect the lens or to create a different colour way. It is worth noting that a UV lens is a must for this camera to protect the lens and that any brand will do, this is not limited to a Nikon only filter.
Although the Nikon D3000 is relatively lightweight it does become awkward when doing a lot of walking and shooting photographs as the strap means that the camera bounces off your body as you walk. To combat this, I have bought a camera bag both to protect the camera form weather and to make is easier to carry over the shoulder.
In summary, this is a great camera for a first time digital SLR and the cost of this model reflects this. The use of different lenses with the camera means that the products that you buy for it can last for many years to come with all future Nikon SLR's.
Thank-you for taking the time to read my review.
This review is also posted on Dooyoo under the same user name.
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