Nikon Introduces D3000--Full featured 10MP D-SLR with built-in coaching, 11-point AF & lens for under $600

Nikon has launched yet another ground-breaking entry level D-SLR. The headline feature of the camera is the new "Guide" mode which provides shooting suggestions for particular situations, but the one I'm most excited by is ...the 11-point AF system. Entry level shooters are often crippled by the 3 or 5 point AF systems so that the shooters who need the most help getting their subject out of the center of the frame get the least. Now they can benefit from more easy composition options. Nikon has also reduced shutter lag from previous entry level models which will be another big plus. The camera has a self-cleaning sensor which we have all come to love as well as a wide array of in camera retouching options, which some people must love but have never seemed like a good substitute for Photoshop or Capture to me. At $599 with 18-55 lens shipping later this month (B&H estimates availability in September), it is likely to make the top of the Christmas list for anyone not needing the integrated video of the D5000. Full press release follows:
MELVILLE, N.Y., July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Nikon Inc. announced the D3000 digital SLR camera, offering first-time D-SLR users and budding photographers an affordable option to experience the extraordinary picture quality of a Nikon D-SLR. The 10.2-megapixel D3000 has features that make it easier than ever to take great pictures, including the new Guide Mode, which lends a helping hand to new D-SLR users by suggesting, and in many instances making, appropriate camera settings for particular shooting situations, and an extensive Retouch Menu, which enables consumers to edit photos, even when away from their computer. The D3000, which offers an 11-point autofocus system, also leverages proven Nikon D-SLR technologies including exclusive EXPEED(TM) image processing, and an Active D-Lighting system, enabling entry-level D-SLR shooters to take stunning pictures even when conditions are challenging.
"The D3000 combines the best of both worlds, providing picture takers with the ease-of-use currently offered in point-and-shoot cameras alongside the speed, precision and exceptional picture quality that have made Nikon D-SLRs so popular," said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR Systems Products at Nikon Inc. "The D3000 offers everyone the ability to discover the superiority of D-SLR photography at an affordable price point. We look forward to enabling more consumers to explore the possibilities of D-SLR picture taking and, more importantly, empowering them to capture life's memories faithfully."
Intuitive Assistance On-the-Fly
The D3000 features the all-new Guide Mode with an easy-to-use interface to help new photographers build confidence in using their D-SLR through on-demand, step-by-step assistance. The Guide Mode, easily accessed by the Mode dial on the top of the camera, displays common shooting situations and example images and then counsels the user with the corresponding scene modes and settings on the LCD screen. The Guide Mode also helps users easily review, organize and delete images.
Whether new to D-SLR photography or simply mastering new shooting techniques, the D3000's Guide Mode assists users in exploring effective picture taking solutions at their own pace to make capturing great pictures even easier.
Small in Size, Big on Features
With elegant ergonomics, softly rounded corners, and a comfortable grip, the D3000 packs powerful technology into a compact form factor. Though the D3000 is tiny when compared to professional D-SLR cameras, it boasts a large, bright three-inch high resolution LCD screen, and now features an easier-to-read text that's 20 percent larger than in previous Nikon D-SLRs.
Quick performance and response are at the core of the D3000's design and its 11-point autofocus system makes it easy to find and focus on a subject. Also, the D3000 offers split-second shutter response, eliminating the frustration of shutter lag--the annoying delay that ruins so many pictures, and has the ability to capture images at up to three frames-per-second, ensuring users never miss a moment. Users can enjoy the benefits of Nikon's Advanced 3D Subject Tracking, which continuously focuses on fast moving subjects throughout the frame, resulting in crisp, clear action shots.
The D3000 provides multiple ways for users to engage with their pictures. It utilizes Nikon's extensive in-camera Retouch Menu, which allows users to easily apply a variety of fun and dramatic effects to their images even without a computer. To create fun photo dioramas in-camera, the D3000 also introduces a new Miniature effect, which changes the appearance of distant subjects to look like close-ups of miniature models. In addition, the D3000 inherits the Soft Filter and Color Outline Retouch options from the D5000, allowing users to express their photography in a new and artistic way. Soft Filter applies a smooth, even tone across an image, for a smooth, classic portrait effect, while Color Outline converts an image into a black and white "sketch" perfect for painting or coloring. As with all Nikon D-SLRs, the camera creates a copy of the retouched image while preserving the original.
Nikon extends the creativity with Stop-Motion Movie Mode. With this mode, users can choose a collection of images within the D3000's Retouch Menu to create a fun and creative video file.
Renowned Nikon Technology
The D3000 leverages proven Nikon technologies to create the most positive picture taking experience for consumers. With its 10.2-megapixel image sensor and Nikon's exclusive EXPEED image processing system, the D3000 delivers exceptional image quality with low noise. The D3000's normal ISO range extends from ISO 100 to 1600, allowing users to capture stunning images, even in low light. Additionally, the D3000's ISO range can expand to a Hi-1 setting of ISO 3200, furthering the opportunities for shots that other cameras miss.
Nikon's Active D-Lighting system, which automatically rescues dark or backlit images by improving brightness and detail where needed, makes capturing images on the D3000 an enjoyable experience no matter the lighting conditions. For instance, when selected, Nikon's Active D-Lighting can improve the appearance of fine detail in a person's face that was previously hidden in dark shadows or bring out the highlights in a beautifully backlit landscape.
The D3000 also incorporates Nikon's Integrated Dust Reduction System, which offers a comprehensive solution that combats the accumulation of image-degrading dust from the camera's image sensor. The system not only utilizes this active sensor cleaning function that activates whenever the camera is turned on or off, but also the Airflow Control System to redirect dust particles, limiting their ability to ever reach the sensor. This feature is especially helpful when changing lenses in less than optimal conditions, and helps maintain image integrity over the life of the camera.
System Expandability
Photographers can also appreciate the D3000's system expandability, as it is compatible with a variety of Nikon accessories, including a broad assortment of legendary NIKKOR AF-S interchangeable lenses. While the D3000 offers a versatile built-in flash, the camera also operates with Nikon's Creative Lighting System and is capable of Advanced Wireless Lighting when using the SB-900 Speedlight or the SU-800 Wireless Commander. The D3000's design also supports Eye-Fi memory card functionality, enabling the convenient wireless transfer of images from the camera to a computer, when using Eye-Fi memory cards.* Additionally, photos can be securely written to readily available SD cards, high-capacity SDHC cards and Eye-Fi memory cards, offering users a range of data storage options.
Price and Availability
The D3000 outfit, including the versatile AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR image stabilization lens, is scheduled to be available at Nikon Authorized dealers beginning in late August 2009 at an estimated selling price of $599.95.** For more information, please visit