The all-plastic construction of the kit lens puts it on the light side, and purists – who really should be looking at more expensive glass – will note some softness once you start cropping into images. Yet, it's a good starter lens, and the Vibration Reduction is useful. Some of Nikon's handy tricks have made it into its lowest-end camera as well. For instance, auto ISO sensitivity allows you to nominate the slowest shutter speed at which the camera starts raising the ISO. You also get Active D-Lighting, which makes a small but often useful difference to the level of detail retained in the shadows of your image.
Active D-Lighting underlines some of the D3000's weaknesses, though. With it turned on, processing time for each image is over three and a half seconds, which might as well be three and a half hours when something's happening in front of you. It also makes a difference to the D3000's continuous mode performance – you get just under 4fps either way, but with D-Lighting on you get just five images before the buffer runs out; turn it off and you'll get around eight.
For beginners, the Nikon is a superb choice. Its built-in wizard is extremely useful and offers a huge amount of scope for learning. And, for those who quickly outgrow the basic kit lens, Nikon's range of pro lenses will surely satisfy, for a price. There are obvious compromises – performance and the lack of live view to name two – but no other camera offers this blend of quality, beginner-focused features and value. ®
Next: Olympus E-450
It still can't do the following:
Leaves, grass or tree branches against a bright sky (purple fringing).
D-Lighting on the D3000
One small point;
Having D-Lighting on does impact the framerate massively BUT you can switch it off, and then apply it to the stored images later.
This allows you to shoot more frames without losing the benefit of D-Lighting. The only issue is you have to go through and apply it to each one.