updated 09:00 am EDT, Thu July 30, 2009
Nikon introduced a second DSLR today and for this targeted the very entry level previously occupied by the D40x and D60. The D3000 still shoots at 10.2 megapixels but has the much more modern imaging system of the D5000 and gets 11-point autofocus (up from just 3), the Active D-Lighting system that improves dynamic range and both 3D matrix metering as well as 3D tracking. Simplifying the experience for first-time DSLR users even further, the D3000 now has a special Guide mode: users pick shot settings based on icon-driven menus that reflect common situations rather than simply adjusting aperture, ISO or shutter speed.
A few features are also new even compared to the recent D5000 and brings a Miniature mode that, based on description, emulates the effect of tilt-shift photography. One additional stop-motion mode lets photographers link many related photos together into a single video for either its namesake mode or time-lapse shots.
Apart from resolution, the camera's key sacrifices versus the D5000 are the absence of video recording and a reduced light sensitivity range, which can still range as low as ISO 100 but is now capped at ISO 3,200 instead of the 6,400 for the D5000 and D90. Again like the D5000, though, the D3000 has a dust removal system for its sensor but doesn't have an internal autofocusing motor and thus needs users to buy AF-S lenses with their own motors.
The D3000 should only be available as a kit with an 18-55mm, f3.5-5.6 VR lens at a price of $600. It ships in late August.