Nikon D3000 picks up where the D60 left off, but can Nikon repeat its success with the D3000?
Image Quality & Value
Nikon D3000 review – Value for Money
Looking at comparable entry-level offerings the D3000 does well to hold its own in terms of specifications and price, particularly when you consider that the lesser-specified D60 was commanding much the same price not long before the D3000’s introduction.
Nikon D3000 review – Image Quality
Nikon D3000 – Exposure
Set to matrix metering, the camera does well to balance exposure, with only the odd underexposure. The Auto D-lighting facility does make a difference to bring back highlights and lift shadows, though this is far more evident when shooting in particularly contrasty conditions – otherwise its effects are slight.
Nikon D3000 – Colour and white balance
In terms of colour and white balance the D3000 displays similar characteristics to some of its stablemates, in that it generally opts for a slight neutrality – some users may therefore wish to add a little saturation in order to bring colours out. Indoors, the camera tones down the warm glow of artificial tungsten lighting a little, which while not entirely accurate can be beneficial when shooting portraits, for example, where more of a neutrality may be preferable.
Nikon D3000 – Raw and JPEG
Considering that the camera only records Basic quality JPEGs alongside its Raw files, when the two are compared the JPEGs hold up quite well. When equivalent Raw and high-quality JPEGs are examined the differences are also slight, though JPEGs do seem be a touch softer.
Nikon D3000 – Image Noise and ISO
Noise rises steadily through the range, with just slight chroma noise and a texture appearing from around ISO 400 onwards. Up until ISO 1600, the D3000 does well to preserve detail and sharpness while keeping noise levels low and unobtrusive, though the Hi-1 setting, equivalent to ISO 3200, should only be used in emergencies, as it does introduce a fair helping of chroma noise into images, together with a rough texture which is harder to rectify in post-processing. There is only one option for noise reduction, and while this does make a difference to filter out some of the coarser noise, it does take a little sharpness out of the image with it.
Nikon D3000 – ISO quality
Noise rises steadily through the ISO range, and at the lower end of the scale the noise is of a tight, non-destructive grain.
Images only really suffer past ISO 1600, with more of a texture that’s harder to rectify.