Nikon D3000 Digital Camera Review$599.95
Speed and Timing
The promised maximum burst mode speed is about 3 frames per second. A display in the lower right corner of the viewfinder indicates how many more photos at current resolution will fit in the buffer before continuous shooting slows down.
In our lab testing, the D3000 delivered a measured 2.996 frames per second, putting it on the nose with Nikon's claimed speed. For an entry-level camera, this is about the burst speed we expect to see.
Shooting best-quality JPEGs, we could squeeze off about eight shots before the shooting speed slowed; shooting RAW the slowdown occurs after about six shots. There's a convenient countdown display in the lower right corner of the viewfinder that lets you know how much more room there is in the buffer, so at least you're spared surprises while shooting an action sequence.
The self-timer can be set to 2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds. There is also a remote option for use with the (optional) ML-L3 remote.
One ongoing annoyance with the self-timer is the fact that it has to be reset after every shot. This is a royal pain if you're taking repeated tripod shots and want a 2-second delay to minimize camera vibration for each photo. There should be a setup option to either retain or reset the self-timer after each shot, but there isn't. There's also just one active self-timer delay available at a given moment, where many cameras put a 2-second and 10-second timer choice right on the menu. This is balanced out to some degree by the fact that you can choose from four different timer settings in the setup menu.
A cap to cover the viewfinder is provided with the camera, to prevent light from leaking in and affecting exposure settings when the camera is mounted on a tripod. Unfortunately you have to remove the rubber eyepiece to use this cap, making it a clumsy operation.
The D3000 uses 11 autofocus points, versus just three for the D40 and D60, making continous autofocus more practical. Focusing speed feels a bit sluggish with the kit lens, though. There's a noticeable pause between pressing the shutter halfway and hearing the focus confirmation beep. On the plus side, the autofocus assist lamp is bright and effective: we found about the same AF speed in sunlight and dim indoor lighting, and never failed to achieve focus even when shooting in the dark.
The camera supports four focus modes: Single-servo, Continuous-servo, Auto-servo, and Manual.
When focusing manually, the in-focus indicator in the viewfinder lights when focus has been achieved. The kit lens, though, has a very loose feel while turning, making precise manual focus difficult.