Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nikon announces the D300s and the D3000

Although this has hardly been a secret Nikon has finally announced the upgrade to the the D300 and has also announced a brand new entry-level camera the D3000.


Of course we all expected D-Video to make an appearance on the D300s, but I think the shocker was that Nikon has finally implemented Auto-Focus with the D-Movie mode. This is a serious breakthrough and of course Nikon was the first company to do this as they were the first manufacturer to add video to a DSLR (D90). Of course I don't expect the AF to be fast at all, but it's better than nothing. They've also included a way to edit videos in camera which is a great feature for folks who just don't have the time or energy to spend hours using video editing software

Another great thing that Nikon has added to the D300s is the addition of an external microphone input. Nikon shooters have been wanting this since the release of the D90 so it goes to show you that Nikon does listen to their customers. Then again they have also added the crappy latch-less card door that was a major complaint from D700 users such as myself.

Nikon has also added a dual card slot that accepts both SD and CF memory cards. This is a nice feature that's similar to the dual CF card slots of the D3. Of course you can customize what information is written to which card which is a pretty handy feature. You can shoot RAW to one card and JPEG to another, backup your images as they're shot or record stills to one card and video to the other.

The D300s shares most of it's ket features with the D300 such as the sensor, the monitor, the EXPEED processor, the AF module, and the battery. The D300s does get a boost of one frame per second continuous shooting up to 7fps from 6fps. With the MB-D10 you can get an extra boost allowing you to shoot at a blistering 8fps. I assume that an EN-EL4 battery will need to be used as with the D300 and D700 to get the extra speed.

While the D300s doesn't appear to be a major upgrade from the D300 there are some significant changes which should allow the D300s to do pretty well and I think it will be a pretty good buy for anyone looking to get into shooting video with a DSLR.


Nikon's newest entry-level camera, the D3000 appears to be a severely crippled version of the D5000 with an additional feature that's brand new to Nikon's line; the Guide Menu. This menu supposedly helps you to understand the settings making it easier for novices to understand and learn while taking better shots.

Surprisingly, the D3000 has lost video and Live View. For an entry-level camera I'd expect Live View to be a big selling point considering the majority of buyers are making the step up from a point and shoot. Another disappointment is although the LCD is 3 inches (up from the 2.7 from the D5000) it's a 230,000 pixel screen. The D90 has a 920,000 pixel screen and it's amazing. The lower resolution is very apparent. I don't think it would have been a problem to stick a D90 LCD screen on the D3000.

On the upside the D3000 has 11 AF points, which is better than the D60 or D40 offered. It's also got 3D AF tracking which is a good feature especially if you've got kids that are always running around. This is just conjecture, but I imagine that it has the D5000 imaging processor which probably gives it decent images in low light.

All in all, I think the D3000 will be great for first time camera buyers, but I probably wouldn't recommend it to someone looking to replace a D60 or even a D40.

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