Nikon D3000 Review
Top of camera controls
On the top right hand side (with the camera held with the LCD screen towards you) of the D3000 is the exposure mode dial. This dial provides access to the classic PASM exposure modes as well as a range of vari-program scene presets and GUIDE mode, which bridges the gap between the two. A collar around the shutter release button acts as the on/off switch, and the info and exposure compensation buttons just behind this collar are explained below.
Buttons (combined with the command dial)
Provides access to exposure compensation up to +/- 5 EV in 0.3 EV steps. In manual exposure mode, pressing and holding this button toggles between shutter (default) and aperture value, which can then be changed using the rear control dial. Don't be mislead by the aperture blades symbol - the D3000 does not offer depth of field preview.
Toggles the rear information panel on and off. The ''i' button on the camera's rear serves a similar purpose, the difference being that unlike that button, the 'info' button does not provide access to camera settings with a second press.
Single Press Buttons
|Auto Exposure and Auto Focus Lock
Pressing this button locks the current exposure and focus, they remain locked for as long as the button is held down - even if you press or release the shutter release button.
Essentially as a more interactive alternative to the conventional 'auto everything' beginners' settings, guide operates in two modes - easy and advanced. These modes provide a simple, non-intimidating entry-point to the D3000's vari-program scene presets and aperture/shutter priority modes respectively. Guide mode is explained in more detail on the next page.
Auto is a fully automatic exposure mode that takes most of the decision making away from the photographer, and some features, like flash compensation, white balance, metering mode and image parameters are locked off in this mode. However you do still have control over some camera functions:
Sensitivity (Auto, 100 - HI 1.0)
AF Mode (AF-A, MF)
Active D-Lighting (on/off)
AF area mode (Closest subject, Dynamic area, Single area, 3D tracking)
Flash mode (Auto, Auto with Red-Eye reduction, Flash cancel)
Shooting mode (Single, Continuous, Self-timer, Remote + timer, Remote, Quiet mode)
Image quality (all options)
|Programmed Auto (Flexible)
In this mode the camera automatically selects aperture and shutter speed based on the current metered exposure value, exposure compensation and selected ISO sensitivity. The Program AE on the D3000 is flexible, meaning that you can select one of a variety of equal exposures by turning the command dial. Example:
1/50 F5.6 (turn left a click) P*
1/60 F5 (turn left a click) P*
1/80 F4.5 (metered) P
1/100 F4 (turn right a click) P*
1/125 F3.5 (turn right a click) P*
|Shutter Priority Auto
In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture for the exposure (based on the reading of the current metering mode). Shutter speed is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on information display, turn the command dial to select different shutter speeds. Available shutter speeds (1/3 EV steps):
1/4000, 1/3200, 1/2500, 1/2000, 1/1600, 1/1250, 1/1000, 1/800, 1/640, 1/500, 1/400, 1/320, 1/250, 1/200, 1/160, 1/125, 1/100, 1/80, 1/60, 1/50, 1/40, 1/30, 1/25, 1/20, 1/15, 1/13, 1/10, 1/8, 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2.5, 1/2, 1/1.6, 1/1.3, 1, 1.3, 1.6, 2, 2.5, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 20, 25, 30 sec
Aperture Priority Auto
Full Manual exposure
|Vari-program: Flash off
The built-in flash turns off. Use where flash photography is prohibited, to photograph infants without using the flash, or to capture natural lighting under low light. The camera selects the focus area containing the closest subject, and the AF-assist illuminator lights to assist the focus operation in dimly lit conditions.
Use for portraits with soft, natural-looking skin tones. The camera selects the focus area containing the closest subject. If the subject is far from the background or a telephoto lens is used, background details will be softened to lend the composition a sense of depth.
Use for vivid landscape shots. The camera selects the focus area containing the closest subject; the built-in flash and AF-assist illuminator turn off automatically.
Use for snapshots of children. Clothing and background details are vividly rendered while skin tones are given a soft, natural finish. The camera selects the focus area containing the closest subject.
High shutter speeds freeze motion for dynamic sports shots in which the main subject stands out clearly. The camera focuses continuously while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway, tracking the subject in the center focus area. If the subject leaves the center focus area, the camera will continue to focus based on information from the other focus areas. The starting focus area can be selected with the multi selector. The built-in flash and AF-assist illuminator turn off automatically.
|Vari-program: Close up
Use for close-up shots of flowers, insects, and other small objects. The camera automatically focuses on the subject in the center focus area; other focus areas can be selected using the multi selector. Use of a tripod is recommended to prevent blur.
|Vari-program: Night Portrait
Use for a natural balance between the main subject and the background in portraits taken under low light. The camera selects the focus area containing the closest subject. Use of a tripod is recommended to prevent blur.
Front of camera controls
On the front right side (with the lens facing you) of the camera are two controls - a flash button, which when held down, cycles through available flash modes - and a customizable 'Fn' button. This button is set to activate self-timer by default, but can be customized to activate/adjust any one of six other functions, including ISO, white balance, and Active D-Lighting (see below).
Buttons (combined with the command dial)
|Flash mode / flash compensation
Press this button and turn the command dial to change flash mode, do the same with the exposure compensation button held to adjust flash power output (flash compensation.
In P, A, S or M modes:
Red-eye reduction with slow sync
In Auto / Vari-Program mode:
Auto with red-eye reduction
|Self-timer / Fn
In its default mode this button enables or disables the self-timer, via custom setting f1 however you can re-program this button to allow you to set; self-timer, shooting mode (drive), image quality / size, ISO sensitivity, white balance, Active D-Lighting, RAW shooting or Auto Bracketing.
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