For a great price like $600, the Nikon D3000 is an excellent value, especially if you are ready to move into more advanced photographic waters. Once you start acquiring the lenses, a few years down the road you can replace the body and still have the glass.
Nikon is known for their DSLRs and the quality of optics in their NIKKOR lenses. The D3000 gives you a great camera body and a great lens with image stabilization along with many other features to help you along the way like exceptional light sensitivity and great image reproduction. Other benefits for the beginner include full automatic control for those uncomfortable with manual settings to help the transition into DSLR photography, a 10.2 megapixel image sensor, and the Nikon Guide Mode.
The Nikon Guide Mode alone will teach anyone photography through an easy menu system and selection. You get the automatic system along with full manual control all rolled up into one nice camera. While there are some downsides to the cameras like slower AF and a sluggish image buffer system, the price and overall output that the D3000 can achieve make it a great camera to consider if you have the dough during these tough times.
- Accurate 11-point AF system (even in low-light conditions)
- Easy entry-level automatic modes for beginners
- Exceptional low-light sensitivity (all the way up to ISO 800)
- Excellent image quality
- Good exposure control
- Sluggish image buffer
- No video
- No live view