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Nikon D3000 for entry level DSLR?

Hi. I'd love to hear recommendations on the Nikon D3000 or other similar model cameras.

I would classify myself as a complete beginner with a DSLR, so I don't want to spend more than $500 or so on a new camera. However, our old point and shoot needs to be replaced and the two features I want/consider necessary are:

1. Fast shutter speed to catch in the moment kid and wildlife shots, and;
2. Decent low light capability.

We have a Canon Power Shot SD450 (about 4 years old) and it's worked pretty well, but it's simply not fast enough. As far as low light, it's ok, but not great. I'd like to be able to take pictures without a flash indoors with just natural light or from room light.

Like I said, I'm a beginner with DSLR and all the settings, so the D3000 appeals because it looks like I could use it as a point and shoot until I get the hang of things and the price is right - Wal-Mart has it along with carrying case and accessories for $500.

Any input on this camera or others in the same price range?

PS-I don't anticipate wanting to spend money on different lenses in the foreseeable future.

Thanks!

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Low Light

Comparing the kit lens for the D3000 to the lens on a Canon SD450:

D3000 - f/3.5 - f/5.6
SD450 - F/2.8 - F/4.9

The SD450 is 2/3 stop brighter with no zoom and 1/3 stop brighter fully zoomed.
The maximum ISO setting on the SD450 is ISO400.
The maximum ISO setting on the D3000 is ISO3200 which is 3 stops brighter.

Assuming the noise level on the D3000 set at ISO 3200 is equal to the noise level on the SD450 at ISO 400.
Then the D3000 is about 2.5 stops brighter than the SD450 (overall).

So the D3000 with the kit lens will do better in low light by about 2.5 f-stops.

You could use a f/1.8 lens on the D3000 and gain an extra 2 f-stops.
The f/1.8 lens sells for a bit over $100.

..

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FWIW

You might want to check out the Pentax K-x. It has a few features which you might find attractive that the D300 lacks, such as HD video recording and Live View. It has received many recommendation from professional reviewers, and sells for about the same price as the Nikon.

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