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Nikon D3000 and D300s: Refreshing dSLRs

Nikon has put a spring in the step of its dSLR range with the launch of the entry-level D3000 and video-shooting D300s

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Richard Trenholm

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Nikon has put a spring in the step of its dSLR range with the launch of the entry-level D3000 and video-shooting D300s.

Nikon describes the D3000 as its "simplest, most accessible dSLR to date". The 10.2-megapixel model includes novice-friendly features such as a simplified interface and guide mode, which explains and previews different settings for different environments and effects.

The D3000 sits in essentially the same chassis as the D5000, while a souped-up 11-point autofocus has trickled down from the D90. Other new stuff includes improved air flow to help reduce dust inside the camera, and tweaked midtone correction in the dynamic-range control system.

The D3000 shoots 3 full-resolution frames per second in burst mode. You get fun-sounding bits 'n' bobs such as stop-motion settings and a miniature effect, which simulates tilt/shift photography. There's no video though.

For that you'll be wanting the 12-megapixel D300s. It's a replacement for the D300, already one of the highest-rated cameras in our expert reviews section. Video is high definition at 720p, but is still limited to 24fps and 5-minute clips (because of the 2GB cap on the AVI file format). You can autofocus while shooting, which is smashing news.

Apart from this major new feature, the D300s is only a tweak from the D300. It's the same chassis, and includes 51-point autofocus and 6fps continuous shooting.

Click through our gallery for some snaps we grabbed of the new model at the launch event, see some more new features and find out those crucial prices.

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The D3000 has a 76mm (3-inch) fixed screen.
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The D3000 is available from the end of August, for £430 body-only or £500 with an 18-55mm lens.
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The D300s adds support for SD cards, as well as CompactFlash.
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The D300s includes an external mic input, so you can plug in a stereo microphone, such as this optional extra offered by Nikon, to beef up your sound.
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The D300s also sports a 76mm (3-inch) fixed screen. It hits shelves at the end of August for £1,500, body-only.

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