Nikon actually has two cameras in the “beginning DSLR” category. There is the brand new Nikon D3000 and the older brother, the Nikon D5000.There are a few reasons for an avid point and shoot camera owner to select the Nikon D5000 rather than the D3000.
First, the D5000 has HD video capability. The other model does not have video. DSLR camera manufacturers have just begun to include the video capability in their DSLR cameras. And while the D3000 is a newer release, it does not have video.
Another reason to select the D5000 is the LCD panel, which is an articulating screen. It tilts and swivels to allow you to take photos from awkward positions and still be able to see the image before you snap the shutter.
Yet another advantage of the D5000 is “Live View”. This is a feature that is common to point and shoot cameras, but it is not available on all DSLRs… yet. Live View is simply being able to see the image on the LCD panel without having to look through the Viewfinder. You can also select creative scene modes while using Live View – another advantage not available on the D3000.
Finally, the image sensor is larger on the Nikon D5000. It sports a 12.3 megapixel sensor as opposed to a 10 megapixel sensor on its younger brother.
There are other differences between these two cameras, but the ones listed will probably be more of interest to current point and shoot owners who are making the move up to their first DSLR.
The one advantage of the D3000 is price. There is about a $130 price difference between the two cameras. They both take the same quality image, and both are capable of interchangeable lenses, so if the factors mentioned are not enough to convince you that the Nikon D5000 is worth the extra $$$, then by all means get the Nikon D3000.