Nikon has launched the new model in the D series, intended to replace the successful D80. This camera doesn’t only implement many design innovations, but it also comes with many new significant features, especially when compared to previous models. One such feature is the new CMOS sensor, instead of the typical CCD that had been used in previous entry-level models from Nikon, however it is also packed with the same 12.3 Mb resolution inherited from the D90. Another innovation in the D5000 is the flip-tilt-swivel-LCD, which allows the user to view and rotate the screen, and fold it face-in for scratch protection. It also sports a better AF system with 11 focus points which is also inherited from the D90; this improvement, when coupled with a newer version of the image processor, is a rather sophisticated setup for a camera at this level.

Nikon has launched two different versions for this camera model: body only and a kit including a 18-55mm lens.

Advantages of the new functionality and design
The body is made of polycarbonate plastic over stainless steel, looks a bit bigger than the D40/D60 and also a little heavier, but still, smaller than the D80/D90 models and by 4 ounces or so, less heavy.

Nikon has kept the traditional layout already found in most if their recent models, although they have transferred some of the functionality found previously on buttons to the interactive swivel LCD found in the back. This is combined with the multi-selector and the dial found in the back, which is easily accessible with the thumb, and it makes it possible to adjust:

  • Aperture and shutter speed
  • Image quality and size
  • white balance, exposure
  • ISO sensitivity and metering
  • AF area and focus mode
  • exposure bracketing
  • D-lighting
  • Picture Control
  • Flash compensation and mode

Disadvantages of the new functionality and Design
Although the interactive display, measuring 2.7” with a 230,000 dot, offers an efficient way to access all these functions, it can be affected by the brightness of direct sun light, which is a problem in general for these kinds of displays.

Although the innovative idea of a swivel LCD is a good one, it could get bothersome for some users. The flip-down design of the D5000 LCD screen is useful when doing overhead or hip-level pictures, but can get in the way when setting the camera on a tripod. But of course, it offers a better experience than the fixed LCD’s found in other brands. When exposed to direct sunlight it can be difficult to set some of the functions and functionality like the manual focus in Live View and video recording can also be difficult to achieve.

Nikon has also included a function key which is completely programmable, and can get many functions assigned, such as bracketing, ISO sensitivity, image quality and size, drive modes, white balance, among others.

New functions
This camera has the capability of recording High Definition video, with a resolution of 1024 x 720 px. Instead of choosing a dedicated mode in the mode selector, video can be recorded while in the Live View mode and pressing the OK button to start/stop recording. Auto focus is not possible while recording video; however, AF can be initiated, but may be slow and noisy.

Picture quality and general performance are outstanding in the D5000, especially for low-light photography. In every light situation, whether dim or clear lightning, it takes less than a second to achieve a complete auto focus. The images are saved as JPG files, a bit faster than the RAW format, and with a capability of shooting 4 frames per second it makes this camera one of the fastest on the market. Packed with a long lasting battery, capable of shooting about 500 images per charge, makes the D5000 an excellent choice for amateur or professional photographers.

Video review: Nikon D5000

Photos: Nikon D5000
Nikon D5000 back

Nikon D5000  body

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