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Nikon D5000
12MP DX, 4FPS, Video, 2.7" Tilt LCD (2009-2010)
© 2010 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

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Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000 and 35mm f/1.8 (21.6 oz/611g without lens). enlarge. I got this one at Adorama; Ritz is also a great place to get it, as is Amazon as body-only, kit with 18-55mm VR, and kit with 18-55mm VR and 55-200mm VR. Sometimes Adoramra offers deals on refurbished Nikon D5000 kits and refurbished Nikon D5000 bodies.

 

 

January 2011: This is an older model from 2009. The newest Nikon D7000 is much, much better, but more expensive as well. The D3100 is also newer, and about the same price. Have a careful look at them, too.

 

Package Discounts June 2010

Nikon D5000 Users Guide for iPhone and iPod 23 December 2009

Nikon D5000 User's Guide 05 June 2009

Nikon D5000 AF Settings 03 June 2009

Nikon D40, D5000, D300 and D3 high ISO comparison 27 May 2009

Nikon discovered that some D5000s are defective because they won't turn on, and they are working on a free fix.

 

September 2009        More Nikon Reviews

 

 

Introduction        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

adorama

 
B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

Ritz Camera

I personally suggest Adorama, Amazon, Ritz, B&H, Calumet and J&R. I can't vouch for ads below.

 

The Nikon D5000 is Nikon's best DSLR today, if size, weight and price matter.

The D5000 offers the technical image quality of Nikon's best DX cameras like the D300s and D90, with the smallest size, weight and price.

Something the D5000 does exceptionally well is work quietly. When I first shot it, I noticed how quiet it was, and a week later when I found the D5000's Quiet Mode, I was astounded! It's far quieter than any other SLR, and is at least as quiet as the LEICA rangefinder cameras.

The D5000 has the D300s' sensor, the D90's AF sensors, the D300s' superb Gen 2 image processing smarts and the D90's crappy movie mode. The D5000 shares the same ADR and Picture Controls as the D300s and other Gen 2 cameras.

The D5000, like the D40, D40x and D60, lacks most of the D90's extra control buttons that make the D90 such a masterpiece. In terms of command and control, the D5000 is the same as the discontinued D40: you need menus to select among AF-S, AF-C and AF-A modes, AF-area modes, WB trims and etc.

I like all the Gen 2 features like 12MP resolution, ADR and magic lateral color fringe correction, but even then, I still love the images I get from my old D40. The extra pixels don't make better pictures.

The D5000 is Nikon's least expensive camera with the same technical image quality as the $5,500 Nikon D3s in normal light, but unless you're making prints at least three feet (1 meter) wide, it just doesn't matter. It requires a very skilled photographer to get great photos from any camera; buying a technically better camera has nothing to do with getting better photos.

Once you have the skill to elicit great photos from one camera, you can get them from any camera. It's like pianos: a 9-foot Bösendorfer may be better piano than the upright at the local bar, but if you can't play the piano, you won't get good music out of any of them. Anyone can bang on a piano and anyone can shoot a camera, but it takes an artist to get decent results from either one. The sad part is how many well-meaning people think photography is as simple as buying a camera.

Getting great pictures comes from knowing how to "play" your camera's settings and paying attention to the lighting. If you know what you're doing, you can do it on the D5000.

The D5000 can record video and mono sound as a goof, but any camcorder gives much better moving picture and sound quality. The Nikon D5000 has relatively poor video and audio quality, and can't focus while you shoot. Just buy a camcorder if you want video. (Nikon doesn't make camcorders, so they're not going to tell you that.)

If I only had one DSLR, I wouldn't complain if it were a D5000.

The D5000 is a wonderful camera, but I prefer the D90's ergonomic masterpiece of programming of its POWER, INFO and FUNC buttons so I can shoot the D90 single-handed (click those links, and/or see my D90 User's Guide). You won't read this on geek sites that can't get beyond pixels, but in actual shooting, the D90 lets me shoot faster and more conveniently than the D40, D5000 or even D300. The D5000 and D40 lack these tricks.

Nikon D5000 rear

Rear, Nikon D5000. enlarge.

 

Specifications        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

 

Finder        top

Same size as a D40, smaller than a D300.

0.44x magnification with standard (for DX) 28mm lens. (0.78x with 50mm tele lens).

95% coverage.

18mm eyepoint.

Switchable grid lines.

 

Electronic Level        top

No.

 

AF        top

11 points.

 

Shutter        top

1/4,000 ~ 30 sec, bulb.

"Tested to" 100,000 cycles.

 

Remote Control        top

Optional $18 ML-L3 IR remote.

Everyone should have one of these; it works with many other Nikons. Not only is it the replacement for a cable release, it gets you Time exposures and is small enough to carry everywhere.

The D5000 also works with the Remote Cord MC-DC2.

 

Maximum Shutter Speed with Flash (flash sync)        top

1/200.

Pro Nikons are 1/250, and the D40 beats them all at 1/500.

 

Frame Rate        top

4 FPS.

 

Built-in Flash        top

Guide Number 39/12 (Feet/meters at ISO 100).

Does not control wireless i-TTL flash.

 

Image Sensor        top

DX, 12MP CMOS.

Sensor Cleaner: Yes, ultrasonic.

 

Image Sizes        top

4,288 x 2,848 pixels native.

Also 3,216 x 2,136 and 2,144 x 1,424 pixels.

 

Light Meter        top

420 segment RGB Color Matrix. Also center-weighted and spot modes.

 

Automatic Dynamic Range Adjustment (ADR)        top

Yes.

 

Live View        top

Nikon D5000

Katie on the back of the Nikon D5000. enlarge.

Nikon claims four Live View modes. I can't figure them out; I press the [Lv] button on the back and it just goes.

This is just a shot of my baby I Photoshopped onto the back of a press photo of the D5000. When I call up live view, it's a very messy display with all sorts of control graffiti written all over it.

 

ISO        top

ISO 200, default.

ISO 100 ~ 6,400 also available.

Nikon really only wants you using ISO 200 ~ 3,200, so ISO 100 reads "Lo-1" and ISO 6,400 reads "HI+1."

 

File Formats        top

JPG and/or NEF.

 

Video        top

File Format: Motion JPG AVI.

Image Sizes: Bizarre, non-standard 640 x 424 pixels at 24 FPS. Menu option: 1,280 x 720 at 24FPS and bizarre 320 x 216 pixel at 24 FPS.

External audio input? No; just the crummy mono mic on the front.

 

Rear LCD        top

Nikon D5000 Flipping LCD

Nikon D5000 Flipping LCD. enlarge.

2.7," 230,000 dots. I measured one, and the image is only 2.6" diagonally, not 2.7."

Swivels all around like the LCDs on camcorders. Just like camcorders, you can flip it over for its own protection if you're not using it.

Same resolution as D40 but a little bigger; not high-resolution like the D90, D300, D3 and D3X.

 

Storage        top

Single SD card.

 

Data Communication        top

USB 2.

There's also an HDMI HD output with a mini HDMI connector.

 

GPS        top

Optional GP-1.

 

Power

EN-EL9a battery. Charger included.

The EN-EL9 battery from my D40 works perfectly.

Bottom, Nikon D5000

Bottom, Nikon D5000. enlarge.

 

Size        top

5.0 x 4.1 x 3.1." (127 x 104 x 80 mm).

 

Weight        top

21.555 oz. (611.05g) measured with battery and memory card, but no lens, caps or straps.

This is about halfway between the D90 (710g) and the D40 (524g).

Nikon specifies 20 oz (1 lb. 4 oz. or 560g) butt-naked with no battery card, lens, or anything.

 

Price (USA)        top

$600 body only, $700 with 18-55 VR, April 2010.

$630 body only, $730 with 18-55 VR, September 2009.

$730, April and May, 2009. ($850 with excellent 18-55mm VR lens.)

 

Introduced        top

14 April 2009.

 

Available        top

Photographers fist got them delivered on 26 May 2009.

As of November 18th 2010, they no longer seem to be available.

Box, Nikon D5000

Box, Nikon D5000. enlarge.

 

Performance        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

Top, Nikon D5000

Top, Nikon D5000. enlarge.

 

Autofocus        top

AF works fine, just like a D40. In the dark, it needs to light up its little assist light; the D5000 isn't a low-light speed demon like the D3.

If the light is unfavorable and the D5000 can't really see what it's doing, it's not unusual that it will hang up and not focus, losing your picture, just as the D40 will do in very dim light.

Often light this dim doesn't result in a clear photo anyway, but if you're shooting in really crappy light, you want a D700 or D3.

The rear multi-controller works great to select AF points. The center button gets right to the center AF point.

 

Manual Focus        top

If you set CSM a4 (Rangefinder) to ON, the bar graph becomes a focus bar graph, which you may or may not find handy.

It doesn't update instantly, like a real rangefinder, but it is a better indication than the single OK dot that simple Nikons have instead.

I found it also handy when I put the lens manually at its closest focus distance and moved in and out to get the closest possible shot.

 

Meter        top

The meter is among the most accurate I've used, better and more consistent than the D40 and D80.

The D5000 meter is at least as good as the D90 and D300.

 

Data        top

Unlike higher-up cameras, there is no way to save settings to a card.

You can save and recall Picture Control settings.

JPG files are set at 300 DPI by default, which is a pain for me as a web designer since I have to set them back to 72 DPI in a Photoshop action to get my type to render properly on them.

The file numbering sequence incorrectly defaults to OFF, meaning you'll often be shooting files named DSC_0001.JPG.

Remember to set CFN d4 to ON so your files start at the last number you shot so you'll not have duplicate file numbers on your hard drive. If you do, it's a bear to put them on the same CD or thumb drive to bring to Price Club to get printed, or put on the same web page!

 

Picture Controls        top

The D5000 has the exact same Picture COntrol settings and look as the D300, D3, D3X, and D90.

 

Automatic Dynamic Range            top

The D5000 has the same Automatic Dynamic Range (ADR) Settings as the D300, D3, D3X, and D90, and includes the newer Auto setting of the D90.

 

Controls        top

It's basic, just like the D40. There are no buttons for ISO, WB or QUAL; you get to them in the menus. You can program one FUNC button to do your choice of many of these things, but you then lose the self timer button.

There is no one-handed INFO button like on the D90. You need a second hand to hit the replay button (you don't need a second hand to play right after you shoot), and need a second hand to delete pictures or get into the menus.

 

Quiet Mode        top

In its Quiet Mode, the D5000 is the quietest Nikon ever.

The D5000's Quiet Mode is a shutter release mode selected in the Info Screen in the same place you choose Single, Continuous, Self Timer or Remote Control. It's at the very bottom, where you won't see it unless you click all the way down.

As mentioned here, Quiet Mode is a regular shooting mode not related to Live View. In Quiet Mode, you get one picture every time you press the shutter.

Quiet Mode slows down the mirrors and mechanical junk that has to fly around inside the D5000, which makes it much quieter. This adds a tiny delay between when you press the shutter and when the mirror flips up and the picture gets taken. This is a small price to pay for quiet; remember, in the situations you use Quiet Mode you're working very delicately. (See also reducing shutter lag.)

The D5000 in Quiet Mode is even a tiny little bit quieter than a Leica M7, which is the cloth-shuttered rangefinder camera used by modern journalists when they need a quiet camera.

The D5000 in Quiet Mode is far quieter than any digital Nikon SLR, and far quieter than the Nikon F, Nikon F2, Nikon F3, Nikon FM, Nikon FE, Nikon FA, Nikon F4 in its own quiet advance mode, and even a little quieter than the Nikon SP and Leica M3 mechanical cloth-shuttered rangefinder cameras from the 1950s. I'm not just making this up; I have all these cameras sitting right here and compared them.

How did I measure this? I used my ears! Fire a Leica M7 and then snap a D5000 in Quiet Mode, and they are about the same. Snap any other SLR, and it's like night-and-day.

Ears work better than dB meters when comparing which is loudest, even if you can't show impressive-looking but relatively meaningless numbers. I have plenty of dB meters here, but the jury is still out — and has been for decades — trying to agree on objective standards for measurements of discontinuous noise that correlate well to perceived levels. In layman's terms, this means that the best way to quantify which is quietest is to listen.

(I'm actually much better in audio than I am at photography. When the Hollywood section of the Audio Engineering Society, of which I've been a member since high school and eventually became an officer, came to me as one of the local experts and asked me to present a technical paper on the relationship between audio measurements and perception, I had to explain that there usually isn't any. The $50,000 audio instruments I sold only tell you if something is broken or not – not how good it sounds. This came from me back when I was working for one of the world's leaders in measurement instruments, hee hee. I'm honest to a fault.)

I gave up looking for quieter Nikons. There just aren't any. My Nikon F6 has film in it, but I doubt it's any quieter. The only camera that might be quieter is the Konica Hexar, or of course a no-moving-parts digital compact.

There are no SLRs anywhere near as quiet as a D5000 in Quiet Mode.

Not only is the D5000 the same as, or a little quieter than the LEICA, the D5000 winds itself at the same time, while the LEICA still needs to wind film. (Forget the LEICA Motor-M, it's noisier than thumb-winding.)

The fact that the D5000 is at least as quiet as the Leica M7 means it probably also can replace the Leica M8.2 for journalists. (I haven't tried an M8.2.) Sorry, Leica; this was Leica's last remaining professional stronghold.

The D5000 weighs less than the M7, too. HA HAH!

I am paying respect to the LEICA as the world's finest series-production camera. The LEICA is almost as quiet as a D5000 in Quiet Mode, and by comparison, every other copy of the Leica is far noisier. The electronic LEICA M7 is very good; the mechanical LEICA M3 is a little noisier from various mechanical aftersounds at the slower speeds where sound levels are most critical.

To sum up, the D5000 in Quiet Mode is as quiet as the LEICA. After 50 years, Nikon SLRs have stuck it to Leica again. The Minolta CLE and Zeiss Ikon are louder, and any other SLR is like a metal band by comparison. I haven't compared the D5000 directly to the Voigtländer bodies, but since the Voigtländers are louder than LEICA, they must be louder than the D5000 in Quiet Mode.

Not even the D5000 or the LEICA is quiet enough to shoot politely from the audience of a live performance. For those, you need to shoot the dress rehearsal or from behind glass in the recording booth.

 

Live View        top

Live view is still primitive.

Live View is easy to use (just press the [Lv] button), but autofocus is slow to nonexistent.

Live View doesn't work very well; get a point-and-shoot like a Canon SD880 if you want better response while viewing through the LCD.

 

Video        top

D5000 movies are crummy.

Autofocus is slow in Live View, and doesn't work at all in movie mode. If you can't track motion and keep it in focus, why shoot a video? Get a camcorder or pocket camera if you want decent video files.

The sound is from one crummy mono microphone, and the video images are compressed to fit the SD memory card, just like any point-and-shoot.

Not only are the video images captured funny from a sensor designed for still, not moving images, the D5000 has to compress the files to fit them on the SD card. You can't capture free streaming video as a camcorder can. For instance, a one-hour DV tape records video at 25Mb/s (bits), or a total of 12GB (Bytes) per hour. The D5000 records video files at only about 2.5GB/hour; a 10s clip at 640 x 424 is 7MB.

Did I say 640 x 424? That's non-standard 1.5:1 aspect ratio, not real 4:3 or 16:9 video.

The D5000 captures at 24FPS for jerky video, while a camcorder captures at 60 fields per second for fluid live motion. Sadly the shutter angles of the D5000 don't look cinematographic; they just look foolish.

Get a camcorder, or even a pocket camera like the discontinued Casio EX-V8, if you want decent moving pictures or decent sound.

You can't see through the viewfinder while shooting. It blacks out.

You can't use the LCD Live View display for shooting anything that moves (the whole point of a video) because its image is delayed a critical fraction of a second. You're only seeing things on the LCD after they happen.

The D5000 can't autofocus while shooting, so most of your video will be out of focus.

Auto exposure does track while shooting.

You cannot set manual exposure while shooting. The exposure will move up and down automatically as the scene changes.

You can dial-in Exposure Compensation while shooting, but you'll hear the knob clicking in the audio!

Lens VR works while shooting.

Vertical lines distort while panning left or right. Everything wiggles as if it's made from Jello

Video File Compression: Much better than needed for YouTube, nowhere near as good as a DV camcorder.

Video Quality: Much worse than a camcorder.

Audio Quality: Voice notes only, crappy mono mic.

 

Ergonomics        top

Ergonomics are great, just like the D40.

The biggest news in the D5000 is the use of an approximation of Helvetica instead of the 7-segment font used previously for f/stop and shutter speed readouts.

The INFO panel rotates as you rotate the D5000.

You need two hands to delete images, two hands to get into the menu system, and two hands to hit PLAY if you don't catch it right after you take the shot,

 

Playback        top

Whoo hoo, scrolling around a zoomed image is among the fastest I've seen in any digital camera.

You can scroll diagonally through a zoomed image, too!

The bad news is that there is a firmware defect, at least in my D5000 firmware versions A: 1.00, B: 1.00, L: 1.001.

After you take a picture and an image pops on the screen, if you spin the dial to get to other images as you can do on other Nikons, instead of changing to the other pictures, the D5000 accidentally interprets that input as thinking you want to change your exposure settings.

You shoot an image, see the playback, and spin the knob to see the other images. Nothing happens, but what's happening behind your back is that you're shifting your program, aperture or shutter speeds unintentionally, and they'll be torked as soon as you try to make your next shot.

Until Nikon fixes this, you need to hit the PLAY button twice to get back to the official play mode when an image pops up right after shooting it, or tap the rear multi-controller left or right, before the rear control dial swaps photos instead of unintentionally screwing with your exposure settings.

The technical reason this happens is because for some reason half the D5000 still thinks its in SHOOT mode when the image pops up on the back screen after shooting it, so its reading your dial changes as exposure input, not playback input.

Face recognition works on playback. Its usually easy to swap among zoomed faces on playback. I see no benefits to exposure when shooting, as far as I can tell, if the D5000 can't recognize faces and do anything about it while its shooting. Even when the D5000 recognizes faces, if they were in shadow and you didn't pop up the flash, they still come out too dark.

 

LCD        top

The 2.6" LCD (measured) has the same resolution as the D40 LCD, just a little bigger. The D90 has a much bigger and much sharper LCD.

The D5000's LCD is bright and accurate.

You can flip it all around, and even flip it closed for protection and so you can just shoot like a film camera, without the distraction of looking at the LCD after every shot.

 

High ISOs        top

High ISOs look the same as the D90, which is a lot better than the D300.

See my Nikon D40, D5000, D300 and D3 high ISO comparison for examples.

ADR , which is ON by default as it should be, raises the noise levels, which is better than not having ADR and getting blocked-up shadows or highlights. ADR works harder and adds more noise in harsh lighting, thus skin can look noisy and nasty in contrasty light at ISO 1,600, and perfectly fine in better, softer light at ISO 3,200.

Blacks are crushed (made darker) at very high ISOs; this makes the image harsher. The D5000 doesn't display the easy elegance at high ISOs as FX cameras do.

 

Picture Tricks        top

Believe it or not, automatic lens distortion correction really works!

Its off by default, but turn it ON, and it really does remove all the distortion of the 10-24mm or other lenses by magic, right as it records the JPGs to your card. The D5000 works with the raw data in-camera and doesn't seem to lose any sharpness or resolution doing these transformations.

 

Mechanics        top

The body is all plastic. It's very good plastic and saves a lot of weight. There is no glass in the pentaprism above the lens; it's just air surrounded by mirrors, again to save weight.

The lens mount is metal, and lenses feel very smooth coming off and on.

 

White Balance        top

The D5000 has all the Gen 2 tweaks like individual amber/blue and green/magenta trims on each setting. These trims are saved and recalled along with each setting, so if you trim the Auto setting one way and the Cloudy setting another way, each setting stays as you trimmed it.

There is no Kelvin setting as there is on fancier Nikons.

There is no ability to save or recall more than one manual PRESET setting. It's easy to set the one manual PRESET, but you only have one setting.

 

Compared        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

 

See also my Nikon D5000 Series Comparison Table.

 

Compared to Canon

I'm not going to compare the D5000 to Canon.

The two are completely different. Even though I own quite a few Canon film and DSLRs, I wouldn't bother with Canon in this price range because I find the Nikons so much easier to shoot. Nerd sites and specs can't tell you this, but try to go out and shoot them, and with Canon, it's tougher to get the camera to go.

Nikon just shoots, while Canon always seems to bog me down behind more clicks in more menus.

 

Basics, compared among current models:

 
D5000
Utility and external controls
Basic
Basic
Superb
Superb
Battery, viewfinder and body mechanics
D40
D40 with swivel screen
D90
Metal D90
Sync Speed
1/200
1/200
1/200
1/250
Technical quality: great prints up to at least
30x40" (75x100cm)
30x40" (75x100cm)
30x40" (75x100cm)
30x40" (75x100cm)
Weight, Oz.**
18.5 oz.
21.6 oz.
25.2 oz.
30 oz.
Weight, g.**
525g
611g
710g
860g
Price (4/2010, USA)
$500 incl. lens
$700 incl. lens
$975 no lens
$1,700 no lens
Pick?
No. Crummy ergonomics.
Pick: Much improved over D3000, but expensive
Pick: great price, features and utility
Skip: too expensive and heavy.

 

Specifics, compared among various models:

 
D5000
Introduced
11/2006
1/2008
4/2009
8/2008
8/2007
Shoot with one hand?
no
no
no
Yes
no
Meter Accuracy
Usually needs -2/3 exp. comp.
Often perfect
Often perfect
Often perfect
Delete with one hand?
Yes
Yes
no
no
no
Finder Size
Tiny
Tiny
Tiny
Small
Small
Finder Mag*
0.44x
0.44x
0.44x
0.53x
0.53x
Pentaprism
Mirror
Mirror
Mirror
Glass
Glass
Superimposed battery warnings
no
no
no
Yes
Yes
DOF preview
no
no
no
Yes
Yes
Image Quality
Gen 1
Gen 1.5
Gen 2
Gen 2
Gen 2
Sync Speed
1/500
1/200
1/200
1/200
1/250
iTTL Remote Flash Control?
no***
no***
no***
Yes
Yes
AF w/older AF Lenses?
no
no
no
Yes
Yes
AF Points
3
3
11
11
51
Pixels
6 MP
10 MP
12 MP
12 MP
12 MP
FPS
2.5 FPS
3 FPS
4 FPS
4.5 FPS
6 FPS
Intervalometer
no
?
Yes
no
Yes
LCD size
2.5"
2.5"
2.7"
3"
3"
LCD resolution
240x320
240x320
240x320
640x480
640x480
Sensor cleaner
Not needed
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Weight, Oz.**
18.5 oz.
18 oz.
21.6 oz.
25.2 oz.
30 oz.
Weight, g.**
524g
520g
611g
710g
860g
Price (5/09, USA)
$430 incl. lens
$550 incl. lens
$730 no lens
$975 no lens
$1,700 no lens

* With standard (for DX) 28mm lens. Nikon cheats and lists magnification for 50mm lenses, which is a tele lens on DX and of course gives a much higher magnification number to hide the fact that all DX cameras have horribly tiny viewfinders.

** Actual measured weights including batteries and card, but no caps or lens. Nikon measures cameras stripped.

*** Must use SU-800; built-in flash can't control remote flashes.

© 2010 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

Compared to obsolete models:

 
D5000
Introduced
4/2009
8/2006
11/2005
6/2006
Shoot with one hand?
no
no
no
no
Meter Accuracy
Often perfect
Usually needs -2/3 exp. comp.
Often perfect
Often perfect
Delete with one hand?
no
no
no
no
Finder Size
Tiny
Small
Small
Small
Finder Mag*
0.44x
0.53x
0.53x
0.48x
Pentaprism
Mirror
Glass
Glass
Glass
DOF preview
no
Yes
Yes
Yes
Image Quality
Gen 2
Gen 1
Gen 1
Gen 1
Sync Speed
1/200
1/200
1/250
1/250
iTTL Remote Flash Control?
no***
Yes
Yes
Yes
AF w/older AF Lenses?
no
Yes
Yes
Yes
AF Points
11
11
11
11
Pixels
12 MP
10 MP
10 MP
12 MP
FPS
4 FPS
3 FPS
5 FPS
5 FPS
Intervalometer
Yes
?
Yes
?
LCD size
2.7"
2.5"
2.5"
2.5"
LCD resolution
240x320
240x320
240x320
240x320
Sensor cleaner
Yes
no
no
no
Weight, Oz.*
21.6 oz.
22 oz.
30 oz.
45 oz.
Weight, g.*
611g
615g
860g
1,250g
Price (5/09, USA)
$730
used
used
used

* With standard (for DX) 28mm lens. Nikon cheats and lists magnification for 50mm lenses, which is a tele lens on DX and of course gives a much higher magnification number to hide the fact that all DX cameras have horribly tiny viewfinders.

** Including batteries, duh; not stripped as specified by Nikon.

*** Must use SU-800; built-in flash can't control remote flashes.

© 2009 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

Recommendations        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Recommendations

I love the D5000. I used to love the old D40 more, but it's no longer available, making the D5000 my top DSLR pick.

If price doesn't matter, the Nikon D90 is a superior camera because it provides more direct-control knobs and buttons to allow you to make settings and adjustments faster than you can on the simpler D5000, D60, D40x or D40.

The D90 has significantly better utility than the D40, D40x, D60 and D5000 because the D90 adds many more direct control knobs and buttons to get to its extra features, while the D5000 and D40 share the same lack of buttons and rely more on menus for many settings, like ISO or White Balance. The D90 also adds many more features useful to skilled photographers not present in the D5000, like Kelvin settings for WB adjustment.

If you want full-frame for a larger viewfinder, superb hyper-ISO quality, get the D700. No DX camera, regardless of rated ISO, is anywhere near as clean as any of the FX cameras like the D3, D3X and D700.

Few people need hyper ISOs. You're far better off buying a a $200 35mm f/1.8 lens to use on a DX camera than shooting a slow (f/3.5~5.6) zoom on an FX camera.

All said and done, you'll notice I use several cameras to shoot different things. If I was a normal person and could only choose one camera for everything, the D5000 just might be that camera if I couldn't stretch for the D90.

The D5000 is the smallest, lightest Nikon that has technical image quality indistinguishable from Nikon's best D3 and D700 in good light.

 

More Information: Nikon, Japan.

 

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Ken

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