Nikon D5000 Front Controls. enlarge
NEW: Nikon D5000 Users Guide for iPhone and iPod 23 December 2009
Want free live phone support? In the USA, call (800) NIKON-UX, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Flash Bolt +/- Button top
Nikon D5000 Flash Button.
Press this to pop up the flash.
This button also sets the flash sync mode and the brightness of the flash. Flash brightness is more formally called "flash exposure compensation."
Press and hold the flash and +/- buttons and turn the rear dial to change the flash exposure compensation. This sets the brightness of the flash. + makes the flash brighter, - makes it dimmer. This setting only changes the brightness of the flash while leaving the background (ambient) exposure alone. Set it to - if your subjects are getting washed out. If you run out of flash power beyond 10 to 20 feet, then setting it to + can't make the flash any brighter.
If you set flash exposure compensation to anything other than zero, you'll see a little "+/- bolt" icon in the finder and on the top LCD and INFO panel. This resets when you do a green reset.
Press and hold the flash button and turn the rear dial to change the flash sync mode. You'll see the mode shown on the top LCD (and INFO panel) in the box with the bolt.
Flash Sync Modes (set with Bolt button or INFO panel) top
Select these by holding down the flash button on the side of the flash hump and spinning the rear dial. Your selection is shown on the rear LCD in the box with the bolt as you adjust it, and also pops up if you hit INFO.
These modes are the same as explained in my D5000 introduction:
This is the default position.
In Program and A exposure modes, the shutter won't stay open longer than about 1/60 second.
I usually use Normal mode, since if I don't I can get some scary long exposures if I'm not expecting them in the dark.
Bolt and Eyeball (redeye)
I never use this. It shines an obnoxious light in your subject's eyes for a couple of seconds and then releases the shutter after you've already missed the picture. Use this only if you have some people you want to get rid of at a party.
Warning: If I set the Red Eye mode by accident it bugs the heck out of me, because the camera doesn't go off until several seconds after I've pressed the shutter, but I've set no self timer! It doesn't do much to reduce redeye anyway. Skip this mode. You won't know you've set it, since there is no in-camera indication. If for some reason the shutter seems to have a weird delay, check this!
Bolt, Eyeball and SLOW (slow redeye)
This is the SLOW mode and redeye. I don't use it for the same reason I don't use Redeye mode.
Bolt and SLOW (SLOW)
This mode lets the shutter stay open as long as it needs to so dim ambient light can expose properly with flash. These exposure times can get stupid long, in which case you want to use the setting I covered under Normal.
In daylight, SLOW is the same as NORMAL, since exposure times are short. SLOW unlocks the camera in P and A exposure modes to make exposures as long as it wants to in dim light.
Have a look at most issues of National Geographic and you'll see many indoor shots made in this mode. The background exposes correctly, people may be blurred, and a burst of flash freezes them along with the blurry ghost images.
Normal and SLOW do the same thing in S and M exposure modes, since you or the camera may select any shutter speed in these modes regardless of flash sync.
The default combinations of apertures and shutter speeds do not change in Program mode (they do on some older cameras).
Bolt and REAR (REAR)
When you're shooting with flash and long exposures, this makes the blur come from behind moving subjects.
Normally the flash goes off the instant the shutter opens. This makes sense, but looks stupid if you have motion blur because the blurs will be in front of the moving subject. Select REAR mode to have the flash go off as the shutter closes. Now you'll have motion blurring from behind the frozen flash image, which looks great.
Another reason to select REAR is because people presume photos are made the instant a flash fires, then they leave. This wreaks havoc with long exposures, since people will leave at the beginning of the exposure! Use the REAR mode and the flash doesn't go off until the end of the exposure.
REAR doesn't do anything with short exposures. REAR also engages SLOW, but SLOW doesn't light up on the LCD until you take your finger off the flash mode button.
Programmable FUNCTION (Fn) Button top
Nikon D5000 Function (Fn) Button.
The Function (Fn) button lies under your middle finger.
I program this trick button for many different things depending on what I'm doing.
This button is programmed as explained in Custom Functions.
Lens Release Button top
Nikon D5000 lens release button.
Push this button and turn the lens to remove it. It locks automatically when you attach and rotate a lens.
My D5000 User's Guide continues below.
I support my growing family through this website.
This guide is free to read online, but copyrighted and registered. If you haven't helped yet and would like to save or make a printed copy of this article for your camera bag, please send me $5.00 for each complete or partial copy that you print or save, for personal use only. Others charge $29.99 for crappier information, and with your honesty I can continue to offer these guides online for less.
If you bought your D5000 by clicking through my links, then you've saved money and also helped me write this guide. Thank you and please enjoy it. It's great people like you, and those who help me otherwise, who allow me to keep adding to this site for everyone's benefit.
The biggest help is to use these links to Adorama, Amazon, B&H, Ritz and J&R when you get your goodies. It costs you nothing and is a huge help to me. These places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.
Thanks for reading!
KNOBS and BUTTONS
TOP PANEL < < NEXT