The Bottom Line
The Nikon D5000 DSLR camera is a camera that generated a lot of buzz upon its release. After I had a chance to review the Nikon D5000, I can understand the reason for the buzz.
The D5000 is one of the best entry-level DSLR cameras I've had the chance to use. Much of the technology behind the D5000 is based on the Nikon D300, which is a slightly older, much more expensive DSLR camera. For that technology to have trickled down to the D5000 already is beneficial for beginning and intermediate photographers.
The best thing about the D5000 is it works well in fully manual mode, fully auto mode, or anything in between.
- Image quality is excellent
- D5000 provides great mix of manual control and ease of use for a DSLR
- LCD can twist and swivel away from the camera
- Battery life is good for DSLR camera
- Good collection of printed materials - quick start guide and user guide
- Learning the function of each button could be time consuming
- Autofocus can be slow, especially in low light
- Experienced photographers will want more features
- LCD could use more resolution
- Resolution: 12.3 megapixels
- Optical zoom: N/A, uses interchangeable lenses
- LCD: 2.7-inch, 230,000 pixels (can tilt and rotate away from camera body)
- Maximum image size: 4288 x 2848 pixels
- Battery: Li-ion (rechargable)
- Dimensions: 4.1 x 5.0 x 3.1 inches
- Weight: 20 ounces (body only, no battery, no memory card)
- Image sensor: CMOS, 15.8 mm x 23.6 mm
Guide Review - Nikon D5000 DSLR Review
Image QualityWith an effective 12.3 megapixels of resolution and with a high-quality image sensor, the D5000 has excellent image quality. With the D5000, RAW images are of a better quality than JPEG images.
My D5000 review unit included an 18mm-55mm equivalent interchangeable lens, which had sharp focus and image quality. This lens worked great for wide angle shots; you'd want a different lens for telephoto shots, though. The lens focused clearly, both automatically and manually.
Start-up times are fast for the D5000, which doesn't always occur with a DSLR. At times, the autofocus doesn't work very fast, especially with low-light photography, but it is accurate.
You can use the LCD (called "live view") or the optical viewfinder to frame photos, but autofocus is slower when using live view, which is common among DSLR models.
The in-camera editing features are easy to apply.
I found the D5000 easy to hold and use with the 18mm-55mm lens. The camera's weight is balanced nicely, and all of the buttons and lens rings were easily within reach. However, for those looking for their first DSLR camera, it's worth testing the D5000 (or any DSLR model) before buying it, as DSLR cameras are vastly different in operational technique, size, and weight than ultra compact point and shoot models.
The D5000 works very well in fully automatic mode, including the autofocus feature of the lens. However, if you want to learn more about photography, configuring the D5000's manual control features is easy, and the camera shows the settings used during image playback.
Finally, the D5000 includes an LCD that can be tilted and rotated away from the camera body, which is nice. You also can rotate the LCD next to the camera body, protecting the LCD when not using the camera. Unfortunately, the LCD's resolution is less than some DSLR models.