One of the biggest problems that photographers that want to go professional face is the expensive costs of digital SLR cameras in general, but things are about to change with the newly released Nikon D5000. The D5000 may seem like a high number compared to the powerful D700, but it is actually a midrange camera that is surprisingly affordable and easy to use. This camera was just released recently and that should be enough for all entry-level photographers to get excited and step up.
Nikon D5000’s Position in the D Series
The Nikon D5000 is the newest member of the D Series and the first of its kind having a 4 digit model number. In terms of actual ranking regarding the features and target audience, the D5000 starts a new line of midrange cameras that is separate to the one the D90 is going through. The D5000 tries to be simple for attraction, yet delivers with superb image quality and impressive DSLR capabilities that no other existing Nikon model offers. Therefore, the D5000 is priced lower than the D90 for simplicity yet priced higher than the entry-level leader, the Nikon D60. In fact, the D5000 makes a smoother upgrade path for D60 owners that need more features.
Some of the features around the front of the camera had minor visual changes, but no major differences regarding the button placements. However, like the D90, three holes can be spotted which serves as the microphone hinting the fact that there is D-Movie Mode support. The Nikon D5000 is also around 10mm taller than the D60 in order to give more breathing room for the articulating LCD. The screw-drive also appears to be missing from this model. Overall, the Nikon D5000 does look different which is fresh for a new model.
The significant differences start to add up once you check out the left side of the camera where you can find some new ports that the D60 lacks. There you can find an HDMI-out port, an accessory port, a combined group port for USB/Audio/Video. The accessory port is dedicated for the optional GPS accessory or wired remote control. There is also a single multi-function flash button that can pop-up the flash into position when pressed. Holding down this button in combination with rotating the command dial lets you change the flash mode. It can also be pressed with the EV compensation button to let the flash exposure completion adjust itself by turning the command dial.
The right side of the camera is where you will insert the SD card. SDHC cards are supported as well giving you higher capacity options.
You will see the bulk of the changes compared to the D60 when you look at the back side of the Nikon D5000 where you will notice the screen a bit larger at 2.7 inches. It is also capable of swinging downward and twisting for better viewing angles. There is even a new “Lv” button that was previously introduced by the D90 to allow point-and-shoot shots to be made. The delete button has also been repositioned to give way for the speaker grill. You can also activate the status icons by pressing the “I” button on the lower left. Finally on the bottom, you can insert the battery.
“Given the D5000 uses the same sensor and imaging sensor as the D90, I decided to upgrade. I’m exceptionally pleased. The D5000 takes exceptional pictures, especially in low-light and in challenging lighting scenarios. The D5000 is the first camera I’ve owned that can take a picture at night and capture everything my eye sees. And this is in Automatic mode (flash off), without a tripod, using an average-speed (f3.5-f5.6) Nikon VR lens. Truly impressive. Images captured even at ISO 1600 have exceptional detail and very low noise. Even when you zoom to 100% the D5000 renders these tough shots beautifully. Highlights are controlled and not blown-out, while even low-contrast areas of the picture are captured. The D5000′s ability to capture all details of an image, even at night, with areas of highly contrasting lighting is even more impressive than it’s low-light performance. A combination of improvements over the D5000: 11 autofocus points, 3D matrix metering, next-generation Active D-Lighting, latest Nikon EXPEED processor. The D5000 has every control you would ever want, yet its menu system remains extremely easy to use even for a beginner. The D5000 also includes a number of additional SCENE modes (a total of 19) for the beginner used to point-and-shoot simplicity. The D5000 includes a “vari-angle” articulated LCD. The screen quality is very bright and easy to see even in sunshine. Using the Live View mode, you can take pictures in hard-to-reach angles such as above a crowd, or looking up from a low angle, or taking a self-portrait. New to the D5000 LiveView is subject tracking, which keeps focus on a moving subject within the frame. All in all, however, the outstanding image quality especially in low-light, and features offset the very minor areas that could be improved. For that, the D5000 gets my 5-star vote. “ – P.Christensen (PA, USA)
The D5000 has a mixed bag of features to boast its uniqueness. First of all, the D5000 can take 12.3 megapixel photos which are impressively larger than the D60 and just as large as the more powerful D90. Just like the other midrange cameras, the DX CMOS image sensor is present with exactly the same size as the D90. It is complete with low noise ISO sensitivity ranging from 200 to 3200, but no special modes which isn’t as bad as 3200 should be decent enough.
The 2.7 inch display can immediately be put into action by activating the “Live View” button and comes with 4 nifty autofocus modes including a mode that is ideal for taking group shots with face-priority autofocus. Fresh shooting perspectives are easier than ever since the LCD monitor and turn and twist at an angle.
Thanks to the ever popular NIKKOR interchangeable lens and microphone, recording video clips is a breeze supporting up to 720p HD. The microphone allows the D-Movie mode to record sound as well.
The continuous shooting mode is just as good as the other midrange DSLR cameras shooting at 4 frames per second which is just enough to capture key moments all without the shooting lags. The shutter itself tests to over 100,000 cycles so you assured a long shutter life so you can take your camera anywhere and use it freely.
There are plenty of familiar technologies that make the Nikon D5000 a powerful camera in terms of image quality. On the internal side, the Nikon 3D Color Matrix Metering II technology is combined with the Scene Recognition System so that any scene can be captured with just the right amount of exposure and autofocus for perfect accuracy. The built-in image sensor cleaning also makes sure that the images stay spot free making photos look even better. If shadows and highlights are the problem, the Auto Active D-Lighting feature can solve that problem with ease producing an even better photo.
Plenty of image editing functions are built into the interface as well so you can do changes to any stored photos such as photo straightening, color outlining, soft filters, perspective controls, red-eye corrections, and more. There are also several picture control settings to try out as well.
Just like the other new DSLR models, the GP-1 GPS Unit can be used to add Geotag capability so GPS information can be added to the photo. Various other accessories are compatible with the D5000 as well.
The Nikon 5000 is an excellent addition to an already impressive lineup of Nikon cameras. With the unique set of features and ease of use, The Nikon D5000 filled in yet another hole so now every photographer can choose a DSLR camera that is works just right.
Average User Rating:
• “Out of the box, my first impression wasn’t the best. Of course there’s the movable LCD and Live View button, but not too much more to separate the outer look and feel from D40 mode. I’m loving this thing. The menus are way better than anything I seen on other Nikons. ISO adjustments and AUTO decisions are all in one place, the access to the Info parameters on screen is really clean, and the LCD clarity is great. The high ISO performance for low light is quite good for my purposes. The wiggly LCD screen is helpful for reading the menus and changing settings with the camera. Also helpful at odd angles to review what you just shot. I use it more for those purposes than the live view. The video isn’t real useful. Zooming without autofocus isn’t much fun. Overall – I really enjoy shooting this camera – and the images are excellent.” – Dave H (NH,USA)
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