Expert Review of Nikon D5000 DSLR Black
One of the latest entries in the long line of impressive DSLRs from one of the world leaders in camera business, Nikon is the new Nikon D5000 SLR, positively giving crystal clear quality of image and a power feature set, that can represent a great upgrade over the device which it succeeded, Nikon D60. As the trend has been set up in today’s world, Nikon D5000 borrows a great deal of its specifications from higher end models like Nikon D90, and remoulds it in a better, more efficient form factor with at least one key advantage in its favour. While the neck to neck competitor, Canon, is busy increasing resolutions of the camera, Nikon made a probably sensible decision in sticking on to the same sensor as D90. Why is this decision sensible?! It’s sensible because while the Canon EOS 500D features three extra Megapixels, Nikon D5000 delivers what is regarded to be superior image quality overall. Set Canon to 100 ISO with a decent lens and it will out-resolve Nikon D5000 with ease, but use the standard kit lenses or increase the sensitivity much beyond 200 ISO and Nikon D5000 takes the lead by miles. Improvements in the specifications include a 10.2 MP CCD sensor of its predecessor changed to 12.3 MP CMOS sensor of Nikon D90. Nikon D5000also offers the same base sensitivity range of 200-3200 ISO with Lo-1 and Hi-1 options extending it to 100 and 6400 ISO respectively.
A vibrating low pass filter and Nikon’s Airflow system combat dust. The imaging pipeline of the device remains unchanged too, with change including the employment of 12 bit analog -to-digital conversion and an EXPEED processor offering identical Active D-Lighting options and the automatic correction of lateral chromatic aberrations on in-camera JPEGs. Nikon D5000 does add a few new processing tricks beyond the D90 though including Soft Filter, Colour Outline and Perspective Control options in the Retouch section, along with 16:9 and 1:1 trimming options. The shutter block of the camera is rated for 100,000 cycles, although continuous shooting in this device isn’t quite that quick. Now that Nikon D5000 has D90’s sensor and processing pipeline, it easily has two major advantages over its predecessor which bring it head on to the latest tech world: Live View and HD video recording.
Design and Build Quality
Design wise Nikon D5000 resembles Nikon D60 a lot, although the camera is relatively taller and better all credits to the new screen. With the exact dimensions of 127mmx104mmx80mm, with naked eye the camera may be identical in width to its predecessor, but it is 10mm taller and 16mm thicker. Nikon D5000 is actually biggest in size in its group, actually it is the heaviest too, weighing at 611 gms compared to 530gms for Canon and 521 gms for Olympus. . The control layout is essentially the same as Nikon D60, with only minor variations. As such most of the action takes place to the right of the viewfinder head, where you’ll find the main mode dial, the shutter release surrounded by a rotary power switch, and a pair of buttons. The right button still adjusts the exposure compensation (or the aperture in Manual mode), but the left button is now once again labelled Info, like the earlier D40x.
Focus and Face Detection
Nikon has performed a significant upgrade to our star Nikon D5000 by equipping it with the same 11-point system as the D90 (earlier products of the group came with 3 point AF system. This employs the same Multi-CAM 1000 module with a single cross-type sensor, and the options appear to be identical. As such there’s three main AF modes: AF-S (Single Servo AF), AF-C (Continuous Servo AF) and AF-A (an Auto mode which selects between them depending on whether the subject is in motion – this is the default option). These are selected from the main information display screen, where you’ll also be offered a Manual focusing option.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Nikon D5000 comes embedded with a F-mount which can accommodate most Nikkor lenses, with the DX-format sensor resulting in their field of view being reduced by 1.5 times; so the DX 18-55mm VR kit lens delivers an effective focal range of 27-83mm. Nikon D5000 is typically sold in a kit with the Nikkor DX 18-55mm VR lens. The VR stands for Vibration Reduction and provides the lens with anti-shake capabilities which you can see through the viewfinder, although with a longest equivalent focal length of 83mm, any wobbling isn’t that obvious.
Screen and Menus
One of the most striking features, probably a trump card for all the other devices, of Nikon D5000 is its articulated screen which gives huge flexibility when composing in Live View, allowing you to face the screen up for shooting at very low angles, or face it down for shooting with it held high overhead – perhaps for shooting over the heads of crowds. One can also easily twist the screen to face the front for self portraits and looks good in hand too. The camera is equipped with a 2.7 inch monitor with the image pixel resolution of 230000 pixels.
Nikon D5000 is embedded with a EN-EL9a Lithium Ion battery pack, an enhanced version of that used by its predecessor and 8% more powerful with a 1080mAh rating. Nikon claims this is good for 510 shots under CIPA conditions, although doesn’t include using Live View, the movie mode or even VR lenses. Use all the features of Nikon D5000 and like all cameras, the battery life will deplete much faster.
Nikon D5000 is overall fifth and Nikon’s second DSLR to feature Video recording, video can be recorded at 720p HD at 24 frames per second.
Nikon D5000 shares the same 12.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor as the D90. This conforms to Nikon’s DX format, measures 23.6x15.8mm and delivers 3:2 images with a top resolution of 4288x2848 pixels and there’s the choice of two lower resolutions, along with three JPEG compression levels: Fine, Normal and Basic. Normal is the default, but we used Fine for all our test shots.
Great image quality with low noise.
Fully-articulated screen with Live View.
720p HD movie mode.
11-point AF and viewfinder guides.
No AF motor for older lenses.
UI slow for experienced owners.
Relatively small optical viewfinder.
Screen hinged at bottom, not side.