Nikon D5000 - Review / Test Report - Verdict
DSLR Reviews - DSLRs

Verdict

The Japanese DSLR manufacturer enhances its consumer line-up between the former D60 and the D90 with the Nikon D5000 and delivers an excellent DSLR at a very fair price level.

The D5000 features a great balanced CMOS image sensor with moderate 12.3 mega-pixels. The latter is meant in the positive sense because the Nikon is capable of delivering very low sensor noise combined with high dynamic range results (for an APS-C DSLR). In combination with Nikon's D-Lightning it's fairly easy to master even tricky light situations so you can confidently concentrate on the scene and delegate the imaging part to the camera and its fast and reliable (phase-detection) AF. The efficient sensor self-cleaning is reassuring in dusty environments. HD movie functionality is available although its implementation leaves something to be desired regarding the lack of AF and rather poor audio quality. It was about time for Nikon's first vari-angle 2.7" display with a resolution of approx. 230k dots - both Sony and Olympus ruled this area so far here. However, the contrast AF of the Nikon D5000 is one of the slowest implementations to date so LiveView may not be all that much fun if you require a good AF performance here. Finally, an extensive retouch menu with various image post processing functions, including RAW development is available and no less than 19 automatic scene modes support newbies straight from the start.
All-in-all the Nikon D5000 represents an exceptionally package not only for beginners but also for enthusiasts. Recommended!

Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Great resolution One of the slowest AF in live view mode
Fast and reliable AF (even in low light) Small viewfinder (still one of the best in its class)
Satisfying high ISO performance No built-in imagestabilizer
Efficient dust reduction system Insufficient direct access buttons
Nikon's first vari-angle display still problems with auto WB at artificial light
Terrific dynamic range in combination with D-LightningNo build-in AF motor (lenses without AF-motor are limited to manual focusing)
HD video functionality
Great battery life




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