Nikon D5000 - Review / Test Report
DSLR Reviews - DSLRs

by Sebastian Milczanowski


The new Nikon - with the rather unusual name D5000 - enhances Nikon's consumer line-up between the D60 and the D90 and seems to give a first indication on future model names of the Japanese DSLR manufacturer. The handy but quite heavy Nikon D5000 comes with a 12.3 mega-pixel DX format CMOS image sensor and a high-definition movie functionality as well as Nikon's first vari-angle LCD monitor.
Similar to the Nikon D90, the Light sensitivity of the D5000 covers the range from ISO 200 to 3200 and is extendable up to ISO 6400 as well as down to ISO 100. Furthermore, the Nikon D5000 features an integrated dust reduction system to ensure clean shots without dust and debris on the sensor.
Finally, an extensive retouch menu with various image post processing functions, including RAW development, is available and additionally 19 automatic scene modes support newbies at the very beginning.

The Nikon D5000 sells for around ~700€ (body only) or ~900€ with the versatile AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm VR lens, a very attractive lens with good optical quality at good value. (Lens review)

Let's check the key features of the Nikon D5000 comparing to the Olympus E-620 as well as the Canon 500D.

DSLR Nikon D5000 Olympus E-620 Canon EOS 500D
Format Nikon DX (APS-C) Four-Thirds EOS (APS-C)
Sensor size/type 23.6x15.8mm, CMOS 17.3x13.0mm, Live-MOS 22.3x14.9mm, CMOS
Sensor 12mp, 12bit 12mp, 12bit 15mp, 14bit
"Crop" factor 1.5x 2x 1.6x
Sensor dust-removal ultrasonic ultrasonic ultrasonic
AF Sensors 11 (1x cross-type) 7 (5x cross-type) 9 (1x cross-type)
Image Stablizer lens-based sensor-shift lens.based
Metering 3D matrix, center-weighted, spot ESP, center-weighted, spot, Hi-Key, Low-Key 35 segment, center-weighted, partial, spot
HD Video 720p - 720p + 1080p
Live-View yes, tilt-swivel LCD monitor yes, tilt-swivel LCD monitor yes, static LCD monitor
Viewfinder pentamirror (95%, 0.78x) pentamirror (95%, 0.96x) pentamirror (95%, 0.87x)
Size 127x104x80mm 130x94x60mm 129x98x62mm
Weight 583g 515g 520g

Compared to these two competitors the Nikon D5000 has the biggest sensor size (although only by a small margin) whereas Nikon didn't join Canon's "mega-pixel race" and equipped the D5000 with an average resolution of 12,3 mega-pixel. After a short body tour our technical analysis on page three and four will figure out whether this is really a disadvantage or maybe even an advantage due to smaller pixel density.
The applications section on page five is divided in five different photography scenarios - nature, macro, night, portrait as well as sport - and will give you an idea of the potential of the Nikon D5000. Finally, the sixth and seventh page of this review contains some sample shots to give you an idea of the image quality and our verdict of the Nikon D5000.
And now let's start with the usual 360 degrees tour of the Nikon D5000...

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