I’ve always loved the versatility of the hybrid, still and video camera in one, and the Nikon D5000, 12.9 megapixel, does not disappoint on any level. With movie capture capabilities of up to 1280 X 720 at 24 frames per second including mono sound. I found the video capture results to be crisp, smooth and detailed. The VR lenses result in reduced camera shake and the fast prime lens will allow you to shoot in extremely low light. The only thing that could be a little tricky for beginners is the lack of auto focus during video capture.
Handling this camera made me smile. People are always boasting about how small and light their cameras are but when I picked up the Nikon D5000 I had a flashback of a scene from one of my favourite movies (Don’t laugh…it’s Jurassic Park?) the park guide announces when a little kid picks up some of the equipment …”is it heavy?…well then it’s expensive! Put it down.” An idea certainly not aimed at the price, but boasting of product quality.
The D5000 struts a solid weight and a comfortable size with plenty finger space. The body area is uncluttered by a rainfall of buttons and feels sturdy and strong.
The tilt and swivel LCD, as always, is a big plus in my notes. Enabling you to twist and spin the screen to face in almost any direction while shooting. The swivel LCD is 2.7inches with 230,000 dots.
Even thought the Nikon doesn’t have auto focus in video mode, it does have an 11 point auto focus, with 3D tracking, in picture mode. The Nikon D5000 also boast 4 frames per second continuous shooting, face detection with subject tracking and Live View with a contrast detect auto focus. The auto focus feature performed really well in good lighting conditions and to my delight didn’t back down in poor lighting either. With the D5000, keeping moving subject in focus is incredibly easy even for beginner photographers due to the Dynamic-area Auto Focus.
The numbers: Press to capture at 0.02 seconds & shooting up to 4 frames per second with 510 shots per battery charge from the -EL9a lithium-ion battery.
A nifty little trick that this camera does, which is called Image Sensor Cleaning, pulses a sort of “wave” through the lens and effectively shakes off loose dust particles.
You have the option of putting gridlines on your View Finder for correct positioning of your subject in the frame.
Also, you have the option of using “Active D-Lighting”, a feature that helps to eliminating the need to spend so much time editing your photos after you have taken them by boosting the shadowed details and helping you to avoid over exposure with highlighted areas.
The Nikon D5000 has 3D Colour Matrix Metering II with a scene recognition exposure system. Also a built-in flash, and a 200 to 3200 nominal ISO range and has been shutter tested for over 100,000 cycles.
The Nikon D5000 has a built in flash with a range of about 17 feet and if you need something more powerful than that there is a spot to accept an external flash.
The Nikon D5000 has a Nikon F Bayonet lens mount which means that over 40 million Nikon lenses dating as far back as 1959 will fit the body and be interchangeable with this newer model.
I found the camera to have a very good reproduction of true colour to picture. The LCD did not give an unrealistic idea of the colours the photo was being taken in.
In your menu you have an option which allows you to view your pictures in calendar view playback which I thought was a really good function.
My conclusion: I give this camera a 3 star rating for video (beginners aren’t going to fair well without the auto focus) and a 4 star rating in still image capture. HOWEVER; if you are a professional photographer this camera will serve well to compliment your existing skill.