Nikon D5000 Hands-On

April 14, 2009 | Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras | 22 Comments | |
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We spent some hands-on time with the new Nikon D5000 at today’s UK launch. Although we couldn’t actually shoot any photos with the pre-production cameras on display, we have compiled a gallery of 22 images showing the D5000 from every conceivable angle.

First impressions of the new Nikon D5000 are mainly positive. It offers similar build and handling quality as the D90, retaining that distinctive Nikon feel, whilst simplifying some aspects of its operation. There are additional scene modes for beginners, including artistic effects like High Key and Candlelight, with 19 modes available in total. The vari-angle monitor is fun to use, making it easy to take shots from unusual angles and particularly appealing to the point and shoot user who’s upgrading from a compact camera. Live View has been further improved, with faster operation and focusing, including a new mode that can track a specific subject of the user’s choosing. The 11-point autofocus is a significant upgrade over the 3 point system of the cheaper D60 model.

There are a few downsides which may put off the consumer/family audience that the D5000 is mainly targeted at. These include the high price tag, which is certainly competitive with the Canon EOS 500D / Rebel Ti1, but still a serious investment for the casual user. The lack of a dedicated video button is a strange omission on a supposedly family-friendly camera, as is the continued absence of autofocus during movie recording, and the video quality is only 720p - the up-coming Panasonic Lumix GH1 offers all of these features and 1080p quality.

We’ll have a full review of the Nikon D5000 very soon…

Image Gallery

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22 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Ry

Okay, so the pics are great, but what about the details guys? No tentative release date in NA or Europe, and not a mention of price. You mentioned it was going to hold a "high price tag" but that comment is relative to who's reading.

Do right by the people who have been waiting weeks for details on the camera. We've seen pics, and while yours are nice, a little more detail from this event would be useful also.

4:48 pm - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#2 Dee yan

Yes, there is no details mentioning the gear

5:48 pm - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#3 Mark Goldstein

You can find full details about the Nikon D5000, including international pricing and launch dates, in this news article:

5:53 pm - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#4 Will Colsher

Yes the panasonic Lumix (and other low rent digicams) will record 1080p "[quality]"

It's highly disingenuous to equate a camera with a sensor the size of a grain of sand with an aps-c sensor that can record great looking pictures+video with better color, contrast, and dynamic range at iso 3200 than the lumix can at iso 400.

I get that the LCD consumer will see 1080p on a check box and go with the cam that is 700 bucks cheaper but this is not a cheap piece p.o.s. and neither Nikon or Canon is crying over losing that customer to a lower price-point.

7:15 pm - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#5 Olivier_G

"a camera with a sensor the size of a grain of sand"

The Panasonic GH1 has a sensor 33% smaller than the Nikon's APS-C. They are considered in the same ballpark.

7:36 pm - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#6 ian


The Panasonic GH1 is a micro-4/3rds camera. The sensor is 18x13.5mm or 175mm^2. Nikon APS-C is 23.7x15.5mm or 367mm^2. It's a significant difference but MFT is not "size of a grain of sand." Either you're thinking of a smaller 1/1.7" based camera, or you don't think before you type. I'm guessing the latter.

Personally I shoot Nikon FX because 864mm^2 is more than twice as much as even Nikon DX.

7:45 pm - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#7 Colin Angus

Si is this a DX or a Fx camera?

9:42 pm - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#8 mcurrens

Since when is a $1500 camera (almost double the cost of the new Nikon) considered "low rent?"

12:43 am - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

#9 abby

this digital camera looks very nice .
here I also have a good place:
there are many kinds of beautiful and powerful consumer electronics that I like it very much!

10:18 am - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

#10 Nancy J Ori

I would probably be interested in it if you could get it without the stock lens at a lower price and get a lens that is decent for real shooting. You only show the flip down in one position. Wondering if it also swivels. If I wanted to shoot video, I would get a video camera.

1:07 pm - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

#11 John Driggers

The 720 vs the 1080 debate. Like megapixels, more is not always better. 720 is better for faster moving subjects (sports, etc) than 1080 because it paints the whole screen in one pass and results in a sharper picture. Since "movies" are probably being made of moving" subjects, 720 may suit many users better (i.e. kids sports, auto racing, fast panning, etc). That's why the sports oriented TV channels in the US have selected 720HD as their broadcast standard instead of 1080. Sadly, most will rush to judgement based on a number instead of understanding. For a fuller explanation see the Video for Photographers article on the www luminous-landscape dot com site.

1:58 pm - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

#12 cassandra

smart articulated LCD screen . this useful component ought to be a standard feature on all DSLRs .

9:25 pm - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

#13 mikeinmagog

The photos of the screen folded down - that doesn't offer any improvement over just leaving it in the closed position. BUT...if you fold it up to a perpendicular position, the camera can now be used waist-level, like a Hasselblad or a Rolleiflex, with the screen on the lens axis.

That is this screen configuration's real strength. You can't achieve that with most of the tilt and swivel screens out there.

Brave, Nikon.

5:03 am - Thursday, April 16, 2009

#14 Alexander

What about built-in motor for lens without it, wireless flash synchronization and other not so professional features? Thanks Nikon :D.

4:59 pm - Thursday, April 16, 2009

#15 My Nikon

Photo and Detail is good
i like nikon d5000

5:46 am - Sunday, April 19, 2009

#16 kim

Pics and video looks great to me

2:42 pm - Monday, April 20, 2009

#17 Nikon DSLR Camera Man

Another graet addition to Nikon DSLR line-up. Have to wait longer to decide wether to upgrade my d40 or not, since the D5000 price are too high.

2:19 am - Friday, May 15, 2009

#18 Colin Angus

I shall wait until I can afford the Nikon D700.
Last February I did purchase a Nikon 70-200 vr lens and I love it. But I don't use it that much as my 18-35mm Nikon is used the most.

9:43 am - Monday, May 18, 2009

#19 julie jefferson

Nikon India have posted an impressive picture gallery by Adarsh Anand , a professional photographer. He has done pix at different iso settings and has made the shots in a very down to earth style...this prompted me to chek out the camera and I ended buying one with kit lens...truly, this is one helluva camera. I dont feel like putting it away and am constantly shooting . Thanks Nikon.

7:20 am - Thursday, July 23, 2009

#20 rohit berry

I agree with you Julie, Nikon D5000 is truly an amazing camera. Compact and light yet packed with features. I checked out the picture gallery of Mr.Adarsh Anand on Nikon india website and barring a couple of shots which to my mind are too earthy, overall he has shown the true potential of the camera in a simple yet fantastic way. I checked all his pix and found that none of the pix is cropped...they all are full format(DX) and I did not notice any photoshopping either. Well done Mr.Adarsh Anand.

11:54 am - Saturday, July 25, 2009

#21 samir madhavan

Nikon India's office in Gurgaon is loaded with picturs of photographer Adarsh Anand. Some really HUGE prints of his aerial shots in a quality that is impossible to believe came from small format cameras.Adarsh Anand is truly a master craftsman. His pictures are blown up to massive sizes and yet show incredible detail. Nikon cameras and lenses are really fantastic especially when used by the right people.

9:02 am - Saturday, August 8, 2009

#22 londoner

2 weeks after purchase I started having problems with it. all function buttons simply stopped responding. Each time the camera is turned on or off, flash pops up on its own - which is quite annoying. something is wrong with electrical design of this camera.

9:37 pm - Wednesday, October 7, 2009