Nikon D5000 Hands-On

April 14, 2009 | Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras | Comment |

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

Click on a thumbnail to see the full version.

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