Nikon D5000 Review

by Enche Tjin on December 17, 2009

The announcement of Nikon D5000 in April 2009 is quite unexpected for many people. D5000 is quite different than other Nikon beginner cameras (D40, D60), and it also does not resemble Nikon D90, a mid-range Nikon DSLR line.

Nikon D5000 is an unique camera in Nikon line. It has swivel LCD screen (None of other Nikon DSLR has this feature), and it has movie mode (the second camera that has this feature in Nikon line after D90). Along with Nikon D3000, Nikon hopes that D5000 will be a huge success in this holiday season. D5000 will compete against Canon T1i / 500D.

Nikon D5000 compared with small book and a pen

Nikon D5000 main specification:

  • 12 MP CMOS sensor (same as Nikon D90)
  • 2.7″ Swivel (vari-angle) LCD: 90 degree vertical, 270 degree horizontal.
  • 230k LCD resolution
  • 11 AF points
  • Record 720p movie with mono sound, 5 minutes each movie.
  • 4 fps continuous shooting speed
  • 200-4300 native ISO expandable to 100 and 6400
  • No Built-in AF motor


Nikon D5000 weights 588g (with card and battery). The dimension is 127 x 104 x 80 mm which is a bit bigger and taller than D3000. From the top, Nikon D5000 looks exactly the same as Nikon D3000. It has info button, exposure compensation, shutter button and shooting mode ring.

You can flip the screen when you dont use it

Nikon D5000 has a thumb dial which you can use to change aperture or other settings. It also has AE-AF lock button, live view button, four-way controller button, playback button, menu button, trash bin button, magnifying buttons (+ and -) and info button. On the left side, you have self timer (function) button which could be customized. I usually customized it to ISO setting.

The layout and available buttons are very similar to Nikon D3000. If you are coming from higher end Nikon D80-D90 line, you might miss the image quality button, ISO button, AF release mode button, and White Balance button.


D5000 like all other Nikon beginner camera up to Nikon D90 has rugged plastic interior with textured “rough” finish. I personaly like the textured finish more than smooth finish (like in Canon T1i camera).

Ergonomically, D5000 is good to hold, but the space between lens mount and the grip is pretty tight. If you mount bigger lens or if you have big hands, then you might not feel comfortable. However, I feel D5000 has slightly better ergonomic because it has a taller grip than D3000 or D60, so all of my fingers can rest on the grip, instead of hanging loose.

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