I chose the Nikon D5000 because it best replaced the features of the two cameras that I previously used and to which I was accustomed: the Nikon D40 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 superzoom. The Nikon D5000 is quite a few steps up from the Nikon D40.
So now that I have it, how do I like it?
I can sum it up in three words … I love it! It fully met and exceeded my expectations. After using the D5000 for some time now, I am very impressed.
Here are some of my findings:
D5000 and D40 compatibility
- D40 batteries compatible with the D5000
- uses SD memory cards like the D40
- kit lens of the D40 (18-55mm Nikkor) also compatible with D5000 enabling me to save money by buying the body. The Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens available with D5000 has Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization), and the D40’s does not.
Features of the D5000 which encouraged my purchase:
- higher ISO capability than the D40
- larger body than D40
- High Definition video capability
- self-cleaning sensor
- Larger body (about 1/4″ taller than D40) is much easier to hold
- fast 1/4000 … and down to 30 sec., and bulb
- easy to adjust in Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual modes using the command dial on the back of the camera.
- diopter adjustment control (really helps those of us who wear glasses)
- optional grid on viewfinder is very helpful
- 11 focus points; easy to select using the cursor buttons
- very clear and large (2.7”)
- it tilts and swivels so the screen can be moved 180 degrees in varying angles, which is especially great for those “bug’s-eye-view” macro shots
- very helpful option for increasing time for images to remain on screen after shot, and in playback mode
- menu rotates when camera used in vertical (90 degree) position
- I am really pleased with the quality of shots at higher ISO values – ISO 3200, and even beyond
- noise is minimal (much better than D40), even at “High” values
Li-ion EN-EL9a battery:
- Excellent battery life – even with flash (rated at 510 single-frame shots with flash on every other shot, and 2900 continuous-release shots)
- EN-EL9 from D40 works on D5000 also
- same charger works for both the EN-EL9a and the EN-EL9
- handy, easily accessed “Lv” button on rear of camera to turn off/on live view
- a little slow – due to extra mirror movement (it is raised during live view) when shutter is released
- autofocus is pickier and slower in live view – manual focus is just fine. There are some situations where autofocus will actually not function in live view. They are listed in the camera manual.
- framing grid option – helps in keeping those horizons level
- face priority autofocus – available only with live view – finds and focuses on faces in the frame
HD movie mode:
- 24 fps
- audio – not the best; no volume control for input though there is an option to turn it off
- great image quality, even at smaller sizes
- three sizes: 1280×720, 640×242, 320×216
- can record up to 20 min in the two smaller sizes, only 5 min at 1280×720 (depending on the memory card capacity and speed)
- exposure adjusts with changes in frame (or can be locked)
- manual focus only, after recording begins – kinda awkward
- Custom Setting Menu very easy to understand, and quick and simple to find desired settings