Nikon D5000 is the latest mid-range consumer DSLR with high definition video and vari-angle screen.
Nikon D5000 dust reduction system
The dust reduction system on this camera is three-stage to ensure that images remain mark-free at all times. The most visible of these is the vibrating low-pass filter in front of the sensor, as each time the camera is turned on or off the LCD screen displays ‘image sensor cleaning’ as the filter shakes any dust loose.
The air-flow technology, as seen on the D60 is also used by using the movement of the shutter and mirror to push the air through the body, taking any dust build up with it. The final precaution is a software based solution that allows you to take a sample image as a dust reference point which will help remove dust spots during post-processing in Nikon’s Capture NX software.
Nikon D5000 live view
As has now become expected of all new DSLRs, the Nikon D5000 offers live view composition from the LCD screen. This is available for all of the shooting modes and offers an accurate interpretation of the final image with 100% coverage.
There are a various live view focusing options available, from a simple manual focus, aided by the ability to zoom in on an area to ensure accurate focusing, to a selection of intelligent autofocus methods using a contrast detect system directly from the sensor. These include a wide area AF, a normal area AF selectable from any point on the image, face detection and subject tracking.
Nikon D5000 movie mode
One of the most talked about features on this, and its competitor models, is the movie mode. The D5000 offers High Definition video capture to a maximum of 1280×720 pixels (720P) at 24 frames per second – though an interlaced, or scaled up, version can be outputted at 1080i.
Once recording there is no option for autofocus, therefore focusing must be performed manually from the lens.
Exposure is controlled automatically and even the exposure compensation becomes non-functional while recording. It is still possible to take a still image at any point during but recording will not automatically recommence afterwards.
Another clever feature that can be found from within the menu is interval shooting. It allows you to set the camera to take multiple still images for a specified number of shots at a chosen interval rate. These can then be made into a stop-motion movie either in-camera or during post processing.
Nikon D5000 connectivity
Tucked away under the protective panel on the side of the camera are the outputs for connecting the camera. As well as the usual mini USB terminal there is a mini HDMI port to allow you to hook the camera up directly to a high definition television to playback your images and movies. There is also a socket to attach Nikon’s GPS device to allow geo-positional tagging of your images.
Nikon D5000 LCD screen
The LCD screen is unique on this camera because of its vari-angle adjustment. A bracket on the bottom of the screen allows it to be rotated vertically through 180 degrees and horizontally through 270 degrees to allowing it to be clearly viewed from almost any angle.
Though we have previously seen adjustable screens on Sony, Olympus and Panasonic models, this is the first Nikon DSLR to include such a feature. This benefit has caused certain sacrifices to be made however, in that the screen itself is a relatively small 2.7in in size and a less impressive 230k dots in resolution.
Nikon D5000 scene modes
For users less familiar with manual functions, the D5000 offers an extensive range of scene modes. Six primary settings appear on the shooting dial including portrait, landscape, action and macro, while a further 13 are available by moving the rear dial, while in the Scene mode. These include more specific modes such as autumn colours and pet portrait, plus advance modes such as high and low key.
Nikon D5000 retouch menu
For those who prefer to print directly from the camera, avoiding post-processing, or just become or creative in-camera, the retouch menu provides a range of image effects and corrections that can be applied to your images after the shot is taken, in the camera. These range from D-lighting to filter effects, and even allow you to process files shot in Raw into JPEG images. In each case the original file is maintained and a second file created on the card.