* Prices may differ from that shownMore Offers
As most of you know I'm a professional photographer and the Nikon D5000 is not a professional level camera. That said I always like having 'new' equipment to fiddle with and recently the opportunity came up for me to get a second hand one of these (complete with 18-55mm kit lens) for an incredibly low price - I won't bother telling you how much as it's far lower than they sell for on the open market, so a bit of pointless information, suffice to say though it was too good a deal to pass up.
Why would I need to buy it? Well I didn't, but I justified it because it's much physically smaller than my professional level kit so when I'm out places (not getting paid or going specifically for photographic purposes) but still want better quality photos than my compact can provide, I can take this along. Plus I have to admit the childish part of me wanted to play with the swivel screen!
What is the D5000?
This Nikon SLR was one of the entry level single lens reflex cameras that first came onto the market around 3 years ago and has since been superseded by the D5100 and D5200.
How does it come?
Generally speaking these cameras are/were provided by Nikon in a 'kit' format with an 18-55mm lens which is a very basic standard zoom. Depending on where you shopped you may also be able to get hold of it body only (so you need to source a lens or more) or a double lens kit (usually a basic telephoto). Provided in the box you also get a USB cable, battery (ENEL9), Nikon branded nylon strap, battery charger, manual and CD. The things you don't get as standard are any filters, memory cards or a carrying case.
How easy is it to use?
As someone who is technically coming down to this model from much higher ones I found this camera a breeze to understand as obviously it's abilities are much more limited so there are less options. I do miss the lack of certain items such as a top LCD screen and dual adjustment wheels (one for shutter speed, one for aperture) and the camera is generally much more menu driven, but on the whole I would say it's fairly user friendly. I have no need for reading the user manual, but a quick flick through for the sake of this review looks like it explains all the functions in very simple terms. Obviously most people buying this camera will be new to the SLR market so many of the functions will also be entirely new to them and thus will take them a bit longer to get to grips with, but I wouldn't say there's an alternative SLR that's easier to understand (nor do I think there should be - if you're buying a 'proper' camera you should learn how to use it properly otherwise it defeats the point - whacking it on auto all the time is a waste of money and won't get the best from the camera).
The LCD on the rear shows also the relevant information - your shutter speed and aperture settings (with a handy diagram showing the aperture change size as you adjust), ISO, exposure compensation, metering, shoot mode, battery life, number of photos remaining on card, quality etc. All of which are handy details and allow you to see if and when any particular setting is wrong.
As there is only one adjustment wheel, which by default controls the shutter speed (when on fully manual), you need to do something else to adjust your aperture setting - if you know what an aperture diaphragm looks like then this is easy to work out how to do as a little drawing of this is placed next to the exposure compensation button on the top of the camera - you simply hold this down as you scroll the wheel to change function. In general all the buttons are well marked with their function and working out what to press and when shouldn't be difficult. The only thing I would say wasn't immediately obvious was how to access the video function (yes this does record in full HD) - to do this you need to activate the live view and then press 'OK' which will start recording, later models do have a more obvious dedicated record button.
The LCD screen itself is the first swiveling one Nikon produced and is capable of 360 degree rotation. It hinged from the bottom which the cynic inside me says was a deliberate 'bad' move by Nikon. Why? Well at first it seems like a reasonably placed hinge, but if you want to do self portraits you'll need to hold the camera as you do it, because as soon as you put the camera on a tripod the screen in blocked from swiveling right the way down. Why do I think Nikon did this on purpose? Because the replacement models all have the screen hinged from the side allowing for uninterrupted use whether a tripod is employed or not. This means that many D5000 owners who otherwise loved their camera will have been rushing out to buy the D5100 to benefit from the improved useability = more money for Nikon.
Aside from the obvious difference that the higher model you buy the better the picture quality (better sensor, processing, higher ISO's with better low light capabilities etc) there are an number of other points you may want to consider when looking at this camera...
The D5000, and other models at this level, are primarily of plastic construction - this means they are lighter but not as sturdy and not especially weather sealed. Further more there is no motor drive in the body to control auto focus - to get auto focus you need to ensure you are using AFS lenses (DX or FX) which is fine, most new lenses are of this variety, but it will certainly restrict your options in the second hand market unless you're happy to always focus manually. The only plus side to the lack of a motor drive (depending on how you look at it) is it makes the camera smaller and lighter. Another slight bug bear for me is the lack of an ISO adjustment button - this has to be done via the menu which isn't great for quick adjustments.
Finally Live View (using the screen to compose and take photos) was still in it's relative infancy when this camera was introduced so auto focus tends to be on the slow side and can drift a bit when it comes to movie. Most of the time you would still use the viewfinder as it's much quicker.
What quality are the results?
Obviously much of this comes down to the lens you are using, so for the sake of this review I'm basing it off the kit lens most people will have (as I doubt many other people will have an entry level body with £2k pro glass on the front!) and the other factor is you - a little bit of knowledge with settings goes a long way.
I would say the quality of results from this camera compare well to that of my older, but a level up, D80 - certainly the noise levels (grain) present in a picture seem very similar at any given ISO rating. While the 18-55mm kit lens is one of the worst lenses Nikon make, it is capable of producing half decent results, especially if you shoot with with it at a couple of stops or so below base ie. f8 when at 55mm. Find the so called sweet spot of any lens to get the best from it.
Colour reproduction is pretty accurate and edge definition fair, my main complaint would be images tend to lack a little on the contrast side of things, possibly erring slightly towards underexposure when on an auto mode which can make the images feel a little dull and flat.
How much is it?
As you can't generally buy these new in shops any more price can vary quite a bit. A quick look at places like eBay online tends to suggest that you could expect to pay anywhere between just under £200 for a body, up to £300ish with a lens.
As with all SLR's this camera has a hot shoe on top for attaching a more powerful flash than the inbuilt one - if you're thinking of doing a fair amount of flash work, I would certainly recommend this route as you will get much better results.
The camera comes with a single SD card slot which will accept SDHC - I would recommend a class 10 card if you're going to do video although a class 6 should just about suffice.
The D5000 was one of, if not the last camera to be released using the ENEL9 battery - there's nothing wrong with this battery, but newer models have gone to varieties with recessed contacts (I think this might have something to do with a Japanese law). You can still buy spares/replacements easily enough and you should get a few hundred shots per charge.
I was looking to get a bit more serious with photography than my Sony compact would allow and the D5000 was recommended to me by a friend who does wedding and portrait photography. Luckily I managed to find a great deal on this on the high street and bought the camera body along with 2 zoom lenses which I thought would get me off to a good start.
Very easy to get to grips with the basics as everything is laid out on the camera in a nice logical fashion so after a couple of long walks out on the nearby MOD ranges I was starting to get to grips with most of the capabilities of a DSLR. Apperture and shutter speed settings are easy to change, and if you take your time setting up a shot in manual mode you'll really appreciate how much this camera can do.
Image quality even with the 'cheap' kit lenses is exceptional and although I do still carry a compact camera in my bag, the Nikon is now the choice for 99% of my pictures.
On the downside the on screen menu can be a bit confusing but nothing a bit of practice won't sort out. The only other thing with the camera body is it is limited to just 3 shots when taking bracketed images, technically this is enough to do HDR photography but it would have been nice to have the choice of 5 or 7 shots.
If you're entering into the world of DLSR then I would strongly recommend buying the D5000 but don't get the package with the 2 kit lenses. They are both quite slow and as such are somewhat limiting once you begin to get more proficient and are looking to take more challenging pictures. You'd be better off buying the camera body and a single lens that has a wider aperture than the kit lenses offer.
This was a birthday gift earlier this year, and it was a choice between this and the Canon.
I chose this one and I'm so glad I did, it is easy to use (even for a beginner) and takes great photos.
It is a little heavier than most entry level DLSRs, but this doesn't bother me to be honest, I've got used to the weight now, and I guess it makes it feel sturdy in your hands.
I think the thing that swayed me to choose this one was the swivel lcd screen at the back, I don't use it often, but it is ideal for some awkward shots, and it is especially useful for taking photos of yourselves - you can see if you are both smiling, one of you has have one eye shut! etc, etc.
I love it and use it all the time, I only have the kit lens 18-55 on at the moment, but am planning to get a longer zoom lens next.
I also bougth this camera as an entry DLSR. Its pretty robust has a good battery life and it does take really nice pictures. There are however a few draw back which could be classed as deal breakers for some people. The fact it does not have a built in drive motor means that you will be limited to manual focusing for lots of lenses.
If you want to use auto focus (which really is a must for lots of diferent types of photography) you will have to ensure that the lenses that you buy have built in motorised autofocus. The nikon range has the AF-S lenses and Sigma have the HSM range. It does somewhat limit the range that you can use, especially some of the older lenses. Aside from thsi it is a great camera that takes really nice pictures and has a lot of nifty features. Potentially if you can stretch to a little more cash you could opt for the d90 which is very similar without limit your use of lense.
I recently purchased this camera through many online recommendations, and I can honestly say that I am glad I plumped down £500 for this beautiful piece of engineering!
The Nikon D5000 is available typically either as the body unit on its own, or with a stock lens. Being new to DSLR cameras, I went for the bundle option. The lense has Vibration Reduction (VR) on it, so it helps reduce camera shake when taking shots not on a tripod. It is important to note the vibration reduction is on the lense, not the body of the camera - when purchasing future lenses, make sure you purchase the correct type!!
The camera can be classified as an entry-level DSLR, but the difference between this and a standard compact camera is huge - pictures are much more detailed, show colour off better, and become more 'alive'. It comes with the usual array of shooting modes for different lighting conditions and picture outputs, along with manual settings so you can control the aperture size, shutter speeds, manual focus and a myriad of many options that I do not understand to help create your perfect shot. It also has a built in flash, a carrying strap and a retail DVD to install various imaging software onto your computer. There is also an auto function, which is much needed as the camera acts as a point-and-shoot device, much like a standard compact. Sometimes there are just too many settings!!!
I would recommend a large SD memory card for the camera, as the pictures it takes with the 12.3 million mega pixels are on the chunky size!
£500 is a lot of money for a camera, but if you consider yourself an enthusiast photographer looking to break into the SLR camera world, you cannot go wrong with this!
I bought the D5000 as my first D-SLR. My choice was between the Nikon and the equivalent Canon EOS 500D; having used the internet and camera magazines, it seemed there was little to choose between the two in terms of features and specification. I headed for the shops to looked at both cameras and see how they felt in the hand. Although my hands are not huge, I found the grip of the Nikon to be much more comfortable. In the hand, with the stock lens (18-55mm) attached, the camera feels nicely balanced. A quick browse of the manual was enough to give a good feel for how the various functions work (having a compact Nikon Coolpix, the menus were somewhat familiar), although being a first time D-SLR user, not all of the terminology was familiar to me. The camera has an automatic setting for point and shoot. The major difference I have found compared to my compact is that the camera is ready to shoot as soon as it is switched on, and the ability to take a series of sots by keeping the button held down makes it easier to catch the vital image. Images have much more depth than from a compact camera and the aperture and speed of the shutter can be controlled to increase this effect if required. Very happy with this purchase, although I have a lot of learning to do!