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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Nikon D5000 DSLR

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Nikon D5000 DSLR


Nikon D5000 DSLR
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Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

The Nikon D5000 digital SLR features 12.3MP resolution on a Nikon DX format CMOS image sensor (23.6 x 15.8mm). It is a brand new series and is positioned between the entry-level D60 and the serious/enthusiast level D90.

You can either think of the D5000 as an improved D60 or as a D90 minus: the in-body autofocus motor, a slightly slower continuous shooting (4fps vs. 4.5fps), a smaller viewfinder (0.78x pentamirror vs. 0.94x pentaprism), a smaller LCD with less resolution (2.7-in. 230K vs. 3.0-in. 920K), no LCD status panel and no Sub-Command Dial. However, the D5000 gains over the D90: Live View Subject Tracking AF, a Vari-angle LCD and costs about US $270 less body only.

Major features of the Nikon D5000:

  • 2.7-inch Vari-angle LCD monitor (230K dots) makes it easy to capture images from different angles (swings down approximately 90° and rotates 180°).
  • D-Movie records high-definition (HD) movie clips (1,280 x 720 @ 24fps) with monaural sound. A wide range of interchangeable NIKKOR lenses can be used to obtain cinematic effects. View the movie clips on the camera or an HDTV.
  • One-touch access to Live View ("Tripod mode"). Features 4 AF modes: Face priority AF, Wide area AF, Normal area AF and Subject Tracking AF. Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame.
  • Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus sensor module featuring 11 AF points provides fast and precise autofocus coverage across the frame.
  • Low noise ISO sensitivity from 200 to 3200.
  • Up to 4 fps continuous shooting.
  • Built-in pop-up flash with Nikon's original i-TTL flash control.
  • Integrated Dust Reduction System: Image Sensor Cleaning and Airflow Control systems keep dust away from the camera’s image sensor.
  • Scene Recognition System, utilizing 420-pixel RGB sensor, improves autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance performance and is integrated with the Face Detection System.
  • Active D-Lighting works at the moment you take the shot, features 4 levels of intensity and can be activated manually or automatically. Retains details in highlights and shadows for smooth tone reproduction in high-contrast environments.
  • Picture Control System offers six settings: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape.
  • In-camera Retouch Menu lets you edit and enhance images in the camera using a range of photo effects including RAW Processing, Perspective Control, Soft Focus and Color Outline.
  • Quiet shooting mode noticeably reduces the sound of the camera’s internal mechanisms when the shutter is pressed.
  • Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with built-in flash, SB-900, SB-800, or SU-800 as commander.
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) via an optional GP-1 unit that attaches to the camera and automatically records location information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and time as ‘geotags’ in the image data (EXIF) of each photo.
  • Optimized for use with AF-S and AF-I NIKKOR lenses (the D5000 does not have an autofocus motor built into the body).
  • 510 images on a single charge of the Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9a

[Though a number of DSLRs like the D5000 incorporates Live View and movie recording just like on a point-and-shoot digicam, do remember that these are new features on DSLRs and they still have some way to go before they can match the performance and ease-of-use obtained on a point-and-shoot digicam.]

Though targeted to beginner amateur photographers, the Nikon D5000 may also appeal to serious photographers desiring a full featured DSLR which is fast (except for Live View AF) and records excellent quality images, including low noise high ISO images.

If you do not need Live View, an articulated LCD or Movie in your DSLR, check out the entry-level Nikon D3000 for about US $250 less.

- Nikon D5000 receives a DIWA Gold Award

Nikon D5000
QuickFact™ Sheet
  Nikon D5000US | CAN | UK | Imaging  

Single-lens reflex digital camera

  Lens Mount

Nikon F mount (with AF contacts)

  Effective Picture Angle

Approx. 1.5 x lens focal length (Nikon DX format)

  Effective Pixels    
  Effective Pixels 12.3 million  
  Image Sensor    
  Image Sensor CMOS sensor, 23.6 x 15.8 mm; Nikon DX-format  
  Total Pixels 12.9 million  
  Dust-Reduction System

Image Sensor Cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 required)

  Image Size (pixels)

4,288 x 2,848 [L], 3,216 x 2,136 [M], 2,144 x 1,424 [S]

  File Format - NEF (RAW)
- JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with Fine (approx. 1:4), Normal (approx. 1:8), or Basic (approx. 1:16) compression
- AVI Motion-JPEG
  Picture Control System

Can be selected from Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape; storage for up to nine custom Picture Controls

  Media SD memory cards, SDHC compliant  
  File System

DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), Exif 2.21 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras), PictBridge


Eye-level pentamirror single-lens reflex viewfinder

  Frame Coverage

Approx. 95% horizontal and 95% vertical


Approx. 0.78 x (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1)


17.9 mm (-1.0 m-1)

  Diopter Adjustment

-1.7 to +0.7 m-1

  Focusing Screen

Type B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark V with focus frame (framing grid can be displayed)

  Reflex Mirror

Quick-return type

  Depth-of-field Preview N/A  
  Lens Aperture

Instant return, electronically controlled

  Compatible Lenses AF-S and AF-I NIKKOR: All functions supported;
Lens Compatibility Chart >

Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter


1/4,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, Bulb, Time (with optional ML-L3 Remote Control)

  Flash Sync Speed

X = 1/200 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/200 s or slower

  Release Mode

Single-frame, continuous, self-timer, delayed remote, quick-response, quiet

  Frame Advance Rate

Continuous high speed: up to 4 fps (manual focus, manual or shutter-priority auto exposure, 1/250 s or faster shutter speed; other settings at default values and memory remaining in memory buffer)


Can be selected from 2, 5, 10, and 20 s duration


TTL exposure metering using 420-pixel RGB sensor

  Metering Mode

Matrix: 3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses)

  Exposure range (ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)

Matrix or center-weighted metering: 0–20 EV

  Exposure Meter Coupling CPU  
  Exposure Modes

Auto modes (auto, auto [flash off]), Advanced Scene Modes (Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close up, Night portrait, Night landscape, Party/indoor, Beach/snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Pet portrait, Candlelight, Blossom, Autumn colors, Food, Silhouette, High key, and Low key), programmed auto with flexible program (P), shutter-priority auto (S), aperture-priority auto (A), manual (M)

  Exposure Compensation

±5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV

  Exposure Bracketing

3 frames in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV

  Exposure Lock

Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button

  ISO Sensitivity
(Recommended Exposure Index)

ISO 200 to 3200 in steps of 1/3 EV. Can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 100 equivalent) below ISO 200, or to approx. 0.3, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 6400 equivalent) over ISO 3200, ISO sensitivity auto control available

  Active D-Lighting

Can be selected from Auto, Extra high, High, Normal, Low, or Off

  Active D-Lighting Bracketing 2 frames  
  Auto Focus

Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, 11 focus points (including 1 cross-type sensor) and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5–3 m/1 ft. 8in.–9 ft. 10 in.)

  Detection Range

-1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 equivalent, 20°C/68°F)

  Lens Servo

Autofocus: Instant single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous-servo AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status (AF-A)

  Focus Point

Can be selected from 11 focus points

  AF-area Modes

Single-point AF, dynamic-area AF, auto-area AF, 3D-tracking (11 points) AF

  Focus Lock

Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (Single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button

  Built-in Flash

Auto, Portrait, Child, Close-up, Night portrait, Party/indoor, Pet portrait modes: Auto flash with auto pop-up P, S, A, M, Food: Manual pop-up with button release

  Guide Number
(m/ft.) at 20°C/68°F

At ISO 200: Approx. 17/56, 18/59 with manual flash

  Flash Control

TTL: i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR using 420-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash, SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, or SB-400

  Flash Modes

Auto, auto with red-eye reduction, fill-flash, auto slow sync, auto slow sync with red-eye correction, and rear curtain with slow sync

  Flash Compensation

-3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV

  Flash Bracketing

2 or 3 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1, or 2 EV

  Flash-ready Indicator

Lights when built-in flash or SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-400, SB-80DX, SB-28DX, or SB-50DX is fully charged; blinks for 3 s after flash is fired at full output in i-TTL or auto aperture modes

  Accessory Shoe

Standard ISO 518 hot-shoe contact with safety lock

  Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)

Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with built-in flash, SB-900, SB-800, or SU-800 as commander. Flash Color Information Communication supported with built-in flash and CLS-compatible flash units

  Sync terminal

Hot Shoe Sync Terminal Adapter AS-15 (optional)

  White Balance    
  White Balance

Auto (TTL white-balance with main image sensor and 420-pixel RGB sensor); 12 manual modes with fine-tuning; preset manual white balance, white balance bracketing

  White Balance Bracketing

3 frames in steps of 1

  Live View    
  AF Modes

Face priority AF, wide area AF, normal area AF, subject tracking AF


Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face priority or subject tracking AF is selected at the time of Live View shooting)

  Image size (pixels)

1,280 x 720/24 fps, 640 x 424/24 fps, 320 x 216/24 fps

  File Format AVI  
  Compression Format Motion-JPEG, with monaural sound  
  LCD Monitor

Vari-angle type, 2.7-in., approx. 230k-dot, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD, approx. 100% frame coverage, 170° viewing angle, and brightness adjustment

  Playback Function

Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar) playback with playback zoom, movie playback, stop-motion movie playback, slide show, histogram display, highlights, auto image rotation, and image comment (up to 36 characters)

  USB Hi-Speed USB  
  Video Output

Can be selected from NTSC and PAL; images can be displayed on external device while camera monitor is on

  HDMI output

Type C HDMI connector; camera monitor turns off when HDMI cable is connected

  Accessory Terminal

Remote Cord MC-DC2 (optional)

  Supported Languages    
  Supported Languages

Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish

  Power Source    

One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9a

  Battery Pack

Six R6/AA-size alkaline, Ni-MH, lithium or nickel-manganese batteries (Battery Holder MS-D200 is required when using R6/AA-size batteries.)

  AC Adapter

AC Adapter EH-5a (optional; requires EP-5 power connector)

  Tripod Socket    
  Tripod Socket 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)  
  Supplied Accessories
(may differ by country or area)
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9a, Quick Charger MH-23, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, (may differ by country or area) Rubber Eyecup DK-21, USB Cable UC-E4, Audio Video Cable EG-D2,
Camera Strap AN-DC2, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, Body Cap, Software Suite CD-ROM
  Dimensions (W x H x D)

Approx. 127 x 104 x 80 mm /
5.0 x 4.1 x 3.1 in.

  Weight (Camera body only)

Approx. 560 g / 1 lb. 4 oz. without battery, memory card, or body cap

  Operating Environment    

0–40°C / 32–104°F

  Humidity Less than 85% (no condensation)  

Camera body only: US $729.95 / UK £719.99 / €878.00

Packaged with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G VR lens: US $849.95 / CAD $1,059.95 / UK £799.99 / €972.00

Packaged with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens: CAD $1,249.95

AF-S DX-NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED lens: US $899.95 / CAD $1,099.9


Specifications and equipment are subject to change without notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. April 2009

- Press Release
- Sample Images 2
- Specs & Brochures
- Comparison Chart

Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!

B&H Photo VideoYou can buy the Nikon D5000 from our Trusted Sponsor B&H Photo-Video, the Professional’s Source, satisfying millions of customers for over 35 years:

- Nikon D5000 Digital SLR Camera (Camera Body)

- Nikon D5000 Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-105mm Lens

- Nikon D5000 Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-55mm VR Lens

- Nikon D5000 SLR Digital Camera with 18-200mm Zoom Lens


Nikon D5000
Body only with 18-55mm lens with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses
  with 18-55mm lens  

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