Nikon D5000 DSLR Review

Article Index

Bundle & Specifications

The D5000 comes with the following:
  • EN-EL9a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • MH-23 Quick Charger
  • DK-5 Eyepiece Cap
  • DK-24 Rubber Eyecup
  • UC-E6 USB Cable
  • EG-CP14 Audio Video Cable
  • AN-DC3 Camera Strap
  • Body Cap
  • BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover
  • Software Suite CD-ROM

We tested the D5000 as a kit with an AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens. This is the most popular kit option, though some retailers may opt to create their own custom kits with other lenses. The D5000 is also available in a body-only configuration.

There are a number of accessories available for the D5000, including a GP-1 GPS Unit that can record the latitude, longitude, altitude, and time information for a photo.


Image Sensor Format


Image Sensor

CMOS, 15.8 x 23.6mm

Total Pixels

12.9 million

Effective Pixels

12.3 million

Image Area (pixels)

(L) 4288x2848
(M) 3216x2136
(S) 2144x1424

Continuous Shooting Speed

4 frames per second

LCD Monitor

2.7 inch Vari-angle color LCD monitor with 230,000 Dots

Shutter Speed

30 sec. to 1/4000 sec. in steps of 1/3, ½, 1 EV, bulb mode

ISO Sensitivity

200 to in 3200 steps of 1/3, 1 EV;

Lo-1 (ISO 100 equivalent)

Hi-1 (ISO 6400 equivalent)

Storage Media


File Format

JPEG, AVI, Compressed 12-bit NEF (RAW)

Exposure Modes

Programmed Auto (P) with flexible Program, Shutter-Priority Auto (S), Aperture-Priority Auto (A), Manual (M), Auto, Auto (flash off) Advanced Scene Modes

Advanced Scene Modes

Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Landscape, Party / Indoor, Beach / Snow, Child, Sunset, Dusk / Dawn, Pet Portrait, Candlelight, Blossom, Autumn Colors, Food, Silhouette, High Key, Low Key

Exposure Metering System

420 pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II, Center-weighted, Spot

Metering Range

0 to 20 EV (Matrix or center-weighted metering);

2 to 20 EV (Spot metering) (ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, at 20 degrees C/68 degrees F)

Exposure Compensation

±5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 1

Exposure Bracketing

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

Shutter Release Modes

Single-frame [S] mode, Continuous Frame Shooting (Approx 4 FPS), Live View [LV] mode, Self-timer mode, Delayed remote, Quick response, Quiet shutter-release

Movie Modes

Movie with sound, Stop motion movie, D-Movie, HD 1280 x 720/24 fps VGA 640 x 424/24 fps QVGA 320 x 216/24 fps

White Balance

Sun, Shade, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash, Preset, Auto

White Balance Bracketing

Yes, 3 frames in steps of 1

D-Lighting Bracketing

2 exposures

Live View Shooting



Hi-speed USB, NTSC, HDMI

Lens Mount

Nikon F bayonet mount

Compatible Lenses

AF-S or AF-I: All functions supported.
• Type G or D AF NIKKOR without built-in autofocus motor: All functions except autofocus supported. IX NIKKOR lenses not supported.
• Other AF NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D color matrix metering II. Lenses for F3AF not supported.
• Type D PC NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and some shooting modes.
• AI-P NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D color matrix metering II.
• Non-CPU: Autofocus not supported. Can be used in mode M, but exposure meter does not function. Electronic rangefinder can be used if lens has a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster


-2.0 to +1.0 m-1

Viewfinder Frame Coverage

Approx. 95%

Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment

(-2.0 to +1.0 m-1)

Viewfinder Magnification

Approx. 0.78

Depth-of-field Control


Autofocus System

Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus 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. 8 in.-9ft.10 in.)

Autofocus Sensitivity

-1 - +19 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)

Focus Modes

Single-servo AF (S), Continuous-servo (C), Manual (M) with electronic rangefinder, Live View (LV) autofocus, Face-Priority, Wide Area, Normal Area and Subject Tracking

Focus Lock

AE-L/AF-L button; Half press of shutter-release button (single-point AF in AF-S)

Picture Control

Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, Nine User-customizable Settings

In-Camera Image Editing

Trim, D-Lighting, Color Balance, Image Overlay, Filter Effects, Distortion Control, Monochrome, Stop Motion, NEF (RAW) Processing, Quick retouch, Straighten, Fisheye, Small picture, Red-eye Correction, Perspective Control, Color Outline

External Flash Shoe


Built-in Flash Distance

56 at ISO 200 ft.17 at ISO 200m

Dust-Off Reference Photo


Save/Load Camera settings


Nikon Creative Lighting System Compatibility

Yes, Built-in Commander mode not available

Flash Sync Speed

Up to 1/200

Flash Sync Modes

Front-curtain sync (normal), Slow sync, Rear-curtain sync, Red-eye reduction

Flash Control

1) i-TTL: TTL flash control by 420-pixel RGB sensor, built-in flash, SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-400: i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL flash
2) AA (Auto Aperture-type) flash: Available with SB-900 and SB-800 used with CPU lens
3) Non-TTL Auto: Available with Speedlights such as SB-800, SB-28, SB-27, and SB-22S
4) Range-priority manual flash; available with SB-900 and SB-800

Flash Sync Terminal


Accessory Shoe



2, 5, 10, 20 seconds duration

World Time Setting


Battery / Batteries

EN-EL9 Lithium-ion Battery
EN-EL9a Lithium-ion Battery

Battery Life

510 shots (CIPA)

Approx. Dimensions

Width 5.0 in. (127mm)
Height 4.1 in. (104mm)
Depth 3.1 in. (80mm)

Approx. Weight

19.8 oz. (560g)

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