Body Design and Feel
If you're familiar with Nikon's Dxx line, you'll immediately notice some similarities with the D5000's controls and layouts. For users who prefer to get information about the picture settings at a glance, the D5000's detailed rear screen provides the information you're looking for, including ISO, white balance, image quality, focus mode, metering, and much more.
When we initially picked up the D5000, we noticed that the camera's grip seemed a tad on the small side. This bugged us at first because we felt as if we might lose our grip on the camera and drop it. Thankfully, that never happened and we became accustomed to, and even comfortable with, the grip.
The D5000's body measures approximately 5.0 x 4.1 x 3.1 inches and weighs about 1 pound, 4 ounces without the battery, memory card, or body cap. The build quality of the body feels solid and sturdy.
Looking at the front of the D5000, you'll see the AF-assist illuminator / self-timer lamp / red-eye reduction lamp nestled between the camera's grip and the flash. An infrared receiver resides on the grip itself. On the other side of the lens mount, you'll find a flash mode button, microphone (located just above the D5000 emblem), self-timer / function button, and lens release button.
On the top of the camera near the grip, you'll find the D5000's mode dial, information button, and exposure compensation button. The D5000's power switch is located below and around the shutter release button. A built-in flash and accessory shoe sits near the top center of the D5000.
On the side of the camera with the grip, you'll find a sliding door that provides access to the D5000's SD card slot. On the other side of the camera, you'll find the connector cover. Beneath this cover, you'll find the accessory terminal, combination USB connector and A/V connector, and the HDMI mini-pin connector.
The articulating 2.7-inch LCD takes up a large portion of the back side of the D5000. The monitor opens outwards 180° and can be rotated 180° left or 90° right. To the left of the LCD, you'll find the playback, menu, thumbnail/playback zoom out, playback zoom in, and information edit buttons. Just above the playback button and to the left of the viewfinder, you'll find the delete button. Near the upper-right corner of the LCD, there's an AE-L/AF-L button as well as the camera's command dial.
On the other side of the LCD, there's the Live View button as well as the multi selector with an OK button in the center. Below the multi selector, you'll find the camera's speaker and a memory card access lamp.
The underside of the camera has a traditional tripod socket as well as the camera's battery chamber.