Nikon D5000 DSLR Review

Article Index

Controls/Functionality, Response, and Menus

The D5000's menu system consists of six main panels (playback, shooting, custom settings, setup, retouch, and recent settings) with various options available in each one. Use the multi selector and the OK buttons to navigate the camera's menus.

Nikon doesn't build image stabilization into the body of the D5000, so you'll need to buy a lens with image stabilization if you want to take advantage of this technology. Thankfully, Nikon's kit lens for the D5000 includes image stabilization which helps to reduce the effects of camera shake on an image.


To change the settings for any of the items located on the display while shooting, press the information edit button near the lower left corner of the display and then use the multi selector and OK buttons to navigate through the options. Some options can also be adjusted using the command dial or dedicated camera buttons.

The D5000's LCD shows a graphic to give you a visual indication as to whether you're using a large or a small aperture as well as how fast of a shutter speed you are using. When you're in the Scene shooting mode, use the command dial to scroll through the various predefined scene modes.


You can access and use Live View mode in any of the camera's shooting modes. When shooting in Live View mode, the D5000 lets you half-press the camera's shutter button to focus, just as you would on a point and shoot camera. The focusing itself takes a little time, but it's no worse than other DSLRs with Live View that that focus without interrupting the Live View. (Some manufacturers offer a quick focus mode that interrupts the Live View display but focuses faster.)

To record a movie, press the Live View button, frame the opening shot, and then press the shutter release button halfway to focus. You won't be able to shoot until the camera has focused. Autofocus is not available after you've started recording so you'll need to use manual focus to adjust during recording. To start recording, press the OK button. While recording, you'll see a recording indicator in the upper left portion of the screen and information about the remaining time available in the upper right corner. To stop recording, press OK again.

If you want to end recording and take a still picture in the mode currently selected, you can press the shutter-release button all the way down. Movies can be up to 2GB in size. Nikon says the maximum length for movies with a frame size of 1280 x 720 is five minutes. You can record for 20 minutes using either the 640 x 424 or 320 x 216 quality modes.


When looking through the D5000's viewfinder, you’ll see 11 AF-points.

Using the D5000's default settings, the camera will vibrate the low-pass filter covering the image sensor to remove dust when the camera is turned on or off. You can also activate this cleaning option manually or disable it. If visible dust remains even after using the clean image sensor option, Nikon provides instructions in the user's manual to clean the filter manually.

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