In terms of features, you get both JPEG and RAW (NEF format) shooting options with a top resolution of 4288 x 2848 down to 2144 x 1424. The D5000 has an image sensor cleaning system, EXPEED image processing, shutter speed range 1/4000-30 sec plus bulb and ISO range of 200-3200, with the option of extending this to the equivalent of 100-6400. Note that the ISO extension system uses image processing to achieve this effect.
HD recording is at 24f/s and at 720p
HD video recording (Motion JPEG AVI) offers 1280 x 720 resolution at 24fps, and VGA and QVGA recording options are also available. You can make your own film animations using a stop motion movie function, which lets you select the image size from VGA to 160 x120 and frame rate between 3 to 15fps.
Other features include evaluative (aka 3D colour matrix), centre-weighted and spot metering, Active D-Lighting for improving contrast, nineteen scene modes and six picture control settings, such as vivid and monochrome.
There a plenty of in-camera editing features too, including the ability to convert RAW to JPEG files, plus trimming, red eye reduction, fisheye effect and colour outline – which makes your image look like a line drawing. Oh, and Nikon kindly provides a full paper manual with an excellent index and a software CD-Rom which includes Nikon Transfer. Use this for moving images from camera or media to your PC, and to view JPEG and NEF files, use ViewNX, which also offers adjustments, such as white balance or sharpness.
When it comes to handling, the D5000 is a fair old size and weight, measuring 127 x 104 x 80mm and weighing around 800 grams when loaded up with the kit’s 18-55mm lens, card and battery – the body alone weighs 560 grams. But then again, that does mean you’ve got plenty to grab hold of. Despite the bulk, the D5000 is comfortable to hold and the main controls are close at hand.
Appears bulky but is actually quite comfortable
The sensor cleaning system causes a slight delay on start-up, but the D5000 can fire off its first frame in less than two seconds. You can disable the sensor cleaning function, but we didn’t see a great reduction in start-up time when we tried this. The usual PASM modes, plus movie and scene modes can be quickly accessed via the mode dial.
Next page: Sample Shots
@ Phil Atkin
I agree with Bad Beaver on this - el Reg do a pretty damn decent job reviewing all things electronic. If you want a full super-review with loads of sample shots etc, try www.dpreview.com
They are about 25 pages though, so el Reg's are fine for a first look!
Start up time
"...the D5000 can fire off its first frame in less than two seconds..."
Did you actually test this? Nikon DSLRs, like most makes I assume, can fire shots virtually from startup. I know both of mine allow a shot as soon as you flick the switch to on.
DPReview lists off to first shot time as <0.1 seconds which sounds about right to me.
Hint: you don't have to wait until the info screen appears to be able to take a shot.
Re: "it's price is quoted as the same as the D90 - so I cant really see why it's being described as an 'entry level' model."
It seems to be selling most places for about £200 less than the D90 (the D5000's only £608 on Amazon for instance), which shows what nonsense these recommended prices are (you'd expect the older camera to be cheaper, for one thing). Although also in the D90's favour is that it has a kit lens with a longer zoom range: 18-105 vs 18-55 for the D5000.