Video performance though, was disappointing, and not just because there is no 1080p HD recording option. The 24fps shooting mode means that movement is not as smooth as on videos produced by models offering 30fps. The D5000’s rolling shutter meant that image stability was a bit wobbly, especially when the camera was moved. And exposure was also uneven, creating a series of light and dark bands running down the screen.
The HD movie options have limitations, but as a still camera it's a solid performer
Another issue is that there is no auto-focus in movie mode and any settings have to be made before you start recording. You are also limited to five minutes maximum recording time in HD movie mode, which produces a 2GB file, although lower resolution movies can be recorded for up to twenty minutes.
As a still camera, and let’s be honest, which is why most people will buy the D5000, this model has a lot going for it. You get a good set of features, lots of automation and plenty of manual control for the more adventurous. The articulating LCD screen is a bonus, despite its limitations when using a tripod and it’s relatively low resolution. However, if you’re tempted to trade up for the D5000’s video recording feature, you’ll be disappointed. That said, the D5000 is a fine model and if you’re looking for a camera that offers more than the average entry level DSLR, you should certainly put it on your shopping list. ®
More DSLR Reviews...
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Canon EOS 500D
Nikon D5000 digital SLR
@ 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.
It looks like Nikon USA is issuing a recall for a lot of the first production run of the D5000 -- basically some of them can't be switched on due to a power control chip failure. People seeing this happening on their cameras can return them immediately for repair and there will be a systematic recall for all affected cameras based on serial number starting next week.
Video on DSLR
The common reaction to Video in DSLRs is "why did they bother?". Can I just stress that there is a market for entry-ish level DSLRs with Full HD video. I am that market, and in a straw poll of one, 100% said they would purchase one.
Unfortunately the jump in price between a superzoom (with Full HD) and a DSLR with Full HD was double the cost, so this time around I opted for the former. But next time round it will be my turn with the DSLR.