|Adjusting camera settings
In general, the monitor’s reproduction of the Nikon D5000 is beautiful and well-structured. We can see a large amount of settings in one glance which we can change at will. For example, if ISO is changed, a small sample picture will show the use for this ISO value. The low ISO will show a sunny picture whereas high ISO will display a picture in natural light. This way every setting is accompanied by a kind of HELP function, which is ever so convenient for novices.
Nikon D5000 command dial
The command dial on top of the camera provides direct access to settings such as P/S/A/M and programs like sports, portrait and landscape. The SCENE program provides access to twelve preset scenes which are not standard and will be used less frequently. Nikon has not (yet) opted for a so-called AUTO Scene selector. This is an advanced function, able to independently select the optimal scene setting instead of doing it manually. Perhaps the next Nikon generation will apply this enhanced automated function.
AUTO mode on the Nikon D5000
Novices are offered a wide array of choices. By setting the camera in the AUTO mode, the Nikon D5000 will act like a standard compact camera. However; in this mode you will not get the full benefit of the D5000. You can get a lot more out of this camera and without any effort, without it requiring high-level photography skills. If you get to know the camera step by step, you will soon notice that the Nikon D5000 is eager to prevent you from doing the work and will automatically do it for you. All you need to do is give the camera the right command. For example; you can edit a picture from the camera using the enhanced Retouche menu. No need for a computer or notebook.
|Nikon D5000 - Recording a video clip
Taking a video clip is also possible with this camera. The Nikon D90 even had the lead for a short time but the competitors soon took over this novelty. The Nikon D5000 is able to capture a video at a resolution of 1280x720 (720p) at a speed of 24 frames per second. It's not Full HD video yet, but it is a start. There are pro-and opponents to this function in a DSLR. We keep things simple; there is no way of stopping the developments, it is available and whether you use it or not is up to you. It is currently a nice function and creative photographers have produced beautiful results. One big hiccup is the lack of AF, the Auto focus. During filming you will have to focus manually which practically eliminates the ability to film children playing or any other activity. The only manufacturer who, at the time of writing this review, provides video capture in 1080p quality and enables focus during filming is Panasonic. However, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH1, also on our list of cameras to be reviewed soon, has a significantly higher suggested retail price.
Nikon D5000 focussing
The focus function on the Nikon D5000 has been copied from the D90. The D5000 has an 11-point AF system topped up with 3D tracking technology which is also found in the professional D3 series. The focus of the Nikon D5000 is able to focus on subjects on the basis of color and distance independent from the focus point of the subject. The more expensive D700/D3 and D3x DSLR camera take it one step further by offering more speed and accuracy, but for a DSLR like the D5000, this type of focus function is quite advanced.
Live View on the Nikon D-5000
The Nikon D5000 Live View function is easy although you will have to settle for a lot slower focus which is a bit of a disappointment. If you need speed, you have to deactivate the Live View and use the optical viewfinder. However, Live View is a handy alternative with more ease. In practice I catch myself using Live View often when shooting objects like buildings, still subjects or landscapes. Additionally the Live View is effective in combination with the vari-angle LCD monitor as well as during a product shoot. You can enlarge the Live View image up to 6.7x to check focus. You do have to take into account that the Live View function can be used nonstop for only one hour. After that, issues such as noise and deviation of colors will occur, due to heat. The camera is secured against overheating and will automatically deactivate to prevent this.
Nikon D5000 user friendly SLR
The Nikon D5000 is extremely user-friendly, and can be operated with ease. If you have worked with a Nikon DSLR before or if you own one, you will not have any trouble switching to the D5000. Also the beginner photographer will be supported with the enhanced HELP function and various sample pictures on the monitor. Nikon is doing well and seems to know what the user in this segment needs and demands.