|Color reproduction & Color saturation
There is a remarkably small noticeable difference when we compare the Nikon D5000 with the calibrated colors of the Gretag Macbeth Color Checker when it comes to color reproduction. There is definitely a true Nikon-character color consistently showing throughout the entire ISO range. The camera tends to render colors with stronger saturation, in particular blue and green. On the other hand, cyan, yellow and purple are slightly under-saturated. Theoretically and measured in the DIWA lab, the colors deviate slightly but in practice, the overall result is fine and the camera provides quite a clear and natural reproduction. The skin tones come across fairly pink although this will probably appeal to the amateur photographer. The built-in Picture Style will let you increase or decrease certain values. When it comes to color reproduction, the Nikon D5000 seems to be a tad more stable than the D90. Color depth on the D5000 has also been significantly improved compared to the D90.
Nikon D5000 white balance settings
The Nikon D5000 encounters some problems filtering color cast in a room with plentiful incandescent light if an auto balance is set. The result is a warm tone on the entire picture. The solution is to over-expose one stop which vastly improves things and the (too) warm reproduction will disappear. The manual white balance performs more optimally. It requires an extra step and you have to be alert yourself, but you will obtain an excellent result. The manual white balance performs superbly over the entire ISO range.
Deviation of the effective sensibility
Even though the Nikon D5000 features a similar resolution image sensor as the D90; they don't include the same features. The effective sensibility of the D5000 image sensor clearly deviates from that of the D90. Whereas the D90 has a lower effective ISO value over almost the entire ISO range, the Nikon D5000 shows the opposite. ISO 100 has nearly the same sensitivity as the ISO 200 setting (181 and 191 ISO), 400 - 1600 ISO are an average of 23% higher and 3200 and 6400 ISO are the equivalent of the acclaimed specifications.
ISO settings on the Nikon D5000
The resolution of 12.3 Megapixels has no negative effect, if any at all, on the signal/noise ratio (S/R). The good news is that the Nikon D5000 has an improved S/R ratio compared to the D90. There is hardly any visible noise, if any at all, up to and including 800 ISO and therefore it does not play a role. It's not until ISO 1600 that the fine details are less visible and the algorithms have to work harder to keep noise under control.
|Still the result is excellent and certainly useful for all-round photography. At ISO 3200, blur crops up in details caused by the noise reduction system, yet some remarkable results can still be obtained. ISO 6400 should be considered an emergency call since the quality drops visibly at this value. The Nikon D5000 is able to get the most out of the 12.3 Megapixel resolution when it comes to signal/noise ratio, excellent!
The dynamic range of the Nikon D5000 DSLR camera is fine. You could even call it excellent while it is able to optimally reproduce the details in the dark and light areas of a picture up to and including ISO 1600. Also here Nikon has improved the D5000 compared to the D90, which is an excellent achievement.
Nikon D5000 kit lens
The Nikon D5000 digital SLR camera has been tested with an 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 G VR lens, which is a standard kit lens. Sharpness in the center is fine for aperture f/3.5 up to f/16. Blur towards the edges becomes visible at f/4 yet improves at apertures of f5.6 and higher. From f32, blur towards the edges becomes worse and blur is also visible in the centre.
Auto distortion correction
Distortion is annoying at the edges in wide angle mode. In fact, the entire aperture range suffers from it. This is when the Retouche Menu of the D5000 comes in handy. If this function [Auto distortion correction] is activated, the picture can be corrected for distortion afterwards. You can also manually select the gradation of the correction. If you want to get ahead of things, you can activate the Auto distortion correction in the capture menu which means corrections will take place during shooting. This is only possible for G and D lenses with the exception of fish-eye and pc lenses.
Chromatic aberration & Vignetting
Chromatic aberration in wide angle is close to unacceptable. Purple edges around contrast-rich parts of subjects are visible at every aperture, even though the JPEG images are cleaned from chromatic aberration by the camera during photographing. Unfortunately, this kit lens disappoints in this area. The other focal lengths are free from visible chromatic aberration which is quite remarkable. Unfortunately, the lens not only suffers from the effect of chromatic aberration but also from vignetting, clearly visible at maximum aperture over the entire focal length. It's not until you set the aperture to f/8 that this phenomenon disappears.