April 15, 2009: Nikon is adding a new entry-level model to its DSLR range, the DX-format D5000.
Featuring a compact body with ergonomically positioned controls, the D5000 has a versatile vari-angle LCD monitor that can be viewed in normal position flush against the camera back, or swung out and rotated and/or tilted through 450 degrees. Its 12.3 effective megapixel CMOS sensor is partnered by Nikon’s proprietary EXPEED image processing system to provide detailed images with smooth tonal gradation, outstanding colour reproduction, and low noise across a wide ISO sensitivity range. The new model is compatible with a wide range of Nikkor lenses and offers continuous shooting at frame rates up to four frames/second.
Front view of the Nikon D5000 with the 18-55mm kit lens attached. (Source: Nikon.)
The D5000 showing an example of the adjustability of the vari-angle LCD monitor. (Source: Nikon.)
Advanced 3D Colour Matrix Metering II provides outstanding exposure accuracy and the new model comes with 11-point selectable autofocus plus four Live View AF modes, along with automatic exposure and white balance bracketing functions. There is also a new Quiet Shooting mode that reduces mirror cycling noise for environments where minimal noise is desired. Nineteen automatic Scene Modes add point-and-shoot ease for tackling a wide variety of challenging shooting situations.
Rear view of the D5000 with the vari-angle monitor closed up to the camera body. (Source: Nikon.)
In response to demand for video shooting capability in digital SLRs, the D5000 includes Nikon’s D-Movie function. Launched on the Nikon D90, D-Movie enables users to shoot Motion JPEG movie clips in different formats at a smooth 24 frames per second. HDTV-standard clips are recorded at 1,280 x 720 pixels, while users who want to view on standard computer monitors or upload to photo sharing websites can shoot at 640 x 424 pixels or 320 x 216 pixels. Because the D5000’s sensor is much larger than that of a typical camcorder, movie clips display superior image quality and low noise even at high ISO settings.
The D5000 also comes with Scene Recognition and Face Detection systems. A 420-pixel RGB sensor analyses colour and illumination over the entire scene milliseconds before exposure. This allows the D5000 to better evaluate scene content, resulting in improved exposure for better image quality while also boosting autofocus performance. A similar sensor is used for the new camera’s Active D-Lighting system, which improved details in shadows and highlights in contrasty situations. There are six Active D-Lighting settings – Auto, Extra high, High, Normal, Low, and Off – along with a bracket mode that allows users to shoot one image with Active D-Lighting and one without.
The Picture Control System of the D5000 gives users the ability to customise images with six settings provided – Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, and Landscape – along with the ability to create up to nine custom Picture Control settings. The D5000 also introduces several new in-camera editing options under its Retouch Menu, including Soft Filter, Perspective Control (which helps correct distortions in perspective), and Colour Outline (which creates monochrome outlines of objects in images by eliminating colour and tonal gradations). Each editing function is applied to a copy of the image, with the original left unmodified.
Other features include Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System, on-demand grid lines when shooting via the optical viewfinder and in Live View mode, direct HDTV connectivity via built-in HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) connector and support for Nikon Creative Lighting System when using SB-900 or SB-800 Speedlights, or the SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander. The D5000’s shutter unit is rated for 100,000 cycles and it comes with a rechargeable EN-EL9a Li-ion Battery that provides up to 510 shots per charge.
Announced concurrently with the D5000 is a new AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED lens with built-in Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for Nikon DX-format digital SLR cameras. Providing a picture angle equivalent to 15 to 36mm in FX- and 35mm format cameras, the new lens features two ED glass and three aspherical lens elements and supports both auto and manual focusing. Internal focusing allows use of angle critical filters and attachments. A seven-bladed diaphragm provides natural-looking Bokeh. The new lens will be priced at $1799 (RRP).
The new AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED lens. (Source: Nikon.)
RRPs for the D5000 are as follows: body only – $1499; body plus 18-55mm VR lens – $1,699. twin-lens kit with 18-55mm VR and 55-200mm VR lenses – $1,999. Local release dates have still to be announced. For more information, visit www.nikon.com.au.
Image sensor: 23.6 x 15.8 mm CMOS sensor with 12.9 million photosites (12.3 megapixels effective)
Lens mount: Nikon F mount (with AF contacts)
Focal length crop factor: Approx. 1.5 x (Nikon DX format)
Image formats: Stills ““ JPEG, NEF.RAW, RAW+JPEG; Movie clips ““ AVI (Motion-JPEG, with monaural sound)
Image Sizes: Stills – 4,288 x 2,848 [L], 3,216 x 2,136 [M], 2,144 x 1,424 [S]; Movies – 1,280 x 720/24 fps, 640 x 424/24 fps, 320 x 216/24 fps
Image Stabilisation: Lens-based only
Dust removal: Nikon Integrated Dust Reduction System
Shutter speed range: 1/4,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, Bulb, Time (with optional ML-L3 Remote Control); flash synch at 1/200 sec.
Exposure Compensation: ±5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV