Why you've got to have a Nikon D5000: Nikon's Answer to the Canon 500D

DSLR Nikon D5000

Nikon's Resounding Answer

I thought that the Canon 500D would be alone in that space between the entry and semi-pro. With features from both worlds it would be the number 1 choice of new dslr owners. I myself would like to get one even though my first choice is a Pentax K20D and a Sony HX1 Superzoom. there's even a hub for that Canon 500D.

It would seem that Nikon was just biding its time. Perhaps they were waiting what Canon was offering so that they can make their Nikon D5000 a little bit better. So in a matter of weeks they release this new and feature packed DSLR Nikon D5000. If the canon is between the 450D and the 50D... then the Nikon D5000 is found between the D60 and the D90.

Clearly, it would be the Nikon D5000 and the Canon 500D that would compete in this DSLR range. Nikon must have something up their sleeves to make Canon the run for their money. Both manufacturers have their own propriety technology that are on par with each other.

Anyway let us see the specifications released by Nikon.

NIKON D5000 Sideview
NIKON D5000 Sideview

Picture Control

• Standard
• Neutral
• Vivid
• Monochrome
• Landscape
• Portrait
• Storage for up to nine custom Picture Controls

Image parameters

• Sharpening: Auto, 10 levels
• Contrast: Auto, 7 levels
• Brightness: 3 levels
• Saturation: Auto, 7 levels
• Hue: 7 levels
• Quick Adjust; 5 levels
• High ISO Noise Reduction (High, Normal, Low, Off)

Color space
• sRGB
• Adobe RGB


• Eye-level pentamirror single-lens reflex viewfinder
• Frame coverage Approx. 95% horizontal and 95% vertical
• Magnification Approx. 0.78x (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, –1.0 m-1)
• Eyepoint 17.9 mm (–1.0 m-1)
• Diopter adjustment –1.7 to+1 m-1

Focusing screen

• Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark V screen with focus frame
• Superimposed on-demand grid lines over the viewfinder display.

LCD monitor

• 2.7 " TFT LCD
• Approx. 230,000 dots
• 100% frame coverage
• Brightness adjustment

LCD Live view

• Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face priority is selected)
• Face priority
• Wide area
• Normal area
• AF tracking

Shooting modes

• Single frame
• Continuous 4 fps (at shutter speeds over 1/250. 67 Large Fine JPEG, 11 RAW)
• Self-Timer
• Delayed remote, quick response remote (optional Wireless Remote Control ML-L3 required for remote shooting)
• Quiet shooting (doesn't re-cock shutter until shutter button is released)


• 2, 5, 10, and 20 s


• Auto pop-up type (auto pop up in Auto, Portrait, Child, Close-up, Night portrait, Party/indoor, Pet portrait modes)
• Manual pop-up in P,A,S,M and Food modes
• Guide number of 17/56 (ISO 200, m/ft.) or 18/59 with manual flash (ISO 200, m/ft.)
• Guide number of 12/39 (ISO 100 equiv, m/ft.) or 13/43 with manual flash (ISO 100 equiv, m/ft.)
• Sufficient to illuminate the picture angle of an 18mm lens

Flash control

• TTL: i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR using 420-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash and SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, or SB-400
• Auto aperture: Available with SB-900, SB-800 and CPU lens
• Non-TTL auto: Supported flash units include SB-900, SB-800, SB-28, SB-27, and SB-22s
• Range-priority manual: Available with SB-900 and SB-800

Flash Modes

•Auto, auto with red-eye reduction, fill-flash, auto slow sync, auto slow sync with red-eye correction, reat curtain with slow sync.

Flash Accessory Shoe

•ISO 518 standard-type hot shoe contact; Safety lock mechanism provided

Flash Sync Terminal No

Flash compensation

• -3 to +1 EV
• 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps

Creative Lighting System

• Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with SB-900, SB-800, or SU-800 as commander and SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, or SB-R200 as remotes

Playback mode

• Full-frame playback
• Movie playback
• Thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar) playback
• Playback zoom (image size L up to approx. 27x, M up to approx. 20x, S up to approx. 13x) When one or more faces (up to 10) were detected with shooting, the faces are enclosed in white borders. When playback zoom is applied, different faces can be displayed by rotating the sub-command dial.
• Slide show playback
• Pictmotion
• Histogram display
• Highlights display
• Auto image rotation
• Image comment (up to 36 characters)

Retouch functions

•D-Lighting, red-eye correction, trim, monochrome, filter effects, color balance, small picture, image overlay, NEF (RAW) processing, quick retouch, straighten, distortion control, fisheye


•Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Klingon, Spanish, Swedish


• USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) Mini-B connector
• PTP transfer protocol
• NTSC or PAL video output
• HDMI video out (version 1.3a, Type C mini connector provided)
• Remote control / GPS terminal


• SD (Secure Digital) memory cards, SDHC-compliant


• Lithium-Ion EN-EL9e (Approx. 510 shots, CIPA)
• Included battery charger MH-23
• Optional AC adapter EH-5a with EP-5 connector

Dimensions Approx. 127 x 104 x 80 mm (5.0 x 4.1 x 3.1 in.)
Weight (no batt) Approx. 560 g (1 lb. 4 oz.) without battery, memory card, body cap, or monitor cover

Nikon D5000 has Better Specifications?


• 23.6 x 15.8 mm Nikon DX-format CMOS sensor
• 12.9 million total pixels
• 12.3 million effective pixels

Dust Reduction System

• Airflow control system
• Image Sensor Cleaning
• Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)

Image processor

• Nikon EXPEED

A/D conversion

• 12 bit

Image sizes

• 4,288 x 2,848 (L)
• 3,216 x 2,136 (M)
• 2,144 x 1,424 (S)

File formats

• NEF (compressed RAW)
• JPEG: Fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8), or basic (approx. 1:16) compression
• NEF (RAW) + JPEG (any size)
• AVI Motion-JPEG Movie
• File format AVI (Motion-JPEG)
• Image size (pixels) 1280 x 720; 24fps, 640 x 424; 24 fps, 320 x 216; 24 fps
• Audio: Monaural on/off selection
• Exposure: Determined with matrix metering utilizing output from the image sensor
• Exposure lock available
• Exposure compensation available in P, S, A, M modes
• Maximum single clip length: 1280x720/ 5 minutes, others 20 minutes

Lens mount

• Nikon F mount with AF contacts
• Approx. 1.5x lens focal length (Nikon DX format)

Usable lenses
AF-S, AF-I: All functions supported
Other Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus
Other AF Nikkor/AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
Type D PC Nikkor: All functions supported except some shooting modes
Non-CPU: Can be used in mode M, but exposure meter does not function; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster
IX Nikkor/AF Nikkor for F3AF: Cannot be used

Auto Focus

• 11 focus points (1 cross-type sensors)
• Multi-CAM 1000
• AF working range: -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, normal temperature)
• Contrast Detect in Live View mode
• Manual focus [M], Electronic range finding supported

AF Servo Modes

• Single Servo (AF-S)
• Continuous Servo (AF-C)
• Automated selection of AF-S or AF-C, (AF-A)
• Focus Tracking automatically activated by subject's status in (AF-A)

Focus Point

• Single point from 11 focus points
• Center point narrow or wide zone
• Live view: Contrast AF on user-selectable point anywhere within frame

AF Area Mode

• Single point AF
• Dynamic Area AF
• Automatic-area AF
• 3D Tracking AF (11 points)

Focus Lock

•Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button

AF assist

•AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5-3 m/1.6-9.8 ft.)

Exposure modes

• Program Auto [P] with flexible program
• Shutter-Priority Auto [S]
• Aperture-Priority Auto [A]
• Manual [M]
• Auto
• Advanced Scene Modes (Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-up, Night portrait, Night landscape, Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Pet portrait, Candlelight, Blossom, Autumn colors, Food, Silhouette, High key, Low key)


TTL full-aperture exposure metering using 420-pixel RGB sensor
• 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses);
• Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to an 8 mm dia. circle in center of frame
• Spot: Meters approx. 3.5 mm dia. circle (about 2.5 % of frame) centered on selected focus point

Metering range

• 3D Color Matrix Metering: 0 to 20 EV
• Center-Weighted Metering: 0 to 20 EV
• Spot Metering: 2 to 20 EV
(At normal temperature (20°C/68°F), ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens)

Meter coupling CPU (not AI)
Exposure lock Locked using AE-L/AF-L button

Exposure bracketing

• 3 frames
• Up to +/–2.0 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
• ADL (Active D-Lighting) bracketing: 2 frames (one with ADL, one without)

Exposure compen

• +/–5.0 EV
• 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps


• Default: ISO 200 - 3200 in 1/3 EV steps
• Boost: 100 - 6400 in 1/3 EV steps


• Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal plane shutter
• 30 to 1/4000 sec (1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)
• Flash X-Sync: 1/200 sec
• Bulb
• Time (optional Wireless Remote Control ML-L3 required)
• Tested to 100,000 exposures

Active D-Lighting Can be selected from Auto, Extra high, High, Normal, Low, or Off

White balance

• Auto (Using main imaging sensor and 420-pixel metering CCD)
• Presets (12) with fine tuning
• Manual preset
• White balance bracketing (3 frames in increments of 1, 2 or 3)

Is Nikon D5000 better than Canon 500D?
Is Nikon D5000 better than Canon 500D?

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

One mistake Nikon did on this solid camera is not to include the the in-body focus motor. This feature alone could have placed the D5000 a few notches ahead.

So what is their to like with the Nikon D5000> I am not a professional photographer... hell not even an amateur. I just have thing for cameras and I can diassemble any camera with or without a manual and put it back together with only one screw unscrewed. Hahaha!!!

The key features that sets it apart are

  • The D5000 shutter actuations have been rated up to 100,000.  That certainly puts a great cover for your investments. Most DSLR have a 50/50 chance of failing once it reaches the 5000 actuation mark. A friend of mine with a 50D had a dead camera at 12000+ actuations and had to claim the warranty.
  • It has an 11 point AF system with color and distance tracking.It also has this grid lines found only in the D90. Now the distance tracking here is the most important... it gets you a better depth of field with every shot.
  • Well of course it also has the live view which have not been common with entry level Nikon DSLR.  The Nikon old school die hard fanatics would always scoof at the need for a live view... But hey suppose your have a photo assignment to take pictures of the underside of a car or a van? How will you do this... lying down? Lift the car? For sure you'll have a really really really hard time. Now with a live view and a tilting LCD...
  • It also has a new Sensor and sensor cleaning module with an airflow control system.
  • It does 4 frames per second in burst mode
  • Oh... it also takes video with mono sound.  This feature used to be unheard of in DSLR's
  • RGB 420 segment metering sensor
  • A more extensive in-camera retouching. I still prefer Photoshop.
  • A long life battery. I personally hate battery grips.  It gets in the way of everything. Plus the fact that it make your camera really heavy. I feel like a cyborg when using a battery grip.

There you have it. So does it have the clout to beat any competitor? Yep it does and  so does the Canon 500D.  In the end it still boils down to the man who presses the shutter. Like they always say...

"Owning a Nikon or a Canon des not make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon or Canon camera owner"

I'd like to note, however, that both the Nikon D5000 and the Canon 500D lack the feature I wantfor my DSLR. That is weather sealing. Only one has at this category and that is the Pentax K20D. :-)

A tilting LCD screen for that hard to get shot.
A tilting LCD screen for that hard to get shot.

The NIKON D5000

Can't wait to get your hands on one?
Can't wait to get your hands on one?

A Duel to the Death

Which DSLR is the best?

  • Canon 500D
  • Nikon D5000
See results without voting

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Share Your Thoughts 9 comments

marcelo 5 years ago

pwede ako nlang ni

karepesina 6 years ago

I had to promote this camera in my affiliate site. This is so nice camera for new photographer. This very useful for both.

ANGELA 6 years ago

how do i get thiss for free?

Joseph 6 years ago

I really like to have one but racing a fund like that would take me a lifetime.

5d canon 6 years ago

I have a canon 5d digital slr, they are an amazing range :)

Quality hub :)

breee 6 years ago

i want this sooo bad

Nikon D5000 DSLR Camera is in my wishlist 7 years ago

The price is still beyond my reach. But already put it under my wishlist. ;)

sun goddess profile image

sun goddess 7 years ago from davao city, philippines

pwede kaau ah... :) aron daghan nata bisaya diri...

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