Nikon D5000 Comparison Review
The Nikon D5000 is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was announced in April 2009 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 12.2 megapixel.
Is the Nikon D5000 a good camera? The D5000 has a Camera Elo of 1475. This rating puts the D5000 below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the D5000 also ranks below average. – Well, the Nikon D5000 is more than 11 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2009.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses|
|12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 200 - 3 200 (200 - 6 400)|
|2.7 LCD, 230k dots|
|Fully flexible screen (no touchscreen)|
|4 shutter flaps per second|
|510 shots per battery charge|
|127 x 104 x 80 mm, 590 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Nikon D5000 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon D5000 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Nikon D5000||5.0 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||20.8 oz||510||n||Apr 2009||749|
|Canon XSi||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|Nikon D5600||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||16.4 oz||970||n||Nov 2016||699|
|Nikon D5200||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||500||n||Nov 2012||749|
|Nikon D5100||5.0 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.8 oz||660||n||Apr 2011||749|
|Nikon D3100||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||550||n||Aug 2010||599|
|Nikon D3000||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||18.9 oz||500||n||Jul 2009||599|
|Nikon D60||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||629|
|Nikon D90||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||24.8 oz||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Nikon D40X||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||520||n||Mar 2007||729|
|Nikon D80||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon D5000 was launched in the US market at a price of $749. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Nikon D5000 features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon D5000 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The D5000 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the D5000 can use is 720/24p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D5000 has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.51x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D5000 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
One convenient feature of the D5000 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D5000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D5000 handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Nikon D5000||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749|
|Canon XSi||+ +||+ +||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|Nikon D5600||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|Nikon D5200||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2012||749|
|Nikon D5100||+ +||76/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749|
|Nikon D3100||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599|
|Nikon D3000||+||72/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599|
|Nikon D60||80/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Jan 2008||629|
|Nikon D90||+ +||+ +||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Nikon D40X||79/100||+ +||4/5||o||4/5||Mar 2007||729|
|Nikon D80||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Nikon D5000 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the D5000.
What type of imaging sensor is used in the D5000?
The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Nikon equipped the D5000 with the EXPEED image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the D5000?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 3200.
Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?
Yes, the LCD-screen of the D5000 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon D5000?
Nikon mentions a shutter rating of 100 000 actuations for the D5000. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the D5000 over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my Nikon D5000?
Nikon embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your D5000 has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.
Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?
No, the Nikon D5000 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.
Does the Nikon D5000 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The D5000's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.
Which battery does the D5000 use?
The camera gets its power from the EN-EL9a (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Is there a vertical grip available for the D5000?
Nikon does not offer an optional battery grip, but third party suppliers do (see here on eBay).
Camera to camera comparisons
If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
|Camera Model||Nikon D5000|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 749|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||373 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4 288 x 2 848 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.28 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 3 200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||200 - 6 400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||72|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||868|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fully flexible screen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||EN-EL9a power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||510 shots per charge|
127 x 104 x 80 mm
(5.0 x 4.1 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||590 g (20.8 oz)|
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