Nikon launches feature-packed D5000 dSLR

Chris Oaten
15 April, 2009
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Nikon has launched its new entry-level dSLR, the D5000, with AMW and selected journos given a taste of the new shooter today in Melbourne. The camera is being touted as offering “everything the consumer could possibly want in a camera”.

After an all-too-brief fondling of the D5000 and a walkthrough of its capabilities, the boasting from Nikon’s people seems to be well justified.
The D5000 will go on sale in May, with a suggested price of $1499 body only,
$1699 with an 18-55mm VR or $1999 as a twin-lens kit with a 55-200mm VR. Launched alongside the D5000 was the AF-S DX 10-24mm lens, priced at $1799.

Three memorable features of the D5000 presentation were its flip-our Vari-angle monitor, some intriguing in-camera image processing capabilities, and a handy calendar-based view of stored images that easily isolates date-specific shots.
The flip-out LCD monitor breaks new ground by allowing its user to swivel the display underneath the camera to face the user. This is an interesting twist on the side-mounting flip-out display already used on cameras such as Canon’s Powershot SX1 IS and provides convenient handling in Live View mode.

The D5000 also offers a range of non-destructive, in-camera image editing options, such as line-art conversions, which can be created in addition to untouched RAW files. The benefit of this lies with having less reliance on computer-based post-processing of images.
There were many other features worthy of note and which AMW will enjoy revealing after we get our hands on a review unit.

For now, here are a few choice items from the specifications table: 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor; ISO from 200 to 3200, plus a Hi 1 setting for ISO 6400 and a Lo 1 setting for ISO 100; a specially designed EXPEED image processing system; Nikon’s Live View shooting, enhanced by the D5000’s Vari-angle monitor; autofocus with Live View improved by the addition of Subject tracking AF, which automatically locks onto a pre-selected subject; Face priority AF, Wide area AF and Normal area AF; Movie mode with clips at 1280×720 pixels (720p), with an option to shoot at 640×424 pixels or 320×216 pixels; and 19 Scene Modes including new modes – Pet portrait, Candlelight, Blossom, Autumn colours, Food, Silhouette, High key, and Low key.

The D5000 records to SD card and its owner can enjoy 2GB of free storage space for their photos at Nikon’s MyPicturetown site. An optional geo-tagging accessory is available.

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