Posted on May 28th, 2009
When it comes to competing in the world of digital photography, Nikon has always held it’s own, but with the D5000 Nikon is surpassing expectations. The D5000 has been referred to as “the poor man’s D90 (made by Canon)”, but such a brief description, while accurate, doesn’t do much justice to the value of this diamond in the rough.
Unorthodox is the keyword here, from the model number to the appearance of the D5000, but this is likely what amateur and financially sound professionals alike are looking for in a digital SLR camera.
While it lacks the heft and solidity of many of it’s competitors’ digital cameras, the folks here and 42nd Street Photo have enjoyed the more compact size, lighter weight and ease of use. It doesn’t feel expensive, because it’s not (compared to the Canon D90), but this doesn’t mean the D5000 doesn’t take great pictures.
First off, the display is as unorthodox as the rest of the camera – but this just places the D5000 in a class all it’s own. This camera is one of the few which boasts a fully articulate preview display screen, which means the user doesn’t have to take pictures only from behind the lens, but from the top, bottom, and sides as well. This could prove very handy for those tough “over-the-crowd” shots, or for getting low-to-the-ground image captures. As if the sharp display, vivid colors and unmatched brightness weren’t enough, Nikon has added it’s GUI to the 2.7″, multi-angle display. This makes the extra 0.3″ of the Canon D90 seem almost pointless, at the sacrifice of these other features.
Compared to the Canon D90 (as it seems appropriate since these two models share so much in common), the Nikon D5000 takes strikingly similar pictures. The main difference we’ve noticed between the two is the saturation. While the D90 takes more vivid image captures, the D5000 captures the same amount of detail and clarity, which is most important. Since most photographers perform some manner of post-capture editing, a quick color correction is all it takes to bring the captures from the D5000 to perfection.
All in all, the D5000 isn’t the best of the best, but at it’s low price tag, it’s the best money can buy. Generally speaking, what you pay for is what you get with a digital camera, but the D5000 throws in just a little extra where it really counts.