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Nikon D5000 DSLR kit

The Nikon D5000 is a mid-priced digital SLR that has been on the market for over six months. I bought mine last November from JB-HiFi for around AU$1364 as a “kit”, that is, bundled with a Nikkor AF-S DX VR 55-200 mm zoom lens f/4-5.6G IF-ED. It replaces the D90 and has a smaller body.

While it is by no means a professional-grade camera, it has enough quality features to use for money-making purposes.

Nikon D5000 DSLR

The camera consists of a body and an 18-55 mm zoom lens.

Sensor

Its 12.2 megapixel DX format sensor is the same as in the D90 and the D300. It is about 16×24 mm. This is smaller than the area of 35 mm film, which is about the size of the FX format (24×36 mm) found in the professional-grade cameras such as the Nikon D700.

Put another way, the FX sensor sees more than the DX, so using an FX lens in this camera would be fine, since its image is larger than the sensor area and you wouldn’t see what you were missing. However, you wouldn’t want to use a DX lens in an FX-sensor camera such as the D700.

Image files

The entire image seen by the sensor is captured in the Nikon Electronic Format (NEF), which is its RAW format. This is like a digital version of negative film. The D5000 can save in RAW (NEF), JPG and AVI file formats.

Taking photos

In use, this is the first camera I have owned since my last film camera where I am confident that the photos will be sharp and unlikely to be shaky. I mostly use the Auto mode so that I can just aim and shoot.

As expected, the photos are the best I have ever taken.

Taking Videos

The camera can take 5-minute videos at the highest resolution (1280×720) and up to 20 minutes at the lowest (320×216). The default is 640×424. To take a video, you simply press the LV button and then the OK button. It is saved in .avi format.

Nikkor 55-200 mm lens

The kit includes the AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200 mm lens f/4-5.6G IF-ED (quite a mouthful for a name). This is also a VR lens, which is essential for zoom, as it is easy to shake a hand-held camera. This does a good job but it is a pain to change carefully when you are in a hurry or not sitting down.

Not for some tourists

A few months after my purchase I happened to meet an expert photo-journalist and I noticed that his high-end Nikon had a compact zoom lens – an earlier version of the 18-200 mm (Nikkor VR II). What a weight-saver! They cost about US$800. In hindsight, I might have bought a separate body and this lens.

More recently, when I went with the family to Florida, I bought a smaller camera that slips into my shirt pocket, as I didn’t fancy carrying the D5000 and spare lens around the theme parks for 10 hours at a time.

Conclusion

The kit is a lot cheaper now and therefore represents great value for money. Close to home, when I am not carrying it all day, it is the perfect camera for my snaps.

Ash Nallawalla

Ash Nallawalla reviews products for many publications, notably PC Update. He writes a monthly column for APC Magazine, the largest consumer printed PC magazine in Australia.

One Customer Review of “Nikon D5000 DSLR kit”

Review by weighty, September 27, 2010

gonna send this to my mom