Nikon D5000 Digital SLR With Video Announced

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Nikon D5000 Digital SLR CameraThe rumored Nikon D5000 digital SLR has been confirmed. Tonight, Nikon announced their latest digital SLR and their second to feature HD video capture. As the change in naming convention indicates (previous entry-level cameras were the D60 and D90), this is not just another entry-level or enthusiast Nikon digital SLR. For $730, the Nikon D5000 delivers a 12.3-megapixel DX sensor, 720p HD movie capture with sound, and it’s Nikon’s first DSLR with a fully articulated Vari-angle LCD display.

Read The Final Nikon D5000 Pro Review >>

“The Nikon D5000 represents a cornerstone in Nikon’s D-SLR line, marrying simplicity and instructive features with superior technology and HD video, allowing the user’s ability and creativity to grow-with the camera…”

Edward Fasano
Nikon General Manager For Marketing

Nikon D5000 Digital SLR
The new Nikon D5000 offers a lot of the consumer-friendly, whiz-bang technology we’ve seen appear recently in digital SLRs – face detection, Live View, sophisticated in-camera image adjustment, multiple scene modes, etc. But what sets the D5000 apart from previous Nikon digital SLRs and most other camera makers is the tilt/swivel LCD. For Live View shooting, and even more so for video, the new Vari-angle LCD will make the Nikon D5000 better to actually shoot with. Nikon’s recent D90 showed us they could kill it in the image quality department (see our Nikon D90 studio sample photos). Add the adjustable LCD and the D5000 looks like a contender for the top camera in the entry-level / enthusiast DSLR class.
Nikon D5000 Vari-angle LCD positions
Video is replacing resolution as the main marketing feature for digital SLRs. You can clearly see Nikon and Canon rushing to get ahead of each other with DSLR video specs and quality. I expect the reason that both Nikon and Canon announced new digital SLRs after the annual PMA tradeshow (March 3-5) is that they were working on the new camera’s video features. Hopefully, Nikon was working on eliminating the D90′s well-documented video quality issues and we won’t see the rolling shutter Jell-O effect in D5000 movies. No doubt, some people will criticize the D5000′s 720p video resolution compared Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II and the recently announced Canon EOS Rebel T1i, which both have 1080p HD video. But Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II is a pro body and costs three times as much as the new D5000. The entry-level Canon Rebel T1i does have 1080p video resolution, but only at 20 frames-per-second, something that knowledgeable video shooters have expressed skepticism about.

It remains to be seen what the D5000′s video quality will be like and how it will compare to the competition. The D90 video quality is excellent, as long as you aren’t moving the camera a lot while you’re shooting. If Nikon has improved the D5000′s image quality over the D90, then I think it will be an excellent choice for people who want the added value of video in their digital SLR. Personally, I’d buy the D5000 for the still image quality and the Vari-angle LCD and take the video as an added bonus.

Nikon D5000 Feature Highlights:
12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor
720p HD movie mode with sound
Easy to edit Motion JPEG AVI video files
2.7-inch Vari-angle (tilt/swivel) LCD display
Single button Live View
Scene Recognition System
19 scene modes
Sensitivity from ISO 200 to 3200
11-point auto focus system
Subject Tracking auto focus

The Nikon D5000 will be available toward the end of April and will be sold alone of as a kit. The body-only price will be $729.95. The D5000 kit will include the AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens and have an MSRP of $849.95. Nikon is also introducing a new super-wide DX-format zoom lens, the AF-S DX-Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED. The new lens will be available in early may for an MSRP of $899.95. We’re looking forward to getting a D5000 for review so please check back for a future hands-on camera test and high-res sample photos.

Read The Final Nikon D5000 Pro Review >>

Official Nikon D5000 Press Release >>

Related Content:
Nikon Review Page
Nikon Cameras Forum
Digital SLR Forum
More Nikon News And Articles
Nikon Web Site

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About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • Franglais says:

    My guess is that Nikon are positioning this camera against the Canon 500D. The true basic entry-level model is the D40 for less than $500. The expert amateur who wants to use legacy lenses like the famous 50mm f1.8 and have a nice big viewfinder will go for the D90. But I think a lot of people who tried – and were dissatisfied with – bridge cameras will be tempted by the D5000.

  • Photo-John says:

    Yeah, I think it’s absolutely meant to target people who are considering Canon’s 500D / T1i. With the tilt / swivel LCD, the same sensor as the D90, and straightforward 720p video capture, the Nikon D5000 looks like the better choice to me. However, just to throw a wrench in this whole discussion, for first time DSLR buyers, I think the forthcoming Panasonic Lumix GH1 looks like the best choice for a changable lens, video-enabled camera.

  • Hemant says:

    Can the user zoom in while using the movie mode of D 5000? The previews are not so clear on this point. Will it suffice need of a camcorder?

  • Photo-John says:

    Since the Nikon D5000 is a digital SLR, you will be able to zoom. All manual lens operations are separate from the camera’s video operation. So if you turn the zoom ring on the lens, it will zoom. Same goes for the focus ring. Auto focus I’m not so sure about, though. That’s really the big deal with video-enabled DSLRs right now – do they have auto focus? The Canon EOS 5D Mark II does not and if I remember right, the Nikon D90 doesn’t either.

  • Ken Barnes says:

    Great camera but its limiting factor is that it will not accept the standard lenses that don’t have internal focusing motors.

  • Spot says:

    did adding this video feature take away from the other features that were present before?
    And what about battery life? will it still be good?

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