As we've mentioned the D5000 doesn't feature the high resolution LCD screen that is built into every Nikon from the D90 upwards (and, perhaps more pertinently, into the Canon EOS 500D/T1i). Instead its 230,000 dot (2.7") unit is mounted on a hinge, to allow the use of the camera at different angles. Like the majority of DSLRs with Live View, the camera isn't responsive enough when using the LCD as a viewfinder to make this a universally useful feature - it'll be useful to a small subset of users, in quite specific situations, but probably shouldn't be a decisive factor for many buyers.

Shooting information

The D5000 offers two styles of information panel (and you can specify a different one for the auto and manual modes, if you wish), either offering a diagram of the aperture and a rather nice serif typeface, or an imitation of a mono LCD top panel.

Graphic Info display format Classic info display format

Record Review

You can choose for the D5000 to display a review of the image taken immediately after shutter release. The type of display used will be the same as the last mode used in playback (histogram, thumbnail index, details etc.). Record review has all of the functionality of playback mode, this means its easy to delete, magnify, protect etc. The image will remain on the screen for the 'Monitor off delay' (Custom menu setting c2)or until you half-press the shutter release.


Press the Playback button to enter playback mode, press the multi selector up or down to change display mode, up to seven different pages of display detail are available. The 'Display mode' option in the playback menu allows you to add RGB histograms, blinking highlights and data screens to the available playback displays, depending on which you think you'll use.

Basic photo display: folder, file number, quality & size, date & time, quality, size. RGB histograms (optional)
Highlights (optional) Data screen 1 (optional). Contains all the major shooting parameters.
Data screen 2 (optional). Contains image processing settings Data screen 3 (optional). Includes those settings that don't fit on screen 2 such as image comment.
Shooting details screen. Contains most shooting data and a histogram.  

Playback Zoom

The D5000's playback zoom is implemented in the same manner as the D90 and D300's (and therefore different to the D3 and D3X's). You use the zoom button to select zoom amount from the eight available levels (on the D3 you use the combined zoom / thumbnail button with the rear command dial), and can use the multi-selector to move around the magnified image.

Playback thumbnail views

The D5000 has three levels of thumbnail view, either 2 x 2, 3 x 3 or 9x7 (72 per page) - plus a new calendar view. Press the thumbnail index button to enter thumbnail mode with 4 images (2 x 2), press again to switch to the 9 image (3 x 3) view and so on. If you leave the camera in this view mode it will use it for record review. Note that if you have the 'Rotate Tall' option enabled images taken in the portrait orientation are displayed vertically.

One push for a 2 x 2 thumbnail view Two pushes for a 3 x 3 thumbnail view
Three pushes for a 72 (9x8) thumbnail view Four pushes for a calendar view
In calendar view you can 'zoom' the selected image by holding the + zoom button.  

Playback retouching

The D5000 gets the largest number of retouching and image correction options we've yet seen with a wide range of processing and distortion correction/addition options. There's also the ability to reprocess RAW files with different processing parameters. It's a feature that Nikon debuted on the D60 (and that also crops up in Pentax and Olympus cameras) which can be really handy, particularly if you tend to shoot only in RAW. The full list of retouch options appears on the menu page.

The retouch menu in Playback mode Raw processing
D-Lighting Fisheye Filter
The Fisheye option The color outline tool is new and attempts to identify and outline patches of color