Nikon D5000 Review
Here you can see a generated GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart, place your mouse over any of the labels below it to see the color reproduction in that mode. Select a camera/setting combination from the 'Compared to' drop-down to comparative boxes inside each patch.
Picture Controls (Nikon's name for its image parameter presets), can be modified, saved and transferred between the D5000 and all the more expensive Nikon DSLRs to allow consistency of output between different cameras. Obviously the noise and noise reduction characteristics each camera will have an impact on the final results so the output won't be identical but the results will be consistent enough for the Nikon spokesperson we spoke to describe Picture Controls as: 'the digital film of the future,' which is nice.
|Nikon D5000||Compare to:|
Artificial light White Balance
The D5000's performance is not nearly as accurate as the D90 was in the same test. However, its choice of seven Fluorescent presets means there's likely to be at least one setting in which it will produce excellent results. The problem with having so many options is choosing the correct one for the situation you're shooting in (personally I can't spot the difference between a Daylight Fluorescent and a Day White Fluorescent tube when I walk into an unfamiliar room), not helped by the inability to switch between fluorescent presets from the interactive control panel. It's quite possible to shoot a raw image then pre-process that in-camera to test the effects of each preset, then use the White Balance option in the shooting menu to select that preset, but if you're going to do all that, it's probably easier to shoot a neutral target and set a custom white balance from that.
Other than that, the performance is a little disappointing after the very good performance of the D90. It could be that Nikon has tried to make the camera more 'entry-level friendly' (by retaining 'atmosphere' rather than accuracy), or that the camera is based around a slightly different processor (Nikon does not specify whether it uses the same processors in different cameras, instead applying the 'Expeed' branding to all the processors it uses).
It's hard to argue with this flash performance - both the exposure and color rendition are very good. The D5000 doesn't have the wireless external flash control features built into the D90 and more expensive models but it does give a pretty good level of control over the behavior of the built-in flash (with easy access to flash exposure compensation and first/second curtain sync).
Active D-Lighting has been included in Nikon DSLRs since the D300. It mixes a metering correction and tone curve shift (as per Canon's Highlight Tone Priority mode), with sophisticated dynamic range compression techniques, based on technologies from Apical (similar to those in the Sony DRO and Olympus SAT modes). The effect is that highlights are preserved and detail pulled out of the shadows.
The theory is that this results in images that are closer to the way the human brain perceives the scene. The cost is that you get additional noise in shadow regions of the images, and that these changes only appear in JPEG (they are not perfectly reproducible in RAW converters - even Capture NX). The default setting for Active D-Lighting on the D5000 is 'Auto,' which assesses the contrast in the scene and applies what it considers to be an appropriate level of D-Lighting.
On the whole, it's a question of taste but there are plenty of situations in which a small increase in noise is an acceptable price to pay for a final image with a more balanced tonal range, so we'd be inclined to leave it on Auto or even hike it up to Extra High in some situations. Those people shooting RAW and planning to post-process all their images are probably better off switching it off, however.
|Active D-Lighting Off||ISO 200, 1/60 sec, F8|
|Active D-Lighting Low||ISO 200, 1/60 sec, F8|
|Active D-Lighting Normal||ISO 200, 1/60 sec, F8|
|Active D-Lighting High||ISO 200, 1/80 sec, F8|
|Active D-Lighting Extra High||ISO 200, 1/100 sec, F8|
Our comments about the D5000 are, unsurprisingly, an awful lot like the ones we made about the D90. As we've seen throughout our lab tests, Nikon is applying considerably less sharpening than its rivals, meaning that the first impression is that the D5000's output is soft at the pixel level. However, unlike some camera's we've recently tested, the Nikon's JPEG engine can produce better results with a slight tweaking of the parameters.
To prove this point, we have tried re-processing a raw file in the camera and applying a touch more sharpening and a slight contrast increase. As can be seen, the results are much more like those of the D5000's peers. Below we've included 100% crops from our comparison shot and a real-world scene, to show the effects of this slight correction.
|Standard (Contrast 0, Sharpening 3)||Contrast +1, Sharpening 4|
However, the other thing we took issue with on the D90 - its willingness to overexpose - seems to have been corrected. In most situations, the D5000 appears to err on the side of underexposure. This means you may sometimes have to add a bit of positive exposure compensation to make your images reflect the brightness of the original scene but has the advantage that you're less likely to suffer from large numbers of over-bright images with unrecoverable detail (you can pull-up detail you've captured, but you can't pull down detail you haven't).
For a camera of this level, where it's not guaranteed that every user will get involved in correcting the exposure, we'd much rather see the camera tend towards underexposure like this, rather than overexposure.
The D5000 also automatically corrects chromatic aberration, just as the D90 did, and can optionally correct geometric distortion when using Nikkor lenses (at the cost of slower continuous shooting).
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Specifications
- 3 What's new
- 4 Body & Design
- 5 Body & Design
- 6 Body & Design
- 7 Operation & Controls
- 8 Operation & Controls
- 9 Operation (Live View)
- 10 Displays
- 11 Menus
- 12 Menus
- 13 Menus
- 14 Performance
- 15 Photographic tests (RAW)
- 16 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 17 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 18 Photographic tests (DR)
- 19 Photographic tests (DR)
- 20 Photographic tests
- 21 Movie Mode
- 22 Compared to
- 23 Compared to (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to (JPEG)
- 25 Compared to (JPEG)
- 26 Compared to (JPEG)
- 27 Compared to (RAW)
- 28 Compared to (RAW)
- 29 Compared to (RAW)
- 30 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 31 Compared to (Resolution)
- 32 Compared to (Resolution)
- 33 Conclusion
- 34 Samples
Jun 12, 2009
Apr 14, 2009
Jun 11, 2012
Jun 11, 2012
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.