Rear of Camera Controls

The rear of the D5000 is dominated by the large multi-function LCD monitor. Down the left side of the monitor are the five large buttons; play, menu, thumbnails, magnify and [i]. To the right are the four way controller and OK button and a direct-access Live view button. Delete and AE-L/AF-L lurk around the top edge of the camera.

The four way controller is used directly to select the desired AF point, and a side-effect of this is that there aren't as many direct access buttons on the D5000 as on some other competing cameras. Instead you have the [i] button that activates and navigates around the information display to change a setting (see the next page for details on how exactly this works), which is considerably slower than having a dedicated hard button (though easy enough to do).

Changing settings

The information panel, like most contemporary cameras in this class, is interactive. A press of the [i] button allows you to highlight and alter all the major shooting parameters. Many of the settings also bring up a guide panel that tries to provide an idea of what effect changing that setting will have. In the example given here, the panel demonstrates the effect of changing flash exposure compensation.

The interactive control panel A guide panel appears when you edit a setting

Single press buttons (Shooting mode)

Button  Description
Playback mode

Enters or exits from Playback mode, pressing this button displays the last image taken (or the last image on the card) in the last used display mode.
MENU Camera menu

Display or cancel the camera menu (detailed later in this review).


Press and hold this button in Auto or one of the Vari-Program modes to display a page of help, this also works in the cameras menu system. In certain circumstances (such as low light) this button will provide special context sensitive help such as 'Lighting is poor; flash recommended'.


Press this button to enter 'setting' mode which activates the information display and enables you to change any displayed setting, such as image quality, white balance, ISO sensitivity etc. (detailed on the next page).
Live view

Enters and exits the live view mode. Pressing the OK button at this point starts movie recording.
4-way controller

In shooting mode where AF point selection is enabled, the 4-way controller is used to choose AF points. In playback mode this control reverts to image navigation / menu movement.

Jumps to the central AF point. Also used to confirm selections when in the interactive control panel.

Single press buttons (Playback mode)

Button Description
Protect (AE-L/AF-L button)

Protects or un-protects the current image. This places a read-only flag on the image file and stops it from being accidentally deleted or deleted using a 'delete all images' option. It does not protect the image from a card format.
MENU Camera menu

Display or cancel the camera menu (detailed later in this review).

Zoom out / Thumbnail view

If a single image is displayed on the screen pressing this button switches to 2x2 and then 3x3 thumbnail views. In zoom view mode pressing this button steps out of magnification.

Zoom in

If a single image is displayed on the screen pressing this button enters zoom view mode and steps into the first level of magnification, there are 8 levels up to 19x (although it's clear looking at the screen that there's no more detail beyond about 8x). In thumbnail view mode pressing this button steps back towards a single image view.


When an image is displayed pressing delete will display a "Delete?" prompt, press this button once more to delete the image, a simple but elegant solution to the delete confirmation.
4-way controller

Press left or right to browse through images, up or down to change display mode. There are up to seven different playback screens available, which can be engaged from the custom settings menu.
OK Retouching menu

Pressing the OK button in Playback mode displays a pop-up version of the retouching menu.