Nikon's new D5000

Earlier this week, Nikon introduced the D5000, which shares several features of the D90, but in a smaller & lighter camera that costs several hundred dollars less. It adds several compelling new features, most notably a 180-degree tilt/swivel screen and several new scene modes.

The D5000 uses the same sensor as the D90, so the image quality should be very similar to the D90 and D300, making it a worthwhile step up from the D40 or D60. However, the D5000 has a few very significant drawbacks: it lacks the D90’s internal focus motor, which means it can’t auto-focus with non AF-S lenses, such as Nikon’s wonderful 50mm f/1.8 AF. The D5000’s LCD screen is only 2.7″ with a resolution of 240×320 vs. the D90’s beautiful 640×480 3″ screen. The D5000 also lacks a subcommand dial, so most likely it will be necessary to use the menu for many settings, where they could be changed with one button on the D90. If you use an external flash such as the SB800 or SB900, the D5000’s built-in flash can’t be used as a remote trigger, unlike the D90.

I’d like to see a swivel screen in other future models, but I wouldn’t give up the D90’s features for it.

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