Nikon 12.3MP D5000 Digital SLR gets official

First the spy shots, now the official announcement. Nikon has unveiled the much-speculated D5000 12.3MP DSLR. It is essentially the D90 in a compact chassis at cheap price — aims to compete with the newly announced Canon Rebel T1i. The entry-level Nikon packs 12.21 million image pixel CMOS sensor, capable of 4fps continues shooting speed and 720P HD capture, which also features Nikon's first DSLR with articulated 2.7-inch LCD display.

Aside from D90, the D5000 is the second DSLR from Nikon incorporating a video capture mode, but only up to 720P and still stuck in Motion JPEG format. New model also introduced a Vari-angle rear LCD that can be swiveled into various orientations.

In a nutshell, both models share many features and functionality from image sensor, movie mode, autofocus and metering system with rather close speed in shooting rate. D90 is slightly higher in price tag, but is loaded with larger and clearer viewfinder, in-body focus motor, bigger but fixed 3-inch rear LCD and more flexible with custom setting, as well as the Speedlights commander Mode option.

In addition to the D5000 entry-level DSLR, Nikon also revealed a new DX-format lens – a wide angle zoom lens — 10 – 24 mm F3.5-4.5 AF-S lens with a Silent Wave Motor for quiet focusing and is constructed with a pair of ED elements, and a rounded diaphragm for better image output.

The lens will ship in May for $900 while the Nikon D5000 will set you back $730 in late-April 2009. Bundle kit will be available as well, for $850, which comprised of the D5000 and AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR.

Nikon D5000 main features

  • 12.3MP DX Format CMOS sensor.
  • 12-bits per color EXPEED processing
  • 2.7in display, 233,000-dot Vari-angle rear LCD screen
  • D-Movie video capture at 720p 24fps, mono audio and no continuous AF
  • LiveView with 4 autofocus mode options including Face Priority AF
  • ISO range of 200 – 3200, expandable to 100 – 6400
  • Shutter rated at 100,000 cycles
  • Optical viewfinder features 0.78x magnification and 95% coverage
  • 4fps maximum still photo shooting rate

  • 11-point autofocus with 3D Focus Tracking
  • Compatibility with the Nikon GP-1 GPS Unit
  • Full manual controls, plus 19 scene modes
  • Dust reduction system
  • SD/SDHC memory card slot
  • HDMI port
  • EN-EL9a lithium-ion battery