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Nikon D5000 Digital Camera Review$729.95
The shooting mode selection is straightforward. The extra mode dial setting for auto without flash is a quick way to avoid inappropriate firing without working through the menu system, a nice touch if you're in a hurry to catch a baby's fleeting expression without blasting a flash in his or her delicate peepers.
When shooting with the viewfinder, we found the autofocus system quite speedy and accurate in bright light. The camera struggled a bit with dimmer indoor illumination, but always managed to lock on after a slight delay.
The Nikon D5000 uses an 11-point autofocus system with one cross-type sensor. The camera offers four focus modes: Single-servo, continuous-servo, auto-servo (which jumps between single and continuous depending on the subject), and manual.
The D5000 has a particularly bright autofocus assist lamp located on the front of the camera, below the mode dial, which we found very helpful when shooting in dark rooms. Nikon gives its effective range as 1 ft. 8 inches to 9 feet 10 inches (0.5 to 3.0m).
When using manual focus, the viewfinder focus indicator lights up when focus is achieved. The exposure indicator in the viewfinder can also be used as a focus indicator, by turning Rangefinder on in the custom settings. The rangefinder will indicate whether the focus point is behind or in front of the subject as you turn the lens ring.
Three image sizes are available; large, medium and small. The D5000 will shoot in JPEG or RAW (in the Nikon NEF format). There are three available JPEG compression settings. Fine uses approximately 1:4 compression, Normal 1:8, and Basic 1:16. When shooting RAW+JPEG, any of these JPEG compression settings can be selected.