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Nikon D5000 Digital Camera Review$729.95
Speed and Timing
There is only one burst mode, at 4 frames per second, with no option to adjust to a slower speed. A readout on the right side of the viewfinder, and the bottom right of the Live View screen, indicates how many more shots can be taken in continuous shooting mode before the buffer is full.
An interesting additional feature is interval timer shooting. The D5000 can be set to automatically take a photo at a user-specified interval (as long as 24 hours between shots), starting at a specified time and running for a specified number of shots (up to 999).
In our testing, the Nikon D5000 exactly matched the company's claim of four shots per second, making it faster than both Canon Rebels, lagging only the D90 in this category.
With a Class 6 SDHC card, we could shoot about 20 photos in Large Fine JPEG mode before the buffer filled and the camera slowed down.
The D5000 self-timer offers good flexibility in setting the time delay, but has to be turned on again after every shot, which is annoying.
There is also an exposure delay mode, available through the custom menu, that inserts a delay of about one second after the mirror is raised before taking the photo. This will prove useful in especially demanding situations like astronomical or microscopic photography.
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.