The Good Very good photo quality; fast; video capture; articulated LCD; nice kit lens.
The Bad Small, dim viewfinder; middling video quality; too easy to accidentally change focus points.
The Bottom Line Though it falls short in its design, the Nikon D5000 delivers a nice feature set, speedy performance, and great photo quality for the money.
Editor's note: We mistakenly wrote that the D5000 included a wireless flash controller in this review's summary. We have removed this information.
The Nikon D80 lasted a long time at the top of our entry-level dSLR list, and the D5000 has been an eagerly awaited replacement for that just-under-$1,000 kit segment. And there are plenty of significant changes in this model. Nikon switches to a CMOS sensor instead of the CCD it's been using in its entry-level models, in this case, the same 12.3-megapixel version that's in the D90. Plus there's the new (to Nikon's dSLRs) flip-down-and-swivel LCD, and an improved AF system--the same 11-point AF system as the D90--that distinguish it clearly from the cheaper D60. But, as frequently happens, this poses quite a bit of competition for the more expensive D90. Especially since it has a newer version of the Expeed image processor (with improved Auto Active D-Lighting and face-priority AF) and enhanced Live View AF, along with a connector for the optional GP-1 hot shoe GPS. It also supports direct wireless upload when you use an Eye-Fi card.