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Low ISO noise

Hi ISO noise

Noise: ISO 3,200

Sharpness

Sharpness

Distortion

Exposure

Color

The D5000 displays an excellent noise profile. You start to see a tiny bit of degradation at ISO 800 if you squint a little, but shots remains eminently usable up through ISO 1,600.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
While ISO 3,200 displays a little more color noise than I like to see in my photos, it's still in keeping with performance for this market segment. And the D5000's extended range of ISO 6,400 remains usable for a variety of scene types.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
You probably wouldn't want to print ISO 3,200 photos at full size, but scaled down there's no color shift, and for shots like this it works very well.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
For a kit lens, the Nikon 18-55mm VR performs extremely well: it's sharp and focuses extremely closely.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Another example of how sharp the D5000's 18-55mm VR kit lens is. (ISO 200, 1/100 sec, f11)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The 18-55mm VR kit lens does display a bit of barrel distortion at its widest.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The D5000's metering works extremely well, even in bright, high-contrast light, and the image Expeed processing engine takes care to maximize the tonal range appropriately without clipping highlights or shadows. (ISO 200, f16, 1/125, matrix metering)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The D5000 produces bright and saturated, yet quite accurate colors.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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