D5000's Versatility Is Impressive

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Kellner, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

What's the greatest feature of the new Nikon D5000? For starters, it can handle just about any task you throw at it, from landscapes to portraits to close-ups. Its built-in metering and autofocus features complement a 12.3-megapixel capacity, fast shutter speed and excellent image stability.

In my opinion, it's well worth the $729 estimated selling price Nikon USA lists on its Web site for the camera body. (Even better, you probably won't have to pay that price: Amazon.com offers it for about $60 less.)

The D5000 is a lightweight, digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera that offers a wide variety of shooting modes, including HD movies at 1080p or 720p, that should satisfy most of us who are out there taking pictures. During a recent outing at the Cloisters branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in upper Manhattan, I put the camera through its paces and was delighted every step of the way.

The versatility of the D5000 was apparent. Shooting nearly 150 pictures, I got great images of the structure and its contents, both of which are part of the legacy of oilman and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller. The Cloisters are a showplace of medieval art and architecture, with the result being a lot to photograph. Overlooking the Hudson River and with a view of New Jersey and the George Washington Bridge, the scenery and the gardens at the Cloisters offered some great photo opportunities, as well.

Mixing indoor and outdoor photography with close-ups - literally - of birds and bees as well as a few shots of my spousal unit, as the Census Bureau now defines a wife (or husband), the D5000 proved its power. Sitting across the courtyard from a roof of terra cotta tiles on which two small birds had perched, I was able to zoom in (with a 55-200mm Nikkor lens from my old D40x outfit), and get a nice shot. Using the 18-55mm lens, supplied with the D5000 for review, I got a number of other good shots.

The movie capability was quite nice; I shot a brief HD movie of a water fountain, and the camera picked up the native audio of water flowing into the basin quite nicely. …