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My Nikon D5000

by Eyre Austero 8. February 2010 18:11
Nikon D5000

     After more than a month of being through the gruelling task of choosing my first DSLR camera among many choices, I was finally able to come to a decision.  Last January 16, I finally got for myself the Nikon D5000. I bought it from Pixel Pro Megamall and it comes with three freebies: a 4Gb SD card, a camera bag, and a tripod.

     Coming from an advanced point and shoot (Canon PowerShot G9), learning how to use this camera and its features was relatively easier for me since, feature-wise, they share a number of similarities.  The Nikon site also has a good introductory page on its basic operation and features making the learning process even faster.

     I'm giving myself another week or two to fully master this camera so that nothing will get in the way once I start giving it a test drive (ano to car? hehehe).

     For those who are interested with this camera, listed below are some of its pros, cons, and major features.

Pros

  • Is said to have exactly the same sensor (12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor)  as the Nikon D90
  • 2.7-inch articulating LCD which might be useful for some shooting types.
  • Built-in intervalometer. (This will allow one to set the D5000 to fire automatically at preset intervals.)
  • 19 auto-exposure scene modes which can be helpful for beginners who do not yet know the ins and outs of digital photography.
  • More Retouch Menu options.
  • Silent Shooting. (Turns off the reminder 'beep' if enabled.)

Cons

  • No built-in autofocus motor. (This means that if you want to have AF, you need to buy the more expensive AF-S and AF-I lenses.)
  • No commander mode to activate Nikon's wireless flash. (For the wireless flash, one would need the SB-900/800 or the SU-800 to control other slave flashes.)
  • Fewer direct-access buttons.     

Other Features

  • D-Movie Mode with sound
    Record 720p HD movie clips enhanced by NIKKOR interchangeable lens quality and versatility.
  • One-button Live View
    Easy Live View access offers 4 autofocus modes, including Face-priority AF.
  • Continuous shooting as fast as 4 frames per second
    Combined with fast power-up and split-second shutter response, decisive moments are captured easily without annoying shooting lag.
  • Low noise ISO sensitivity from 200 to 3200
    Engineered for exceptional low-light shooting.
  • Built-in image sensor cleaning
    Effective 4-frequency, ultrasonic sensor cleaning keeps images spot free.
  • 11-point Autofocus System with 3D Focus Tracking
    Fast and accurate autofocus delivers razor sharpness.
  • Auto Active D-Lighting
    Restores lost shadow and highlight detail in high contrast exposures—Selectable and Auto modes available.
  • In-camera Retouch image editing
    Creative in-camera image editing, featuring Soft Filter, Straighten, Color Outline Effect, Perspective Control, Red-eye Correction, Image Overlay, Monochrome and more—all without a computer.
  • Picture Control Settings for personal image control
    Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape and 9 customizable settings.   

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0

Nikon D5000 or Nikon D90?

by Eyre Austero 17. January 2010 19:09

     For those looking for a fair side by side comparison of the Nikon D90 and the Nikon D5000, I found these three useful:

     (1)

         Side by side, Nikon D5000 vs Nikon D90 from Mike Kobal on Vimeo.

     (2) http://www.dpnotes.com/nikon-d5000-vs-nikon-d90-compared/

     (3) http://www.dpnotes.com/why-i-bought-the-nikon-d5000-and-sold-off-my-nikon-d90/

     These helped me decide whether to grab the D5000 now or to save up a bit more until I can afford the D90.

     As for my case, I ended up getting the D5000 and I'm happy with my decision.  For my budget, current skill level, and needs, it's the perfect fit for me.

     How about you.  Which of the two would you choose (or have chosen) and why?

    P.S.  If you've read my previous post, my initial plan is to get the Canon 500D (instead of the  Nikon D5000) as my first DSLR.  Let's just say that I changed my mind  (but for the right reasons as far as I'm concerned).

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6

My Beginner Photographer Starter Kit

by Eyre Austero 10. December 2009 06:47

     Inspired by the creative controls for taking photos available in my Canon PowerShot G9, an advanced point and shoot camera, I am now finally completely decided in moving a notch higher.  I am now going into the DSLR plunge and the biggest question now is: What camera  should I get and what accessories at a budget of only around Php 50k (~1000 USD)?

     If only the Canon 40D, a semi-pro (prosumer) camera, were still available in the Philippine market, I would have gone for it considering the steep drop in prices (for even as low as PHP 45k with the kit lens and a local Canon warranty) before it got phased out. As for its successor, the Canon 50D, the camera body alone already exceeds PHP 50K so I'm  removing it out of the picture. With the prosumer model out of my budget's reach, this now leaves me with the next best thing (or should we say cheaper alternative): the latest models in the mid-range segment namely the Canon 500D and the Nikon D5000.

Photos of the D5000 and the 500D

     In terms of performance and features, these two models are in a tight neck-to-neck battle. In the 500D's favor, it sports a 15.1 MP sensor as opposed to the D5000's 12.9 MP; a 920,000 dots LCD monitor resolution as opposed to Nikon's 230,000 dots; a 1080p movie mode as opposed to Nikon's 720p; a maximum sensitivity of 12800 ISO compared to the D5000's 6400 ISO; a greater tonal depth (14 bits vs 12bit); a slightly larger viewfinder; a live histogram in live view; an autofocus motor built into the body; and an optional battery grip.  In D5000's favor on the other hand is its slightly more sophisticated AF system (11-point vs. 9-point); its quicker continuous shooting (4 fps vs 3.4 fps); its on demand grid lines in the optical viewfinder; its fully articulated screen; its lower noise level at higher sensitivities; its time-lapse movie mode; interval shooting; and a more user-friendly interface for beginners.  For a more detailed comparison between these two models, please refer to this article. Over-all, these cameras are very decent performers at their price points.

     For my first DSLR camera then, it would be either of the two. To complete my "starter kit", i'll be needing the kit lens as my temporary walkaround lens (if budget were not an issue, I would go for the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II Lens); a cheap prime lens; and a tripod. Other accessories such as filters, battery grips, external flashes, etc. will have to follow after I fully learned the basics of photography.

     For a preview of how much my  planned "starter kit" (camera+kit lens+accessories) will cost, summarized below are the components plus the corresponding prices (as of Dec 10, 2009).

Item Canon Nikon Notes
Canon 500D kit (EF-S 18-55mm IS Lens) 42,500   3 yrs. Canon Warranty (parts and service)
Nikon D5000 kit (Nikkor DX 18-55mm VR)   45,800 2 yrs. Columbia Warranty (parts and service)
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II 4,000   1 yr. Canon Warranty
Nikkor 50mm 1.8   8000 1 yr. Warranty
Velbon Sherpa 435 5,100 5,100  
Total 51,600  58,900  

     Given the PHP 7k difference between "my" Nikon and Canon "starter kits", I'll go for the Canon 500D,hopefully, within January of next year. 

    

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