Nikon has made official its D5000 consumer digital SLR camera that leaked early last week in a public ad shoot.
The camera is most notable for its flip-down, 360-degree-twist articulating LCD screen. The camera replaces, at least indirectly, the popular and long-lived D80. It also has a lower price and video recording abilities.
The LCD plus higher resolution and a better AF system inherited from the D90 distinguish it from the cheaper D60, but challenges the D90 itself at this price point: Nikon is using the same 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor that's in the D90 instead of the CCDs it traditionally uses in entry-level dSLR models.
The D5000 has a newer version of the Expeed image processor with improved Auto Active D-Lighting and face-priority AF and enhanced Live View AF. It also has a connector for the optional GP-1 hot shoe GPS.
While the D5000 does have video capture at 24fps -- the T1i is a bit better, Grunin writes -- the articulated LCD and built-in wireless flash help bridge the gap between still camera and camcorder.
Nikon also announced a new prosumer wide-angle lens, the AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED (15-36mm equivalent), with internal focus, Nikon's ultrasonic Silent Wave Motor (SWM) and a 7-blade aperture.
The D5000 is slated to ship at the end of April in three configurations: body only for $729.95 and a kit with the 18-55mm VR lens for $849.95. The 10-24mm lens will ship in May for $899.95.