We've provided this printable version of our review for your convenience. Please remember that your shopping clicks support this site. If you think this camera is a good choice for you, please consider returning to the link below to check prices and make a purchase via our shopping links.

Also note that this is just one of the pages from this review. Full reviews have several pages with complete analysis of the many test shots we take with each camera. Feel free to download and print them out to see how the camera will perform for you.

Full Review at: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D5000/D5000A.HTM

 

Nikon D5000 High ISO Noise Reduction

The Nikon D5000 delivers similar high-ISO image quality compared to the D90. Like the D90, the D5000's different noise-reduction settings allow you quite a bit of flexibility in choosing how you want to make the trade-off between subject detail and noise levels. It's not clear that the "off" setting truly eliminates the noise processing altogether, but it is true that it leaves a lot of fine/subtle subject detail there for you to work with. The combination of shooting with NR turned off and using a good noise-filtering program after the fact can produce very clean images with lots of fine detail in them. (And of course, the D5000's NEF RAW files have no noise-reduction processing applied to them at all, adhering to the true philosophy of RAW shooting.)

See for yourself how the noise reduction works under daylight-balanced lighting. Click on any of the crops below to see the corresponding full-sized image.

High ISO Noise Reduction Comparison
Simulated Daylight
Off
Low
Normal
High
I
S
O

8
0
0
Off
Low
Normal
High
I
S
O

1
6
0
0
Off
Low
Normal
High
I
S
O

3
2
0
0
Off
Low
Normal
High
I
S
O

6
4
0
0

The above crops show the effects of the 4 levels of high ISO noise reduction, under our studio HMI lighting we use to simulate daylight. Note that some minimal NR is still performed at ISO 3200 and above when High ISO NR set to "Off".


How does the D5000 compare to the more expensive D90? See the crops below.

High ISO Noise Reduction D5000 vs D90 Comparison
Simulated Daylight
ISO 800
Off
Low
Normal
High
D5000
D90
D5000
D90
D5000
D90
ISO 1600
D5000
D90
D5000
D90
D5000
D90
ISO 3200
D5000
D90
D5000
D90
D5000
D90
ISO 6400
D5000
D90
D5000
D90
D5000
D90

The above crops compare the D5000 (top row) versus the D90 (bottom row) of each set. While the exposures are not identical, it looks as though high ISO performance is. That's no surprise. since they share the same sensor.