Nikon D5000 Viewfinder

As with most DSLRs, the Nikon D5000 has an optical viewfinder that lets you view your subject through the lens. Following a popular trend, though, the camera also offers a Live view mode, in which the mirror flips up and the main image sensor continuously captures a live image of the subject, displaying it on the rear-panel LCD screen. The Nikon D5000 is the first Nikon with an articulating LCD, making its Live View mode that much more useful.

Nikon says the D5000's viewfinder provides a magnification of 0.78x and a coverage of about 95%. (We measured slightly higher coverage on our production-level sample of the D5000.) The Nikon D5000's dioptric correction (for eyeglass wearers) has a range from -1.7 to +0.7 diopter, adjusted via a slider on the right side of the viewfinder eyepiece housing. The viewfinder has an eyepoint height of 17.9mm at -1 diopter. This is enough that most eyeglass wearers should be able to see the full viewfinder area without having to mash their glasses against the viewfinder bezel. The Nikon D5000's viewfinder employs a pentamirror design, rather than the brighter but heavier and more costly pentaprism system.

The graphic and table below shows what information is displayed in Nikon D5000's viewfinder.

On-demand framing grid
"K" (appears when memory remains for over 1000 frames)
Reference circle for
Center-Weighted metering
Flash-ready indicator
"No memory card" warning
Flexible program indicator
Battery indicator
Electronic analog exposure display
Focus points
Exposure compensation display
Focus indicator
Flash compensation indicator
Autoexposure (AE) lock indicator
Exposure compensation indicator
Shutter speed
Auto ISO indicator
Aperture (f-number)
Warning indicator
Battery indicator
Bracketing Indicator
Number of exposures remaining
Number of shots remaining before memory buffer fills
White balance recording indicator
Exposure compensation value
Flash compensation value
Capture mode indicator
ISO sensitivity value


Viewfinder Test Results

Good accuracy with the optical viewfinder, excellent with the LCD monitor's Live View mode.

70mm f/2.8, Optical 70mm f/2.8, Live View LCD

The Nikon D5000's optical viewfinder proved fairly accurate, with just over 96% coverage when measured with our Sigma 70mm f/2.8 test lens. This is very good for a consumer model, and is better than the coverage Nikon claims (95%), though the viewfinder image in our production-level test sample was shifted very slightly vertically. The camera's Live View LCD mode was extremely accurate, however, with 100% coverage.


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