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Nikon Debuts Much-Anticipated, Midrange d-SLR

4/20/2009 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Nikon unveiled last week its long-rumored D5000, which will stand as the company’s latest affordably priced d-SLR.

The camera, which will ship later this month at a $729 suggested retail (body only) or $849 (with an 18-55m VR lens), includes Nikon’s 11-point autofocus system with 3-D focus track and a 12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor. Other features include: up to 720p high-definition D-Movie mode video recording with sound, 2.7-inch Vari-angle color LCD monitor, 19 auto-exposure scene modes, one-button Live View, continuous shooting at up to four frames per second and low-noise ISO sensitivity from 200 to 3,200.

Nikon also introduced a new ultra-wide-angle 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 DX lens that will fit the D5000 and other Nikon DX d-SLRs, for those looking for greater creativity options.

“The Nikon D5000 represents a cornerstone in Nikon’s d-SLR line, marrying simplicity and instructive features with superior technology and HD video, allowing the user’s ability and creativity to grow — with the camera,” stated Edward Fasano, Nikon SLR system products marketing general manager. “While its easy-to-use design will attract first-time d-SLR photographers, the D5000’s rich feature set and high performance will also appeal immediately to more experienced enthusiasts.”

The camera incorporates a host of automatic shooting options including a subject tracking in live-view auto focus (AF) system that keeps a subject in focus even if it leaves the frame and returns. Other tools include face priority AF, which automatically detects up to five faces in a scene and focuses on the closest subject; wide area AF, which offers a large AF area for optimal hand-held shooting; and normal area AF for shooting with a tripod.

The camera also includes 19 automatic scene modes including sports, portrait, candlelight, silhouette, autumn colors and others.

The D-Movie mode will record HD movie clips in up to 1,280 by 720p resolution at 24 fps with sound.

Stills and video are captured on to SD or SDHC memory cards. Movies are saved as Motion JPEG AVI files for easy editing with widely available video editing software.

Meanwhile, Nikon expanded the lens offerings for its DX cameras with the AF-S DX-Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED lens.

The compact and lightweight lens features a 2.4x zoom and a focal length of 10 to 24mm, capable of creating a picture angle ranging from 109 degrees to 61 degrees. The lens will ship in May at an $899 estimated selling price.

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