Part 2: Getting familiar with my Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000

I’ve finally decided the Nikon D5000 was the right purchase for me. My hesitation stemmed mostly from my frugality (I’ve never paid this much for a camera before!) and feeling like I needed to prove that I was “worthy” of, and patient enough, to learn all the intimidating DSLR features of my new toy! Here’s what I’ve learned so far and yes, I’m on my way to deserving my new camera…”I am worthy, I am worthy!” LOL


COSTCO DEAL: I got a good deal purchasing the D5000 kit from Costco, which included a $125 instant rebate. For ~$800 I got the body, a 18-55mm lens, 55-200mm lens, Nikon camera bag, and a 4GB SD card. Plus, I got the luxury of trying it out in person, with an option to return it if necessary. Coming from a small town where we don’t really have a camera store, that was a huge convenience for me.

HELPFUL REVIEW: I found this review really helpful because it clued me into pros and cons of this camera: Nikon D5000 digital camera review

WHITE BALANCE: I was frustrated by the “coolness” of my photos and a friend asked if I had changed the white balance setting. Being a novice, I didn’t even KNOW there was a white balance setting ON the camera. Once I discovered that, my opinion of the D5000 shot up exponentially! But, keep in mind that I am currently taking photos outdoors on overcast days so I am using this WB setting to compensate for all of the gray/white.

Nikon D5000 photo taken with 55-200mm lens (WB 6000k)

Even though it was overcast and cloudy when I took this photo of the kids on the tire swing. I didn’t like the washed out color when I used the WB “cloudy” setting (6000k). In general, I prefer “warmer” photos so now my default WB is on 8000k. Something else I need to figure out is how to change the WB when I use the “SCENE” settings. That will be for another post.

LENSES: Initially, I was also frustrated with the lack of sharpness in the photos. Eventually, I tried the 55-200mm lens and vwallah, I was getting sharper photos (see horse photo)!

Nikon D5000 photo taken with 55-200mm lens

But, it has a bigger zoom so I was surprised to see more clarity. Or, maybe it’s my imagination? Maybe one of you more knowledgeable photographers can explain this for me? Well, I haven’t removed the bigger lens yet and I’m really happy with what I’m getting!

POINT OF FOCUS: I could not figure out how to change the “point of focus”, which for any beginners reading this, it’s typically a rectangle which you can see through your viewfinder which tells your lens what to focus on. By pressing the directional arrows on the back of the camera, I learned that the D5000 has ELEVEN points of focus! My Olympus only had THREE: left, center and right. How cool is that?? Sometimes the ability to move the POF goes away so I have to press the information button (“i”) to enable it again. Something else I need to figure out is how to keep the POF “arrows” enabled all the time, if possible. (More material for Part 3 of this Nikon D5000 series.)

FRIENDS: It’s been helpful to get tips from online friends, especially at I heart faces, and from my shutterbug friend Kristen who is more knowledgeable about photography in general and she also owns a Nikon. Although she has a different model camera, she has a lens I was able to try on my camera (which now I want of course!). Again, not having the luxury of living in a town with a camera store, being able to try the merchandise in person before buying is super helpful.

That’s what I’ve learned so far! I’ll post more of my Nikon D5000 findings later!


4 comments on “Part 2: Getting familiar with my Nikon D5000

  1. KJ says:

    still envious of your eleven points of focus… you’ve been taking some great photos with your new toy! 🙂


  2. Amelia,
    Great to see you FINALLY getting into photography! I’m glad to see you’re on your way to becoming a techie again 😉 In a year or so, you’ll be showing off your work in the best galleries in the world!



  3. python says:

    D5000 is an excellent camera. visit for sample pictures.


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