Nikon D5000 Quick Guide: Tips & Resources for Beginners

Nikon D5000 Tips & Resources

Manual: Download the official Nikon D5000 PDF manual (provided by Nikon).

Approved Memory Cards & Capacity: The Nikon D5000 is compatible with SanDisk and Lexar branded SD and SDHC memory cards.

Card Size No. of Images (Fine) No. of Images (RAW) Min. of Video (720p)
8GB 1,098 536 52
16GB 2,196 1,072 104
32GB 4,392 2,144 208

Battery Life & Charger Info:

Compatible Charger Compatible Battery Battery Life
Nikon EN-EL9a Nikon MH-23 510 shots

Recommended Bags & Cases: The Nikon D5000 is 4.41″ long by 2.99″ tall by 1.89″ wide. Here are the best cases and bags that fit the D5000 like a glove.

All Purpose Compact Stylish Travel Underwater
Case Logic
Medium SLR Bag
Case Logic
Compact Holster
5 Million Dollar
Messenger Bag
Case Logic
Sling Bag
Underwater Housing

Compatible Lenses: The Nikon D5000 can only achieve autofocus with AF-S and AF-I labeled lenses. If you go with a third party lens (Tamron, Sigma, etc…) make sure the lens has an internal focusing motor. Here are my recommended starter lenses.

Subject/Scene Lens
Indoor Portraits/Family Shots Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G
Outdoor Portraits/Candids Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G
Weddings Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 — *Nikon equivalent: AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF
Outdoor sports (action) Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR
Indoor/Low-light sports (action) Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 — *Nikon equivalent: AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
Landscape Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 — *Nikon equivalent: AF-S 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
Wildlife Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 — *Nikon equivalent: AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II
Macro Nikon AF-S 40mm f/2.8G (lens) or Raynox DCR-250 (adapter)
All-in-one Walkaround Tamron 18-270mm VC f/3.5-6.3 — *Nikon equivalent:AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II

Filter Size & Adapters: The Nikon D5000 18-55mm VR kit lens accepts 52mm filters. Here are my recommended filters.

52mm UV 52mm Polarizer 52mm ND 3 Stop 52mm ND 10 Stop
B+W, Hoya, Tiffen B+W, Hoya, Tiffen B+W, Hoya, Tiffen B+W, Hoya

Compatible External Speedlites (Flashes):

Portable All Purpose Professional
Nikon SB-400 Nikon SB-700 Nikon SB-910

Compatible Accessories:

Wireless Remote Wired Remote GPS Location Unit
Nikon ML-L3 Nikon MC-DC2 Nikon GP-1

Initial Setup:

Setting Selection Manual
Highest Image Quality & Compression Select JPEG (Fine) or RAW Pg. 62
Largest Image Size Select Large (icon: L) Pg. 64
ISO (Outdoors/Bright Light) Select an ISO of 200 Pg. 74
ISO (Indoors/Low Light) Select Auto or manually set between 400 to 3200 Pg. 74
White Balance Select Direct Sunlight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash or Preset Manual Pg. 96

Cool Effects:

Effect Selection Manual
Shoot in Black and White i Button → Highlight Picture Control Tab → Select Monochrome (MC) Pg. 107
Increase Color Saturation i Button → Highlight Picture Control Tab → Select Vivid (VI) Pg. 107
Convert Color Photo to Black & White MENU → Retouch Menu (Paint Brush Tab) → Monochrome Pg. 178
Process NEF (RAW) Files In-Camera MENU → Retouch Menu (Paint Brush Tab) → NEF (RAW) Processing Pg. 184
Add Digital Filters to Your Photos MENU → Retouch Menu (Paint Brush Tab) → Filter Effects Pg. 178
Create an Outline Copy for Painting MENU → Retouch Menu (Paint Brush Tab) → Color Outline Pg. 186
Perspective Correction MENU → Retouch Menu (Paint Brush Tab) → Perspective Control Pg. 186

Better Control & Performance:

Setting Selection Manual
Quick burst of shots i Button → Highlight Release Mode Tab → Continuous (icon: three boxes) Pg. 65
Imprint the Time & Date MENU → Custom Settings Tab (icon: pencil) → d6: Date Imprint Pg. 160
Include Yourself in the Photo i Button → Highlight Release Mode tab → Self-timer (icon: clock) Pg. 67