I’ve just shinned it up and down London’s Centre Point Tower to get my hands on the Nikon D5000 family DSLR camera. My first impression after this morning’s thoughts are that it’s pretty small – not small like MP3 players or sub-atomic particles or anything but compared to the Nikon D90, below which the D5000 sits in the Nikon consumer range, it’s dinky. It’s rather like a D60. Just 550g in weight including the battery.

Once you get over the size of the thing, my next question for this family camera was: “Would I really let my kids run around with a £720 piece of kit?” I’m sure it’s as hardy as a DSLR can be but these things are all about the glass and it’s just too easy to scratch and destroy.

If Nikon does succeed with its mission to convince families to buy their camera then I do wonder how much it will eat into the sales of the D90.

Full spec sheet over the jump.

Megapixels – 12.9
Sensor type – CMOS
Autofocus points – 11-point AF
Crop factor – 1.5
Lens mount – Nikon F mount
Metering system – Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot
Frames per second – 4fps
ISO min – 200 (+ Lo-1 ISO 100 equivalent)
ISO max – 3200 (+ Hi-1 ISO 6400 equivalent)
Screen size – unique 2.7″ LCD vari-angle / free-rotation
Card format – SD card
Battery model – EN-EL9 & EN-EL9a (new, 1800mAh)
Weight (g) – 550g inc. battery
Size -127mmx104mmx69mm
Included accessories – Battery EN-EL9A, MH-23 battery charger, USB cable, AV cable, Body cap, eye-piece cap DK-5, Accessory shoe cover BS-1, Camera Strap AN-DC3, software CD Rom, Quick start guide, Manual, Warranty

Resolution – 12.3 million effective pixels
Aspect ratio – 3:2; 4:3; 5:4; 16:9; 1:1
Sensor size – 23.6 mm × 15.8 mm CMOS sensor
Autofocus system – Single-point AF; Dynamic-area AF;Auto-area AF; 3-D tracking AF
Exposure modes – Auto; P; S; A; M; 19 scene modes
Screen resolution – 230,000
File formats – JPEG; RAW; AVI
Connectivity – Type C HDMI; Hi-speed USB; Video output; Accessory terminal (remote cord / GPS)

Flash type – “Auto flash with auto pop-up P, S, A, M: Manual pop-up flash with button release”
Flash guide number – “• At ISO 200: Approx. 17m/56f, 18m/59f with manual flash
• At ISO 100: Approx. 12m/39f, 13m/43f with manual flash”

Flash metering “i-TTL
Auto aperture
Non-TTL auto
Range-priority manual”
Flash sync speed 1/200 sec.
Image stabilisation Yes (in VR the lens)
Integrated cleaning yes
Live view yes
Buffer depth (RAW) 10.6 MB, 268 images, 11 exposures
Buffer depth (JPEG) 100 exposures, 7700 images @ JPEG Basic small 0.4 MB
Shutter speed max 1/4000 sec.
Shutter speed min 30 sec.
VF coverage 95%
Vertical grip yes
Manufacturers link

Starting RRP £799.99 with 18-55mm VR lens; £749.99 body only.