The Nikon D5000 is a camera that can be tailored to any shooting situation, and inexperienced photographers should find it simple to use. In essence, what you are getting in the D5000 is a camera that incorporates technology from the Nikon D90 (Live View) and marries it with user-friendly features from point-and-shoot and advanced compact cameras.

It has a compact body that is 12.5cm long, 8.3cm wide and 10.5cm tall, and the Nikon D5000 weighs 0.6kg without a lens.

Inside, it has a 12.3Mp DX-format CMOS sensor and an EXPEED processor. It can be paired with any F-mount lens, but the Nikon D5000 is best suited to autofocusing AF-S and AF-I type DX-format lenses; you can attach anything from a fisheye to a 300mm lens.

To get you started, Nikon supplies the Nikon D5000 in a single or a dual lens kit. The single lens kit has an 18-55mm image stabilised lens, while the dual lens kit has the 18-55mm lens as well as a 55-200mm image stabilised lens.

To really get the most out of the Nikon D5000, you will want to learn all about exposure settings and what effect changing the shutter speed, aperture and ISO will have on your photos.

However, if you don't want to learn about them all just yet, you can use the 19 scene modes to good effect. They really do a good job at selecting the right settings depending on your environment. Also, if you choose to shoot in the semi-manual aperture priority or shutter priority modes, the Nikon D5000 has built-in hints that can let you know if a scene is too dark or too bright, allowing you to change your setting.