Updated (April, 2011): Compare the Nikon D5100 vs Nikon D7000

Nikon D90

Winner
Nikon D90

68

vs

Nikon D5000

49

Nikon D5000

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D90

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.63x
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
300 ms startup delay
Sensor size
Large sensor
APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
208 ms shutter lag
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5000

Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
Sensor size
Large sensor
APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5000

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Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen Yes vs No
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Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Weight Lighter 590 g vs 703 g
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Around 20% lighter
Nikon D5000 Learn more about
the Nikon D5000

Advantages of the Nikon D90

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Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen 930k dots vs 230k dots
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More than 4x higher resolution screen
Screen size Significantly larger screen 3.0" vs 2.7"
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More than 10% larger screen
Viewfinder size Significantly larger viewfinder 0.63x vs 0.51x
Help
More than 50% larger viewfinder
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 977 ISO vs 868 ISO
Help
The D90 has a slight edge (0.2 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Battery life Significantly longer battery life 850 shots vs 510 shots
Help
Around 70% more shots per battery charge
Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor Yes vs No
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Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 208 ms vs 276 ms
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More than 20% less delay when taking photos
Viewfinder Has a pentaprism viewfinder Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
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Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Overall image quality Slightly better image quality 73.0 vs 72.0
Help
Almost the same
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 4.5 fps vs 4 fps
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More than 10% faster continuous shooting
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 300 ms vs 400 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when turning on
Viewfinder coverage Better viewfinder coverage 96% vs 95%
Help
Almost the same
Thickness Thinner 3" vs 3.1"
Help
Almost the same
Size Slightly smaller 132x103x77 mm vs 127x104x80 mm
Help
Almost the same
Nikon D90 Learn more about
the Nikon D90
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent entry-level DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000 49

vs

68 Nikon D90 Nikon D90
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        similarities

        Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

        Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
        Lens availability Many lenses available Help
        205 lenses
        Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
        D5000:400 ms
        D90:300 ms
        Sensor size Large sensors Help
        APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
        Movie format Both shoot high resolution HD movies Help
        720p @ 24fps
        Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
        1/4000 of a second
        Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
        6,400 ISO
        Size Large Help
        D5000:127x104x80 mm
        D90:132x103x77 mm
        HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
        You could do HDR manually
        External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
        Limited to the in-camera mic
        True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
        12.2 MP
        Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
        D5000:95%
        D90:96%
        Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
        1
        Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
        3,200 ISO
        Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
        D5000:4 fps
        D90:4.5 fps
        Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
        Risk of blur
        Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
        Need to shelter it from weather
        Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
        You could stitch photos in post
        Focus points Few focus points Help
        11

        dxomark

        DXOMark

        competitors

        Shared Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Nikon D7000

        Nikon D7000

        Entry-level DSLR

        $640 body only

        $850 with 18-105mm lens

        Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
        Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
        Weight Is significantly heavier
        Nikon D3200

        Nikon D3200

        Entry-level DSLR

        $319 body only

        $389 - $506 with 18-55mm lens

        Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
        Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
        Sensor size Has a slightly smaller sensor
        Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
        Nikon D5100

        Nikon D5100

        Entry-level DSLR

        $378 - $415 body only

        $495 - $564 with 18-55mm lens

        Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
        Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
        Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
        Nikon D5300

        Nikon D5300

        Entry-level DSLR

        $747 body only

        $650 - $847 with 18-55mm lens

        Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
        Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
        Nikon D5200

        Nikon D5200

        Entry-level DSLR

        $547 body only

        $549 - $647 with 18-55mm lens

        Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
        Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
        Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
        Nikon D3100

        Nikon D3100

        Entry-level DSLR

        $273 body only

        $427 with 18-55mm lens

        Movie format Records higher quality movies
        True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
        Sensor size Has a slightly smaller sensor
        Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
        Nikon D7100

        Nikon D7100

        Entry-level DSLR

        $1,047 body only

        $1,347 with 18-140mm lens

        Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
        Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
        Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
        Weight Is significantly heavier

        Nikon D5000 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D5000.

        Nikon D90 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D90.

        appearance

        Nikon D5000 Nikon D90
        Nikon D5000 Nikon D90
        Nikon D5000 Nikon D90

        discussion

        Nikon D5000
        D5000
        Nikon

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        Nikon D90
        D90
        Nikon

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        Showing 5 comments

        LeicaX (1:05 PM, May 29, 2014)
        I own both cameras and they are two different machines. One is great for outdoors landscape D5000 and the other D90 is great for everyday purposes.
         
        Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (0:58 PM, August 30, 2011)
        Yes, I think you're right the D5000 does use the same sensor as the D90.   We're comparing high ISO benchmarks from DxOMark, that show the D90 has a slight edge, they are very close though.

        Often cameras do use the same sensor, but get slightly different results, perhaps due to software, or other components in the camera.  For example I believe the Nikon D7000, Sony A580 and Pentax K-5 all use the same sensor.
         
        Photography96 (10:54 AM, August 30, 2011)
        are you sure that D5000 is noisy at high  ISO than D90? I thought D5000 had the same sensor as the D90 ? 
         
        Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (3:29 PM, March 12, 2011)
        You're absolutely right, thanks, we've fixed that up.
         
        Fuzzyhead (9:31 AM, March 12, 2011)
        As both D5000 and D90 uses the same MULTICAM 1000 for autofocus, Nikon D5000 has only one cross-type focus point.