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

Nikon D90 vs Nikon D5000

Winner
Nikon D90

68

Nikon D5000

49

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D90

Large viewfinder
Viewfinder size
0.63x
Great viewfinder
Viewfinder
Pentaprism
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
208 ms shutter lag
Built-in focus motor
Badge
Autofocuses with more lenses
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5000

Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5000.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D90.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5000

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Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Weight
Lighter
590 g vs 703 g
Help
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
Help
More than 4x higher resolution screen
Screen size
Much larger screen
3" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Viewfinder size
Much 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
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
208 ms vs 276 ms
Help
More than 20% less delay when taking photos
Viewfinder
Has a pentaprism viewfinder
Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
Help
Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Built-in focus motor
Has a built-in focus motor
Yes vs No
Help
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
4.5 fps vs 4 fps
Help
More than 10% faster continuous shooting
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
73.0 vs 72.0
Help
Almost the same
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
Lowest price
Cheaper
$699.87 vs $817.87
Help
The best price we've seen is $118 cheaper (more than 10% less)
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
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        68 Nikon D90 Nikon D90
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              205 lenses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              D5000400 ms
              D90300 ms
              Common Weaknesses
              Movie format Both shoot high resolution HD movies Help
              720p @ 24fps
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Lowest price Very expensive Help
              D5000$817.87
              D90$699.87
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              D50003.1"
              D903"
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              12.2 MP
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              6,400 ISO
              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
              Size Large Help
              D5000127×104×80 mm
              D90132×103×77 mm
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              3,200 ISO
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              D500095%
              D9096%
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              11
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D50004 fps
              D904.5 fps
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $300 - $547 body only

              $379 - $447 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 D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $677 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $368 body only

              $479 - $640 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 D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $413 - $497 body only

              $489 - $550 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 significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $275 body only

              $484 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Continuous shooting Doesn't shoot as fast continuously
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $647 body only

              $579 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $759 - $897 body only

              $959 - $1,197 with 18-140mm lens

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

              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

              Report a correction
              Nikon D90
              D90
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              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.