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Nikon just announced an upper-entry-level DSLR with HD movie recording capability. The D5000 becomes the 4th DSLR to offer this ability and becomes the very first digital SLR to compete with another movie-recording DSLR. Up to now, the three offering had clearly different target markets, but this time the D5000 faces Canon’s just-announced upper-entry-level Digital Rebel T1i.

The Nikon D5000 is a 12 megapixels DSLR with 4 FPS continuous shooting capability, ISO 100-6400 range and a 2.7″ tilt-and-swivel LCD screen. While the sensor is probably nearly identical to the D90’s, the tilt-and-swivel LCD is a first among Nikon DSLRs. Like all movie-recording DSLRs, the D5000 has live-view capabilities as well. Movies are recorded at 720p 16:9 widescreen HDTV resolution, which is 1280×720 at 24 FPS, just like the higher-end D90.

The remainder of the camera has more in common with the entry-level D60: a small 0.78X magnification viewfinder, a single control-wheel and a light-weight body. As with the D60, the D5000 lacks a built-in focus motor, so it only fully-supports lenses with built-in focus motors. The D5000 kit should be available on May 8th with a suggested retail price of $1049 CDN.

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