After much contemplation, I picked up a Nikon D5000 a few days ago. I also bought a Nikon 35mm f1.8 G AF-S to go along with it.
The D5000 with the new Nikon 35mm on it make a killer combo. It's light, small, fast to focus, tack sharp, and capable of incredible image quality. I wasn't sure I was going to like the D5000 as I normally shoot with the larger, more professional size bodies like my Nikon D300 DSLRs, but I've been pleasantly surprised.
The D5000 is a joy to shoot with. It has an intuitive design and well thought out controls that make working with it a real pleasure. Paired up with the new Nikon 35mm f1.8 G, the Nikon D5000 makes for a great little DSLR setup.
So far, the D5000 seems to have about a stop better high ISO than my Nikon D300 DSLRs, and the D5000 seems to resolve more detail at high ISO as well. I shot a series of photos of my daughter at 3200 ISO that looked great (I'll post them soon). Normally I don't go over 1600 ISO on my D300, so I'll be interested to see the results of further comparisons I'll be doing.
Auto focus on the D5000 is quick and responsive, especially with the fast 35mm f1.8G on it. It doesn't seem quite as fast as the D300, particularly in dim lighting, but then I didn't expect the D5000's 11 point AF system to be the equal of the 51 point industry leading AF that's in the D300, D3, D3X, D700, and the coming D700X.
At first I thought I was going to miss the aperture command dial under the trigger button like my Nikon D300 has. Turns out, I don't really miss it. The D5000 ergonomics and controls are well laid out and quite intuitive. Although the D5000 is significantly different than my D300, I still found it really easy to use and work with.
I'll be doing plenty more shooting with the D5000 in the coming weeks, and I'll be comparing the Nikon D5000 to the Nikon D300 to see how it measures up. Initially, I didn't think I'd want to use the D5000 professionally, but I'm already starting to re-think that.
The best price on a D5000 is usually at Amazon.
If you don't have a mid-range zoom, get this D5000 Kit with the 18-55mm lens at Amazon.
If you have a zoom, or just want to add the 35mm anyways because it's so awesome :-) get it below at Amazon.
More on the Nikon D5000...
Shooting The D5000 At ISO 3200
Observations, Likes, and Dis-Likes After A Couple Weeks Of Shooting With My D5000