One of the really nice features of the Nikon P5000 is the amount of manual control options it offers the user, so that the user can do a lot of tweaking to get the perfect shot. This is attractive to many professionals looking for a second or third camera to carry along in their jacket pocket. You don't find many manual controls in some of the P5000's competition, such as the Canon SD800 IS.
The only downfall of the P5000's manual controls is that most of them are only accessible through various menus and not through dedicated buttons, which is expected in such a small camera with limited space to work with. As mentioned earlier, there is a function button that can be assigned a function based upon the user's discretion. I think that Nikon has done a good job at incorporating manual controls into this camera with the limited real estate provided on such a compact camera.
Another welcome feature of the P5000 is the vibration reduction (VR), which reduces the amount of shaking in the image. This feature works really well with this camera, even at high zoom levels. Speaking of zoom, the P5000 offers 3.5x optical zoom which is sufficient, although it would have been nice to see 4x zoom with this kind of high-end compact. For those who want more zoom, there are optional lenses that may be purchased to add on to the P5000. You can purchase a wide-angle or telephoto lens which screw onto the front of this camera relatively easily; they provide plenty of zoom power to satisfy your needs.
Also implemented in the P5000 are the standard scene settings, fifteen of them to be exact. Other features include a self-timer, video, 4x digital zoom, white balance presets, red-eye reduction, built-in microphone, and adjustable ISO settings. The ISO feature can be adjusted automatically or manually. In automatic mode, ISO will vary between 64 and 800, which is a fairly good range to keep the images relatively clear and free of image noise. In manual mode, the user can adjust the ISO setting all the way up to 3200, which will show considerable image noise and therefore is not recommended.
When purchasing the Nikon P5000, you will receive the following in the box:
Audio video cable
Rechargeable Li-ion battery
Additional accessories may be purchased separately such as the upgraded lenses I mentioned earlier and additional flash power. The optional wide-angle lens will cost you around $100, while the telescoping lens will run about $240 (as seen in the picture) and will provide an additional 3x zooming capability. The optional external flash accessory will cost about $100 in addition to the base price of the camera.
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