I bought a D5000 this week. I've been using a Coolpix underwater for years and planned to eventually get into SLR. I have an Alaska trip planned next month and finally caved in. I got the kit with the 18-55mm VR lens and purchased the 50mm 1.4 and 70-300mm 4.5-5.6 VR lenses.
I have a question about the camera when not in use. I've taken a few hundred pictures just feeling it out. I live on a golf course and have plenty of subjects in the 50-100 yard range that I plan to take photos of wildlife in while on my vacation. The screen turns off very quickly and the battery is still showing full after several days. This is great but I am now curious if it is necessary to actually turn the camera off when you arent taking pictures. What about VR lenses? Are they using power when you aren't pressing the shutter button? I bought a spare battery but I want to know how the camera (and lens) functions.
#1. "RE: New D5000, new to SLR, new to Nikonians" In response to Reply # 0
Spring Hill, US
I've charged my battery twice since I've had it, and I'm at nearly 800 images so far. The camera and lenses seem to be power misers of the first order.
VR uses power when you're at half-press, and for a few seconds after you release (in case you want to shoot again quickly). You can tell this by the 'click' from the lens. I can't feel the VR in my lens, but my images tell the tale whether it's on or off.
I occasionally forget to turn the camera off, and have to switch the camera to off, then back on to go active, so I'm presuming the camera has an auto-off feature.
My pictures are gradually improving, with most family snapshots and the like being taken in Auto mode, and most of the 'art' shots being taken in Aperture priority mode.
#2. "RE: New D5000, new to SLR, new to Nikonians" In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians! Congratulations on your new D5000 kit! When I am not using my camera I turn the power off. If you place the camera in a bag with the power on, the shutter release button can get pressed in some cases releasing the shutter, in all cases draining the battery. When the meter times out, the meter and VR turn off and the camera goes into standby mode. In standby mode the battery is being drained but by a very small amount. Of course over prolonged periods this can add up to a drained battery. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!