thanks for the explanation! When I reviewed the images again, yes the shadow noise in the D5000 files was exactly due to the ADL. Apparently the ADL had been on by default. If I perform similar post processing on the D40 files (which lacks ADL), I get about the same noise. In any case, for over $700 I was looking for something much better than the D40, and this wasn't it. It may be a different story for somebody buying a first camera and looking to get the D5000 features, it's a very nice camera.