The new Nikon D5 will have 153 autofocus points and native high ISO of 102,400

Nikon-D5-DSLR-camera-logoUpdate: here are the first pictures of the Nikon D5 camera.

Here is an updated list of the rumored Nikon D5 specifications - the last time I was not sure about the number of autofocus points, I can now report that the D5 will have 153 autofocus points:

  • New 20MP FX sensor (not sure)
  • New focusing module with larger coverage and 153 autofocus points (confident)
  • Native high ISO of 102,400 (confident)
  • 15 fps (not sure)
  • Body design similar to the D4s (confident)
  • 4K video 60/30fps (not sure)
  • Full HD slow motion (not sure)
  • Announcement expected in early 2016 (confident)
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  • Momenti Da Foto

    The real “leap” after the D3s

    • Hopefully so, indeed!

    • lefantome

      Hope so and my D3s can finally retire 🙂

      • Momenti Da Foto

        My D3s after 5 years and 250k shots is still like new. I bought a D750 as a second body, but the D3s well… Is immortal

        • lefantome

          I need to buy some new EN-EL4a and replace the rubber on the grip. All is well except for these 2 issues. And totally agree that D750 as second body.

  • Ken

    similar body to D4s doesnt make sense…

    • Ken

      and only dark frames can be seen under 15fps…I think

    • Wade Marks

      It makes perfect sense that a D5 would have a similar body style to the D4s. This is a pro tool. The body style has already been optimized for pro usage. And pro’s would rather have a familiar operational scheme than having to learn a whole new set of controls.

      • Ken

        I was saying that because every generatiom of flagship cameras come with new body designs

        • Wade Marks

          Every new generation of flagship design remains very much the same, with minor tweaks. The D4 series looks very similar to the D3 series for instance. Sure, there are some minor variations, but it’s basically the same body style.

        • Sebastian Rasch

          That’s simply not true as @wademarks:disqus pointed out already.

    • Sebastian Rasch

      It makes perfect sense, the D4 has a similar body than the D3 as well.

    • sickheadache

      Hey Ken …Well U don’t want to scare of your Fan Boys by something different from what they are used to. Makes Perfect Sense.

    • neonspark

      why not? what were you expecting? an iphone?

    • Riley Escobar

      Hopefully same battery. Don’t know why Nikon has to keep on changing batteries with most every body change.

      • shadowfoto

        afaik nikon was forced to change batteries for D4/D7000 lines because of new japan safety regulations (no exposed contacts, capacity limits etc), not because they wanted to.

        • jtan163

          But they could’ve designed an adaptor for the D4 range at least it should’ve been easy and useful with many EN-EL4s.

          Same for chargers – where they did sell an adaptor but you had to buy the hundreds of dollars charger with it.

          The philosophy of making money by servicing customers rather than milking them seems to be lost – right in the era where it can best serve companies with speed of light communications making both good and bad service instantly reportable.

          • n11

            Adapters? Look, if they had to change the design, just change the design of all the necessary components too.

            • jtan163

              I’m sure you’re trying to say something. I’m just not sure what.

          • Well I am happy as the same D4s battery can be used in the D810 so I carry just one type

            • lefantome

              That’s because you have a D4s to share charger/large battery with. Those who only have D810 would be forced to buy an additional charger if they want to use the larger battery.

    • JJ168

      Thinking otherwise is what i will call doesn’t make sense. Good design evolved over the years. Most of the time the update is better, however, i found the grip on d800 was not. Luckily they have improved that in the d810.

      • lefantome

        Among all Nikon cameras in production today, the best grip for my hands (except for the D4s) comes from D750 instead of D810.

  • Looking forward to the low-light capabilities… Curious if the 100K ISO is marketing or actual sensor improvement.

    The new auto-focus module is too much of an unknown yet to get excited about.

    • Michael

      imo, Nikon has done well with setting ISO expectations. Their Native settings have consistently been safe ISOs and the Hi’s have been the risky area, but not advertised.

      • Thath’s true, but I can’t believe we’re taking about 100K ISO and usable in the same sentence. Mind boggled 🙂

        • Eric Calabros

          I don’t know how well is noise controlled in that ISO, but you lose almost one full stop of DR with every ISO bump, if we assume 14 stop at base ISO (which “usable” ones are lower), you end up with only 4 stop at 100K!

          • rhlpetrus

            You forget that the typical Nikon design, used by the Dn series, shows a long shoulder in the DR curve vs ISO, meaning it goes some way before the linear decay enters the picture (check the DxO’s DR curve). So, if they wre able extend a flat section to about 3,200, then DR at 100K would have dropped by 5 EV, at 9 EV, excellent for any application.

            • rhlpetrus

              Btw, I find that unlikely. Maybe they were able to get a DR of 7 EV at ISO 100K, already excellent.

            • peevee

              If the shoulder is long, it is because of high read noise and DR (as defined by DxO) starts from 11-12EV to begin with.

    • i only use one focusing point in most of the cases for my shoot….

      • You might want to give Group mode a shot then, if your camera has it.

        • Yes. the group AF at Nikon D4s is great. 🙂 But we do have other cameras that doesnt have it. 🙂 like D800, D3s and etc. 🙂

          • Yes, the D810 has it; it’s one of the reasons I upgraded 🙂

    • peevee

      No chance 100K is usable other than for stamp-like prints and instagram pictures as viewed on a phone without getting rid of color filter array, and Nikon has no capability to do the latter.

      • lefantome

        I wonder what people said about ISO 12800 back in the D1 times.

        • Eric Calabros

          Back in D1 days the issue was mainly the readout noise. Today its shot noise, and its a physical limitation.

        • peevee

          Who cares? Quantum efficiency of color sensors is flat for quite some time now, almost no progress since 2010 or so. Even BSI is a significant (not revolutionary) in small sensors, but not in large. Noise reduction techniques are just that – software, you can always apply in later in the future version of your RAW processor – if camera did not do it first for you killing some detail in process (some do it with “raws” for quite a while).

      • Given how good ISO 12’800 is from D810 with its small photosites, I’m sure a 20MP sensor from a newer generation _might_ approach usable 100K; I wouldn’t discount it off-hand…

        • peevee

          I would, photosite size has almost nothing to do with how good a particular ISO is at picture level (as opposed to pixel level which is irrelevant).

          • It’s a stretch to say that photosite size has no impact on picture quality. No single photosite/pixel does, but on aggregate of course they do.

            • peevee

              Aggregate depends on the total area of the sensor, not size of a single pixel on it.

            • I’m not talking about extremes; size of a single photosite/pixel doesn’t influence the aggregate 100%, but also not 0%. Otherwise, you could take a D800 picture taken at High ISO 2, downsample to 16MP and it’d look just like a D4 picture at 25600. The reality is that it’s not quite there. Look at it from another way: D8xx DR decreases linearly with ISO, but D4 not quite linearly.

    • burnitwithacid

      If you take into account the fact they buy sensors from Sony, 100k ISO is certainly possible.

  • Eric Calabros

    30fps at full frame and 60fps in DX mode? It’s very new tech in sensor read out, or will be heat generator!

    • disqus_aIxFzydTRU

      Those frame rates are for shooting video- not referring to FX or DX.

      • Eric Calabros

        Sensors usually are capable of higher readout rates in crop modes.

    • nwcs

      Maybe a stacked sensor design with global readout?

      • Eric Calabros

        Global shutter is not ready yet, at least not for FF sensors.

      • Dilithium crystals in a synchronous lattice.

        • nwcs

          Beware the crystalline entity…

        • Warp 9.8.

    • peevee

      The tiny memory chip in your phone is capable of much faster readouts, and does not generate much heat.

      • Eric Calabros

        Because it’s tiny

        • peevee

          In fact it has many more active elements than a modern sensor. It is tiny because it can be, it does not need big photodiodes on the surface. But readout generates heat not because photodiodes are big.

    • David Peterson

      *if* only it did 60fps raw in S35 mode…. !!

  • vFunct

    Needs tilt/swivel LCD display and high-speed wi-fi upload at full Raw resolution.

    • nhaler

      ew go away

    • Most likely won’t happen

    • TechJunkie

      Wifi would be nice. Tilt screen, definitely not needed for a pro camera.

      • Stephen Corby

        I don’t understand why so many old foggies (not you specifically) hate the tilt screen. I use it on my D750 a lot more than I thought I would. When you are doing close to the ground shots it sure beats having lay flat on the grass. It’s been fantastic and study as ever.

        • Spy Black

          I’m an old fogie advocating tilt screens for years. The phrase you’re actually looking for is “poseur”…

          • Patrick O’Connor

            Everybody wants what they want. No need to disparage people for their choices.

            • Spy Black

              Tell that to nhaler.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              Point taken. I guess I don’t feel like I know him so I just dismissed his comment.

            • nhaler

              It was the WiFi request I was dismissing.

        • kotozafy

          Just like many members of this forum, some times ago, hated DSLR video capability…

        • TechJunkie

          Yes, it’s useful but it’s one more thing to break in the field if you’re depending on it as a durable tool. I can only imagine that a broken screen is crippling if you’re out in the middle of no where down half a camera. Plus the added engineering/bulk/possible removal of features. Prosumer and entry level, I’m ok with.

          • vFunct

            Do these things usually break? Do they break on video cameras?

            • Spy Black

              No, only in the imagination.

          • nwcs

            I think that’s a straw man argument. We don’t exactly see many reports of broken tilt screens or articulated one for that matter.

            • Eric Calabros

              You can’t say that without at least 5 years of working in a camera service center. flagship bodies made by CaNikon are made to survive the wars.

              Everything that moves, will be broken.

            • nwcs

              Maybe but that is an argument from silence and conjecture. Keep in mind that the screen is not always in motion…

          • Wade Marks

            Roger Cicala of Lens Rentals has stated that he sees no more problems with cameras with tilt screens than with those without.

            It’s a myth that articulated screens cause more mechanical failure.

          • Spy Black

            I guess you never shot film.

            • TechJunkie

              Nope, I shot plenty of film. First shot on an old FE then the 8008s, N90, F3, F4, F5. I said you’ll have half a camera, not a paperweight.

            • Spy Black

              I was just shooting film this week. The screen didn’t work at all…

            • TechJunkie

              You should get that looked at.

          • jtan163

            As pointed out somewhere above the D750 got a tilt screen and it didn’t increase the bulk of that body style or result in a removal of features.

            I haven’t heard of one failing yet either.

            Obviously there would be some engineering changes/effort.

            If you leave the LCD untitled you lose nothing and risk nothing – based on the current anecdotal evidence I have to date about D750 screen failure modes.

          • kotozafy

            I guess you open a tilt screen only in those (rare) situations where it would help, not permanently while running in the middle of a battle field and exploding bombs. And I think a camera with only a dead, broken screen is far from being half a camera 🙂

          • Nacho

            Mirrorless is better then? No brekeable mirror

            • When was the last time the mirror of your DSLR broke? Of course it’s possible but they have been doing this for a long time and have figured it out how to do it right.

          • NicP

            Very well said. Love the convenience of tilt screens for shooting high above others heads etc. but Im gonna break that poor screen in fast pace crowded shootings for sure.

      • vFunct

        i’m often at crowded press events holding up my camera above other photographers with no way of looking at the shot.

        We definitely need tilt/swivel displays.

        • Padaung

          Yup, as a working pro I’d use a tilt screen a lot too.

        • TechJunkie

          I know there are a lot of use cases. It’s just one less thing to worry about.

          • vFunct

            Getting the shot is the most important requirement of a photojournalists.

            And, almost all of the “above-the-crowd” shots are useless without tilt displays. It’s an impossible shot without it.

        • ckuklbac

          + 1

        • Michiel953

          Have you thought about when every guy and girl has the swiveling display, holding the camera over his or hers head?

          You probably have.

        • NicP

          really? just comment on a previous post without reading your post, Id also love to have tilted screen on a camera like D5 but Im afraid its gonna give away some time in situations like we mention. Of course if Nikon guaranties that wont break then its very much welcome. You realize what pro cameras suffer in the hands of photojournalists after couple of years of usage. From what Ive seen I dont think a tilt screen will survive.

      • DSS

        For video, tripod work, low and high angles it’s been an amazing feature. I too didn’t think I’d ever use it, now I find myself using it often, especially on a tripod. Some people don’t know what they’re missing.

  • I wander if this new af module will fit in dx bodies? As the tech trickles down would be interesting to see that many af points in a dx.

    • Kiboko

      If it does – the same module – it will not cover a large area in FX camera … it will be a small area like in the D750. 🙁

      • Correct me if I’m wrong but the current 51 point af module in the d7100 is slightly different to those in the 4s,800,750 etc. I think they re size it slightly. I’m only guessing. I was just curious if they could fit that many phase points into a smaller camera?

        • lefantome

          The AF module itself isn’t a large component. The only question is whether Nikon wants to put it into a DX body and when. The 153 points is only part of the AF module, and the algorithm behind is the real deal.

    • outkasted

      What would be great is if Nikon does put the 153 Af points on the DX sensor…although closer maybe but will also be able to give you group AF that would be allow a sensor point to be picked within that group if a a certain aperture was used…say anything 2.8 or below. I if they were smart it could be programmed as a firmware upgrade. You can set the minimum aperture to what you like. Kinda like Auto ISO. Ok Nikon you can give me a new 600mm/f4 AFS VR (the trumpet) and a new D5 for this idea.

      • Eric Calabros

        The bigger question is does DX need to stay DSLR?

        • Sebastian

          Not the low-end part.

        • Not sure, I think there is a case for cropped slrs, people want crop for wildlife and sports on the cheap, not everyone can afford huge teles. If Nikon released an apc mirroless with as good an af for wild life then I’m in!

        • Sawyerspadre

          Yes, for cost reasons. I actually think Mirrorless should start with full frame, with a new shorter flange distance, and then an adapter for FX lenses.

        • Balder the Brave

          for cost reasons, DX ought to become mirrorless !!
          but ought to keep the F-Mount for all the lens legacy

          • Sawyerspadre

            It would be one chunky Mirrorless. I would be very surprised if a new Mirrorless Nikon was not a new mount, that has less distance from mount to sensor plane.

            An adapter would fill the space to mount an F mount lens.

            • Balder the Brave

              CX, DX, FX, ….and then a new one for mirrorless ?
              I don’t think that Nikon is able to afford such a 4th new mount. And a new mirrorless mount would be an invitation for all the customers base to jump shift to an another brand (sony, olympus,panasonic, etc…) !!! and to conclude, an adapter is not the panacea

            • Antonio

              Why do you consider DX a different mount?

            • Balder the Brave

              I meant 3 different format CX, DX, FX.
              If one wants to make a DX mirrorless with reduce flange distance, it could be a new mount

            • Antonio

              Yes, it’s likely they will need a new mount also due to the need of other kind of contacts.

              As a mirrorless will not need the mirror chamber the body can be cut and having a shorter flange will demand an adapter for F lenses, and here we can have problems or not all depending on Nikon making it with no loss of AF speed for AF-S lenses. But older lenses will loose AF because the new cameras will not have the necessary motors for sure, as it happens nowadays with entry level DX cameras.

              If they don’t do it this way you will be right and a lot of people will consider the pros and cons of changing brands or stay with DSLRs if Nikon doesn’t leave them behind of tech developments.

            • DX and FX use the same mount. So a new mirrorless mount would be the third Nikon have.

            • Antonio

              Are you considering that one of the reasons DSLR has a longer flange is due to the mirror camera and that will not be the case for mirrorless, and what that will mean in terms of use/adaptation of F mount lenses?

            • The problem with non-chunky bodies is that they’re not that comfortable to hold. The depth of the body is also an advantage.

          • TheInconvenientRuth

            Are you SURE? I’d like to hear what Thom Hogan would have to say about that. Sure, you save money by removing the mirror assembly, but how much does the EVF cost? Will this actually save money or end up costing more? And if you have to use your EVF 100% of the time, the whining about the batteries will start…

            • Wade Marks

              Thank you for pointing out the fact that EVF’s mean more battery drain…I get that some people like an EVF, but those EVF fans never ever seem to consider the tradeoff with battery life. They just ask for an EVF with no regard to the real world engineering consequences.

            • KnightPhoto

              On Mirrorless, I think it’s the “always on” sensor that is the power suck. Sure EVF is part of the draw on power, but I bet the sensor being on and continuously running the imaging chain (demomasicing etc.) that draws the more power.

            • Jeepmeister

              I’d call that a distinction without a difference, because the “always on” is necessitated by the use of EVFs instead of OVFs.

            • Sawyerspadre

              Also, keep in mind the tooling cost. Nikon is pretty geared up to make DX SLRs for low cost. The first mirrorless will have a big research, tooling and production learning curve, all of which cost money.

              I would start at the top, in Full Frame, and work down. It you launch the M5, then the M4, then the M3, you can reduce cost and price as your volumes ramp up.

              If you then wanted to make an M2 or lower in DX, you could use the smaller sensor, with the MFX lenses, and add some MDX lenses for the wider angles that would be needed for the smaller sensor.

              BTW, all names are trademarked by me 😉

        • While I normally shoot Nikon, my preferred camera for sports is the Sony A77 II (24 MP, 12 FPS, 52 JPG buffer) It is not a DSLR as it contains a transparent mirror that doesn’t move and what you see in the electronic viewfinder is exactly what the sensor sees, focus and exposure.

  • MichaelSNC

    Sounds good to me. I look forward to it.

  • jeverton1

    I wonder about this being a CES 2016 announcement… Plus, I’d like to see two XQD slots.

    • Ahoy to dual XQD!

    • TechJunkie

      Hopefully not half assing it again after the D4s.

    • Eric Calabros

      Release a Professional product for niche market in Consumer show!
      Yea its Nikon these days.

      • Wade Marks

        Who cares about the way it’s announced? Bring it on as soon as possible!

      • Sawyerspadre

        CES has like 150,000 attendees, including all tech and consumer press. No show in photography has that kind of reach.

        By the way, consumers are not allowed to attend…

        • the last time I went few years ago I think they had 250k visitors

          • ZoetMB

            Because of that, they’ve put some restrictions on attendance. They actually try to make you prove in some way that you’re a pro in the industry. I bet it’s not that hard to get around, especially if one already is incorporated or has an LLC, but they don’t want consumers clogging the show anymore.

            In spite of the large attendance and press, because it’s such a large show (even 20 years ago, it had something like 15 square miles of exhibits), it’s impossible to cover such a large show in the time available. And products tend to get buried because the press can only report on so many. On the upside, when I used to attend, the show was organized by product line, so all the car stereos were in one area, all the esoteric hi-fi was together in the hotels, etc., so you could ignore what you weren’t interested in and get around the show faster.

            I would have to agree that it might not be the best place to announce a pro-level DSLR. Sometimes, smaller is better. A UHD, HDR, wide color gamut TV and the new UHD Blu-ray players are going to get far more attention than a Nikon D5 will.

            • Yes, I remember they asked me for a business card or a paycheck the last time I went…. I did not have either… I talked to the lady and she let me in.
              Business card? What should I put there – “Rumors Mogul” LOL 🙂

          • Sawyerspadre

            Maybe so, it was about 150k last time I went…

      • TheInconvenientRuth

        Yay, it’s the internet where people happily put down others without any clue what they’re talking about whatsoever…

    • ckuklbac

      Me too.

    • I do believe this will be a CES announcement (January), if not it will be a CP+ announcement (February) – depends if they need to delay it in the last moment.

      • waterengineer

        I agree. The pros need to get cameras in their hands and get comfortable with them before the Olympics.

  • MRomine

    At a price of…$6,999.00

    • Steve Perry

      If we’re lucky…

      • MRomine

        At that price it makes my D750 feel like a disposable camera.

    • Brian

      I think more. $7495

      • jeverton1

        No way… $6700-$6800 is where it will end up.

  • ckuklbac

    …And the 15 fps frame rate only with electronic diaphragm lenses is my guess . . .slower speed say with older lenses

    • neonspark

      probably. E is the future finally.

    • Eric Calabros

      The absence of 70-200 in E party is a bit disturbing

      • ckuklbac

        Remember, Eric, Thom Hogan hinted at a much bigger announcement than just the D5 in a previous comment, so maybe, just maybe, we are finally to see the Pro level DX body and who knows, an E version 70-200?? We can but hope . . . 🙂

        • HD10

          A new 70-200mm f/2.8E VR is likely a given with the D5. It will hopefully solve the focus breathing “feature” of the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II.

        • I believe Nikon’s introduction of a Pro Level DX Body became more remote last week when the recently released $1,700 Canon 7DII (DX pro sports body) could be purchased (in a printer combo with rebate) that amounted to net price of $999. And I don’t have any Canon lenses to take advantage of this deal.

          • Wade Marks

            Mike D: thank you for pointing out that Canon 7d mark ii sales have not been there…in fact there is a rumor that Canon will not continue the product line and the mark ii will be the last iteration.

            There is not enough demand for this pro DX, at least at a price point that would make it viable…despite what a relatively few loud voices on the net say…

      • KnightPhoto

        Good point “absence of 70-200 in E party”.

        Thinking about this it pretty much GUARANTEES we’ll be seeing a new 70-200 within a year. And that also means an updated 14-24 has to come too I would think.

        The lens that would be perfect for me is the patented 55-300 f/2.8-4. Admin posted the patent a couple years ago. I’d sacrifice my 70-200 for it I think…

  • I AM | Earning Money

    • bharat

      Im saving for the D6……not enough savings for the D5……..keeping that inflation will be in check……..

    • outkasted

      give some of that.

  • KnightPhoto

    Greater AF frame coverage and increased high ISO capability will be highly welcomed!

  • HD10

    The high number of AF points sounds like Nikon finally brought the Nikon One AF system to its top FX dSLR. By this, I mean the D5 likely has numerous AF points embedded on the imaging sensor mated to a dSLR with OVF. This hopefully means a much wider AF area coverage than what current FX dSLRs can manage.

    • mosswings

      I wouldn’t make that deduction. The D5 is sold to professionals wanting the extremely high performance tracking AF that currently only DSLRs can provide. OSPDAF would be no advantage for this class of pro stills shooter – unless they’re heavily into videography.

      If you do a little speculative calculation, you will find that that 153 point number results from going to a 17 x 9 focus zone array from the current 9 x 5 with 2 1 x 3 sectors added on. A 17 x 9 array is great to begin with, but what really will improve the AF performance is if the the new AF array sports more cross-type zone coverage than the current 3 x 5 matrix. This is where Canon steals a march on the D4: its AF matrix is all cross-type. I might not expect Nikon to make a full cross-type matrix AND increase coverage, but a 9 x 9 or 11 x 11 central region would be sweet.

      • jtan163

        There’s no reason on sensor PDAF can’t exist along side off sensor PDAF such as in some Canon DSLRs.

        Best of both worlds.
        It means that LV AF can be improved too and in case you haven’t noted Nikon have been (for what it is worth at this stage) pushing video.

        • Balder the Brave

          Keep the idea ….

        • mosswings

          You’re right, there isn’t a reason why OSPDAF and TPDAF can’t coexist. My point is that a camera of the class of the D5 will have to have a TPDAF system that is significantly better; OSPDAF doesn’t contribute to TPDAF. What it does do is make LV and videography AF better.

          • HD10

            I thought it was clear enough that when I referred to the Nikon D5 as having on-sensor PDAF, that this was in addition to the off-sensor PDAF in use with dSLR with OVF . Had it been otherwise, there would be no way to use the OVF of the Nikon D5.

      • jeverton1

        I agree the cross-type matrix for sports will be an important area to watch at announcement.

    • lefantome

      If those AF points are embedded on the imaging sensor, as long as D5 remains a traditional DSLR (instead of one with translucent mirror), those AF points won’t work when you can see through the OVF. Those embedded AF points would only work in LiveView mode, and for that, the number could be a little more than 153.

  • ckuklbac

    I would really like to know how the noise level at “Native ISO 102,400” in the D5 compares with the noise level of the D4 “Native ISO of 12,800” If it would be close to the same noise, that would be a stunning achievement!

    • Eric Calabros

      News agencies only want your Jpegs these days. so NR algorithm is now a big player in those “achievements”.

      • ckuklbac

        Agreed. But as a wild life photog that is always battling the bad light/ bigger lens problem, 2 or 3 extra useable stops is a real big deal to me.

        • waterengineer

          Agreed.

  • Aldo

    I AM : all about the new auto focus

  • AnotherView

    Based on this Thom’s theory of odd-numbered releases having MAJOR performance improvements appears to be refuted. Looks like just like another-run-of-the-mill upgrade from Nikon.

    • catinhat

      What exactly did you expect? Thom mainly wanted better connectivity and software integration IIRC.

    • I don’t think you’re grasping the significance of what could possibly be a massive, game-changing leap forward in AF technology. This could be almost as big as the D3 originally was, with the high-end sports crowd at least. The Canon 1DX had better have one hell of a mk2 up its sleeves, otherwise there will be another mass migration to Nikon if the D5 delivers on significantly improving AF.

    • nwcs

      I think it’s way too early to say that. We know very little so far.

  • Queue the nasty comments about how un-manageable 153 AF points would be.

    Here’s what folks who are worried about that need to keep in mind: Nikon has been leaning towards grouped, multi-point AF systems for a long while now. Using the surrounding four or eight points to increase accuracy has gotten better and better over the many generations of Nikon’s 51 PT systems, and now the group AF and 9-point AF-C focusing is downright amazing in the absolute worst conditions.

    So, two or three things are inevitably happening with an increase to 153 points:

    1.) The AF points are spread out more, to better reach the rule-of-thirds area, or even beyond. (This is already alleged in the rumor, so if the 153 number happens, I’m 100% confident that this will also happen along with it.)

    2.) The AF points are also more densely packed, and either selectably or even exclusively used in a group configuration. Like pixel-binning, but with AF points. Imagine having a clump of 4 AF points at all times now, instead of just a single point. If they’re oriented correctly, this might even eliminate the need for cross-type phase-detect AF points, or simply make cross-type AF points incredibly more accurate.

    3.) The AF point selection methods gain at least 1-2 new “skip a few points” options, like the point selection option we currently have to go down to just 11 points instead of all 51. This allows you to “get around the viewfinder” much faster.

    So, in short, imagine having access to 153 focus points spread out all around the viewfinder, and imagine always having 4 or 9 points working in conjunction, plus the ability to move that selected point/group all around the viewfinder with just a few clicks.

    In other words, it’s going to be freaking awesome.

    • Singani Mamiya

      There is a theoretical limit on how far you can spread the AF points in a DSLR. Or why haven’t they been spread more than what we have today in any DSLR? It’ll be 300 densely packed AF points in the center with the D6 one day. Go mirrorless. 😉

      • Any “theoretical limit” is only hindered by the optical brightness and light path; both of which can be improved.

        Just take the Nikon D300 / D300s for example. It had the same AF system as the D3, physically speaking, however because it was 1.5x crop the AF points wound up blanketing almost the entire viewfinder.

        That’s because it’s just a cropped sensor, you’d say. But then what about a dedicated crop-sensor lens? It has a similarly limited image circle, when comparing say a 17-55 2.8 on a D300 against a 24-70 2.8 on a D3. The brightness and directionality of light hitting the outermost areas of the image are probably similar.

        Therefore, I’d argue that in theory, AF points can indeed be spread out further, it just hasn’t been possible yet.

        Keep in mind, I’m not expecting them to go all the way to the very corners. Even the A7R II’s on-sensor phase-detect AF points have an outer limit. It’ll probably always be a bit more spacious / expansive than a traditional OVF system, however IMO there’s still room for improvement.

        • El Aura

          The image circle is only a problem for horizontal coverage. The size of the mirror and thus submirror is what determines vertical limits. Using the same mirrorbox but with a smaller sensor (as the D300 roughly does), gives you a submirror that is 1.5x larger relative to the sensor size.

          • Yes, I’d appreciate just a slight bump in the vertical coverage on what, say, a D810 is capable of. But I wouldn’t need much.

            Then again, this may simply remain a nicety of sticking with APS-C for certain things. I’m already almost completely happy with what a few of the APS-C sensors are doing high ISO-wise, and more than happy with what the likes of the D7200 are doing DR-wise. I might just get an APS-C camera for those few situations in which AF point spread is extremely useful.

            Or a D7300, if it has the D5’s AF!

      • El Aura

        The height of the AF coverage is limited by the height of the AF submirror (which for geometrical reasons is about is limited to a bit over 1/3 of the image height). The horizontal coverage is limited by things getting more and more tilted as you get to the edge of the frame and some shading as you approach the edge of the effective image ‘circle’ (taking baffles into account). On-sensor PD AF is less affected by the latter since it uses a smaller base (physical distance on the sensor used for determining focus for a given point).

        Nikon has filed patents that use shaded microlenses similar to those used by on-sensor PDFA, which if placed next to the current AF sensors would allow them to expand the horizontal coverage. Another idea in these patents is to place them on the focussing screen (in a way similar to on-sensor PDAF) using wiring small enough to not be visible. This would allow about the same coverage as on-sensor PDAF.

        Both approaches would have, like all on-sensor PDAF systems, not quite the same performance but still had a lot of utility (http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/56923569)

        • Eric Calabros

          I think Canon and Nikon finally find something to place above the mirror box to use it as an advantage over mirrorless

        • Balder the Brave

          congrats El Aura…… you may have just found what is inside the D5 and what will make it so special.

    • wangbu

      Why not improve the 3D tracking? Acquire focus using the centre AF point then recompose. The camera locks on the spot and moves the AF point as you recompose. Works on the D750.

      • mosswings

        3D tracking improvements rely on a higher resolution exposure sensor. There’s a huge difference between the D750/810 and D7200 3D-tracking, and that’s because the former cameras can discern 35x finer detail in shape, with color. You would need to go to a 4MP exposure sensor to approach what the A7rII series can do in 3D tracking. That’s possible in the D5, but there may be no benefit to exposure calculation to go that high in resolution.

        • Eric Calabros

          A7RII is way behind even D7200 in tracking

        • Having said that, the A7R II’s subject tracking algorithms aren’t as good as the D810’s, that’s for sure.

          Still, they’re only a few software / firmware updates away from being incredible at AF tracking, that’s also (almost) for sure.

          I do think that for the future, hybrid AF on-sensor in a mirrorless camera is going to be the way to go for almost everybody. As it is, the A7R II’s AF is already the best choice for what 90% of photographers already need, considering the AF point spread and the accuracy / reliability of those AF points in all but the absolute worst light or fastest situations.

      • I’ve tried this many times, but I still prefer to just move my AF point around to at least a rough area, before activating 3D tracking. It might be nice though to have a 9-point (selectable) mode where I can go from one rule-of-thirds are to another with just two clicks, and then fine-tune my composition from there using 3D tracking.

    • lefantome

      Hope so. The AF points configuration has to be redesigned to make it easy to select and configure. And with more dense AF points alignment, I do hope Nikon to improve the scene recognition and 3D tracking system to make more accurate focus tracking and automatic AF points selection possible.

  • drororomon

    I am interested to see how the new tech gets handed down to the other bodies.

  • Bong Torio

    i’m more interested on those 153 af points, hope most of them are cross type and user selectable, group or single…

  • Balder the Brave

    Not so long ago, Thom HOGAN hinted :
    ” ” So here’s a question for you all to ponder :
    What if Nikon “improved” focus performance in meaningful ways on a D5 and it was still a DSLR? What would that mean to mirrorless ?
    Put another way, ……what if a D5 is a strong statement that the DSLR isn’t dead ? ” ”
    and, Here we are …… a surprise inside the D5….. as he stated !!! 🙂

    • JJ168

      We all will welcome a big improvement in AF technology. It has hit the wall since d3.

      Until it is out and tested thoroughly, we can only hope it is not shocking surprise like the left AF issue we saw in d800.

      • Balder the Brave

        In a few weeks, we will all praise Nikon engineers for what they have done :-)….. Even if we’re not always agree with Nikon strategic/marketing department !!

        • TheInconvenientRuth

          And a day later, you’ll all be bashing Nikon for not giving the D5 8k video, built-in facebook upload, a cup holder, heated grip (actually not a bad idea…) or because the new Canon Eos 1X Mk II has one button more but costs $50 less…

          • Eric Calabros

            It’s DPReview you described.

          • lefantome

            And it can’t even work as a 4G cellphone. What a disaster 😀

        • JJ168

          As a nikon user i really wish them the best and hope the new AF is mind blowing or significantly improved.
          I remember there was similar rumor of 173 AF points prior to d4 announcement . They might have to put that plan on hold for whatever reasons. Now 4 years later i really hope they have the secret source ready for prime time.
          Good luck nikon!

    • MonkeySpanner

      What does it mean for mirrorless – not much. A $6000 body is way above even the most expensive mirrorless. If this new AF system is indeed a gamechanger it will have to make its way into bodies that mortals can afford before it means anything to mirrorless.

      • Michiel953

        Which it will. Eventually.

        • MonkeySpanner

          Yes, but by then, the incredible AF system of the a7r2 will work its way into a sub $1000 e mount body and the a7r3 will be out with a mind blowing AF system. So….the race continues.

          • Michiel953

            Probably, but mirrorless still doesn’t attract me. I tried the SL for five minutes inside and outside the shop a few days ago, and even though it’s EVF is way better than an A7’s, I still didn’t like it. Probably never will.

            • MonkeySpanner

              Well, different strokes….
              Anyway I shoot mostly DSLR. But the face/eye detect of mirrorless does appeal to me.

            • Michiel953

              I understand that, but given the very good accuracy of my D810’s AF (I move one focus point around, previsualising the composition), I don’t seem to need it and certainly don’t yearn for it. Focusing an F2AS and 50/1.2 f.i. on an eye is slightly more challenging (better screen, but no electronic aids) but even more satisfying.

              With any system, nailing focus where you wanted it is very satisfying.

            • MonkeySpanner

              If you have no time limits on focussing, then yeah, you can make any AF system, or no AF system work just fine. But if you have only fractions of a second to acquire sharp focus on a face you sometimes have to be pretty lucky with a DSLR. With a mirrorless the AF may be slightly slower (maybe) but you can be sure it has found a face and is focusing and exposing on that.

            • Michiel953

              Mmm. Pre-visualise, move focus point, compose, maybe adjust slightly, half-press, focus acquired, fire. Works reaonably well.

            • MonkeySpanner

              Yes, thanks for the tips. My point was that a fast AF system that can reliably detect face and eyes is a useful thing.

            • Michiel953

              I got that, but for some (age related?) reason I find more comfort and ressurance in peering through a viewfinder and establishing focus (and composition), instead of relying on a system. But if that system consistently works well, what’s left to complain about?

              What has me worried more is how the positioning of a reliable focus point is influencing my compositions. That’s where an old fashioned focusing screen works so much better.

            • What’s wrong with the face detect of DSLRs? It’s not that obvious (you don’t have a face symbol), but they do focus on faces.

            • MonkeySpanner

              Kind of. Sometimes. Not as strong face detection as mirrorless. And some of the new mirrorless now find the eyes and focus on those. And cdaf is more accurate than pdaf for very accurate sharp focus. Again, I shoot mostly DSLR, but would be interesting to try this mirrorless AF system.

      • ZoetMB

        It’s not going to be $6000. My bet is that Nikon prices this at $7000. Nikon has become even more arrogant than Apple (and I like Apple). As a result, this will be a niche camera for the rich and for the pros who still have decent business.

  • BrainBeat

    Sounds like some reasonable feature bumps. Shame I will probably never get to use one do to the cost.

  • decisivemoment

    Good. I think it will prove to be highly manageable. It ends up being like Nintendo for a single point selection, and giving you a bit more space with group area. Far more manageable than Canon’s double flywheel in such a situation, though I think even that UI will work if Canon increase their focus points as well.

    Now, if Nikon will manufacture a pad switch that doesn’t wear out (D800) or fall off (D4).

    • mg428

      What kind of problem are you talking about on D800? Is it also available in D810?

      • decisivemoment

        I don’t know about the D810. But the pad switch simply wears out on the D800 for a heavily chimping user, and while the component costs pennies, getting at it involves taking the camera apart, so it’s a significant labor charge. I have enabled the feature that allow you to navigate menus with the command dials instead of the pad, so I am hopeful this won’t happen to me again.

  • Photobug

    Sounds very good for the Pro’s and advanced amateur. The advanced amateur benefits from the large number of D3’s and D4’s that will be traded at your local camera store. When the D810 came out the flood of good D800’s in the store was incredible. The number of of low shutter activation was unbelievable. People with money who have to have the best. I am talking like 1K to 2K shutter activation.

    • What? 2K activations? That’s not “have to have the best”, but rather “have to waste the best”.

      I also upgraded that way, but I had *way more* activations…

    • ZoetMB

      There is no relationship between the number of shutter activations and the quality of one’s work. My father was a pro and he taught me to shoot as efficiently as possible and to this day, when I shoot an event, the number of exposures I take inevitably winds up being divisible by 36.

      Great photography is not about keeping your finger on the shutter button – it’s about decidedly capturing the right moment. Everyone needs to shoot in the method that works best for them, but IMO, those people who use their camera like a machine gun aren’t really practicing photography – they’re essentially shooting video and then picking frames. Some of the greatest photos ever taken were taken on medium or large format cameras where you could only make one exposure at a time, including many of the greatest sports images.

      I cringe when I read that a photographer went out on a given day and made 6000 exposures. How could they have possibly thought about what the were shooting when shooting that fast? Some people think that shooting lots of exposures is some kind of macho achievement. It’s not.

      Having said that, I do agree that many people with way too much money to spend go out and buy much more camera than they need simply because they can afford it, mistakenly thinking that the highest-end camera is going to make their pictures better. And if one is going to buy a used body, I’d certainly rather have one that’s hardly been used and has low shutter activations.

      • Photobug

        Exactly…that was my point about many people have way too much money and buy much more DSLR than they really need just to have the top of the line DSLR. They don’t care what it cost. Any yes, it becomes a great used camera because of the number of shutter activation.

        I certainly didn’t mean to imply that there is a correlation between number of images and the quality of their work. Merry Christmas. Nice job expanding on what I mean to say.

  • HKer

    I currently use the D4 and D4s for sports and low-light event photography work. For me, looking at the D5 spec does push the envelope but not 100% essential for my work. My preference would be slightly more MP to enable cropping. The increased autofocus pt is useful, but I wonder how quickly you can navigator across the points and refine it, e.g. say jumping 10 points at a time, then somehow down to 1 pt. You may miss the shot. Higher iso always useful. 15fps useful for certain sports. Would love a lighter body for event photog. Quick transfer of images from camera to phone/web immediately is becoming essential for work, in built wifi definitely would be handy rather than fiddling with WT. minor – locking focus (AF/M) method useful and sometimes I move the lever accidently. EVF – would be awesome for sports and in situations where the LCD brightness can disturb guests – at least have the option, plenty of battery juice to make it really useful for work. A real silent/mch quieter shutter! Changing order of menu so your custom menu at the top. May skip D5 until see the detailed reviews but likely go for the D5s. The D4 second hand prices are particularly low, not a fav of the pros! Let’s see what comes out.

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    If the larger AF area coverage with 153 focus points is true, this -could- mean that the focus areas are outside of the DX crop zone, this -could- mean that AF is limited on DX lenses on the D5 or that there simply is no DX-crop mode anymore at all. All of this -COULD- mean that, well, the D400 has gone the way of the Dodo…

    • mosswings

      Nah. If some of the 153 points extend outside the DX crop zone, the AF system might just use those that are inside. Still greater than 51 points…and here’s a wild idea…those 153 points might still be active in DX crop mode! Then you’d be tracking focus across the visible frame, not just the crop zone…BIFers, rejoice?

      Oh, yeah, about the D400; nope, can’t divine anything about it by counting focus points.

  • Michael_Foley

    It’s taken far too long to get 4K on a DSLR. I just hope the cheaper models will get it too. I really want an all in one camera for stills and video.

  • The D5’s rumored specs are really interesting for me.

    I do hope it has this new 20MP sensor. I assume Nikon will let us use the previous batteries (EN-EL18/A) as it will have the same D4s body design. And I know many might disagree, but double xqd slot would be appreciated!

  • Eric

    UHDp60 will be a huge point, if this spec turns out to be true.
    The 153 CDAF points will also be very welcome.

    I’d worry about the competition, as they too might introduce similar specs, for a lot cheaper.

  • John Smith

    It has BEGUN…better video specs than a c300 mk 2

  • So I need not change my D4s then, 153 AF points WHY!, I use one

  • Groob32

    Admin. is there any word if the body will be carbon fiber to decrease weight?

  • DrNo666

    Finally some rumors… i think this page has gotten away from its main purpose… no reports on smoke and fires… just commersial stuff

    • Admin is doing a great job. You can’t have shareable rumors all the time.

    • Different that some other “rumors” website, I prefer to be more conservative and not to post BS or make stuff up to get few extra clicks. There were not rumors in the past 6 months because Nikon did not announce anything. Btw, the first Nikon D5 rumors were posted back in June: http://nikonrumors.com/2015/06/22/the-nikon-d5-is-rumored-to-have-a-native-high-iso-of-102400-and-4k-video.aspx/

      • Admin, you’re doing a great job, ignore the naysayers. Thanks, as always!

        • Thanks!

          • Ineedmy Bobo

            Agreed. Ignore the cranky arses. Love the way you maintain the site.

      • Michiel953

        Well a rumor is not an announcement…., but maybe that’s semantics. I like this site a lot, not just for the rumors, if any.

        Having got that out of the way, where’s my D400?

  • bgbs

    D5 should have 18mp because D6 is supposed to have 20mp to compete with 6D

  • AYWY

    Interested to find out if there are notable changes to the mirror design to accommodate that many AF points… 🙂

  • Eric

    I hope they managed to fix the sluggishness in Live View.
    My D5300 is terrible in LiveView. Also, when zooming in to check focus (besides the sluggishness and low fps), there’s a ton of noise which makes it hard to manually focus.
    And while on that subject, I hope they somehow manage to add focus-peaking…or is that something only mirrorless can do?

    • MonkeySpanner

      Somehow Nikon, in DSLRs , is stuck in 2009 for live view.

  • Prasad Palaniyandi

    I would love to see new D900s with same D5 configuration…

  • donpnz

    Hope that Nikon makes the video button bigger and with more action. Hard to tell on the D750’s tiny video nipple if it’s depressed or not.
    Lucky those Canon video users….

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