Nikon D5 specifications and features explained (confidential Nikon internal document)

I got my hands on this 17-page internal ("confidential") document that explains the Nikon D5 camera features and specifications in great details. Some of the highlights:

  • Silent Live-View captures have increased in resolution from 2,5 MP (D4S) to 5 MP and frame rate from 24 to 30 fps (page 3, A7 #3)
  • Battery life has increased from 3,020 (D4S) to 3,780 (page 4, A7 #8)
  • The D5 can only shoot three minutes of 4K video while the D500 can do the same for 30 minutes (page 4, A11)
  • Shutter durability D5: 400,000 / D500: 200,000 (page 5, A11)
  • D5 does not support SnapBridge (page 5, A11)
  • The XQD version (D5-a) can write data faster than the CF version (D5-b) (page 8, A42)
  • Movie color sampling is YCbCr 4:2:2, color depth 8 bit (page 14, A83)
  • The next version of Capture NX-D will apparently finally have a retouch brush (page 16, A103)

I also heard that Nikon Europe intends to distribute D5 cameras only with XQD cards (at least at the beginning).

Here are all the 17 pages of D5 goodness (the D500 version can be found here):

Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-2 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-3 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-4 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-5 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-6 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-7 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-8 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-9 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-10 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-11 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-12 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-13 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-14 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-15 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-16 Nikon-D5-specifications-features-explained-internal-Confidential-document-17
Additional Nikon D5 coverage | Nikon D5 pre-order links

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  • Henry

    Wow. Seems like a coup that you landed this document. But I suppose the same could be said for what you have been doing here all along, doesn’t it! Nice work getting us the goods! Again and again and again… 🙂


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  • SiestaKey1

    Admin…you are awesome. Great post and great reading!

  • NXD brush is the good news!

    • Heitschmidt

      My only question is what is an “auto” retouch brush?

  • the D500 version is coming soon….

    • br0xibear

      Was there a date on this document ?

      • Yes, it had a date – a pretty recent one.

      • Nikkor300f4VR

        Future, is that You.. ?!

  • Admin, I appreciate a lot your work, but: wouldn’t it be better/more appropriate to only post your sanitized summary than whole document? Rumours is one thing, this – to me – something different. Sorry…

    • There is a summary in my post, right? I believe people who are interested in the D5 will want to read the entire document.

      • Fair enough. After reading through the doc, it doesn’t seem to contain that much secret information (I though it will have much more actually confidential information at first); as edsoto said here, I wonder why this is not published by Nikon itself…

        • No, no secret info here – this is just detailed explanations of the specs and features, not sure why they label it with confidential.
          Just for the record – on few occasions in the past I have not published information that I knew would hurt Nikon. I am not here to bring them down, but to bring them up.

          • Indeed – sorry for overreacting at first. And thanks for the confirmation you don’t publish everything.

            And yes, I don’t understand either why it was labelled confidential. One small thing in the D500 one looks like internal indeed (the comment about LCD tilt angles), but it’s such a trivial thing I don’t know why they don’t just publish it.

            • I find this a valuable information to any Nikon shooter. I do not understand why Nikon doesn’t make this public on their website. There is a lot of details in there and I have not seen any “bad” info – all of the specs are “positive”.

      • neversink

        Thank you for posting the complete document. It was a great read, at least for me.

    • Allan

      Don’t worry. Peter actually works for the Central Intelligence Agency; Nikon Rumors is just his cover.

      • Nikkor300f4VR

        LOL!! Peter, run! You are unveiled! 😀

    • neversink

      Rumors are just one part of the work Peter does here. He also posts about Nikon’s customer service, financial dealings, latest Nikon News (after the rumor or before any rumor has surfaced,) reviews and other information pertaining to Nikon. Nikon Rumors is just the name of his site. Never judge a book by the title, and never judge a blog by its name.
      Be a little more open minded. And don’t ever say you are sorry when obviously you are not.

      • Either you didn’t understand my post, or you didn’t want to. Yes, I was sorry to say something “bad” about the admin, but I felt like I had do. Why do you think I wasn’t sorry to bring this up?

        And you *completely* misunderstood the rumours mention. It was not about what admin does, but about what is appropriate and what not.

        • neversink

          I understood your post perfectly. I have seen nothing Admin has ever posted that is inappropriate, misconstruing, misleading. Sometimes I wonder about people like you who appear to be very inappropriate, while pretending to be so virtuous and perfect…. ;–} Smile and loosen up and appreciate this website, as Nikon Rumors is one of the best such sites on the internet.

          • If you look at my post history (I believe it’s public), you’ll see that I’m very supportive of NR and this was my first ever slightly-negative post. I’m sorry that we have different views – but at first I thought this was an innapropriate post, and I gave feedback as such (and that’s why I said sorry, because usually I am supportive).

            Is it wrong to give feedback honestly? If you can tell me how I could have given the same feedback, but in a better manner, I’m very much willing to learn.

      • correct, I started as “rumors only” site but we had a big discussion and a poll few years ago and the majority of readers preferred additional coverage besides rumors

    • mav3rick


      1. To make sanitary, as by cleaning or disinfecting.
      2. To make more acceptable by removing unpleasant or
      offensive features from

      You can just start to run your “sanitized” rumors blog and see how many sanity uses you’ll get.

      Check English dictionary for meaning of words first.

      • fjfjjj

        sanitize, v.

        2. transf. and fig., esp. (U.S. slang) to render more acceptable, clean up, as by the removal of undesirable, improper, or confidential material.

        Oxford English Dictionary

        • Thank you, I couldn’t have given a better answer.

        • Aldo

          I thought you said you weren’t coming back? yet your comeback brings nothing on the D5/D500 release… I guess you couldn’t resist to make make another smartazz comment lol. Runs in your blood I guess

          • fjfjjj


            • neversink

              Yawn… Now, now children… Have a lollipop and make up…

            • I agree, Aldo’s comment was inappropriate and will be deleted.

  • Interesting, it looks like CDAF speed will be improved. I wonder whether it’s a real improvement or just on paper…

    • KnightPhoto

      Sounds real…

  • T.I.M

    I hope there will be a D5x version.

    • nwcs

      D50 came out a long time ago. I had one. It was my first Nikon. I’m sure you can still find one on ebay or KEH.

      • T.I.M

        I guess you’re to young to know the D3x (24MP $7000)
        I’m Hopping for a 48MP D5x

        • nwcs

          There won’t be a D5x. The D8xx series is the D5x.

          • Eric Calabros

            You are too optimist if you think that will stop TIM to repeat asking that

            • nwcs

              LOL, well I am an optimist!

        • Andy Aungthwin

          Maybe you had too many reds tonight, but I am absolutely staggered that so many people type “to” when it should be “too”.

          You know, it’s “too” young. I’m at a lost as to how people who can afford to buy tens of thousands of $ of camera gear and not know the difference between “to” and “too”.

          And I was born in Rangoon, crying out loud! You know where that is, right? My mother tongue is Burmese.

          • T.I.M

            Yes, I often have a problems using to or too, maybe I’m too stupid or crazy to, I should give up English and speak Spanish (soon official USA language)

          • David Weinehall

            “I’m at a _loss_”
            “_for_ crying out loud”

            • Andy Aungthwin

              Are you into cryptic crossword puzzles or what?

              Maybe my grammar is not Shakespearean-like but I would never confuse to, too, and two.

              These three words are so basic that if you didn’t know their differences, you shouldn’t post in public forums.

              In fact you should be ashamed of yourself.

              BTW, how’s your Burmese?

            • Aldo

              How many languages do you speak Andy? What really should “stagger” you is your inability to tolerate / realize there are people from all over the world here.. and that English may not be their first language. Knowing proper spelling, grammar is one thing… but it is common to make such mistakes on the fly, especially for people who learn English as a second or third language.

            • David Weinehall

              I don’t speak even the slightest bit of Burmese, OTOH I suspect you don’t speak much of my native tongue (Swedish) either. In fact my lingual skills are rather limited.

              I just found it ironic that you made two errors while correcting someone who made one.

              I don’t agree with your notion that people who cannot tell to/too/two, who’s/whose, it’s/its, there/their/they’re, we’re/were/where (these aren’t even homophones, so I’m surprised how often people get them wrong), of/have (this, too, surprises me), etc. apart should refrain from posting in public fora.

              That said, it *is* a good rule of thumb to read things through before posting (not aimed at you, but at those who make this kind of mistakes).

              I should probably have ended my reply to your post with SCNR though, to emphasise that it was the irony that made me point out your mistakes, not the errors as such.

              PS: Crossword puzzles? Nope. Not my thing.

            • Andy Aungthwin

              People make mistakes as did I in thinking “I am lost for words” but it came out wrong.

              But my 8 year-old knows the difference between to and too. And his native tongue is Slovene.

              You can’t misappropriate that extra o. It is simply impossible if you went to school. I once had a 16 year-old in a physics class who took out his calculator to work out 20×3.

              BTW, it really isn’t a mistake to say “crying out loud”. When you write you need the “for” but not when you speak it, which was what I was doing.

              Cheers from Bohinj, Slovenija

            • T.I.M

              Ok, Here is the joke:
              In France baguette (long bread stick) and be say different ways:
              le, la, un, (or) une “baguette” (I know French is crazy)
              So, a foreigner who is living in France always have a hard time when he go buy his baguette every morning at the bakery, he can never remember if he should say un, une, le, (or) la baguette.
              Well, it cost him more money but he say “deux” baguettes (two breads)

          • T.I.M

            I hope you don’t live in USA, because if you can’t deal with foreigners, USA is not a country for you.
            By the way, I speak 3 languages (my wife 4).

          • El Aura

            I guess there are some slight dyslexic tendencies in a lot of people. My fingers every now and then type words that sound similar to the ones I actually wanted to type (somehow I must be thinking phonetically). I sometimes even switch languages on a single word if the translation sounds similar. More frequently I omit a single word here and then.

            At least for me, it is not about not knowing the difference between what I wanted to say and what my fingers typed, but simply the need to proofread what I wrote. Often I only proofread after posting, meaning I make use of the ‘edit’ function frequently.

            • KnightPhoto

              Anybody know if there is a time gap between when you hit the “Post as” button and when Disqus takes the text of your post and sends it out as an email to all subscribed posters?

              I often have to make corrections to my post, but hey if the original already went out by email that’s a bummer!

            • I believe there is a small delay.

    • neonspark

      there was no D4x so chances are nikon gave up that long ago. The 800 series is due for an update this year too.

      • Not many people clamouring for an X. Certainly not as may as were for D400 so chances are really almost nil. Never say never . Right? We are seeing D500!

  • Nikonanon

    Page 7 A.34- dual pixel method af? Isn’t that a canon thing?

    • Eric Calabros

      No, it says the CDAF is %50 faster, but don’t expect it to be as fast as on-sensor PDAF.

    • KnightPhoto

      Yes they are referring to the Canon thing at that point!

  • br0xibear

    WEX and a few other retailers in the UK are only showing pre orders for the XQD version, but Park has the XQD and CF versions.
    If you make two versions then Nikon should make sure both are available at the same time.

    • modernleica

      I wonder if the CF version will ever see the light of day?
      I don’t see a lot of point in what is beginning to look like old technology

    • akkual

      They state in the product brochure that service can change between XQD and CF. Of course it will cost some money, but would assume not significant money. But damn if Nikon would have done that so that the user can change them.

  • Focuspuller

    ‘Equipped with the auto retouch brush from the current version.”

    What exactly is that supposed to mean?

  • Fly Moon

    Battery life is 3,780.
    That’s insane 🙂

    • doge

      until you find out it’s 3,780 seconds. 🙁
      equally insane.

    • yaley

      Maybe it’s 3.780 minutes. aka 3 minutes 😉

    • In one memorable day with my D4 I managed to get over 6,000 shots before the battery died at the end of the day :). I’m pleased to see battery life improving even more. (I think rated battery life on the D4 was around 3,000 shots.)

  • Blagoya D.

    EOSHD already declared the Canon 1Dc as a better buy with the new discounted price vs the Nikon D5, and I share their view. Pitty only the 1Dc is still the DLSR video king.

    • doge

      Good thing it’s a still camera and not a camcorder then.

    • TechJunkie

      Considering that the C has a higher focus for video, it makes sense. The D5 is for still pros with the added benefit of video if needed. It was never Nikon’s strongsuit. Plus this guy is posting on a site called EOSHD. What else would he say?

    • A website called EOSHD prefer Canon instead of Nikon. That is a surprise 🙂 I can now officially claim that the Nikon D5 is better than the 1D!

      • Eric Calabros

        Andrew bash Canon if they deserve it. But for someone like him, 1DC is a better camera.

        • Sure, everybody is entitled to an opinion.

          • Doug Laurent

            Andrew at EOSHD probably has been the hardest critic of Canon and privately uses any imaginable camera brand. He always has very detailed and logical reasons and facts, as he is only interested in the result and not a brand. At the moment the only camera on the planet you could use to pretty much do anything, like shoot pro photos at a sports event, and at the same time shoot a movie without external devices, is the 1DC. The D5 could have been the second one.

            • Eno

              If you carefully read his articles, is quite biased in opinions and most of the time gets technical specs wrong. I wouldn’t put my trust in his words or use them as a reference!

            • Doug Laurent

              I read the EOSHD blog since a long time. Like me, he owns and tests a lot of products by a lot of brands, which is why after comparing all the features and results, of course he has a personal opinion about it as well. At least I don’t see that he is biased by any brand loyalty, personal relationship, investment he made, or product links he needs to make money with (like most other websites). Like me he is most critical with the new tools he would loved to love and loved to have better quality. If you know technical specs he misinterpreted, please name them in detail – it’s all about pure facts for me.

            • Eno

              One example from his last post: “Therefore on the 1D C the crop isn’t as harsh, it’s a 1.3x over full frame. On the D5 it is closer to 1.5x.”

              The crop factor in 1Dc is 1,35x and 1,45x in D5. He made it sound less in 1Dc and more in D5. This is only a small example.

            • Doug Laurent

              I can read that he writes 1.45x for the D5, and I don’t find any other source on the planet that states the 1DC is 1.35x and not 1.3x, so I can’t see where he is wrong in this regard. Of course there is a negativity in the whole article that is fed by an overall situation with many issues. The 1DC will be 39 months older than the D5 at its release, so why can’t the D5 video specs be closer to an A7R2 which also is 10 months older, costs half and has half the body size of a D5?

              To me the worst thing is that Nikon gave a fatal sign to Canon, so they might also cut their own 1DX2 video specs last minute, and just make it slightly better than the D5. Like they both did it for decades – just make the new product a bit better than the big competitor, but don’t give too much away too soon. Unfortunately Sony is not a real competition when it comes to high speed pro photo (yet), so Canon and Nikon know they can play it slow with their flagship models for at least another two years. They have the right to do so, but our right as a consumer is to call that lame.

            • Eric Calabros

              The highest resolution 1:1 read out of a FF sensor Sony is capable of today is 15mp, and its crop, and its A7Rii and its Sony-only sensor. so I don’t understand how 1.45x 4k read out by a company that doesn’t make sensors and doesn’t have any fab, is lame!
              I also have things to call lame, like not having focus peaking or high bitrate. But not sensor.

            • Doug Laurent

              The A7R2 does have good full frame 4K video until ISO 3200 which is exactly the same frame as the 42MP photos the camera delivers. Nikon does use Sony Sensors. Nikon was the first manufacturer with DSLR video in 2008. For half of the pro photographer’s and their imaging needs Nikon was the #1 brand for the last 50 years. So I don’t see why in 2016 Nikon shouldn’t be able to deliver 4K full frame video with at least 30 minute internal recording like Sony, especially when they implement an internal new card storage system in the D5 which would be very capable for that. That’s not what makes me say: hooray Nikon, you’ve earned 7000 bucks for that achievement. The great improvements in the D5 photo features are cool, but which D4s user did really fail to deliver excellent work because of these missing specs?

            • Eric Calabros

              Well I don’t know what is going on in sensor market. What I know is that if supplier put two sensors on the table and tell Nikon one is fast and good for video, and one is super clean optimized for still, they will buy the second for their flagship.

            • Eno

              Do you own math please, see the full 1Dx resolution and divide the length of the image in pixels to the 4K resolution length in pixels: 5184/3840. The result is a clear 1,35x crop factor.

            • Doug Laurent

              But the 4K width in the 1DC is 4096, the real cinema format which the D5 also doesn’t have. Assuming your way of calculating would be correct, that would mean a 1.27 crop. I remember in one of my many tests with different cameras and focal lengths, the frame did exactly look as if 1.3x is exactly correct.

            • Eric Calabros

              What’s the point of this cinema format? I’m seriously asking. I doubt even %0.01 of these camera users project a film on a cinema screen.

            • Doug Laurent

              If you do video, you are thankful for any pixel you can get – like in photos for downres, reframing etc. it can’t be enough. If Nikon would have overexceeded expectations and have implemented 5K video, they would have been celebrated as the new kings by each and every blog on this planet today. Also photographers would have had a 12MP 24fps photo camera.

              It is sad that manufacturers only seem to overexceed expectations by accident. Probably Canon did hear in 2008 that Nikon does implement video in their coming D90, and that was the only reason why they did put it in their 5D2. Knowing of how much value this function was to many customers, they would have milked it in a totally different, slower and more expensive way.

            • Eno

              Totally agree with you on this one!

            • I fear that 5K would have been at 3 seconds vs. 4K at 3 minutes and FHD at 30 minutes :/

            • Eno

              The difference between 1,35x and 1,3x is not so obvious and you are correct 1Dc in DCI 4K has about 1,27x crop factor.

              But is you “stretch” the numbers from 1,35x to 1,3x in 1Dc and from 1,45x to 1,5x in D5, the difference may sound perceptible.

            • I understand, everybody has an opinion.

      • The question is whether it’ll be better than the 1DX mark 2 🙂

        • Eric Calabros

          People with 600mm kind of lenses don’t switch because grass of other side is %1.5 greener in %2 of the situations. (Though I can’t imagine how anything can do 3D tracking better than D5).
          D500/7Dmark2 is where the real action is. and we are more than happy Nikon converted from “left the market” to having upper hand in there over night 😉

        • there is no better or worse, there is only what is better for you

      • Blagoya D.

        Nah the dude couldn’t care less about brands, he only cares about video (believe he sold his 1Dc to switch to Sony FS series). Regarding video, a $6.5k Nikon loses to the 2012 canon model (the 1Dc). Pitty they missed this huge opportunity, the 1Dx MKII will rock on the 4K front by combining the Dc+Dx lines. Apart from that, fps wise they are tied, only thing remains to be seen will be the AF performance. The D4(s) lost on that front vs the 1Dx line. Don’t want to sound like troll or anything, I’m a dual system user, so I could care less about which is the better camera.

        • Eric Calabros

          I love how people defend a product which is not even announced

          • Deez_Nuts2015

            Must be related to Ken Rockwell.

        • neonspark

          Assuming you want video, because as far as stills the 1DX gets blown out of the water, you’re better off going the sony route for 4K. The current 1DC limits on framerate make it a non starter for any serious video work.

        • I was just joking with my comment, of course everyone is entitled to an opinion. I think that from photography perspective, the D5 is better. I do not care/use video, so I cannot speak there.

          • ckuklbac

            “I do not care/use video, so I cannot speak there.” Me too. I wonder how many more of us “stills only” tribe there are?

            • JXVo

              I have never shot a single second of video on any of my video-capable DSLRs. Its not what I bought them for.

    • Eno

      The only thing better in 1Dc vs D5 is the recording time in4K. Fk Nikon for it’s bloody 3 min! (excuse my language)
      In other aspects the D5 is much better. Even the 1,46x crop is better due to the possibility of using DX lenses (the 1Dc has 1,35x crop which is quite severe for a FF lens and vignettists on APSC lenses – in other words you lose a lot of wide angle). D5 has much better DR, better colors, better resolution in 4K, the 1Dc is extremely soft (EOS HD somehow forgets to mention little things like those), more like a 2,5 up-sampled to 4K. 1Dc has a very inefficient motion jpeg codec….Should I continue…The guy from Eos HD is always biased towards Canon so it’s a normal thing for him to prefer the 1Dc. 🙂

      • Blagoya D.

        The recording limit is not the only difference. Canon has 1.3x crop, Nikon has 1.5 crop! Canon uses mpg (motion jpg) at 500Mbit(!) second, making each frame a picture on it’s own right, not efficient size wise, but extremely good quality image at lower isos (at higher isos the A7s/s2/r2 win). The Nikon D5 could have been a beast if it provided H.265 codec, oversampled 5K>4K readout, or at least 10 minute recording limit. As is, 1Dc is a better camera. D5 won’t be an option for videographers.

        • Eno

          Actually the correct crop factors in 4K for those two cameras are: 1Dc
          5184/3840=1,35x and for D5 5568/3840=1,45x not a huge difference but he
          wrote: “1D C the crop isn’t as harsh, it’s a 1.3x over full frame. On
          the D5 it is closer to 1.5x.”

          The motion jpeg codec is a very inefficient one, a good 100 Mb/sec h.264 implementation is preferable. As for h.265 I don’t know how do you deduced is better, from all white papers published on the internet, the only real advantages of h.265 over h.264 are at lower bit rates, at high bit the difference is negligible.

          • Eric Calabros

            For higher bitrates you better have ProRes. and still camera makers never do that.

            • Eno

              I prefer a good spatial-temporal compression for my type of work, it saves a lot of disk space. Don’t get me wrong, pro res is nice and useful format , but if you film am event of more than a couple of hours with multiple cameras, you need a ton of spare cards (not so nice) and a ton of storage space + backup (not so nice at all).

            • Eric Calabros

              Even 100mb/s that some call it the lowest acceptable for 4k is like 16GB for 20min video. 128GB for two hours.

            • Eno

              I know, usually we get more than 500GB of data (on the cards) from an event shot on h.264 at 100 Mb/sec. If we were to shot pro res at 500 Mb/sec, it would mean more than 2,5 TB of cards and 3 times that amount on computer storage and backup.

            • neonspark

              even h265 is more efficient than motion jpg specially for 4K.

        • neonspark

          motionjpg is an ancient codec nobody uses. its output quality is inferior and it is VERY inneficient which is why it is 500mbps. If it was h265 at 500mbps you could argue it is something special, but mjpg lol.

          • stormwatch

            It maybe ancient, but the organic structure of the motionjpeg frames is much better and healthier, than heavy motion compensated frames of other codecs.

    • neonspark

      oh, I thought you meant an impartial site. nm

    • Wesley

      99% of us aren’t looking to buy this for video.
      Go get an A7S, blackmagic, or something…

    • stormwatch

      EOSHD could not be taken seriously, on that site only Canon is able to make photos and videos, while Sony, Panasonic and Nikon are just outsiders….

    • TheInconvenientRuth

      According to, North Korea is the best country in the world to live in….

    • Nikkor300f4VR
  • cngodles

    Surprising that the D5 gets less 4K time and no SnapBridge. Why would the best lack features? Maybe the 4K time is recording it with a full frame sensor.

    • Freeman Guye

      Some have already commented that a high-end D5x (like Canon’s 1Dc with more video features) may be introduced. IMHO, I think that’s the best guess.

    • ThaiBuddy

      Also surprising that the Q&A didn’t expound on the rationale for this.

  • Ryan

    These cameras look great! Thanks for all the inside info!

  • Michiel953

    For what I do (810, primes, non-professional) the D5 is irrelevant. But what a camera!

  • Eric Calabros

    Q: is simultaneous recording of Jpeg images at two different size possible?
    A: no. because a single folder cannot contain two files with the same name

    Really? Well you could easily add something to name like “_small”.

  • Nice score

  • CR

    This is the best info from/on Nikon I have ever seen. Honest answers, that show the true value of what your getting. After reading it, (to me) its not incremental upgrade.

    Major Coup. God live the guy who stood at the copier for the time it took to get this and put his/her job in jeopardy! WHOOT

  • Do you think Expeed 5 is less powerful than the NX1’s quad-core DRIMe V which was released 15 months ago? It seems that for the image processor in recent years, Nikon is behind electronic manufactures like Sony, Panasonic, Samsung. I still think that video in still camera doesn’t matter very much. But the incapability of produce real 4K video (I mean use the whole sensor to record 5.5K then downsample to 4K, not to mention Nikon doesn’t use h.265) somehow shows the weakness of Nikon compared to other manufactures.

    • Eric Calabros

      Maybe sensor can’t output that huge amount of data. and maybe Nikon didn’t want to pay higher cost of h.265 license.

      • neonspark

        dude, please. it shoots RAW 14 bit files at 14fps at 20 freaking mega pixels!!!!!!!!!. You realize 4K is not even close!. That is more data than any stupid video data rate out there at 8bit. It may be heat management, it may be licensing, it may even be bad planning.

        • Eric Calabros

          14fps for a total of 200 frames, so only 12 seconds. It’s different with 30fps for half a hour.

          • neonspark

            the buffer is the limiting factor. not the chip. don’t confuse things.

            • Eric Calabros

              It shoots 5mp at 30fps in live view, so they could output that images through HDMI for unlimited time. did they? Nope.

            • neonspark

              the live view readout may not be a full readout. usually live view is either line skipped or binned. so it may not have been suited for HDMI output. Still, the math doesn’t leave any doubt: the chip is a monster but did you miss the part where they set out to make the best still imaging device out there as opposed to a video camcorder?

    • Abben Hung

      I think Nikon thought that it would retain higher image quality by doing a 1:1 readout from the sensor rather than pixel binning. I highly doubt that it’s a limitation on the sensor or processor. I wouldn’t be surprised if they update it with a firmware upgrade in the future based on demand.

      • neonspark

        this is a fact. 1:1 readout is better than the mushy results you get on something like a 5DmkIII or D800 both of which produces video that is not even full HD quality compared to a proper full HD readout. However nobody currently does a 20MP full frame readout, at least not in the consumer market for this price.

    • neonspark

      let’s see, EXPEED 5 processes a 14bit image that is 20MP which is far larger than any mediocre small 4K frame 14 timers per second. It does this at 14bit depth as opposed to mediocre 8 or 10 bit depth. Meaning each frame contains at least 2^4 times more data or about 16 times. For 4K video you need to deal with about 8megapixels in just 8bit.
      HA HA. Expeed 5 is easily a monster. It is just not a video chip. It is a still imaging chip.

  • I haven’t seen anyone mention the part where they say they ARE planning on offering an XQD/CF change service at some point in the future…

    • tfs

      From the official D5 brochure …

  • Thanks for the info, Nikon Rumors Guy! (do you have a name?)

    I am a current D4 owner, and I’m a bit disappointed to see ways in which the D5 is actually inferior to the D500, such as the 4K recording time and fewer touch screen features.

    And I’m confused, it seems to say we can only use the touch screen during playback but then says we can use it to select focus in video recording (which was the main reason I was interested in it). Which is true?

    Why shouldn’t the D5 have all the touch screen features of the D500 available? If some professional photographers don’t like touch screens, let them turn off the touch screen features if they want, don’t simply deprive us of them.

    I really like the look of the pinch to zoom and other playback touch screen features and look forward to using them, and I’m really excited by the ISO 100k+ in the D5.

    But I am really disappointed by the ultra-short 4K recording time in the D5. Why did they cheat D5 customers out of a longer time? Since I record musical performances this is a real deal-breaker for me and makes me think that, ironically enough, the D500 might be the better camera for me. Never thought I would say that …

    • s.dunn


      I’m in the same camp. My D4 is starting to itch but I’m not sure if there is enough here to switch me over.

      I’m interested how you want to use the pinch zoom. The Center button zooming to 100% has always worked perfect for me and with the higher res screen should be even better. What is it that pinch zoom you want? That means having to remove your right hand from the camera when before you could still do it on grip?

      • Just habit from being an iPhone user, I think. After a long shooting session I like to sit, relax and review my photos so I have both hands available. But the other thing is that panning is really clumsy with the existing interface, it would be nice to be able to pan around with my finger and pinch to zoom.

        I really, really, really want ISO 100k. Or at least usable ISO 50k. And I should get that with the D500. So I can save a ton of money except that I love my 24-70 and I really need the wide angle range. And at the rate Miami’s venues are getting darker and darker I’ll probably need ISO 100k sooner rather than later.

        So I’ll probably get the D5. But I really hate it having less video capability than the D500. Maybe I’ll check out the D500 at ISO 100k and see how bad/good it is …

        • Eric Calabros

          It doesn’t have less video capability. Even that 30min of D500 is combination of ten 3min clips. at least with D5 you have Super35 size image, and maybe the cleanest Super35 image with a DSLR.
          Even after all of these upgrades and enhancements, there are people saying Not Enough to Upgrade! .. imagine D5 was exactly what these people wanted to be, then who will buy D5S in 2018?

          • So why can’t the D5 do the same trick and shoot 10 3 minute clips?

            • Eric Calabros

              Maybe it generates more heat (reading out bigger surface area). Maybe they fear users burn their $6500 camera so disabled it 🙂

            • neonspark

              only japan knows this. The answer is probably simple: they didn’t set out to make a video camera or making it do that would have nerfed the still imaging aspect in some way so they correctly chose the still imaging over the video imaging. After all, even if it had done 1 day’s worth of video, people that buy full frame DSLR’s for video want the full frame. Otherwise there are cheaper ways to get cropped video with far more framerate options and codec options. But nobody can do 20MP full frame readouts, that is beyond even 6K video.

        • Siech

          I expect usable FX images at ISO 25,600 and DX at ISO 12,800. Anything more is too good to be true. Sony’s A7s II gets usable ISO 25,600 at only 12MP full-frame.

    • modernleica

      I don’t know if the camera records externally in 4k (for example to the Atomos, recorder) I mention this because filming and photographing Theatre performances, I have always used an external recorder. For other uses 3 minutes is actually quite a long time and covers a lot of what a professional would shoot, e.g. a bit of video or a short interview for press purposes. For the work I do each incarnation of the top end D series is like manna from heaven.

      • I’m a fast-moving run and gun type of shooter, so anything bulky that slows me down is bad. I really don’t understand why we should need an external recorder – why shouldn’t the camera be able to do the exact same thing?

        • modernleica

          When I need run and gun type video I would always use a dedicated Video Camera (usually one of the fairly compact Sony cameras). The better depth of field from the Sony is more suitable than the narrow depth from a DSLR. For a lot of work the benefits of the large sensor are overrated and where it is needed or helpful to have a large sensor setup I would use the JVC GY LS 300 with its Super 35 sensor. I would only ever use a DSLR for either short segments or as part of a fixed setup with an external recorder.

      • As I understand, yes, output will be 4K if the recording format is 4K. And:

        For the work I do each incarnation of the top end D series is like manna from heaven.

        As a hobbyist photographer only, I envy you for having reasons to buy D-series cameras…

    • T.I.M

      His name is Peter (but I’m not sure, it may just be a rumor)

    • I think you have a clear reason to complain about the 4K video issue on D5. Maybe Nikon can fixed the touch screen features in D5 through firmware update. The 1.5 crop mode in 4K video might last until the D5s or D500s. But the 3 minutes limit seems to be changeable through firmware too (if Nikon find that many of their customers want that). You can send email to Nikon to ask about the possibility that I mention.

      Anyway, I believe all of the current issues of D5/D500 related to video or touch screen will be fixed in the D5s/D500s, which probably come out two yeas later. But at that time, no 4k slow motion might become an issue for needy people (I didn’t mean you).

      • I’ve actually already heard that complaint about no 60fps, no need to wait for the D5S for it :).

        With my type of shooting I just need to be able to shoot for the length of a song. Ideally I’d like to be able to shoot for the length of a performance, but a song would do. So a roughly 5 minute shooting time would be OK, a 10 minute time would be pretty good, back to the original 20 minute time would be ideal.

        Hopefully we can get that in the new D5S but I don’t really want to wait another two years before upgrading. I suspect that in the end ISO 104k will be enough for me, but this still has me grumbling just because it seems like something that could be so easily corrected.

        • Eric Calabros

          Why not just keep shooting 1080p? It’s super clean and promised to have higher details.

        • David Weinehall

          Only 20 min for a song? Man, you don’t cover progressive bands, do you? 😛

        • Nikkor300f4VR

          Anybody who does not satified the D5 os D5S, we gladly offer a free 5DS from Canon instead.. 😀

  • modernleica

    I wonder if the CF version will ever see the light of day, because not many dealers are listing it.
    I don’t see a lot of point in what is beginning to look like old technology

  • modernleica

    I wonder if the CF version will ever see the light of day?
    I don’t see a lot of point in what is beginning to look like old technology

  • Mike Gordon

    That is a confidential doc, I bet you get a take down notice within 48hrs. Hope they do not make it so difficult this whole site gets whacked.

    • br0xibear

      Hi Mike,
      This is a Support Q&A document, so when you contact Nikon support with a D5 question, this is the document they get their answers from. It’s set out as if the question is coming from a customer, and the answer is pre prepared for the support person to read out.
      It’s not some secret production document, if you read parts it even says “specific blah blah blah are confidential”.
      The only thing being “whacked” is my head on the desk every time I read yet another 3min 4k complaint, lol.

      • The only thing being “whacked” is my head on the desk every time I read yet another 3min 4k complaint, lol.

        Ha ha, indeed!

    • I am not Snowden 🙂 Have you seen how many confidential documents are published on a daily basis on all tech blogs? A lot. Also, I did not sign a NDA with Nikon, so I am not doing anything illegal here.

      • Mike Gordon

        Good luck & know you have been reported. I own my own biz and posting something like this makes my blood boil.

        • Thanks for reporting me. I am sure it was not necessary because Nikon is very aware of the existence of NikonRumors.

  • Question A20 is probably the most “Confidential.” Otherwise, these posted on the official Nikon website would be a great for everyone. A more open Nikon 🙂

    • Rick Johnson

      Most of the potentially meaty answers are responded with “Specifics are Nikon Confidential” anyway (like mirror up/down response time, firmware update future, etc.). This is hardly worthy of the “Confidential” label. Much of this could be determined by reading owner’s manuals and/or comparing specifications between each model.

  • It’s interesting that a number of answers point to improvements done in D810 that have been ported to the D5. I was not aware that D810 has firmware/processing improvements over the D4s.

  • Kevin O’Neil

    As much as I love this site, I am really disappointed that you would publish what you know (and acknowledge) is a confidential document. In order to get this, the person who gave it to you was subject to Nikon’s non-disclosure agreement, which they breached when they gave you a copy. You even blacked-out certain info on the cover page to further conceal the nature of the document. I would hope you will do the right thing and delete the document, and then destroy any copies you have. You should have higher standards than this.

    • That’s what I thought at first, too (see my comment way below). However, after reading the doc, honestly it looks less like a “confidential information” doc and more like “advanced technical details” doc, which _should_ be given to customers. There are needed-to-know details in there that will be very useful for actually using the camera—Nikon manuals are much more fluffy lately…

      But yes, it bothered me a bit too to see the whole doc dump.

      • Kevin O’Neil

        Except the box at the top of the document specifically states that limited info can be provided to customers on a “one-to-one basis only.” This was subject to an NDA.

        • TheInconvenientRuth

          So you would prefer to have LESS information when you’re about to drop $13k on 2 new D5’s? I say THANK YOU anonymous stranger who carelessly left these papers on the Northern Line in the London Underground, only to be found by pure chance by a passerby who decided to send pics of it to Peter to ask him what this wordy technobabble was.

          • Ha ha, that image made me laugh out loud, thanks ☺

      • silmasan

        More like a common FAQ actually.

        “Confidential” as a draft, that’s understandable (e.g. might still need checking/proofing). But yeah, the content should be public anyway. I mean, come on…

    • Ric of The LBC

      I know, right?
      Signed, H. Clinton

    • whisky

      meh. i think thou dost protest too much.

    • Do you understand that most of the information in this blog comes from somebody who is under NDA. Since 2008.

  • Clifford Martin

    The increased amount of photos taken per battery charge (battery life) was one of the things easily seen in the public PDF document that Nikon released comparing the D5, D4S, and D3S, on the bottom of page 8.

  • Medium RAW format? That’s something new…

  • KnightPhoto

    Nice goldmine Admin 😉

    Guys did you notice the better AF under different colour temperatures – this is very welcome, as we have probably all had issues or at least questions about AF under Tungsten. Glad to read this! I’m guessing this applies to the D500 too.

    BTW I never chimed in on the 800-post D500 thread, I’ve got my D500 ordered!

  • Nilanjan Ray

    This seems like an internal FAQ prep doc created by product marketing. To be used by Nikon folks who are authorised to speak to media or potential customers. It is a standard practice to create such docs to support a product launch or any significant announcement.

    Thanks for sharing. Look forward to the D500 edition.

  • Aldo

    The d500 looks even better.

    • silmasan

      It does look great.

      I think the no-flash design will be standard in the pro models, now that they’re pushing for radio flash. You know, *cough cough* there will be more peripherals to buy if/when you need it, and “durability” sounds like a great excuse to justify that. 😉

      Besides, it obviously gave the D500 a clean smooth look at the top. Isn’t that a fair tradeoff already? 😀

      • Siech

        The radio transmitter should be built in. Don’t like attaching things on the camera.

        • Sebastian Rasch

          There is a WU-1 built in but the WT-7 is a lot faster and you need it to connect to Windows/OS X (and therefore Camera Control Pro 2 as well). The WU-1 only supports connections to iOS and Android.
          But you’re right, they could’ve built in at least the radio receiver as well.

  • I want to be a highly creative and ambitious advanced amateur! 🙂

    • Eric Calabros

      With lots of money

  • Clifford Martin

    Without me having to read the entire document, Is there anything in there that explains the thought process or reason for the detachable viewfinder on the D5?

    • Wesley

      Easier to clean & swap out…

    • EnPassant

      Initially I thought Nikon would finally standardize using the same slide-in eyepiece adapter for all cameras. Though with D500 still having a round eyepiece that was apparently not the case.

      Instead it seams the intention is to easier attach a rain cover to the camera.

    • TheInconvenientRuth

      Nikon’s explanation is that it makes it much easier/faster to swap out viewfinder accessories. Before you had to lock down the VF blind, unscrew the accessory, screw in the new one (very fiddly, especially if you also have the folding rubber eye cup!), release the blind. Now you can have covers with different attachments like a Dk17M, or an attached rain cover in the bag and swap them out in seconds.In the D5 PDF brochure they specifically mention one of the benefits as having one assembly with rain cover ready in the bag so it can be mounted and remved in seconds.

  • neonspark

    The video spec is classic nikon. Unlike sony, and canon which have a video line of high end gear to protect, nikon could go all out and not worry about video camera sales taking a hit. Why this camera doesn’t have a v-spec variant like the canon -C is silly as it could easily blow that out of the water as it does with stills given canon intentionally cripples their video spec to protect their other “precious”.

  • Toshik

    Can somebody clarify D5 buffer size?

    On page 4 it is stated: up to 200 14-bit lossless compressed RAW.
    On page 8 Answer 42 is stated that up to 200 but 12-bit lossless compressed images.

    So 14-bit or 12-bit?

    Also does D5 AF system have the same sensitivity as D500
    Central focus point -4EV, all others -3V?

    • Mark

      It is 100% for sure 200 14bit lossless compressed RAW, or 200 with any lesser compression method (i.e. 12bit, jpeg, etc.). It’s also dependent on a fast card to hit 200. The 200 limit is due to heat (I think the D4S could do 200 JPEGs).

  • Mark

    Am I missing something? Almost none of this is new info, and all the answers are canned marketing responses.

  • RMJ

    “Black text can be given to customers on a one to one basis only.”

    Thankfully this was printed black on white.

    • RMJ

      Rather interesting document, by the way.

  • John Wheelwright

    What considerations led to establishing a 3 minute limit to a 4k video? Will this be useful to anyone?

  • whisky

    for 4K UHD movies … ViewNX-i/Movie Editor requires CPU equivalent to an Intel Core i7 or better.

    does this mean all those people who got a discounted 5K i5 Intel Core iMac for Christmas going to be disappointed?

  • Duncan Dimanche

    damn I got exited for the 4.2.2 color in movie mode… but it’s the HDMI output… Not in body so nothing exiting… I mean all DSLs have that now.


  • Andy

    XQD only for europe – what a bunch of a.. holes. Grow up Nikon

  • Jim Huang

    Maybe I’ve missed it, but does it document explains why only 3mins recording for 4K movie?

  • ragamofyn

    Question #1: Dee five. really? how else am I supposed to pronounce it? in the original Nihongo of “Di fu-ai-vu”?

    • TheInconvenientRuth

      That would be D五 or Dee-Go

  • Joe Schmitt

    Question…I have the D4S now and love it (of course). Liking the better sensor, better ISO, dedicated AF sensor, 4K video, large and improved buffer, and dual XQD cards (yes, they’re expensive but they’re fast). Can I get some thoughts and opinions on upgrading to the D5 from the D4S? I understand that I’ll take a little hit on the D4S value but I think the D5 is going to better for me in the long term…as in I won’t have to consider doing this again for a long time. I do like the best of the best.

  • Cherie Goewie

    Thank you for sharing these interesting documents. I have read both (D5 and D 500) and I find it remarkable and disappointing that although the shutter lag of the D500 is mentioned, that of the D5 is not.

  • Lars Holst Hansen

    I do not find this marketing material very useful and it reminds me of the interviews Nikon executives gives sometimes with plenty of non answers. Some questions are not really answered at all, like:
    Q12: “Why are some functions built into the D500 not built into the D5?” A12: “We left these thing out:…”

    It is like this time around, the big brother D5 has been cribbed a bit. I do realize it has been customary to test new technology in less than flagship models but that has mostly been when there was asynchronous introductions according to my memory. I am still puzzled about the D5 3min 4K clip limitation. If D500 can run for 30min without heat issues and D5 can run with HDMI output without heat issues, what makes writing to the card (in several clips) impossible?

  • Nikkor300f4VR

    Hmmm.. Interesting post, thanks! Goood! =)

  • jbourne

    Hello Admin,
    Did Nikon removed the Optical Low Pass Filters on both Nikon D5 and Nikon D500?

  • Odysseas Papageorgiou

    A professional DSLR camera in which you can’t even select the exact
    autofocus sensor you need. Nikon after essentially keeping the same
    system for 8 years in its professional DSLR cameras, although it
    releases updated versions every two years halfway through their product
    life cycle and these cameras are used mainly for sport
    photography (meaning very fast erratically moving subjects which by
    nature demand the best autofocus system) now it replaces the ancient
    system first released with the Nikon D3 back in 2007 with one that
    professional photographers can’t even choose their preferred
    autofocus sensor, because I imagine that Nikon doesn’t trust them that
    they will choose the right one. Another decision by Nikon which
    perfectly illustrates the respect that Nikon has for the professional
    who demand the best equipment in order to cope with the ever increasing
    requirements of their clients. I predict that when the
    Canon EOS 1D
    X Mark II is released will win hands down the Nikon D5 in the autofocus
    department and will further expand the lead which Canon has even more.
    That is unless of course Canon doesn’t repeat any of the mistakes of the
    recent past, but even in which case the current Canon EOS 1D X (in
    photography) & Canon EOS 1D C (in 4K video recording) are already
    superior in comparison to the Nikon D5, although both were released
    almost 4 years ago. By the way, when cameras the size of the second
    generation of the Sony A7 series with in built image stabilization can
    record 4K video internally without overheating, how is that the Nikon D5
    which is almost double in size and without an in build image
    stabilization can’t record 4K video for more than 3 minutes? I guess
    Nikon should have put more resources into bringing into the market
    faster its patent of placing a fan inside its cameras to combat
    overheating, because DSLR cameras the size of the Nikon D5 don’t have
    enough room internally to cool down by themselves. Nikon users welcome
    to 1985 when the autofocus was invented and cameras had a hole in the
    place when the digital sensor is nowadays with the added bonus of
    opening back film chambers so that they wouldn’t need any fans to cool
    down. Have in mind that even back in 1992 Canon EOS 5, which at the time
    was the semi professional model of the Canon SLR line up, had user
    selectable autofocus sensors. I guess that the Nikon D6, after 4 years,
    will feature the same autofocus system with the Nikon D5, since Nikon is
    a professional camera maker which respects tradition, while as an added
    bonus it will feature limited aperture control in fear of diffraction.
    Nikon D7, will be the first professional DSLR camera with 399 autofocus
    sensors, after 8 years Sony first produced such an autofocus module,
    half of which will be of linear type, so that autofocus of moving
    objects isn’t that sharp and thus bring an air of nostalgia to the
    professional photographers who until then they will still prefer DSLR
    cameras for shooting photos and videos, while at the same time it will
    be the first professional DSLR camera to feature only an Auto mode, so
    that professional photographers can focus entirely in composition, while
    leaving aperture, shutter speed and ISO control, which by then based on
    the current rate of ISO range expansion by Nikon will have reach ISO
    values approximately in the region of 839,680,000 with boost but “only”
    6,553,600 native, to the camera. Because Nikon knows best.

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