Nikon D5/D500 weekend reading list

A quick weekend recap of all Nikon D5/D500 posts from this blog and around the Web:


Nikon D5


Nikon D500

Nikon D5/D500 coverage from around the Web:

Nikon D5

"Because this camera is designed for use by the world's top photojournalist and sports photographers, in what could often be less-than-deal conditions, it is built extremely tough. The entire body is constructed from magnesium alloy and it is fully weather-sealed. The shutter is also rated to 400,000 actuations." (dpreview)

However, with no cards in the camera to save test snaps we couldn't record how fast the camera will write files - but Nikon's claim is that the buffer is good for 200 successive NEF raw files at this pace. Wows. Such a data rate also means video capture now reaches 4K UHD (3,840 x 2160) resolution at up to 30fps. (pocket-lint)

But the coolest addition has nothing to do with buttons. It's the new 3.2-inch fixed touchscreen XGA LCD, which allegedly works even when you're wearing gloves. It isn't used for menu navigation, but it has smartphone-esque functions for things like selecting an AF point, zooming in on photos to check focus, and even—finally!—using spot white balance in live view. (reviewed)

Nikon D500

"As you would expect, the D500 feels very solid in your hands and there's no doubt this camera is intended to be a workhorse. The top and rear of the camera are magnesium alloy, while the front is made of carbon fiber. Nikon claims it has the same level of weather sealing as the D810." (dpreview)

Nikon also seems to have improved the contrast detection AF system that operates when the camera is in live view or video mode. Even in quite low light I found it quicker and smoother than the systems in Nikon's other DX format cameras. It's not as fast as the phase detection system that operates when images are composed in the viewfinder, or as fast as the best systems in compact system cameras, but it's good and my first impressions are that it would be practical to use when the camera is hand-held. Manual focus is still likely to be the preferred option for video shooters though. (techradar)

My initial shooting indicates that noise is controlled well in the standard sensitivity range (ISO 100-51,200) and even the lower expansion settings, but I’m yet to be convinced that the uppermost setting (ISO 1,640,000) will produce usable results. Time and a full production sample will tell. (digitalcameraworld)

We tested out the camera's continuous autofocus (AF-C) mode with 3D, 153- and 72-point arrangements on the CES show floor and it's lightning fast, slipping between subject depths at pace, while locking onto subjects with a subtle depress of the shutter.

From the short time we've handled the D500 we think Nikon is onto a real winner. It's got more than enough smarts to stand out beyond the Canon EOS 70D, as the kind of prosumer top-end camera many will have been waiting for. It's far quicker than the top-end compact system camera stock too, without the bulk associated with a giant full-frame camera, such as the Nikon D5. (pocket-lint)

Nikon D500: C.S.Ling On Assignment in Borneo (one of the four D500 promo photographers Nikon used)

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  • Cool, thanks for keeping us up to date with whatever has been published until actual reviews arrive!

  • D700s

    Waiting for a post it’s shipping…

  • Ryan

    Thank you for your time and effort admin. Really appreciate what you do!

  • SiestaKey1

    D5 with dual XQD ordered. Now I wait (very impatiently).

    • T.I.M

      Well, you have 3 months to exercise your muscles and get ready to handle the beast !

      • SiestaKey1

        59 days to launch day! I already carried the D4S so I’m already ripped from carrying that beast. LOL! It’s not bad when I use my Black a Rapid strap. It’s all worth it for this camera.

        • Jeff Hunter

          I’ve been using a Black Rapid RS-7 with my D800 since last summer. Best camera strap I’ve ever owned!

          • SiestaKey1

            I agree! Super comfortable and it takes most of the camera weight very well. I also have the dual strap when I’m carrying two bodies. Goes on like a backpack and the cameras stay put. I hate seeing other “pros” using the stock straps and continually slinging $10K camera/lens combos over their shoulder. Too much risk of damage for that!

            • Carleton Foxx

              I thought black rapid straps have some kind of flaw that made them break and drop the camera.

            • Joe Schmitt

              I’ve heard of that but I’ve used the s**t out of my DR-1 and it’s been fine. No issues at all and very comfortable.

            • Jeff Hunter

              You just have to make sure that the latch pin stays completely screwed in. If it becomes unscrewed there’s a possibility under unusual circumstances the latch opens and disengages from the camera.

            • ninpou_kobanashi

              The hook that mounts to the camera has a safety screw that tends to unwind on it’s own. Dropped my D800.


              Had to get the HDMI port replaced after that tumble.

              But, I consider it more user error than anything else.

          • Aldo

            I use the Chinese knock off version and had prime rib

          • Same here. I have several Black Rapid straps and use them with a D4 and D800 and never had a problem.

            I believe the reports of issues come from either pilot error or from the forum fear mongers.

  • Photobug

    Great work Peter pulling this together for both cameras. That should help those interested in learning more about either one.

  • T.I.M

    I will wait for reviews, but I may consider buying a D500 to use with my AF-I 400mm f/2.8
    If the new 20MP sensor have a better dynamic range it will help for bright birds.
    The improved AF would help for wildlife pictures (I don’t do sports)

    • Aldo

      Better DR than what? A full frame?

      • Morris

        on par with low end FF (1-2 years old models, not upcoming refresh) or top end latest DX ?

        • Aldo

          The d600 sensor is like 3 years old now… I dont think it will match that or be near it dynamic range wise…. however I do think (and hope) we will see great improvements in other areas like sharpness… color tones, white balance etc.

  • @NikonRumors:disqus I found some image taken with D500 here

  • Morris

    few days to my new d7200, my piggybank is laughing loudly at me

  • aarif

    I prefer FFs but if it’s as good as a D750 at 12800 i’ll get one

    • Nikos Delhanidis

      It won’t.

      • PhilK

        Why wouldn’t it be?

  • QuantalQuetzal

    What do you think? Are we going to see some actual reviews before the cameras get released to the end users?

  • silmasan

    I like the D500 picture in the dark. With its round eyepiece, makes it easy to visualize the next (D8xx) FX body.

  • marlcoro

    Is there any info on Europe availability date and price?

  • this link was already included in my post

  • MonkeySpanner

    I am a little surprised that Nikon has not upadated the 17-55/2.8 lens in – what is it now – almost 15 years. What normal zoom does nikon expect users to put on this body? Or is the new 16-85 supposed to replace it?

    • I presume so.

      I have the 17-55 from yonder years and it’s bloody hard to get a second hand sell on them for anything but peanuts.

      I presume 16 at 2.8 isn’t too bad and 80 @ f/4 is reasonable given VR.

    • PhilK

      Quite possibly. The 16-80 has an electronic aperture, and while it is variable 2.8-4, it is much smaller/lighter than the 17-55, and is the only other “gold stripe” mid-range DX zoom.

  • VanHoff

    Ok, I have a theory regarding the diffident way Nikon started to introduce 4k video on the Dslr line D5/D500.

    The big public associates Nikon sensors with Sony, even when the Flagship cameras from Nikon (D3/D4/ D5?) have Nikon brand sensors inside instead of Sony ones; this perception plays a big role (for the eyes and minds of that big public) given the case Nikon engenieers get encouraged to put DECENT video specs in future Nikon professional bodies.

    Imagine that Nikon puts out a D850 with video capabilities like an A7R II, or similar… that will be a hard punch in the face of Sony, why?: one reason is given the few and expensive (nowadays) lenses Sony offers to their customers, it looks more atractive for many people to get the huge lenses offer that Nikon has and (in most cases) for less price. Nikon is already evolving some lenses to perform better with video on Dlsrs, for instance the E (Electromagnetic Diaphragm) lenses, but it is doing it slowly…

    Have in count the (again) diffident way that Sony has been making available the full range of exploitable photographic quality out of the A7xx series, it was not until the “end” of 2015, if I’m not mistaken, that Sony finally gave green light to the A7R II to record uncompressed 14bit raws with a firmware update.

    For me it is evident that Nikon and Sony have some kind of arrangement to have the other brand out of the polyvalence -or get it delayed as much as possible while the A7 series forge a reputation- of presenting cameras capable of performing such a high level on both fields. I’m pretty sure that a camera which can deliver 14bit uncompressed raws and 4k professional video (10bit and 4:2:2 as minimum) could have been crafted by Nikon or Sony for a reasonable time now, and with great profit margins (if they offer it at the price of a D810)… that’s what all Nikonians* are expecting, am I wrong?

    *Canon users also, but they already have a whole spectrum of Canon cameras performing it.

    • PhilK

      I think there may be a bit of, if not formal, informal expectation that Sony/Nikon do not directly “step on each other’s feet” competitively. This is natural for organizations that have constructive partnerships.

      But when it comes to video features, Nikon really is an amateur compared to Canon or especially Sony. Those other companies have vastly more experience, background and infrastructure dedicated to that market. So honestly I think a lot of the reason we don’t see cutting-edge video features in Nikon DSLRs is simply because A) this is not a central emphasis or interest of Nikon’s imaging department, and B) they do not have the cinema/video background and research and industry contacts etc that a company like Canon or especially Sony does, so they are not as likely to be incorporating “specialist/cutting edge” video features as quickly as those other companies.

      Which is just fine for me, because I don’t buy Nikon equipment for shooting video. In fact, I prefer that Nikon not expend resources on video functionality, because those are resources that will be taken away from the still photo research/development, and in some cases will cause functionality compromises. (Eg: people all griping about how the D5 only shoots 3min of 4K video. I don’t think many of those people realize that the characteristics of hardware design that might make that practical, may well mean making compromises in the technical characteristics of still photo production. I’d prefer they don’t make such compromises, personally.)

  • 247th

    Does the D5/D500 have a favorite function? Canon has had this. I want it for photoshoots instead of sifting through 200 photos from a session on the computer via mouse and keyboard. Let me put that touchscreen to good use.

    • Piooof

      The D500 has two user-definable buttons (one in front, one in the back).

      • 247th

        But is one of those definitions a “star rating” or a “I liked this photo” ? So when I export into Lightroom, pictures I’ve marked as “good” area preselected for me.
        Definable buttons sounds like programmable or customizable keys I want the ability to mark images I deem the best of the shoot from camera : )!

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