New Nikon D500 sample photos published online

Nikon published a new set of D500 sample photos online with actual EXIF data (still no full resolution, but one of the pictures is at ISO 51,200).

The previous set of sample photos can be found here.

The Nikon D500 is scheduled to start shipping in March. Additional D500 coverageย can be found here.

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  • Oh, nice. Heavily downsampled, but at least EXIF info! We know that JPEG output doesn’t have atrocious shadows at 51200 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Glen

    I am very interested to see what is actually improved in the RAW files vs D7200 sensor tech. I myself can now get about a stop more out of my D600 using Capture NX-D’s latest best quality noise reduction than I can with OOC JPG’s or older software. I assume this is now built into the Expeed 5 engine.

    • Eric Calabros

      Half stop is a safe bet

  • Tadao_Isogai

    C.S. Ling’s iguana image shot with NR off, according to the EXIF; impressive results in the dark areas.

  • sam

    I might be overly excited here, but the 51K ISO looks great, albeit at a small image. Do I have justification for this excitement? The blacks look black and not splotchy, and the green looks pretty intact as well.

    • Politics_Nerd

      Yep. I am WAY excited about this camera. It will be my “distance” rig at basketball games, and I’ll switch to my D750 on the near end. (EDIT: If i don’t just sell the 750 and get two D500s…)

      • Dean

        I think you will find that this camera will resolve as good as if not better than the 750 with 8000 of a sec, better fps, and auto focus. The blacks are amazing. They need to keep with the new configuration with ISO button on all new models. Will wait til mark II 750 comes out and see. Smart to go to 20 mpx too. For weddings and events this is killer camera- and hope the shutter slap is quieter than the 750- it is almost unacceptable for me. My 7100 is twice as quit as the 750

        • Given that this camera is optimised for high FPS, I doubt the shutter will be quiet.

          • PhilK

            Why would you say that? The Canon 7D-II is much quieter than its predecessor, largely because of the improved (bi-directionally motor-driven) mirror mechanism necessary to reduce mirror bounce to make 10FPS practical.

            The D-5 also uses a motor-driven mirror mechanism, something Nikon is touting as a major advance over the D4s. The D-500 may be as well, but they don’t claim this in the brochure.

            In a nutshell, I don’t know why a shutter designed to cycle faster should necessarily be louder than their predecessors. On the contrary, because they are no longer relying on gravity or springs, and instead differentially driving the mirror with a cam so that the speed slows down prior to hitting the mirror stop, not only is mirror bounce reduced, but noise should be too. (In general, higher noise means higher forces being undertaken, and that’s exactly what you don’t want if you want to cycle it faster.)

            • Nowhere did I say mirror. I explicitly said the shutter might not be quiet.

            • PhilK

              Well I dunno… unless you’re an astrophysicist or medical researcher, most of of the shots most of us take involve a mirror flipping up/down at the same time the shutter activates, which is a much larger component of the noise/vibration involved than the shutter itself, in my experience. Call me weird..

        • QuantalQuetzal

          I don’t know if you saw this:

          It basically says that for durability reasons the shutter is all metal and therefore noisier than average. (if I recall correctly)

        • BrainBeat

          If this image is anything to go by then it would seem to be surprisingly as good if not better that a D750 and I know it is very decent in high iso as it is. I would then for sure suggest if anyone is buying a D500 it could easy be your primary body for everyone except those with a D4s or D5 (unless you need the MPX of the 810’s).

          As for the shutter sound of the 750 I find mine plenty quiet on Qc and have never had any complaints at all about it. I would say it is the quietest camera I have used that can still burst. True the 7100 is quieter but as I said you can’t burst with it and be quiet.

  • Pretty impressive, really. That iguana shot is an amazing demo of what one could do with this camera. Imagine what this would look like using Ektachrome 400 pushed to 800…well, the blacks would be the same, that’s for sure.

  • rensuchan

    Even downsampled and likely with some sort of NR, the detail remaining in that ISO 51200 shot is really impressive.

    • Politics_Nerd

      Agreed! I have been shooting basketball games at 12.8k (with my D750) and that iguana shot is blowing my mind. You can see a lot of grain in the background, but it is pleasant and not at all what I would call noise. People have said it is clipped to black in post, but Im not seeing that. Calibrate your monitors, people!

  • doge

    Pretty nice looking jpegs. Looks like the 16-80mm f/2.8-4E will be the kit lens for $3069.95. Not getting any kind of discount with the combo.

    • manhattanboy

      B&H said its actually cheaper to buy them separately if you are interested in both the camera and lens. This is due to some stupid NikonUSA MAP policy for authorized resellers.

      • Politics_Nerd

        Nikon USA is why I buy grey market. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Andrew

    Small sized (D500) picture but an amazingly high ISO 51200 color image. And the background is pretty dark. I wonder whether the camera is seeing better in the dark than we could possibly do.

    Since Nikon designed the image sensors of the D500 and D5 with quite likely better dynamic range and better low light performance, I wonder whether additional refinement was made with Sony’s 0.005 lux image sensor technology developed for the commercial automobile market.

    Here is Sony’s claim: “This sensor is capable of capturing high-resolution color images even in light conditions as low as 0.005 lux, a level equivalent to that of a moonless night and one that is far below illumination levels under a star-filled night sky.”

  • John Picking

    They got me with the iguana! Not discounting the kit lens is a little silly though.

    • Allen_Wentz

      It is a pretty good US$1000+ lens. My guess is Nikon does not want it perceived as a “kit” lens from a branding standpoint. But then again, they did discount the 24-120 as a kit to move the D810 cameras likely to soon be upgraded. Probably they are very sure that they do not need to be discounting the excellent D500/16-80 combo.

      • KnightPhoto

        Nikon Canada just came out with a kit price that gets us $400 off on the 16-80. So I switched my D500 preorder to the kit. I always meant to get a 24-120 but never got around to it.

        I’d be interested in any comments on just how sharp it is thru the 16-50 range wide open? Especially compared to the 24-70G that I use wide open all the time. I may be able to sacrifice my 24-70/D800E if the 16-80/D500 is that good. I note the 16-80 is only ยฝ stop slower (or less) thru the 24-70 FOV range. Would be a nice addition to my D5 fund which otherwise is a long stretch.

  • outkasted

    Looking at these images I am impressed. The DX people portrait looking just as clean as my D700/D3 images! This camera I would not hesitate to use during this years concert events where low light photography is KING. I will eventually get that D5 but not until at least another year.

    • Rick Jawsome

      Sorry to break it to you, there are a lot of Nikon Cameras made in the last 8+ years that give cleaner images than your D3 and D700..

      • Max

        And they are all FX, right?

        • Mihai Pascu

          Nop, they aren’t. I had a D700 and have lots of photos shot with it. I would take the D7200 any day for image quality, be it color, dr or noise. The D7200 high ISO look far better to my eyes doesn’t matter if print or display

          • Max

            I was referring to Rick’s comment: “a lot of Nikon cameras that came out over the last 8 years that makes cleaner images than the D700 and D3”. Are any of those cameras that came out DX’es?

            • Mihai Pascu

              And the answer is: Yes. Take any modern DX, a D5500 for example. Take same shots with the newest DX and the D700. Post process the images to get the best you can out of both. Normal view on a print, TV or monitor. For me, the newest DX look much better than older FX.
              Personally, today I’d buy a D750 any day instead of going large DX (D7200 or D500) but I see the appeal of this new D500 for people in the need for speed. In the past you had only 2 options: Spend 6500$ for a D4s (which many don’t have) or go to Canon (7D MK II). Now Nikon have an option which is very good. There is also the benefit of more reach from your lenses (compared to D5) so it can be used as a D5 complement.

      • Mihai Pascu

        Nop, they aren’t. I had a D700 and have lots of photos shot with it. I would take the D7200 any day for image quality, be it color, dr or noise. The D7200 high ISO look far better to my eyes doesn’t matter if print or display

      • Allen_Wentz

        Sure there are “Nikon Cameras made in the last 8+ years that give cleaner images,” but few of those cameras (other than the very expensive D4 and the relatively slow D8xx) have the full pro features and build of the D3. Some of us care quite a bit about pro features and build, finding pro features and build necessary to actually _capture_ those “cleaner images” under enterprise-critical conditions.

        In this case we have a reasonably fast apparently full-pro DX body at a civilized price point providing images via the small DX sensor that clearly transcend the D3. As a D3 owner I am, like outkasted, impressed.

      • outkasted

        UMMM YEAH… but i was not interested in those cameras ๐Ÿ™‚ My D700 and D3 have still served me well especially in low light scenarios. Its why we have the new cameras of the past eight years… #iamyourfather #D3 #D700 #bowdown ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Originaru

    Why so long to release a full jpeg at least?

    • catinhat

      Because it’s amazing

    • Politics_Nerd

      It’s called the long tease. They are probably still tweaking the software, too.

  • Horshack

    Regarding the ISO 51k image, the shadows appear clipped to black in post so I wouldn’t draw any conclusion from the absence of shadow noise.

    • hp

      Thought the same, and as the iguana is lighted with a strobe it’s hard to judge whether or not the D500 is amazingly good for indoor event and sports shooting in available light.

    • manhattanboy

      Its hard to judge anything from these tiny, tiny jpegs. At least they could have released the full size jpegs instead of these iPhone sized pics. I am also disappointed by the lack of action shots. Show some bird examples as this camera is likely to be coveted by that user segment.

      The one thing that struck me as disappointing is that both the pic of the motorcycle jumping off the ramp and the one of the tightrope walker look a little soft, likely because the aperture is stopped down to 10 or greater. I would have liked to see examples of the new AF being able to track subjects to give tack sharp results at wider apertures like 2.8. If these are the “showcase” pics for this camera, I am starting to get nervous about my pre-order. Hopefully its just a clueless marketing department…

      • AlphaTed

        The tightrope shot was taken from a drone, @ 1/320s.
        They should have increased the shutter speed and used a higher ISO.

  • Danzig

    Here’s a link to high res images (I apologize if it’s posted before):

    Really really impressive!

  • stormwatch

    Which current Camera company can compete with IQ like this one? NO ONE! 2016 and some next 5 years are the years of NIKON!

    • QuantalQuetzal

      O RLY?

      • stormwatch


        • manhattanboy

          January 16, 1971


          I note with interest the two references to spelling which occur in your issue of December 26th, in particular the letter of Mr D. L. Cattley. Proposals for revision of the orthography are regularly produced, and just as regularly dismissed, but in this case it might be interesting to examine orthographical revision in some detail.

          Unlike metrication, any reform in spelling should preferably take place over a long period of time in order to prevent confusion (freight=frate; eight=ate?). It should also be completely coherent, and the invention of new letters (vide the pseudo-Icelandic known as ITA) or the assumption of many diacritical marks, such as bespatter the pages of modern Slavonic texts, should, so far as possible, be avoided.

          It was suggested โ€” by, among others, G. B. Shaw โ€” that a convenient method of revision would involve the alteration or deletion of one letter, or associated group of letters, per year, thus giving the populace time to absorb the change.

          For example, in Year 1, that useless letter ‘c’ would be dropped to be replased by either ‘k’ or ‘s’, and likewise ‘x’ would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which ‘c’ would be retained would be in the ‘ch’ formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might well reform ‘w’ spelling, so that ‘which’ and ‘one’ would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish ‘y’, replasing it with ‘i’, and Iear 4 might fiks the ‘g/j’ anomali wonse and for all.

          Jeneralli, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear, with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing the vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Ier 15 or sou, it wud fainali be posible tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez ‘c’, ‘y’ and ‘x’ โ€” bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez โ€” tu riplais ‘ch’, ‘sh’ and ‘th’ rispektivli.

          Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers of orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld. Haweve, sins xe Wely, xe Airiy, and xe Skots du not spik Ingliy, xei wud hev to hev a speling siutd tu xer oun lengwij. Xei kud, haweve, orlweiz lern Ingliy az a sekond lengwij at skuul!

          Iorz feixfuli,

          M. J. Yilz

      • stormwatch

        Bribdi Breaky!

    • Trond Arild Ydersbond

      You done comparison shots with the Sony A7rII?

  • greg606

    No noise at 51k? Incredible

    • Politics_Nerd

      Agreed. I may sell my D750 and get two of these! (Instead of keeping the 750 and just getting one D500… ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

      • greg606


    • Trond Arild Ydersbond

      With any current high quality sensor, getting rid of noise up to ca ISO 50000 is mostly a question of downsampling enough, with the best available algorithms. I think you might get something quite similar (albeit not quite as good) from the D7200 if Nikon would give you the algorithms used in the D500 jpeg engine. But in all likelihood, they won’t ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Wade Marks

    A little while back on the dpreview forums, there was a discussion on which sensor was used in the D500. The people who know something about this looked at the pics of the D500 image sensor post by Nikon, looked at some other images of Sony Exmor sensors, and came to the conclusion that the D500 uses a new type of Sony stacked sensor. They came to the conclusion by looking at the patterns of leads and such on the chip and comparing. Of course nothing concrete, but interesting.

    • PhilK

      Don’t forget that it’s quite likely that Nikon has special bespoke versions of those sensors that no one else gets. Even if the sensor is not literally a completely unique Nikon designed and made item, if they are buying sensors manufactured by Sony, the physical container may look similar, but that doesn’t mean the sensor itself is identical.

    • Maji

      I believe that Nikon engineers designed the sensors for D5 and D500. I believe it was in one of interviews published in a photo magazine based in the UK.

  • MattfromNikon

    Nice to see some shots finally. However, this down-sampled 8-bit Jpeg file doesn’t reveal too much I’m afraid.
    This shot was furthermore taken with some sort of assisting light to illuminate the subject and eliminate most of the noise in the process.

    I’m sure they have tweaked the Jpeg engine even further compared to the D7200, but I wouldn’t expect there to be any major advantages over the D7200 when shooting RAW. Most likely the Jpegs files will be cleaner due to a newer Jpeg engine.

    Would like to see the sensor RAW performance of this DX sensor. I think that it still will be far behind from most of the FX sensors in terms of high ISO noise.

    • I agree. The 51200 shot is impressive. But why they used such a high ISO is a misery. The WB is equal to day light which means it should be flash. The shutter speed is below flash limit. Do u need such a high ISO especially for such a close subject with flash? Otherwise the light source is something else wich is not very powerful but has same color temperature as flash/daylight. Anyhow I’m not expecting miracle here. But wish it happen ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Allen_Wentz

        I would think they used high ISO to show what ISO can do. And they impressed me.

      • Trond Arild Ydersbond

        Is there anything to indicate extra lighting here? The exposure corresponds to 1/160 f/1.4 @ISO1600. Hardly a lot of light. I think the point is to illustrate that you may use it for closeup/macro shooting (f/8) in natural light, provided you downsample enough. Which is useful information for me.

  • Politics_Nerd

    WOW. Looks awesome at 51.2k! I hit the wall with my D750 at 12.8k.. Amazing for a small sensor!

  • Nikos Delhanidis

    why nikon don’t release full resolution images?

    • Politics_Nerd

      They’re bigger than the ones released by Pentax for their new FF body… We may have to wait for reviewers to post full rez pics. I can’t wait to see the RAWs at 51.2k.

    • Allen_Wentz

      My guess is these are images from pre-production cameras and Nikon does not want to distribute full size pix until they are coming from production-line cameras, which may vary slightly (often better). Just a guess.

    • Trond Arild Ydersbond

      Simply because they want to show how good it can be, not how bad it can be. And I think they are fully justified at that. Full resolution IQ of 20+ MP DX@2000+ ISO can never be excellent. You may, for example, study the RAW studio samples at DPreview.

    • CERO

      theres some higher resolution ones in the nikon site.. see

  • TheRealestInDaHood

    First D500s will probably have chamaleon scales on the sensor…:D

  • D700s

    I would like to see something from the D5 since that’s what I’m interested in. The D500 looks great and I know it’s captured the spotlight but a tidbit on the flagship would be nice. Thanks for giving us what you can dig up Peter.

    • Trond Arild Ydersbond

      I don’t know much about sensor technology, but my understanding is that the BSI (if I am correct) that is likely applied in the D500 gives diminished returns with larger pixels. The present DXOmark sensor champ is the 43 MP Sony ArII, which may have pixel structure similar to D500. Looking at the measurement details for that sensor is quite interesting. Possibly, the D5 doesn’t distinguish itself in a similar manner. So Nikon may be less interested in presenting details.

  • Ritvar Krum

    that 51 000 iso does look pretty detailed, obviously shadows is made black cuz there was a noise mess, but that detail level is impressive at that high iso – I am less skeptical now (still am – cuz D7200 vs D71000 bumped 2 full stops native iso, but in real life there is not even 0,3 stop real isio preformance – so those 2 full stops was just PR marketing fluff – and it was so recent and first in history so blatant – and now this – “1,6 millooon IZZO” PR fluff – still skeptical)

    • PhilK

      I think you have to look at what they claim for the “normal” ISO range.

      Over the years Nikon has drastically expanded the amount of stops of increase the “expanded” range gives. Nikon started providing the “expanded ISO” options starting with the D2Hs in 2005, with one stop expansion. I did a survey of all the models that have that option, and it seems they set a new record of 5 stops with the D5/D500 ๐Ÿ˜‰

      D3: 6400 / 25,600 (2 stops expansion)
      D700: 6400 / 25,600 (2 stops expansion)
      D3s: 12800 / 102400 (3 stops expansion)
      D3x: 1600 / 6400 (2 stops expansion)
      Df: 12800 / 204,800 (4 stops expansion)
      D4: 12800 / 204800 (4 stops expansion)
      D4s: 25600 / 409600 (4 stops expansion)
      D5: 102400 / 3280000 (5 stops expansion)

      D610: 6400 / 25600 (2 stops expansion)
      D750: 12800 / 51200 (2 stops expansion)
      D800: 6400 / 25600 (2 stops expansion)
      D810 12800 / 51200 (2 stops expansion)

      D2Hs: 1600 / 6400 (2 stops expansion)
      D2Xs: 800 / 3200 (2 stops expansion)
      D300: 3200 / 6400 (1 stop expansion)
      D300s: 3200 / 6400 (1 stop expansion)
      D7000: 6400 / 25600 (2 stops expansion)
      D7100: 6400 / 25600 (2 stops expansion)
      D7200: 25,000 (NO expansion)
      D500: 51200 / 1640000 (5 stops expansion)

      D40: 1600 / 3200 (1 stop expansion)
      D60: 1600 / 3200 (1 stop expansion)
      D80: 1600 / 3200 (1 stop expansion)
      D90: 3200 / 6400 (1 stop expansion)

    • Trond Arild Ydersbond

      Sure – I think the top of this “extended range” nowadays mean: “Once in a while you may happen to get something usable out of it, if you look at it from far enough” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Cristian

    I think these samples are absolutely useless: Nikon says that it’s a shot taken at iso 51200 with a 60mm. It’s ok, but how can I evaluate the quality of a picture downsampled to 1Mpx only?

    • Allen_Wentz

      How? Shoot a similar pic at 51200 with one of your existing cameras and compare.

      I do not think the point is to be able to fully evaluate likely pre-production camera JPEGs so much as it is to impress us. And I for one am impressed by what is coming out of a US$2k pro-build DX Nikon.

    • Trond Arild Ydersbond

      Simply by studying it! I think evaluation 50K ISO at full resolution is a waste of time, we know it must be quite bad if it is exposed the ordinary way. If base ISO is 100, and full well capacity is 50 000 (it may be less), highlights have about 500 electrons, darker areas maybe 100, for a shot noise S/N of 10 – read noise comes in addition. Which may translate to OK outlines, but not very much of greytones and color precision.
      So the real interesting question here is: If the image is downsampled to a format where IQ is acceptable, will it still be usable for some purposes? I think the iguana sample shows that the answer is yes. But maybe ca 2MP is, generally, max resolution for acceptable IQ at ISO51200?

  • PhilK

    Heh. Read that before but didn’t remember that part.

    Tho the better comparison would be the 7200, I think. The D810 (the model they contrasted it with in that internal doc) is pretty slow by today’s standards, only 5 FPS max.

  • CERO
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