Nikon announced not one but two Nikon D5 – What’s new?

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Nikon has announced its most powerful camera in Nikon history – Nikon D5. The Nikon D5 is available in two versions;  one supports 2x XQD cards and one supports 2x CF cards. What’s new in this flagship DSLR? Let’s check out the new features.

  • 20.8MP (5568×3712)
  • 153 autofocus point with 99 point cross types and wide AF coverage
  • 180K pixel RGB metering sensor
  • ISO up to 102,400 (extended to ISO 3,280,000)
  • EXPEED 5
  • 4K video at 30p
  • 12 fps/14 fps with mirror lock up
  • Touch responsive 3.2” 2.4k dot LCD
  • Supports radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting
  • Available in two versions either 2x XQD card slots or 2x CF card slots
  • USB 3.0
  • 3780 shots per charge with EN-EL18a battery
  • Ergonomic design updates on top and back panels.
  • Weight 1.4kg
  • Available in March, 2016

You can order your Nikon D5 here [Dual CF | Dual XQD]

 

It has been nearly four years since the introduction of D4. The new Nikon D5 maintain its professional magnesium body with some minor ergonomic design updates on the top and back panels. Noticeably the mode, bracketing, ISO and flash mode buttons have been repositioned. Much needed USB 3.0 is now included in the D5. The D5 is also the first Nikon full-frame DSLR to incorporate control for its new radio controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting system.

In terms of the main specification, the resolution has increased from 16MP to 20.8MP, a merely 4MP increase similar to the update received from Nikon D3 to Nikon D4 (12MP to 16MP) back in 2012. Personally, I would like to see the Nikon D5 to have at least 24MP. One of the significant changes to the Nikon D5 see a completely re-vamped autofocus sensor module. This sensor module offers 153 focus points (99 of which are cross-type sensors) for a wider coverage of the entire image area. The centre focus point has a detection range beginning at an incredible -4 EV, enabling autofocusing even under extremely dim lighting. A larger AF coverage is probably one of the most requested features by photographers, it is great to see Nikon has finally implemented it on the D5. The greater coverage would see more accurate and improve subject tracking around the edge of the frame. In addition, the Nikon D5 has improved the metering system to 180K-pixel RGB sensor to ensure that extremely reliable AF performance and exposure are demonstrated in all situation.

For ISO Nikon has decided to keep the flagship D5 at 20MP paying much attention to its high ISO performance. The native ISO has increased by 2 stops from 25,600 to 102,400, so you can expect the ISO performance to be better than the Nikon D4S by about 1-2 stops. I would expect the Nikon D5 to produce a clean image up to ISO 6400-12,800. The Nikon D5 offers an extended ISO range up to 3 millions, that’s probably not a setting you want to use but it shows how powerful cameras have become.

As 4K video becoming a standard these days, it is not a surprise to see Nikon has included 4K video @ 30p in the D5. This is quite a huge jump from the Nikon D4S which only offer 1080p @ 60p.

The frame rate has increase slightly up to 12fps/14fps with mirror lock up. While the difference compare to the Nikon D4S is minimal, it is great to see Nikon is pushing the D5 even further.

One of the most controversial feature back in the Nikon D4 was the inclusion of a XQD slot. Four years later, Nikon continues to believe in XQD which sees them to introduce two models of the Nikon D5; one with 2x XQD slots and one with 2x CF slots. I don’t shoot a lot of fps, so my preference is still with CF cards but I could only imagine you need the absolute fastest slot if you are to shoot 20MP at 12fps. What do you think CFast or XQD? Leave a comment below.

 

Primary features

1. Next-generation Intelligent AF System

An exciting addition to the D5 is an all-new AF system with Nikon’s first dedicated AF processor. The Multi-CAM 20K AF sensor module offers superior AF performance with 153 AF points, including 99 cross-type sensors – triple the AF points from Nikon’s previous flagship, the D4S. Of these 153 points, 55 AF points/35 cross-type points are selectable by photographers to quickly and easily frame any shot. The system is configurable in 153, 72 and 25-point coverage when used with Continuous AF, allowing for stellar AF tracking performance of even the most rapidly moving subjects throughout the frame. Fifteen of the AF points are also functional up to f/8, further aiding those who require extreme telephoto capabilities, including wildlife photographers. This all-new AF system is coupled with a new 180K pixel RGB metering system and Advanced Scene Recognition System, helping to achieve optimally balanced exposures and accurate white balance in even the most challenging light.

*At ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F

2. High-speed continuous shooting at approx. 12 fps with swift subject tracking

The D5 is capable of high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 12 fps*1 (w/ AF and AE tracking) in all image quality modes and at all ISO sensitivity settings. What’s more, adoption of a new mirror drive mechanism achieves a more stable viewfinder image that makes continuous tracking of rapidly moving subjects easy, even with high-speed continuous shooting. Further, up to 200*2 12-bit lossless compressed RAW images can be captured with a single burst of continuous shooting.

*1Possible in Continuous high speed (CH) release mode with shutter speeds of 1/250 s or faster

*2When Lexar Professional 2933x XQD 2.0 memory cards are used

3. Exhilarating Image Quality

The Nikon D5 delivers on the promise of stunning image quality with the adoption of a new, Nikon-developed 20.8-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor. The camera is designed to achieve the optimized balance between the large full-frame sensor size, resolution and the new EXPEED 5 image processing engine. Users can be confident that images will have enhanced sharpness and clarity, faithful skin tones and the unequalled dynamic range that Nikon pros have come to love. EXPEED 5 also helps to enhance noise reduction, letting photographers take full advantage of the D5’s immense ISO range. When paired with legendary NIKKOR optics, the D5 is truly a tool to help photographers capture the sharpest images possible with astounding clarity and radiant colours.

4. Exceptional ISO sensitivity

The low light performance of the D5 might make it a legend. With Nikon’s widest native ISO range (100 to 102,400) and highest expanded range (up to Hi-5 ISO 3,280,000), advancements in noise reduction and colour fidelity and a next-generation AF system that performs in near darkness (EV -4), a world of new shooting opportunities has opened. Capture clear, sharp images you may not have attempted before—at night, in dark reception halls, arenas and more. For surveillance and security applications, this expanded ISO range means getting a shot others can’t see without a flash.

5. Cinematic brilliance with 4K UHD (30p) movie capability

For the first time in a full-frame Nikon DSLR, record 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) video with dot-by-dot readout for maximum image quality. Capture 3840 x 2160 at 30/25/24p with an angle of view approx. 1.5x lens focal length, or record Full HD 1080 video at 60/30/24p. Shoot stunning 4K UHD Time-lapse, right in camera. Auto ISO handles smooth lighting transitions from ISO 200 to the sensitivity of your choice (all the way up to Hi-5). Enjoy all the professional video capabilities of D4S and D810—simultaneous external and internal recording, Flat Picture Control, Zebra Stripes, a built-in stereo microphone with 20-step increment adjustments and so much more. Combine the D5’s low light capabilities and the versatility of NIKKOR lenses, and your next video project is bound to be acclaimed.

6. Improved functionality and streamlined workflows

  • A high-resolution 3.2-in., approx. 2,359k-dot touch screen LCD monitor
  • Adoption of a touch screen for the display monitor enables nimble confirmation and high-speed navigation of a large number of images using a frame advance bar, and supports an efficient workflow with text input and the like. The large 3.2-inch, approximately 2,359k-dot high-resolution monitor enables extremely clear display with live view photography, even when the display is enlarged, for fast focus confirmation.
  • Connect through wired and wireless networks
  • The communications system has been significantly improved to support communications twice as fast as with the D4S, with both wired networks using the Ethernet connector built into the D5, and wireless networks when the new Wireless Transmitter WT-6/A/B/C (available separately) is used with the D5.
  • Versatile image storage options
  • Two versions of the D5 are available. Both are equipped with double memory card slots supporting a single media type; one XQD cards and one CompactFlash cards.

Full Specification

Type of camera
Type Single-lens reflex digital camera
Lens mount Nikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)
Effective angle of view Nikon FX format
Effective pixels
Effective pixels 20.8 million
Image sensor
Image sensor 35.9 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor
Total pixels 21.33 million
Dust-reduction system Image sensor cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (Capture NX-D software required)
Storage
Image size(pixels)
  • FX (36×24) image area: 5568 x 3712 (L), 4176 x 2784 (M), 2784 x 1856 (S)
  • 1.2x (30×20) image area: 4640 x 3088 (L), 3472 x 2312 (M), 2320 x 1544 (S)
  • DX (24×16) image area: 3648 x 2432 (L), 2736 x 1824 (M), 1824 x 1216 (S)
  • 5:4 (30×24) image area: 4640 x 3712 (L), 3472 x 2784 (M), 2320 x 1856 (S)
  • Photographs taken during movie recording at a frame size of 3840 x 2160: 3840 x 2160
  • FX-format photographs taken during movie recording at a frame size of 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720: 5568 x 3128 (L), 4176 x 2344 (M), 2784 x 1560 (S)
  • DX-format photographs taken during movie recording at a frame size of 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720: 3648 x 2048 (L), 2736 x 1536 (M), 1824 x 1024 (S)
  • Photographs taken during movie recording at a frame size of 1920 x 1080 crop: 1920 x 1080
File format
  • NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit (lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed); large, medium, and small available (medium and small images are recorded at a bit depth of 12 bits using lossless compression)
  • TIFF (RGB)
  • JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8) or basic (approx. 1:16) compression; optimal quality compression available
  • NEF (RAW)+JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Picture Control system Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape and Flat; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls
Storage media
  • XQD-Type (Models for use with XQD cards): XQD cards
  • CF-Type (Models for use with CompactFlash cards): Type I CompactFlash memory cards (UDMA7 compliant)
Double card slots Slot 2 can be used for overflow or backup storage or for separate storage of copies created using NEF+JPEG; pictures can be copied between cards
File system DCF 2.0, Exif 2.3, PictBridge
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Eye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
Frame coverage
  • FX (36×24): Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical
  • 1.2x (30×20): Approx. 97% horizontal and 97% vertical
  • DX (24×16): Approx. 97% horizontal and 97% vertical
  • 5:4 (30×24): Approx. 97% horizontal and 100% vertical
Magnification Approx. 0.72x (50 mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1)
Eyepoint 17 mm (-1.0 m-1; from center surface of viewfinder eyepiece lens)
Diopter adjustment -3 to +1 m-1
Focusing screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark IX screen with AF area brackets (framing grid can be displayed)
Reflex mirror Quick return
Depth-of-field preview Pressing Pv button stops lens aperture down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or by camera (P and S modes)
Lens aperture Instant return, electronically controlled
Lens
Compatible lenses Compatible with AF NIKKOR lenses, including type G, E, and D lenses (some restrictions apply to PC lenses), DX lenses (using DX [24×16] 1.5x image area), AI-P NIKKOR lenses, and non-CPU AI lenses (exposure modes A and M only); IX-NIKKOR lenses, lenses for the F3AF, and non-AI lenses cannot be used: The electronic rangefinder can be used with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster (the electronic rangefinder supports the 15 focus points with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/8 or faster, of which 9 points are available for selection)
Shutter
Type Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane mechanical shutter; electronic front-curtain shutter available in mirror up release mode
Speed 1/8000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb, time, X250
Flash sync speed X=1/250 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/250 s or slower
Release
Release mode S (single frame), CL (continuous low speed), CH (continuous high speed), Q (quiet shutter-release), Self-timer, MUP (mirror up)
Approximate frame advance rate Up to 10 fps (CL); 10 to 12 fps, or 14 fps with mirror up (CH); or 3 fps (quiet continuous mode)
Self-timer 2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 s
Exposure
Metering TTL exposure metering using RGB sensor with approx.180K (180,000) pixels
Metering method
  • Matrix: 3D color matrix metering III (type G, E and D lenses); color matrix metering III (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data
  • Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 12-mm circle in center of frame; diameter of circle can be changed to 8, 15 or 20 mm, or weighting can be based on average of entire frame (non-CPU lenses use 12-mm circle)
  • Spot: Meters 4-mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)
  • Highlight-weighted: Available with type G, E and D lenses
Range
(ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)
  • Matrix or center-weighted metering: -3 to 20 EV
  • Spot metering: 2 to 20 EV
  • Highlight-weighted metering: 0 to 20 EV
Exposure meter coupling Combined CPU and AI
Mode Programmed auto with flexible program (P); shutter-priority auto (S); aperture-priority auto (A); manual (M)
Exposure compensation -5 to +5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Exposure lock Luminosity locked at detected value
ISO sensitivity
(Recommended Exposure Index)
ISO 100 to 102400 in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV; can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 or 1 EV (ISO 50 equivalent) below ISO 100 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 EV (ISO 3280000 equivalent) above ISO 102400; auto ISO sensitivity control available
Active D-Lighting Can be selected from auto, extra high +2/+1, high, normal, low or off
Focus
Autofocus Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning and 153 focus points (including 99 cross-type sensors and 15 sensors that support f/8), of which 55 (35 cross-type sensors and 9 f/8 sensors) are available for selection
Detection range -4 to 20 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)
Lens servo
  • Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous-servo AF (AF-C); predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status
  • Manual focus (M): Electronic rangefinder can be used
Focus point 153 focus points, of which 55 or 15 are available for selection
AF-area mode Single-point AF, 25-, 72-, or 153-point dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking, group-area AF, auto-area AF
Focus lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing the center of the sub-selector
Flash
Flash control TTL: i-TTL flash control using RGB sensor with approx. 180K (180,000) pixels; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix, center-weighted, and highlight-weighted metering, standard i-TTL fill-flash for digital SLR with spot metering
Flash mode Front-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, off; auto FP high-speed sync supported
Flash compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Flash-ready indicator Lights when optional flash unit is fully charged; flashes after flash is fired at full output
Accessory shoe ISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts and safety lock
Nikon Creative Lighting
System (CLS)
Supported
Radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting Supported
Unified flash control Supported
Sync terminal ISO 519 sync terminal with locking thread
White balance
White balance Auto (3 types), incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual (up to 6 values can be stored, spot white balance measurement available during live view), choose color temperature (2500 K to 10000 K); all with fine-tuning
Bracketing
Bracketing types Exposure, flash, white balance, and ADL
Live View
Live view mode Photo live view with available silent mode, Movie live view
Lens servo
  • Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); full-time-servo AF (AF-F)
  • Manual focus (M)
AF-area mode Face-priority AF, wide-area AF, normal-area AF, subject-tracking AF
Autofocus Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)
Movie
Metering TTL exposure metering using main image sensor
Metering method Matrix, center-weighted or highlight-weighted
Frame size (pixels)
and frame rate
  • 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD); 30p (progressive), 25p, 24p
  • 1920 x 1080; 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p
  • 1920 x 1080 crop; 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p
  • 1280 x 720; 60p, 50p

Actual frame rates for 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p are 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively; ★high quality available at all frame sizes, normal quality available at all sizes except 3840 x 2160

File format MOV
Video compression H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
Audio recording format Linear PCM
Audio recording device Built-in stereo or external microphone; sensitivity adjustable
ISO sensitivity
  • Exposure modes P, S and A: Auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO100to Hi 5) with selectable upper limit
  • Exposure mode M: Auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 100 to Hi 5) available with selectable upper limit; manual selection (ISO 100 to 102400 in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV) with additional options available equivalent to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 EV (ISO 3280000 equivalent) above ISO 102400
Other movie options Index marking, time-lapse movies
Monitor
Monitor 8-cm/3.2-in., approx. 2359k-dot (XGA) TFT touch-sensitive LCD with 170° viewing angle, approx. 100% frame coverage, and manual monitor brightness control
Playback
Playback Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9 or 72 images) playback with playback zoom, movie playback, photo and/or movie slide shows, histogram display, highlights, photo information, location data display, auto image rotation, picture rating, voice memo input and playback, and IPTC information embedding and display
Interface
USB SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0 Micro-B connector); connection to built-in USB port is recommended
HDMI output Type C HDMI connector
Audio input Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5-mm diameter; plug-in power supported)
Audio output Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5-mm diameter)
10-pin remote terminal Can be used to connect optional remote control, optional WR-R10 (requires WR-A10 WR Adapter) or WR-1 Wireless Remote Controller, GP-1/GP-1A GPS Unit, or GPS device compliant with NMEA0183 version 2.01 or 3.01 (requires optional MC-35 GPS Adapter Cord and cable with D-sub nine-pin connector)
Ethernet RJ-45 connector
  • Standards: IEEE 802.3ab (1000BASE-T)/IEEE 802.3u (100BASE-TX)/IEEE 802.3 (10BASE-T)
  • Data rates: 10/100/1000 Mbps with auto detect (maximum logical data rates according to IEEE standard; actual rates may differ)
  • Port: 1000BASE-T/100BASE-TX/10BASE-T (AUTO-MDIX)
Peripheral connector For WT-6/A/B/C, WT-5A/B/C/D Wireless Transmitter
Supported languages
Supported languages Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Serbian,Spanish, Swedish,Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Power source
Battery One EN-EL18a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
AC adapter EH-6b AC Adapter; requires EP-6 Power Connector (available separately)
Tripod socket
Tripod socket 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions / weight
Dimensions
(W x H x D)
Approx. 160 x 158.5 x 92 mm/6.3 x 6.3 x 3.7 in.
Weight
  • XQD-Type (Models for use with XQD cards): Approx. 1405 g/3 lb 1.6 oz with battery and two XQD memory cards but without body cap and accessory shoe cover; approx. 1235 g/2 lb 11.6 oz (camera body only)
  • CF-Type (Models for use with CompactFlash cards): Approx. 1415 g/3 lb 1.9 oz with battery and two CompactFlash memory cards but without body cap and accessory shoe cover; approx. 1240 g/2 lb 11.8 oz (camera body only)
Operating environment
Operating environment Temperature: 0 to 40°C/32 to 104°F
humidity: 85% or less (no condensation)
Accessories
Supplied accessories
(may differ by country or area)
EN-EL18a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, MH-26a Battery Charger, UC-E22 USB Cable, AN-DC15 Strap, BF-1B Body Cap, BS-3 Accessory Shoe Cover, USB Cable Clip, HDMI Cable Clip, DK-27 Eyepiece Adapter, DK-17F Fluorine-Coated Finder Eyepiece, BL-6 Battery Chamber Cover

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About Kent Yu

Kent is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He and his team specialise in modern and contemporary weddings. Kent has his work published in international magazines and is a regular author to a number of photographic publication. He is fascinated by photographic equipment and enjoys showcasing the gear used in creating his images. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
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