Nikon D500 is here – the DX version of Nikon D5

Like this post? Please help us share it

Nikon has finally announced the real replacement of the Nikon D300 – Nikon D500. It has been a long wait from Nikon to come out with a DX camera that shares the many great features as the Nikon flagship FX DSLR. The crowd has been waiting for the D4/D400 combo but that never happened. So what’s new in this highly anticipated D500? Let’s check out the new features.

  • 20.9MP
  • 153 autofocus point with 99 point cross types and wide AF coverage
  • 180K pixel RGB metering sensor
  • ISO up to 51,200 (extended to ISO 1,640,000)
  • EXPEED 5
  • 4K video at 30p
  • 10fps
  • Touch responsive 3.2” 2.4k dot tilting LCD
  • Supports radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting
  • USB 3.0
  • Weight 760g  (body only)
  • Available in March, 2016

You can order your Nikon D500 here

It has been six years since the update of the Nikon D300s and eight years since the Nikon D300. The new Nikon D500 shares many of the stunning/professional features as the Nikon flagship D5 just like back then when the Nikon D300 shares the many great features of the Nikon D3. When Nikon replaced the Nikon D300 with the D300s, it was a disappointing one and there was a huge request for the Nikon D400 which never happened. The Nikon D500 maintains its professional magnesium alloy body with the inclusion of a tiltable LCD and a bigger VF taken from the FX models. Much needed USB 3.0 is now included in the D500. The D500 also incorporates control for its new radio controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting system.

In terms of the main specification, the resolution has increased from 12MP to 20.9M which is a reasonable increment. Personally, I think 20MP is the right spot for DX cameras. One of the many features that shares with the Nikon D5 is the 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 D500 at 20MP paying much attention to its high ISO performance. The native ISO has increased by 4 stops to 51,200, so you can expect the ISO performance to be much better than with the Nikon D500 than the D300s. I would expect the Nikon D500 to produce a clean image up to ISO 6400. The Nikon D500 offers an extended ISO range up to 1.6 millions, that’s probably not a setting you want to use but it shows how powerful DX 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 D300S  which only offer 720p.

The frame rate has increase slightly up to 10fps which is no D5 but it doesn’t cost $7000 either.

The Nikon D500 is a very solid DX camera that has a similar resolution (20MP) and shares the same 153 AF point system as the Nikon D5. It is the best Nikon DX camera to date and hugely improved from the Nikon D300s. Is this the camera you have been waiting for? Leave us a comment below.

 

Primary features

  1. Powerful 153-point AF achieves superior subject acquisition performance across a wide range of situations

    The D500’s Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module offers a dense configuration of 153 focus points (99 cross sensors) that covers an extremely wide portion of the image area, meaning that even fast-moving subjects can be acquired precisely. AF capability is extended down to -4 EV* with the central point and -3 EV* with all other points, making AF usable even in extremely low light or when shooting low-contrast subjects. A newly employed AF engine and 180K-pixel RGB sensor also contribute to achieving exceptional AF performance in a variety of scenes.

    • *ISO 100, 20°C/68°F.
  2. High-speed continuous shooting at approx. 10 fps for up to 200 shots (14-bit lossless compressed RAW)

    The D500 delivers high-speed continuous shooting at approx. 10 fps*1 for up to 200 shots in JPEG and in 14-bit lossless compressed RAW, without any drop in shooting speed. Even moving subjects can be tracked accurately across a wide field of view at this rapid rate, taking advantage of the camera’s stable viewfinder image and a widest-ever diagonal viewing angle*2 of approx. 30.8°.

    • *1Approximate frame rates for a fully charged EN-EL15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, using continuous-servo AF, a shutter speed of 1/250 s or faster, and with other settings at default values.
    • *2*As of January 6, 2016, among D-SLR cameras using an APS-C size image sensor. Based on Nikon research.
  3. Unique benefits of a compact DX system — added agility in telephoto shooting

    Nikon’s DX-format D500 provides an angle of view equivalent to that of a lens with an approx. 1.5x longer focal length*1. This permits telephoto shooting using smaller, lighter lenses with a shorter focal length, while taking advantage of performance that rivals the D5 FX-format flagship model. The camera’s agility is also enhanced by the kit lens, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR, the lightweight 5x normal zoom lens, which weighs only approx. 1340 g/2 lb 15.3 oz*2 when attached to the D500.

    • *135mm-format equivalent.
    • *2Including battery, XQD memory card and lens.
  4. 4K UHD video, suitable for professional productions

    The D500 can record 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)/30p/25p/24p as well as 1080/60p video for up to 29 min. 59 s*1, with simultaneous output via HDMI available. It is also possible to generate 4K UHD time-lapse movies within the camera. In Full HD or HD mode, the D500’s electronic Vibration Reduction function*2 reduces the effects of camera shake in the horizontal, vertical and rotational directions during hand-held movie recording, while Active D-Lighting preserves details in highlights and shadows to capture footage with natural brightness.

    • *1Recorded in separate files.
    • *2Image area will be slightly smaller in DX-based movie format.
  5. New EXPEED 5 image-processing engine achieves sensitivity up to ISO 51200, expandable to Hi 5 (equivalent to ISO 1640000)

    The D500’s new EXPEED 5 image-processing engine, as used in the D5, delivers standard ISO sensitivity from 100 to 51200, expandable down to Lo 1 (ISO 50 equivalent) and up to Hi 5 (ISO 1640000 equivalent). It can capture exceptionally high-definition images, while effectively reducing noise even at high ISO settings. The new 180K-pixel RGB sensor (approx. 180,000 pixels) further improves the performance of the camera’s Advanced Scene Recognition System, and its flicker reduction for still images reduces exposure variations even under flickering light sources.

  6. Touch-screen, tilting 8-cm/3.2-in. high-resolution monitor ensures more comfortable shooting for professionals and advanced amateurs

    The D500’s touch-panel monitor enables a variety of functions, including instant switching of images using the frame advance bar and text input — shared with the D5 — as well as touch AF and touch shutter (in still shooting). The tilting monitor with 3-axis hinge structure allows you to shoot from more flexible angles for stills and movies. And its large 8-cm/3.2-in. screen with significantly enhanced 2359k-dot resolution lets you confirm focus in amazingly precise detail.

  7. SnapBridge support lets you link with a smart device via Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi®

    The D500 can be constantly connected to a smart device* with the SnapBridge application installed (to be available as a free download), via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This enables a variety of features: you can automatically transfer images taken with the D500 to your smart device, as well as upload them automatically to NIKON IMAGE SPACE. You can also use the smart device to browse images stored in the camera, as well as embed images with its location and date/time information. SnapBridge dramatically enhances the value and convenience of images taken with the D500.

    • *Smartphones and tablet computers with iOS or Android™.

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 DX format; focal length in 35 mm [135] format equivalent to approx. 1.5x that of lenses with FX format angle of view
Effective pixels
Effective pixels 20.9 million
Image sensor
Image sensor 23.5 x 15.7 mm CMOS sensor
Total pixels 21.51 million
Dust-reduction system Image sensor cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (Capture NX-D software required)
Storage
Image size (pixels)
  • DX (24×16) image area: 5568 x 3712 [L], 4176 x 2784 [M], 2784 x 1856 [S]
  • 1.3x (18×12) image area: 4272 x 2848 [L], 3200 x 2136 [M], 2128 x 1424 [S]
  • Photographs with image area of DX taken during movie recording: 5568 x 3128 [L], 4176 x 2344 [M], 2784 x 1560 [S]
  • Photographs with image area of 1.3x taken during movie recording: 4272 x 2400 [L], 3200 x 1800 [M], 2128 x 1192 [S]
  • Photographs taken during movie recording at a frame size of 3840 x 2160: 3840 x 2160
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, Flat; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls
Media XQD, SD (Secure Digital) and UHS-II compliant SDHC and SDXC memory cards
Dual card slot Either card can be used for primary or backup storage or for separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images; 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
  • DX (24×16) image area: Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical
  • 1.3x (18×12) image area: Approx. 98% horizontal and 98% vertical
Magnification Approx. 1.0x (50 mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1)
Eyepoint 16 mm (-1.0 m-1; from center surface of viewfinder eyepiece lens)
Diopter adjustment -2 to +1 m-1
Focusing screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark II 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) and DX lenses, AI-P NIKKOR lenses, and non-CPU AI lenses (A and M modes 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 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), QC (quiet continuous shutter-release), Self-timer, MUP (mirror up)
Approximate frame advance rate CL: 1 to 9 fps, CH: 10 fps, QC: 3 fps
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 8-mm circle in center of frame; diameter of circle can be changed to 6, 10 or 13 mm, or weighting can be based on average of entire frame (non-CPU lenses use 8-mm circle)
  • Spot: Meters 3.5-mm circle (about 2.5% 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 51200 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 1640000 equivalent) above ISO 51200; auto ISO sensitivity control available
Active D-Lighting Auto, extra high, 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 sensors and 15 sensors that support f/8), of which 55 (35 cross 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)
i-TTL flash control, Advanced Wireless Lighting (optical/radio), auto FP high-speed sync, modeling illumination, FV lock, unified flash control, flash color information communication and AF-assist illumination for multi-point AF
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 types
Bracketing types Exposure, flash, white balance, and ADL
Live view
Live view mode Photo live view, 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
  • 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 frame 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 (ISO 100 to 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 51200 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 1640000 equivalent) above ISO 51200
Active D-Lighting Extra high, high, normal, low or off
Maximum length 29 min. 59 s
Other movie options Index marking, time-lapse movies, electronic vibration reduction
Monitor
Monitor 8-cm/3.2-in., approx. 2359k-dot (XGA) TFT ve 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 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)
Ten-pin remote terminal Can be used to connect optional remote control, 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 MC-35 GPS Adapter Cord and cable with D-sub 9-pin connector)
Wireless
Standards IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g
Authentication Open system, WPA2-PSK
Bluetooth
Communication protocols Bluetooth Specification Version 4.1
NFC
Operation NFC Forum Type 3 Tag
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-EL15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
Battery pack Optional MB-D17 Multi-Power Battery Pack with one EN-EL18a or EN-EL18 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery (available separately), one EN-EL15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery or eight R6/AA-size alkaline, Ni-MH or lithium batteries; a BL-5 Battery Chamber Cover is required when using EN-EL18a or EN-EL18 battery
AC adapter EH-5b AC Adapter; requires EP-5B Power Connector (available separately)
Tripod socket
Tripod socket 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions / weight
Dimensions
(W x H x D)
Approx. 147 x 115 x 81 mm/5.8 x 4.6 x 3.2 in.
Weight Approx. 860 g/1 lb 14.4 oz with battery and XQD memory card but without body cap; approx. 760 g/1 lb 10.9 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-EL15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, MH-25a Battery Charger, DK-17F Fluorine-Coated Finder Eyepiece, UC-E22 USB Cable, USB Cable Clip, HDMI Cable Clip, AN-DC17 Camera Strap, BF-1B Body Cap

avatar

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+
Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments and Feedback? Fire away !

    Related Post