Nikon announced two new cameras at CES – The D5 and the D500.


The D5 is Nikon’s flagship, replacing the still excellent D4s.  

Full Frame 20MP, awesome focusing power

Nikon D5

Headline features of the D5

  • 20.8MP FX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • 3.2″ 2.36m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor (review functions only)
  • 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps (limited to 3 minutes internally)
  • Multi-CAM 20K 153-Point AF System
  • Dedicated AF processor and 99/153 focus points are cross-type. (first to offer dedicated AF processor)
  • Native ISO 102400, Extend to ISO 3280000  (Yes, that’s 3 million ISO)
  • 12 fps Shooting for 200 Shots with AE/AF – Huge Buffer for full raw
  • 180k-Pixel RGB Sensor and Group Area AF
  • 14-Bit Raw Files and 12-Bit Raw S Format
  • Two versions of the D5 a dual XQD card slot version and a dual CF card slot (same price)

Available in Mid March for $6500 – Preorder from B&H Photo or Amazon

This is a beast of a camera – suited for professional sports photographers and others that need amazing speed, focusing power and excellent low light capabilities.  Interesting that it does allow 4K recording but limits that to just 3 minutes.  If you record to an external device like an Atomos Shogun you can record for much longer.    I am not sure what else to say about this camera- it’s heavy, expensive and powerful. Offering a nice step forward in the evolution. You can purchase a model with dual CF cards (they are still way faster than SD of the even fast XQD memory slots- they are similar in size and shape to compact flash but offer speeds up to 1 Gbit/s read and write speed.


Nikon Also announced the D500


Nikon D500- Crop Sensor Beast
Nikon D500- Crop Sensor Beast

Headline Features of the Nikon D500

  • 20.9MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor (crop sensor)
  • 3.2″ 2,539k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD – complete touchscreen control- set focus point, menu navigation etc.
  • 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps (also limited to 3 minutes internally)
  • Multi-CAM 20K 153-Point AF System (same focusing system as D5- this means coverage across frame from focus points is excellent – cross type points all the way to edge of frame)
  • Native ISO 51200, Extend to ISO 1640000
  • 10 fps Shooting for Up to 200 Frames
  • Built-In Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC  (Low Power Bluetooth is used to keep a constant connection to smartphone, like Samsung NX1 – can push images to phone automatically)
  • In-Camera Time Lapse, Up to 9999 Frames
  • SD and XQD memory card slots.
  • Pentaprism optical viewfinder offers 100% frame coverage

Sold Body only or with DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR Lens

  • Preorder Nikon D500 DSLR Camera with 16-80mm Lens from B&H Photo | Amazon $3,066.95
  • Preorder Nikon D500 Body Only from B&H Photo from B&H Photo | Amazon $1,996.95

Nikon D500 Top View

This camera is going to be very interesting to do a Canon 7D Mark II vs Nikon D500. I feel like Nikon looked at the complaints about the 7D Mark II and said – yea, we can give you a camera like that and fix ALL of your complaints and then some!    This also shows that Nikon is committed to the crop sensor format.     Taking the same focusing system from the $6500 D5 and putting it in a crop sensor like the D500 is impressive – this gives you coverage out to the very edge of the frame with the higher accuracy cross type points! And I am sure this camera will be excellent at tracking fast moving subjects.

Nikon D500 Tilting Touchscreen

Nikon has introduced a tilting touchscreen that provides full control of the camera -menu navigation and settings control, and is usable while shooting, giving you the ability to choose a focus point or an area to set the white balance from. The screen can also be used as a keyboard for quickly entering notes, copyright info, or IPTC information.  4K capable, though limited to just 3 minutes internally – if you need longer pickup an external device like an Atomos Shogun. And Nikon has introduced a wifi/bluetooth connectivity system similar to the excellent system in the Samsung NX1. You have the ability to have a low power constant connection to your smartphone pushing images as you take them.  No more fiddling with connections each time you want to grab an image.  I loved the NX1 version of this and I am happy to see it adopted by Nikon.  Hopefully canon will follow suit.

I’d love to know what you think about these two cameras?  Leave a comment below.

Also announced is a new Flash System with radio, the Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight, similar to the Canon 600RT system we use at weddings and love.  See the complete list of new gear from Nikon. 

Canon shooters feeling jealous? We should know more about the 1DX Mark II later this month and the 5D Mark IV in early March – if not sooner.   As far as crop sensor cameras go we will not see any updates on the 7D Mark II for at least a year- it is a fantastic camera, I just wish they had added some connectivity options and a touchscreen.


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  1. As a Nikon D7100 user I am really glad to see the D500 being released. First, like you mention, it means that Nikon is really serious about the DX line. Second, they are probably going to be coming out with some new lenses. My photography will never justify my moving to a Full Frame and their lenses but it is really good to know that the high end DX cameras provide a high quality photography experience. Need to starting saving towards the goal of buying a D500.

  2. This just shows that DSLR’s are not dead, at least on paper, just yet. Instead there’s still a market and the big boys still have some aces in their sleeves to play. The only fact that after years their cameras still do a great job is also what one pays for.
    Although the D5 is similar to the D3S in video: at that time also the flagship camera was limited to just 5 minutes for fullHD recording.

  3. Now nikon needs a long affordable DX prime 600mm f4 for under $2000 should be doable.
    Birders would drop their canon gear like a hot brick (if it really is all it is cracked up to be that new focusing system)

    Other than that, I don’t get all the buzz, a while back B&H was selling the 7d mk2 and the pixma pro100 printer for $1050.

  4. These two excellent offerings from Nikon also continue their practice (in the DX and FX lines) of not offering an 16×9 image resolution choice. They may be alone among major providers in not having such a choice.

  5. Pricing for D500 makes it more expensive than D750…why would I not go FX when upgrading anyway? (and / or does this mean that a D750 replacement will follow soon?)

    • The D500 is about speed – fast fps and very fast and capable focusing system, combined this is an action and birds in flight dream camera, better than the D750 in that case. If you don’t photograph that stuff, then the D750 would be better. And I don’t expect them to replace the D750 this year.

  6. A DX lineup of long primes would be so good. 400 F4 DX, VR; 500 F4 DX VR; 600 F4 DX VR. Lighter, smaller, faster (F4). It will take out the sands from Canon. I recently switched from 7D2 +100-400 to D7200 w 200-500. Would love a D500 w 600F4 DX. lighter and smaller. 🙂

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