Nikon D500

10 FPS, 20MP DX, 4K, March 2016

Intro   Lens Compatibility   Specifications   Performance

Compared   Recommendations   More

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Nikon D500

Nikon D500 (10 FPS, 20 M DX, 4K video, 30.4 oz./860g with battery and XQD card, about $1,999) and 16-80mm VR. bigger. It's $1,999 for the body, and also comes as a kit with 16-80mm VR lens for $3,070. It also comes from B&H, as well as from B&H as a kit with the lens, and of course comes from Amazon body-only or as a kit with lens from Amazon or from Crutchfield (body-only) or from Crutchfield with lens.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to my personally-approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Nikon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used camera. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear, especially the old D300s and every Nikon DSLR.

 

February 2016   Nikon Reviews   Nikon Lenses    All Reviews

NEW: Pro DSLR Comparison 03 February 2016

Nikon D500

Nikon D500. bigger.

 

Nikon D500

Nikon D500. bigger.

 

Introduction

Top   Intro   Lens Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

New   Missing

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

I buy only from these approved sources. I can't vouch for ads below.

The Nikon D500 is Nikon's fastest DX camera ever: 10 frames per second. It's the first consumer Nikon that's worthwhile considering for serious sports shooting.

It has the same autofocus system as the D5, which is pretty hot.

As expected, it has more AF points than ever before, but you can't select them all. You have only 55 selectable points, even if there are a claimed 153 AF points hidden somewhere.

The bizarre part is that we lose our second SD card slot. It's been replaced with an XQD slot instead, leaving us with only one SD slot.

It ships in March 2016 — but only to those who order it today and get the first ones. If you wait until tomorrow, it may be quite a while until Nikon can make enough of these to fill all the orders for the latecomers. With the Internet, the order que fills within hours.

See How to Get It; never wait to order yours. The genuinely hot and new cameras like this always have people who wait a few days and then don't get it in time for their summer vacations. Waiting a few days to order yours can result in months more waiting.

 

New

● 10 FPS with AF and AE tracking — fastest Nikon DX camera ever.

● 79-frame buffer at these speeds, even in 14-bit uncompressed raw (with a fast enough card).

● 153 AF points that are rated down to LV -4 (full moonlight on sand).

● Tilting Touch Screen

● ISOs to 51,200 as regular ISOs, expandable to ISO 1,638,400 as "HI +5."

● 4K video.

● Can shoot stills during video.

● "SnapBridge" Bluetooth scheme to get your images moved around automatically.

● Wi-Fi.

 

Missing

● No built-in flash.

● No lock on power switch; easy to knock on or off by accident and miss shots.

● No exposure MODE button near the shutter release; it's been moved off to the left side of the camera and an ISO button appears in its place.

● Only 20.5 MP (5,568 x 3,712 pixels native); even a D3200 has slightly higher resolution.

● No auto brightness control for the LCD.

● Second CF slot replaced with an XQD slot, leaving us with only one SD slot.

● Still no sane replacement of Nikon's idiotic Custom Settings Banks, which has been a core incompetancy of Nikon since they introduced these in 2003. There are no U1, U2, U3 (or C1, C2, C3 or M1, M2, M3 etc.) modes so we can save and recall camera settings. As-is, there is no way to save camera settings; the Custom Banks are re-written every time you set the camera with no way to lock them!

 

Lens Compatibility

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Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

There is a focus motor in the D500, so it works with every AF lens made since 1986.

Even better, there's an aperture-ring feeler, so it meters with all AI and newer (1977-on) manual-focus lenses. The D500 also gives full-color Matrix metering and EXIF data with manual-focus lenses if you share the lens' data in a menu. More at Nikon Lens Compatibility.

You're always on your own with off-brand lenses like Sigma. Potential incompatibility with future cameras is one of the steep prices one pays for trying to save a few dollars yesterday on a cheap lens. Nikon shares nothing with its competitors about lens compatibility, so if you want to buy a Tamron or Sigma, you're gambling that it will work with tomorrow's camera. Good luck; it's always better to buy used Nikon than new junk-brand lenses if money matters.

 

Specifications

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Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

 

Frame Rates

CH (Continuous High): 10 FPS with full AF and AE.

CL (Continuous Low): selectable 1 to 9 FPS.

QC (Quiet Continuous): 3 FPS.

 

Sensor

23.5 x 15.7 mm DX CMOS.

Ultrasonic cleaner.

 

Image Sizes

 

DX (16 x 24mm)

5,568 x 3,712 (L), 4,176 x 2,784 (M), 2,784 x 1,856 (S).

 

1.3x crop (12 x 18mm)

4,272 x 2,848 (L), 3,200 x 2,136 (M), 2,128 x 1,424 (S).


Stills shot during video

3,840 x 2,160 when shooting 4K.

You get full-still resolution stills, cropped to 16:9 (5,568 x 3,128 (L), 4,176 x 2,344 (M) or 2,784 x 1,560 (S)) when shooting 1080 or 720 video.

If shooting 1.3x crop you get a slightly lower resolution 16:9 stills: 4,272 x 2,400 (L), 3,200 x 1,800 (M) or 2,128 x 1,192 (S).

 

ISO

ISO 100 to 51,200, expandable from ISO 50 ("LO -1") to ISO 1,638,400 ("HI + 5").

 

Auto ISO

 

White Balance

All with individual fine-tuning:

Auto (3 types).

Incandescent.

Fluorescent (7 types).

Direct sunlight.

Flash.

Cloudy.

Shade.

Preset manual.

   6 stored presets.

   Spot white balance also with live view.

Kelvin (2,500 K to 10,000 K).

 

Color Spaces

sRGB and Adobe RGB.

 

File Formats

NEF (Raw): 12 or 14 bit (lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed); large, medium, and small pixel sizes (medium and small images are recorded at a bit depth of 12 bits using lossless compression)

JPG: Fine (approx. 1:4), Normal (approx. 1:8) or Basic (approx. 1:16) compression. Usual optimal quality or fixed size options.

RAW+JPG

RGB TIFF

 

Video Frame Rates and Sizes

3,840 x 2,160 (4K): 29.97p, 25p or 23.976p.

1,920 x 1,080: 59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 25p, 23.976p.

1,280 x 720; 59.94p, 50p.

You can select high or normal quality at all these, except only normal at 4K.

H.264/MPEG-4

.MOV

 

Audio

Stereo microphone built-in.

Linear PCM recording.

 

Autofocus

All the same as the D5:

Face-Priority AF; should automatically find faces and focus on them.

153 AF points.

Work down to LV -4, which is full moonlight on sand.

Only 99 of these are cross-type.

Only 15 sensors work with f/8 lenses.

You can't select all these manually; you only can select 55 of them. Of these selectable 55; 35 are cross-type sensors and only 9 work at f/8.

Multi-CAM 20K AF sensor module.


Finder

100% coverage. (only 98% in 1.3x crop.)

0.7x magnification with 35mm lens. (1.0x magnification with 50mm telephoto lens.)

16mm eyepoint.

-2 to +1 diopters.

 

Shutter

30s to 1/8,000, Bulb.

 

Flash

Flash Sync

1/250 sync speed.

ISO 519 PC (Prontor-Compur) socket.

 

Flash Control

Nikon's usual i-TTL.

 

Light Meter

TTL RGB.

180k pixels.

3D Color Matrix.

13mm, 10mm, 8mm or 6mm diameter center-weighted. (only the 8mm circle works with old manual-focus AI lenses.)

3.5mm spot at the selected focus point (only the center point with old manual-focus AI lenses).

 

Meter Range

LV -3 ~ +20.

Spot meter: LV 2 ~ 20.

 

Live View

Yip, for stills and movies with the usual options.

 

LCD Monitor

3.2" (8cm) TFT.

Tilts.

Touch sensitive.

2,359,000 dot (XGA).

170° viewing angle.

100% frame coverage.

NO AUTO BRIGHTNESS CONTROL.

 

Storage

One SD slot and one XQD slot.

SD slot takes UHS-II SDHC and SDXC cards.

It has the usual options for the two cards: dual (backup), sequential (overflow), RAW/JPG, etc.

 

Connectors

USB 3.0 Micro-B.

Type C HDMI.

3.5mm stereo audio input with plug-in power.

3.5mm stereo audio output.

10-pin Nikon remote: for things like 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)

 

Bluetooth

Nikon "SnapBridge" uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone or elsewhere for automatic uploads.

Bluetooth Specification Version 4.1

 

Wi-Fi

IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g.

Open system, WPA2-PSK.

 

NFC

NFC Forum Type 3 Tag.

 

Power

EN-EL 15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, same as D810.

Rated to 3,780 shots per charge.

Optional EH-5b AC Adapter, which needs an EP-5B Power Connector.

 

Battery Grip

Optional MB-D17 Multi-Power Battery Pack uses one EN-EL 15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery or eight AA cells.

If you use a BL-5 Battery Chamber Cover you can use the EN-EL18a or EN-EL18 battery.

 

Size

5.8 x 4.6 x 3.2 inches.

147 x 115 x 81 millimeters.

 

Weight

30.4 oz. (860 g. or 1 lb., 14.4 oz.) with battery and XQD card.

26.9 oz. (760 g. or 1 lb., 10.9 oz.) stripped.

 

Included

Camera

BF-1B Body Cap

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

 

Quality

Made in Thailand.

 

Environment, operating

0 to 40°C (32 to 104°F).

85% or less RH, no condensation.

 

Announced

Tuesday, 05 January 2016, 3PM NYC time.

 

Promised for

March 2016.

 

Price, USA

January 2015

$1,999 for the body-only.

$3,070 with 16-80mm VR lens.

 

Performance

Top   Intro   Lens Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

Nikon isn't shipping these until March 2016, so no one really knows because Nikon's still finishing the design.

At 10 FPS, this is Nikon's best DX camera ever for sports and action. The D5 is 2 FPS faster, but for sports, the DX sensor makes your lens 50% longer, so unless you do this for a living full time, this is Nikon's new best sports camera.

Disheartening is that there's no mode dial with custom-programmable camera presets as we can do on less expensive cameras like the D7200.

Disappointing is that the same horrible Custom Settings Bank system has not yet been replaced with any real way to save and recall camera settings immediately.

The scariest thing is that Nikon moved the critical exposure MODE button to the left side of the camera, making what used to be the MODE button now the ISO button. I expect we will be able to reprogram these, but if not, I'll be darned if I'll have to use a second hand to swap between Program and Aperture Priority and Manual modes.

ISOs and resolution ratings haven't been relevant since about 2007, so don't get hung up on any of that. All that matters is how hot and fast is the AF system and how quickly we can set the camera. With no instant save and recall ability, resetting the camera from one type of shot or from gig to gig becomes much more of a pain than it is on a D750 or D7200.

We'll all have to wait until March for real, shipping cameras. Opinions of Nikon's back-pocket PR puppets that are given free pre-production cameras in exchange for glowing reviews obviously don't count.

 

Compared

Top   Intro   Lens Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

Do you get randomly underexposed or off-color frames when you shoot sports at high shutter speeds indoors, or outdoors at night? That's because your exposure caught the artificial lighting at an instant where it wasn't at full brightness — something the D500 and 7D Mk II can now shoot around automatically. Oddly the new D5 can not.

See also Nikon vs. Canon.

 
Anni
2011-
2014-
2014-
2016-
2016-
2014-2015
2012-2014
FPS
12
10
5
10
12
11
10
Resolution
18 MP
20 MP
36 MP
20 MP
20 MP
16 MP
16 MP
Format
Full
DX
Full
DX
Full
Full
Full
ISO Max**
51,200
16,000
12,800
51,200
102,400
25,600
12,800
Selectable AF Points
61
65
51
55**
55***
51
51
LCD

3.2"

1,040k

3"

1,040k

3.2"

1,229k

3.2"

2,359k

3.2"

2,359k

3.2"

921k

3.2"

921k

Auto brightness
no
YES
no
no
no
YES
YES
Built-in Flash
no
YES
YES
no
no
no
no
Shoot-through Flicker?
no
YES
no
YES
no
no
no
Rear voice memo mic & rec. button
YES
no
no
no
YES
YES
YES
Battery
Weight****

53.8oz.

1,526g

31.8oz.

901g

34.0oz.

965g

30.4oz.

860g

49.9oz.

1,415g.

47.2oz.

1,337g

47.2oz.

1,337g

Price, 1/2016

$3,000 used

** In standard modes. This is a meaningless specification; cameras that let you set them higher simply look worse than cameras that can't go as high! This is merely a poster spec to try to bilk innocent people out of more money for more expensive cameras.

*** I said selectable AF points. Most cameras use many more invisible AF points to help out the ones you can see.

**** With battery and card(s).

 

 
Anni
2016-
2016-
2014-2015
2012-2014
2009-2012
2007-2010
2005-2007
FPS
10
12
11
10
9
9
8
Resolution
20 MP
20 MP
16 MP
16 MP
12 MP
12 MP
4 MP
Format
DX
Full
Full
Full
Full
Full
DX
ISO Max**
51,200
102,400
25,600
12,800
12,800
6,400
1,600
Selectable AF Points
55**
55***
51
51
51
51
11
LCD

3.2"

2,359k

3.2"

2,359k

3.2"

921k

3.2"

921k

3"

921k

3"

921k

2.5"

232k

Auto brightness
no
no
YES
YES
no
no
no
Built-in Flash
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
Shoot-through Flicker?
YES
no
no
no
no
no
no
Rear voice memo mic & rec. button
no
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
Battery
Weight****

30.4oz.

860g

49.9oz.

1,415g.

47.2oz.

1,337g

47.2oz.

1,337g

52.6oz

1,492g

50.0oz.

1,417g

44.3oz.

1,256g

Price, 1/2016

$3,000 used

$200 used

** In standard modes. This is a meaningless specification; cameras that let you set them higher simply look worse than cameras that can't go as high! This is merely a poster spec to try to bilk innocent people out of more money for more expensive cameras.

*** I said selectable AF points. Most cameras use many more invisible AF points to help out the ones you can see.

**** With battery and card(s).

 

Recommendations

Top   Intro   Lens Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

If you're shooting sports, news and action and are already invested in Nikon lenses, this is the best body ever.

This D500 is also Nikon's best for birds. The cropped-sensor is a long-lens advantage over the D5, unless you have birds posing for you five feet away.

If you're shooting landscapes, portraits and landscapes you don't need the frames-per-second, so any of Nikon's other cameras work just as well — or have even more resolution, usually for less money.

I would get this D500 only for sports and only if I was already inseparably bought into the Nikon system. The D7200 is better for everything else due to it's better ergonomics that allow it to be set and adjusted to different shooting conditions faster with its programmable mode dial, as well as taking two normal SD cards.

The D500 is Nikon's lowest-resolution current DX camera, but not by much. You're not going to see any difference between 24MP and 20 MP.

If you're getting the D500, order it today, since as Nikon's fastest DX camera of all time, they will be hard to get for quite a while. Order yours today, not tomorrow, to get yours in March. If you wait a day, you'll be way behind and may not get yours in time for summer vacation. See also How To Get It.

Nikon is selling you the 16-80mm VR lens at its full $1,070 price when you buy the kit, so I'd forget the kit on principle and get the body-only and my favorite DX lens, the 35mm f/1.8, instead — or any DX lens of your choice like the 18-200 VR or 18-300 VR. For sports, the 70-300mm VR is a full frame lens that focuses much faster than any of the DX lenses.

The D500 is solely a sports and action camera, and seeing how it's the only Nikon that can shoot-through flickering stadium lighting, even better than the D5 if you're not bringing your own dedicated strobe system.

It's $1,999 for the body at Adorama, and also comes as a kit with 16-80mm VR lens for $3,070. It also comes from B&H, as well as from B&H as a kit with the lens, and of course comes from Amazon body-only or as a kit with lens.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Nikon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used camera. I use the stores I do because they ship from secure remote warehouses where no one gets to touch your new camera before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken, Mrs. Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

More Information

Top   Intro   Lens Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

 

Nikon's D500 page.

Nikon's D500 brochure PDF.

Nikon's D500 fluff page.

Crazy Japanese Brochure PDF.

Nikon's D500 press release.

 

© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

 

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Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

 

 

05 January 2016