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2016.01.07

Nikon D500 and D5

Nikon showed a double-release at CES 2016 with a pair of new DSLRs. The flagship full-frame D5 and cropped-sensor Nikon D500 share a newly developed Phase-Detect AF system sensitive to -4 EV with 153 points of which 99 are cross-type and are the first Nikon DSLRs to record 4K Ultra-HD video. The D5 is actually available in two variants, a double Compact-Flash D5 and a double XQD D5. The D500 itself has one slot for each of these kinds of memory.

Each of these DSLRs offers a 20 megapixels CMOS sensor with class-leading sensitivity. The full-frame D5 offers a never-heard-of-before maximum expanded ISO of 3280000 with the cropped-sensor D500 reaching 1634000, many stops over any digital camera before. These new sensors are paired with fast mechanical shutters that reach 1/8000s maximum shutter-speeds and a continuous drive of 12 FPS and 10 FPS for the D5 and D500, respectively. The D5 can also reach 14 FPS with the mirror locked up which can be useful for automated capture of a predictable subject. Each of these offer a buffer for 200 14-bit RAW files at their maximum resolution.

Nikon D5

Both new Nikon DSLRs are professional offers with full manual-controls, including dual control-dials, a 100% coverage viewfinder and weather-sealed body. The D500 features the largest OVF on any APS-C DSLR with a 1X magnification, equivalent to 0.67X on a full-frame. The D5 still has a fairly large viewfinder with 0.72X magnification. These cameras are highly expandable with support for external lighting via a standard hot-shoe or sync-port and stereo minijacks for input and output. 4K output is provided via HDMI.

Nikon D500

Nikon built both cameras to last with magnesium-allow chassis reinforced by carbon-fiber. The shutters are rated for 200K actuations while battery-life is stellar on both cameras with the D5 reaching a whopping 3780 shots-per-charge and the D500 managing an excellent 1240 shots-per-charge. Not needing to match the ruggedness of its larger sibling, the D500 features a tilting LCD for convenience. The LCD panel is actually the same on both cameras, measuring 3.2″ and having class-leading 2.4 megapixels of resolution.

Nikon clearly has been working at pushing the limits for both sensor formats with the D5 and D500. Both these cameras are expected in late March 2016. The D5 carries a suggested price of $6500 USD or $8500 CDN while the D500 is expected for $2000 USD or $2700 CDN. These new professional DSLRs are already available for pre-order:

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