Nikon began 2016 with a masterly performance, by ascending to a higher rung, marked with the number 5, and launched revolutionary DSLR models Nikon D5 and Nikon D500.
The new Nikon D5, the successor of the legendary Nikon D4S, raises the capabilities of full-frame (FX) DSLR cameras to a higher level and brings some major innovations in this field. It is equipped with a superb 20.8MP full-frame CMOS sensor, accompanied by a brand new EXPEED 5 processor, which together produce unsurpassed result in low-light conditions (ISO sensitivity ranges from 100 to 102,400 - expandable from 50 to absolutely incredible 3,276,800!). What is more, the EXPEED 5 processor improves noise reduction and delivers 12 fps continuous shooting with AF and 14 fps without it!
This Nikon DSLR camera also boasts an entirely new autofocus system, which consists of 153 points, 99 of which are cross-type, and which reacts both to horizontal and vertical details. As far as the RGB metering is concerned, the resolution of its sensor has now been doubled - from 91,000 to 180,000 pixels. Furthermore, the new AF system features its own dedicated processor, whose goal is to deal with the vast information gathered by the 153 AF points and RGB metering sensor for tracking. This configuration definitely makes the Nikon D5 the leading camera on the world market when it comes to focus in low light.
As for video recording, the Nikon D5 delivers astonishing 4K films (3840 x 2160 at 30 fps), which makes it the first Nikon DSLR ever capable of capturing videos in this resolution. 4K is recorded using the H.264 codec, and it is also possible to capture 4K time-lapse videos, and then extract 8MP stills from frame grabs.
What the Nikon D5 is also first among the others is the fact that for now it is the only high-end camera to sport a touch screen - it is a fixed 3.2" 2,359,000-dot TFT LCD screen. Images and videos can be also captured through an optical viewfinder, whose magnification is 0.72x.
What is also worth highlighting in the case of the new D5 is that it is compatible with XQD memory cards, which are up to 35% faster than CF cards. In order to respond to demands of a wide range of photographers, the D5 will be available in two versions - one with dual XQD card slots and the other with dual CF card capability. Above all, the Nikon D5 also boasts a body composed of magnesium alloy, with rugged construction, just like the predecessor D4S, which makes it weather-resistant. It does not feature built-in flash and Wi-Fi.
The middle class of Nikon DSLR cameras also gets reinforcements - the long-awaited Nikon D500 - under the slogan "best enthusiast DX offering". This APS-C (DX) format DSLR camera represents the successor of the legendary Nikon D300S and, in relation to it, brings 20.9MP APS-C CMOS sensor paired with the new processor that characterizes the aforesaid D5 - EXPEED 5. The new processor brings 10 fps continuous shooting and a 200-shot buffer for RAW images, while the ISO sensitivity ranges 100-51,200 (expandable from 50 to 1,640,000). Like the D5, the new D500 also sports the fantastic 153-point AF system, 99 of which are cross-type, and the 180,000-pixel RGB metering sensor.
The ratio between the new Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 is very similar to the ratio between the Nikon D300S and Nikon D3S, where the APS-C DSLR model offers the same AF system and similar options like the full-frame body, with a slightly lower burst rate, but with much lower dimensions as well.
The video performances of the new APS-C DSLR are also 4K (3840 x 2160 at30 fps), whereas Full HD films go without saying (1920 x 1080 at 30 fps). Many aspects of the Full HD video have been taken over from the magnificent Nikon D810, such as the uncompressed HDMI output and Picture Controls, and some new have been added - time-lapse video and 3-axis electronic vibration reduction (VR) regardless of which lens is being used.
What is revolutionary and noteworthy with the new Nikon D500 is its wireless connection with other devices. In contrast to the D5, the D500 features built-in Wi-Fi with NFC; however, that is not all. Thanks to the new option Nikon SnapBridge, the camera is constantly connected to a compatible smart device vie Bluetooth, which enables automatic transfer of images - very similar to the Samsung NX1. Like in the case of the D5, the body of the new D500 is made of magnesium alloy, it is durable, sealed and weather-resistant - at the level of the said D810. There is also no built-in flash, but the D500 features a tilting 3.2" 2,359,000-dot TFT LCD touch screen. Images and videos are also captured through an optical viewfinder (pentaprism) with 1x magnification, and aside from SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, data can be also written on terrific XQD cards (there are two memory card slots).
The Nikon D5 will arrive in March, whereas the Nikon D500 will appear one month later. The D5 will be sold body-only for $6499.95; on the other hand, the D500 will be available body-only ($1999.95) as well as kitted with a relatively new lens Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR ($3069.95).