Nikon Announces Their New Flagship FX and DX Cameras, the D5 and D500, Plus Accessories

Nikon Announces Their New Flagship FX and DX Cameras, the D5 and D500, Plus Accessories

2016 is going to be an exciting year for gear-lovers. Both Canon and Nikon will be updating multiple camera bodies and lenses, while Sony, Fujifilm, and Pentax are all continuing their charge against the big two. Today, Nikon kicked off the new year with the announcement of their new flagship cameras, the D5 and D500.

Nikon D5

​Those of you who need the ultimate in AF performance, fast shooting, and low-light performance need not look any further. The Nikon D5 has arrived, and even I, as a Canon shooter, have to admit that some of these specs have my interest quite piqued. Check them out:

  • Two body options: One variant will use dual XQD cards (1,405 g/49.5 oz.), while the other will use traditional dual CF cards (1,415 g/49.9 oz.)
  • A new 20.8 MP CMOS sensor, as opposed to the previous 16 MP on the D4S
  • EXPEED 5 Processing System
  • 4K video with built-in time-lapse function and uncompressed HDMI out
  • 153 AF points (99 cross-type), with 15 f/8-enabled points (55 (35 cross-type) points are selectable by the photographer)
  • Focusing at EV -4
  • 12 fps continuous shooting with full AF/AE tracking
  • 14 fps continuous shooting with mirror lockup and fixed AF/AE
  • Buffer of up to 200 frames of raw files
  • High ISO of 102,400
  • Extended ISO of 3,280,000
  • 3.2-inch, 2.36 million dots LCD touchscreen
  • USB 3.0​
  • Weather-sealed

I'm particularly struck by the vastly upgraded AF system (triple the points of the D4S), the almost limitless buffer, the extended ISO of over 3 million, and the inclusion of a touchscreen. Clearly, Nikon set out to create a no-compromise camera. Expect the D5 to be available in March 2016 at an MSRP of $6,499.95.

Nikon D500

Those who shoot the DX system, Nikon's APS-C format, will be pleased to know that Nikon also introduced its new flagship DX camera, the D500. It has quite the impressive spec list itself:

  • Dual XQD and SD card slots
  • A new 20.9 MP CMOS sensor
  • EXPEED 5 Processing System
  • 4K video with built-in time-lapse function and uncompressed HDMI out
  • 3-axis electronic VR feature for 1080p video
  • 153 AF points (99 cross-type), with 15 f/8-enabled points
  • 10 fps continuous shooting with full AF/AE tracking
  • Buffer of up to 79 frames of raw files
  • High ISO of 51,200
  • Extended ISO of 1,640,000
  • 3.2-inch, 2.36 million dots LCD tiliting touchscreen
  • SnapBridge sharing technology to allow easy transfer of photos to smartphones and other connected devices
  • Weather-sealed

Expect the D500 to be available in March 2016 at an MSRP of $1,999.95.

Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight

Nikon also announced a new flagship speedlight, the SB-5000, the first Nikon speedlight with RF capabilities. It features a 30-meter (98-foot) range, and when paired with the WR-R10 transmitter, it can control up to six groups or 18 speedlights. With a new cooling system, the SB-5000 can fire continuously for up to 120 shots at five-second intervals. It also features an updated interface and controls, with a tilt range of -7° to 90° and full 180° horizontal rotation. Expect it to be available in March at an MSRP of $599.95.

Nikon WT-6A Wireless Transmitter

Lastly, Nikon has also announced the WT-6A Wireless Transmitter for use with the D5. Offering file transfer speeds of up to 130 mbps via the 802.11ac standard, the transmitter has a range of approximately 656 ft. and when in HTTP mode, also offers wireless camera controls, Live View shooting, and HD recording controls. Expect it to be available in March 2016 at an MSRP of $749.95.

More Images

Nikon D5

Nikon D500


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Norbert Tukora's picture

Oh yeah, DSLR is sooo much dead, mirrorless guys kept saying.... :D

Leigh Miller's picture

That's because it is dead...more warmed over tech when they should be building something completely new.

I do like the USB 3, Clean HDMI out and 4K video though...

Michael Kormos's picture

You have it wrong. Mirrorless is dead. After 15 minutes of battery use, that is!

Michael Brinkerhoff's picture

I know you are just joking but it totally cracked me up. :)

Kyle Medina's picture

Anyone want to buy a 7d2?

Kyle Medina's picture

$1100 gripped with extra battery

Sean Shimmel's picture

With such ISO's, there'll now be an entire cottage industry making scrims to block the harsh moonlight

Josh Rottman's picture

Dear Nikon, I hate you. Please replace my D800. Sincerely, #switchingtosony.

They already did haha

Sean Molin's picture

The D810? It was an improvement to the D800 in absolutely every single way. Night and day. I argued they should have called it the D850 because it was such a massive jump up.

AND Nikon recently offered to overhaul my D800 for free because it was a nearly serial number that suffered from the left AF point issue.

Josh Rottman's picture

You sound like a Nikon sales rep at a trade show. I argue that the D810's name is apt; they added 1/80th of what they should've. You can't tell me putting a new processing engine in the same camera is an upgrade when Canon and Sony are out here doubling resolution and boosting dynamic range of already industry leading models. There are zero significant improvements that should make a D800 user upgrade so laterally. We shouldn't be excited about the same camera but faster, we should be asking for a better camera.

Sean Molin's picture

I don't work for Nikon. I'm just someone who makes my living with their cameras and from someone who owns both, they're totally different in real-world usage, I'm not how you can say there were no significant upgrades. It was enough to noticeably improve my workflow and the speed and quality of my work.

-The AF is far more advanced, faster, and has more features (group AF is awesome).
-Redesigned body with better/deeper grip.
-The shutter was totally redesigned and is insanely quiet.
-It's actually got a different sensor (slightly different pixel resolution) than the D800 with better ISO performance and expanded in both directions.
-25% faster max shooting speed.
-Live view is instantaneous and actually works. On the D800 it was flat-out broken for use with people because of how slow long the blackout was.
-Higher resolution screen
-New viewfinder and OLED heads-up display
-33% more shots per battery charge
-A lot of video upgrades, but I don't shoot video.

The D810 didn't HAVE to double resolution and dynamic range because the D800 had already done that. The D810 was the highest resolution camera on the market at the time, only besting its predecessor... and the a7R, which was essentially just a slightly tweaked D800 sensor itself. And putting "Canon" and "dynamic range" in the same sentence? Now I know you're just trolling. Canon's newest cameras don't hold a flame to even Nikon's bodies from two generations ago in DR.

Of course it's not perfect. But it's not missing anything Nikon refuses to add to any of their pro bodies. Still no flippy screen, and no U1/U2 user banks. I'd also love to see in-camera multiple exposure overlay and a firmware program like Magic Lantern. And overall *all* DSLRs suffer from a lack of serious innovation and competition.

The D810 the best overall general-purpose DSLR on the market. Period.

Fritz Asuro's picture

As a D810 user, I'm sorry but the camera itself is really impressive. I know when it was released it looked like a minor upgrade. But it seems it was more than that.

Nikon gave me the opportunity to try the D800 before, and I just didn't enjoy it. When the D810 was released, Nikon lend me one and tested it during my travel to Italy. Just after I came back, I bought one for myself!

Christian Berens's picture

Yea, I sent mine in too, came back worse :(
some bracket inside wasn't even clipped in correctly and was a horrible distraction when shooting as well as my fine tune is at +20 now and not even sharp :\
**Sigh** sending it back today, another 3-4 weeks without my D800.

Wonder if they'd give me a deal for a D810 swap??

Sean Molin's picture

That sucks. I've sent two bodies into Nikon for free service and both came back awesome. I'm sure they'll take care of you this time.

If you can get a great price on a D810, I'd do it. Despite what Josh says above, it's a big jump up from the D800 in handling.

johnkarras's picture

Just what I need in case I get sucked into a black hole.

Nick Viton's picture


D500?!!! WHAT?!!!!

SO many questions; Does the D500 have an AA filter? Does it have a Toshiba sensor like the D7xxx series or a Sony sensor? Max shutter 1/8000? Max sync? Magnesium body throughout, or just top and back like the D7100? New battery format, or will they take our EN-EL15s?...


Ben Sandness's picture
EN-EL15 like everything else in the recent lineup (except D-x bodies) No AA Filter, same buffer and processing specs as D5, 1/8000, $2000

Norbert Tukora's picture

Sooo, after the press conference I was thinking, who want's to buy a bag of Canon gear....? :D

Ioan Badila's picture

me, do you have a 11-24mm f4L for sale?

Sean Molin's picture

Nope, but we've got 14-24 f/2.8s over here on the dark side.

Yay 4K!

Spy Black's picture

I hear unfortunately it's a 2x crop, on both bodies if I'm not mistaken.

Usman Dawood's picture

Aside from being cropped doesn't this camera only film up to a maximum of 3 minutes at a time?

If this is true for the D5 seriously WHY?! lol

from nikon : Movie Maximum recording time 3 minutes at high quality only for 4K UHD 3840 x 2160/24/25/30p recording .so it's true.

Usman Dawood's picture

For the love of god... Nikon why are you even a company :P.

Akeem Casey's picture

3 Min if you are writing directly to the card, unlimited if you are using an external recorder/monitor like Atmos

Usman Dawood's picture

That's simply not good enough, at this price it's not good enough at all.

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