See the Nikon D5's Blazing Fast Shutter at Full Speed

When Nikon's new flagship DSLR, the D5, was announced this week, the fact that it achieves a maximum ISO of 3,280,000 seems to have grabbed all the attention. That is until now, with a released video showing the 12 fps shooting power in all its glory. While that may only be a measly 1 fps faster than the previous generation D4s, there's something else about this speed that is dropping jaws.

12 frames per second is fast. And for stills, it's hard to argue that you'd ever need it to go faster. The trouble with raising shutter speeds is that the faster your shutter, the more the mirror goes up. This means more blackout and less time for your autofocus system to do its business. It also means, well, a lot of pictures. Putting the issue of having to go through all of them later aside, it means you'll have to contend with every sports and and wildlife photographer's best friend, the buffer.

Well, as Alex Cooke reported earlier this week for us, have no fear. On paper, things are looking pretty stellar, with a buffer big and fast enough to handle a mind-blowing 200 raw frames. The AF specs are equally shocking, with 99 cross-type points making up part of the whopping 153 total points, acquiring focus in light as low as EV -4, mind you. What the paper doesn't show, but this video does, is that the tracking is fast — lighting fast, or maybe faster than that. Look at those AF points follow subjects in relatively dim lighting so well that it's almost as if the mirror wasn't getting in the way at all.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some Canon stock to sell.

You can preorder yours at B&H in one of two memory card variants, either dual XQD or dual CompactFlash.

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39 Comments
Paulo Macedo's picture

Still slower than the 1D X. Anyway, i would love to get my hands in one of those D5. Wondering what Canon will deliver with the 1D X MkII.

Felix C's picture

What exactly is slower than the 1D X? It matches the shutter speed but with a huge buffer. How long can you go with the 1D X?

Caleb Kerr's picture

Long enough :)

I believe it's 31.

Sean Molin's picture

So... 2.5 seconds of shooting at max speed?

Caleb Kerr's picture

That math seems right. I'll say that I use it for sports and have never hit the buffer. If you have any idea what you're doing though, there's no reason to lay on the shutter for 2.5 seconds. It takes 8 seconds to fully clear (depending on card), and you're back to 31.

I'm not saying that these numbers can't be faster, and the D5 might offer that, but I'm saying in reality of shooting, I've never been limited by the buffer.

Sean Molin's picture

My cameras are set to 3fps max because I don't like rapid fire shooting. But even still, when I'm doing large bokeh panoramas (Brenizer method) I regularly hit buffers.

Deleted Account's picture

I'm pretty convinced that the 1D X has sufficient horsepower for the task, as you say, but the start of the thread was that it was faster than the D5. Perhaps for a second or two, discounting actual bytes across the wire, but it's pretty clear that the 1D X can't hit 200 frames in about 16.5 seconds shooting raw. In fact, it can't even do half that. So, it's not faster and there are shooting situations (such as wildlife in motion) where more than 2.5 seconds potentially has value.

tl;dr The buffer in the D5 is the killer "app" in this situation.

Christopher Smoot's picture

I know Scott Kelby has said he shoots sports in .jpg specifically because the buffer is not big enough for RAW. He's not the only one who has complained, just the biggest name I've seen publicly comment. So apparently not...

Fritz Asuro's picture

Canon 1Dx has 12FPS also... And I believe 12 FPS is the sweet spot for stills. Although faster frame rates is welcome, I can't just imagine the blackout time on the viewfinder.
If Canon has to focus on something, it's their sensor tech (clean high ISO & dynamic range). I use both systems, though I've always prefered Nikon over Canon.

Deleted Account's picture

The Nikon is slightly higher resolution and for 200 shots RAW. I don't think 1D X is faster, no math supports you there.

Neu Porabno's picture

Does. When you add the production date of 1Dx. 2011. 12fps 5 years ago. Buffer is just a normal thing that is so much bigger - as with computer memory. More and more from year to year. But as stated - fps is "5 years old invention".

Deleted Account's picture

Older doesn't make it faster. Faster was the assertion at the start of the thread, not the one that you just came out with and, sorry, 200 frames in 16.5 seconds is not something you're going to hit with the 1D X, not even close. So, I think we can get past the fan issues here long enough to realize that the original statement is not correct and accept that cameras do actually advance and, that they have done so, is not a slight at Canon.

Niels Rudnik's picture

Let's wait until we can compare the D5 to the 2016 version of Canons flagship ;)

andreas's picture

Sean Molin's picture

Yep. I did mention it in the article in the third paragraph.

Anonymous's picture

Gotta admit thats impressive but I'm not about to drop all my fuji gear for nikon. I think any pro/prosumer camera out now a days are amazing. it's just picking the right one for what you shoot. I don't need 12fps to shoot environmental portraits.

Im so bored with all the competition between these companies.

cool camera though! if I had the money i'd own many different brands of camera's.

Fritz Asuro's picture

I've always told friends and people that ask me which is the best camera for them that it depends on what you want and need. A Nikon D5 or Canon's 1Dx might be impressive, but is it really what you need?

"A ferrari is amazing, but 6 seater SUV is fun"

Sean Molin's picture

Absolutely. As impressed as I am, I am not a sports shooter or a career photojournalist. I'm most well-suited by the DX00 bodies that are half the price. I have a D810/D800/D750 setup and it's gold for me.

Thomas Schütz's picture

I don't think sitting in a Ferrari is super sad either.. :)

Fritz Asuro's picture

Lol, try to fit in the your 5 best beer buddies in a Ferrari.

Sean Molin's picture

"Im so bored with all the competition between these companies."

What competition? Canon basically bowed out of the race after the D3/D700 were announced in 2008! ;-)

Tyler Herbert's picture

So you really don't have Canon stock to sell, and your quip was more fan boy antics from F-Stoppers basically to intentionally slight another manufacturer you don't use.. Par for the course. Because a comment like this raises concerns that you're pushing an agenda instead of pretending to be a journalist. First off, I shoot Sony, but more importantly, Canon's diversified their interests to expand beyond simply photography. Since 2008 their lineup featured the 5dmii which was hailed as revolutionary and started the dslr trend that basically you at f-stoppers are still floating on, every dslr since has offered video because of; there's the cinema line of c100 to c500, and don't forget the 1dxthat until about a week ago outsold the d4 basically in every market. So they bowed out of what race? Yours? They're not too concerned about sub par journalists with elitist attitudes and their needs. Canon has been a little slow on the upkeep for about the last year, but previous to the latest offerings of a few of its competitors, the 5d3 was a staple on set- released far after 2008, along with an army of other cameras I see used far more often than what Nikon had to offer... Kudos to Nikon on their new releases. It's nice to see them taking the videographers seriously with some stellar new features driven to that audience. sure you all shoot your work on d750's over there at f-stoppers, and it's not a surprise you labeled that camera that was released in 2014 as the camera of the year this year... This is just what is done here at f-stoppers these days... Where do you all seriously get your research from?

Sean Molin's picture

Got you to comment on it, so I'd say my motivations were successful.

I'd happily report on Canon's new gear, but no one really cares about point and shoots. In all honesty, I very much want Canon to be successful and give Nikon and Sony a run for the money. Competition is good for everyone.

Tyler Herbert's picture

Your motivation is to get people to comment on your 'posts'? You should stick to inappropriate selfies on Instagram then (that's how all the kids get comments these days, anyhow) and leave the journalism to people that care more about credible info, fair and noteworthy reporting, and less about being 'clever' - and I'm being extremely generous with that adjective. But yes, you did get me to comment. So if that's all it takes for someone to be a writer? You're a huge success.

Sean Molin's picture

My motivation is to spur discussion. We don't claim to be journalists. There's a time and a place. We are not the New York Times delivering sensitive world news. We enjoy photography, and we like to have fun, too.

Fstoppers is a community that thrives on interaction and discussion. If that means stirring the pot and posting controversial opinions, then so be it.

In any case, your opinion is just as valid as mine. I'm open to talk about it.

Prefers Film's picture

Stop getting butt-hurt by the internets. I've been shooting Canon for 25+ years, and I'm not about to change. But that doesn't mean Nikon isn't making some great cameras. Oh, and don't confuse writers here with journalists.

Tyler Herbert's picture

Agreed. I've owned at least one rendition of flagship or close to from the big three for years. Worked in a camera shop before starting my career in the field, so the merit of all the manufacturers is obvious to me. They've all been behind, made progress, spurred innovation, and eventually fell behind again. My problem isn't with the brands, it's with an online publication that used to be very enjoyable to read- for years- that's becoming less about its content and more about opinions, entertainment, and half truths. As to the 'writing', why even insinuate you (the author) have canon stock and it's time to sell, when you've stated here in this thread you've owned about 5 generations of Nikons latest offerings and one of these 'facts' is very obviously not true? Are we really to believe you invest your hard currency into Nikon gear, but invest in Canon's long term business model on the exchange? That makes you sound like a moron, and or a very confused investor, dishonest, or more realistically someone who's trying to push an agenda. Probably more important than that, how does a comment like this help your writing? How does it add to your thesis or your credibility, and do quips like this even need to be said? Look, it is still journalism, it may be an online publication, but it's still journalism. I would have assumed that an online tech publication as well known as this one would want to have a staff that cares about its reporting- but it seems more and more like a collection of 'dudes' that all high five each other over why their brand is best, and less about content and factual driven material that provides us with a service. This is a business after all, and I guess if your product is bullshit then we are all the fools who continue to eat it up. It's probably best for me to just move along and read elsewhere, instead of continually returning here in hopes to read something like I used to get back when I'd check in a few times a day because things were quite plainly different around here.

Prefers Film's picture

Do you take everything so literally?

Tyler Herbert's picture

No. I think your profile photo is humorous. So I do get some jokes.

Sean Molin's picture

We don't claim to be journalists. There's a time and a place. We are not the New York Times delivering sensitive world news. We enjoy photography, and we like to have fun, too.

Anonymous's picture

thats exactly what I mean! i don't care that anyone thinks canon "bowed out of the race with ..." what race? digital cameras today are all amazing. thats my point. if all people are worried about is the next camera to come out then I feel bad for photography.

this is honestly why I think fuji is making a big impact. I mean their cameras are great but they aren't trying to make the highest megapixel, most fps monster camera. they are doing their own thing and not giving a crap what anyone else does. its refreshing.

i just want more community instead of competition. who cares what ya shoot with. is your work good? if the answer yes I don't care what you shot it with.

Niels Rudnik's picture

Interesting.... As far as I remember the 1DX was quite a bit quicker than the D4 and Nikon didn't even manage to catch up with the D4s... Now (almost 4 years later) the Nikon D5 FINALLY has the SAME fps as the 1DX and a larger buffer.. WOW :D
Enjoy your fanboy victory until the 1DX MK II is released ;) :P
I'd take a Nikon/Sony sensor over a Canon sensor for noise performance/ dynamic range at the moment by the way and personally don't care about speed at all, but thats beside the point here.

Bartosz Kwiecien's picture

Yeah, when comparing it to 4 years old camera, it seems like slightly better choice...if they only have those great Canon lenses or some kind of adapter...

Fritz Asuro's picture

Are Nikon (NIKKOR) lenses that bad? Matching most lenses that both companies have, they are almost par to each other.

Bartosz Kwiecien's picture

Before it was 14-24 that Canon didn't have, but at least you can use Nikon lenses on Canon. But now Canon has 11-24, plus 85 F1.2, 135 F2 and 35 f1.4 mkII (basically Otus quality with AF). Not even mention about super telephoto options.

Ioan Badila's picture

From what you've mentioned I have to say CZ 135mm F2 is much better then Canon (if you don't mind the manual focus). But the rest of lenses are massive.
And not to forget about the 24-70mm F2.8L II and 70-200mm F2.8L who outperform the Nikon peers.

Spy Black's picture

Although I also shoot Nikon, this was a bit too much Ford vs Chevy for it's own good. ;-)

Colonel Kurtz's picture

When do we get to see some images shot at ISO 3,280,000?

Jacques Cornell's picture

NO MORE "DROPPING JAWS", "JAW-DROPPING", OR "YOUR JAW WILL DROP"! NO JAWS, NO DROPPING. GOT IT? PUERILE FACEBOOK ADS. ENOUGH!