Early this January in Las Vegas, Nikon takes a big stride into the market with the Nikon “I Am D500” making a bold statement of this creation that is waiting to take everyone’s breath away with it’s new flagship DX-format camera that boasts D5 performance which has next in line generation features. The D500 is a small looking beast at first sight and touch yet does not lack in power in it’s small framed body. This can best be demonstrated by the same 153-point AF System as the Nikon’s flagship D5 with 99 more precise cross-type sensors. To accompany this powerful feature, Nikon D500 also goes faster and longer, with the 10fps continuous shooting speed and a buffer capacity that plays a significant role as well for maximum time for ongoing shooting before breaking for photo processing. The amazing result from Nikon D500’s shooting is a total of 200 Jpegs and 200 14-bit RAW files without pausing and lowering the speed. Doing the math, that’s a 20-second burst at 10 seconds per frame with RAW files. That sounds insane but it sets an incredible record breaker since it makes the D500 the fastest continous shooter available on Nikon DSLR apart from the Nikon D5 and with just a small difference.
Another adopted feature from the D5 flagship series is the new EXPEED 5 image-processing engine, which Nikon swears to allow cameras to produce high quality images at high ISO settings where the D500 has a native range of ISO 100-51,200 expandable up to ISO 1,640,000 with the Hi 5 setting. It also spots a 20.9 megapixel DX sensor with a resolution of 5568 x 3712 pixels. Although this might seem like a backword move with the existing models spotting a 24 megapixel sensor, a 20 megapixel range still generates a great amount of benefit for a lot of professionals while getting sufficient resolution for doing potrait work retouching without breaking a sweat and not requiring a factory server to process file size.
Another unbeatable feature of the camera is the ability to record 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video at 24, 25 and 30 frames per second for a good 29 minutes and 59seconds as compared to D5’s 4K shooting capability which stops at 3 minutes. Borrowing some excellent pro features from D810, the camera is equipped with features such as producing 4K time-lapse movies in-camera, Auto ISO smoothing that helps with easy transitions in exposure when recording and succesfully recording 4K UHD video to the card and manufacturing it to HDI both at the same time. No matter what lenses you are using, the camera spots a new 3-axis electronic Vibration Reduction feature that can be prompted when seizing 1080p Full HD content hand-held. When shooting difficult videos, the D500 easily takes on the challenge with it’s added Active D-Lighting to Full HD video for keep exposure values in check in a scene and avoiding unwanted blown-out highlights.
One of the greatest significance in a pro DSLR camera is the connectivity and here the D500 is no failure. Similar to the D5 and D810 is the PC-sync socket and 10-pin port for industry range accessories usage. These features may seem insignificant but users will be glad to have them when they utilize studio gear accessories and to find these pro options readily available. Another small but important new feature in the D500 is the flicker reduction under 50/60 Hz lighting during shooting with fluorescent lighting present. Cleverly, the D500 tracks down the vibrations of light levels and the effects of this gets played down by shooting at the brightest points.
The D500 offers the best combination for professional shooters – you will find both XQD and SD slots in the camera that are compliant to the G-Series and UHS-II standards. The latest XQD cards, which is over twice as fast as the quickest CF cards (tipping at about 160 MB/s write since January 2016) makes speeds up to 400 MB/s write and 350 MB/s read. With both XQD and SD slots, the camera offers the best of both worlds in terms of world-class speed and using tons of cheap and large storage SD cards, a dream of every pro photographer.
The new D500 will be available in the market somewhere between March to April 2016 and is priced at a hefty $1,995.95 in the US for the body-only configuration or $3,069.95 with the 16-80mm VR lens.