The D5 was expected. It’s the logical progression of the D4s, the successor, the new flagship of the Nikon full frame camera line-up.
The D500, however, was not. At least not by me and MANY other people. In fact, I just wrote an article a week or so ago entitled We DON’T Need a Nikon D400 / D500 Because We ALREADY Have One, where I was basically making the case that the Nikon D7200 WAS the Nikon D300 update or successor, whatever you want to call it.
Boy was I wrong!
The new Nikon D500 blew me away when I saw everything it delivers.
First and foremost, the D500 and it’s big brother the D5, have 4K video, a first for DSLR Cameras. This is HUGE! (and about time). It’s the way of the future, and it’s here now with Panasonic and Sony.
Besides the 4K UHD video though, the D500 has an all new 20.9MP sensor, which you’d be correct in noting, is 3.3 MP less than the rest of Nikon’s DX DSLR line-up, from the Nikon D7200 to the D5500 to the D3300. They all share a similar 24MP sensor, and now the new DX flagship has a 20MP sensor (21MP if you round up).
Well, that’s obvious when we look at the other MOST interesting feature of the Nikon D500, the ISO range. The D500 has a native ISO range of 100 – 51,200, which in itself is impressive for an APS-C DX crop sensor.
But wait! The D500 also has an expandable ISO range of LO 1 ISO 50 ISO to Hi 5 ISO 1,640,000. Yes, you read that right! The D500, a DX crop sensor DSLR, has a top ISO of 1.64 MILLION!!!
That’s ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!
Of course, I’m not expecting the ISO 1.64 Million setting to be usable, but one or two stops below will be, and that’s STILL pretty incredible.
The Nikon D500 is the new KING of APS-C cameras. It may even give the venerable Sony a7s II, the current low-light, full frame champion, a run for its money.
That’s not all either. There’s a new 153 point / 99 cross type AF sensor that is rated to -4EV for low-light focus. If it’s the same as the D5’s, which it appears to be, it also uses a “fully dedicated AF processor” which may in itself be revolutionary in that it may solve the front focus / back focus issue inherent to all DSLR cameras once and for all.
Still on the subject of AF, the D500 will also automatically fine tune your lens. No more time wasted dialing in the focus on each of your lenses to your camera body manually. This is a GREAT advancement on the tech front of photography. Kudos Nikon!
Further, the D500 has Snapbridge technology which allows you to communicate wirelessly through Bluetooth instead of wifi. This should make dropped connections a problem of the past and REALLY speed up the transfer of photos from the D500 to your camera, tablet, or other enabled devices.
And then there’s the new Radio Controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting System which the D500 sports. This is something I’ve wondered about for years (i.e. why hasn’t a DSLR had built in radio control over speedlites), and now it has finally happened. With the also newly announced Nikon SB-5000, you’ll be able to control the speedlite from the camera wirelessly via radio, which should mean greater reliability, extended range, and no more need for line-of-sight.
And let’s not forget the Nikon D5, which pretty much has all the same features and technology, except that it’s an FX full frame camera, and because of that, the D5 has an expanded ISO of ISO 50 to ISO 3,28,000!!!
Say that number out loud a couple times… ISO 3.28 MILLION.
That is absolutely insane! I’m totally giddy thinking about what this camera will be able to do in low-light. Geeze, not just low-light, how about absolute, pitch black darkness?
If it sounds like I’m excited, you’re right! I AM! These are pretty amazing looking cameras. I can’t wait to get them in my hands for review.
speaking to the title question, what do the Nikon D5 and Nikon D500 mean for the coming Nikon D610 update?
I mean, the Nikon D600 was announced September 13, 2012, and the D610, which was a very minor update with little in the way of differences between it and the D600 (it was mostly an attempt for Nikon to move past the D600’s oil spots on the sensor snafu), was announced October 8, 2013. As you can see from these dates, we’re due for a D600/D610 replacement, and all this incredible tech goodness in the D500 and D5 make me wonder what we’ll see in the D600/D610 replacement (I have no idea as to what they’ll name it… Nikon D650 maybe?).
I’m guessing, since the D610 is Nikon’s entry level FX DSLR, that we won’t likely see the Nikon D650 (I’m gonna go with D650 rather than keep typing D600/D610 replacement) get the new Multi-Cam 20K AF module from the D5 and the D500. The D600 and D610 didn’t have the top of the line AF, so it’s doubtful the D650 will, BUT, it may get the previous generation from the D750 (or D7200), which will be a welcome improvement.
Low-light abilities is another question altogether because the current D610 is no slouch. It ranks in the top of the pile for low-light, high ISO performance, and it’s got a 24MP sensor, 4 more than the new D5. Imagine what the advancements of the new Expeed 5 processor and the tech from the D5’s new sensor will mean for a new D650 sensor. Sure, they may not give us ISO 3.28 Million, but how about a nice 1.64 Million like that of the D500’s DX crop sensor?
I mean, the new D650 sensor has to be at least the equal of a crop sensor for low-light, high ISO performance, right?
And of course, it would be silly of Nikon not to give us 4K UHD video in the new D650. That’s just the way of the future. All the new Panasonic cameras have it now, and Sony is putting it in all their latest cameras too. Nikon will have to in order to stay competitive and current, which begs the question, what Canon is going to do to catch up?
I’d expect we’ll see the Nikon D650 get the new Radio Control speedlight tech too. That’s probably going to end up in all the new Nikon DSLR cameras that have a command feature for speedlights.
So, you can see why I asked the question right? I mean, as exciting as the new Nikon D5 and Nikon D500 cameras are, it’s almost more exciting to see what tech will trickle down from them into my favorite little full frame DSLR, the Nikon D610 (and now that I think about it, what about the Nikon D7300 too!).
It sure is fun to think about anyway! 🙂