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NIKON D500 Camera Review: DX Format Flagship

Updated on December 21, 2016
The New Nikon D500
The New Nikon D500 | Source

My Rating

4 stars for Nikon D500

DX Format Flagship

After considerable years following the launch of Nikon’s previous high-end DX body, the D300S, the Japanese camera manufacturer this year released their new highest level APS-C/DX format DSLR – the amazing Nikon D500.

The D500 has everything expected in the Nikon D5, the new FX format DSLR flagship, but just in a smaller body. It is aimed at professional and enthusiast photographers who want a smaller, lighter alternative to a full-frame model.

In this Nikon D500 camera review are brief descriptions of the features of Nikon’s most advanced camera of its kind and the reasons for owning one. Find out if the new Nikon D500 is what we have all been waiting for in a DX format DSLR, hoping to beat the Canon 7D Mark II, its number one competitor in the market.

Multi-CAM 20K 153-point AF System

This new DX format camera flagship houses the Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module that provides a dense configuration of 153 focus points. 55 of which are individually selectable and 99 are more sensitive cross-type. It features 15 AF points that support f/8 autofocusing.

This feature in the D500 makes it easy and fast to capture moving, low contrast subjects in difficult lighting conditions. Due to the smaller sensor area, focusing extends over to almost the whole of the frame, providing the D500 with the broadest tracking area of any DSLR ever created and the subject acquisition is superb in all kinds of situations.

With this kind of focusing system you will not miss the most important events that you need to capture.


The new EXPEED 5 image processor makes it possible for continuous shooting at a maximum rate of 10 fps and for achieving standard ISO sensitivity up to 51200, expandable to Hi 5 (equivalent to ISO 1640000).

It has led to improvements in both buffer depth and continuous high speed shooting capabilities, enabling it to capture incredible high-definition images with low noise even at exceptionally high ISO speeds.

Nikon D500: The Best Camera for Wildlife Photography
Nikon D500: The Best Camera for Wildlife Photography | Source

Native ISO 100-51200

This new APS-C format DSLR has a native ISO sensitivity from 100 to 51200, expandable down to Lo 1 (equivalent to ISO 50) and up to Hi 5 (equivalent to ISO 1640000). This is one of the most important features to mention in this Nikon D500 camera review. It is packed with a low-light capability that is complimented by its AF system which has a central point sensitive down to -4EV while surrounding points sensitive down to -3EV.

This feature allows the D500 to shoot in the dark like a full-frame sensor, offering outstanding image quality even in low-light. Now there's one less thing to worry for the photographer. Isn't it great?

Great ISO Sensitivity for Low-Light Conditions
Great ISO Sensitivity for Low-Light Conditions | Source

D500 Continuous Shooting

10 FPS

Delivers high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 10 fps for up to 200 shots (14-bit lossless compressed RAW and JPEG) without any drop in shooting speed which makes it the fastest Nikon DX camera ever.

This DX flagship camera is the best for sports, action, events and wildlife photography because even moving subjects can be tracked accurately across a wide field of view at a rapid rate while taking advantage of its stable viewfinder image and the widest-ever diagonal viewing angle of approximately 30.8°.

20.9MP APS-C/DX Format CMOS Sensor

Being equipped with enough resolution, it makes retouching very easy without requiring a more advanced computer for processing.

Its focal length magnification gives telephoto lenses greater reach and it leverages high detail while still allowing for amazing high ISO performance.

Made Even Better
Made Even Better | Source

4K UHD Video Recording

Able to record 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) videos in 30p/25p/24p as well as 1080/60p for 29 minutes and 59 seconds, making it suitable for professional productions. In addition to this Nikon D500 camera review, this new DX format flagship can shoot in full HD at 60p for slow motion playback; produce still shots during video; create 4K UHD timelapse movies in-camera.

Not only that. The D500 has an in-camera Vibration Reduction (VR) system which is capable of minimising the impact of camera shake when shooting footage hand-held, adding up to a pretty attractive package for photographers.

It's nice to say, however, that Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 is also able to record 4K UHD and cinema 4K varieties, along with slow motion 1080p in a weather-sealed body that is smaller, lighter and cheaper. But as they say, competition is good for the business. And the Nikon D500 has what it needs to rise to the top.

DSLR With Tilting Touchscreen LCD Monitor
DSLR With Tilting Touchscreen LCD Monitor | Source

3.2”, 2359k-dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD

Features a 3.2”, 2359k-dot tilting touchscreen LCD monitor which can be used for zooming into and scrolling through images as well as keying in copyright information. Photographers can set AF point with a tap of this touch-sensitive screen.

Reviewing images has never been this easy and fast. Thanks to the new feature which comes with the D500, the Frame Advance bar allows the user to move through series of images at an instant. No need for swiping the images.

It articulates 180° for low angle or overhead shooting to ensure comfort when composing from low or high angles. This high resolution screen will be put to great use when recording video.

Who do you think is the Nikon D500 best for?

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The Nikon D500 debuts the new SnapBridge technology which was deigned to enable the camera to be continually connected to a smart device via a low-energy bluetooth link or via WiFi.

With SnapBridge, images are transferred automatically to your smart device after the shot, making the images readily available to be uploaded over the internet whenever you grab your device. Perfect for photographers on-the-go.

This is awesome to let you share the most significant moment in an instant.

XQD and SD Card Slots

Offers two different card ports, XQD and SD.

XQD is fast which enables extensive burst depths and quicker image transfer and allows for speeds up to 400 MB/s write and 350 MB/s read. This increase in speed is worth it.

On the other hand, SD card is cheaper and has a large capacity which every photographer will still have knocking around his camera bag.

Environmental Sealing Body

The degree of sealing of the D500 has been made greater to become weather resistant so the camera can be used in harsher conditions.

The D500 has a metal chassis which is very durable even though it does not have a full metal body.

Nikon has taken off the built-in pop-up flash and supplied the hotshoe with a weatherproof seal, making it sturdier and protecting the camera when the photographer is not using a flashgun.

This makes the Nikon D500 your best buddy wherever you go. It will never let you get disappointed. One that you can always depend on.

Rugged, Sturdy, Weather-Sealed
Rugged, Sturdy, Weather-Sealed | Source

No Optical Low-Pass Filter

This Nikon D500 camera review cannot go without saying that by leaving out the optical low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter, this machine not only increases the sharpness but also enables to deliver files with extremely crisp detail and maximum clarity.

Although this move by Nikon increases the chance of moire occurring in certain scenes, the D500 is still able to produce fantastic image quality which is viewed as a great decision by almost all photographers who will use this camera.

Best Camera for Shooting Moving Subjects
Best Camera for Shooting Moving Subjects | Source

Button Illumination

Another incredible feature that is worth to mention in this Nikon D500 camera review as well is that this is the first DX camera to include button illumination which will improve operatability in dark or nighttime situations.

Pentaprism Viewfinder

With a pentaprism viewfinder, the D500 gives a 100% coverage of the scene for precise framing and a magnification ratio of 1x for large, bright and accurate views.

Very Ergonomic
Very Ergonomic | Source

Nikon D500 vs D5

Image Sensor
APS-C / DX Format
Full Frame / FX Format
Effective Pixels
20.9 MP
20.8 MP
Low-Pass Filter
LCD Monitor
3.2" Tilting Touchscreen
3.2" Fixed Touchscreen
Optical (Pentaprism)
Optical (Pentaprism)
Continuous Shooting
10 fps
14 fps
Video Resolution
3840 x 2160
3840 x 2160
Built-in Wireless
Optional Wireless Transmitter

© 2016 Mike Leal

What do you think about the new Nikon D500?

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    • Hanzamfafa profile image

      Mike Leal 2 years ago from London

      Yes it really seems promising. i do believe this will satisfy all enthusiasts and professional photographers.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This sounds like a great camera! Thanks for the review.

    • Hanzamfafa profile image

      Mike Leal 2 years ago from London

      Thanks a lot rajan jolly.

    • Hanzamfafa profile image

      Mike Leal 2 years ago from London

      For the body only, it costs $1,996.95. With 16-80mm ED VR lens, it is $3,066.95. Available in to pre-order now. Will be shipping out on The 21st of April, 2016.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Useful review of the Nikon D500. Has its price been declared?