Get your FREE Photography Guide

A guide to "Capturing Motion" in low light situations

Nikon D500 Preview

Nikon simply shocked the photo world by announcing a D500. Yes this camera is the official replacement of the way outdated Nikon D300s. There are some major specs to discuss with this one which I will do down below. If you would like to read the full press release you can do so all the way at the bottom of this post.

You can Pre-Order a Nikon D500 right here on Amazon.

Let’s take a look at the key specs

The Price: This is interesting, $1999.95. You may be asking yourself isn’t that more expensive than the full frame D750, why yes it is. This is going to create a major question as should someone purchase the DX or FX camera when they are starting out.

20.9 megapixel DX CMOS sensor with NO OLPF. This means it does not have the low pass filter and should mean sharper images right out of the camera.

Frames Per Second: This camera shoots at a whopping 10 FPS which matches what the Canon 7D Mark II offers.

ISO: 100-51,200 ISO natively with a Low-1 setting of 50 and a Hi-5 setting of 1,640,000 ISO. Again, if you’re shooting this high it means you are in an extremely low light situation which means you may not get a great image any way. It’s more about the quality of the ISO around 12,800 that’s important.

Focus Points: The D500 has the same exact focusing system of the D5. That means it has FULL edge to edge coverage with 153 focus points, 99 cross type with 55 of them being selectable. This is insane and should help people get tack sharp images.

Crop Mode: You have a 1.3 X crop mode but I really see no need for anyone to use a mode like this.

Screen: This has the same 3.2 inch touch screen that the D5 has. It pulls out just like the D750 and tilts up and down but does it all while feeling much better built than the D750’s screen.

Just like in the D5 the touch screen is only usable when scrolling or zooming through images, not for selecting different menu settings. I am a little disappointed about this function.

Memory Cards: True to Nikon’s past cameras you have two memory card slots. The only difference is this time you have XQD and SD cards. Sure 2 SD cards would make sense but when we get into the video functions of this camera you will understand why the XQD is important.

Video: This camera shoots 4k video with file break. This means you can shoot up to 29.59 seconds continuously with each section of the video saved in a 4gig clip. This is pretty big news as this is the first Nikon camera that does more than 20 minutes of record time.

Lastly this camera has done away with the popup flash. Some people will be upset with that but Nikon used the space to squeeze in some extra features. You now have NFC, WIFI and Blue Tooth capabilities all built in. This modes take advantage of Nikon Snap Bridge.

Who is this camera for? This is a touch question. Many people didn’t want to go full frame but wanted a more powerful DX camera. But the issue is this is priced higher than a full frame body. Do you want to spend more money than a D750 which I think is one of the best Nikon Cameras ever made?

Will a Pro want a D500 as a backup or a D750? Will a consumer want to spend this much money on a body and still use DX lenses? Lots of interesting questions right here that only time will tell. All and all this is a packed camera that joins it’s bigger brother the Nikon D5 at the top of the DX and FX world.

When this camera comes out I will be sure to get one and put it’s through it’s paces in the real world.

Nikon D500 Press Release


The Highly Anticipated Resurrection of the DX-Format Flagship Gives Photographers the Best Combination of Speed, Reach and Connectivity

LAS VEGAS, NV (January 5, 2016) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the D500, a DX-format DSLR with pro-level features that gives photographers nimble handling, speed and extreme processing power in a compact and lightweight body. With amazing imaging capability, robust build quality and lightning fast performance, the D500 is sure to satisfy as the highly sought-after successor to the venerable D300S. Like its sibling the D5, the D500 benefits from Nikon’s latest technological innovations such as the totally new, blazing-fast Multi-CAM 20K 153-point AF system and 4K UHD video capture, yet adds a fun new way to share photos with Nikon SnapBridge built-in.

“Nikon has answered the call from photographers to once again re-invent this camera category and offer an unmatched combination of performance and value that is hard for any photographer to resist,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “When paired with the amazing imaging capabilities of legendary NIKKOR optics, photographers can capture intimate portraits, mind-blowing macros or action from extreme distances– the possibilities are endless.”

Pro-Level Image Quality, DX-Format Versatility
The D500 imagines the best of both worlds, offering advanced enthusiasts and pro photographers all the benefits of DX-format, such as smaller form-factor and lens crop, combined with many of the same advanced pro features found in the new Nikon D5. The new Nikon D500 features an all-new 20.9-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor that renders images with outstanding colors and gorgeous tonality. This new sensor is coupled with Nikon’s new EXPEED 5 image processing engine, affording low noise and maximum processing power with a surprisingly small footprint and superbly balanced body.

The benefits of the DX-format are evident for long-distance applications like wildlife and sports photography, where telephoto ability is at a premium and weight reduction is welcome. With Nikon’s legendary FX or smaller-sized DX-format NIKKOR lenses, the sleek D500 is the ideal companion for wanderlust. When mated with the new AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens, the D500 offers a remarkable 350-750mm equivalent focal range for a lightweight, yet super-telephoto duo.

Because amazing images can happen even when the sun goes down, the D500 is capable of excellent low-light performance, with an ISO range of 100-51,200, expandable to 50-1,640,000 equivalent. From low-light cityscapes to action sports under the lights, the D500 is ready to tackle any imaging challenge.

Performance Meets Portability
Within the streamlined body of the D500 is a formidable processing powerhouse. Whether photographing sideline sports for the home team or animals in exotic destinations, a super-fast 10 frames-per-second (fps) burst speed with full AF and AE will help nail nearly any shot. This extreme speed lets users capture every fleeting moment in exceptional clarity, while a generous buffer allows for up to 79 shots (14-bit, uncompressed RAW/NEF) to be captured, so the moment won’t be missed.

To keep pace with the action, the D500 is fitted with the same AF system as the Nikon D5, the Multi-CAM 20K AF sensor module, with a separate dedicated processor for AF function. On the D500’s DX-format sensor, the 153-point AF array fills the frame from side to side, letting users flawlessly track and lock-onto subjects from the edges of the viewfinder. Like the D5, the D500 utilizes the new 180K RGB Metering system and Advanced Scene Recognition System to help ensure balanced exposures and fantastic color rendition in nearly any shooting situation.

Controls and Rugged Construction Worthy of a Flagship
The D500 features an enhanced level of robust build quality, offering the same amount of rugged weather sealing as the Nikon D810. The durable body is a monocoque structure composed of magnesium alloy for the top and rear, while the front is reinforced with lightweight carbon fiber. The shutter mechanism has been tested for 200K actuations, helping to ensure maximum endurance. For further durability, the D500 excludes a pop-up flash, yet is compatible with Nikon’s newest radio frequency capable flash, the SB-5000 Speedlight (with optional WR-R10 & WR-A10)1.

It’s easy to compose and view images on the D500’s bright 3.2-inch, high resolution (2359K-dot) touchscreen LCD, which lets users interact with photos in playback, control the camera and operate menus. When mounted on a tripod or shooting from creative angles, landscape and event shooters will appreciate the reinforced tilting LCD screen, similar to that of the Nikon D750. Additionally, images are rapidly written to either a fast XQD card slot or to the additional SD card slot for maximum workflow efficiency.

Constant Connectivity with the New Nikon SnapBridge
The D500 marshals in a new way to share photos wirelessly with the new Nikon SnapBridge, making the camera’s built-in connectivity easier to use than ever before. SnapBridge allows for Bluetooth2 supported connection between your camera and compatible smart device, thus making automatic upload of your images possible. Once enabled, the camera stays connected to the smart device and transfers photos, eliminating the need to re-connect devices. Those looking to share images from their travels or from the field can also tag images for transfer in camera and can password protect their connection for added security. As an added benefit, the D500’s built-in Near Field Communication (NFC)3 capability easily connects the camera to a compatible smart device with just a tap, while built-in Wi-Fi3 capability allows for faster wireless image transfer.

For those looking for an even faster transfer solution, the D500 is also compatible with the new optional WT-7A Wireless Transmitter, enabling wired or wireless transmission of files to an FTP server or computer at faster speeds.

Advanced Video Features
Just like the D5, the D500 has the ability to capture striking 4K UHD video at up to 30p (3840×2160), as well as Full HD (1080p) video at a variety of frame rates. Ready for any production, the camera sports a host of pro video features derived from the D810, including uncompressed HDMI output and Picture Controls, but adds even more great features. These pro-level creative video features include the ability to create 4K time-lapse movies in-camera, Auto ISO smoothing to provide fluid transitions in exposure during recording, and the capability to record 4K UHD video to the card and output to HDMI simultaneously. When capturing 1080p Full HD content, the camera also has a new 3-axis electronic VR feature that can be activated regardless of the lens being used. Challenging video exposures are no problem for the D500, as it also adds in Active D-Lighting to Full HD video to balance exposure values within a scene to help prevent blown-out highlights

Price and Availability
The new Nikon D500 DSLR will be available in March 2016 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $1,999.95* for the body-only configuration. A kit will also be available, bundled with the versatile AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR lens, for the SRP of $3,069.95. The MB-D17-battery pack will also be available in March 2016 for the SRP of $449.95 and will add extended battery life and facilitate vertical shooting. The WT-7A Wireless Transmitter will be available in March 2016, for the SRP of $934.95. For more information on these new Nikon products, please visit

About Nikon
Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is a world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology; globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for an award-winning array of equipment that enables users to tell their stories through amazing photos and videos. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics as well as the Nikon 1 compact interchangeable lens camera system. Nikon Corporation, the parent company of Nikon Inc., recently announced the production of 95 million NIKKOR lenses in 2015, creating a new milestone in Nikon’s heritage of superior optics. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit, which links all levels of photographers to the Web’s most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities. Connect with Nikon and other photographers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo and Flickr.