Nikon D5

12 FPS, 20MP FX, 4K, March 2016

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Nikon D5

Nikon D5 with 35mm f/1.4 (20MP FX, 12FPS, 49.9 oz./1,415 g. with battery and two CF cards). bigger. About $6,500 in either two CF-card slot version or two XQD-card slot version. It also comes from B&H with CF card slots, from B&H with XQD card slots, from Amazon (CF version) (also from Amazon (XQD version) or from Crutchfield in CF version or in XQD verison.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to my personally-approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Nikon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used camera. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear, especially the D4, D4s and every Nikon DSLR.

 

February 2016   Nikon Reviews   Nikon Lenses    All Reviews

NEW: Pro DSLR Comparison 03 February 2016

 

Nikon D5

Nikon D5 with 35mm f/1.4. bigger.

 

Nikon D5

Nikon D5 with 35mm f/1.4. bigger.

 

Introduction

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Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

New   Missing

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

I buy only from these approved sources. I can't vouch for ads below.

The D5 is Nikon's newest professional DSLR.

It improves on the old D4s with a faster 12 FPS frame rate critical for sports, as well as with crazier high ISO settings.

As expected, it has more AF points than before, but you can't select them all. You have only 55 selectable points, even if there are a claimed 153 AF points hidden somewhere.

It ships in March 2016 in two versions (CF-card version or XQD-card-version) — but only to those who order it today and get the first ones. If you wait until tomorrow, it may be quite a while until Nikon can make enough of these to fill all the orders for the latecomers. With the Internet, the order queue fills within hours.

The genuinely hot and new cameras like this always have people who wait a few days and then can't get them for their summer vacations. With the Internet, the order queue fills fast and waiting another day can put you months behind. See How to Get It; never wait to order yours.

Of course get the CF-card version; the XQD-card-version is only for people with an XQD workflow. The only real advantage to XQD is that you can't bend pins — an advantage if you swap cards fast, hard and often.

 

New

● 12 FPS with AF and AE tracking (14 FPS with locked-up in the lab)

● 200-frame buffer at these speeds, even in 14-bit uncompressed raw (with a fast enough card).

● 153 AF points that are rated down to LV -4 (full moonlight on sand).

● Touch Screen

● ISOs to 102,400 as regular ISOs, expandable to ISO 3,276,800 as "HI +5."

● Controls radio slaves.

● 4K video.

● Can shoot stills during video.

● Comes in two versions: either with two CF-card slots or with two XQD slots.

 

Missing

● No exposure MODE button near the shutter release; it's been moved off to the left side of the camera and an ISO button appears in its place.

● No lock on power switch; easy to knock on or off by accident and miss shots.

● Only 20 MP (5,568 x 3,712 pixels native); you still have to buy a D810 for high resolution.

● No auto brightness control for the LCD. The D4s has this.

● Still no full-frame AF; it may have a lot of points, but they're all in the center of the image.

● No Wi-Fi unless you buy something.

● Still no sane replacement of Nikon's idiotic Custom Settings Banks, which has been a core incompetancy of Nikon since they introduced these in 2003. There are no U1, U2, U3 (or C1, C2, C3 or M1, M2, M3 etc.) modes so we can save and recall camera settings. As-is, there is no way to save camera settings immediately; the Custom Banks are re-written every time you set the camera with no way to lock them!

 

Lens Compatibility

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With a built-in AF motor and an aperture feeler for manual-focus lenses, the Nikon D5 works with all Nikon lenses made since 1977, and if AI-updated, all the way back to 1959!

Like most Nikon DSLRs, the D5 automatically corrects for any lateral color fringes in any lens, and for just about all Nikon lenses introduced in the past 20 years (any AF-D, AF-I, AF-S or G lens), also can automatically correct for lens distortion and corner light falloff. While it won't correct distortion with Nikon AI and AI-s manual focus lenses, it does provide full color Matrix metering, EXIF data and auto and manual exposure. Got a set of Nikon lenses from 39 years ago? You're already good to go with the D5; they'll look great.

The D5 works perfectly with every AF lens made since 1987,which means AF, AF-I, AF- and AF-S; G, E and D.

It also works great with AI and AI-S manual-focus lenses, and if you update the really old ones to AI, all Nikon's SLR lenses from as far back as 1959 work just fine with color matrix metering and manual and aperture-priority auto exposure and full EXIF data.

It doesn't work with Pronea (IX-NIKKOR), lenses for the ancient F3AF or with non-AI lenses, none of which fit properly.

The electronic rangefinder works with lenses as slow as f/5.6. There are also 9 selectable focus points that will work with lenses as slow as f/8.

More at Nikon Lens Compatibility and Nikon FX Lens Recommendations.

 

Specifications

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Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

 

Frame Rates

CH (Continuous High): 12 FPS with full AF and AE. (14 FPS with mirror locked-up in a laboratory with no metering or focussing.

CL (Continuous Low): selectable 1 to 10 FPS.

QC (Quiet Continuous): 3 FPS.

 

Frame Buffer

200 frames raw.

 

Autofocus

Same as the D500:

Work down to LV -4, which is full moonlight on sand.

55 selectable points.

Of these selectable 55; 35 are cross-type sensors and only 9 work at f/8.

153 AF points hidden under the hood, but you can't select all these manually; you only can select 55 of them.

Only 99 of these hidden sensors are cross-type.

Only 15 hidden sensors work with f/8 lenses.

Face-Priority AF; should automatically find faces and focus on them.

Multi-CAM 20K AF sensor module.

 

Sensor

35.9 x 23.9 mm CMOS.

Ultrasonic cleaner.

 

Image Sizes

 

FX (24 x 36mm)

5,568 x 3,712 (L), 4,176 x 2,784 (M), 2,784 x 1,856 (S).

 

5:4 (24 x 30mm)

4,640 x 3,712 (L), 3,472 x 2,784 (M), 2,320 x 1,856 (S).

 

1.2x (20 x 30mm)

4,640 x 3,088 (L), 3,472 x 2,312 (M), 2,320 x 1,544 (S).

 

DX (16 x 24mm)

3,648 x 2,432 (L), 2,736 x 1,824 (M), 1,824 x 1,216 (S).


Stills shot during video

3,840 x 2,160 when shooting 4K.

FX cropped to 16:9 (5,568 x 3,128 (L), 4,176 x 2,344 (M) or 2,784 x 1,560 (S)) when shooting 1080 or 720 video.


DX cropped to 16:9 (3,648 x 2,048 (L), 2,736 x 1,536 (M) or 1,824 x 1,024 (S)) when shooting 1080 or 720 video.


1,920 x 1,080 when shooting any of the 1080 cropped modes.

 

ISO

ISO 100 to 102,400, expandable from ISO 50 ("LO -1") to ISO 3,276,800 ("HI + 5").

 

Auto ISO

 

White Balance

All with individual fine-tuning:

Auto (3 types).

Incandescent.

Fluorescent (7 types).

Direct sunlight.

Flash.

Cloudy.

Shade.

Preset manual.

   6 stored presets.

   Spot white balance also with live view.

Kelvin (2,500 K to 10,000 K).

 

Color Spaces

sRGB and Adobe RGB.

 

File Formats

NEF (Raw): 12 or 14 bit (lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed); large, medium, and small pixel sizes (medium and small images are recorded at a bit depth of 12 bits using lossless compression)

JPG: Fine (approx. 1:4), Normal (approx. 1:8) or Basic (approx. 1:16) compression. Usual optimal quality or fixed size options.

RAW+JPG

RGB TIFF

 

Video Frame Rates and Sizes

3,840 x 2,160 (4K): 29.97p, 25p or 23.976p.

1,920 x 1,080: 59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 25p, 23.976p.

1,920 x 1,080 cropped-sensor; 59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 25p, 23.976p.

1,280 x 720; 59.94p, 50p.

You can select high or normal quality at all these, except only normal at 4K.

H.264/MPEG-4

.MOV

 

Audio

Stereo Linear PCM with movies.

Separate mic for voice notes.


Finder

100% coverage. (only 97% in DX and 1.2x crop; only 97% horizontal in 4:5 crop.)

0.72x magnification with 50mm lens.

17mm eyepoint.

-3 to +1 diopters.

 

Shutter

30s to 1/8,000, Bulb.

 

Remote Release

10-pin Nikon remote terminal for things like optional WR-R10 (requires WR-A10 WR Adapter) or WR-1 Wireless Remote Controller, GP-1/GP-1A GPS Unit, or GPS device compliant with NMEA0183 version 2.01 or 3.01 (requires optional MC-35 GPS Adapter Cord and cable with D-sub nine-pin connector)

Won't work with the ML-L3.

 

Flash

Flash Sync

1/250 sync speed.

 

Flash Control

Nikon's usual i-TTL.

 

PC (Prontor-Compur) Sync Terminal

Yes; ISO 519.

 

Radio Trigger

Supposedly built in.

 

Light Meter

TTL RGB.

180k pixels.

3D Color Matrix.

20mm, 15mm, 12mm or 8mm diameter center-weighted. (only the 12mm circle works with old manual-focus AI lenses.)

4mm spot at the selected focus point (only the center point with old manual-focus AI lenses).

 

Meter Range

LV -3 ~ +20.

Spot meter: LV 2 ~ 20.

 

Live View

Yip, for stills and movies with the usual options.

 

LCD Monitor

3.2" (8cm) TFT.

Touch sensitive.

2,359,000 dot (XGA).

170° viewing angle.

100% frame coverage.

NO AUTO BRIGHTNESS CONTROL.

 

Storage

Comes in two versions:

CF card version: Two slots for the usual Type 1 UDMA 7 CF cards. The slots are too thin for the old microdrives.

XQD card version: Two slots for XQD cards.

Both have the usual options for the two cards: dual (backup), sequential (overflow), RAW/JPG, etc.

 

Connectors

USB 3.0 Micro-B.

Type C HDMI.

3.5mm stereo audio input with plug-in power.

3.5mm stereo audio output.

10-pin Nikon remote: for things like optional WR-R10 (requires WR-A10 WR Adapter) or WR-1 Wireless Remote Controller, GP-1/GP-1A GPS Unit, or GPS device compliant with NMEA0183 version 2.01 or 3.01 (requires optional MC-35 GPS Adapter Cord and cable with D-sub nine-pin connector)

Peripheral connector for WT-6/A/B/C, WT-5A/B/C/D Wireless Transmitters.

RJ45 for Ethernet:

 

Ethernet

400MBps maximum

RJ45.

IEEE 802.3ab (1000BASE-T)

IEEE 802.3u (100BASE-TX)

IEEE 802.3 (10BASE-T)

10/100/1000 Mbps with auto detect

 

Power

EN-EL18a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, same as D4s.

Rated to 3,780 shots per charge.

Optional EH-6b AC Adapter, which needs an EP-6 Power Connector.

 

Size

6.3 x 6.3 x 3.7 inches.

160 x 158.5 x 92 millimeters.

 

Weight

CF card version

49.9 oz. (1,415 g. or 3 lbs., 1.9 oz.) with battery and two CF cards.

43.8 oz. (1,240 g. or 2 lbs., 11.8 oz.) stripped.

 

XQD card version

49.6 oz. (1,405 g. or 3 lbs., 1.6 oz.) with battery and two XQD cards.

43.6 oz. (1,235 g. or 2 lbs., 11.6 oz.), stripped.

 

Included

Camera

BF-1B Body Cap

BS-3 Accessory Shoe Cover

EN-EL18a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery and BL-6 Battery Chamber Cover

MH-26a Battery Charger

UC-E22 USB Cable

AN-DC15 Strap

USB Cable Clip

HDMI Cable Clip

DK-27 Eyepiece Adapter

DK-17F Fluorine-Coated Finder Eyepiece

 

Quality

Made in Japan.

 

Environment, operating

0 to 40°C (32 to 104°F).

85% or less RH, no condensation.

 

Announced

Tuesday, 05 January 2016, 3PM NYC time.

("Development Announcement:" 18 November 2015.)

 

Promised for

March 2016.

 

Price, USA

January 2015

$6,497 for either of the two CF-card slot or two XQD slot versions.

 

Performance

Top   Intro   Lens Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

Nikon isn't shipping these until March 2016, so no one really knows because Nikon's still finishing the design.

Sad to me is that there is zero innovation here; while Canon adds new features like the ability to shoot-through flickering arena and stadium lighting, the D5 seems like the same thing as a D4s with one more frame per second.

Disheartening is that the same horrible Custom Settings Bank system has not yet been replaced with any real way to save and recall camera settings immediately, and the scariest thing is that Nikon moved the critical MODE button to the left side of the camera, making what used to be the MODE button now the ISO button. I expect we will be able to reprogram these, but if not, I'll be darned if I'll have to use a second hand to swap between Program and Aperture Priority and Manual modes.

ISOs and resolution ratings haven't been relevant since about 2007, so don't get hung up on any of that. All that matters is how hot and fast is the AF system and how quickly we can set the camera. With no instant save and recall ability, resetting the camera from one type of shot or from gig to gig becomes much more of a pain than it is on a D750.

We'll all have to wait until March for real, shipping cameras. Nikon's back-pocket PR puppets that are given free pre-production cameras in exchange for glowing reviews obviously don't count.

 

Compared

Top   Intro   Lens Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

 

See also my full 2016 Pro DSLR Comparison and my Nikon DSLR History and timeline.

 
Anni
2011-
2014-
2014-
2016-
2016-
2014-2015
2012-2014
FPS
12
10
5
10
12
11
10
Resolution
18 MP
20 MP
36 MP
20 MP
20 MP
16 MP
16 MP
Format
Full
DX
Full
DX
Full
Full
Full
ISO Max**
51,200
16,000
12,800
51,200
102,400
25,600
12,800
Selectable AF Points
61
65
51
55**
55***
51
51
LCD

3.2"

1,040k

3"

1,040k

3.2"

1,229k

3.2"

2,359k

3.2"

2,359k

3.2"

921k

3.2"

921k

Auto brightness
no
YES
no
no
no
YES
YES
Built-in Flash
no
YES
YES
no
no
no
no
Shoot-through Flicker?
no
YES
no
YES
no
no
no
Rear voice memo mic & rec. button
YES
no
no
no
YES
YES
YES
Battery
Weight****

53.8oz.

1,526g

31.8oz.

901g

34.0oz.

965g

30.4oz.

860g

49.9oz.

1,415g

47.2oz.

1,337g

47.2oz.

1,337g

Price, 1/2016

$3,000 used

 

 
Anni
2016-
2009-2012
2007-2010
2005-2007
2003-2005
2001-2003
2001-2003
1999-2001
FPS
12
9
9
8
8
3
5
4.5
Resolution
20 MP
12 MP
12 MP
4 MP
4 MP
3.9 MP*
2.6 MP
2.6 MP
Format
Full
Full
Full
DX
DX
DX
DX
DX
ISO Max**
102,400
12,800
6,400
1,600
1,600
800
1,600
1,600
Selectable AF Points
55***
51
51
11
11
5
5
5
LCD

3.2"

2,359k

3"

921k

3"

921k

2.5"

232k

2.5"

 

2"

130k

2"

130k

2"

120k

Auto brightness
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
Built-in Flash
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
Shoot-through Flicker?
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
Rear voice memo mic & rec. button
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
no
no
no
Battery
Weight****

49.9oz.

1,415g.

52.6oz

1,492g

50.0oz.

1,417g

44.3oz.

1,256g

44.1oz

1,250g

   

48.0oz.

1,361g

Price, 1/2016
$200 used
$150 used
$75 used
$50 used
$35 used

* Nikon lied and interpolated it up to 6 MP.

** In standard modes. This is a meaningless specification; cameras that let you set them higher simply look worse than cameras that can't go as high! This is merely a poster spec to try to bilk innocent people out of more money for more expensive cameras.

*** I said selectable AF points. Most cameras use many more invisible AF points to help out the ones you can see.

**** With battery and card(s).

 

Recommendations

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Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

As Nikon's fastest general camera of all time, there's not much to say; you people know who you are. In pro news and sports, frame rate is everything.

With the same AF system as the D500 and the same resolution, for sports you can save a lot of money with the D500 instead of the D5. If you earn your living with this, 12 FPS versus 10 FPS can win or lose your shot, but if you're not supporting yourself with your photography, by all means consider the D500 as well.

Never wait to order yours. Genuinely hot and new cameras like this always have people who wait and don't get this for their summer vacation because they waited a few days to order it. Order today and maybe you'll get it in March; wait until tomorrow and it may be August until you get yours.

See also How to Get It; this feeding-frenzy and waiting list happens every time Nikon announces something really hot.

I'd pass on the XQD version, but I don't use XQD cards. The biggest advantage of XQD is that they don't have pins to bend — which is a huge advantage if you swap cards often, which many D5 shooters do.

I'd get the CF-card version at Adorama or the XQD version at Adorama, or from B&H with CF card slots, from B&H with XQD card slots, from Amazon (CF version) or from Amazon (XQD version).

Pros are bought-into a system and don't change brands unless all their gear gets lost or damaged at once. If you're new to this, I'd get the equally professional Canon 1DX instead. The 1DX is a better camera, it's available today, just as fast at 12 FPS and sells for almost $2,000 less. By "better," I mean overall handling and customer support and how it feels, handles and sets up in the field (see also Canon vs. Nikon). If I was starting from scratch, I'd go 1DX, pocket the cash and never look back.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Nikon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used camera. I use the stores I do because they ship from secure remote warehouses where no one gets to touch your new camera before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken, Mrs. Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

More Information

Top   Intro   Lens Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared   Recommendations   More

 

Nikon's D5 page.

Nikon's D5 Press Release.

My 2012 prediction of the D5.

 

© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

 

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05 January 2016; 2012