Back to the action: Nikon D500 Review
The D500 is one of the first DSLRs to shoot 4K video (UHD in this instance). It does this from a 1.5x crop of its sensor, meaning 2.25x crop relative to full frame (so an 18mm lens becomes equivalent to 40mm).
|Resolution||Available Frame Rates||Quality options|
|• 3840 x 2160||
|• 1920 x 1080||
|• 1280 x 720||
Nikon clearly has given some thought to video shooting: the D500 box includes a plastic cable clip designed to hold the HDMI cable securely into the socket. The D500 also had built-in mic and headphone sockets for internal audio recording and monitoring.
The camera also allows you to customize its button behavior separately for video shooting, so that you don't have to choose whether to prioritise access to stills or video features (Sony take note).
Features and Handling
The D500's video tools are less comprehensive than its specification might imply. There's no focus peaking option to help judge manual focus, nor is it possible to magnify live view while you shoot (instead you end up having to use the distance scale on your lens). It's possible to gain focus peaking by connecting the D500 to an external monitor or recorder that offers the feature, but it's an odd oversight on a camera with any real video intent.
Autofocus is contrast-detection-based, and is prone to rapid and drastic attempts to refocus that leads to distracting unprofessional-looking footage. We have found that even some recent lenses such as the Nikkor 16-80mm F2.8-4 often bundled with the camera, make audible clicking noises as they refocus, so there's an extra reason to avoid autofocus if you're trying to capture audio in-camera.
|The D500 offers NTSC or PAL frame rates without the need to switch any menu settings.
The lower resolutions settings offer different quality settings but for 4K shooting it's around 122 Mbps or nothing.
The D500 does at least offer a highlight warning system to help you judge exposure. However, it's not the most sophisticated system we've seen; offering only on and off options with no ability to set the threshold that triggers it (and nothing in the manual to tell you what luminance level it indicates). It's enough to help you protect from excessive over-exposure.
The final major drawback is that additional 1.5x crop factor when you shoot 4K. This is a 2.25x total crop, compared with full frame, meaning a 16mm focal length gives a not-terribly-wide 36mm equivalent field of view. Because the Nikon F-mount has such a high flange-back distance, there's not much scope for adapting other lenses, so short of a handful of ultra-wide angle zooms (such as Nikon's own 10-24mm F3.5-4.5) you may find it hard to find lenses that shoot wide enough.
It's not entirely without merit, though. The D500 does at least offer powered aperture control, that allows you to change the aperture as you're recording (though the subtlety and amount of noise this produces will vary lens-to-lens) and it also lets you use Auto ISO to maintain image brightness when shooting in Manual exposure mode and retains the use of Exposure Compensation to adjust the target brightness being maintained.
There's also a 'Flat' picture profile, though it's not nearly as flat as the Log gamma curves offered by many Sony models or the Panasonic GH4 via paid-for firmware upgrade. It does provide some improvement in flexibility when it comes to grading footage during post processing and the highlight warning mode can help you to expose it properly.
The D500's 4K footage appears to be broadly comparable to cameras such as the Panasonic GH4 and Sony a7S II that are creating footage by using 3840 x 2160 capture pixels. Those cameras with anti-aliasing filters have a slight moiré advantage, since those filters will slightly blur incoming light across more than one capture pixel and reduce the intensity of any false color.
In terms of fine detail, the Sony a6300 outperforms the Nikon, thanks to the fact it can oversample the scene (it's shooting a ~6000 x 3375 area and then downscaling it). However, in side-by-side real world footage, the advantage isn't as great as you might think: there's every chance that the precision with which you focus the lens will make more difference to the amount of detail in your final shot.
As well as limiting your angle of view, the other disadvantage of the camera's 4K crop is that it cuts into the camera's low light capabilities. You end up using an area of the sensor slightly smaller than a Four Thirds-type chip, so there's a low light cost to be paid, when compared with models such as the a6300, which can use its full sensor width. The camera will shoot at up to ISO 6400 and the image quality is pretty solid across that range.
The following video shows the D500's results in a handful of settings: bright light, low light, with autofocus and using flat picture profile to provide grading flexibility in challenging high-contrast scenes. Note the clicking noise in the autofocus sections of the video (audible even over a crowd of chanting football supporters).
Other than the clicking noise from the lens, please do not use this video to assess audio quality.
At this year's CP+ show in Yokohama, we sat down with senior executives from several major manufacturers, including Canon. Topics of conversation included Canon's ambitions for high-end mirrorless cameras, and the importance of responding to the demands of the smartphone generation.
We were recently able to follow local frame builder Max Kullaway as he created one of his AirLandSea bikes. Here are our picks of the photos we got, as the project progressed from bare tubes all the way to rideable bicycle.
On paper, the Sony a7 III is a tempting option for photographers who've been considering a switch to full-frame mirrorless. But how does its image quality stack up? We compare it to the Mark II and a few of its other peers.
Erez Marom shares the details behind this beautiful aurora photograph, captured on Haukland Beach in the Lofoten Islands, Arctic Norway, on a moonless evening.
Google Lens uses artificial intelligence and 'computer vision' to identify and provide information about businesses, landmarks and other objects using your phone's camera. And now it's available for iPhone users, too.
The company posted a record quarterly revenue of $2.08 billion for the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year. That represents incredibly healthy year-over-year growth of 24 percent.
In the job posting, the Times' describes this role as "one of the most important and high-profile jobs in visual journalism." If you're looking for a high profile job in photojournalism, you could do a lot worse than being Photo Director at The Gray Lady.
According to a recent report out of South Korea, Samsung is increasing production of its ISOCELL image sensors in a bid towards market leadership for image sensors. To reach this goal, Samsung will have to dethrone current market leader Sony... no small task.
In this video, large format photographer Ben Horne shows off the incredible resolving power of 8x10 slide film by pixel peeping a massive 709.6-megapixel drum scan of one of his landscape shots. And you thought 100MP medium format was big...
Photographer Wendy Teal tells the heart-breaking story of a wedding she shot at a hospital on just 24-hours notice. The mother of the bride had been given one week to live, and Wendy responded to the couple's desperate social media plea for someone to capture their special day.
This tiny little plug-and-play VR/AR camera for Android phones uses a pair of greater-than-180° FOV fisheye lenses to offer both 360° video/photo capture and 360° livestreaming at 1440p resolution.
Syrp has announced the Magic Carpet Pro: a slider that offers filmmakers an 'infinitely extendable' range thanks to built-in track levers that let you connect lengths of track without the use of tools.
At CP+ we sat down with executives from several major manufacturers. Among them was Kenji Tanaka, of Sony, who talked to us about the a7 III as well as its plans to attract more pro shooters – without ignoring APS-C and entry-level customers.
How do you shoot macro photography on an 18x24cm large format wet plate camera? You 'connect' two large format cameras together! That's how wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter did it, and you can read about the whole process in this article.
The Fujifilm X-H1 is a top-of-the-range 24MP mirrorless camera with in-body stabilization and the company's most advanced array of video capabilities. We've tested the X-T2's big brother extensively to see how it performs.
Motorsports photojournalist Jamey Price recently flew to Canada with Lamborghini for the car company's Winter Accademia 2018, where clients get to drive the latest Lamborghini supercars on snow and ice. Yes... it is exactly as awesome as it sounds.
For the Pixel 2 smartphone's Motion Photos feature, Google built on its existing Motion Stills technology by adding advanced stabilization that combines software and hardware capabilities to optimize trimming and stabilization.
This "high-capacity advanced spider tripod" system can handle a maximum load of 65kg / 143lbs thanks to its reinforced design and 8-layered carbon fiber legs.
Photographer William Briscoe captured the beautiful two-for-one timelapse just outside Fairbanks, Alaska on January 31st, braving -31°F (-35°C) temperatures to get the shot.
"After his camera was stolen from his room in the orphanage, he switched to an iPhone for his photography, reasoning that the image quality of a big, heavy camera was less important than the freedom of a cell phone. 'Quality? Screw it, I’d sketch things with a pencil if I could draw,' he wrote in a blog post."
Chinese manufacturer Vivo has announced some AI-powered Super HDR tech to compete with Google's HDR+ system. Both systems combine multiple images to create a final shot with more dynamic range and less noise, but Super HDR claims to do so more intelligently.
The YouTube channel JerryRigEverything recently tore down (or rather, tore apart...) the new Samsung Galaxy S9, giving us the closest look at yet at the new smartphone's camera hardware.
The Leica l Model A, dating from between 1926 and 1927, comes with a card signed by Earhart herself. Unfortunately, this is the only 'proof' that the camera really did belong to her.
The Rokinon AF 35mm F2.8 FE is a budget-friendly option for users of Sony's a7-series that are looking to get into the 35mm focal length.
The 'semantic image segmentation model' categorizes every pixel in an image and assigns it a label, such as “road”, “sky”, “person” or “dog.” And now, Google has released its latest version as open source, making it available to any developers whose apps could benefit from the tech.
Huawai is teasing the upcoming P20 smartphone's low-light and zoom capabilities in a couple of tongue-in-cheek teaser videos on YouTube.
Fuji's latest firmware update for the GFX 50S adds two new features: a focus stacking mode, and a 35mm format mode that takes 30.5MP photos using the center portion of the camera's medium format sensor.
The crash has raised serious questions about 'startling safety gaps' in the doors-off photo tour industry. After a brief safety video, passengers are strapped in with heavy-duty harnesses and given only a knife to cut themselves loose in case of emergency.
For the first time in five years, Adobe is raising the price of some Creative Cloud subscription packages. The good news for photographers: The $10/month CC Photography plan that includes Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom Classic CC will stay the same.
In a statement, Canon CEO Fujio Mitarai said the company will "go on the offensive" in mirrorless cameras, aiming to clinch 50% of the entire interchangeable-lens camera market.