Back to the action: Nikon D500 Review
The Nikon D500 is a 21MP APS-C DSLR capable of shooting at up to 10 frames per second and featuring an autofocus system derived from the one in the D5. In other words, it’s exactly the kind of high-end DX format body that appeared to have become extinct with the D300S.
The six-and-a-half years that have passed since the D300S’ launch have seen the camera market move on considerably but the D500 does much to reclaim the position as one of the preeminent APS-C camera on the market.
As you might expect, much of the improved capability of the camera centers around sports and high-speed shooting, with significant upgrades to the shooting rate and autofocus system, but there are also major upgrades to the viewfinder, video capabilities and connectivity options which expand its utility beyond one particular niche.
- 20.7MP APS-C (DX-format) sensor
- 153 point AF module with 99 cross-type points
- 180,000 pixel RGB sensor for metering and subject recognition
- AF point joystick
- 10 fps shooting for up to 200 shots (lossless compressed 14-bit Raw to XQD card)
- 4K (UHD) video from 1.5x crop of sensor
- 100% coverage viewfinder with 1.0x magnification
- 2.36M-dot tilting touchscreen display
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity with NFC for setup
- Mic and headphone sockets
- USB 3.0 connector
- Anti-flicker option for working under artificial lighting
A good sport
Much of the D500’s capability is built around the ability to focus and shoot very quickly. Its 153-point AF module offers near full-width coverage and is linked to a 180,000 pixel RGB metering sensor to further improve its AF tracking capabilities. Interestingly, and like the D5, the D500’s AF system now offers two parameters for fine-tuning the autofocus tracking behavior, letting the user specify the type of subject movement and the correct response to another object blocking the targeted subject. Existing Nikons only let you specify duration, suggesting Nikon is trying to expand the range of shooting situations for which the AF system can be optimized.
Only 55 of the camera’s AF points can be directly selected and the D500 gains both a joystick and a touchscreen to make it as fast as possible to select the point you want to use. Add to this the ability to shoot up to 200 Raw frames before slowing down (if you use an XQD card), and it becomes obvious that the D500 is intended as a high-speed pro/semi-pro camera in a way the D7000 series never was.
|How's that for coverage? The D500 doesn't just boast a lot of autofocus points, it also offers them across most of the width of the frame, which is useful whether you're manually selecting a point or letting the camera track your subject.|
The D500 also gains an anti-flicker option designed to ensure the camera shoots in-sync with the brightest point in the flickering cycle of artificial lights. It's a feature we first saw on the Canon EOS 7D Mark II and we'd expect it to be particularly valuable for shooting indoor sports such as basketball.
Another sign that this is a true high-end camera is the inclusion of a larger viewfinder. Like previous DX00 class cameras it has 100% coverage but it also offers 1.0x magnification, which is the largest optical viewfinder we can remember seeing in an APS-C camera (electronic viewfinders are a different matter, since size and brightness isn't constrained by sensor/mirror size).
The D500 can also shoot 4K video and includes both an input for using an external mic and a headphone socket for audio monitoring. The camera also offers a flat picture profile to provide more post-processing flexibility, on-screen highlight warnings and power aperture control that allows you to select and change the aperture when in movie mode. There’s no focus peaking option, though, and you can’t zoom-in while you record to confirm or adjust focus as you record.
One of the other big features Nikon is touting is its Snapbridge system that uses Bluetooth LE (a low-power variant of Bluetooth also known as Bluetooth Smart), and Wi-Fi to maintain a connection between the camera and a smart device. This includes the ability to auto-transfer images from the camera, as well as initiating the Wi-Fi connection for remote shooting or manual image transfer.
To show where the D500 sits in the lineup, here are the major feature differences between it and the less expensive D7200, along with a comparison back to the D300S – not because we expect anyone to be choosing between them, but to show how much of a step forward the camera represents.
|Nikon D500||Nikon D7200||Nikon D300S|
|AF points||153 (99 cross type)||51 (15 cross-type)||51 (15 cross-type)|
|Max frame rate||10 fps||
|Buffer depths||200 lossless compressed 14-bit Raw||
~17 14-bit Raw
|30 lossless compressed 14-bit Raw|
|Shutter durability rating||200,000||150,000||150,000|
|Wi-Fi?||Yes (and Bluetooth)||Yes||No|
|Body construction||Magnesium Alloy + Carbon fiber composite||Magnesium Alloy + Carbon fiber composite||Magnesium Alloy|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1240 shots/charge||1100 shots/charge||950 shots/charge|
|Weight (Body Only)||760g||675g||
|26 April 2016||Studio scene and Raw dynamic range published.|
|16 May 2016||Introduction, Body and Handling, Operation and Controls, Wi-Fi and Connectivity and Video pages published|
|25 May 2016||Autofocus, Loose Ends and Conclusion pages added. Review finalized|
Lomography says the Fantôme Kino B&W ISO 8 35mm film stock is cut from a larger roll of German cinema production film.
Photographer James Maher has been using the X100 series for street photography since the original version, but he's found the updates in the latest X100V make it the best street photography camera yet.
We invited a professional audio engineer to test the microphone pre-amps in cameras from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm and Olympus. Find out which ones deliver the best sound.
It was a humble 35mm F2 lens that helped DPR Reviews Editor Carey Rose become a better photographer.
Over 7,000 wildlife, landscape, and macro photographers submitted images to the inaugural Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2020 competition. Here are the winners and finalists.
Rogue Photographic Design has released a new and improved version of its popular FlashBender shapeable reflectors for speedlights and strobes. The FlashBender v3 has improved usability and can fit a wider range of flashes.
The software update also adds native Streamlabs integration for the Loupedeck CT console.
As stay-at-home orders continue to increase, we've rounded up a few deals on gear, courses, webinars and more from around the photography community.
Think of the Panasonic 25mm F1.7 as the brand's nifty fifty. At about $150 this 50mm equiv. is fast to focus, lightweight, compact and fairly sharp across the frame. See for yourself in our sample gallery.
Happy Film Friday! In the market for a new/old analog pal? Here are the 20 film camera models we think are worthy of your hard-earned cash.
The new EF to RF Speed Booster adapter is available for the Canon EOS R and EOS RP camera systems.
The P series usually showcases Huawei's latest camera technologies and the P40 models are no different, featuring a wide array of innovative imaging technologies.
The updates for the X-T3 and 16-80mm F/4 lens only address bug fixes, but the 1.20 update for the X-T30 adds improved autofocus, drone/gimbal support and more.
Sony has announced that on April 1, 2020 it will be spinning off its Electronics Products & Solutions (EP&S) segment into Sony Electronics Corporation, an intermediate holding company.
While we're home-bound at the moment, we were able to sneak outside long enough to put together an initial sample gallery from our production Fujifilm X-T200.
It appears Canon has diagnosed the cause of the lockups a number of Canon EOS-1D X Mark III owners have reported over the past few weeks.
Finalists were recently announced for Nikon Australia's 2020 Surf Photo and Video of the Year Awards.
Stuck at home with not very much to do due to stay-at-home directives or quarantines? Here's how to use some old and odd lenses to turn your room into a camera.
Only 20 units will be made for each of the two lens mounts. The lens is expected to retail for ¥42,800 (~$410) when it's released.
Like many photographers stuck at home due to the coronavirus, Chris and Jordan need a creative outlet. Let's see what happens when they try to re-create bad product photography from a kids' toy.
In a recent episode of DPReview TV, new host Don Komarechka introduced us to the magical world of frozen soap bubbles. Take a look at some of the fantastical images he captured – and give the video a watch if you missed it the first time around.
The new all-weather portrait lens is to join the company's premium line for K-1 series cameras, and will be the first 85mm designed for the Pentax digital full frame system
Canon USA has announced that due to 'stay at home' directives by authorities in various states, it will be shutting down repair facilities in California, Illinois and New Jersey.
The world has suddenly become a little smaller for many of us, but there are still plenty of photographic things you can do, while waiting for things to get a little better. Here are some suggestions.
In addition to an announcement on its service page, Nikon Inc. President and CEO Bo Kajiwara also shared a letter with Nikon customers and partners.
Stuck inside? Feast your eyes on some spectacular images from the great outdoors. Winning images feature subjects ranging from active volcanoes to dramatic views of manmade structures, all captured from the air.
The EOS R5 will be the first mirrorless camera to shoot 8K video, but is it just a lot of hype? We look at several reasons why you probably don't need 8K technology today, as well as a few reasons you might really want it after all.
There's a lot that's new in Canon's flagship EOS-1D X Mark III, including a sensor that offers best-in-class dynamic range. It also happens to produce the best JPEGs we've seen from a Canon camera – take a look at our test scene to see for yourself.
When Joan Ruppert started looking through a box of film negatives shot by her father in the 1930s, she didn't know what to expect. As she told DPReview, what she found was a treasure trove.
For photographers who are stuck at home due to global quarantines, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is opening up its more than 1,100 online classes and tutorials for free for the next two weeks.