Nikon takes wraps off its most advanced DX-format DSLR at CES 2016

Nikon users who have been patiently waiting for a more advanced DX-format model finally have reason to get excited after the launch of the Nikon D500 at CES 2016. Sitting directly above the Nikon D7200 in the manufacturers DX-format lineup, the Nikon D500 promises an impressive level of performance and inherits pro-spec features from Nikon’s newly announced flagship model – the Nikon D5.

At the heart of the D500 lies an all new 20.9MP DX-format CMOS sensor that’s partnered with the manufacturer’s new EXPEED 5 image processing engine. This partnership of sensor and processor enables the Nikon D500 to shoot continuously at a blistering 10fps with a 200 shot buffer when shooting JPEG or 14-bit lossless compressed Raw files. Although the ISO range isn’t quite as wide as the Nikon D5, which can shoot up to an incredible ISO 3280000 in its extended Hi-5 setting, the D500 delivers a standard ISO sensitivity of 100-51200 that’s expandable to ISO 50-1640000.


The long-awaited Nikon D500 is claimed to be the company’s ‘best enthusiast DSLR offering’ and backs this statement up with a truly impressive autofocus system. Just like the Nikon D5, the Nikon D500’s Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module offers a configuration of 153 AF points with 99 of these being cross-type sensors. The autofocus capability extends down to an impressive -4EV with the central point and -3EV with all other points. With this we can expect the D500 to be ultra responsive when it comes to focusing in low-light or low contrast scenes.

Other primary features include 4K UHD video (3840×2160) at 30p/25p/24p and there’s the option to generate 4K UHD time lapse movies straight from the camera. At the rear the Nikon D500 boasts a 3.2in, 2359k-dot touchscreen – one of the key differences between the D500 and D5 being that the D500’s screen is the tilting type whereas the D5’s remains fixed. Nikon has also introduced SnapBridge to the D500, a feature that’s intended to make it even easier to pair the camera to smart devices using the power of Bluetooth technology.


The Nikon D500 will accept the Nikon EN-EL15 rechargeable Li-ion battery and features a dual card slot at the side ready to accept both XQD and SD memory cards. The camera will also be supported by a new MB-D17 multi-power battery pack.

As for availability, the Nikon D500 is expected to hit UK shores at a similar time as the Nikon D5 sometime in March. With regard to pricing, the Nikon D500 will launch at £1729 (body only) and will also be available with the Nikon AF-S 16-80mm f/2.8-4G VR ED lens for £2479.

Check back to What Digital Camera for our first-look hands-on review coming soon.

Nikon Press Release:

D500: Nikon’s flagship DX-format digital SLR camera offering the supreme performance of the D5 in a compact, lightweight body

January 5, 2016

The D500 incorporates the same powerful 153-point AF system as the D5, ensuring precise subject acquisition even during high-speed continuous shooting at approx. 10 fps. It supports 4K UHD movies, meeting the demands of multimedia professionals, while the new EXPEED 5 image-processing engine enables it to deliver high-quality images and movies and realizes a wide sensitivity range from ISO 100 to 51200, expandable to Hi 5 (ISO 1640000 equivalent).

The D500 combines the agility of the DX system with superior usability. It employs a touch-screen, tilting monitor, and features SnapBridge support, which enhances the value of your images via constant wireless connection with a smart device. The camera is compatible with the newly released MB-D17 Multi-Power Battery Pack (optional), which can be used with various types of battery.

D500 Primary Features
  1. Powerful 153-point AF achieves superior subject acquisition performance across a wide range of situationsThe D500’s Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module offers a dense configuration of 153 focus points (99 cross sensors) that covers an extremely wide portion of the image area, meaning that even fast-moving subjects can be acquired precisely. AF capability is extended down to -4 EV* with the central point and -3 EV* with all other points, making AF usable even in extremely low light or when shooting low-contrast subjects. A newly employed AF engine and 180K-pixel RGB sensor also contribute to achieving exceptional AF performance in a variety of scenes.
    *ISO 100, 20°C/68°F.
  2. High-speed continuous shooting at approx. 10 fps for up to 200 shots (14-bit lossless compressed RAW)
    The D500 delivers high-speed continuous shooting at approx. 10 fps*1 for up to 200 shots in JPEG and in 14-bit lossless compressed RAW, without any drop in shooting speed. Even moving subjects can be tracked accurately across a wide field of view at this rapid rate, taking advantage of the camera’s stable viewfinder image and a widest-ever diagonal viewing angle*2 of approx. 30.8°.

*1 Approximate frame rates for a fully charged EN-EL15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, using continuous-servo AF, a shutter speed of 1/250 s or faster, and with other settings at default values.
*2 *As of January 5, 2016, among D-SLR cameras using an APS-C size image sensor. Based on Nikon research.

  1. Unique benefits of a compact DX system — added agility in telephoto shootingNikon’s DX-format D500 provides an angle of view equivalent to that of a lens with an approx. 1.5× longer focal length*1. This permits telephoto shooting using smaller, lighter lenses with a shorter focal length, while taking advantage of performance that rivals the D5 FX-format flagship model. The camera’s agility is also enhanced by the kit lens, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR, the lightweight 5× normal zoom lens, which weighs only approx. 1340 g/2 lb 15.3 oz*2 when attached to the D500.*1 35mm-format equivalent.
    *2 Including battery, XQD memory card and lens.
  2. 4K UHD video, suitable for professional productionsThe D500 can record 4K UHD (3840 × 2160)/30p/25p/24p as well as 1080/60p video for up to 29 min. 59 s*1, with simultaneous output via HDMI available. It is also possible to generate 4K UHD time-lapse movies within the camera. In Full HD or HD mode, the D500’s electronic Vibration Reduction function*2 reduces the effects of camera shake in the horizontal, vertical and rotational directions during hand-held movie recording, while Active D-Lighting preserves details in highlights and shadows to capture footage with natural brightness.*1 Recorded in separate files.
    *2 Image area will be slightly smaller in DX-based movie format.
  3. New EXPEED 5 image-processing engine achieves sensitivity up to ISO 51200, expandable to Hi 5 (equivalent to ISO 1640000)The D500’s new EXPEED 5 image-processing engine, as used in the D5, delivers standard ISO sensitivity from 100 to 51200, expandable down to Lo 1 (ISO 50 equivalent) and up to Hi 5 (ISO 1640000 equivalent). It can capture exceptionally high-definition images, while effectively reducing noise even at high ISO settings. The new 180K-pixel RGB sensor (approx. 180,000 pixels) further improves the performance of the camera’s Advanced Scene Recognition System, and its flicker reduction for still images reduces exposure variations even under flickering light sources.
  4. Touch-screen, tilting 8-cm/3.2-in. high-resolution monitor ensures more comfortable shooting for professionals and advanced amateurs

The D500’s touch-panel monitor enables a variety of functions, including instant switching of images using the frame advance bar and text input — shared with the D5 — as well as touch AF and touch shutter (in still shooting). The tilting monitor with 3-axis hinge structure allows you to shoot from more flexible angles for stills and movies. And its large 8-cm/3.2-in. screen with significantly enhanced 2359k-dot resolution lets you confirm focus in amazingly precise detail.

  1. SnapBridge support lets you link with a smart device via Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi®The D500 can be constantly connected to a smart device* with the SnapBridge application installed (to be available as a free download), via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This enables a variety of features: you can automatically transfer images taken with the D500 to your smart device, as well as upload them automatically to NIKON IMAGE SPACE. You can also use the smart device to browse images stored in the camera, as well as embed images with its location and date/time information. SnapBridge dramatically enhances the value and convenience of images taken with the D500.*Smartphones and tablet computers with iOS or AndroidTM.
  2. WT-7/A/B/C Wireless Transmitter (optional) enables high-speed wired/wireless LAN communication
    Nikon’s WT-7/A/B/C Wireless Transmitter is aimed at professionals who need to transfer images more quickly than they can with built-in wireless LAN. When attached to the D500, it allows images and movie files to be transferred to computers* or FTP server via both wired and wireless LAN. The D500 with WT-7/A/B/C can be used as a wireless LAN access point, permitting easy connections with computers and smart devices.
    *Requires Wireless Transmitter Utility (available for download from Nikon website).

Specifications, design, product name and supplied accessories may differ by country or area. Specifications and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.

End of Press Release