Nikon D5 Review

Nikon announced was in the works to replace the D4S in November of 2015, the flagship single-lens reflex camera (SLR) designed for professional photojournalists and



Nikon announced was in the works to replace the D4S in November of 2015, the flagship single-lens reflex camera (SLR) designed for professional photojournalists and sports photographers.

With the Olympic events taking place this summer, it was likely that we would see something solid at CE in January, and Nikon did not disappoint, unveiling its latest 20.8-megapixel full-frame model at the show in Las Vegas.

The highest increased sensitivity level on the new camera is ISO 3,280,000, which is a little more than three million. Very few people at the press presentation could claim not to have been astonished by this (actually, even 280,000 is quite a lot in ISO terms).

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Last updated on January 19, 2024 12:59 am

Build Quality

Because the control arrangement of the D4S and the D5 are identical, owners of either camera will immediately feel at ease with the other. However, the grips on the front and back of the camera have been redesigned to be more ergonomically sound, making the device easier to use for extended periods without experiencing discomfort. During this test, I had no trouble holding it for several hours without any pain; however, while shooting with a big lens, it might be helpful to use a monopod to distribute part of the weight more evenly.

Because it is made entirely of metal and has considerable weather sealing, just like the D4S, the D5 gives the impression that it might be used securely in the harshest circumstances. There is even a waterproof cover for the hot shoe, which keeps the contacts dry when a flashgun isn’t attached. I had no issues shooting in wet situations during our test because of the hot shoe’s cover.

Nikon D5 Image Quality

The following images were cropped from our laboratory Still Life target. They compared the image quality of the Nikon D5 to that of its predecessor, the D4S, and its most direct rival, the Canon 1DX Mark II. We have included the Nikon D500 and the Canon 7D Mark II because they offer the highest frame rates from professional-level Nikon and Canon APS-C DSLRs (around ten frames per second). We have also included the Samsung NX1 because it can have 15 frames per second.

Nikon D5 Performance

The detail resolution of the D5 is inferior to that of the D810, which has 36 million pixels on its sensor. Still, it performs favorably compared to the D750, which has 24 million pixels on its sensor, matching or outperforming the entire sensitivity range in our resolution testing. It also beats the 16MP D4S up to ISO204,800, after which the older camera pulls ahead. This is far into the extension range of the D4S and is one stop into the expansion range of the D5.

Notably, while shooting in the real world with the D5, you can get far better-looking photographs at an ISO number of 409,600, the D4S’s maximum extension value. Of course, the pictures are still pretty noisy, and I wouldn’t advocate regularly utilizing this setting; however, it may be an alternative in really challenging situations.

When the sensitivity is increased to the D5’s highest level (ISO3,280,000), there is a noticeable decrease in the picture’s overall quality. There is very little detail in the raw or the JPEG files since the low lighting circumstances need such a high setting. Raw files, especially when no attempt is made to reduce the amount of noise present, feature a great deal of chroma noise (colored speckling) and a noticeable check pattern of banding at standard viewing sizes.

Nikon D5 Specs

Body typeLarge SLR
Max resolution5588 x 3712
Image ratio w h1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2
Effective pixels21 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors21 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorEXPEED 5
ISOAuto, 100-102400 (expandable to 50-3280000)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)3280000
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes (6 slots)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View.
Number of focus points153
Lens mountNikon F
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots2,359,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live ViewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.72×
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesNo
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe and flash sync port)
Continuous drive14.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10, 20 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Resolutions3840 x 2160 (30p/25p/24p), 1920 x 1080 (60p/50p/30p/25p/24p), 1280 x 720 (60p/50p)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Videography notes1.5X crop mode with DX lenses
Storage typesDual CompactFlash or dual XQD
USBUSB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notesRequires WT-5A or WT-6A
Remote controlYes (wired, wireless, smartphone)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL18a lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)3780
Weight (inc. batteries)1415 g (3.12 lb / 49.91 oz)
Dimensions160 x 159 x 92 mm (6.3 x 6.26 x 3.62″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPS notesGP-1A

Nikon D5 Final Verdict

Last updated on January 19, 2024 12:59 am

The Nikon D5 is a camera intended for use by professionals who want a quick and sensitive camera, one that can take pictures even in dim light and one that can withstand the occasional bump or splash of water. It has a super-fast autofocus, a broad dynamic range of sensitivity, a tank-like design, and a maximum continuous shooting rate of 12 frames per second (when the autofocus and metering systems are activated). However, does it provide the Nikon professional enough to warrant upgrading from a D4S model?

Nikon D5 FAQs

How old is the Nikon D5?

The Nikon D5 was first made available in 2016, rendering it approximately six years old as of 2022.

What is Nikon D5 good for?

The Nikon D5 is a single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) that can perform professionally and is intended for high-end photography, specifically in sports photography and photojournalism.

Is Nikon D5 discontinued?

The Nikon D5 is still available for purchase and has not been removed from manufacturing.

Is the Nikon D5 good for sports photography?

Because of its renowned quick autofocus system and high-speed continuous shooting capabilities, the Nikon D5 is ideally suitable for capturing action and sports photographs.

Is the Nikon D5 full-frame?

The Nikon D5 is a full-frame camera; that much is true.

Does Nikon D5 have WIFI?

Although the Nikon D5 does not have Wi-Fi built in, it can use a Wi-Fi adaptor that can be purchased separately.

Does Nikon D5 have eye focus?

The Nikon D5 features cutting-edge autofocus technology with eye recognition capabilities.

Is Nikon D500 a professional?

The Nikon D500 is a digital single-lens reflex camera designed for professionals.

Is Nikon D500 outdated?

The Nikon D500 was first introduced to the public in 2016, making it approximately six years old as of 2022.

Is the Nikon D5 good for landscape photography?

Because of its high-quality image sensor and other sophisticated features, the Nikon D5 can be used for landscape photography even tho its primary purpose is high-speed activity.

Does the Nikon D5 have face detection?

The Nikon D5 does come equipped with a facial recognition feature as part of its autofocus system.

How long does the Nikon D5 battery last?

The battery life of the Nikon D5 can last for up to 3,780 photos on a single charge.

How many megapixels is Nikon D5?

A full-frame camera with 20.8 megapixels can be found in the Nikon D5.


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