Nikon has finally revealed one of the most anticipated DSLRs in its line-up: the successor to the D300S. While the whole world was waiting for the D400, the Japanese company has announced the D500 in order to introduce us to “a new era of DX-format performance”.
The battle between the flagship APS-C-sized DSLRs, D300S vs 7D, is said to have been won by Canon’s EOS shooter. A new war was supposed to begin back in 2013 or in 2014, but Canon launched the 7D Mark II only at Photokina 2015, while its rival came out empty-handed.
Anyway, the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 has begun and the Nikon D500 is now official as the D300S replacement. The Japan-based manufacturer promises to deliver pro-grade performance and features, which is something that anyone would expect from its flagship DSLR with an APS-C-sized image sensor.
Nikon announces D500 DX-format flagship DSLR at CES 2016
The D300S has been unveiled in July 2009 and it goes without saying that a lot has changed in more than five years. As usual, let’s begin with the image sensor which now consists of a 20.9-megapixel APS-C module without an anti-aliasing filter. The D300S features a 12.3-megapixel APS-C sensor.
Nikon’s new shooter is powered by an EXPEED 5 processor, whereas its predecessor boasts an EXPEED engine. The new processor allows photographers to capture up to 10fps in continuous shooting mode for a total of up to 200 RAW shots. Additionally, videographers will be pleased to find out that it can record videos at 4K resolution at up to 30fps.
The autofocus system is offering a total of 153 points, 99 of them being cross-type, while the previous model had a 51-point AF system.
This technology has been developed for full-frame cameras and it is borrowed from the D5, the company’s new flagship unveiled at CES 2016. This means that it covers almost the entire sensor. It is joined by Auto AF Fine-Tune, that adjusts the focus in Live View using Phase Detect AF technology.
Nikon D500 sees in the dark thanks to 1.64-million ISO sensitivity
The list of improvements continues with a native ISO sensitivity of 100-51,200, which can be expanded between 50 and 1,640,000. Nikon D500 will allow users to see in the dark and this opens the door to a whole new world of possibilities.
The shutter speed will range between 30 seconds and 1/8000th of a second. Users can choose to compose their shots using the pro-like circular optical viewfinder, that offers a frame coverage of 100%, or using the 3.2-inch articulated LCD touchscreen on the back.
In order to remind you that this is a top-level camera, Nikon has added illuminated buttons on the D500. An identical feature is available on the new D5 and, in addition, the button placement is similar between these two models.
As stated above, the new DX-format flagship DSLR shoots 4K movies. The improved video tools do not end here, as the camera has Active D-Lighting when capturing HD videos, while supporting a Flicker Reduction system, just like the Canon 7D Mark II.
The D500 may not have an optical image stabilization system, but it has a 3-axis Electronic Vibration Reduction technology that works in combination with VR-enabled lenses. As a result, your videos should turn out smooth and stable.
Weathersealed Nikon D500 coming in March 2016 for under $2,000
On paper, the Nikon D500 is better in almost every aspect when compared to the Canon 7D Mark II. The EOS shooter has built-in GPS and flash, but the DX-format unit comes with integrated WiFi and NFC technologies.
Furthermore, the DSLR supports low-energy Bluetooth that allows photographers to maintain an open channel between their D500 and a smartphone or tablet. The company calls it SnapBridge and it is worth noting that a similar and well-received feature is available in the Samsung NX1, too.
The battery life is better in the D500 than the 7D Mark II. The former can capture up to 1,240 shots on a single charge, while the latter supports only 670 shots. The Nikon unit comes with XQD and SD card slots, while being weathersealed (Canon’s camera is also environmentally-sealed).
Despite having all these advantages over its competitor, the DX-format shooter weighs 760 grams, while the EOS camera weighs more: 820 grams. As for its dimensions, Nikon D500 measures 147 x 115 x 81mm.
Nikon will release the D500 this March for a price of $1,999.95. The DSLR will also be sold alongside the AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR lens for a price of $3,069.95.