Nikon D500 Announcement: A crop sensor body that thinks it’s a pro body


For many years photographers loved the venerable Nikon D300s.  It was a pro-quality body with a crop sensor in it, and it was a very popular camera.  Then, Nikon killed it by failing to announce a successor for the last several years.  Today, that all changed when Nikon announced the D500.


  • 20.9 megapixel sensor
  • Weather sealed
    • Main body is made from magnesium alloy and the front area is carbon fiber to allow for the wifi signal
  • 10 Frames per second shooting with a generous 79 raw photo buffer
  • 153 point autofocus system derived from the new Nikon D5
  • 4k video
    • Includes auto ISO smoothing, which apparently should make changes between ISOs happen with some sort of graduated transition.  I'd be interested to see how this is implemented.
    • Nikon also announced that the camera will have 3 axis electronic shake reduction (NOT in body image stabilization)
    • In-camera 4k timelapse
    • Record 4k video to the memory card AND to uncompressed HDMI out simultaneously
  • High ISO of 51,200 and expandable to over a million ISO (Sheer marketing speak.  Expanded ISOs can never be realistically used).
  • Touchscreen LCD on a tiltable (but not fully articulating) mount like on the D750
  • NFC, Wi-fi, Bluetooth
    • This is the first Nikon camera to contain the SnapBridge technology in-camera.  Basically, this creates an always-on Bluetooth connection (Nikon calls this “Smart Ready Bluetooth” just to make sure there are enough marketing terms in this release) between a cell phone and the camera to allow the photographer to push a photo from the camera to a connected cell phone.  For me?  I'll believe it when I see it.  I've tested the wifi from every camera manufacturer and it never works how it's supposed to.
    • Ooooh.  And if “SnapBridge” and “Smart Ready Bluetooth” didn't already fill your need for silly marketing terms, Nikon is also using the term “Advanced Smart Device Compatibility.”  Nice.
  • One SD card slot and one XQD card slot–so you have to carry around two different cards for the exact same camera (Stop the insanity!)
  • No pop-up flash (cheers!)
  • Tested to 200,000 shutter actuations (Which means very little, frankly.  Cameras almost always exceed the shutter actuation count, and shutters are inexpensive to replace)

Pricing and Availability

The camera is set to be released in March, 2016 at a price point of $1,999.95, which will make it a tough sell when the full-frame Nikon D750 can be had for $100 less (street price).  The camera can also be bundled with the new 16-80mm f/2.8-4 for $3,069.95 (Don't do it folks.  Just get body only).

Personally, I can appreciate the desire to shoot APS-C, though.  In fact, I ditched my full frame camera and traded up for an APS-C camera earlier last year and can't see myself going back.

1 thought on “Nikon D500 Announcement: A crop sensor body that thinks it’s a pro body”

  1. Graham Donaldson

    Yes, it looks like a very good camera, but a far from perfect camera.

    To me, and to many other bird photographers, its failings are –

    1 – The Memory Banks are volatile – not like the U1 & U2 settings on the D7000 etc. If you change any settings while using a memory bank, the changed settings are saved when you exit that bank or turn the camera off. I defy any user to know how the banks are set up after a few uses. Why Nikon didn’t provide the volatile / non-volatile option as Canon has done with the 7D MKII amazes me. This stupid decision alone will cost them many sales. This has been a common complaint for years with the Nikon pro range of cameras, and yet Nikon blindly sticks with its unpopular memory bank setup.

    2 – No mode knob. In bird photography, you rarely if ever see the bird first through the viewfinder. The user sees the bird, decides on a setting mode, and then quickly flicks the mode switch to U1, U2 etc before raising the camera to the eye. Having to go through buttons and dials to set up the desired mode (eg birds in flight, stationary birds etc) is a nightmare, and costs shots due to the increased setup time.

    3 – Lack of IR remote control. An incredibly useful feature on the D7000 etc range, but omitted in the D500. IR remote control makes working on a tripod a breeze!

    I can only hope that Nikon remedies some of these deficiencies (at least #1) before the D500 is released.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top