My favorite APS-C camera, the Canon EOS-7D may have finally met its match after 5 years. The Nikon D500 looks like an impressive camera on paper. I have no interest in the 4K video or the SnapBridge features. They do little for a wildlife photographer like myself but the new AF system on the D500 looks interesting.
My readers know I have picked the EOS-7D as the best value camera for wildlife photography four years in a row. The EOS-7D Mark II was announced over one and a half years ago and I expect Canon to release a major firmware upgrade to the Mark II some time in the second half of 2016 or early 2017 to extend the life of the camera and tuneup the AF system a bit until the Mark III appears some time in late 2017 or early 2018. You can see my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com
The video below from DigitalRev offers a first hand look at the functions and features of the Nikon D500 camera.
TOKYO - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the D500, a DX-format digital SLR camera that packs the incredible performance of the D5, Nikon's flagship FX-format model, into an agile body. The camera has a list price of $2,000 and is available in March 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
Powerful 153-point AF achieves superior subject acquisition performance across a wide range of situations
The 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.
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 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 of approx. 30.8°.
Unique benefits of a compact DX system — added agility in telephoto shooting
Nikon's DX-format D500 provides an angle of view equivalent to that of a lens with an approx. 1.5x longer focal length. 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 5x normal zoom lens, which weighs only approx. 1340 g/2 lb 15.3 oz when attached to the D500.
4K UHD video, suitable for professional productions
The D500 can record 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)/30p/25p/24p as well as 1080/60p video for up to 29 min. 59 s, 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Download User Manual of the D500 camera from Nikon
Nikon also announced the D5 full frame camera