As the flagship model within Nikon’s DX-format DSLR line, the D500 is characterized by its robust physical construction, apt imaging capabilities, and of course, a more compact, sleek form factor than its FX brethren. Revolving around a 20.9MP CMOS sensor and EXPEED 5 image processor, this camera appeals to both still and video shooters with its fast 10-fps continuous-shooting rate and 4K UHD video recording abilities. The sensor and processor also combine to avail a native sensitivity range up to ISO 51200, which can be further expanded to ISO 1640000 for working in dark and difficult lighting conditions. Benefitting the fast shooting performance, the D500 is also characterized by its expansive Multi-CAM 20K 153-point AF system, which features 99 cross-type points for fast performance and accurate subject tracking capabilities. While sleek in stature, the D500 is by no means slim on functionality and versatility.
Besides the imaging assets, this advanced DSLR also features an impressive handling design that incorporates a 3.2″, 2.36m-dot, tilting LCD touchscreen, which affords a comfortable means for working from high and low angles. An updated version of SnapBridge is also featured, which provides Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC, as well as Bluetooth Low Energy technology for linking your mobile device for wireless image sharing. In addition to the convenience features, the D500 is housed within a durable magnesium alloy chassis that is both dust- and weather-sealed for working in inclement conditions and harsh environments.
20.9MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor and EXPEED 5 Image Processor
In addition to benefitting image quality, the EXPEED 5 processor also affords a wealth of speed throughout the camera system, including a top continuous shooting rate of 10 fps with full-time autofocus and exposure metering. Up to 200 frames can be recorded in a single burst, even when shooting 14-bit lossless compressed NEF files. Additionally, slower continuous shooting rates are available as well as a Quiet Continuous Mode for shooting 3 fps in noise-sensitivity areas.
4K UHD Video Recording
- 4K UHD movie image format is an area that provides a 1.5x increase in the effective focal length of the lens in use and is reserved for 4K 3840 x 2160 recording.
- 1.3x-based movie image area provides a 1.3x crop of the DX sensor, and is used for recording FULL HD and HD video.
- DX-based movie image format utilizes the full width of the DX-format sensor, and is used to record Full HD 1920 x 1080 and HD 1280 x 720 video. This setting is well-suited for shallow depth of field effects and provides the widest field of view.
As with still shooting, the wide range of sensitivities is available for recording in low- and bright-light conditions, ranging from expanded ISO 100-1640000, and sensitivity values are manually adjustable via the dedicated movie-shooting menu. Also, a video-optimized Flat Picture Control mode can be used during recording to flatten the overall contrast curve for more control during post-production and color grading.
Benefitting handheld shooting, an Electronic Vibration Reduction feature can be used during Full HD and HD recording, which minimizes the appearance of camera shake across three axes to control horizontal, vertical, and rotational movements. Additionally, Active D-Lighting can also be employed during Full HD/HD shooting to preserve highlight and shadow detail when working in high-contrast situations.
In regard to handling, a dedicated power aperture button (Pv) makes it possible to achieve smooth, continuous exposure transitions when switching from light to dark areas and Auto ISO can also be used to maintain consistent brightness when working in changing light situations. Audio recording can be handled using the built-in stereo microphone or an optional external mic can be added via the 3.5mm stereo jack for greater control over quality. Regardless if using the in-camera mic or an external mic, audio levels can be adjusted in 20 increments and live monitoring is possible via the headphone jack, which afford 30 different volume levels for playback.
In addition to straight movie recording, time-lapse recording, for up to 9999 consecutive frames shot over the course of up to one week, is also possible with up to 4K UHD/30p output from the camera.