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Wednesday, 06 January 2016


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Back when I used Nikon (before the Canon 5D blew it away for years in a cloud of affordable, medium-weight full frame bliss), I had a D70, a D100, and a D200. And it is interesting to me how the D100 was clearly a mid-range camera; full IQ, but less speed and toughness and features. ... And each new generation has stepped closer to a real pro camera, which we now apparently have arrived at.

I guess it's especially funny coming *now*, when all interest seems to have shifted to either mirror-less or Full Frame. ... But maybe the main reason for this was that both Nikon and Canon had let the cropped format cameras lanquish for whatever twisted reasons of their own.

MFT seems to be the thing for me for the while. (Seen the new 300mm Oly lens? Wow.) So I haven't really followed the DSLR world much. So, are there really good lenses made for the cropped format, taking advantage of the smaller size and such?

Sorry, yes there is that pro-zoom you pointed out. I have the Olympus equivalent, which is ab fab.

The only format-envy I have is the much higher ISO settings in the bigger formats. I hope Olympus has as priority fixing this minor weakness.

Finally some competition to the Canon EOS 7DMKII?

In England, it probably will cost $64,969. :-(

I'm interested in how the SB-5000 will work. Presumably there will be a new wireless transmitter but initial information on how a mixed bag of optical and radio remote flashes will work together is vague. One Nikon site mentioned the possibility of using an SU-800 on camera to control legacy flashes which suggests the radio function must either be built into the camera or the transmitter is some sort of dongle.

Oh no, Mike, I thought your gag about price and weight was spot on. Just looking at a picture of the thing (huuuuuge) makes all my old spinal injuries scream.

I don't get it, by the way, there has been so much progress in processors and batteries. Apple can make slimmer iPad while at the *same* time make them much more powerful. So why have the big pro cameras stayed such monsters? Is it something which speaks to the egos of pros?

Oh, and compare it to the size of that full frame Sony, uhm, A... 9.. S.. 7...R... 2 ??, whatever... Nobody complains about that one's capabilities, and it's a quarter of the size of the D5 or thereabouts.

I just got back from vacation in Costa Rica, the last real outing of my D300 which I have used, abused, and cherished over the last 8 years. It has seen all manner of weather and performed so well, I love it.

But today I pick up my new Df which is all the camera I want, plus I finally make the move to full frame which I've been putting off for a long time. The best part is that I got it for $2,200 CAD (which is about $1,600 USD) as part of a boxing day sale.

The D300 was so well made and the controls so easy that I never did find anything to replace it with in all that time, Nikon really screwed up here. I know it will take me a while to get used to the Df, but I'm getting older now, I appreciate 'slow' photography, stars, portraits, landscapes etc.

I'll finally get to see what the 85mm 1.4 actually looks like at it's proper focal length, yay! I love the Nikon lenses I own, all FF bar one, that's why I'm sticking with that system.

P.S. The number of times people would be surprised that I shot with 'only' 12MP would astound me. Not only have I seen my shots printed the size of a billboard, but that little D300 paid for itself many times over. And then after seeing the photos, the second comment always came... "Wow, you must have a good camera!"

: |

+1 for Noons...waited too long after the D300s. Too many full frame options in the money ballpark, mirrorless with actually focusable screens, etc., etc. Too little too late is about right. And why not 24 megapixel, the D7200 has rave reviews to prove it. If they had put .tiff on the D7200, like the D300s had, we wouldn't even be having this conversation...

I don't know what is more breathtaking - the price of these professional cameras or that there will be plenty of people who do not make money from photography buying them.

It's "sleek and cool and hip"? Really? I'd say dumpling-like, uncool and old-fashioned is more like it. Is Nikon ever going to join the 21st Century?

Switched from D3 to Fuji 3 years ago, can't go bact to these bloated DSLR's. X PRO 2 on it's way soon for sub 2K is my kind of camera. Wake up and look into the Mirror and you will see the future is Mirrirless.

Finally, after a zillion years Nikon has decided they might wanna try to keep some of their D300 customers who have zero interest in full frame. I would be tempting, for I know if I buy a Nikon of the D500 level it won't have a bunch of useless gizmos and video game functions to pop up in the way all the time and the viewfinder won't be burred (apologies to the GX7). I know it will focus and will turn on and off quickly and reliably and likely won't be full of bugs and defects (sorry x100).

As tempted as I might be, I have moved to mirrorless and contemplate my next camera but one of the imitation OM1s since I have many good lenses for it. I have a few good lenses for my Nikon D300 too, but am missing some key ones. Since Nikon seems to have even less interest in updating DX lenses than the D300, I doubt I'd ever get them.

So congrats to Nikon. Wish it were as easy a sale as it would have been about 2011/12.

Wait just a minute. There's way too much inaccurate decimal shifting going on here. If the D5 = D500 as pictured, then actually it costs $649,690 & weighs 309 pounds!
I sure hope quantity = quality. Usually does.
How much does it cost to rent the crew to operate it? (I hear it will be gratis for the first 90 days....)
Consumer Watchdog
(but you may call me Margarine...)

I'm sure the D500 will be great, but it won't be the beacon in the dark its predecessor was at the time. Such brute force is becoming a bit old fashioned these days, as the world of photography at last turns towards subtlety and finesse.

Nikons always look "loaded for bear", speaking as a life-long bystander to the brand. I think it's that bloody gash that makes them appear so formidable.

I loved using my d300, and like others have posted, I waited & waited for a replacement.

When nothing appealing appeared, I parted ways with body and glass and moved on from the mirthless dark side to mirrorless lighter side.

My shoulder & back don't miss the bag-o'-bricks weight of the D300 kit. But my patience sure misses the spot-on, fast-and-furious focusing.

Too heavy for 2016. Or 1986 for that matter.

Yes, as Mike says, it's time to ditch ISO for DIN. My brain hurts with these huge numbers and I can't figure the EV intervals. GOST is good too.

Lastly, what happened to the dual ae-lock and af-lock buttons, until now the mark of a pro Nikon DSLR? And a U1, U2 settings dial would have been a good feature to have in the pro nikons.

I bet the noise control and dynamic range mark a new high, though. Nikon's never failed to deliver on that count in its major pro camera introductions.

I notice the viewfinder magnification on the D500 is 1x (.72 on the D5). The only other camera I'm aware of with a 1x viewfinder magnification is the Leica M3, but that one had framelines, of course (so that with a 50mm lens you could open both eyes and see a 50mm brightline floating in space in front of you); since the D500 has no framelines, doesn't this viewfinder magnification mean that it will necessarily have a very low eyepoint?

@ Rob Smith - Why not exercise the new Nikon with a comprehensive tour of wineries, both near and maybe PEC. :)

The D500 looks like a true outdoor camera, weather resistant and fast. Reminds me of what the Mark II version of my Olympus E-5 could have been if ever built (and wisely it wasn't, with such a small customer base). As you joke, it's "loaded for bear," but I bet there are loads of Nikon wildlife shooters who will order this.

Wonder what made them launch a D500 after all this time. Are they trying to recapture the magic of the D3/D300? The D500 seems to have it all, but will it be enough?

I like big DSLRs. As much as I like the Fuji mirrorless, it now mostly stays in the drawer. My go to combo is an iPhone 6s and D810 with a couple of nice wide to medium tele lenses.

I note that the new iphone has a lot of the D500's "new" features: 4k, wifi, touchscreen etc... I realize there is a big difference between these 2 photo tools, but the similarities are intriguing (are DSLRs chasing phones?)

If I were doing as much motorsports photojournalism as I was 10 years ago, and looking to get in to a system (i.e., didn't own any glass), I'd be looking really hard at the new D5. When it comes to shooting DSLRs, I really like the big pro gear. Gets the job done and can (literally) take a beating. Most amateurs would be shocked as to how pro gear is actually treated "in the field", and which, per Eolake's comments, is why they are so big–they have to be built like a tank.

That being said, the only area that I personally see a need for a DSLR these days is for sports and combat photojournalism. IMO, everything else can be handled by the current mirrorless offerings.

3,280,000 ASA = 66 DIN?

Nikon really needs to do a couple of high speed short DX primes. A DX equivalent of the 20 1.8 or 24 1.4 would be wonderful.
The D500 is proof Nikon still sees DX as an enthusiast or even pro format. Could use those short, fast primes.

The D500 will likely do well, especially among the pros I know whose D300s's are getting a bit long in the tooth. They still work well for webpage portraits and the like, though, and they just keep going. Now if Nikon could just come up with some decent short primes for the DX format...

The SnapBridge feature of the D500 may obviate the need for a laptop in getting images to the "cloud". It's then a huge value proposition, for a pro-level camera, as was the D300. Very similar specs to D5 in important regards like buffer depth (200 shot buffer in lossless compressed RAW, each, at frame rates of 10 and 12 fps, respectively.)
Nikon seems to be saying " enough" to the megapixel insanity, as well, with 21MP in DX being an admission that they're dialing it back to a sensible lens-limited resolution for the focal lengths most commonly used.
If Nikon gets the SnapBridge app to work well out of the gate, it will be another blockbuster (maybe not what the D300 was (multiple millions of bodies I've heard).Maybe enough to stave off rumors of Nikon's imminent demise.

I have been a Nikon shooter for many years and I am highly invested in Nikon lenses, but I am now seriously concerned that as a company they are losing the plot. The level of innovation in the D5 is minimal and the absence of features such as WiFi and GPS and sticking to proprietary formats like NEF (simply to protect Nikon's peripheral gadget market) is becoming embarrassing. The lack of the courage to cannibalise your own business is a standard sign of a company in trouble.

This potentially good news for me. I've got a D300 and a nice set of Nikon f2.8 zooms and I've been thinking of playing with video. These days I'm shooting primarily amateur motorsports (my other hobby) so APS works for me. I was thinking of a GH4 but with a D500 I'll get full lens functionality. Fingers cross the video is good and we don't get too beaten up over our Canadian dollar going down the tank.

Doug Thacker: I notice the viewfinder magnification on the D500 is 1x

Alas, that's an insincere number. Magnification for full-frame/fx format cameras is measured for a lens focal length of 50mm, the normal lens for that format. This is a convention from the film days of 135 (i.e. 35mm) format film.

In a bit of marketing dishonesty, when the dx format came out, magnification was still computed for a lens of 50mm focal length, which is a short telephoto for dx. This exaggerated the viewfinder magnification by a factor of 1.5x, and hid the fact that early dx cameras had lousy viewfinder magnification.

Correctly speaking, the viewfinder magnification for the D500 should be computed for a 35mm lens, which is the normal lens for a dx sized sensor. Or you can divide the stated magnification at 50mm by 1.5, leading to a magnification of 0.67x, close to the D5's magnification of .72x.

Nikon doesn't even bother stating the lens used for the magnification computation anymore, which is a sad commentary on Nikon's attitude these days, the wow factor of new dslr introductions notwithstanding.

although i am glad for it, it's a good thing i wasnt holding my breath for the D500 or i'd be mighty blue right now. now, to find enough work to make the switch asap :)

But I guess that it will be a fairly tough sell. The cameras below look like much more sensible and workhorse IMHO.
Main difference [apart from AF, and I know it is a big "apart from"] from lower spec cameras is usually weather seal, framerate [which is so very lens dependant if paired with AF].

But burst is so similar to the D7200, K3II or others that, honestly, I do guess that it is a bit too late.

Nikon did shoot on its own foot when deplyoing the D7X00 regarding the DX00. In fact, I do have the feeling that quite some D300 owners did bought the D7X00.

The only Nikon I would buy today is the D3s, as practical cameras for my use, every generation of Nikon has gone backwards since.

My laziness paid off. I'm glad I never got around to ditching my DX lenses - especially the 17-55 and 10.5 - after moving from a d300 to a d800e.

My most expensive camera body to date, was a Nikon D4 bought in May 2013, a year after it was introduced. I came across one D4 with a US $6050 price. List was $8150. (Yes we have a 25% vat on everything.)

I jumped, but the sale was over a few hours before. I was reluctant to pull the trigger at first, fearing it was a grey market deal. When I called my dealer they lowered the online price to give me the $2100 discount, and raised it back up after I had placed my order!

The box sat on my desk for 10 days. The sticker shock had to go away first... The D4 is an excellent camera. Nowadays it lives in my bag with an other excellent camera, the D750, and a faithful X100s.

The new D5 is "only" USD 7750 here in Norway. But because of currency and oil price fluctuations the real price we pay is exactly twice the price of what I payed for the D4. In other words equivalent to $12000 2013 dollars. I will not upgrade this time.

D500 = 2350 marketprice in Euro's, D750 = 2000 marketprice in Euro's, do the math. Personally I would never pay above 600 euro for a digital half-frame camera in the first place....for that kind of money I can pick up a 12 Mpixel FF D700 (in fact), build like a tank. With 100dred of lenses in the second hand market (for instance a 28-85 Nikkor) that can give great results with that sensor. Paying more as a hobby photographer which can't write off their equipement on the taxpayer and the customer is a waste of money!

Greets, Ed.

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