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 ISOISOExposure is controlled by three elements: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. The ISO speed determines how sensitive a camera's sensor is to incoming light. A higher ISO speed absorbs more light, resulting in a brighter exposure, however, a higher ISO also results in more digital noise in low-light conditions. Cameras with larger sensors (like full-frame cameras) typically have higher ISO speed capability and produce less digital noise at high ISO settings. Digital cameras include a control for adjusting ISO speed, some of which can be set to adjust automatically in combination with certain other exposure settings. ISO is indicated in numbers usually starting at 100 and going upward (200, 400, 800, 1600 etc.) doubling in sensitivity each time. Most cameras also indicate 3rd stop intervals (100, 125, 180, 200 etc.) 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
The 20.9MP DX-format CMOS sensor enables recording high-resolution still imagery and 4K UHD or full HD 1080p video with the utmost clarity, low noiseNOISEThe appearance of random pixels scattered over a photo, similar to the grain effect seen in film photography, which degrades photo quality almost as if it is stained. It occurs when taking photos in low-light conditions, with very slow shutter speeds on high sensitivity (ISO) settings. It is caused by amplification done by the sensor when high ISO settings are used. You can counteract digital noise by lowering the sensitivity (ISO) setting of your camera - the lower the ISO setting, the lower the noise in the image. Typically cameras with larger sensors (like full-frame cameras) will inherently produce less noise due to larger pixels on the sensor., and smooth color gradations. Additionally, the sensor pairs with the advanced EXPEED 5 image processor to provide native sensitivity to ISO 51,200, as well as expanded to 1,640,000 for shooting in even dimmer lighting conditions.
The sensor and processor combination also enables a continuous high shooting rate of 10 fps at full resolution, continuous low of 1- 9 fps, and a quiet-continuous of 3 fps. Enhanced bufferBUFFERInternal camera memory used to cue images for saving to the memory card. This cueing is necessary due to the inherent writing speed limit of memory cards. When the buffer becomes full, it creates a bottleneck and the shooting rate reduces dramatically to compensate for the memory card speed limit. More professional cameras typically have much larger buffers which can cue a larger amount of images before the shooting rate is reduced. capacity allows you to record up to 200 sequential 14-bit NEF, lossless compressed or 79 14-bit uncompressed files.
4K UHD and Full HD 1080p Video Recording
The EXPEED 5 processing power extends beyond still imaging performance to benefit 4K UHD video recording in multiple frame rates of 30/25/24p fps and full HD 1080p of 60/50/30/25/24p fps. During recording, fully manual control over shutter speedSHUTTER SPEEDAperture, shutter speed and ISO form what is known as the exposure triangle in photography. Shutter speed is the length of time that a single frame is exposed for, more specifically how fast the shutter opens and closes to permit light entering the lens, to reach the sensor. A slow shutter speed means a longer exposure time useful for motion blur like the silky look of flowing water, whereas a fast shutter speed means a shorter exposure time useful for freezing the appearance of motion in images like a hummingbird in flight. It is measured in seconds starting at 1 second and halving our doubling in time.
For example: 1/2s, 1/4s and 1/8s are all fractions of a second with 1/2s being the longest exposure time, 1/4s half of that and 1/8s another half etc. and ISO settings is possible along with the ability to utilize Auto ISO adjustment in manual mode with a top sensitivity of ISO 51,200. Zebra stripe highlighting can be applied to aid in controlling overexposureEXPOSUREExposure is controlled by three elements: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. Achieving the correct exposure is similar to collecting rain in a bucket, up to an optimum level. The rate of rainfall is out of your control (light), yet you can control these three factors: the bucket’s width (lens aperture), the duration you leave it in the rain (shutter speed), and how effective your bucket is in collecting rain (ISO). These three elements work together to control the amount of light per unit area, preventing underexposure (too dark) or overexposure (too bright), giving you a natural looking image. during recording too, along with in-camera Picture Control profiles, custom tone curves, and a flat profile to benefit color-grading applications. Recording to an optional external recorder is possible in order to gain uncompressed, 4:2:2, 8-bit output through the HDMI port, and when recording externally, use of the camera's LCD monitor for simultaneous live view monitoring is possible.
In regard to audio recording, an in-camera stereo microphone can be used, or alternatively, an input is available for utilizing an optional external stereo microphone. Sound levels can be adjusted across many levels prior to and during recording, along with the ability to monitor audio via the headphone output.
Advanced Multi-CAM 20K Autofocus System
Supporting the imaging capabilities of the D500 is an autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, and 153 focus points, including 99 cross-type sensors and 15 sensors that support f/8, of which 55 (35 cross-type) sensors, and 9 f/8 sensors are available for selection. AF modes include Single-Point, Dynamic Area 25, 72, and 153 AF points, Group Area AF, 3D-Tracking, and Auto Area AF.
The f/8 sensors are of great benefit when using telephotoTELEPHOTOA lens with long focal length capable of making distant objects appear nearer thus larger. Essentially, it isolates and magnifies the subject so that it appears as a full image when shooting from a distance. Telephoto lenses are ideal for photographing subjects that are further away, such as wildlife and sports photography. lenses, teleconverters, and filters. 3D Tracking, a part of the intelligent Scene Recognition System, also works to benefit maintained focusing on moving subjects for greater accuracy when shooting at high continuous shooting speeds. Furthermore, Single-point AF, Dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking, and Auto-area AF modes are also available. And, when working in either horizontal or vertical shooting orientations, you can individually select your focus point and AF area settings to best fit the frame.
Scene Recognition System and Exposure Metering
The intelligent Scene Recognition System with 3D Color Matrix Metering utilizes a 180k-pixelPIXELThe shortening of 'picture element', a basic unit of programmable colour forming the dots that make up an image. Pixel size depends on a camera’s resolution, which is measured in megapixels (MP), meaning millions of pixels. The more pixels on a sensor, the smaller they have to be to fit. An image's number (or density) of pixels correlate to the amount of information and image holds. Cameras with more pixels on the sensor have a higher pixel density and thus more resolving power, able to capture smaller details with much more clarity and accuracy. Higher resolution images can be cropped more agressively and also produce better quality large prints. RGB sensor to evaluate and analyze all aspects within a scene, including brightness, contrastCONTRASTThe difference between areas of different brightness levels in a photograph: A high-contrast image has a greater difference between light and dark areas, whereas a low-contrast image has a narrow range of tones. Contrast is used to direct a viewer’s attention to a photographer’s subject either with colour contrast (bold versus duller colours) or tonal contrast (bright versus darker tones). , subject distance, and the scene colors, to quickly determine an accurate exposure and white balance setting to best render the scene at hand. The information gathered is also checked against onboard reference images to ensure consistency from image to image in regard to exposure, white balance, i-TTL flash settings, and subject-tracking AF performance.
Camera Design Features
A large 3.2", 2,359k-dot, LCD monitor is incorporated into the D500's design and features an RGBW touch screen with tilting for overhead and low angle shots.
A bright pentaprism optical viewfinder offers 100% frame coverage and incorporates an organic EL display system to provide shooting information for seamless adjustment over camera settings without removing your eye from the viewfinder. Additionally, the optical glass features enhanced coatings for increased brightness, contrast, and color neutrality for more lifelike viewing.
Use the hot shoe and wireless plus synch connector for external flash with Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Synch, and Rear Curtain modes. Flash X Synch Speed is 1/250 sec. Dual card slots, one XQD and the other SD are available to extend file saving capabilities by permitting either overflow recording or in-camera file duplicating. Additionally, optional HDMI-connected external recorders are supported for recording uncompressed video and time lapse sequences.
Two Fn buttons, one front facing and the other rear facing, may be assigned for checking depth-of-field or used for other shooting controls.
The included EN-EL15 rechargeable lithium-ion battery and MH-25A Battery Charger supply the necessary power.
SnapBridge Wi-Fi Connectivity
Supporting a wealth of sharing and tagging possibilities, the D500 features built-in SnapBridge Wi-Fi connectivity to enable seamless transfer of imagery as well as remote shooting capabilities. BLE, Bluetooth Low Energy technology, enables communication between the camera and a smart device. Additionally, the mobile device can remotely trigger the shutter and display a live view image from the camera to enable working from a distance. NFC (Near Field Communication) is also supported to provide a quick and simple tap-to-connect method for linking your mobile devices with the camera.
For faster wireless performance, the D500 is also compatible with the optional WT-7A Wireless Transmitter enabling transmission of image files via FTP server or computer at speeds of up to 866.7 Mbps.
Sensor Size Type
Nikon DX Format
Sensor actual Size
23.5 x 15.7 mm
Up to 10 fps
100 to 51200 (Extendible to 50-1640000 )
Phase Detection:153, 99 cross-type
Nikon F-mount (DX)
XQD, SD (Secure Digital) and UHS-II compliant SDHC and SDXC memory cards
Fastest Shutter Speed
Longest Shutter Speed
30 sec, Bulb mode
Flash Sync Speed
3840 x 2160p / 30 fps
3840 x 2160p / 25 fps
3840 x 2160p / 24 fps
1920 x 1080p / 60 fps
1920 x 1080p / 50 fps
1920 x 1080p / 30 fps
1920 x 1080p / 25 fps
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps
1280 x 720p / 60 fps
1280 x 720p / 50 fps
Still Images: JPEG, RAW, TIFF
Movies: MOV, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Audio: Linear PCM (Stereo)
Magnesium Alloy Barrel
Nikon F-mount (DX), Metal Mount
Full Time Manual Focus
Minimum Focus Distance
Yes, 4 stops
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