Nikon D5 Brief Review



  • 20.8 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO range expandable to 50-3,280,000
  • New 152 point autofocus
  • 12 fps burst shooting (14 fps with mirror locked)
  • EXPEED 5 processor
  • 4K video at 30 fps
  • Two RAW file sizes: uncompressed and 12-bit
  • 3.2” touchscreen
  • Ethernet connection for 1.5x faster computer transfers
  • Available with either XQD or CF card slots
  • Release Date: 2016-03-01
  • Final Grade: 98 4.9 Star Rating: Recommended

Nikon makes sweeping updates to their flagship DSLR with the 4K capable D5
Nikon's top-the-line professional DSLR sees several big changes, including an ISO over three million, 4K video and 158 autofocus points. Wowza.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 4/27/2016

Nikon certainly didn't make big promises but small improvements. The 2016 professional flagship DSLR, the Nikon D5, sees sweeping updates across the board, becoming Nikon's new top-of-the-line option. Frankly, this thing is a monster. An expensive monster, but a beast of a camera nonetheless.

The Nikon D5 can see even more than the human eye, thanks to the 3,280,000 maximum ISO. Yes, that's over three million. While the image is going to of course be noisy, that's a pretty significant capability. Getting a bit more realistic, the new EXPEED 5 image processor will help reduce noise at the levels more commonly used by most pros compared to the older D4s.

That processor is also behind the new 4K video capability, Nikon's first DSLR to feature the high resolution format. That resolution is possible at 30 fps, making it an option for videographers as well as photographers.

The D5 also sees a jump up in autofocus capabilities with a new 158 point autofocus. That's a lot of autofocus points that comes in handy for tracking moving subjects. That paired with an excellent 12 fps makes the D5 a serious option for professional sports shooters.

While action photographers are more likely to pay the money for those features, the D5 isn't beyond applications like portrait and fashion work either. The RAW files can be captured uncompressed or in 12-bit for when those 20 megapixel files start to fill up your hard drive. Nikon has also upgraded the screen with touch capabilities.

The Nikon D5 looks like an excellent piece of photography equipment, though few can afford one at the $6,995.95 list price. Canon's flagship EOS 1D X by comparison has 61 autofocus points, 1080p HD video and a 204,800 maximum ISO, albeit with a faster 14 fps maximum burst. Since the 1 DX was realesed in 2012, expect a Canon update soon.

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Nikon Reviews

Nikon has long been one of the top manufacturers in the industry, and their products are still solid options today. The camera giant is continuously releasing new products with enhancements in image quality and performance.

It's hard to go wrong with a Nikon DSLR. With a different model available for every skill level from beginner to professional, Nikon's DSLR's have always been top notch. Their latest DSLRs have seen improved noise reduction, enhanced video quality and upgraded designs over cameras from just a few years ago.

Nikon made an interesting move in the realm of mirrorless cameras—instead of pushing for bigger sensors, Nikon instead has focused on speed. The Nikon 1 line cameras use a 1” sensor, which is larger than your average point-and-shoot but smaller than the Micro Four Thirds options. While the 1 line doesn't have much resolution, their cameras boast speeds upwards of 15 fps—no other mirrorless line currently comes close to that level of speed.

Nikon's compacts aren't as much of a sure thing as their DSLRs—some of their smaller cameras are quite impressive, while others are beaten out by competitors. We liked their higher end consumer point-and-shoots like the COOLPIX S6500, but be careful with their budget compacts. They offer quite a range of compact cameras, just be sure to read the reviews on the individual camera first.

Nikon offers a full range of cameras from tiny budget models to professional DSLRs. More often than not, if you go with a Nikon, you're getting a solid camera.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.