Nikon D5

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Nikon just released it's über pro DSLR model D5. This is roughly a $6500 USD camera body, so not for the feint of wallet. 

At a quick glance the D5 offers up two new things that should be of interest to professional photographers and avid enthusiasts:

  • Super low light capability with a top end ISO of 102,400 and the ability to crank that even further to roughly 3 million ISO. Is it useable ISO? Well, without seeing it in action it is tough to say, but I'm guessing that if Sony's A7s2 cameras is anything to benchmark from, then Nikon will have created something exceptionally good in low light. The D4 was already very good in low light conditions, so this should take it that one step further. 
  • 4K video is also offered on this model, which is now becoming standard across all serious professional video cameras. 60p (for slow motion) is also available at Full HD 1080p resolution (this should be the minimum on all cameras by now). It can now also shoot stills while shooting video. It will be interesting to see if this interrupts the video recording as Canon does, or if it will be able to simultaneously record and grab a still. 
  • Up to 14fps still photo sequence shooting. This is incredibly fast, and something professional sports photographers will appreciate immensely. 
  • Option QXD or Compact Flash card slot. You have to choose.

Couple those new features with Nikon's legendary build quality, and I'm sure this camera is a winner. Is it worth upgrading from the D4? Well, that depends on what you're doing and who your clients are. If I had just purchased a D4, I would wait; however, if I had been waiting to make a professional level purchase, now would be a good time.

Finally, which is better between this and the upcoming Canon 1DX Mark 2? Well, it is tough to say, but you know that Canon will be responding to this camera with some serious firepower of their own. Personally, I don't believe that gear makes the photographer, and I would tend to err on the side of the brand on which I had spent the most money for lenses. There are things I love about each type of camera, but at the end of the day I could shoot on either flagship camera from either brand. 

If you're shooting with the new D5 for travel, I would hope that someone is paying you to lug this hefty beast around! 



Chris Stenberg is a photographer, filmmaker, occasional wordsmith, and traveller. In his spare time you can find him hanging out with his family and/or biking and boarding in the mountains of British Columbia.