Nikon (Finally) Announces the D500 Pro-level Crop Sensor DSLR

Nikon D500 with AF-S 16-80mm
Nikon D500 with AF-S 16-80mm f/3.5-5.6ED VR

Nikon today announced the new and highly anticipated D500, a pro-level DSLR with a crop sensor (DX) which shares quite a bit of features of the D5. It has a 20.9MP APS-C sensor as well as the new EXPEED 5 image processor found on the D5. This is the long-awaited successor to the very popular D300S.

ISO sensitivity, while not as high as the D5, is still an impressive 100 to 51,200. This can be expanded to 50—1,640,000. In terms of continuous shooting speed, the D500 can shoot at up to 10fps using the same 153-point AF system as the D5. On the D500, these AF points cover almost the whole of the frame. A large buffer allows for 79 14-bit raw files in burst mode.

Nikon D500 (Rear), showing the 3.2" tilt/swivel LCD touch screen.
Nikon D500 (Rear), showing the 3.2″ tilt/swivel LCD touch screen.

Being a pro-level camera, it has a rugged weather sealed body like the D810, and features a magnesium-alloy top/rear and a carbon-fibre reinforced front. At the back of the camera is a 3.2″ tilt/swivel touch-screen LCD with 2.4 million dots, similar to the one found on the D750, The viewfinder has a 100% coverage with a magnification of 1.0x, giving a bright and big view. Storage duties are performed by a XQD slot and a regular SD slot.

On the video side of things, the D500 can shoot 4K/30p and 1080p at various frame rates. Like the D810, it features Picture Controls and an uncompressed HDMI output. New to the D500 are in-camera 4K time-lapse, Auto-ISO smoothing and the ability to send 4K video to the card and HDMI outputs simultaneously.

The D500 also features SnapBridge, a new technology developed by Nikon which lets you establish an always-on Bluetooth connection between the D500 and a smart device. This allows you to do automatic image transfers between devices and is addition to the more common WiFi and NFC options which are also available on the camera.

The D500 will be available in March 2016 with a SRP of US$2,000. There’s also an option to purchase it with the AF-S 16-80mm f/3.5-5.6ED VR lens for US$3,070.

CK: Wow, this sure took Nikon a long time! When I was looking to upgrade my D200 many years ago, I didn’t have that much options. The D300/300S was getting a bit long in the tooth, making the D7000 more attractive as an upgrade. Of course, the D7000 isn’t a pro-level camera, and didn’t handle as nicely as the D200, but it’s decent enough. Many photographers have also yearned for a D300-type successor but none was coming. Nikon has basically ignored the pro DX shooters for a long time. We probably got to thank Canon for coming up with the EOS 7D Mark II which kicked Nikon in the you-know-where.

Too late however, at least for me. Many photographers, myself included, have moved on to APS-C mirrorless cameras. That said, this still looks like a very impressive camera to be had.

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Nikon Announces D7200 with Upgraded Buffer Size

D7200 Front

Nikon today unveiled the D7200, which basically takes the D7100 and upgrades it in a number of minor areas, along with one not-so-minor area. The camera still packs a 24 megapixel DX sensor without an optical low-pass filter, but it seems to be a new one; perhaps a Sony sensor? The biggest upgrade is the buffer, which means the camera can now do 6 FPS continuous shooting at up to 18 raw files or and 100 JPEGs. While I personally never held down my shutter release like some people do, the 6 raw file buffer in the D7100 was really on the shallow side, so the upgrade is definitely welcome.

Another change is the new AF sensor module from the D750, which means the camera can now focus down to -3EV light levels. Personally I would like the D7200 to have used the D750 body as well, but I guess Nikon wanted to keep the product segmentation at a bigger level between DX and FX.

Other changes include Wifi with NFC (NFC tag is on the grip), 1080p video at 60 FPS alongside a new dedicated movie menu tab, slightly improved battery life at 1100 shots compared to 920 previously. The rest of the camera is pretty much a D7100 otherwise.

The D7200 will be available in body-only and the 18-140mm kit in the USA, and additionally with the 18-105mm lens in Singapore. So far USA pricing has the body at US$1,200, and the 18-140mm kit at US$1,700, with the camera arriving in April.

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PMA@CES 2014: Nikon Announces D3300, 18-55mm VR II, 35mm f/1.8 FX, and D4S Development



Nikon have unveiled their PMA@CES lineup, and it is not the most exciting one. The first is the Nikon D3300, which replaces the D3300 by removing the AA filter from the 24 megapixel sensor, increasing the frame rate to 5 FPS from 4 (which is pretty amazing considering my F100 from over a decade back did just that). The fixed LCD remains a 3″ VGA affair, and the autofocus module is still the same 11 point system from the D3200. Oh, and there is that new 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II lens that can collapse into a smaller form factor, which hopefully can properly bring out the better side on that 24 megapixel sensor. I wonder if this is Nikon’s strategy of dealing with APS-sized sensor mirrorless cameras. The entire combination is not terribly big, is on par in weight with many mirrorless kits, features the snappy autofocus that DSLRs have, and in markets like the USA have the Nikon brand name to carry them over. Camera with lens kit and lens itself will be available in February for US$650 and US$250 respectively.

Next up is the FX AF-S 35mm f/1.8G. Continue reading PMA@CES 2014: Nikon Announces D3300, 18-55mm VR II, 35mm f/1.8 FX, and D4S Development

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Yawn: Nikon Releases AF-S Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR and SB-300 Speedlight


The nice thing about writing on this blog is that we get to focus on things that interest us, play with gear, and have fun in general. Then there are days like this. We get an almost-kit lens without a camera to go with it, and a small flash that is essentially the SB-N7 from the Nikon 1 line but with a proper standard Nikon TTL hotshoe. The lens is interesting in what it does not say: the lack of a body to go with it. If this is the supposed D400’s kit lens, it also says what Nikon thinks about DX users.

And the flash? No CLS wireless. Two AAA batteries is probably a slight negative as well. I suppose Nikon did not want a small, wireless capable flash that is slightly cheaper to compete with the SB-R200. It is slightly more powerful as well, with a Guide Number of 18m at ISO 100. Look out (or not) for the lens and flash to arrive in late August in the USA for US$600 and US$150 respectively.

US$600 for a kit-type lens? Ouch.

(Image credit: Nikon press images)

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Nikon Releases the Coolpix A 16-megapixel DX-format and P330 Compact Cameras

Nikon Coolpix A
Nikon Coolpix A

Following the likes of Ricoh and Sigma, Nikon has released the Nikon Coolpix A. This is a 16-megapixel DX-format compact camera with a fixed 18.5mm (equivalent to 28mm on full frame cameras.) As with the trend right now, Nikon has designed this to be without an anti-aliasing low-pass filter on the CMOS sensor, which is supposed to give improved image quality.

Continue reading Nikon Releases the Coolpix A 16-megapixel DX-format and P330 Compact Cameras

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