Stretching the hyperbole a bit, Nikon says the camera “far surpass[es] mere evolution.”
It boasts a Nikon-developed 20.8-megapixel CMOS sensor, an all-new 153-point AF system, 4K UHD video capture, and EXPEED 5 image processing.
The D5 offers a native ISO range from 100 to 102,400, with advancements in noise reduction and processing helping to capture low-noise images that were previously impossible, with fantastic fidelity, says the company. The D5 also realizes “unprecedented” image quality in the high-sensitivity range between ISO 3200 and 12800.
Nikon says the next generation autofocus system performs in near darkness, acquiring focus in as little as EV-4 illumination.
Get ready for a staggering number. The ISO range is expandable from 50 (Lo-1) to an eye-defying ISO 3,280,000 (Hi-5). ISO 3.2 million! That’s nearly night vision capability and certainly well beyond the capabilities of the human eye. This will certainly benefit photojournalists as well as those involved in surveillance and security. And this range is also available to those capturing 4K UHD video.
Nikon says the D5 delivers on the promise of stunning image quality, and is designed to achieve the optimized balance between the large full-frame sensor size, resolution and the new EXPEED 5 image processing engine. The company says users can be confident images will have enhanced sharpness and clarity, faithful skin tones and unequaled dynamic range. EXPEED 5 also helps to enhance noise reduction.
Nikon’s EXPEED 5 engine enhances camera performance, delivering low noise, high speed image processing and offering the additional processing power needed for 4K UHD video. For professional sports and wildlife photographers, the D5 is capable of capturing images at 12 frames-per-second (fps) with full AE and AF. Users can also shoot at up to 14 fps with fixed focus and exposure and the mirror locked up, ideal for remote capture. The extended buffer lets users shoot for up to 200 frames of 14-bit lossless RAW/NEF files + JPG fine. The new processor is also 25 per cent more efficient, with up to 3,780 shots per charge.
The all-new AF system has Nikon’s first dedicated AF processor. The Multi-CAM 20K AF sensor module is said to offer superior AF performance with 153 AF points, including 99 cross-type sensors – triple the AF points from Nikon’s previous flagship, the D4S. Of these 153 points, 55 AF points/35 cross type points are selectable by photographers to quickly and easily frame any shot. The system is configurable in 153, 72 and 25-point coverage when used with Continuous AF, allowing for “stellar” AF tracking performance of even the most rapidly moving subjects throughout the frame. Fifteen of the AF points are also functional up to f/8, further aiding those who require extreme telephoto capabilities. This all-new AF system is coupled with a new 180K pixel RGB metering system and Advanced Scene Recognition System helping to achieve optimally balanced exposures and accurate white balance in even the most challenging light.
The D5 delivers rugged construction and robust weather sealing. A new 3.2-inch XGA LCD adds touchscreen functionality, allowing the user to easily pinch, zoom, swipe and scrub in playback, and also enter text faster than ever before. Buttons and dials illuminate for enhanced visibility, while two additional Function buttons have been added for increased customization. The camera also features a Quick Release Mode setting for rapid access to release mode settings. Additionally, a new shutter and mirror sequencing mechanism nearly eliminates blackout time and mirror slap for bright, consistent views during high-speed shooting. The D5’s shutter itself is tested to 400K actuations.
When paired with the WR-R10 wireless remote controller (transceiver) and WR-A10 Wireless Remote Adapter, the D5 can also interface with Nikon’s newest Speedlight, the RF controlled SB-5000.
The new camera is able to utilize the superior read and write speed of XQD memory cards, which are up to 35 percent faster than CF cards. To appeal to a wide variety of photographers, the D5 will be available in two versions; with either dual XQD card slots or with dual CF card capability.
The camera is also capable of shooting smaller RAW Size S or M file types (12-bit, uncompressed) for greater flexibility when transferring batches of files from the field, while retaining image integrity.
Photographers can also use the built in 1000 Base-T 400MBps Ethernet connection for image transfer, with speeds up to 1.5x faster than the D4S.
The D5 is the first Nikon HDSLR capable of capturing 4K UHD video (3840×2160 at 30p), for video with beautiful clarity and colour. Multimedia content creators can also use the D5 to produce 4K time-lapse videos in-camera using the Time-lapse Movie function, and can create 8-megapixel still images from frame grabs.
The D5 includes all of the most popular pro-level features of the D810, such as Full HD 1080p video at a variety of frame rates, uncompressed HDMI out, simultaneous live view and headphone/microphone connections. Additionally, the D5 adds a feature to smooth exposure transitions using the Auto ISO function as well as exposure compensation, to create natural-looking exposure transitions in video.
Nikon says the D5 is optimized to work with the SB-5000 Speedlight. The flash operates via radio frequency and will operate without a direct line of sight for a range of up to approximately 30 m (98 feet). When paired with the WR-R10 and the D5 or the D500, this light can control up to six groups (A-F) or 18 lights. It’s also possible to perform Advanced Wireless Lighting using either radio-controlled (up to three groups) and/or optical controlled units (up to three groups) by simply attaching a conventional, optical-control Nikon Speedlight or the SU-800 Commander (as a master or commander unit) and a WR-R10 (as a commander) onto the D5.
The smaller SB-5000 Speedlight also has a radically new design that includes its own internal cooling system, which prevents overheating of the flash panel from consecutive firings. As a result, the SB-5000 can fire consecutively for longer than conventional models, without flash cool-down time between bursts, and can fire up to 120 continuous shots at 5 second intervals.
Controls have also been streamlined and refined, with the addition of an “i” button for access to frequently used settings.
The design also integrates versatile bounce ability, with the flash head capable of tilting down to -7° or up to 90°, and rotating horizontally 180° to the left and right.
Nikon has also announced the WT-6A Wireless Transmitter for use with the D5. The WT-6A can transfer with speeds of up to 130 mbps wirelessly and supports the fast IEEE802.11ac standard. The connectivity distance has been extended to approximately 656 ft. and can be used to transfer images to an FTP server or to a computer. When in HTTP mode, the unit can be used to operate camera controls, begin Live View shooting or start/stop HD video recording.
The Nikon D5 DSLR will be available in March for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $8,499.95.
The Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight will be available in March for an MSRP of $769.95.
The WT-6A Wireless Transmitter will also be available in March, with pricing to be announced at a later date.