Nikon D5 Review (2020)


The Nikon D5 is the company’s flagship action-oriented DSLR camera. It is mainly built for speed and giving more reliability to its user. The double-grip chassis provides a comfortable grip in any situation. The entirely new autofocus system and the sensor makes it upgraded from its old version D4s. The phenomenal performance of the D5 is all about capturing images that defy the odds.

Nikon D5 Specifications

Body Design

The rugged D5 is built with a magnesium alloy housing. That repels even the most persistent dust particle or water droplet. The shutter unit is also well-built for delivering phenomenal performance and outstanding durability. Forthwith,  The new Fn1 button combines with Pv. And Fn2 to give one button for each of the three non-shutter fingers on the front of the D5.

Nikon D5 360 Degree View

  • Body type – Large SLR
  • Camera Format – FX
  • Body material – Magnesium alloy
  • Weight of the body only – Approx. 1235 g
  • Weight of the body (including batteries, memory card without body cap) – Approx. 1405 g
  • Dimensions – Width 160 mm x Height 158.5 mm x Diagonal 92 mm
  • Operating Environment – Temperature: 0 °C to 40 °C (+32 °F to 104 °F) Humidity: 85% or less (no condensation)
  • Lens Mount – Nikon F Mount
  • Shutter Type – Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane mechanical shutter; electronic front-curtain shutter available in mirror up release mode
  • Slower shutter speed – 30 sec
  • Fastest shutter speed – 1/8000 sec
  • Shutter life – 4,00,000 Shots
  • Mirror Lock-Up – Yes
  • Memory Card Slots – 2 XQD cards or 2 CompactFlash (CF) cards, Slot 2 can be used for overflow or backup storage or for separate storage of copies created using NEF+JPEG; pictures can be copied between cards.
  • Battery description – Rechargeable Li-One EN-EL 18a
  • Battery Life – CIPA rated 3780 shots
  • Charging AC adapter – EH-6b AC adapter; requires EP-6 power connector
  • Tripod Socket – 1/4 in

Sensor and Processor

The Nikon D5 has extraordinary image clarity, with its stunning 20.8 megapixels full-frame sensor. Giving the superior enhanced resolution that is impeccably suited to professional large-format poster or canvas print. The new EXPEED 5 image-processing engine easily handles data from the D5’s increased pixel count. Hence, image sensors as well as high-speed continuous shooting. Its increased data writing speed from the image sensor enables rapid data processing of approx. 14-fps (mirror up) ultra-high-speed continuous shooting and 4K UHD (3840 × 2160)/30p video recording. The new image-processing algorithm quickly and comprehensively processes data. As that comes with a wide dynamic range, without losing any of the rich information. It creates a richer, more natural rendering of smooth tonal gradations by bringing the best out of the image sensor.

  • Sensor type – CMOS
  • Total Pixels – 21.33 million
  • Effective Pixels – 20.8 million
  • Sensor size – 35.9 mm x 23.9 mm
  • Max resolution – 5568 x 3712
  • Other resolutions – FX (36×24) image area, (L)5568, x3712, (M)4176, x2784, (S)2784, x1856, 1.2x (30×20) image area, (L)4640, x3088, (M)3472, x2312, (S)2320, x1544, DX (24×16) image area, (L)3648, x2432, (M)2736, x1824, (S)1824, x1216, 5 : 4 (30×24) image area, (L)4640, x3712, (M)3472, x2784, (S)2320, x1856, FX-format photographs taken during movie recording at a frame size of 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720, (L)5568, x3128, (M)4176, x2344, (S)2784, x1560, DX-format photographs taken during movie recording at a frame size of 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720, (L)3648, x2048, (M)2736, x1536, (S)1824, x1024, Photographs taken during movie recording at a frame size of 3840 x 2160: 3840 x 2160 Photographs taken during movie recording at a frame size of 1920 x 1080 crop: 1920 x 1080
  • Processor – EXPEED 5
  • Bit Depth – NEF (RAW): 12 or 14bit
  • Aspect Ratio – 1:1, 3:2, 16:9
  • Colour space – sRGB, Adobe RGB
  • Colour filter array – Primary colour filter
  • Continuous shooting speed – 12fps, Up to 10 fps (CL); 10–12 fps, or 14 fps with mirror up (CH); or 3 fps (quiet continuous mode)


The D5 consists of a new in-house developed Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor. And the new EXPEED 5 image-processing engine allow the D5 to achieve standard sensitivity up to ISO 102400 — the highest in Nikon’s history. This contributes enhanced image quality with high ISO capable of shooting at the extremely dark condition. With accurate color reproduction capability. This new high resolution 20.8 megapixel provides rich tonal gradation and refined signal for noise ratio. As it helps for taking high-quality images at high ISO. The fine-tuning preset settings facilitate to control sharpening, clarity, contrast, and brightness. Therefore, the picture control opens up a wider range of paths for capturing great images with more details.

  • Image ratio – 3:2
  • ISO Auto – 100 – 102400
  • Minimum ISO – 50
  • Maximum ISO – 3280000
  • White Balance presets – 12
  • White Balance Bracketing – Provided
  • Custom white balance – Provided with 6 slots
  • File format – NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit / TIFF(RGB)/ RAW+JPEG/ JPEG
  • Picture Styles – Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, Flat, selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls

Optics & Focus

The D5 is packed with the next-generation of incredible 153 focus points. And 99 cross-type sensors, that offer exceptionally wide coverage with its new autofocus system. In addition, the small subjects moving at high speed can be tracked with a new level of precision with a dedicated AF system. Also, the Subjects at the edge of the frame are easily detected, and vertical shooting is vastly improved. The AF sensitivity down to -4 EV enables superior low-light performance, and all AF modes have been improved. All 153 focus points are compatible with AF NIKKOR lenses with an open aperture of f/5.6 or faster. And 15 central focus points work with an effective aperture of f/8.

  • Focus Mode – Single-servo AF (AF-S), Continuous-servo AF (AF-C), predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status, Manual focus (M): Electronic rangefinder can be used
  • Lens mount – Nikon F Mount
  • Focal length multiplier – 1x

Auto Focus

  • Number of focus points – 153 focus points, of which 55 or 15 are available for selection
  • Cross-type – 99
  • Autofocus Sensitivity – -4 to +20 EV
  • AF Mode – Single-point AF, 25, 72, or 153- point dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking, group-area AF, auto-area AF
  • AF-area mode – Face-priority AF, Wide-area AF, Normal-area AF, Subject-tracking AF

Screen and Viewfinder

D5’s AF tracking and viewfinder visibility are vastly improved when shooting sports. Or any scene in which subjects tend to change direction suddenly. The new faster sequential shutter and mirror mechanisms significantly reduce viewfinder blackout during high-speed bursts in D5. It also upgraded with a new 3.2 inch, 2360k-dot LCD monitor. By the same token, offers touch operation is very much responsive and introduced useful functionality for its users. Nikon has implemented a ‘scrubbing’ feature. By holding the finger on the bottom of the screen and dragging left and right. It helps to scrub through a large number of images very quickly and efficiently. It is pretty handy, especially with burst speed. Henceforth, the tilting monitor helps to take images or videos with better farming. And also at low or high angles with a touch to focus option available which makes it easier for handling.

  • Screen Type – Tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD with 170° viewing angle
  • The Screen size – 3.2in
  • Screen dots – 2,359,000
  • Touch screen – Provided
  • Live view – Provided
  • Viewfinder Type – Eye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
  • The Viewfinder coverage – FX: 100%,1.2x: 97%, DX: 97%, 5:4: 97% H and 100% V
  • Viewfinder Eye Point – 17 mm
  • Viewfinder Magnification – Approx. 0.72x
  • Diopter Adjustment – -3 to +1 m

Photography Features

The D5 is now capable of taking pictures at even -4EV. With a high-speed AF system with good noise reduction even at high ISO. The advanced reading out image data of a wide dynamic range. It helps the sensor evidently reduce noise generated and ensuring superior noise reduction, throughout the sensitivity range. The optimized pixel structure, simultaneously providing significantly increased sensitivity per unit area with a wider sensitivity range. The camera is now capable of shooting at 12 fps or even 14 fps in a mirror-up mode. As it captures every action without any blackout with a high-quality image even in high ISO.

  • Exposure modes – Programmed auto with flexible program (P); shutter-priority auto (S); aperture-priority auto (A); manual (M)
  • Drive modes – S (single frame), CL (continuous low speed), CH (continuous high speed),         Q (quiet shutter-release), Self-timer, MUP (mirror up)
  • Metering modes – Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot, Highlight-weighted metering
  • Exposure compensation – ±5 (in 1/3, 1/2 or 1EV steps)
  • Metering Range – –3 to +20 EV
  • Live View AF system – 100% frame coverage
  • Built-in flash – Not provided
  • External flash – Can be attached or used
  • Flash Maximum sync speed – X=1/250 s; synchronizes with the shutter at 1/250 s or slower
  • Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) – Supported
  • Accessory Shoe – ISO 518 hot-shoe
  • Flash Modes – Front-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, off, Auto FP High-Speed Sync supported
  • Flash Compensation – ±3 (in 1/3, 1/2 or 1EV steps)
  • Flash-ready Indicator – Lights when the optional flash unit is fully charged; flashes after flash is fired at full output

Video or Movie Features

The Nikon D5 is the first DSLR to record high-definition 4K/UHD movies in-camera. Moreover, dot-by-dot native pixel crop which ensures high image quality. When Shooting in Full HD (1080p) video allows us to record at frame rates up to 50p/60p. In multiple sensor crop formats, including native Full HD pixel crop. The camera offers a clean HDMI output. Hence, 4K movies can be recorded to the in-camera memory card or output uncompressed to HDMI with 8-bit 4:2:2 YCbCr. In addition, HDMI output is available for all movie resolutions during remote shooting.

The combination of sharp 4K UHD videos and the unique, high performance of this flagship D-SLR will push the boundaries of creative video. Opening up new opportunities that fully bring out this camera’s potential. Compared to the FX-based mode. The DX-based movie format and 4K UHD movie image area (3840 × 2160) has an angle of view equivalent to approx. 1.5× lens focal length. While that of 1920 × 1080 crop is equivalent to approx. 3× lens focal length. The exposure smoothing function is also available in interval timer photography. And also efficiently reduces unwanted flicker effects in a time-lapse movie where the brightness changes widely.

  • Video Compression – H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
  • Videography Format – MOV
  • Frame Rate – 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD); 30p (progressive), 25p, 24p 1920 x 1080; 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p 1920 x 1080 crop; the 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p 1280 x 720; 50p Actual frame rates for 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p are 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively; high quality available at all frame sizes, normal quality available at all sizes except 3840 x 2160
  • Audio Recording – Built-in Stereo or external microphone; sensitivity adjustable
  • Audio File Format – Linear PCM
  • Audio Input and Output – Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter)

Other Special Features of Nikon D5

Whether using in-camera wired LAN or wireless LAN with the optional WT-6/A/B/C Wireless Transmitter. The D5’s communication speed is more than twice as fast as that of the D4S. This is made possible by the increased speed of the communication interface. As well as key components with greater processing capability. The D5have improved in customization options for its assignable function buttons. The Active D-Lighting helps more in both stills and videos for making better quality pictures. The improved sensor and processor make this D5 special. For capturing good pictures at low-light with high ISO with good performance of noise reduction. The index-marking is now available for easily selecting the required frame. The vertical grip is a huge advantage for this high-performance camera providing more stability during portrait shots.

  • Index Marking – Available
  • Active D-Lighting – Selected from, Extra high, High, Normal, Low, or Off
  • Time-lapse recording – Provided
  • Wireless – Optional (requires WT-5A or WT-6A)
  • Wi-Fi – 2.4 GHz band
  • Bluetooth – Version 4.1
  • GPS – Optional (GP-1A)
  • Storage types – 1 SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II supported) + 1 XQD
  • USB Connectivity – SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0 Micro-B connector)
  • HDMI Connectivity – Type C HDMI Connector
  • Port Provided – Microphone, Headphone
  • Remote control – Yes (Wired, wireless, smartphone)
  • Self-timer – 2s, 5s, 10s, the 20s

Best Lenses for Nikon D5

The Nikon D5 can be influenced by the wide variety of unparalleled NIKKOR Lenses. To provide great detail, sharpness, and accurate color and also high AF performance. Therefore, NIKKOR lenses are powerful tools for professionals looking to ensure brilliantly sharp images. Regardless of the subject, environment, or lighting conditions. The advanced AF system helps the lenses to make accurate and sharp focus at high speed.

List of Best Common Lenses for Nikon D5

Best All-in-one Lens

  • AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR

Most Common Standard Zoom Lenses

  • AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR

Best Standard Prime Lenses

  • AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
  • AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
  • Lens AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G

Best Macro Lenses

  • AF-S MICRO NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED
  • AF-S VR MICRO-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Top Standard Zoom Lenses

  • AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR

Best Wide-angle Zoom Lenses

  • AF-S FISHEYE NIKKOR 8-15MM F/3.5-4.5E ED
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR  10-24mm f/3.4-4.5G ED
  • Lens AF-S NIKKOR 14–24mm f/2.8G ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR

Best Wide-angle Prime Lenses

  • PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8 G ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24MM F/1.4G ED
  • Lens AF-S NIKKOR 28MM F/1.4E ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 35MM F/1.4G ED

List of Best Specialized Lenses for Nikon D5

Best Indoor Sports Lenses

  • AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR
  • AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
  • Lens AF-S NIKKOR 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR
  • AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II
  • AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR
  • Lens AF-S NIKKOR 180-400MM F/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR

Top Outdoor Sports and Wildlife Lenses

  • AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR
  • Lens AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR

Best Portrait Lenses

  • AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
  • AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G
  • Lens AF-S VR MICRO-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Best Travel and Street Lenses

  • AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR
  • Lens AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G
  • AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR

Nikon D5 Rating

As per the reviews and features of D5, the ratings for this camera stand 4.7/5. This camera is specially made for providing high performance. And giving high-quality images with fast shutter-speed which is necessary for wildlife, sports, and adventure kind of photography helping to capture high-speed actions. It also can be used for wedding photography, fashion photography, product photography, commercial or advertising photography, etc. But should definitely know the need and reliability of this camera. Hence, the D5 is capable of shooting videos with 4K UHD output at high speed with true colors and delivers accurate sharpness by using the advanced AF-system and the image sensor, and the dedicated high-performance engine. It offers more flexibility for shooting high-resolution images which can be later cropped or select different print sizes. Further, this rating is given to Nikon D5 as per the survey of creative huts.


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    What is 4 + 9 ?

    Therefore, on an average, the rating of Nikon D5 is 4.7 out of 5Nikon D5 Review (2020)
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