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Nikon D500 Review (2020)


A new camera from Nikon contained within an efficient camera body, it is an absolute powerhouse of processing and technology. The new DX flagship D500 is one of the best cameras in the DX-format. The Nikon D500 is mainly made for the passion that leads to, capture everything with superb clarity, speed, and resolution. Moreover, the improved capability of the camera centers around sports and high-speed shooting, with significant upgrades to the shooting rate and autofocus system, but there are also major upgrades to the viewfinder, video capabilities, and connectivity options which expand its utility beyond one particular niche.

Nikon D500 Specifications

Body Design

The D500 borrows the body similar to D300s when it comes to ergonomics. The grip has depth and shape, as a result, it is more comfortable in the hand for long periods than the D7200. Also, the biggest change is the inclusion of an AF point joystick that, by default, also doubles as the AEL/AFL button.

Nikon D500 360 Degree View

  • Body type – SLR- Digital Camera
  • Camera Format – DX
  • Body material – Magnesium alloy and Carbon Fibre Composite
  • Weight of the body only – Approx. 760 g
  • Weight of the body (including batteries, memory card without body cap) – Approx. 860 g
  • Dimensions – Width 147 mm x Height 115 mm x Diagonal 81 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 – 2,00,000 Shots
  • Mirror Lock-Up – Yes
  • Memory Card Slots – 1 XQD card and 1 Secure Digital (SD) card, either card can be used for primary or backup storage or separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images; pictures can be copied between cards.
  • Battery description – Rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL15 battery
  • Battery Life – CIPA rated 1240 shots
  • Charging AC adapter – EH-5b AC adapter; requires EP-5B power connector
  • Tripod Socket – 1/4–in.

Sensor and Processor

Like in the D5, the D500 also uses a dedicated AF system that delivers accurate focus on fast-moving subjects. The engine and sequence control microcomputer mainly work to speed up the AF processing and its control. It helps to gives more accuracy in focusing and more stable tracking, even while capturing fast-moving subjects with a high frame rate.

  • Sensor type – CMOS
  • Sensor photo detectors – 21.5 Megapixel
  • Actual Pixels – 20.9 Million
  • Effective Pixels – 21.51 Million
  • Sensor size – DX (23.5mm, x15.7mm)
  • Max resolution – 5568 x 3712
  • Other resolutions – DX (24×16) image area, (L)5568, x3712, (M)4176, x2784, (S)2784, x1856, 1.3x (18×12) image area, (L)4272, x2848, (M)3200, x2136, (S)2128, x1424, Photographs with image area of DX taken during movie recording, (L)5568, x3128, (M)4176, x2344, (S)2784, x1560, Photographs with image area of 1.3x taken during movie recording, (L)4272, x2400, (M)3200, x1800, (S)2128, x1192, Photographs taken during movie recording at a frame size of 3840 x 2160: 3840 x 2160
  • Processor – EXPEED 5
  • Bit Depth – NEF (RAW): 12 or 14bit
  • Aspect Ratio – 3:2
  • Colour space – sRGB, Adobe RGB
  • Colour filter array – Primary colour filter
  • Continuous shooting speed – 10fps, CL: 1 to 9 fps CH: 10 fps QC: 3 fps


It is capable of capturing low-light cityscapes to thrilling wildlife scenes and fast action, the D500 is the best ideal companion to your wanderlust.

  • Image ratio – 3:2
  • ISO Auto – 50-1640,000
  • Minimum ISO – 100
  • Maximum ISO – 51200
  • White Balance presets – 7
  • White Balance Bracketing – Provided
  • Custom white balance – Provided with 6 slots
  • File format – NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit / TIFF (RGB) / JPEG
  • Maximum Resolution – 5568 x 3712
  • Picture Styles – Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, Flat, selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls

Optics and Focus

By the most advanced AF system in the history of Nikon digital SLR cameras, the D500 empowers you to capture significant moments with an ultimate sharp focus. With the best AF system module, it provides a 153 focus-point configuration that covers an extremely wide portion of the image area, with 99 cross sensors. This ensures that the D500 is capable of focusing easily even the low-contrast subjects.

  • 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
  • Number of focus points – 153 focus points, of which 55 or 15 are available for selection
  • Lens mount – Nikon F Mount
  • Focal length multiplier – 1x for DX-format and 1.5x for FX-format lenses

Auto Focus

  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • 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

The D500’s touch-panel LCD monitor brings an entirely new level of usability to still and movie shooting. It offers functions such as touch AF and touch-shutter. Besides, the monitor’s 3-axis hinge structure allows it to be tilted up or down flexibly across a wide range of angles. As a result, when tilted upward, the camera’s eyepiece remains unobstructed, and it can also be tilted smoothly downward while attached to a tripod. The large glass pentaprism used in the D500’s optical viewfinder affords the widest-ever diagonal viewing angle of approx. 30.8°. Now it is easy to track the subjects in real-time across a wide field of view, without the time lags that can occur with electronic viewfinders, resulting in more comfortable continuous shooting. Also, the organic EL display element incorporated into the information display provides enhanced visibility even in bright daylight.

  • Screen Type – Tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD with 170° viewing angle
  • The Screen size – 3.2″
  • Screen dots – 2,359,000
  • Touch screen – Provided
  • Live view – Provided
  • Viewfinder Type – Eye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
  • The Viewfinder coverage –DX (24×16) 100%, 1.3x (18×12) 98%
  • Viewfinder Eye Point – 16 mm
  • Viewfinder Magnification – Approx. 1.0x
  • Diopter Adjustment – -2 to +1 m

Photography Features

The Nikon D500 consists of a new RGB sensor with approx. 180,000 pixels. This increased pixel count helps for stronger face detection performance.

  • 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), Qc (quiet continuous shutter-release)
  • Metering modes – Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot, Highlight-weighted metering
  • Exposure compensation – ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 or 1 EV 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
  • Flash Compensation – -3 to +1 EV (1/3 or 1/2 or 1 EV Steps)
  • Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) – i-TTL flash control, radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting, optical Advanced Wireless Lighting, modeling illumination, FV lock, Color Information Communication, Auto FP High-Speed Sync, unified flash control
  • External Flash Connection – 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-ready Indicator – Lights when the optional flash unit is fully charged; flashes after flash is fired at full output

Video or Movie Features

The D500 provides 4K UHD (3840 × 2160)/24p/25p/30p as well as 1080/60p video for up to 29 min. 59 s.  with the help of a new EXPEED 5 processor, it works to deliver high details and smooth exposure control specifically personalized for movie recording.

  • Video RAW recording – Not Available
  • 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 1280 x 720; 60p, 50p Actual frame rates for 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p are 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively; (Fine) high quality available at all frame sizes, normal quality available at all sizes except 3840 x 2160fps respectively; quality selection available at all sizes except 3840 x 2160, 1920 x 1080 120p/100p, and 1920 x 1080 slow-mo, when quality is fixed at high
  • Audio Recording – Built-In Microphone (Stereo)
  • External Microphone – 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 D500

The D500’s touchscreen LCD monitor gives an entirely new level of usage for photography and videography. It offers functions such as touch AF and touches shutter in still image shooting.

  • Focus Stacking – Not Available
  • Active D-Lighting – Selected from, Extra high, High, Normal, Low, or Off
  • Time-lapse recording – Provided
  • Wireless – Built-in
  • Wi-Fi – 2.4 GHz band
  • Bluetooth – Version 4.1
  • Storage types – 1 XQD card and 1 Secure Digital (SD) card
  • USB Connectivity – 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 D500

The Nikon D500 is influenced by the first use of Nano Crystal Coat in a DX lens, as well as a fluorine coat. It has an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism and a Vibration Reduction (VR) structure providing an effect equal to shutter speed 4.0 stops. This DX-format image sensor provides an angle of view equal to that of a lens with approx. 1.5× longer focal length, which means it is equal from a telephoto range comparable to the D5 while using smaller and lighter lenses.

List of Best Common Lenses for Nikon D500

Best All-in-one Lens

  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300MM F/3.5-6.3G ED VR

Most Common Standard Zoom Lenses

  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55MM f/3.5-5.6G VR II
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140 F/3.5-5.6 G ED VR

Best Standard Prime Lenses

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

Best Macro Lenses

  • AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G
  • Lens AF-S VR MICRO-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Top Standard Zoom Lenses

  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR
  • Lens 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 16-35mm f/4G ED VR

Best Wide-angle Prime Lenses

  • AF DX Fisheye 10.5mm f/2.8G ED
  • PC NIKKOR 14mm f/2.8D ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8 G ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24MM F/1.8G ED

List of Best Specialized Lenses for Nikon D500

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/4E PF ED VR
  • 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 35mm f/1.8G
  • AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
  • Lens AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G
  • AF-S VR MICRO-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Best Travel and Street Lenses

  • AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II
  • AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR
  • Lens AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR
  • AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

Nikon D500 Rating

As per the reviews and features of D500, the ratings for this camera stand 4.5/5. Especially, Professional Photographers consider this camera is best for wildlife, Sports, and Adventure because of its high frame burst. If we consider other genres like wedding photography, product photography, commercial or advertising Photography, etc., it will be helpful because of its high color profile and its details and it will surely exhibit great performance. Especially, for travel enthusiasts or vloggers or video creators, it will be more useful because of its 4K UHD output. Moreover, this camera will be suitable for all kinds of photographers who are waiting to capture the world with ultimate quality. Further, this rating is given to Nikon D500 as per the survey of creative huts.


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    Henceforth, Nikon D500 rating is 4.5 out of 5Nikon D500 Review (2020)
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