Nikon D5: The Super Overkill DSLR Strikes Again

Nikon D5: The Super Overkill DSLR Strikes Again

There are fancy cameras, and then there are flagship professional DSLRs, big super powerful overkill machines designed for ultra-fast performance. Nikon teased its latest monster, the D5, in the fall. Today, it's been formally introduced.

This overhaul is the first major refresh of Nikon's top line since Nikon announced the D4S two years ago. The D4 came out back in 2012. The D4 introduced some rudimentary video powers to Nikon's flagship line as well as unprecedented high ISO image quality, which made the camera a low-light killer. The D4S further refined video.

With the D5, the line gets 4K video capture. In four years Nikon’s top camera has gone from no video to 4k video. Nikon’s never been known for video, and its learning curve was ugly, so I wouldn’t necessarily expect a barnburner right away. Then again, much cheaper cameras like the Panasonic GH4 and the Samsung NX1 deliver excellent 4K video, so maybe we’ll be impressed.

This is still probably primarily a still camera, and it spares no spec on this front. The camera is built for speed, with a new 153-point autofocus, and a maximum continues frame speed of 12 frames-per-second. It has a 20.3-megapixel full-frame sensor, which is higher-resolution than the previous D4’s, which were just 16-megapixel resolution.

On the chipset side, the D5 continues the flagship line’s excellent high ISO sensitivity with a standard sensitivity of 102,400 and an expanded sensitivity of 3,280,000. 3 million, yo! What?

On the hardware side, the biggest change is the addition of a touchscreen—this is unusual for high-end DSLRs, and it’s generally been considered more of a consumer feature.

Like its predecessors, the D5 is a big boy. At a glance the ergonomics seem similar, but we’ll have to wait until we know just it handles.

Nikon Australia is saying we'll see the D5 down under in March of this year, and refers you to "authorised Australian resellers" for pricing.


Comments

    Give me a sony A7rii any day of the week. The only two things that I would notice (mildly) are the fps continuous shoot and touch screen...everything else is done better on the Sony, for much less (cost and weight)

      They're not even in the same category! The A7RII is a 42MP mirrorless camera built for resolution, whereas the D5 is a 20.9MP 12fps DLSR built for speed and lowlight/high ISO.

        For the price that this thing will cost, one could buy an A7Rii AND an A7SII (and also most likely whatever the A6000 successor once released)...well maybe not at dicksmith but...

          LOL let's see you use your A7R II for fast action sports or wildlife work. Can't AF worth a damn compared to the likes of the D4/D5/1DX. 42MP of oof shots aren't worth shit.

        And to be fair, the ISO q

    This is not a video camera that also takes stills.
    It's a (low light) still camera that also does video.
    I suspect anyone into astronomy / astrophotography will go nuts over this. Indoor photographers (weddings, parties) should also be able to work without a flash.

    Really hoping Canon starts coming to the party soon with low light capability

      The 1Dx does 50,000 standard and 200,000 expanded. Which isn't that shabby from an almost 4 year old model. It's surprisingly noise-free at 25,000 which is usually enough for most low-light stuff with a decent fast lens.

      In practice ISO can just be a gimmick. There's no point running up to these massive numbers if the image is just a grainy mess (which tends to be the case with large H ranges).

      The next iteration (Mk2 or 1Dxi?) is due later this year and they'll probably try to match or trump Nikon.

        I agree the numbers seem silly but when you think back a few camera generations and you mentioned 3 million ISO people wouldn't believe you. Now you can actually take a picture at an ISO previously impossible.

        Though I think it's mainly indicative of headroom, the higher these max ISO numbers get to the higher the optimal or usable range of an ISO is.

        It does seem a bit silly though, these massive numbers. It's like countries that have billion dollar note currencies.

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