Few have the disposable income to casually drop $9000 on a camera like Nikon’s D5. NASA, of course, has a couple of spare pennies to toss around on purchases such as this. And when NASA buys cameras, it buys cameras. 53 to be exact. Yes, the US space organisation has just unloaded close to half-a-million bucks on Nikon’s DSLRs.
According to Nikon, all 53 cameras are destined for us on the International Space Station, for taking images like the one above and for recording this sort of amazing footage:
The D5, which packs a 36 x 44mm, 21-megapixel sensor, is preferred by NASA for its “incredible reliability” and “ability to withstand … the harshest of environments”. And space is about as harsh as it gets.
Nikon’s press release also mentions that the units are “the same models available to consumers”, so if you’re planning to do any extraterrestrial photography, know that Nikon has you covered off-the-shelf.
Now, NASA probably didn’t pay retail for those cameras, but even so, that’s easily $250,000-$500,000 in photo-taking hardware. A drop in the ocean for NASA, certainly, but a bit harder for us to scrounge up.
Not that you’d need that many D5s, unless you’re planning some Matrix-style bullet-time shenanigans.