System Camera Nikon D500 in the Test

Nikon D500: This is a semi professional housing with new 21-mega pixel sensor, the AF system from Nikon’s professional camera D5, 4K-Video, touch-screen and wireless image transmission via Blue tooth. Our test!

  1. Nikon D500 in the test: what use are 21 MP sensor, 4K-Video and co.?
  2. Nikon D500 in the test: viewfinder and monitor
  3. Nikon D500 in the test: auto focus and exposure
  4. Nikon D500 in the test: performance and operation
  5. Nikon D500 in the test: conclusion

If you shoot at least semi professional, attacks to full format – or the Nikon D500? The D500 is the successor to the D300/D300s, which were aligned to the scale for Professional 2007 SLR Kameras of the APS-C class.

At the nominal resolution, the D500 is moderately: 21 mega pixel leave good high ISO quality hope (expandable to 1 640 000). Acts as image processor the “EXPEED 5” from the Nikon D5; with this, the D500 has the AF system and the 4K-Video-resolution in common. However, the housing costs also 2300 euros.

System Camera Nikon D500 in the Test 1

Housing And Facilities

In the body of the D500, the manufacturer mixes components made of magnesium and carbon fiber. Optically and haptically the relationship to the D750 is unmistakable, even dimensions and weight are almost identical. The handle pulled forward and the rough coating, the camera is optimally in the hand. Seams, buttons and dials are sealed according to manufacturer extensively against dust and moisture.

In favor of increased housing stability it has refused on a built-in Flash unit – this is new in comparison with the previous Nikon models below the League. However, the D500 supports the radio control of the new Speed light SB-5000. To control this wireless, you must buy the radio remote control WR-R10. The lithium ion battery EN-EL15 serves as a power source in the scope of delivery. New in the range is the battery grip MB-D17, optionally a battery EN-EL15 (1900 mAh) or EN-EL18a (2500 mAh) picks up. Alternatively, the MB-D17 can be equip with eight AA batteries (AA).

First Nikon camera, the D500 uses the Blue tooth-standard 4.1 to connect camera and Smart phone for data exchange. Nikon calls the whole Snap Bridge and provides an app on Google play. The Apple app will follow in the summer. The Snap Bridge technique is based on “Blue tooth low energy ‘ (BLE), a connection protocol that establishes a permanent and an efficient connection between camera and Smart phone or tablet. During the image transfer, Snap Bridge enters a mode with higher energy consumption and faster data transfer.

System Camera Nikon D500 in the Test 2

Recommended reading: All Nikon DSLRs in the test

Normally, the camera calculates the image previously automatically to 2 MB download, not to overload the Smart phone storage and sharing on social networks, liquid to make. The D500 can transfer but also full resolution images. In addition to the remote control of the camera including live image and touch AF on the Smart phone images can be geotagged. GPS information from your Smart phone to allow the chronological ordering of the images. Disadvantage at the Snap Bridge solution: Wi-Fi can be used not by the user manually, to transfer the images from the camera via home network, for example on a PC. A practical contribution in the Color Foto 09/16 the topic data transfer will deepen.

With an effective magnification of 0,67-fach the Pentaprismensucher of the D500 is one of the largest SLR cameras with APS-C sensor. the full format sister D5 (0,72-fach) offers a larger viewfinder view. The frame coverage 100%. Grid lines can display in the viewfinder. An eyepiece shutter prevents light and an incorrect exposure metering when shooting from a tripod. Pleasing: The diopter dial can be turned only when you pull it a piece out of the housing. The frame can be toggled to 18 x 12 mm DX (APS-C); a frame in the viewfinder displays the corresponding image area, the resolution it shrinks to 12 MP.

Unlike at the D5 the 3.2 – inch is monitor of the D500 hinged making it easier shots from near the ground. Because he is able to touch, you can put an AF point in the live view mode with a fingertip and trigger at the same time (only for the D500). In playback mode, you can scroll in the stock or scroll. Also zooming with two fingers or the rapid entry of text is possible. Instead arrow keys and dials are used for navigating through the menus.

The phases-AF sensor module acquired from the D5 multi-cam 20 K, mobilized its own processor to focus is one of the outstanding features of the D500. The system is record breaking equipped with 153 phases AF points, including 99 cross-type sensors. That it was designed for a full format camera’s image sensor, submitted the D500 to advantage: compared to the D5 twice as much of the search field from the AF sensors is covered. According to the manufacturer, the sensitivity of the measuring system ranges from-4 to + 20 EV. The shutter lag is pleasantly short including AF time: 0.22/0.23 s at 300/30 Lux.

System Camera Nikon D500 in the Test 3

Of the 153 points, you can directly select 55 (switchable to 15); the others used the camera as help sensors for the 3D tracking, Nikon’s variant of the automatic tracking of the motif. In auto-area AF mode, the camera to detect the main object; Faces take precedence. Dynamic-area AF mode select the focus point. With continuous auto focus (AF-C), the camera using the neighboring points of focus is sharp when the object briefly leaves the previously selected focus box.

The choice between single-point AF and af field group (5 points), is where the second variant designs proves useful, which can be difficult to capture with a field manual selection of the measuring field. The D500 used a 180,000 pixel RGB sensor to the exposure metering and Flash control. Program, Aperture and aperture priority mode and manual mode available are for the exposure. For the program change using the mode button left of the roof prism in conjunction with a dial. Right next to the mode button keys to adjust the metering, white balance and image quality are also in conjunction with a dial.

Recommended reading: Nikon – wide angle lens recommendations

There is the D500 with contrast AF in live view mode can be activated via the LV button, hot. You have the choice between single AF and continuous AF. The frame can be varied in two sizes and moved to any position in the image field. You can enable a face detection for portraits and group shots. Since the contrast AF with a second delay works quite slowly, he recommended only for static subjects. There’s a magnifying glass, but no focus peaking for manual focus. Filming the continuous auto focus focus largely reliable, draws in part but slightly hectic. To use the touch AF quick shift the focus between the foreground and background. An electronic image stabilizer can be switched to full-HD video.

For a semi-professional SLR the D500 creates stately 10 FPS with AF tracking; D5 can 12 B / s and no AF even 14 B / s. Long RAW series up to 200 should be a fast XQD card in the game. A wheel with locking device to the left of the viewfinder Hill is used to toggle between single and burst mode. The D500 Nikon is the recording time for 4 K / UHD-videos with about 30 minutes in a 3-minute limit for the D5 (what you want to change a software update). Both cameras offer the possibility to record uncompressed video signal through the HDMI interface to an external recorder – no time limit.

Stability and speed in the foreground, are available at the D5, the D500 can waive on the integrated hand grip for portrait shots and instead build a mobile display. After pressing the info – or i the TFT monitor is used fully for the display of function fields. It has access to those settings for which there is also a button, about exposure program, exposure metering, bracketing, image quality, white balance or ISO. Changing settings with the dials. The live view mode displays function of fields on the right-hand side. Settings are only possible through a sub menu. In live view, the “split screen zoom view” is interesting: allows direct comparison of two snippets of the motif.

The D500 is richly blessed with keys: there are 25, if you count the Central confirmation button of the multi selector and the print function of the “joystick”. Smooth overlooked could be the key to the AF / MF switch on the front of the housing: holding it down, to come up with a dial the AF mode (AF-S/AF-C) and one second to select the AF field configuration while you look through the viewfinder. What you missed is an AF-box graphics on the monitor to adjust. Two function buttons (Fn1, Fn2) can be free. To define it is possible other keys such as the barn (PV), AFOn, BKT or the video start button. This helps a body graphics on the monitor.

System Camera Nikon D500 in the Test 4

Image Quality

With 21 MP sensor and EXPEED-5 image processor, the D500 at ISO 100 LP/BRA, which drops off at ISO 400 to 100 LP/bra reached the resolution limit of 1779. Up to ISO 6400, the resolution reduction per ISO level is then less than 60 LP/bra. Also the DL Werte (high/low) begin at ISO 100 relatively high (1105/990 LP/BRA) and decrease per ISO level continuously (ISO 6400: 620/363 LP/BRA). The full format camera D5 – also recorded 800 advantages at the border resolution such as figures for the DL with 21-MP sensor – compared to ISO.

The D500 is noise and dynamic range (9 F-stops) up to ISO 1600 approximately at the level of the D5, with considerably more text urverlusten. You should not use as 800, D500 JPEGs over ISO, while the D5 offers significantly more leeway. A glance at the D750 with 24-MP Sensor in the full format shows this at all ISO levels up to 3200 as a winner. On the other hand, the D750 requires larger, heavier and more expensive lenses. Exciting is what quality reserves mobilized the D500 external RAW processing.

The semi-professional Nikon D500 is the best APS-C camera: it provides the currently most elaborate AF system, 4K-Video, adjustable monitor with touch control and image transfer via Blue tooth, to name only the most important points. The Canon EOS 7 d Mark II, as a direct competitor, it enters behind, but already for some time on the market and thus is significantly cheaper. The D500 euros 2300 (housing), which is pretty ambitious for an APSKamera. The much more expensive D5 (6900 euro) offers an increased high ISO quality with significantly less detail loss – apart from the professional body -.

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