Nikon D500 vs Nikon D5 Detailed Comparison

Nikon D500 vs Nikon D5 size comparison

Nikon D500 vs Nikon D5 Comparison Overview

Here we are comparing two DSLR cameras by Nikon. Nikon D500 was introduced to market in January 2016 and Nikon D5 was launched in January 2016. Both D500 and D5 were launched within the same month so we are expecting this to be a fair comparison regarding age and available technology level.

Both cameras have 21.0MP sensors but Nikon D500’s sensor is APS-C sized whereas Nikon D5 has a Full frame sensor. This will be an interesting match up as even though these two cameras doesn’t have the exact same body type, they are both ranked amongst Top 10 cameras in their classes. Nikon D500 is ranked#8out of 92 Advanced DSLR cameras with an overall score of 81 whereas Nikon D5 is ranked#5out of 36 Pro DSLR cameras with an overall score of 79.

Let’s have a brief look at the main features of Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 before getting into our more detailed comparison.

Nikon D500 Key Specs

  • Announcement Date: 2016-01-05
  • 21MP – APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • No Anti-aliasing (AA) filter
  • ISO 100 – 51200 ( expands to 50-1640000)
  • Nikon F Mount
  • 3.2″ Tilting Screen
  • Optical (pentaprism) viewfinder
  • 10.0 fps continuous shooting
  • 4K (UHD) – 3840 x 2160 video resolution
  • Built-in Wireless
  • 860g. 147 x 115 x 81 mm
  • Weather Sealed Body
  • Replaced Nikon D300s Compare

Nikon D5 Key Specs

  • Announcement Date: 2016-01-05
  • 21MP – Full frame CMOS Sensor
  • ISO 100 – 102400 ( expands to 3280000)
  • Nikon F Mount
  • 3.2″ Fixed Type Screen
  • Optical (pentaprism) viewfinder
  • 14.0 fps continuous shooting
  • 4K (UHD) – 3840 x 2160 video resolution
  • 1415g. 160 x 158.5 x 92 mm
  • Weather Sealed Body
  • Replaced Nikon D4s Compare

Let’s read on the following sections in order to better understand in detail how Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 compares and hopefully end up with enough arguments to decide which one is better for you.

Reasons to choose Nikon D500 over Nikon D5

Wireless Connection Built-In vs Optional
LCD Screen Tilting vs Fixed Type
Weight 860 g vs 1415 g
Dynamic Range 14.0 vs 12.3
NFC Connection Yes vs No
Bluetooth Yes vs No
Smartphone Remote Yes vs No
UHS Card Support UHS-II vs none

Reasons to choose Nikon D5 over Nikon D500

Viewfinder Magnification 0.72x vs 0.66x
Max ISO 102.400 vs 51.200
Continuous Shooting 14.0fps vs 10.0fps
Battery Life 3780 shots vs 1240 shots
Color Depth 25.1 vs 24.1
Low Light ISO 2434 vs 1324
Sensor Pixel Area 41.25µm2 vs 17.85µm2
Shutter Life Expectancy 400000 cycles vs 200000 cycles
4K Photo Mode Yes vs No

Common Strengths of Nikon D500 and Nikon D5

External Flash Shoe Yes vs Yes
Touch Screen Yes vs Yes
Viewfinder Yes (Optical) vs Yes (Optical)
RAW Support Yes vs Yes
Face Detection Focus Yes vs Yes
Max Resolution 21 MP vs 21 MP
LCD Screen Size 3.2″ vs 3.2″
LCD Screen Resolution 2.359k dots vs 2.359k dots
Microphone Port Yes vs Yes
Headphone Port Yes vs Yes
Environmental Sealing Yes vs Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes vs Yes
Top LCD Display Yes vs Yes
AE Bracketing Yes vs Yes
Flash Sync Port Yes vs Yes
AF Micro Adjustment (Fine Tune) Yes vs Yes
Shutter Life Expectancy 200000 cycles vs 400000 cycles
Illuminated Buttons Yes vs Yes
Dual-axis Electronic Level Yes vs Yes
Storage Slot 2 vs 2
Min Focus Sensitivity EV -4 vs EV -4
Anti_flicker Yes vs Yes

Common Weaknesses of Nikon D500 and Nikon D5

In-body Image Stabilization No vs No
Built-in Flash No vs No

Nikon D500 vs Nikon D5: Physical Specs and Body features Comparison

Size and weight is a big decision factor when you are trying to find the ideal camera for your needs. In this section, We are going to illustrate Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 side-by-side from the front, back and top in their relative dimensions. Nikon D500 has external dimensions of 147 x 115 x 81 mm (5.79 x 4.53 x 3.19″) and weighs 860 g (1.90 lb / 30.34 oz) (including batteries). Nikon D5 has external dimensions of 160 x 158.5 x 92 mm (6.3 x 6.2 x 3.62″) and weighs 1415 g (3.12 lb / 49.91 oz) (including batteries).

Below you can see the front view size comparison of Nikon D500 and Nikon D5. Nikon D500 is clearly the smaller of the two cameras. Its body is 13mm narrower, 44mm shorter and 11mm thinner than Nikon D5.

Nikon D500 vs Nikon D5 Camera Size Comparison - Front ViewComparison image of Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 Size, Weight and External Dimensions – Front View

Here is the back view size comparison of Nikon D500 and Nikon D5.

Nikon D500 vs Nikon D5 Camera Size Comparison - Back ViewComparison image of Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 Size and Weight – Back View

Now lets look at the top view comparison of Nikon D500 and Nikon D5.

Nikon D500 vs Nikon D5 Camera Size Comparison - Top ViewTop View Comparison image of Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 Size

Weight is another important factor especially when deciding on a camera that you want to carry with you all day. Nikon D500 is significantly lighter (555g ) than the Nikon D5 which may become a big advantage especially on long walking trips.

Also keep in mind that body weight is not the only deciding factor when comparing two interchangeable camera bodies, you have to also take into account the lenses that you will be using with these bodies. Since Nikon D5 has a Full frame sensor and Nikon D500 has a smaller APS-C sensor, Nikon D500’s lenses for a similar focal length and aperture will generally be lighter and smaller than the Nikon D5 lenses.

Weight Comparison

DSLR Cameras

D500

D5

Min

Average

Max

Thickness Comparison

DSLR Cameras

D500

D5

Min

Average

Max

Weather Sealing

Both D500 and D5 have weather sealings in their body, making them resistant to water and dust.

LCD Screen Size and Features

Nikon D500 and Nikon D5’s LCD screens has the same diagonal size of 3.2″.

On the other hand, Nikon D500 features aTilting screenwhere you can change the angle of the screen to make it easier to shoot from waist or over the head levels whereas the Nikon D5 has a fixed type screen which provides less flexibility in shooting positions compared to D500.

Nikon D500 vs Nikon D5: Sensor Comparison

Both Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 have 21.0 MP resolution sensors but Nikon D500’s sensor is APS-C (23.5 x 15.7 mm ) and Nikon D5’s sensor is Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm ).

Since Nikon D5’s has a larger sensor area with the same resolution, this means that it also has a larger pixel area hence better light collecting capacity for a given aperture compared to Nikon D500.

Another difference between these two cameras is that Nikon D500’s sensor lacks anti-alias (Low-Pass) filter. Removing anti-alias filter increases the sharpness and level of detail but at the same time, it increases the chance of moire occurring in certain scenes.

Below you can see the D500 and D5 sensor size comparison.

Nikon D500 vs Nikon D5 Sensor Size ComparisonSensor Size and Resolution Comparison image of Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 Cameras

As seen above, Nikon D5 has a 2.3x Larger sensor area than Nikon D500. Larger sensors give photographer more control on the depth of field and blurry background compared to smaller sensor when shot in same focal length and aperture.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark is a benchmark that scientifically assesses image quality of camera sensors. It scores camera sensors for color depth (DXO Portrait), dynamic range (DXO Landscape) and low-light sensitivity (DXO Sports), and also gives them an overall score. Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 sensors have been tested by DxO and the results show that D5 has a better overall score of 88, 4 points higher compared to D500’s score of 84.

Model Overall Color Depth Dynamic Range Low-light ISO
Nikon D500 84 24.1 bits 14.0 Evs 1324 ISO
Nikon D5 88 25.1 bits 12.3 Evs 2434 ISO

Nikon D500 vs Nikon D5 Comparison of Available Lenses

Which camera has more lenses?

Number of available lenses is a big decision factor while choosing your interchangeable lens camera. Both Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 have 309 native lenses available but be careful that since Nikon D5 has a full frame sensor, only 228 of these lenses can cover the full frame sensor of D5.

Another important factor is the availability of image stabilization. None of these bodies have sensor based image stabilization so you have to buy lenses with Optical stabilization feature. Currently there are 106 lenses with Image stabilization for Nikon F mount.

Lens Type # of Nikon D500 Lenses # of Nikon D5 Lenses
Standard Zoom 33 33 (17 Full Frame)
Standard Prime 21 21 (18 Full Frame)
Wideangle Zoom 33 33 (17 Full Frame)
Wideangle Prime 48 48 (46 Full Frame)
Telephoto Zoom 53 53 (43 Full Frame)
Telephoto Prime 45 45 (44 Full Frame)
SuperZoom 30 30 (6 Full Frame)
Wideangle Fisheye Prime 8 8 (3 Full Frame)
Macro Prime 26 26 (23 Full Frame)
Perspective Control Prime 11 11 (11 Full Frame)
Telephoto Mirror Prime 1 1 (0 Full Frame)
TOTAL 309 309 (228 Full Frame)

Here are some of the most popular Nikon F Mount Lenses on Camera Decision:

Popular Nikon F Mount Lenses for D500 and D5

Now let’s compare some sample lenses from each mount with typical Focal ranges for Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 to see how these lenses compares:

Fast Standard Zoom Lenses

Fast Tele Zoom Equivalent Lenses

Fast Wideangle Zoom Equivalent Lenses

24-105mm f4 Equivalent Lenses

Super-Tele Zoom Equivalent Lenses

What types of Photography are Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 Good for?

In this section, we rank and compare Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 for five different photography types in order to make your decision process easier in case you are specifically interested in one or more of these areas.

Nikon D500 vs Nikon D5: OUR DECISION

You may have already made your decision about which camera suits better for your needs and your budget so far but in case you wonder how we rated Nikon D500 and Nikon D5, below you can find their scores in five different aspects. Our Decision Algorithm dynamically scores cameras using 63 different specs, current price and DxO Mark scores (where possible) in order to make a more objective and consistent comparison.

Here is a summary of how Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 scores compare:

Nikon D500

Imaging

Features

Value

Portability

Overall

Ranked#9 out of 94in Mid-size SLR cameras
Ranked#41 out of 1218in all Cameras
Nikon D5

Imaging

Features

Value

Portability

Overall

Ranked#4 out of 36in Large SLR cameras
Ranked#48 out of 1218in all Cameras

Nikon D500 has a higher Overall Score than the Nikon D5. It also has more features, more compact body and offers higher value for the money. But there is one area that D500 trails behind the D5: Imaging.
If image quality is the most important aspect in a camera, choose the Nikon D5. If not, we recommend the Nikon D500.

Nikon D5 vs Nikon D500 Specs Table

Detailed comparison of specifications

General Nikon D500 Nikon D5
Brand Nikon Nikon
Announced 2016-01-05 2016-01-05
Body Type Mid-size SLR Large SLR
Sensor
Type CMOS CMOS
Size APS-C Full frame
Dimensions 23.5 x 15.7 mm 35.8 x 23.9 mm
Area 368.95mm2 855.62mm2
Megapixels 21 megapixels 21 megapixels
Max Resolution 5568 x 3712 5588 x 3712
Max Native Light sensitivity 51,200 ISO 102,400 ISO
Max Boosted Light Sensitivity 1640000 ISO 3280000 ISO
Min Native Light sensitivity 100 ISO 100 ISO
Min Boosted Light Sensitivity 50 ISO
RAW Support
Autofocus
AF Touch
AF Continuous
AF Single
AF Tracking
AF Selective
AF Center
AF Multi Area
AF Live View
AF Face Detection
AF Contrast Detection
AF Phase Detection
Number of Focus Points 153 153
Lens
Manual Focus
Lens Mount Nikon F Nikon F
Number of Available Lenses 309 309
Screen
Type Tilting Fixed type
Size 3.2″ 3.2″
Resolution 2,359k dots 2,359k dots
Touch Screen
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder Coverage 100% 100%
Viewfinder Magnification 0.66x 0.72x
Photography Features
Max Mechanical Shutter 1/8000s 1/8000s
Shutter Priority
Aperture Priority
Manual Exposure Mode
Custom White Balance
Image Stabilization No No
Built-in Flash
Max Flash Sync 1/250s no built-in flash
External Flash
Continuous Shooting 10.0 fps 14.0 fps
Multi-Segment
Average
Spot
Partial
AF-Area
Center Weighted
AE Bracketing
WB Bracketing
Video Features
Max Video Resolution 3840 x 2160 3840 x 2160
Video Formats MPEG-4, H.264 MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Port
Headphone Port
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Built-In Optional
HDMI
Physical
Environmental Sealing
Weight 860g 1415g
Dimensions 147 x 115 x 81mm 160 x 158.5 x 92mm
Battery Life 1240 shots 3780 shots
Other Features
Timelapse Recording
GPS Optional Optional
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Overall Score 84 88
DxO Color Depth 24.1 25.1
DxO Dynamic Range 14.0 12.3
DxO Low Light ISO 1324 2434
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