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Nikon D500 Review & Samples

The Nikon D500 is Nikon’s $2,000 sports and wildlife camera. Watch the video for complete details, but here’s a quickĀ summary:

  • Better than theĀ Canon’s 7D Mark II. It solidly beats Canon’s APS-C flagship camera, and the D500 is now our recommendation for the ultimate wildlife camera. ItĀ focuses better and faster, it’s images are sharper because the sensor lacks an AA filter, the tilting touchscreen makesĀ 4K video easy to record, and SnapBridge makes pictures easy to share.
  • Better than Nikon D7200. As expected, it outperforms the less-expensive D7200 in every way.
  • Mostly better than the $6,500 Nikon D5.Ā The D5 gets 16% more shots in focus when tracking action, thanks to its higher frame rate.Ā The D500 wins in every other way: better usability, a full 30 minutes of 4K recording time,Ā focusingĀ points spread to the edge of the frame, a tilting touch screen, andĀ SnapBridge.

In short, it’s the best wildlife and sports camera available, for most photographers.Ā Landscape and portrait photographers might be better served with a full-frame camera, such as the Nikon D750 or Nikon D810.

Sample Images

Click to see eachĀ full-sized image.

1/125, f/2.8, ISO 200, 100mm

D500 sample picture

These next two perched bird shots were taken through glass, but there’sĀ still plenty of sharpness.

1/200, f/5.6, ISO 800, 500mm


1/160, f/5.6, ISO 320, 500mm

The D500’s focusing system got essentially 100%Ā in-focus for real-world birds-in-flight using the Nikon 200-500mm lens. Using a faster lens, such as a 500mm f/4, we could expect it to get at least 20%Ā more in focus. Wait, what?

1/600, f/5.6, ISO 800, 500mm

This photo was underexposed by a stop and recovered in post:

1/320, f/6.3, ISO 160, 500mm