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Nikon D500 DX-Format Digital SLR (Body Only)
Style: Body Only|Configuration: Base|Change
Price:$1,896.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on May 4, 2016
First of all, I didn't buy this camera on Amazon. I bought it elsewhere because I knew I could get it faster there (proof of purchase in pics). Secondly, all of the negative reviews I read so far should be disregarded, or better yet, deleted. I don't care if it's "just an opinion." If you're misrepresenting the strengths of this camera because it won't connect with your iOS device or because it's not a FX body, than keep it to yourself. People want true reviews, not crybaby reviews over non-issues.

Snapbridge is delayed on iOS. There is no false advertising. It was announced at the initial launch that a delay was happening for iOS. This is also Nikon's first DX flagship in almost a decade. A lot of folks who held on to the still relevant D300S have been asking for this and now we have it. Some people rather have a DX body for their type of shooting, if you're complaining that Nikon didn't release another (ANOTHER) FX body, the D500 is obviously not for you.

Speaking on the FX/DX debate, true, actual owners of the D500 should already know that the D500 really closed that difference gap. The overall imagery is great. The noise handling is surprisingly on-par with some FX bodies like the D750, and all the nerd tests from DPR show that in some settings, the D500 is beating the D5 in handling ISO and maintaining a clean, sharp image.

The D500 (for those not in the know) is aimed at sports and wildlife photographers, and it's impressive in that regard, but I found it equally impressive in FX-related photography like landscape (I shoot LE astrophotography), and portraits. The Auto AF Fine-Tune is invaluable, quick, and easy to use. The new tilt screen (it's a new version from the D750) is rigid and tough. The touchscreen is accurate, and intuitive. The inclusion of an XQD slot makes this wicked fast. I was able to clear the 200 shot buffer without any slowdown with the Lexar Pro x2933 at 14-bit RAW, and the photos finished loading the 200 shots to the card anywhere between 7 - 10 seconds. the OVF is 100% coverage and is bright. I was able to tack-sharp focus a star with just the viewfinder. Overall, the images are nice and sharp, BUT at times, they're not as sharp as a D7200 or my D7100. You can thank the 20mp sensor for that (compared to the 24mp sensor in the D7100/7200).

EDIT (8/20): Since somebody else had to exclaim that I was wrong about IQ differences between the 71/7200 (7100 mainly) and the D500 in their review, perhaps some clarifying is in order. Yes, the D500 performs in this department well at higher ISOs than the D7100. That doesn't mean that the D500 is the end-all winner. I've compared landscape dusk shots I've taken with my D7100 and then with the D500. I also have a 4k monitor, which is a pixel-peepers dream. As much as I hate pixel peeping, a number of the shots I've taken on the D7100 were overall better than the same shots I took with the D500. I guess I should say that at times and certain conditions, the D500 has better IQ but at other times, it's just not.... imo. In any case, I don't care too much about that because I work with the gear that I got and I hold onto said gear for as long as I can. I make sure my fundamentals are in order, I exercise what I learned The D7100 was an anomaly purchase because some of us have been waiting for a D300S replacement for years.. I mean, I still shoot film with my old F3 and FE and push film. Fundamentals>Gear. Despite that, this whole image deal is really only an issue with people who obsessed with pixel peeping and doesn't embrace imperfections such as noise.

Overall, wildlife photos are still sharp and the photos are still good enough for decent sized prints. The 4k is detailed, and the 1080p recording is combo'd with Electronic VR, which works pretty decent.

My only two issues with this camera is the additional crop-factor you get when filming in 4K. It is doable, since it's pretty much the same crop as MFT sensors, but I prefer a wide lens for 4k filming. The other issue is battery. It sucks up way more battery life than the D7100/D7200. Even with Airplane Mode on, the camera seems to suck battery life at a faster rate than my previous bodies. Also, for now, if you need an extra battery, you have to buy legit EN-EL15s because none of the 3rd party batteries work.

This is a GREAT camera. Well worth the wait. Go with what kind of photography you mostly shoot with and get the gear you think works best for you. Don't play trial and error with your money and then cry and needlessly give a good camera bad reviews.
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on April 26, 2016
As usual my background so you can calibrate what your read.
A long time Nikon user, since 70s, currently using a D810, D600 and D7100 to be replaced by the new D500. I shoot Wildlife both in the wild and in the streets.

Now about this Camera. I will divide it to 3 parts. Image quality, Usability and software/wireless connectivity.
From the quick few days, I can tell you that It is better than D7100, I skipped the D7200 since the Rumor was that this was coming.
I tested the D500 against D7100 for ISO and general IQ performance. I would say If you are getting this camera to get improved IQ over D7100 or D7200 then you are not going to be that happy. You will not get $1000 better IQ from D500. This Camera is not about the IQ/sensor but it is all about usability, handling and build quality.

This Camera is a Handling beast. It is all about handling and usability not about ISO or IQ. With 10 FPS, Huge Buffer and an AF system that is much better than D810. If you had a D700/D800/D810 this camera is similar in layout and but Light years a head in ergonomics and Handling. I hold judgement on Build quality being better than D700/D800/D810.
It is lighter and feels like it is smaller than D810. All the changes are for the better. I thought the grip on D810 was great. But now, I know how much better it could have been. The Joystick is a joy to use and if you are a back button AF-on user then you will be in heaven. We get D5 class treatment here. The Joystick not only moves the AF point around and is much more comfortable to use but it also can activate the AF with a press just like the AF-on button. Why is that a good thing? Well because you can assign different AF mode to it. By assigning different AF mode to each button you can go back and forth between 2 different modes by just picking the button that activates the mode you want. So If you do Birds in flight and use Group AF or Auto Area AF using your AF-on button. But like to use single point AF when the birds land to get sharp eyes. All you have to do is to assign single point AF to the Joystick push button and use it. No more 2 handed Camera juggling with long lenses to change the AF mode. There is several improvements like this that has been added.

The Articulating display is another welcome addition. The relocation of the ISO button is great but it seems to me that they have removed the Easy ISO capability (ability to use one of the command wheels to change ISO quickly). Assuming that since now we can change ISO with one hand you don't need it but why remove it. It is a mystery to me perhaps above my pay grade. Fortunately they kept the Easy Exposure Comp capability.
The play back of images is so fast that you can take a burst of a 100 or so images and then play them back like a movie by holding the direction button. Silly to do but fun.

All in all, this is one hell of camera and great value at this price. As I said buy this camera only if you need the handling, usability and build quality.
since after all this is a crop sensor body and IQ will never be better than a full sensor body of the same era.

Now about the Software and Wireless. It is there and not very impressive ... enough said.
Snap-bridge is not available for iPhone, but fortunately we had an Android phone in the family to use to test it. Surprisingly it is stable and works. But the APP is lame and will do very little tethering functions. Otherwise if you are using your D500 to take a snap of your dinner and post it to the face book you are in luck. Other than that I am sure Nikon has plans but knowing their history with software I am sure it will be discontinued and replace by something else soon. eh...

Now an odd thing. The first 2 batteries drained quickly. I was expecting the first one since Nikon uses a builtin battery for internal clock and usually it gets it's charge from your battery the first time you use the camera. But this thing kept draining the batteries. So a bit of digging showed that all the wireless capabilities are on. WiFi, BT, NF etc. There is a Airplane mode but it is set to off by default. Why? Don't know. Perhaps again above my pay grade. I turned all that junk off and it seems all is well. But last time I thought all was well I ended up sending my D800 back to Nikon after 3 weeks of getting it. I am hopeful for both our's and Nikon's sake.

Hope this help some of you like me who were waiting for a D810 with Crop sensor for wildlife and sports shooting and were willing to pay the same price as a D810, as I was. We got all we wanted and then some for 1/3 less than what we were expecting to pay.

Nikon please bring back the Easy ISO... pretty please.

Update 4-28-2016:
Good news, Bad news,
Good news the battery consumption issue is a none issue. The AF is wicked good, The buffer is limitless for all practical purposes. 60+ shots of large Raw+JPEGs high quality using Sony XQD G cards. We will be going broke buying hard drives. The AF and the buffer alone is worth the extra $1000 for anyone who needs them.

The bad news, I found out during the battery consumption testing that none of the after market batteries will work with this camera. Do not buy after market batteries with this camera. I tried 3 different brands of high quality batteries that I have been using with my D810/D600/D7100 and all had worked like a charm, but none of them works with D500 at all.
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on July 28, 2016
The Nikon D500 is an awesome DSLR. Being a DX camera, I was a little concerned about the low-light performance of the sensor -- the 1.5x crop factor has never bothered me. However, the D500 is incredible at outside night and also inside with little lighting. I get usable, high-quality, low-noise images at 10,000 ISO with a little help of noise reduction in Adobe Lightroom. If I'm just using a photo to post to Instagram or other low-quality image platforms, I can easily use an image shot at 25,600 ISO. After traveling to Paris and Rome, and watching the Bastille Day fireworks at night and visiting museums with less-than-ideal lighting for photography, I am completely impressed with the camera's ability to function in varying lighting conditions.

The autofocus system on the camera is also unbelievable. I often shoot in single-point AF, but when I've used the continuous 3D AF tracking for my dogs or moving subjects, it rarely does not capture them in focus. Coupled with the maximum 10 frames per second, it's hard not to get the shot you wanted for subjects in motion.

The build quality of the D500 is also superb. It feels sturdy but not ridiculously heavy or overdone. The placement of buttons (like ISO, focus point knob, etc.) are very intuitive and natural to use. To be honest, I don't really use the touchscreen except to zoom in on image previews. Even when scrolling through images, I still naturally use the button because the touchscreen scrolls in the opposite direction of an iPhone (if you swipe left on the D500, it scrolls back, whereas on the iPhone, it scrolls forward...this is just my personal preference). Also, being an iOS user, it's a bit annoying that the SnapBridge app and functionality on the camera is still not available -- although, it is available for Android users.

Other than those small, insignificant things, I really have nothing negative to say about the D500. Moreover, the D750 (a full-frame camera) is similarly priced, but you do not get the features that the D500 packs. If if you want the full-frame equivalent of the D500 -- the D5 -- you would have to shell out another $4,500 on top of the D500's $2000 price tag.

If crop factor is not an issue for you, then the Nikon D500 is the perfect camera for someone who is either an enthusiast or semi-professional.

Hope this helps.
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on April 27, 2016
As an amateur wildlife photographer, so far I'm happy with this camera. I've only had one late afternoon of shooting Ospreys with it (EDIT: see updates below), and it was very impressive. Auto-focus is extremely fast, and the 10 frame-per-second shooting with a massive buffer is unbelievable. I'm using just an SD card (high speed) and I get 26 shots in the buffer (EDIT: in practice I'm getting about a 30 shot burst).

My ratio of good shots to bad shots is already significantly higher than it was with my Canon EOS 70D, which is a great camera but not nearly as good at focusing as this one is. I took about 400 images today and there may have been 10 that were too blurry to make use of, and that includes a moment when an Osprey took me by surprise and I had to aim and shoot in about a second. The D500 picked up the bird and focused almost instantly.

The shots are a bit softer than I hoped for, but I haven't used the automatic focus fine-tuning yet. I was using my (also new) Sigma 150-600mm Sport, which is a good lens but I haven't used Sigma's USB dock to fine tune it yet. So I (optimistically) suspect that when I use the camera's auto-tune and then use Sigma's dock to push it even further, I'll get razor sharp images almost every time. I'm very impressed so far, this is a big step up from the 70D, where I would get roughly 10 or 15 bad shots for every good one. Not knocking the 70D, I'm not a professional so I'm sure I have room for improvement.

I'm also extremely happy with Snapbridge, mainly because it easily connected to my Android phone (NFC didn't work but bluetooth paired easily - I've never had much luck with NFC). Snapbridge is now automatically geotagging every image. That's a big part of why I got this camera - I travel all over the world and geotagging has become a necessity as far as I'm concerned. Here's a knock on Canon - before switching to this Nikon I purchased Canon's latest - the 80D. Not only was the 80D unable to connect to my Android (only worked on Android 5, and I was on 6 which has been out for months), but when connecting to other Android 5 devices, it was unable to automatically geotag images. After speaking to Canon support, they said it was a limitation of the camera, and suggested I grab Canon's GPS add-on unit. Unacceptable when almost everyone has a smartphone that has GPS capabilities these days.

Some other quick notes, both pros and cons:
- The shutter release button is kind of "soft" meaning even when I don't want to, I frequently accidentally get a burst of 10 shots when I meant to take just 1. Not a big deal, I'm getting used to it already.
- The touch screen LCD is great, but I was surprised to find that it's not "always" touch-sensitive. For example, navigating the settings menus is not touch-enabled at all. Not a big deal, but I was surprised.
- The swiveling LCD screen is good, but Canon's fully articulating screen on the 70D and 80D is better. I particularly liked that on those cameras I could turn the LCD around entirely, facing inward, protecting the screen from scratches. I already bought a glass screen protector for the D500 so it's kind of a moot point.
- By default, the camera shows the remaining exposure count in the viewfinder and the top-display. If you want to see ISO instead, you can, but it shows up in place of the exposure count. So basically you have to choose between one or the other. For me I went with ISO.

That's it for now, I'll continue to update this review as I get more experience with the camera, especially after doing some fine-tuning on both the camera and the lens.

UPDATE: 5/1/2016
I spent a couple of hours playing with the auto AF-tune option using both the bundled Nikon 16-80mm lens, and my Sigma 150-600 (which is not an easy candidate for tuning). The system works generally OK, but repeated attempts give different results, sometimes with wide variations. The Nikon usually got a -1, 0, or +1, so I left it at 0. The Sigma was a lot tougher due to how large of a zoom range it has, and different distances between myself and the subject. I'll have to use Sigma's USB dock for this, but to speed things up I decided on a +3 (manual) adjustment after getting varying readings from the auto adjustment system (from -5 up to +6). I don't think it's the camera's fault, the lens has so many ranges and subject distances that one value will never be enough.

I spent another day shooting, mostly birds, and got some shots I'm very happy with. Success rate is still very high, and mistakes have always been my fault. For example I got some motion blur due to not using a high enough ISO setting (and therefore slower shutter speed) a few times on an egret (photos attached). I went up to 5,000 ISO yesterday and used Lightroom for noise reduction, which I was happy with. This was in bright sunlight, but handheld at long range on subjects in motion so I needed fast shutter speeds. I attached more photos here, with 100% crops as well (although Amazon may shrink those a bit, I'm not sure). More mistakes on my part, I forgot to switch the camera to AF-S for a squirrel and a turtle, both of which weren't moving, and didn't need AF-C / 153. However the pictures came out great anyway.

UPDATE: 5/8/2016
Took the camera to a farm animal event nearby today for more practice. Still a very good success ratio. I noticed something weird with Snapbridge. After connecting and putting my phone in my pocket, maybe 10 minutes later I would check and it would show no connection, and the camera would say awaiting connection. I would reconnect and put the phone back in my pocket, and 10 minutes later it would seem to be disconnected. I got annoyed and figured geotagging would be lost for many images, but upon importing, all geotagging was there. Not sure what the deal is but I was glad to not lose geotagging.

I also made use of the bundled 16-80mm lens paired with a Canon 500D close-up lens today (using a 77mm - 72mm adapter). Everything worked perfectly fine, and I'm happy with the lens.

As always, I believe any issues with the pictures are on my end. For example a decent close-up of a fly, using manual focus, was focused on his lower body instead of his eyes. Hard to tell when looking through the viewfinder, I should have taken some test shots and then reviewed them at 100% in the LCD and re-adjusted. All close-ups were taken at f/8, but I should have tried for a better depth of field at maybe f/22 or something.

Adding more sample pics, my apologies if you're grossed out by bugs!
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on May 7, 2016
Lets start off this review by taking a look at the build quality of the Nikon D500.

The first thing you feel when you pick up the D500 is just how big it is. But to me that’s not a bad thing at all.

It feels incredibly solid and moulds to your hand really quite well. It’s not actually as heavy as you’d think and is on par to something like the 7d mark ii.

To me the D500 has some of the best button placement that I’ve seen on on a Nikon body. Everything is where you’d expect to find it, with your record, iso and exposed compensation buttons up the top here near the shutter button.

On the side we’ve got a number of different ports, but we’ll talk more about them later on.

There isn’t an inbuilt flash on the d500 and a few poepl might miss it, but for me on a pro body like this, it’s not a big deal.

As you’d expect for a camera of this calibre, the d500 is weather sealed so you’re going to have no problems taking this out in the rain.

So overall in terms of build quality, the d500 is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.


Let’s turn the camera around now and take a look at the lcd screen on the back.

And something new and probably unexpected is that nikon have included an articulating screen on the d500.

Now to be fair, it’s not a full articulating screen like you find on cameras such as the canon 80d, but it is pretty useful still.

You can flip it up and down which has been really useful for composing my shots.

It does feel pretty solid, but i do worry a little bit about the hinge its on. It doesn’t seem pretty thin so it’ll be interesting to see just how well it holds up.

Photos from the the 20 megapixel sensor look really great on the back of the screen even in bright daylight.

Other than that though the screen is very bright and sharp. I’ve been seeing this trend lately with Nikon producing some really good screens and the d500 continues with it as well.


One feature I love on the Nikon D500 and one that’s a bit of a life saver is not eh side here, that’s it dual card slots.

This might not seem like a big feature, but having the ability to back up your photos is huge, especially if you’re shooting important one time events like weddings.

To me this should be a given in any pro level body, but it is still nice to see.


The viewfinder on the D500 has 100% coverage as you’d expect as was nice to use.

If you’re coming from a lower end nikon body, the shipe of it is a little different, but with it’s 1x magnification, it works very quite well.


Let’s talk quickly about the menus on the D500.

If you’ve ever used a Nikon DSLR, you’ll feel right at home using the D500. The menus are pretty feature packed with a lot of different options, especially once you move into full manual mode.

Performance was quick though and there was no lag which is good.


So i just wanted to touch on the battery life of the d500.

I’ve been incredibly impressed with the battery life of this camera, although I would recommend using a battery grip if you are going to shooting photos all day or shooting 4k video.

I got through about 1200 shots before the battery ran out on me.

But overall, the battery life was very good on the nikon d500.


So let’s talk about the burst rate of the nikon d500.

Now Nikon are touting this camera as being a real winner for sports and i’ve got to say it lives up to the hype.

The d500 can shoot at an impressive 10 frames per second, which should be fast enough for most sports and wildlife.

Just for reference sake, this is what 10 frames per second sounds like.

This puts it on par with it’s biggest rival the Canon 7d mark ii which can also shoot at around 10 frames per second.

I also found that the D500’s autofocus was incredible. Nikon have really upped their game and to me, the autofocus on the d500 is some of the best i’ve ever tested.

You’ve also got a 200 raw shot buffer which is very nice.

I’m going to be making a more in depth video on the autofocus of the d500 so check back soon for that, but overall it’s blisteringly fast.


Now I briefly touch on the ports on the camera earlier on, but i just wanted to show you what you get. Of course you’re getting a usb and an cdmi cable, but also in the middle hear you getting a mic and headphone jack.

This to me, shows that nikon are really trying to convince more video shooters over to their side and it’s good to see.

Havin gate ability to record good sound and monitor as well is really important, and makes this a pretty impressive little video camera, which we’ll talk about a little bit more now.


So let’s talk more about the Nikon D500 for video.

As you probably know if you’re watching this video, the D500 can shoot 4k video. And i’ve got to say it’s incredibly impressive.

The colours it reproduces are very nice and the detail is definitely there.

Compred to something like the Canon 7d mark ii, the sharpness of the 4k to the 1080p really is night and day.

Now one few drawback of the nikon d500 though is that it does crop the video quite a lot when shooting 4k. So if you do know you’re going to be wanting to shoot in 4k, you’ll want to make sure you have a wide enough lens.

One other nice thing is that the d500 can shoot a full 30 minutes of video, cpmapred to just 3 minutes on the more expensive nikon d5. To me that’s a pretty big deal and something to consider if you are choosing between the two.

One other nice feature is that you can create timelapses in the camera which is a lot of fun, and something that again emphasizes that Nikon is really trying to gain a bit more marketshare in the video market.

SO overall, the Nikon d500 is actually a pretty capable video shooting machine, so good job nikon.


So i just quickly wanted to talk about wifi.

The d500 comes with wifi and nfc included, which is great if you want to be able to quickly transfer your photos to your phone.

This is something that the 7d mark ii misses out on, so again is something to consider.
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This camera is touted as a sports camera, and I'm sure it's excellent for that purpose, but it's also, at this point in time, the best camera to shoot weddings, events, and fast paced photo sessions (for example, with little kids running around).

My first camera I used professionally was the Canon 6d, shooting weddings and events. I wanted a camera with more dynamic range and better file flexibility so when the Nikon d750 came out I bought one with the 24-120 f4. I loved the files and DR range so much, I brought another d750 with the 24-85mm lens as a backup and for use with the 16-35mm lens. I still loved the d750but I had two problems with the camera

1. The settings constantly changed because I couldn't lock it in ( I had the same issue with the 6d). Shooting in a fast paced environment, I couldn't concentrate all the time to make sure the I didn't touch the shutter speed and aperture dials. When I reminded myself to check that I didn't turn anything by mistake, I had taken many photos either over and underexposed. It was a waste of time editing in post and I was not getting the best IQ because of under and overexposure.

2. Too little focus points. For portraits the AF points were passable, but for the dancing and other events, there were not enough outer points and I ended up with tons of ceiling space which I later mostly cropped in post( losing from the sides as well).

When the d500 came out, I didn't think I'd "downgrade" to a cropped sensor. The reviews were also mixed on how the IQ compares with the d750. But after being so frustrated with the two issues I was having with the d750, I decided to try the d500 because it has a shutter and exposure lock ( only for stills, it doesn't work in video) and a nice amount of AF points, which would solve those two problems. Well, I'm mighty glad I did.

ISO and Dynamic Range
After very extensive comparisons and studying the scenes studio test scenes on, the d750 seems to be approximately a third stop better at high ISO than the d500. I think its really amazing that a cropped camera is almost equal in ISO capabilities to an excellent FF camera. The dynamic range of the d500 seems to be a bit better than the d750 and I find the files more flexible and easier to edit than the files from the d500. In IQ, the d500 easily competes with FF.

I am extremely impressed with the 16-80 lens which is very sharp at f4 ( I didn't test it at 2.8 aperture ) for a zoom. It is sharper than the 24-120 f4, and of course much lighter. Originally, I thought the difference in sharpness between the images I was seeing from the d500 and the d750 because only because of the two lenses. I am still very impressed with the 16-80 lens, it is indeed sharper than the 24-120 f4. But I saw a comparison by of the d750 and d500 and they said the d500 is sharper than the d750. And so I tested these two cameras with the Nikon 85mm 1.8g lens. Indeed, the d500 is noticeably sharper than the d750! It was incredible, I couldn't believe it.

Re- sharpness: Edited on June 4 2018: Regardless of digitalrevtv review on YouTube, after many uses with prime lenses (vs the 24-120 mm lens) of which I got tack sharp images on the d750, equal to that of the d500, I came to the conclusion that the d500 is NOT sharper than the d750. The cause for blurriness on the d750 is SHUTTERSHOCK. Pressing the shutter causes the causes the camera to jerk, thus causing the camera to move a few mm. When shooting portraits with f4 aperture, those few mm usually don't make a difference as its still focused on the eyes, but when using shallow apertures for macro or close up photos, or even portraits with very shallow apertures, it will make a big difference in the placement of focus point is critical to the mm and if slightly off it can cause the image, or the part of the image which should be in focus, to be blurry. A fastshutter speed does not help in this case. Setting the shutter to "silent mode" on the d750 does help with shutter shock. The d500 does not have this issue at all. The shutter is smooth and focus ALWAYS where you placed it.

White Balance
I like the color rendering of the d750 more than the d500 in most cases. The d750 is more warm in color, while the d500 is more neutral. I prefer the more warm peachy skin tones and and warmer colors, but this is subjective and some will prefer the d500's neutral color. And in some situations I do prefer the colors from d500. It's actually the white balance, not Nikon's color science, affecting the warm/neutral hue. I use Magmod 1/4 cto filters on my Godox flashes, so the color is nice and warm when I shoot portraits with the d500.

Re-color: Edited on June 4 2018
Unfortunately the d500 can produce red instead of black color with certain contrasty subjects such as black letters on what paper. It doesn't happen all the time only under certain lighting conditions and certain subjects. It does not happen ever with my d750. Trying to use Lightroom's chromatic aberation remover results in large chunks of the blacks (and reds) disappearing, destroying the image entirely. Red chroma color can be lowered in post and it will make the reds turn black again, however in photos like portraits, the reds cannot be lowered too much otherwise it effects the photo negatively. This problem doesn't occur too often, but if you mostly work with high-contrast subjects, the d850 is probably for you ( Read above about the d750 shuttershock issue. Setting it on silent shutter almost eliminates the problem.)

The Nikon d810 successor will be here sooner or later, I suspect in the next 2-3 months, and will be awesome as well. Some will probably consider it even more awesome than the d500 for wedding photography. However, it will also weigh more and for some of us camera weight with the weight of attached lenses (FF vs cropped), is a considerable factor, especially considering the amount of hours we carry the camera ( or cameras) at weddings and events. Some wedding photographers also carry two cameras at a time and I think that's a lot of weight to carry if they will be using cameras like the d810. And of course, the cost of the upcoming camera will likely be more than $1000 more expensive than the d500. I think the d500 is more than adequate for wedding photography and will likely be a better buy than the d810 successor for wedding photography.
Update Feb. 2 2108: I checked studio scene, the d500 (and also the d750) actually looks better at high ISO, which is not surprising due to the large amount of pixels the d850 has. (However, the d850 may retain better details at high iso). The bottom line is, the d500 has amazing clean high ISO and can compare to FF cameras.

Although 3.1 megapixels more would've been appreciated with the d500, I believe that the average 24 megapixels was sacrificed for the low light IQ. Nikon, had its priorities right in this case, however I hope the d500 successor will once again feature at least 24mp.

In summary, the d500, which has the shutter and aperture lock and sufficient AF points and IQ as good as the d750, makes for an excellent camera to shoot weddings with!

I now have sold one d750 and the 24-85mm f3.5-4.5g lens to help finance the d500. I still have one d750 but I use the d500 as my main camera because of the excellent pro controls. The d500 is slightly sharper, otherwise I see no difference in IQ. If would purchase a camera now, I would definitely choose the d500 over the d750.

The video IQ is pretty good! I found that the touch focus is great for focusing on the subject before the video starts so it's great for interviews and subjects that stay in one place. I don't use continuous AF in video because Nikon video AF is simply a disaster, it is unusable. For moving subjects or for when I move I prefer a camera with reliable video AF. I really, really wish the d500 camera had good video AF!

Edit Nov 9 2017: No focus peaking, on top of no reliable video AF, just ruins this as a video camera. I wanted to use the d500 more often for video. The other cameras/camcorder I own that have reliable video AF which I use for shooting video also have small sensors. Very often I find myself in situations where I need better IQ that I can only get with larger sensors. And so I started using manual focusing with the d500, but with no focus peaking it makes it virtually impossible to be 100% sure that you are getting focus especially when I or the object is moving. It's ok when I'm shooting stuff for my projects that I can reshoot if it's not in focus, but not if I can't reshoot the footage if I realize later that it is not perfectly in focus. I mostly shoot video with the d500 on a tripod so I now use the Neewer 7" HD monitor that has the focus peaking feature.

I realized that I can shoot video with the d500 with the wide end of my zoom lens set to 16mm (24mm FF equivelent), aperture set to f5.6 with the subject at least 20 feet from the camera which in this case scenario the depth of field is to infinity so everything stays in focus even if the subject moves. (I focus on the subject before turning on the video by touching the touchscreen once. I have the AF on AF-S, not AF-C so the camera doesn't try to focus). I always only use the d500 shooting professional video, with the camera on a tripod, to get wide angle video shots. I use my other cameras which focus reliably (but have smaller sensors) to zoom into the subjects and to pan.

The d500 does not get heated up after shooting to the full 29 minutes of 1080pr, but it will become warm when shooting at 4k. The The Canon 6d used to heat up very quickly at 1080p (it doesnt have 4k), I needed to change the batteries frequently when I shot video and the d750 only films 10 minutes of good quality video. The a6000 heated up without finishing the 29 minutes of video it's, supposed to be able to shoot. But the d500 was only very slightly warm after 29 minutes of filming without stopping. I had tested the camera before shooting this event and it was a relief to know I can let it roll.

I'm waiting anxiously for a Nikon APSC mirrorless camera that will focus quickly during video and for a 16-80mm lens for that mirrorless camera that will focus silently and quickly when shooting video.

I will also not purchase another camera that has no focus peaking because I don't want to shlep extra gear, in this case an external monitor, batteries and cable, and I don't want longer setup and teardown time as a result of using this extra gear.

D500 vs D750 vs Sony a6000 stills IQ's studio comparison tool is very accurate. Through side by side sample testing and real life shooting weddings and events comparing the d500 and d750, I've found the same as I see in the dpreview's studio comparison, almost equal high ISO between the d500 and the d750. So whoever still says FF is much better IQ than cropped has not really compared this camera to current to FF cameras well. DPR's scene comparison also shows how much better the d500's high ISO is from the Sony a6000 and I have found it to be true in real life ( as well as the Sony a6000 having horrible smearing in ISO as low as 800!).

This leads me to the conclusion that dxomark scores are totally meaningless! I don't know if these scores have any merit in technical terms, but in real life, the photos you get out of the cameras do not resemble dxomark's scores at all. Dxomark rates the d500 at a much lower score than the d750, the d750 having more than100% higher ISO score, and I find that to be really funny because it's simply not true. The difference is approximately a third stop ISO, not double the ISO advantage. Also, the a6000 is rated as higher in ISO capabilities than the d500 and I found that to be completely untrue as well. The d500 has much better higher ISO than the a6000, it's much cleaner and has no reddish color smearing. As I've mentioned above, you can see the excellent high ISO quality of the d500 compared to other cameras, FF and cropped, in dpreview's studio scene.

Update Nov 16 2017:

For stills:
After using this camera to shoot many weddings and events, I can say that this is my favorite camera I ever had for shooting stills. I choose to use this over my d750 because of the pro controls and excellent dynamic range. Coupled with the 16-80 lens's better clarity, sharpness and lower weight compared to the 24-120, it's simply a winnining combination for portraiture, wedding and event photography. The d500's IQ is fantastic, the FF d750 having only a third stop advantage in ISO which is nothing. Definitely a pro camera and a joy to use!

For video:
For video it is lacking basic features, but not IQ. Because of its lack of video features, I cannot recommend it if purchasing mostly for video use.
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I will update at the top of this review when I feel I may need to.


A couple months in and the camera still kicks ass. If you're thinking about it, just do it.


Alright, so I've had the camera for almost two weeks now.
I've shot probably half a dozen different landscape scenes. A couple portrait shoots, and lots of lowlight material. I'm fascinated with the Milky Way for night sky photography and this camera powers through it very nicely. ISO 1600 through 3200 looking very clean in comparison to the old D5300. I'd say close to full frame performance in regards to high ISO noise handling. Dynamic range is absolutely phenomenal. I'm able to pull up lots of detail out of shadows and pull down the highlights very nicely when needed. No problems at all yet with battery life - In fact, I got about 950 shots on an 85% charge in a timelapse, so I'd say it's right on the money. Also have had no issues with the Lexar XQD with this camera like others have reported. I am having some issues with Lightroom taking FOREVER to import these photos when connected via the USB. For most shots, I just transfer to the SD card and use my card reader, but for some things, I have to use the USB to transfer direct from the camera and Lightroom (CC updated and D500 Firmware updated) and it seriously takes probably 3 or 4 hours to import 8 or 10 gigs in. Wondering what might be the issue there, but outside of that, I have no complaints. This camera has proved its worth nicely.

The illuminated buttons have also been a blessing for my night sky shooting.


So far, I have nothing but love for this camera. I'm coming from a history of low-mid level cameras, so this jump was significant for me. Most recently, I'm coming from a Nikon D5300. The pro features I were expecting are truly great. The button layout is much more than a gimmick. Having the ISO button on the right side, thereby freeing my left hand at times is such a practical and appreciated decision by Nikon.

The touch screen is nice for what functionality it has. I was hoping to be able to use it in more of the menu side of things, but I'm not taking away a star for that. That wouldn't change the quality of my images.

The focusing is everything you've probably heard about. It's crazy. It's so fast and so, so accurate. I haven't even had a chance to use 3D tracking yet, but its normal continuous focus really works incredibly well.

The ISO to noise ratio is incredibly well controlled. As a landscape photographer, I have low tolerance for noise, especially with astrophotography. I was always looking for ways to reduce noise in post because the lower tier cameras just can't handle it well. I was testing some of that out with the D500, but on a sunny evening/sunset and I shot some images in ISO ranges I never thought I would call acceptable. I'm talking ISO 25,000 with just a little bit of noise reduction in lightroom and I wouldn't have an issue posting to social media. Even 52,000 wasn't out of the realm of possibilities if I were in a pinch. That is absolutely insane to know that I can say that now, but this camera is just that good in that regard. I haven't had the chance to do astro with it yet and test out the high-iso in low light conditions, but I got the camera on a full moon, so in a week or two will have some results to show for that.

The LCD screen resolution is nice and bright and clear, and the viewfinder is very nice. I especially like the round eyepiece. The button illumination is awesome and will really come in handy for us astrophotographers. It really feels like a pro body that got the attention to detail it deserves.

The processor is so blazingly fast. I have it set up to save RAW files to the XQD (Been using Lexar with no issues) and Jpegs to the SD with snapbridge sending 2mb copies to my phone for quick Snapseed edits going out to Instagram in no time.

The battery life is great. The camera shipped with the newer version of the ENEL15 battery and I have seen very good performance out of it so far.

The camera itself is bigger and heavier than my D5300, but the grip is deep and offsets that extra mass as it's easy to hold.

I have not tested out the video yet, so I'll be sure to do that upon updating my review.
(Be aware that I shot my first batch of uploaded pictures with the Nikkor 18-135 f/3.5, so if I had sharper glass, I would have sharper images)
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on June 9, 2016
Nikon did it right on this model. I received this body the first week it was released and since then have shot dozens of sporting events logging upwards of 30k frames. Superb low light focusing, quick and reliable auto-focus, well-placed control positions for ISO, EV adjustments on the fly and the touch screen makes it enjoyable to quickly scroll/enlarge photos for review. Since I started using this body, my D3 and D4 have been sitting in my equipment cabinet. The only complaint that I have is that now I literally have 50%+ more quality tact sharp photos to sort through after each shoot.
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on May 15, 2016
Been shooting with this camera for about 12 days. It's a rugged work-horse like the D300, it's fast - and fast to focus (if it's not focusing fast - check your setting), and excellent in low light conditions, but in bright light conditions, images can be a bit washed out. Also shooting a D810, and I've read reviews that make the claim that the images are just as good as the D810, but I have to disagree here. Tested both cameras against each other, shooting with the same settings, lens & conditions and the D810 is the clear winner when it comes to image quality, with that said, the D500 is close behind. If you are used to looking at D810 images, you will notice the difference in image quality between them. The D500 is a nice compliment to the D810 and it fits my need for shooting birds in low light conditions. Images shot at ISO 4000, F5.6, speeds between 2500-8000. Only cropped & brighten. This is not a noiseless camera, it still produces noise at high ISOs, but much less then the majority of cameras out there, and the details at high ISOs are extremely good. Watch Tony Northrup's review & comparison of the D500 on YouTube to help put this in perspective.
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Went 2+ years using an entry level camera (D3300), and upgraded to the D500 recently. After 5k shots, I am just as happy with my purchase as I was on day 1 with it. Although shutter speed and burst mode are big selling points, the best thing for me is the auto-ISO and low grain at high ISO.
Video tutorials on YouTube were good to get started, but they weren't enough to really understand the camera's features. Read the manual; it's worth it. This is especially/most true for learning about all of the auto-focus options; the shots will likely come out blurry unless you have the correct autofocus option. (Some af options are only available in "live mode"). I use a Nikon 70-200mm with a 1.7 teleconveter for nearly all of my shots. Some day I'll bite the bullet and buy the 200-500mm lens. I initially worried that this camera may not work well for portraits, especially in low light, and although it wasn't perfect with portraits, it performed better than I anticipated. I still bought the cheapest Nikon speedlight/flash (300) and it does help with the shadows in portraits.
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