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Nikon D5 vs D500 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D5

Nikon D5

Nikon D500

Nikon D500 camera image
Nikon D5
Nikon D500
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
January 06, 2016
January 06, 2016
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D500 takes the lead with a score of 75/100, slightly edging out the Nikon D5, which scores 74/100. Both cameras share common ground as DSLRs announced on January 6, 2016, and released the same year. The D500 excels with its compact size (147 x 115 x 81mm) and lighter weight (860g), making it more portable and user-friendly compared to the heavier D5 (160 x 159 x 92mm, 1415g). Additionally, the D500 offers a significantly lower launch price of $2000, compared to the D5’s $6500 price tag. While the D5 may not have distinct advantages over the D500, its nearly equal score indicates that it is still a solid choice for photographers. Ultimately, the Nikon D500’s affordability and portability make it the more appealing option of the two.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
20.8 MP
20.9 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
5588 x 3712 px
5568 x 3712 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
23.9 x 35.9 mm
15.7 x 23.5 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
12 fps
10 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon F FX
Nikon F DX
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 5
Expeed 5
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentaprism)
Optical (pentaprism)

Nikon D5 vs D500 Video Performance

The Nikon D5 and Nikon D500 both have a video score of 70/100, indicating that they have comparable video capabilities. Both cameras share the same maximum video resolution of 4K and video dimensions of 3840 x 2160. Additionally, both cameras have a maximum video frame rate of 30fps and come with built-in time-lapse functionality.

Despite having the same video score, the Nikon D5 has certain advantages over the D500. The D5’s full-frame sensor provides better low-light performance and a shallower depth of field, which can result in more cinematic-looking footage. Furthermore, the D5’s larger sensor size enables higher quality video output, especially in challenging lighting conditions.

On the other hand, the Nikon D500 offers some benefits over the D5. The D500’s smaller APS-C sensor size makes it more compact and lightweight, which can be helpful for those who need a portable camera for on-the-go shooting. Additionally, the D500 is more affordable than the D5, making it a more attractive option for budget-conscious videographers.

While both cameras offer strong video capabilities, the choice between the Nikon D5 and Nikon D500 ultimately depends on the user’s specific needs and preferences. The D5’s superior low-light performance and larger sensor size make it an excellent choice for professional videographers seeking high-quality footage. However, the D500’s compact size and lower price point may appeal to amateur videographers or those looking for a portable and budget-friendly option. Both cameras offer impressive video performance, ensuring that users will be satisfied with their choice.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
3840 x 2160 px
3840 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
30 p
30 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Nikon D5 vs D500 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D500 comes out on top in this comparison, with a feature score of 87/100, while the Nikon D5 scores 74/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including a 3.2-inch screen size, 2,359,000-dot screen resolution, touchscreens, and WIFI connectivity. However, the D500 has additional features that contribute to its higher score.

The D500 surpasses the D5 with its flip screen and Bluetooth connectivity. A flip screen enables more flexible shooting angles, useful for capturing images and videos from different perspectives. Bluetooth connectivity allows for seamless file transfer and remote control functionality, making it more user-friendly and versatile.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5 does not offer any significant advantages over the D500 in terms of features. Both cameras lack GPS functionality, but this is not a crucial aspect for most photographers. The D5’s lower score is due to its lack of a flip screen and Bluetooth connectivity, which are considered valuable features for many photographers.

In comparing the Nikon D5 and D500, the D500 proves to be the superior camera in terms of features. Its flip screen and Bluetooth connectivity make it more versatile and user-friendly, while the D5 does not provide any notable advantages. The D500’s higher feature score of 87/100 reflects its enhanced capabilities, making it the better choice between the two cameras.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
2,359,000 dots
2,359,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon D5 vs D500 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D5 wins in the storage and battery comparison, scoring 87/100, while the Nikon D500 scores 79/100. Both cameras have two memory card slots, with the D5 accepting Compact Flash and XQD cards and the D500 accepting SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compatible) and XQD cards. Neither camera has USB charging.

The D5 outperforms the D500 in battery life, offering 3780 shots per charge with its EN-EL18a battery, compared to the D500’s 1240 shots with its EN-EL15 battery. This longer battery life makes the D5 more suitable for extended shooting sessions.

The D500, however, has a wider range of compatible memory cards, allowing for more storage options and flexibility when selecting cards.

Considering these factors, the Nikon D5 is the superior choice for photographers prioritizing battery life, while the Nikon D500 offers more versatility in storage options.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
Compact Flash, XQD
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible), XQD
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
3,780 shots
1,240 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
25.1 bits
24.1 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
12.3 EVs
14 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Nikon D5 vs D500 – Our Verdict

Nikon D5 vs D500 Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D5 or the Nikon D500:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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