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Nikon D5 vs D6 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D5

Nikon D5

Nikon D6

Nikon D6 camera
Nikon D5
Nikon D6
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
February 11, 2020
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D6 emerges as the winner with a score of 80/100, while the Nikon D5 trails behind with a score of 74/100. Both cameras are DSLRs, announced in 2016 and 2020 respectively, and share the same launch price of $6500. Their dimensions are almost identical, with the D6 being slightly taller at 163mm compared to the D5’s 159mm, both having a width of 160mm and depth of 92mm. The D6 is a bit heavier, weighing 1450g, while the D5 weighs 1415g.

The Nikon D6 outperforms the D5 with its higher score, reflecting its advanced features and improvements over its predecessor. On the other hand, the Nikon D5 still has its merits, offering a slightly lighter body for those who prioritize reduced weight in their camera gear.

Taking into account their shared specifications and the D6’s superior performance, it’s clear that the Nikon D6 is the better choice for photographers seeking the latest and greatest in DSLR technology. However, the Nikon D5 remains a viable option for those looking for a more lightweight camera without sacrificing too much in terms of quality and performance.

Nikon D5 vs D6 Overview and Optics

The Nikon D6 outperforms the Nikon D5 in optics with a score of 75/100, compared to the D5’s 72/100. Both cameras share several optical specifications, including a 20.8-megapixel resolution, CMOS sensor type, full-frame sensor size, Nikon F lens mount, and lack of image stabilization.

The D6’s superior optics can be attributed to its faster shooting speed and more advanced processor. With a shooting speed of 14 frames per second, the D6 is faster than the D5’s 12 frames per second. This difference provides a noticeable advantage in capturing fast-moving subjects and action shots. The D6 also features the Expeed 6 processor, an upgrade from the D5’s Expeed 5 processor. This enhancement contributes to better image quality and processing speed.

Another aspect where the D6 excels is its higher DXOMARK score of 97 for the sensor, compared to the D5’s score of 88. This higher score signifies better overall image quality, dynamic range, and low-light performance.

However, the D5 has its merits, particularly in terms of cost-effectiveness. As an older model, it is likely to be more affordable than the D6, making it a suitable choice for photographers on a budget or those who do not require the latest features.

Taking all factors into consideration, the Nikon D6 offers better optics and performance than the Nikon D5, especially in shooting speed, processor, and sensor quality. While the D5 remains a viable option for those seeking a more budget-friendly alternative, the D6 is the clear winner in terms of optical performance.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
20.8 MP
20.8 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
35.9 x 23.9 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
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
14 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
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 6
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
900 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 D6 Video Performance

The Nikon D6 outperforms the Nikon D5 in video capabilities, scoring 83/100 compared to the D5’s score of 70/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as 4K maximum video resolution and 3840 x 2160 maximum video dimensions. They also both have built-in time-lapse functionality.

The D6 surpasses the D5 in its max video frame rate, offering 60fps while the D5 only provides 30fps. This higher frame rate allows the D6 to capture smoother, more detailed video, making it the superior choice for videographers seeking optimal performance.

Although the D5 falls short in video frame rate, it still delivers quality video. Its 4K resolution and built-in time-lapse functionality are valuable features that cater to various video applications. However, the D5’s lower frame rate may limit its appeal for those prioritizing high-quality video capture.

When comparing the Nikon D5 and D6, it is evident that the D6 is the better choice for videographers due to its higher video score and superior frame rate. The D5 remains a viable option for those who value 4K resolution and time-lapse capabilities, but its lower frame rate may deter those seeking the best video performance.

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
60 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 D6 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D6 outperforms the Nikon D5 in features with a score of 87/100, compared to the D5’s 74/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, including a 3.2-inch screen size, a screen resolution of 2,359,000 dots, touchscreen capabilities, and WiFi connectivity.

The Nikon D6 surpasses the D5 in several aspects. It has GPS and Bluetooth connectivity, while the D5 lacks these features. The built-in GPS allows for easy geotagging of images, and the Bluetooth connectivity enables seamless sharing and remote control options with compatible devices.

The Nikon D5 does not have any notable advantages over the D6 in terms of features. However, it is essential to consider other aspects such as performance, image quality, and price when making a final decision between the two cameras.

After examining the features of both cameras, it is clear that the Nikon D6 offers more advanced and versatile options compared to the Nikon D5. The additional features of the D6, such as the flip screen, GPS, and Bluetooth connectivity, make it a more attractive choice for photographers seeking a camera with a comprehensive set of capabilities.

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 D6 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D6 outperforms the Nikon D5 in storage and battery, scoring a perfect 100/100 compared to the D5’s 87/100. Both cameras share similarities, such as having two memory card slots. However, the D6 accepts CFexpress and XQD cards, while the D5 takes Compact Flash and XQD cards.

The D6’s superiority mainly comes from its USB charging capability, which the D5 lacks. This feature provides convenience and flexibility when charging the camera. However, the D5 has a slightly longer battery life, offering 3780 shots compared to the D6’s 3580 shots. Both cameras use different battery types, with the D5 using the EN-EL18a and the D6 employing the EN-EL18c.

Despite the D5’s longer battery life, the Nikon D6 remains the better choice for storage and battery due to its compatibility with the faster CFexpress cards and USB charging feature.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
Compact Flash, XQD
CFexpress, 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
3,580 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
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
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 D6 – Our Verdict

Nikon D5 vs D6 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 D6:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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