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Nikon D500 vs Z5 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D500

Nikon D500 camera image

Nikon Z5

Nikon z5 camera
Nikon D500
Nikon Z5
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
July 21, 2020
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon Z5 emerges as the winner with a score of 78/100, compared to the Nikon D500‘s score of 75/100. Both cameras share similarities in their specifications, such as being released by the same manufacturer, Nikon, and having a similar launch price range.

The Nikon Z5 outperforms the D500 with its lighter weight of 675g (1.49lbs) and smaller dimensions of 134 x 100.5 x 69.5mm. Additionally, the Z5 is a more recent model, released in 2020, and benefits from being a mirrorless camera, which provides a more compact and advanced design.

On the other hand, the Nikon D500, released in 2016, is a DSLR camera with a larger size of 147 x 115 x 81mm and heavier weight of 860g (1.90lbs). Despite these factors, the D500 still has a respectable score and remains a viable option for photographers.

Considering the specifications, the Nikon Z5 is the superior choice due to its lighter weight, smaller size, and mirrorless technology. However, the Nikon D500 remains a good option for those who prefer DSLRs.

Nikon D500 vs Z5 Overview and Optics

The Nikon Z5 emerges as the winner in optics with a score of 81/100, compared to the Nikon D500’s score of 69/100. Both cameras share common features, such as a CMOS sensor, but they differ in other key areas, which sets them apart.

Both cameras have a CMOS sensor type, but the Nikon Z5 boasts a full-frame sensor, while the Nikon D500 has an APS-C sensor. The larger sensor size in the Nikon Z5 gives it an advantage in low light performance, providing better image quality. Additionally, the Nikon Z5 has a higher DXOMARK score for the sensor at 97, compared to the Nikon D500’s score of 84. This difference further highlights the superior image quality of the Nikon Z5.

The Nikon Z5 also has a higher megapixel count at 24, compared to the Nikon D500’s 20.9 megapixels, allowing for more detailed images. Furthermore, the Nikon Z5 features an Expeed 6 processor, while the Nikon D500 has an Expeed 5 processor. The updated processor in the Nikon Z5 contributes to its better overall performance. The Nikon Z5 also has image stabilization, which the Nikon D500 lacks, ensuring steadier shots and improved image quality.

However, the Nikon D500 does have a faster shooting speed of 10 frames per second, compared to the Nikon Z5’s 4.5 frames per second. This advantage makes the Nikon D500 more suitable for action photography or capturing fast-moving subjects.

Taking all these factors into account, the Nikon Z5 is the better camera in terms of optics, with advantages such as a larger sensor size, higher DXOMARK score, and image stabilization. The Nikon D500, however, may be preferable for those who require a faster shooting speed.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
20.9 MP
24 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
5568 x 3712 px
6016 x 4016 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.
15.7 x 23.5 mm
23.9 x 35.9 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.
10 fps
4.5 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 DX
Nikon Z
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
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)
Viewfinder Resolution
3,686,400 dots

Nikon D500 vs Z5 Video Performance

The Nikon Z5 outperforms the Nikon D500 in video capabilities, with a video score of 83/100 compared to the D500’s 70/100. Both cameras share some common video specifications, including a maximum video resolution of 4K and dimensions of 3840 x 2160. Additionally, both cameras come with built-in time-lapse functionality.

The Nikon Z5’s superiority in video performance is primarily due to its higher maximum video frame rate of 60fps, which is double the D500’s 30fps. This higher frame rate allows the Z5 to capture smoother and more detailed video, particularly in fast-moving scenes or when recording action sequences.

The Nikon D500 does not offer any distinct advantages in video capabilities over the Z5. Its lower video score is a result of its inferior maximum video frame rate. However, it is worth noting that the D500 still provides high-quality 4K video and built-in time-lapse functionality, making it a capable camera for video enthusiasts.

When comparing the video capabilities of the Nikon D500 and the Nikon Z5, it is clear that the Z5 is the better choice for those prioritizing video performance. Its higher video score, primarily due to the 60fps maximum frame rate, makes it a more versatile and powerful camera for capturing high-quality video. While the D500 remains a competent option for video enthusiasts, the Z5’s superior video capabilities make it the clear winner in this comparison.

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 D500 vs Z5 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D500 emerges as the winner in the features comparison with a score of 87/100, while the Nikon Z5 scores 72/100. Both cameras share several specifications, making them quite similar in certain aspects. They have a 3.2-inch screen, touchscreen capabilities, flip screens, GPS, WIFI, and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Nikon D500 has a higher screen resolution of 2,359,000 dots, providing better image quality and a sharper display. This higher resolution allows photographers to better review and edit their images on the camera itself. The Nikon D500’s superior feature score also indicates that it has more advanced features overall, which can benefit users in various shooting situations.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z5, despite its lower feature score, still offers a decent set of specifications. Its screen resolution of 1,040,000 dots is lower than the D500’s, but it is still sufficient for most photography needs. The Z5’s lower score does not necessarily mean it is a poor choice for photographers; it simply means that it may not have as many advanced features as the D500.

In comparing the two cameras, the Nikon D500 stands out as the better option due to its higher feature score and screen resolution, which contribute to its overall performance. The Nikon Z5, while not as advanced, still provides a solid set of specifications suitable for various photography situations. Ultimately, the choice between the two cameras will depend on the individual photographer’s needs and preferences.

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
1,040,000 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 D500 vs Z5 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D500 surpasses the Nikon Z5 in storage and battery with a score of 79/100, while the Z5 scores 73/100. Both cameras have two memory card slots and accept SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. However, the D500 also supports UHS-II compatible and XQD cards, providing more flexibility in storage options.

The D500 has a longer battery life, with 1240 shots per charge compared to the Z5’s 470 shots. They use different battery types: the D500 uses the EN-EL15, while the Z5 uses the EN-EL15c. The Z5 compensates for its shorter battery life with USB charging capabilities, which the D500 lacks.

To sum up, the Nikon D500 wins in storage and battery due to its compatibility with additional memory cards and longer battery life. The Nikon Z5, while having a shorter battery life, offers the convenience of USB charging.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible), XQD
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
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.
1,240 shots
470 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.'
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.'
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 D500 vs Z5 – Our Verdict

Nikon D500 vs Z5 Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D500 or the Nikon Z5:

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