Photography News Issue 33

Photography News | Issue 33 |

Camera test 34




Price £1729 body only, £2479 with 16- 80mm f/2.8-4 VR Sensor 20.9 megapixels effective, 21.51 megapixels in total Sensor format DX, CMOS, 23.5x15.7 mm ISO range 100-51,200 expansion to 50-1,640,000 Shutter range 30secs-1/8000sec, flash sync at 125sec Drivemodes Single, continuous low, continuous high, quiet shutter release, self- timer, mirror up, quiet continuous shutter release Metering system TL exposure metering using RGB sensor with 180K pixels. Matrix, Centre-weighted, Spot and Highlight-weighted Exposuremodes PASM Exposure compensation –/+5 EV, in 1/3, 1/2, or 1EV steps Monitor 3.2in, 2359k-dot, tilting TFT touch- sensitive Focusing 153 focus points of which 55 or 15 are selectable. Single-point 25, 72 or 153-point dynamic AF, 3D-tracking, group-area AF, auto- area AF Video 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) 30p, 25p, Storagemedia 1xXQD and 1xSD Dimensions (wxhxd) 147x115x81mm Weight 860g with battery and XQD, 760g body only Contact 24p. 1280 x 720 Connectivity USB 3.0 Micro-B connector, HDMI type C, audio in and out, Ethernet

Nikon’s newest DX-format DSLR boasts an impressive pro-spec features list in a more compact body than the D5

Reviewby Jemma Dodd

With DX-format 20.9-megapixel sensor combined with an Expeed 5 processor, Nikon’s D500 boasts pro specs and features in a smaller body than the D5. It’s not just high-quality still images that you can create, the D500 has 4K video capability with the option to record full HD time-lapse movies as well. The D500 is Nikon’s DX top dog so you get more than the D7200 as the ISO range is 100-51,200, which can be expanded to 1,640,000. The D500 also features 3D Colour Matrix Metering with a 180K-pixel RGB sensor another improvement on the 2016-pixel RGB sensor that the D7200 has. While the D500 offers the same 3D-Tracking and Auto Area AF as the D7200 and the D300s, the D500 boasts the most advanced AF system in Nikon DSLR history with 153 AF points – it’s the same system as in the full-frame D5 model. A choice of 55 or 15 points are available for selection and it boasts the ability to focus in light as low as -4EV with the central focus point or -3EV with other points. For fast action the D500’s continuous high shooting offers up to 10fps with a 14-bit buffer capacity of 200 Raws, or 79 Raws uncompressed. To test the claim I used an online stopwatch and captured exactly ten frames within a second. This high frame rate will attract anyone looking to shoot fast action and it’s ideal for me as a music photographer. Also new on this professional DX DSLR is a tilting 3.2-inch, 2359K-dot, touch LCD. The touchscreen allows you to review images easily by swiping across the screen to browse through shots, and you can also pinch to zoom in and check your shots are sharp. The touchscreen a new

also has its advantages when shooting in live view – simply tap a point on the screen where you want to focus and the camera will focus and automatically take a shot. I found the flip-out screen particularly useful when I was shooting architecture. For instance, during this test I found it really useful when shooting details in the ceiling of Peterborough Cathedral. Its only downside is that the movement of the LCD is quite stiff and it can’t be angled to suit shooting in a portrait composition. Design wise it follows a similar style to the D300, but instead has a mode button on the top left and two functions buttons, one on the back and one on the front. It also takes style from Nikon’s pro DSLRs with a circular eyepiece around the viewfinder and a sub selector. The inclusion of two Fn buttons, one on the back and one on the front, gives you the option to customise your shooting preferences, and the ISO button is now on the top of the camera next to the exposure compensation button. As I often bump up the ISO when shooting concerts this placement is perfect to quickly adjust it while shooting. One feature you won’t find on this camera is a built-in pop-up flash, I tend to use speedlights when shooting on location so the lack of a pop-up flash isn’t something that I miss and I’m sure most won’t either. The D500 has a dual slot memory, with one slot for an XQD and another for an SD card. For my test I used a Lexar Professional 32GB XQD card with read and write speeds of 440Mbps and also a SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB with 95Mbps speeds. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are built-in to the D500, allowing

For fast action the D500’s continuous high shooting offers up to 10fps with a 14- bit buffer capacity of 200 Raws...

you to connect your camera to Nikon’s SnapBridge app and import your images at full size or 2MB files to your device. You can also use your smartphone as a remote shutter release. Throughout my testing I took just under 800 images (shot in Raw and JPEG) with the Lexar XQD card, which amounted to over 25GB. The battery managed to last a good day with me shooting a lot of shots in continuous high mode at the motorcross track and also at the concert. I did also reviewmy images a number of times on the LCD. One thing I would advise you to avoid is to not leave the Bluetooth turned on when it’s not in use. I left the camera to download around 725 images and about 45 minutes later the camera’s

battery had drained by about 60%, which isn’t great. I used the Nikon 16-80mm f/2.8- 4E ED VR lens, which is the kit lens option for the D500. The key features for me were the new design, high continuous shooting speed and the improved ISO. It took me a while to get used to the new layout of buttons, but the placement of buttons such as ISOwas convenient, so it’s just a matter of getting used to the new location. For me the body is bigger and heavier than what I am used to shooting with on my D7000, but that’s to be expected. I found the exposure to be accurate and it performed well in low light with little recovery to be done in post-processing.

The D500 has all the functions you need at the tip of your fingers with image quality, white-balance, mode and metering mode on the left hand and ISO and exposure comp on the top right. There are also two function buttons on the back for customisation.

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