Nikon D5 £5100/$6500

A full-frame speed de­mon, rein­vented

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

The lat­est in Nikon’s pres­tige line of flag­ship, pro-grade cam­eras, the D5 is cer­tainly im­pos­ing, with its built-in ver­ti­cal grip and du­pli­cated con­trols for both por­trait and land­scape-ori­en­ta­tion shoot­ing. Weigh­ing in at 1.4kg, it’s also a real heavy­weight, and boasts a rock-solid build qual­ity that’s de­signed to take the knocks of a pun­ish­ing pro life­style.

Ar­guably the most ‘ul­ti­mate’ upgrade, the D5 is favoured by busy pro­fes­sional shoot­ers who need to pho­to­graph any­thing and ev­ery­thing. As such, it has a rel­a­tively mod­est 20.8Mp im­age sen­sor that helps to en­able a blis­ter­ingly fast max­i­mum drive rate of 12fps. You can ramp it up to 14fps with the mir­ror locked up be­tween shots, but if you do this con­tin­u­ous aut­o­fo­cus and me­ter­ing on a shot-to-shot ba­sis will be dis­abled.

New-gen­er­a­tion aut­o­fo­cus and me­ter­ing sys­tems work flaw­lessly, as in the DX-for­mat D500, but with­out any in­crease in pixel count over the D500, the FX-for­mat D5 main­tains stun­ning im­age qual­ity even at very high ISO set­tings. In­deed, it has a mon­ster sen­si­tiv­ity range of ISO100-102,400, ris­ing to an in­cred­i­ble ISO3,280,000 in ex­panded mode.

While it’s cer­tainly not the only Nikon to fea­ture dual card slots, here you can choose one with ei­ther Com­pactFlash or XQD slots. Bat­tery life is pretty ex­treme too, at 3780 shots be­tween charges.


Aut­o­fo­cus and me­ter­ing are just as im­pres­sive as they are in the D500, with su­perb reli­a­bil­ity and con­sis­tency for both static and ac­tion shots. All-round per­for­mance is sim­ply spec­tac­u­lar and, de­spite its lower megapixel count, the D5 matches the D750 for RAW res­o­lu­tion lab scores. Sur­pris­ingly, how­ever, there’s no re­duc­tion in im­age noise com­pared with the D750, at sen­si­tiv­ity set­tings up to and in­clud­ing ISO12800.

The D5 is favoured by busy pro­fes­sional shoot­ers who need to pho­to­graph any­thing and ev­ery­thing

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