Nikon D500 £1730/$1800
Meet Nikon’s new all-action hero
Its spectacular autofocus tracking abilities, dependable metering and rapid drive rate really help it to nail action shots
Not since the venerable D300s have we seen a pro-grade DX-format camera, and the D500 inherits the same pro-style control system. With no conventional shooting mode dial and a complete lack of scene modes here, there’s just a button for accessing PASM modes. The construction feels suitably robust for a pro-spec body and, more unusually for this class of camera, there’s a tilting touchscreen.
High-octane thrills include a fast 1/8000 sec maximum shutter speed and 10fps drive rate, along with an impressively cavernous memory buffer that is able to accommodate up to 200 quick-fire shots in RAW quality mode. This makes the D500 a great upgrade choice for action, sports, wildlife and any other subject where you need to be quick on the draw. The DX format also pays dividends when you need to boost the effective reach of telephoto lenses.
Under the hood, the D500 shares many of the top-flight fancies of the D5. These include a new 153-point Multi-CAM 20k autofocus system and 180k pixel 3D Colour Matrix III metering module, plus a new generation EXPEED 5 image processor. Dual memory slots include a high-speed XQD slot as well as a more conventional SD slot. Both cameras offer 4K UHD movie capture, but the D500 beats its big brother for connectivity, with built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth.
The Nikon D500 is all about performance. Its spectacular autofocus tracking abilities, dependable metering and rapid drive rate really help it to nail action shots, even in the most challenging conditions. Our only real reservation is that, despite a modest megapixel count of 20.9Mp, and a sensitivity range that stretches all the way to ISO1,640,000 in expanded mode, high-ISO images are noticeably noisier than those from the D750.