D5 from Nikon – Latest News

The Nikon D5 – more news & musings

D5b D5 from Nikon   Latest News

Well, the grapevine is saying that Nikon Europe will only be supplying the Dual XQD-slot version – not a bad thing in my opinion as I really like the speed increase of XQD over traditional CF.

Rumour also has it that the 30 second 4K UHD video record limit of 3 minutes is going to be increased to match the D500 30 minute capabilities.  There is some speculation as to whether this will be a “straight 30 minutes” or a 10x 3 minute sequential file recording method (WOW…..I can see that option going down like a lead balloon!).

Nikon Rumours have got their hands on a rather interesting 17 page Nikon Support internal  “CONFIDENTIAL” document about the Nikon D5. marked for limited distribution, with the instruction that the information can only be given to customers on a one to one basis.  This is a MUST READ folks:


There is also one for the D500 HERE

On the AF side of the new D5 equation, with its 153 AF points, don’t forget:

  • Only 55 of those are “selectable” – that’s just 4 more than the D4/4S
  • The total AF frame area coverage is only marginally larger on the D5 than it is on the D4/4S

So there are 98 AF points that the camera has full control of AND YOU DON’T – let’s hope they are singing off the same hymn sheet as the camera operator ALL THE TIME.

In my opinion Nikon have basically tried to re-invent the wheel somewhat with this vast number of AF points.  Canons 61 point Reticular AF unit is a damnable good standard which Nikon could have added to simply by increasing the FX frame area coverage with an extra 10 to 20 AF points.

But NOOOOOO…………..Nikon couldn’t possibly think of doing something quite so logical.

To be brutally honest, there’s a chance that Nikon have failed in the D5 to conceive a camera that meets the full requirements of the photographers it’s theoretically aimed at – the pro photograher; especially when you consider the D5 price point.

Instead, it looks to me as if they may have concieved the right thing, then added to it in order to make the camera appeal to that unique bracket of consumer – the one with more money than sense!

Let me qualify somewhat –  a proper “pro” knows what they are doing, knows their kit inside out, thinks on their feet, and can make settings decissions ‘on the fly’ virtually without thinking about them.

Give him or her a camera with 98 AF sensors that they can’t control – and the first thing they are going to look for is some way of turning the things OFF; just like they do with VR!

But turning them off is not an option, and the majority of Nikon pro users I’ve spoken to are of the same frame of mind as me – we are suspicious.  Yes the Multi-CAM3500 AF system wasn’t perfect and was in desperate need of improvement – but bloody hell Nikon, did it have to be quite so damn radical!

It’s all very well Nikon showing cool action jpgs on their website and promo material – but these are meaningless.  All the shots could have been taken on a D3 for all we know – yes, sharp action photographs were possible back then too.

What they don’t show you is a high speed sequence of 30 or 40+ full resolution images shot at 10 fps – only THAT would actually prove that the new fangled AF system actually does all that it’s hyped up to do.

On the flip-side, as I mentioned in my previous D5 related post, at least Nikon have given us access to the one thing AF-wise that was missing; an equivalent to Canon Accel/Decel tracking – but they could give that to D4/4S owners with a simple firmware upgrade – yeah they could, ‘cos it’s already there in the form of preset differences between 9 & 21 point Dynamic Area AF.  But they don’t tell you that!

At the end of my previous post I said I wanted to get my hands on a D5 now – and I still do.  But I never said anything about paying for it upfront or sight-unseen.  I only buy ‘stuff’ that I KNOW works; and I only tell you guys ‘n gals about equipment once I KNOW how well it does its job.

Until I’ve given the D5 a thorough work-out I’m just going to advise a bit of buyer-caution though – the beast might be brilliant, but then again it might not, once you peel back the hype and look at the nitty-gritty.  And £5200 is a big sum to gamble with.

Come on Nikon, have the courage of your own convictions and send a D5 to your Uncle Andy – let him prove his suspicions wrong; let him set out to prove the D5 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – and fail miserably!




Nikon D5

Nikon D5 – My Initial Thoughts

0632 25482 das front Nikon D5

Nikon D5

My initial thoughts/questions about this much-awaited offering from Nikon have always revolved around ONE item – AUTOFOCUS.

For a long time Canon have had the march on Nikon in the AF department – simply because of the “customisation” of the cameras AF operating criteria Canon give their users.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the speed machine Canon 1DX in comparison with Nikons D4/D4S.

Nikon have only ever allowed a customisable Focus Tracking with lock-on (FTLo):

D3C6345 Nikon D5

Whereas Canon give us:

DSC3994 Nikon D5

Nikon FTLo equates directly with Canon Tracking Sensitivity (TS), but Canon gives you custom control over Acceleration/Deceleration Tracking (ADT) – something that Nikon have consistently failed to do.

On the D4S etc there are two ADT presets, but you can’t access them directly because they are hidden inside the Dynamic Area AF modes.

I’m not going to explain in detail what ADT and TS/FTLo do – for that you’ll need to obtain my AF Guide HERE – but in very simple terms Canon TS/Nikon FTLo control the autofocus system resistance to MAJOR CHANGE and Canon ADT controls its resistance to MINOR CHANGE – two massively different variants that can effect huge differences in autofocus performance on moving subjects.

And it’s this lack of control over resistance to MINOR change independent of MAJOR change resistance settings on Nikon that is responsible for the superiority of the Canon system.

So, Nikon had the opportunity to draw level with Canon on this front with the new D5.

Have they done so?

Well, they won’t lend me one to test, and I can’t afford to order one, but after doing some digging around I find the answer (in principle anyway):

d5af Nikon D5

Nikon D5 and D500 Autofocus customisable settings.

YES – they have (as long as it works in practise that is!).

The FTLo menu now has two variables – Blocked Shot Response; which is the conventional Nikon custom control though under a name/title that’s more indicative of its function.

But now Nikon offer us Subject Motion too – and it’s this control function that I’ve been crying out for.  This equates to Canon ADT or Acceleration/Deceleration tracking.

My experiences with Canon have always led me to discount -2 and +2 ADT settings, as in my own Bird in Flight photography terms they bring nothing to the table.  So perhaps Nikon have really done their homework for once.

The other improvement I like is the 2x XQD slot option for the Nikon D5 – that would make my life a heck of a lot easier for sure.

Nothing else really excites me about the new Nikon D5 – and the touch screen on the back might prove to be less than a fun thing when wearing gloves in -20C conditions.

But the potential for the new Multicam 20K AF system is what excites me the most; it theoretically puts this DSLr body at the top of the pile for wildlife photography.

It’s not often I see a new body that I wish I could get my hands on immediately but the D5 is different – I want one NOW!


It would appear that there is a short-coming on the D5 4K video recording facility – see here.

For recording stock clips this wouldn’t be a problem for me, but a maximum of 3 minutes of 4K recording might not suite everyone.  Is there a sensor over-heat problem?

Strangely the D500 can do 30 minutes with a cropped sensor – which should run hotter you’d think.

If there are things “wrong” with the D5 now, and they are not corrected by the time they hit the retailers, or by the first firmware update BE CAREFUL…

This is where D4 buyers got caught out – they wait 12 months and bring out an S-version.