Las Vegas, NV—Nikon unveiled a new flagship FX-format professional DSLR camera—the Nikon D5. The camera boasts new imaging innovations, including a Nikon-developed 20.8 megapixel CMOS sensor. It also boasts a 153-point AF system, 4K UHD video capture and an Expeed 5 image processor.
Also announced were the D500 DX-format DSLR with pro-level features and the WT-6A wireless transmitter. In addition, Nikon introduced the SB-5000 Speedlight. The SB-5000 is Nikon’s first radio frequency (RF) controlled flash.
“The D5 doesn’t simply get the shot that others might miss. It helps get the shot that others just simply cannot,” said Masahiro Horie, director, Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “With these new products, it becomes evident that photographers who choose Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses are equipped with an unrivaled system to surpass even the most demanding imaging expectations.”
Engineered to provide an ideal balance of resolution, low-light ability, system speed and processing power, the D5 introduces many technological firsts for Nikon. These include enhanced low-light performance with a native ISO range from 100 to 102,400. And advancements in noise reduction and processing help capture low-noise images said to be previously impossible. The D5 also affords the ability to use higher shutter speeds with minimal illumination. Its next-generation autofocus system is said to perform in near darkness. The system acquires focus in as little as EV-4 illumination. Furthermore, for extreme low light, the ISO range is expandable from 50 (Lo-1) to 3,280,000 (Hi-5). Nikon says this provides “near-night vision capability that’s well beyond the visibility of the human eye.” The ISO range is also available while recording 4K UHD video.
Nikon’s Expeed 5 engine is built for enhanced camera performance to deliver low-noise, high-speed processing and the additional power needed for 4K UHD video. Specs state the D5 can capture images at 12 frames per second (fps) with full autoexposure and autofocus. Users can also shoot at 14 fps with fixed focus and exposure and the mirror locked up. And an extended buffer lets them shoot 200 frames of 14-bit lossless RAW/NEF files + JPG fine. The processor is also engineered to be 25% more efficient, for up to 3,780 shots per charge.
The D5 also employs an all-new AF system with Nikon’s first dedicated AF processor. The Multi-CAM 20K AF sensor module has 153 AF points. These include 99 cross-type sensors—triple the AF points from Nikon’s previous D4S flagship. Of these 153 points, 55 AF points/35 cross-type points are selectable by photographers to frame any shot. The system is configurable in 153-, 72- and 25-point coverage when used with continuous AF. This allows for AF tracking of rapidly moving subjects throughout the frame. Fifteen of the AF points are also functional up to f/8, further aiding those who require extreme telephoto capabilities. In addition, the AF system is coupled with a new 180K-pixel RGB metering system and an advanced scene recognition system. They work to help achieve optimally balanced exposures and accurate white balance in challenging light.
The D5 is the first Nikon DSLR capable of capturing 4K UHD video (3,840×2,160 at 30p). It also creates 4K time-lapse videos in-camera via a time-lapse movie function. And it can create 8MP still images from frame grabs. It also records Full HD 1080p video at a variety of frame rates. Other video features include uncompressed HDMI out as well as simultaneous live view and headphone/microphone connections. The camera adds a feature to smooth exposure transitions using the auto ISO function and exposure compensation to create natural-looking exposure transitions in video.
The Nikon D5 also features rugged construction and weather sealing, coupled with a familiar yet enhanced Nikon interface. A 3.2-inch, 2359K-dot LCD adds touch-screen functionality. Using the touch screen, users can pinch, zoom, swipe and scrub in playback. They can also enter text faster than before. Buttons and dials illuminate for enhanced visibility, while two additional function buttons were added for increased customization.
Other features include: a quick release mode setting for rapid access to release mode settings; a new shutter and mirror sequencing mechanism to nearly eliminate blackout time and mirror slap for consistent views during high-speed shooting; a shutter tested for 400K actuations; and the capability to shoot smaller RAW Size S or M files (12-bit, uncompressed) for greater flexibility when transferring batches of files from the field while retaining image integrity.
The D5 supports XQD memory cards, which are up to 35% faster than CF cards. To appeal to a wide variety of photographers, the camera will be available in two versions, with either dual XQD card slots or with dual CF card capability. Photographers can also use the built-in 1,000 Base-T 400MBps Ethernet connection for image transfer, with speeds up to 1.5x faster than the D4S.
New Imaging Accessories for the D5
In addition, when paired with the WR-R10 wireless remote controller (transceiver) and WR-A10 wireless remote adapter, the D5 can interface with Nikon’s newest Speedlight, the
RF-controlled SB-5000. A Nikon first, the flash operates via radio frequency and without a direct line of sight for a range of approximately 98 feet. Photographers can place lights in different rooms, around corners and work in bright ambient light. When paired with the WR-R10 and the D5 or the new D500, this Speedlight controls six groups (A-F) or 18 Speedlights. It’s also possible to perform wireless lighting using either radio-controlled (three groups) and/or optical-controlled units (three groups) by attaching an optical-control Nikon Speedlight or the SU-800 commander (as a master or commander unit) and a WR-R10 (as a commander) onto the D5.
The smaller SB-5000 Speedlight also includes its own internal cooling system, to prevent overheating of the flash panel from consecutive firings. As a result, the SB-5000 is said to fire consecutively for longer than conventional models, without flash cool-down time between bursts, and fire up to 120 continuous shots at 5-sec intervals. Controls were also refined, with the addition of an “i” button for access to frequently used settings. The design also integrates bounce ability, with the flash head capable of tilting down to -7° or up to 90° and rotate horizontally 180° to the left and right.
The Nikon D5 will be available in March for a suggested retail price of $6,499.95. The Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight also will be available in March for $599.95. The WT-6A Wireless Transmitter will ship in March for $749.95. nikonusa.com