So it wasn’t the D400, or the D9300 but actually turned out to be the D500 as announced this week at the Comsumer Electronics show in Las vegas.
Many of us wildlife (and probably sports) photographers have been waiting a long time for a worthy successor to the D300/D300s as the D7100 and 7200 didn’t quite make us go wow….
Well here it is – (linked from Nikon page)
So what does it do that I’m personally interested in?
In no particular order….
10 Frames per second – compared to the 6 frames per second of the D7200 (7 frames if in crop mode) this will improve the chance of capturing that important moment when you only get a fleeting chance at the shot. The mores frames that are captured the more chance that your subject is in a pleasing position and don’t have issues like the eye covered by a wing beat. I’m not one to just machine gun my shutter but I’m pleased the option is there if I need to. That leads us to the buffer. The faux pas that was the buffer on the D7100 (filling up in just 7 frames in lossless 12 bit RAW) was “corrected” in the D7200 to 27 shots. The first time I took out my D7100 I had a Great White Egret do a stunning fly past and I filled the buffer in..a little over a second. The D500 has a buffer of 200!!! in 14 Bit lossless so even more when shooting at 12 bit. That’s the end of any buffer issue as far as I can see. I should mention that the D500 is 20.9 megapixel so this is using slightly smaller files.
Improved autofocus coverage – ” Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, and 153 focus points (including 99 cross sensors and 15 sensors that support f/8), of which 55 (35 cross sensors and 9 f/8 sensors) are available for selection”. Again quite an improvement on the D7200 – will have to wait until March to see how good it really is. There is also a mention that the low light autofocus has been improved again, down to -4EV. For me this really helps when shooting badgers as an example, when I don’t want any additional lighting aside from the flash pulse.
Expeed 5 processor – improved image quality and (I’m hoping) better noise handling. This is the same processor as it’s big brother the D5 (announced at the same time). Due to the way the sensors work, the DX sensor will never achieve the low noise of the full frame but any improvement in this area is a big deal. Looking forward to trying this out.
Dedicated AF-ON button – Always been a fan of back button focus (you can program this on the other bodies) but here on the 500 it is dedicated.
Tilting viewfinder – Now this isn’t something that everyone would use but I can say for sure it will save me some pain, literally. When involved in low down macro I would use this and also when setting my camera for remote shooting, when it’s left at ground level, I don’t need to lay on the floor to try and work out if I’ve positioned it correctly. I know you can get an extra eyepiece for this but – it’s now not needed.
4K UHD Video – having recently been wowed by 4K tv, this is something I’d like to get into more.
The full lowdown can be found HERE on the Nikon page
Looking forward to March!