Nikon D5

Nikon D5 front
  • 21MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 3.2" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 102400 (Push to 3280000)
  • 1/8000s Max Shutter
  • 3840 x 2160 video
  • Nikon F Mount
  • 1415g - 160 x 158.5 x 92mm
  • Announced January 2016
  • Old Model is Nikon D4s
  • Newer Model is Nikon D6
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Nikon D5 overview

Nikon D5 is Nikon's Pro DSLR digital camera first announced on January of 2016. It houses a 21 MegaPixel, CMOS Full frame sized sensor and has a peak resolution of 5588 x 3712.

Nikon introduced this model as a way to upgrade the earlier Nikon D4s (Read Full Comparison) and subsequently introduced the updated Nikon D6 (Read Full Comparison) in order to upgrade this model.

The D5 is positioned #4 out of 35 in Pro DSLR cameras and all around #102 out of 1465 for cameras in our collection. You can check out our Advanced camera finder to get camera ratings based on your custom factors.

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The following is a diagram of different criteria used in the scoring system.

Nikon D5 history

The Nikon D5 is part of a family of products. You can read the full range underneath.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Nikon-D6 front thumbnailNikon D6
D5 vs D6
21MPFull frame14.0 fps2020
Nikon-D5 front thumbnailNikon D521MPFull frame14.0 fps2016
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Nikon-D4s front thumbnailNikon D4s
D5 vs D4s
16MPFull frame11.0 fps2014
Nikon-D4 front thumbnailNikon D4
D5 vs D4
16MPFull frame11.0 fps2012
Nikon-D3S front thumbnailNikon D3S
D5 vs D3S
12MPFull frame11.0 fps2010
Nikon-D3X front thumbnailNikon D3X
D5 vs D3X
25MPFull frame5.0 fps2009
Photography Glossary
Nikon-D3 front thumbnailNikon D3
D5 vs D3
12MPFull frame11.0 fps2008

Nikon D5 Pros and Cons

Below is a list of upsides and downsides of the Nikon D5 based on aspects which are generally seen as important in a digital camera.

2 card slots
builtin Top screen
decent MP (21 megapixels)
exports RAW files
focusing manually
good battery power (3,780 shots)
great ISO range (102,400)
great max shutter speed (1/8,000s)
great min ISO (100)
high quality video (3840 x 2160 pixels)
includes HDMI out
includes headphone support
includes microphone support
nice clear screen (2,359 k dots)
provides face detect autofocus
provides tracking focus
screen is touchscreen
screen size is decent (3.2")
sensor has phase detect autofocus
sensor size is great (Full frame)
swap lenses (Nikon F mount)
weather proofing
lack of image stabilization
screen is fixed
screen isn't selfie friendly
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Nikon D5 Sensor specifications

The Nikon D5 is run by the Expeed 5 processor. The sensor spec on the Nikon D5 is 35.8mm x 23.9mm (Full frame). The 856 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 5588 x 3712 pixels at aspect ratios of 1:1, 5:4, 4:3 and 3:2.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 21 megapixels and delivers a standard ISO range of 100 to 102400. This ISO can also be increased digitally to a high of 3280000. RAW photos are saved so the user has wider room to maneuver in post.

The picture underneath displays the D5's sensor dimensions when compared to other popular sizes. The D5 sensor comes with a crop factor of 1 and is shown in green.

Nikon D5 sensor size Pentax 17 Pre-Orders Outperform Expectations by a Landslide

To get an idea of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Nikon D5 dimensions

Nikon D5 has a weight of 3.12 pounds (1,415 gr or 49.91 ounces) and the sizing of the camera is 160mm x 158.5mm x 92mm (6.3" x 6.2" x 3.6"). The weight of general Pro DSLR camera is 1,280 gr and the Nikon D5 is weightier when compared with various rivals.

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Down below is a shot of the Nikon D5 alongside a soft drink to help you have a sense of its scale.

Nikon D5 dimensions scale

The top view under will illustrate the button layout on the D5.

Nikon D5 topview buttons dials

Nikon D5 Lens specifications

The D5 works with the Nikon F mount and has 315 lenses to pick from. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our collection which will fit the D5.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Sigma-18-250mm-F3.5-6.3-DC-Macro-OS-HSM-Nikon-F-DX lensSigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM18-250mmf/3.5-6.3 470g
Nikon-AF-S-Nikkor-28-300mm-f3.5-5.6G-ED-VR lensNikon AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR28-300mmf/3.5-5.6 800g
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Tokina-AT-X-Pro-50-135mm-f2.8-DX-Nikon-F-DX lensTokina AT-X Pro 50-135mm f2.8 DX50-135mmf/2.8 845g
Nikon-AF-S-Nikkor-400mm-f2.8D-ED-IF-II lensNikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f2.8D ED-IF II400mmf/2.8 4800g
Nikon-AF-Nikkor-70-300mm-f4-5.6G lensNikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6G70-300mmf/4.0-5.6 425g
Sigma-40mm-F1.4-DG-HSM-A-Nikon-F-FX lensSigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM A40mmf/1.40g
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Sigma-300-800mm-F5.6-EX-DG-HSM-Nikon-F-FX lensSigma 300-800mm F5.6 EX DG HSM300-800mmf/5.6 5880g
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Nikon D5 Connectivity

The D5 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Cameras that feature NFC or Bluetooth compatibility can easily be used wirelessly by smartphones. You will be able to transfer files and in some cases adjust settings without the hassle of connecting physically to the camera.

Some applications even enable a Liveview and press the shutter when you aren't near the camera. If the camera boasts a HDMI out, it could be attached to an external screen. Almost all cameras enable you to recharge the battery through the USB port.

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Nikon D5 Video specifications

The highest video resolution on the Nikon D5 is 3840 x 2160 and it can capture in MPEG-4 and H.264 file format. 2160p offers a outstanding resolution for video recording. You will be able to crop to Full HD to get better results. Beware of the huge file sizes and ensure you get decent SD cards that have fast write speeds. The body does have both headphone and microphone support making it extremely valuable while capturing audio.

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Nikon D5 Weather Sealing

Nikon D5 features weather sealing making it a great candidate to use during rough locations. This can be particularly useful if you are uncertain about the elements you might face during outdoor photography.

Nikon D5 Screen and Viewfinder

The Nikon D5 is equipped with a 3.2" fixed screen boasting a resolution of 2,359k dots.

Additionally the screen is touch friendly so you will be able to set focus points plus change settings using your fingertips. The D5 also has a builtin Top screen in order to quickly see camera settings.

Nikon D5 screen and viewfinder Sora from OpenAI releases its first ever music video

The View Finder specifications regarding Nikon D5 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • ViewFinder Coverage 100 percent
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.72x

In those sunny outdoor situations which make the camera screens washed out and tricky to view, viewfinders can be rather valuable.

Nikon D5 Shutter specifications

Nikon D5 has the ability to shoot continuously at 14.0 frames per second. The max shutter speed is 1/8000 sec.

Photography Glossary

Nikon D5 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Nikon D5 boasts external flash ability but is without built in flash.

Nikon D5 Autofocus specifications

Nikon D5 boasts both Phase Detect Autofocus and Contrast Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is more snappier and accurate when compared with Contrast Detect focusing. The camera supports Face detection making it helpful for portraits.

The Sensor supports 153 focus points to select from. It also boasts Tracking Autofocus for objects that move. Nikon D5 supports manual focus when needed during low light conditions or you need more exact focus control.

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Nikon D5 Battery life

The battery power (EN-EL18a) on the Nikon D5 is built to last for 3780 photographs according to the CIPA requirements which is higher than average when compared to its class. The typical Pro DSLR camera battery life is 2438. Nikon D3X comes with the highest (4400) battery life within this category of cameras.

Listed below is a number of Pro DSLR cameras which have the highest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Nikon-D3X front thumbnailNikon D3X
D5 vs D3X
4400 yesnono
Nikon-D3 front thumbnailNikon D3
D5 vs D3
4300 yesnono
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Nikon-D3S front thumbnailNikon D3S
D5 vs D3S
4200 yesnono
Nikon-D5 front thumbnailNikon D53780 yesnono
Nikon-D6 front thumbnailNikon D6
D5 vs D6
3580 yesnoyes

Nikon D5 for different categories of photography

The following graph displays a overview of the Nikon D5 for different categories of photography. To check out more, check out the specific section underneath.

Nikon D5 as a Portrait photography camera

The Nikon D5 has a points tally of 82 which is superb, meaning that it is a great option to use for portrait photos. Shooting portrait photos leans heavily to sensor dimension, RAW support and capability to use off-camera lighting.

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has manual focus
resolution is good (21 megapixels)
sensor size is big (Full frame)
supports face detection focus
exports RAW formats

Nikon D5 as a Street photography camera

With a moderate rating of 60, the Nikon D5 is somewhat appropriate to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera has a good balance of picture quality plus portability.

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sensor size is big (Full frame)
delivers RAW formats
weather proofing
very good ISO range (102,400)
screen is fixed
lack of image stabilization

Nikon D5 Sports photography features

A great sports photography points total of 78 suggests the Nikon D5 is a terrific option for photographing sports. A camera should have good focusing plus fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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great max shutter speed (1/8,000s)
good MP (21MP)
great sensor size (Full frame)
includes tracking autofocus
environment proofing
great battery pack (3,780 shots)
comes with phase detect auto focus
does not have image stabilization

Nikon D5 Travel photography features

Portability is very critical in choosing a travel camera. All things considered, the Nikon D5 gets a above average 64 for a travelling camera which makes it a good fit to buy for your vacations.

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better than average battery power (3,780 per charge)
weather proof
good MP (21 megapixels)
doesn't have a selfie friendly display

Nikon D5 Landscape photography features

In case you're planning to buy a digital camera for landscape photographs, the most vital factor will be image quality. The Nikon D5 with it's outstanding rating of 78 for a landscape camera is a great pick compared to its competitors.

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has manual focus
change lenses (Nikon F mount)
pretty good screen size (3.2")
sensor resolution is decent (21 megapixels)
large sensor size (Full frame)
very good high ISO (102,400)
saves RAW files
weather proofing
better than average battery (3,780 shots)
has double storage slots
no image stabilization

Nikon D5 as a Vlogging camera

A camera for vlogging ought to come with a moving display, mic port and ideally image stabilization. Taking all things into account, the Nikon D5 is not acceptable as a vlog camera as it comes to a dreadful rating of 30.

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touchscreen capability
has face detect focus
video resolution high (3840 x 2160 resolution)
includes microphone jack
screen is not selfie friendly
no image stabilization

Nikon D5 Alternatives

If you want replacements to the D5, here is a number of the highest ranked cameras that fall under the family of Pro DSLR.

The diagram just below will give you an overview of the D5 vs it's highest ranked rivals mentioned earlier.

Here are a few more cameras you may consider as alternative options. To see a detailed comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Nikon D5
Physical type
Large SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Expeed 5
Sensor size
Full frame
Sensor measurements
35.8 x 23.9mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
21 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 5:4, 4:3 and 3:2
Maximum resolution
5588 x 3712
RAW support
Maximum native ISO
Maximum boosted ISO
Lowest native ISO
Focus manually
Touch focus
AF continuous
Single AF
Tracking AF
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detection AF
Contract detection AF
Phase detection AF
Number of focus points
Cross focus points
Lens mounting type
Nikon F
Available lenses
Crop factor
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
Resolution of screen
2,359k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch capability
Viewfinder Information
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
100 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Lowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Highest shutter speed
1/8000 seconds
Continuous shooting rate
14.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Set WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash range
no built-in flash
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions
4K (UHD) 30p/25p/24p, 1080/60p/50p/30p/25p/24p, 720/60p/50p
Maximum video resolution
Video data format
MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone support
Headphone support
USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
1415 grams (3.12 lbs)
Physical dimensions
160 x 158.5 x 92mm (6.3" x 6.2" x 3.6")
Battery life
3780 photographs
Battery style
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Storage type
Dual CompactFlash or dual XQD
Card slots
Cost at launch