Nikon D500

Nikon D500 front
  • 21MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3.2" Tilting Screen
  • ISO 100 - 51200 (Boost to 1640000)
  • No Anti-Alias Filter
  • 1/8000s Max Shutter
  • 3840 x 2160 video
  • Nikon F Mount
  • 860g - 147 x 115 x 81mm
  • Announced January 2016
  • Replaced the Nikon D300S
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Nikon D500 overview

Nikon D500 is Nikon's Advanced DSLR digital camera first released on January of 2016. It comes with a 21 MegaPixel, CMOS APS-C size sensor with a peak resolution of 5568 x 3712.

Nikon introduced this model in order to upgrade the previous Nikon D300S (Read Full Comparison)

The D500 is ranked #15 out of 92 in Advanced DSLR cameras and all around #103 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. You can try our Advanced camera filter to get camera ratings based on your custom factors.

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Below is a chart of different criteria used in the scoring system.

Nikon D500 history

The Nikon D500 is part of a family of cameras. You can read the full list below.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Nikon-D7500 front thumbnailNikon D7500
D500 vs D7500
21MPAPS-C8.0 fps2017
Nikon-D500 front thumbnailNikon D50021MPAPS-C10.0 fps2016
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Nikon-D7200 front thumbnailNikon D7200
D500 vs D7200
24MPAPS-C6.0 fps2015
Nikon-D7100 front thumbnailNikon D7100
D500 vs D7100
24MPAPS-C6.0 fps2013
Nikon-D7000 front thumbnailNikon D7000
D500 vs D7000
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2010
Nikon-D300S front thumbnailNikon D300S
D500 vs D300S
12MPAPS-C7.0 fps2009
Photography Glossary
Nikon-D90 front thumbnailNikon D90
D500 vs D90
12MPAPS-C4.5 fps2008
Nikon-D300 front thumbnailNikon D300
D500 vs D300
12MPAPS-C6.0 fps2008
Nikon-D80 front thumbnailNikon D80
D500 vs D80
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2006
Nikon-D200 front thumbnailNikon D200
D500 vs D200
10MPAPS-C5.0 fps2006
Nikon-D50 front thumbnailNikon D50
D500 vs D50
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2005
Japan-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 3 features big sensor and new modes
Nikon-D70s front thumbnailNikon D70s
D500 vs D70s
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2005
Nikon-D70 front thumbnailNikon D70
D500 vs D70
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2004
Nikon-D100 front thumbnailNikon D100
D500 vs D100
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2002

Nikon D500 Pros and Cons

Here is a collection of positives and negatives of the Nikon D500 based on factors that are oftentimes seen as useful in a digital camera.

decent MP (21 megapixels)
exports RAW formats
focusing manually
good battery power (1,240 shots)
good ISO range (51,200)
good min ISO (100)
good resolution screen (2,359 k dot)
good sensor size (APS-C)
great max shutter speed (1/8,000s)
has bluetooth
has dual storage slots
has Top LCD screen
high quality video (3840 x 2160 pixels)
includes face detect autofocus
includes HDMI support
includes headphone jack
includes microphone jack
includes tracking focus
NFC support
no anti aliasing filter
offers focus via touch
screen size is good (3.2")
screen tilts
sensor has phase detect autofocus
swap lenses (Nikon F mount)
touchscreen enabled
weather proof
doesn't contain selfie friendly screen
no image stabilization
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Nikon D500 Sensor information

The Nikon D500 houses the Expeed 5 processor chip. The sensor spec in the Nikon D500 is 23.5mm x 15.7mm (APS-C). The 369 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 5568 x 3712 pixels with aspect ratios of 3:2.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 21 megapixels and gives a standard ISO range of 100 - 51200. The ISO can also be increased electronically to 50 - 1640000. RAW format is saved so the user has more room to maneuver in post.

Nikon chose to omit the anti aliasing filter in the Nikon D500. This might result in more sharp photographs but can introduce moire under some circumstances.

The graphic below illustrates the D500's sensor size when compared to other popular sizes. The D500 sensor comes with a crop factor of 1.5 and is pointed out in green.

Nikon D500 sensor size Photobucket discusses licensing 13 billion images with AI firms

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

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Nikon D500 dimensions

Nikon D500 weighs in at 1.90 pounds (860g or 30.34 ounces) and the size of the camera is 147mm x 115mm x 81mm (5.8" x 4.5" x 3.2"). The weight of general Advanced DSLR camera is 776g so the Nikon D500 is heavier compared to its rivals.

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Below is a pic of the Nikon D500 beside a soft drink to help you have a sense of its size.

Nikon D500 dimensions scale

The top view directly below will illustrate the button layout on the D500.

Nikon D500 topview buttons dials

Nikon D500 Lens information

The D500 fits the Nikon F mount and has 315 lenses that you can purchase. Here is a small number of the lenses we have in our collection that will fit the D500.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Nikon-AF-P-DX-NIKKOR-18-55mm-F3.5-5.6G-VR lensNikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR18-55mmf/3.5-5.6 205g
Nikon-AF-Nikkor-50mm-f1.4D lensNikon AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4D50mmf/1.4 230g
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Sigma-70-200-F2.8-DG-OS-HSM-S-Nikon-F-FX lensSigma 70-200 F2.8 DG OS HSM S70-200mmf/2.8 0g
Nikon-AF-S-DX-Nikkor-17-55mm-f2.8G-ED-IF lensNikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8G ED-IF17-55mmf/2.8 755g
Nikon-AF-S-Nikkor-300mm-f4D-ED-IF lensNikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4D ED-IF300mmf/4.0 1440g
Sigma-85mm-F1.4-DG-HSM-Art-Nikon-F-FX lensSigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art85mmf/1.41130g
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Nikon-AF-S-Nikkor-200mm-f2G-ED-IF-VR lensNikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f2G ED-IF VR200mmf/2.0 2900g
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Nikon D500 Connectivity

The D500 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • NFC Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Cameras that incorporate NFC and Bluetooth support can easily be used wirelessly by smartphones. You can transfer files and at times alter settings without the hassle of connecting physically with the camera.

Some apps also allow a Liveview and press the shutter whenever you aren't near the camera. If the camera has a HDMI out, it could be hooked up to an external display. A lot of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery through the USB port.

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Nikon D500 Video information

The highest video resolution in the Nikon D500 is 3840 x 2160 and it can save in MPEG-4 and H.264 file format. 2160p will provide a great resolution for video. You will be able to downsample to Full HD in order to get better video. Be wary of the large file sizes and ensure you own good SD cards with good write speeds. The body does have both headphone and microphone jack making it really valuable whilst capturing sound.

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Nikon D500 Weather Sealing

Nikon D500 has weather sealing making it a very good choice to use during challenging locations. This is particularly helpful whenever you are not sure about the elements you may face during outdoor photography.

Nikon D500 Screen and Viewfinder

The Nikon D500 comes with a 3.2" tilting screen with a resolution of 2,359k dots.

Additionally the screen is touch friendly so you will be able to shift focus point plus change settings using your fingertips. The D500 also includes a Top LCD screen so that you can quickly view your settings.

Nikon D500 screen and viewfinder Photography Glossary

The View Finder details regarding Nikon D500 are below:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • ViewFinder Coverage 100 percent
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.66x

In those bright outdoor situations that make the camera screens washed out and difficult to view, viewfinders are pretty useful.

Nikon D500 Shutter information

Nikon D500 continuous shooting speed is 10.0 frames/s. The max shutter speed is 1/8000s.

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Nikon D500 Flash and Hot shoe information

Nikon D500 has got external flash ability but is lacking in-built flash. The max flash sync speed is 1/250s.

Nikon D500 Autofocus information

Nikon D500 has got both Phase Detect Autofocus and Contrast Based Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is more quicker and accurate compared to Contrast Based focusing. The camera comes with Face detection making it valuable for portraits.

The Sensor comes with 153 focus points to pick from. Nikon D500 has touch to focus. You can easily use your fingers in order to switch where you focus. It also has Tracking Autofocus for objects on the move. Nikon D500 features manual focusing in case it is needed during low light or you want more accurate control on focusing.

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Nikon D500 Battery life

The battery power (EN-EL15) for the Nikon D500 is built to last for 1240 photos according to the CIPA requirements which is above standard in comparison to its category. The typical Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 909. Nikon D780 has the highest (2260) battery life within this range of cameras.

Underneath is a collection of Advanced DSLR cameras having the strongest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Nikon-D850 front thumbnailNikon D850
D500 vs D850
1840 yesyesyes
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Nikon-Df front thumbnailNikon Df
D500 vs Df
1400 yesnono
Canon-EOS-90D front thumbnailCanon 90D
D500 vs 90D
1300 yesnoyes
Nikon-D500 front thumbnailNikon D5001240 yesyesyes

Nikon D500 for different categories of photography

The following diagram indicates a summation of the Nikon D500 for different categories of photography. To find out more, check out the specific section below.

Portrait photography with Nikon D500

The Nikon D500 receives a points tally of 79 which is very high, and means the camera is a brilliant fit to use for portrait photos. Photographing portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor size, RAW support along with the ability to utilize external flash.

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you can focus manually
good resolution (21 megapixels)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
offers face detection focusing
supports RAW formats

Nikon D500 Street photography info

With a very good points total of 68, the Nikon D500 is a very decent choice to use in street photography. A very good street photography camera provides a fine balance of image quality and portability.

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screen tilts
sensor size is good (APS-C)
delivers RAW files
features focus via touch
weather proof
very good ISO range (51,200)
does not have image stabilization

Nikon D500 Sports photography advice

A very high sports photography points tally of 76 indicates the Nikon D500 is a superb pick for taking photos of sports. A camera needs to have very good focusing plus continuous shooting for sports photography.

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maximum shutter speed is high (1/8,000 seconds)
MP count decent (21MP)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
includes tracking focus
environment proofing
better than average battery pack (1,240 CIPA)
comes with phase detect autofocus
lack of image stabilization

Nikon D500 Travel photography factors

Weight is very important when buying a travel camera. All things considered, the Nikon D500 gets a above average 68 as a travel camera which is a fine pick to take with you on your journeys.

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great battery power (1,240 shots)
environment sealing
has bluetooth
offers focus via touch
sensor resolution is decent (21MP)
screen is not selfie friendly

Nikon D500 Landscape photography info

When you're looking to purchase a digital camera for landscape photos, the most important factor is going to be image quality. The Nikon D500 with it's superb rating of 77 as a landscape camera is a superb pick in the current marketplace.

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focusing manually
change lenses (Nikon F mount)
screen size is decent (3.2 inch)
megapixel count decent (21MP)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
no anti aliasing filter
great high ISO (51,200)
supports RAW formats
environment sealing
great battery pack (1,240 shots)
2 card slots
no image stabilization

Vlogging with Nikon D500

A camera for vlogging should posses a articulating display screen, mic input and if possible IBIS. Taking everything in to account, the Nikon D500 is not good as a vlog camera as it delivers a bad score of 31.

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touchscreen enabled
features face detection focusing
high res video (3840 x 2160 pixels)
includes external mic support
display is not selfie friendly
no image stabilization

Nikon D500 Alternatives

If you are interested in replacements to the D500, below is a number of the top ranked cameras that fall within the family of Advanced DSLR.

The graph listed below offers you a bird's eye view of the D500 compared to it's highest scored competitors shown above.

Following are several cameras you may take into account as alternative options. To read a complete comparison, visit the "compare" link.

Photography Glossary


General Information
Model type
Nikon D500
Advanced DSLR
Body design
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Expeed 5
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
23.5 x 15.7mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
21 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
Maximum resolution
5568 x 3712
RAW photos
Maximum native ISO
Maximum boosted ISO
Lowest native ISO
Lowest boosted ISO
Focus manually
Touch focus
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detection focus
Contract detection focus
Phase detection focus
Total focus points
Cross type focus points
Lens support
Nikon F
Available lenses
Crop factor
Screen type
Screen diagonal
Screen resolution
2,359k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch function
Viewfinder Information
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
100 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Lowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Highest shutter speed
1/8000 seconds
Continuous shooting speed
10.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Change white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
no built-in flash
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Highest flash sync
1/250 seconds
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
4K (UHD) 30p/25p/24p, 1080/60p/50p/30p/25p/24p, 720/60p/50p
Maximum video resolution
Video format
MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone input
Headphone input
USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
Environment seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
860g (1.90 lbs)
147 x 115 x 81mm (5.8" x 4.5" x 3.2")
Battery life
1240 photos
Battery format
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 sec)
Time lapse feature
Type of storage
Storage slots
Price at launch