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Nikon D5 DSLR Hands-On Preview

We go hands-on with the brand new 20 megapixel Nikon D5 flagship Digital SLR.

| Nikon D5 in Digital SLRs

Nikon D5 DSLR Hands-On Preview: Nikon D5 In Hand (5)

The Nikon D5 is Nikon's latest flagship Digital SLR, updating the Nikon D4s.

Read our full Nikon D5 review here.

We went hands-on with the new Nikon D5 and spent some time shooting with the high-speed full-frame DSLR. We used the Nikon D5 in a variety of conditions, including taking action shots, as well as focusing in very low light, and were impressed by the focus system as well as the results. However, as the camera used is a pre-production model, we are unable to share any sample photos. 

The Nikon D5 offers 12fps continuous shooting, with minimal viewfinder blackout and continuous AF, and a video of this in action can be found here, or 14fps continuous shooting with mirror lock-up. The Nikon D5 offers a live view silent shooting option, which enables an electronic shutter for silent shooting. 

Nikon D5 Key Features

  • 20.8 megapixel FX full-frame sensor
  • 153 focus points, 99 cross type
  • Group AF, Tracking AF
  • 12-14fps continuous shooting 
  • EXPEED 5 image processor
  • Improved colour and noise performance
  • ISO100 to ISO102400, extends further to ISO3,280,000 (Hi 5)
  • 3.2inch Touchscreen, 2359k dots
  • 100% coverage optical viewfinder, 0.72x magnification
  • -4 EV Low-light sensitivity
  • 4K UHD Video, Cinema ready
  • In camera 4K timelapse creation

Handling is improved with an improved handgrip, and illuminated buttons can be found on the camera, making it easy to see buttons and controls when shooting in dark conditions. The camera can focus in -4 EV, and has an ISO range of ISO100 to ISO1,024,000, which can be extended to ISO50 to ISO3,280,000 equivalent.

Nikon D5 DSLR Hands-On Preview: Nikon D5 Internals Cross Section (1)
Nikon D5 Internals - Cross Section 

The D5 is weather sealed and features a magnesium alloy body and the camera feels extremely solid and well built in hand. 

On the back is a high-resolution 3.2inch touch-screen with 2,359K dots, an impressively high-resolution screen, although the touch screen features are for playback only, and you can't use the screen to scroll through the menus. The camera is the first to introduce the new EXPEED 5 image processor which is designed to be more efficient, and give authentic skin tone reproduction, as well as improved noise performance

Nikon D5 DSLR Hands-On Preview: Nikon D5 (9)

Cinema ready 4K UHD video recording is built in, and there are a long list of video options. The camera uses a smaller (cropped) area of the sensor for 4K video recording, so that there is clean video recording. The menus are split into seven different sections, including playback, photo shooting, movie shooting, custom settings, setup, retouch and MyMenu. To view all of the menu options available, have a look at the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel.

The camera comes with the choice of 2 XQD card slots or 2 Compact Flash card slots, so you have to make sure you choose the one right for you when buying. Quicker read and write performance is available when using XQD cards. Battery life is rated at a staggeringly impressive 8160 shots, from a single charge, although the CIPA rating is lower at 3,780 shots. Once production versions of the camera are available we will be putting the camera to the full test.

Nikon D5 Hands-On Photos of Equipment

Nikon D5 Specifications

Effective Magnification1x
Image Sensor
Pixels20.8Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5568
Pixels (H)3712
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeFull-frame
Sensor Size (width)35.9mm
Sensor Size (height)23.9mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3.2in
Screen resolution2359k dot
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • AF Fine Tuning (Micro Adjustment)
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/8000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Program Variable
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
  • Centre Spot
ISO sensitivity50 - 3280000
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Bracket
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-5
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting12fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 4K
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS30, 25, 24fps
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Wi-FiNo Data
Card Type
  • CF
  • XQD
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)3780shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data

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Photographs taken using the Nikon D5

Shoreditch - watching the repeats - 44Shoreditch - watching the repeats - 43Shoreditch - watching the repeats - 42Purple NightsGlasgow nightsNo words needed.WinnersShoreditch - watching the repeats - 41Fishing BoatThe RopeShoreditch - watching the repeats - 39Shoreditch - watching the repeats - 38Shoreditch  - watching the repeats - 36Shoreditch - watching the repeats - 35Shoreditch - watching the repeats - 34

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realspeed Avatar
realspeed 17 66 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2016 7:10PM
The Nikon D300 in video mode the mike picks up focus change clicks. Hope they have fixed this in the new D5. Hope this time they have separated the intrnl mike from the extrnl one . That way the internal mike would be off and the extrnl one working in place of. It is a huge error on Nikons part if they have failed to address this problem
mr2cameras Avatar
mr2cameras 9 36 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2016 7:34PM
When's Canon going to release the 1DX II? (haha)
7Wishes Avatar
7Wishes 8 61 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2016 10:12PM

Quote:When's Canon going to release the 1DX II? (haha)

Probably when Nikon have fleeced their gullible flock with the 5Ds

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