Nikon D500 DX-Format Digital SLR (Body Only)

Nikon D500 DX-Format Digital SLR (Body Only)
From Nikon

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Average customer review:
(4.5 stars, based on 128 reviews)

Product Details

  • Sales Rank: #728 in Camera & Photo
  • Color: Black
  • Brand: Nikon
  • Model: 1559
  • Released on: 2016-04-21
  • Dimensions: 3.20" h x 4.60" w x 5.80" l, 1.90 pounds
  • Battery type: Lithium Ion


  • 20.9MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 5 Image Processor
  • 3.2" 2,539k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps
  • Multi-CAM 20K 153-Point AF System
  • Native ISO 51200, Extend to ISO 1640000
  • 10 fps Shooting for Up to 200 Frames
  • Built-In Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC
  • 180k-Pixel RGB Sensor and Group Area AF
  • In-Camera Time Lapse, Up to 9999 Frames
  • Supplied With: EN-EL15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, MH-25a Battery Charger, USB Cable Clip, HDMI Cable Clip, DK-17 Eyepiece, UC-E22 USB Cable, AN-DC17 Strap, BF-1B Body Cap, User's Manual, Warranty

Meet the new DX flagship, the Nikon D500 Wi-Fi 4K Digital SLR Camera. Contained within a streamlined magnesium alloy camera body is a veritable powerhouse of processing power and technological advances. The D500 has a sensitivity range of ISO 100-51,200. Marvel at the clarity of its cinematic 4K UHD video. And, once you've captured your gorgeous 20.9 Megapixel photos, admire them on the high resolution 3.2" tilt touchscreen display and share them via the built-in SnapBridge (Wi-Fi + Bluetooth) capabilities.

From the Manufacturer

Nikon D500 DSLR photo of a low light landscape with the rear of the camera showing the same image

Flagship Power, DX Agility.

Meet the new DX flagship, the Nikon D500. At first glance, it may seem unimposing, but contained within a streamlined camera body is a veritable powerhouse of processing power and technological advances. The D500 is ready to go wherever your passion leads you, capturing everything with stunning clarity, speed and resolution. From busy, low-light cityscapes to thrilling wildlife scenes and fast action shots, the D500 is the ideal companion to your wanderlust. Marvel at the clarity of its cinematic 4K UHD video. Be amazed at its ruggedness and versatility. And, once you've captured your gorgeous photos, admire them on the D500's high resolution tilt touchscreen display and share them via the built-in SnapBridge (Wi-Fi + Bluetooth) capabilities. No matter what you shoot, you can be sure that the D500 will be up to the task, time and time again.

Nikon D500 DSLR low light landscape showing stunning resolution

Small, Yet Powerful

Your favorite travel companion

The sleek and beautiful D500 goes anywhere you go, bringing along stunning resolution and performance. Packing a lot of power into a smaller camera body thanks to its DX sensor means you can take advantage of the smaller and lighter DX lenses in the NIKKOR line, and when you're travelling, every ounce counts. The best part is, there's no need to sacrifice image quality to gain portability. The D500 strikes the perfect balance with its 20.9 megapixel CMOS sensor, and is ready to capture the exquisite details, colors, and textures this world has to offer. With the D500 at your side, whether you're hiking through the lush landscapes of New Zealand or on safari in Africa, it will be ready to go, effortless and unobtrusive.

Nikon D500 DSLR photo of a monkey and her baby showcasing clarity and versatility

The NIKKOR Legacy

Unleash the full potential of the D500

Like every Nikon DSLR, the D500 is best paired with legendary NIKKOR lenses which provide unequalled clarity and versatility. The NIKKOR legacy is unmatched--there's a reason over 95 million have been sold to date. Each lens offers a different view from which to capture your memories. Shooting landscapes or portraiture? The fast AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR could prove to be your best friend. Or, extend your range with the lightweight AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II, ideal for shooting sports, parades or distant architecture. No matter your choice, pairing the Nikon D500 with renowned NIKKOR lenses is a recipe for success.

Nikon D500 DSLR photo of a bike rider on the road highlighting Nikon's processing power

A Peek Under the Hood

Bursting with new technology

The new D500 is a technical marvel, the fruit of Nikon's tireless strides towards producing the world's greatest cameras. To preserve life's most fleeting moments, you need a camera with incredible speed. The EXPEED 5 processor in the D500 opens up a world of possibilities, processing images fast enough to allow up to 10 frames per second so you don't miss a moment of the action. The new Multi-CAM 20K autofocus system provides 153 AF points including 99 cross type points, which together enable you to create images that match your vision. It is also the first Nikon DX camera to utilize the new XQD memory card technology, which provides faster read/write and transfer speeds to fully take advantage of the D500's speed. Not quite ready to upgrade to XQD? That's no problem, as the D500's dual memory card slots can accept SD media as well. Although compact in size, the D500 certainly packs a punch.

Nikon D500 DSLR photo of a group of people in low light showcasing high ISO

Not Afraid of the Dark

There's so much more to see

Not much light to go around? The D500 makes the most out of every bit of available light, giving you the flexibility to produce high quality images in dark environments. With a native ISO range of 100 - 51,200, expandable to Lo 1 and Hi 5 (50 - 1,640,000 equivalent), the versatile D500 is not intimidated by difficult low-light conditions, down to -4 EV. Rich details emerge from the shadows to produce unrivaled quality found only with Nikon cameras and lenses.

Nikon D500 DSLR photo of a stunt biker in air inset with the camera and photo on the lCD

Laughs in the Face of Danger

As tough as you need it to be

They say that good things come in small packages, and the D500 is no exception. A powerful but smaller sibling of the D5, the D500 features the same durable, rugged build and ergonomics you've come to associate with Nikon DSLRs. Built with rugged magnesium alloy and carbon fiber materials, and featuring dust and water-drop resistance you'll have peace of mind even when shooting in extreme environments. The D500 also leverages a 3.2-inch 2,359k-dot tilting RGBW LCD touchscreen, making it easy to get the shot even from high or low angles.

Nikon D500 DSLR rear of the camera and smartphone with the Snapbridge app logo showcasing connectivity

Your images. The world. Connected.

Don't wait to show off your best shots

Now, sharing your amazing photos is easier than ever - the D500's SnapBridge functionality enables multiple built-in connectivity options. Liberated from the constraints of connecting wires, you can transfer your images to a compatible smart device from anywhere in the world using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to eliminate the barrier between your camera and smart device. As an added benefit, the D500's built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) capability makes it a breeze to connect the camera to your compatible smart device while the built-in Wi-Fi capability allows for faster wireless image transfer. For those looking for an even faster transfer solution, the D500 is also compatible with the optional WT-7A, enabling transmission of files to an FTP server or computer at speeds of up to 866.7 Mbps.

Supplied Accessories

  • EN-EL15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • MH-25A Battery Charger
  • USB Cable Clip
  • HDMI Cable Clip
  • DK-17 Eyepiece
  • UC-E22 USB Cable
  • AN-DC17 Strap
  • BF-1B Body Cap
  • U.S. Warranty
  • User's Manual

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

260 of 269 people found the following review helpful.
5The D500 is great (disregard nay-sayers)
By R. Yamada
First of all, I didn't buy this camera on Amazon. I bought it elsewhere because I knew I could get it faster there (proof of purchase in pics). Secondly, all of the negative reviews I read so far should be disregarded, or better yet, deleted. I don't care if it's "just an opinion." If you're misrepresenting the strengths of this camera because it won't connect with your iOS device or because it's not a FX body, than keep it to yourself. People want true reviews, not crybaby reviews over non-issues.

Snapbridge is delayed on iOS. There is no false advertising. It was announced at the initial launch that a delay was happening for iOS. This is also Nikon's first DX flagship in almost a decade. A lot of folks who held on to the still relevant D300S have been asking for this and now we have it. Some people rather have a DX body for their type of shooting, if you're complaining that Nikon didn't release another (ANOTHER) FX body, the D500 is obviously not for you.

Speaking on the FX/DX debate, true, actual owners of the D500 should already know that the D500 really closed that difference gap. The overall imagery is great. The noise handling is surprisingly on-par with some FX bodies like the D750, and all the nerd tests from DPR show that in some settings, the D500 is beating the D5 in handling ISO and maintaining a clean, sharp image.

The D500 (for those not in the know) is aimed at sports and wildlife photographers, and it's impressive in that regard, but I found it equally impressive in FX-related photography like landscape (I shoot LE astrophotography), and portraits. The Auto AF Fine-Tune is invaluable, quick, and easy to use. The new tilt screen (it's a new version from the D750) is rigid and tough. The touchscreen is accurate, and intuitive. The inclusion of an XQD slot makes this wicked fast. I was able to clear the 200 shot buffer without any slowdown with the Lexar Pro x2933 at 14-bit RAW, and the photos finished loading the 200 shots to the card anywhere between 7 - 10 seconds. the OVF is 100% coverage and is bright. I was able to tack-sharp focus a star with just the viewfinder. Overall, the images are nice and sharp, BUT at times, they're not as sharp as a D7200 or my D7100. You can thank the 20mp sensor for that (compared to the 24mp sensor in the D7100/7200).

EDIT (8/20): Since somebody else had to exclaim that I was wrong about IQ differences between the 71/7200 (7100 mainly) and the D500 in their review, perhaps some clarifying is in order. Yes, the D500 performs in this department well at higher ISOs than the D7100. That doesn't mean that the D500 is the end-all winner. I've compared landscape dusk shots I've taken with my D7100 and then with the D500. I also have a 4k monitor, which is a pixel-peepers dream. As much as I hate pixel peeping, a number of the shots I've taken on the D7100 were overall better than the same shots I took with the D500. I guess I should say that at times and certain conditions, the D500 has better IQ but at other times, it's just not.... imo. In any case, I don't care too much about that because I work with the gear that I got and I hold onto said gear for as long as I can. I make sure my fundamentals are in order, I exercise what I learned The D7100 was an anomaly purchase because some of us have been waiting for a D300S replacement for years.. I mean, I still shoot film with my old F3 and FE and push film. Fundamentals>Gear. Despite that, this whole image deal is really only an issue with people who obsessed with pixel peeping and doesn't embrace imperfections such as noise.

Overall, wildlife photos are still sharp and the photos are still good enough for decent sized prints. The 4k is detailed, and the 1080p recording is combo'd with Electronic VR, which works pretty decent.

My only two issues with this camera is the additional crop-factor you get when filming in 4K. It is doable, since it's pretty much the same crop as MFT sensors, but I prefer a wide lens for 4k filming. The other issue is battery. It sucks up way more battery life than the D7100/D7200. Even with Airplane Mode on, the camera seems to suck battery life at a faster rate than my previous bodies. Also, for now, if you need an extra battery, you have to buy legit EN-EL15s because none of the 3rd party batteries work.

This is a GREAT camera. Well worth the wait. Go with what kind of photography you mostly shoot with and get the gear you think works best for you. Don't play trial and error with your money and then cry and needlessly give a good camera bad reviews.

223 of 231 people found the following review helpful.
5It is a better D810 for wildlife and sports shooters.
By Mike
As usual my background so you can calibrate what your read.
A long time Nikon user, since 70s, currently using a D810, D600 and D7100 to be replaced by the new D500. I shoot Wildlife both in the wild and in the streets.

Now about this Camera. I will divide it to 3 parts. Image quality, Usability and software/wireless connectivity.
From the quick few days, I can tell you that It is better than D7100, I skipped the D7200 since the Rumor was that this was coming.
I tested the D500 against D7100 for ISO and general IQ performance. I would say If you are getting this camera to get improved IQ over D7100 or D7200 then you are not going to be that happy. You will not get $1000 better IQ from D500. This Camera is not about the IQ/sensor but it is all about usability, handling and build quality.

This Camera is a Handling beast. It is all about handling and usability not about ISO or IQ. With 10 FPS, Huge Buffer and an AF system that is much better than D810. If you had a D700/D800/D810 this camera is similar in layout and but Light years a head in ergonomics and Handling. I hold judgement on Build quality being better than D700/D800/D810.
It is lighter and feels like it is smaller than D810. All the changes are for the better. I thought the grip on D810 was great. But now, I know how much better it could have been. The Joystick is a joy to use and if you are a back button AF-on user then you will be in heaven. We get D5 class treatment here. The Joystick not only moves the AF point around and is much more comfortable to use but it also can activate the AF with a press just like the AF-on button. Why is that a good thing? Well because you can assign different AF mode to it. By assigning different AF mode to each button you can go back and forth between 2 different modes by just picking the button that activates the mode you want. So If you do Birds in flight and use Group AF or Auto Area AF using your AF-on button. But like to use single point AF when the birds land to get sharp eyes. All you have to do is to assign single point AF to the Joystick push button and use it. No more 2 handed Camera juggling with long lenses to change the AF mode. There is several improvements like this that has been added.

The Articulating display is another welcome addition. The relocation of the ISO button is great but it seems to me that they have removed the Easy ISO capability (ability to use one of the command wheels to change ISO quickly). Assuming that since now we can change ISO with one hand you don't need it but why remove it. It is a mystery to me perhaps above my pay grade. Fortunately they kept the Easy Exposure Comp capability.
The play back of images is so fast that you can take a burst of a 100 or so images and then play them back like a movie by holding the direction button. Silly to do but fun.

All in all, this is one hell of camera and great value at this price. As I said buy this camera only if you need the handling, usability and build quality.
since after all this is a crop sensor body and IQ will never be better than a full sensor body of the same era.

Now about the Software and Wireless. It is there and not very impressive ... enough said.
Snap-bridge is not available for iPhone, but fortunately we had an Android phone in the family to use to test it. Surprisingly it is stable and works. But the APP is lame and will do very little tethering functions. Otherwise if you are using your D500 to take a snap of your dinner and post it to the face book you are in luck. Other than that I am sure Nikon has plans but knowing their history with software I am sure it will be discontinued and replace by something else soon. eh...

Now an odd thing. The first 2 batteries drained quickly. I was expecting the first one since Nikon uses a builtin battery for internal clock and usually it gets it's charge from your battery the first time you use the camera. But this thing kept draining the batteries. So a bit of digging showed that all the wireless capabilities are on. WiFi, BT, NF etc. There is a Airplane mode but it is set to off by default. Why? Don't know. Perhaps again above my pay grade. I turned all that junk off and it seems all is well. But last time I thought all was well I ended up sending my D800 back to Nikon after 3 weeks of getting it. I am hopeful for both our's and Nikon's sake.

Hope this help some of you like me who were waiting for a D810 with Crop sensor for wildlife and sports shooting and were willing to pay the same price as a D810, as I was. We got all we wanted and then some for 1/3 less than what we were expecting to pay.

Nikon please bring back the Easy ISO... pretty please.

Update 4-28-2016:
Good news, Bad news,
Good news the battery consumption issue is a none issue. The AF is wicked good, The buffer is limitless for all practical purposes. 60+ shots of large Raw+JPEGs high quality using Sony XQD G cards. We will be going broke buying hard drives. The AF and the buffer alone is worth the extra $1000 for anyone who needs them.

The bad news, I found out during the battery consumption testing that none of the after market batteries will work with this camera. Do not buy after market batteries with this camera. I tried 3 different brands of high quality batteries that I have been using with my D810/D600/D7100 and all had worked like a charm, but none of them works with D500 at all.

136 of 146 people found the following review helpful.
4So far this looks like an excellent camera
By Michael Willis
As an amateur wildlife photographer, so far I'm happy with this camera. I've only had one late afternoon of shooting Ospreys with it (EDIT: see updates below), and it was very impressive. Auto-focus is extremely fast, and the 10 frame-per-second shooting with a massive buffer is unbelievable. I'm using just an SD card (high speed) and I get 26 shots in the buffer (EDIT: in practice I'm getting about a 30 shot burst).

My ratio of good shots to bad shots is already significantly higher than it was with my Canon EOS 70D, which is a great camera but not nearly as good at focusing as this one is. I took about 400 images today and there may have been 10 that were too blurry to make use of, and that includes a moment when an Osprey took me by surprise and I had to aim and shoot in about a second. The D500 picked up the bird and focused almost instantly.

The shots are a bit softer than I hoped for, but I haven't used the automatic focus fine-tuning yet. I was using my (also new) Sigma 150-600mm Sport, which is a good lens but I haven't used Sigma's USB dock to fine tune it yet. So I (optimistically) suspect that when I use the camera's auto-tune and then use Sigma's dock to push it even further, I'll get razor sharp images almost every time. I'm very impressed so far, this is a big step up from the 70D, where I would get roughly 10 or 15 bad shots for every good one. Not knocking the 70D, I'm not a professional so I'm sure I have room for improvement.

I'm also extremely happy with Snapbridge, mainly because it easily connected to my Android phone (NFC didn't work but bluetooth paired easily - I've never had much luck with NFC). Snapbridge is now automatically geotagging every image. That's a big part of why I got this camera - I travel all over the world and geotagging has become a necessity as far as I'm concerned. Here's a knock on Canon - before switching to this Nikon I purchased Canon's latest - the 80D. Not only was the 80D unable to connect to my Android (only worked on Android 5, and I was on 6 which has been out for months), but when connecting to other Android 5 devices, it was unable to automatically geotag images. After speaking to Canon support, they said it was a limitation of the camera, and suggested I grab Canon's GPS add-on unit. Unacceptable when almost everyone has a smartphone that has GPS capabilities these days.

Some other quick notes, both pros and cons:
- The shutter release button is kind of "soft" meaning even when I don't want to, I frequently accidentally get a burst of 10 shots when I meant to take just 1. Not a big deal, I'm getting used to it already.
- The touch screen LCD is great, but I was surprised to find that it's not "always" touch-sensitive. For example, navigating the settings menus is not touch-enabled at all. Not a big deal, but I was surprised.
- The swiveling LCD screen is good, but Canon's fully articulating screen on the 70D and 80D is better. I particularly liked that on those cameras I could turn the LCD around entirely, facing inward, protecting the screen from scratches. I already bought a glass screen protector for the D500 so it's kind of a moot point.
- By default, the camera shows the remaining exposure count in the viewfinder and the top-display. If you want to see ISO instead, you can, but it shows up in place of the exposure count. So basically you have to choose between one or the other. For me I went with ISO.

That's it for now, I'll continue to update this review as I get more experience with the camera, especially after doing some fine-tuning on both the camera and the lens.

UPDATE: 5/1/2016
I spent a couple of hours playing with the auto AF-tune option using both the bundled Nikon 16-80mm lens, and my Sigma 150-600 (which is not an easy candidate for tuning). The system works generally OK, but repeated attempts give different results, sometimes with wide variations. The Nikon usually got a -1, 0, or +1, so I left it at 0. The Sigma was a lot tougher due to how large of a zoom range it has, and different distances between myself and the subject. I'll have to use Sigma's USB dock for this, but to speed things up I decided on a +3 (manual) adjustment after getting varying readings from the auto adjustment system (from -5 up to +6). I don't think it's the camera's fault, the lens has so many ranges and subject distances that one value will never be enough.

I spent another day shooting, mostly birds, and got some shots I'm very happy with. Success rate is still very high, and mistakes have always been my fault. For example I got some motion blur due to not using a high enough ISO setting (and therefore slower shutter speed) a few times on an egret (photos attached). I went up to 5,000 ISO yesterday and used Lightroom for noise reduction, which I was happy with. This was in bright sunlight, but handheld at long range on subjects in motion so I needed fast shutter speeds. I attached more photos here, with 100% crops as well (although Amazon may shrink those a bit, I'm not sure). More mistakes on my part, I forgot to switch the camera to AF-S for a squirrel and a turtle, both of which weren't moving, and didn't need AF-C / 153. However the pictures came out great anyway.

UPDATE: 5/8/2016
Took the camera to a farm animal event nearby today for more practice. Still a very good success ratio. I noticed something weird with Snapbridge. After connecting and putting my phone in my pocket, maybe 10 minutes later I would check and it would show no connection, and the camera would say awaiting connection. I would reconnect and put the phone back in my pocket, and 10 minutes later it would seem to be disconnected. I got annoyed and figured geotagging would be lost for many images, but upon importing, all geotagging was there. Not sure what the deal is but I was glad to not lose geotagging.

I also made use of the bundled 16-80mm lens paired with a Canon 500D close-up lens today (using a 77mm - 72mm adapter). Everything worked perfectly fine, and I'm happy with the lens.

As always, I believe any issues with the pictures are on my end. For example a decent close-up of a fly, using manual focus, was focused on his lower body instead of his eyes. Hard to tell when looking through the viewfinder, I should have taken some test shots and then reviewed them at 100% in the LCD and re-adjusted. All close-ups were taken at f/8, but I should have tried for a better depth of field at maybe f/22 or something.

Adding more sample pics, my apologies if you're grossed out by bugs!

See all 128 customer reviews...