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Nikon's new flagship D5 DSLR: 20MP at 12fps, 4k video, new autofocus and more

By Chester Labaco & Alvin Soon - on 6 Jan 2016, 4:21pm

Nikon's new flagship D5 DSLR: 20MP at 12fps, 4k video, new autofocus and more

Nikon’s D5, its new flagship full-frame DSLR, has been officially announced, and it will be available this March at US$6,499.95. The D5 follows up on the D4S, which was released in 2014.

What’s new?

More megapixels and faster shooting speeds

Nikon has increased the megapixel count from 16MP on the D4S to 20MP on the D5. Shooting speed has increased, from 11fps to 12fps (with AF and AE) and 14fps (with fixed focus and exposure).

The extended buffer lets the D5 shoot up to 200 frames of 14-bit lossless RAW/NEF files with JPEG at fine settings.

New autofocus and metering sensor

The D5 is primarily built for sports, and it features brand-new autofocus and metering sensors to handle those fast moving subjects. The AF module has 153 focal points, 99 of which are cross-type. This is more than the D4S, which had 51 focal points, 15 of which are cross-type.

The RGB metering sensor has been double in resolution, from 91,000 pixels on the D4S to 180,000 on the D5. Both the new AF and metering sensors should ensure faster and more accurate tracking of moving subjects.

Extreme low-light performance: Extended ISO 3 million and AF sensitivity

Yup, you read that right. The D5 comes with native ISO settings of ISO 100 to 102,400, and extended settings from ISO 50 to ISO 3,280,000 (that’s 3.2 million!). This will give it quite the ability to capture light even in dark places.

The afore-mentioned new autofocus system boasts the ability to lock focus in very low-light — the central point is sensitive at -4 EV, while all other points are sensitive to -3 EV.

This means the D5 has the most reliable low-light AF system in Nikon’s stable, beating the Multi-CAM 3500FX AF system on the D750 which is rated to -3EV on all AF points.

4K video shooting

The D5 is Nikon’s first DSLR to shoot 4K UHD video (3,840 x 2,160 at 30p), but only for 3 minutes at a time.

New touchscreen, reduced blackout times, and more

The D5 comes with few body changes. It has a new 3.2” 2,359K dot XGA touchscreen LCD. It has a new shutter and mirror sequencing mechanism for shorter blackout times and mirror slap for more consistent views during high-speed bursts.

The D5, like the D4S and the D4, works with high-speed XQD memory cards, which are faster than CF cards, but photographers with a large CF cards needn’t worry: The D5 comes in two versions, one with dual XQD slots and one with dual CF slots.

The D5 comes with built-in Wi-Fi for image transfer, with speeds up to 1.5x faster than the D4S. The new processor is more power efficient, and the D5 is rated up to 3,780 shots per charge, compared to the D4S’ 3,020.