Nikon D5 Field Test Part I

Impressive performance helps the Nikon D5 hit a home run

by Jeremy Gray |

The D5 is Nikon's latest flagship camera and it promises to deliver top-end performance across the board. Designed from the ground up for professional photographers who demand extreme reliability and agility in all conditions, the Nikon D5 offers an improved autofocus system and a class-leading ISO range.

I will be doing two field tests for the Nikon D5 and this first one focuses on the camera body, autofocus performance, and technical performance. The second field test will focus on image quality, low light performance (although there's some of that here), and video performance.

The Nikon D5 handles very well
A professionally-oriented DSLR has to be many things including fast, powerful and reliable. It also has to be comfortable to use for an extended period of time and have all of the important controls at your fingertips. There's a delicate balance to be struck between giving photographers everything they demand without giving them too much and actually slowing them down. The Nikon D5 strikes an excellent balance between control and usability.

Nikon D5 Field Test Part II

Excellent low light performance, robust video & a great user experience

by Jeremy Gray|

In the first part of my field test for the Nikon D5, I discussed the camera body's design as well as autofocus and high-speed performance. In this second installment, I will be covering the new image sensor, overall user experience, low light performance and video before giving a final wrap-up of my experiences with the Nikon D5.

While the D5 is very impressive for fast-paced continuous shooting, it is also very good for slower-paced work and is excellent for low light photography. It is also the first flagship FX Nikon camera to include 4K UHD video recording.

Nikon D5's 20.8-megapixel sensor delivers good results
The Nikon D5 comes equipped with a new 20.8-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, which was developed in-house by Nikon and is designed for capturing images with better quality at higher ISOs. This engineering for higher ISOs comes at a slight cost to dynamic range at lower ISOs, though. With that said, it still does have a very respectable dynamic range of 12.3 EVs, according to DxO Mark's review. At the begining of the ISO range, the D5's dynamic range starts at a lower level than other full-frame cameras, but it also stays higher for longer as ISO is increased. At higher ISOs, from roughly ISO 1600 onward, the D5's dynamic range surpasses that of the earlier D4S and D3S.

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