Nikon D500 Review: This versatile, professional DSLR is the D300S successor you have been waiting for


posted Friday, August 26, 2016 at 3:59 PM EST


The Nikon D500 has been a long time coming. Nikon has released numerous APS-C DSLRs since the 2009 release of the D300s, including some very good ones like the D7200, but they didn't truly succeed the highly-popular D300-series until the D500 was released this spring. With a 20.9-megapixel DX-format sensor and numerous shared features with the flagship full-frame D5, the D500 is a true professional-quality APS-C DSLR. After much testing of the D500, we have finished our full review of the Nikon D500.

With its rugged camera body and plentiful controls, the D500 feels like a true workhorse camera. The relocated ISO button to near the shutter release is a particularly good move on Nikon's part, and the articulating touchscreen is excellent as well and feels robust. The 3.2-inch display works well in Live View and also when recording 4K UHD video, a first for an APS-C Nikon DSLR.

Image quality is very good from the new sensor and is particularly impressive at high ISOs. We were able to produce a great ISO 1600 print at 16 x 20 inches, and the D500 even managed a good 11 x 14 print at ISO 6400. You can read our full Print Quality Analysis here.

900mm equivalent (Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR AF-S lens with Nikon TC-14E III), f/8.0, 1/800s, ISO 560.

One of the biggest new features of the D500 is its 153-point autofocus system. The same AF system as the one found in the D5 offers excellent single-shot and continuous autofocus performance, proving to be very fast and reliable out in the field.

120mm equivalent (Nikon 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR DX AF-S lens), f/4, 1/4000s, ISO 320. This image has been modified.

There are many other excellent features on the Nikon D500, as well as a few drawbacks, which you can read about in our full review. In addition to our review, you should check out our Field Test, Image Quality Comparison, Print Quality Analysis and Performance Testing results. If you have already read through those, you can skip ahead to our final verdict.

 Nikon D500 Review • Conclusion •