Nikon D500 Review | Best APS-C Camera Ever


Nikon enthusiasts have been waiting years for a follow-up to the much-appreciated D300S, and now it’s here – the Nikon D500.

Nikon D500 Review | Camera Planets

This DSLR sits at the top of the APS-C ranking for Nikon, and while for some photographers full-frame is the final aspiration, there are plus sides to a crop sensor. For sports and wildlife enthusiasts, for example, smaller sensors mean they can get closer to the subject using smaller, lighter (and often cheaper) lenses.

This camera also enjoys many of the benefits of its full-frame siblings but without quite such a hefty price tag – that doesn’t mean it’s cheap, though. Nikon D500 camera has the same processor and focusing method as the D5, Nikon’s camera expected at professionals. It’s also got a pretty insane top ISO figure of ISO 1,640,000. That may not be quite on a par with the D5’s stratospheric maximum ISO of 3 million, but for most ordinary users it’s beyond the realms of anything they’ll ever realistically need.

The Nikon D500 match up very well with Nikon’s 16-80mm f/2.8-4 lens, but it’s also well-matched with Nikon’s wide range of DX-format lenses.

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Nikon D500 Core Features

  • Reasonable Price.
  • 9-megapixel DX-format (APS-C) CMOS sensor.
  • 4K video recording.
  • SnapBridge (Wi-Fi).
  • 153 AF Points.
  • Dual memory card slots (XQD + SD).

Nikon D500 Specification

Model NameNikon D500
Resolution21 Megapixels
Sensor SizeAPS-C (23.5mm x 15.7mm)
Kit LensN/A
ViewfinderOptical / LCD
Native ISO100 - 51,200
Extended ISO50 - 1,640,000
Shutter1/8000 - 30 seconds
Dimensions5.8 x 4.5 x 3.2 in.
(147 x 115 x 81 mm)
Weight856 gm includes batteries
AvailabilityMarch, 2016

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Design and Handling

If you like your cameras chunky, you’re going to love the Nikon D500. Although it has an APS-C sensor, this is no entry-level number. As such, the textured grip feels extremely nice in the hand and has an intent to help your middle finger sit comfortably while your forefinger rests on the shutter release.

Nikon D500 Design and Handling

Nikon has also selected to create the screen touch-sensitive, but there’s still an honest range of dials and buttons around the body of the D500. You will discover that the physical buttons provide you direct access to certain settings, making using the camera very quick and intuitive. For instance, you can fast adjust the drive mode using a rotating dial on the top-right-hand area of the camera.

In the same way, there is a dedicated ISO button, focus type button, exposure compensation button and a few customizable function buttons which you can allocate various settings to, depending on your preference. If you press a button marked “i” you will observe an “Image shooting menu bank” quick menu – but there is a reasonably unsupportive set of opportunities here to select from.

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Screen and Viewfinder

As you’d expect from a DSLR at this level, this Nikon model has an optical viewfinder which presents a 100% field of view. It presents a light view of the scene in front of you, while the rubber surround makes sure that it feels relaxed against your face. A blind can be triggered to avoid any unwanted light from entering the viewfinder – and potentially changing exposure – if you’re shooting long exposures on a tripod.

The screen follows the trend of the D5 with touch-sensitivity. While you can’t use it to make menu setting changes, you can use it for setting the autofocus point when shooting in live view, and while scrolling through images in playback. The screen also tilts, which helps when shooting from some awkward angles.

Bright sunlight does not appear to the problem the display too much, but it’s likely that with a camera like this you will be with the viewfinder in the majority of situations anyway.


  • 100% optical viewfinder.
  • Tilting screen.
  • Enthusiast-centric controls.
  • Dual memory card slots.


  • APS-C format sensor.
  • Screen not articulating.

Nikon D500 Video Review