Rounding out our selection of “Best Overall” in our roundup of Best DSLR Cameras is the Nikon D500, a super affordable alternative to some of Nikon’s more expensive gear (ahem, D5) with some great features.
The D500’s speed and sharpness make it a go-to choice of photographers shooting sports, wildlife, and action shots, but many outside of that sector love it for more intimate settings like weddings.
Here are some of the key specs of the Nikon D500:
- 20.9MP DX format CMOS sensor without Optical Low Pass Filter
- EXPEED 5 image processor
- Multi-CAM 20K AF sensor with 153/99 AF points
- ISO range of 100-51,200
- 4K UHD video
- Dual card slots – XQD and SD media
- 2.36M-dot tilting touchscreen display
- 180,000 pixel RGB sensor for metering and subject recognition
Prepare yourself: with continuous shooting, you get 200 frames of 14-bit RAW. The D500 has one of the fastest continuous shooting options out there – not just at this price point, but overall. For photographers who need speed without sacrificing quality, look no further. The resolution works great for the speed and doesn’t have the bulky file size that higher resolution carries.
The autofocus on the D500 is also worth noting. With 153 autofocus points and 99 cross-type sensors, the quality of AF on the D500 is fantastic. All of this comes with high ISO performance and 4K video shooting, in addition to some other sweet performance features.
The D500 has a unique tilting touch screen that makes reviewing simple, but it also makes catching tricky shots much easier thanks to the tilt mechanism that lets you hold the camera overhead or in other different locations. Professionals will also appreciate the combo XQD and SD slots, great for having different options or back-up in longer shoots.
Nikon gives you plenty of room to customize, too, as it has with other high end cameras. You can fine tune AF behaviors, customize buttons, and use the joystick for whatever function makes the most sense for your needs. Auto ISO also allows users to set thresholds and manage exposure.
The D500 offers unique connectivity options – such as offering both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi – but as you’ll see on any review or website, the bugs aren’t quite smoothed out yet. SnapBridge is Nikon’s new connectivity system, but many users are still reporting issues. So, it’s best not to purchase this camera with any intention of using SnapBridge or some of the other connection options right away without any problem.
Other issues, such as short battery life, are related to the still-developing connectivity options with SnapBridge and Nikon’s software, so be sure to read up on some of the tips and tricks to save battery life (for example, turning on airplane mode if you notice batteries draining too quickly).
The Nikon D500 is a fantastic camera at the price point, and will be an invaluable camera for action shots and more. For many users looking to move from an entry level to the next step, the D500 is a smart choice with lots of punch.