Nikon D5 Review: The Best DSLR Camera In 2018

Want the best of the best and have the budget? The Nikon D5 is what you need.

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The flagship Nikon D5 is the latest in a long line of cameras that are designed for the discerning professional who wants nothing but the absolute best. If sports or fast action or wildlife is your forte you absolutely must have this. If your career depends on it you must have this. The D5 replaces the hugely popular D4, the former flagship of the Nikon lineup. Let’s dive right in to find out more about the features of the new camera.


The Nikon D5 is powered by a 20.8 megapixel full-frame (FX-format) CMOS sensor. The sensor is capable of producing large fine JPEGs and RAW frames of the size 5568 x 3712 pixels. A large sensor not packed with a lot of pixels means the individual pixels on the sensor are quite large in size. The thumb-rule is, larger the individual pixel size, greater is the light gathering capacity of the sensor.


Image processing

Image processing on the Nikon D5 is controlled by the advanced EXPEED 5 image processing engine. Improved continuous speed and better low light handling capacity are just a couple of the improvements that this processing engine brings in.


The D5 being the flagship of the Nikon stable comes with state of the art auto-focusing technology. It boasts a 153 point Multi-CAM 20K AF system which also includes 99 cross-type AF points. That makes the D5’s AF points exactly triple of that of the older D4S. Apart from the AF points the D5 also has a 180K-pixel RGB metering system. This metering mechanism and the Advanced Scene recognition system provides superior exposure measurement. Even where low light situations throw off the metering systems of other cameras, this system works without issues.

ISO Sensitivity

The D5 has a phenomenal ISO range of 100 to 102400. In the expandable mode ISO can be stretched all the way to 3280000. Although at that extremely high ISO levels image contrast, sharpness and overall quality is always compromised.

Still Shooting

The D5 is the king of fast action photography. With a mechanical shutter the D5 fires at a blistering pace of 12 frames per second, with full-time auto exposure and auto focus. At this speed the camera can fire a total of 200 RAW frames before buffer is filled up. The D5 is the camera you should be looking for when you want to shoot fast action, sports and bird photography.

Video Shooting

Unlike the D4S which was a serious still shooter and an OK video shooter, the D5 is actually a serious video shooter as well. At 3840 x 2160p 4K / UHD) resolution the camera can shoot at up to 30 fps.


There is no built-in Wi-Fi capability on the D5. However, you can plug in an optional Wi-Fi transmitter and use Wi-Fi functionality.

Rear LCD Screen

The rear LCD screen is a large 3.2” one with touchscreen functionalities. However, the D5 still does not have tilting and swiveling functionality. Viewing angle of the screen, however, is 170 ˚.

Build Quality and Weather Sealing

If you are planning to go outdoors the D5 would be a willing company for you. This camera is designed to withstand the worst that Mother Nature can throw at you. Designed out of magnesium alloy the body is dust, dirt and water sealed.


At nearly $6.5K a piece this is one of the most expensive pieces of photography tools in 35mm digital photography segment available in the market. Pair a 70-200mm f/2.8 and you have yourself a kit with which you can practically shoot everything.

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