Nikon D500

Nikon D500

More product images of the Nikon D500

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Price and Ratings

Source: Manufacturer


The D500 was introduced by Nikon in January 2016. It belongs to the Amateur DSLRs category.

Nikon is well-known and shouldn't require further introduction, please see our manufacturer's page for more digital cameras by Nikon.

CategoryAmateur DSLR

The D500 features a CMOS sensor in APS-C size (with Nikon cameras: DX)that has an area of approximately 24 x 16 mm² (0.93" x 0.61").

This infographic compares the D500's sensor to other common formats:

Infographic: D500 comparing sensor sizes

(The 1-Euro coin used for scale has a diameter of 23.25mm, slightly smaller than a US quarter.)

The D500's image sensor has an effective resolution of around 21 megapixel. The resolution is above average and will be sufficient for the foreseeable future. Photos with this resolution can easily be printed in A2 size or larger, even if unwanted parts of the photo have to be cropped.

The Nikon supports taking images in RAW. RAW images are stored as they come from the sensor, without any in-camera processing or sharpening. Converting to JPEG or other formats takes place on the computer, using software like Adobe Lightroom or Nikon's RAW converter. This involves one extra processing step but almost always results in superior image quality. Some filters, like converting to monochrome (black and white) will only yield decent results when used with RAW images.

The D500 features a mechanism for automatic sensor cleaning.

Sensor area23.50 x 15.60mm²
(0.93" x 0.61")
Resolution (physical)21.50 megapixel
Resolution (effective)20.90 megapixel
Pixel size17.80 µm²
Sensor cleaning
RAW support
Continuous 10 frames/second

All compatible F lenses can be mounted to the D500.

Currently, approximately more than 200 F lenses are available, not counting lenses by third-party manufacturers. Further lenses can be connected via suitable adapters.

Interchangeable lens
MountNikon F

The D500 uses an optical viewfinder with a penta prism. Viewfinders with a penta prism are typical for enthusiast and professional DSLRs. The viewfinder covers 100% of the field of view and has a magnification of 0.66x, an above average value for a viewfinder like this.

Simulated viewfinder D500

The infographic illustrates the viewfinder magnification of the D500. The black area represents a magnification of 1x, corresponding to natural size. The red frame indicates the largest viewfinder magnification in any digital camera on the market today (0.85x).

Tip: If the viewfinder image of the D500 is fuzzy, us the little wheel next to the viewfinder to adjust the sharpness.

TypeOptical (Penta prism)
Dioptric correction

The D500's shutter speeds range from 1/8000s to 30s.

Max. shutter speed1/8000s
Min. shutter speed30s

The D500's sensitivity goes from 100 ISO und 51200 ISO, a very useful and practical range.

Additionally, the Nikon's sensitivity can be boosted to 1640000. However, ISO boosting will almost always lead to an increase in noise.

Min. sensitivity100 ISO
Max. sensitivity51200 ISO
Boost1640000 ISO

The D500 supports all common metering modes.

The Nikon will also allow spot metering, a must for challenging motives.

Center weight

The D500's auto focus processor uses 153 AF points (or sensors). A basic rule of thumb says that the more AF points you have, the better. More AF points mean a better chance to have a point at the location of interest in a scene, a big plus in challenging situations (e.g. when doing macross).

Manual focus is also possible with the Nikon, a plus in tricky situations or for some creative freedom.

TypePhase Detection, Contrast Detection
AF points153
Manual focus

The D500 doesn't feature a built-in flash. That is not unsusual in this camera category.

A flash or a trigger for remote flashes can be attached to the Nikon's hotshoe.

Hot shoe
D500 display and touch screen

The D500 features a monitor with a diagonal of 80.00mm (3.1 in.) and a resolution of c. 2.36 megapixel. A resonable value that will make it easy to evaluate images directly in-camera.

The camera's display is articulated, a plus for selfies and other challenging situations.

The D500's monitor can work as a touch screen, just like a smartphone. That can be very useful, for example to pick AF points, but keep in mind that touch screens usually don't work when wearing gloves.

Display characteristics at a glance:

Size80.00mm (diagonal)
(3.1 in.)
Resolution2.36 megapixel
Touch screen

When recording videos with the D500, the highest supported resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixel, in other words 4K Video.

The camera features a connector for an external microphone, a neccessity for good video sound. A built-in mike will record everything in front and to the sides of the camera which is mostly not desired. Internal microphones also tend to record camera sounds like focus beeps.

Videos with the Nikon D500 at a glance:

Max. resolution3840 x 2160 pixel
...with frame rates24 frames/second
25 frames/second
30 frames/second
External microphone

The D500 has Wifi connectivity already built-in. Use Wifi to transfer images to a smartphone or computer and to remote control the camera. With NFC, camera and smartphone can be paired without the need for passwords.

Another option to transfer images to the smartphone is Bluetooth (Note: Bluetooth connections will not always transmit images or videos with full resolution.)

In situations where wireless won't work reliably, a wired connection can be used.

Connect the Nikon to a monitor or TV set over HDMI.

USB 3.0 is already supported by the Nikon. USB 3.0 greatly speeds up transferring images and videos to the computer.

The Nikon's connectivity at a glance:

Remote (wired)
Remote (infrared)
HDMI (standard)
HDMI (mini)
HDMI (micro)
USB 2.0
USB 3.0
USB Micro
USB Mini

What memory cards can be used with the Nikon D500?

The camera will accept all common SD HC and SD XC cards.

XQD Cards can be used, too.

With an average image size of 8 megabytes (JPEG, fine) a 32 GByte memory card would hold up to 4000 images.

Supported memory cards at a glance:

Memory cardsSD

Let's have a look at some other features of the Nikon D500:

The D500 doesn't have a built-in GPS receiver. If you want to add coordinates to your photos, you'll have to do so in 3rd party software like Adobe Lightroom. However, with Wifi built-in, location data can also be added via a connected smartphone.

The D500 doesn't have a built-in stabilizer. That would have been a plus when using legacy zooms or tele lenses without stabilizer. When buying a kit with lens, make sure that the lens is stabilized.

The camera can create HDRs automatically. That saves you from manually creating sequences of images with variying exposure values.

The D500 is environmentally sealed against dust and moisture; a very useful feature when you take the camera places.

The Nikon's features in a handy table:

Image stabilizer
Level indicator
Environmentally sealed

The Nikon D500 works with a EN-EL15 LiIon battery. The battery lifetime is a generous 1200 shots. Usually enough for a full day or more.

The battery can not be charged while in camera. Instead you have to take it out of the camera and put it into the supplied dedicated charger.

The D500's battery at a glance:

TypeEN-EL15 LiIon
In-camera charging
Battery life1200 photos

The Nikon D500's dimensions are 147 x 115 x 81mm³. (5.8" x 4.5" x 3.2"). That's the body only, without lens. The camera's weight is a rather considerable 860 grams (27.7 oz.). Add to this the weight of the lens.

Front and top view of the D500 with dimensions:

Nikon D500 Dimensions (Width / Height)
Nikon D500 Dimensions (Width / Depth)

To put the size of the camera in context, here it is next to a typical ID card (c. 86mm x 55mm, about the size of a credit card).

The D500 is clearly bigger:

Nikon D500 size comparison
DownloadSpecs, manual & software

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Price and Ratings

Source of specifications and product images: Manufacturer. This page was generated by an experimental computer program. Errors and omissions excepted.

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