Cameras like the Nikon D500 are not intended to lure you in with flashy extras, though, or to provide the sort of speed pro action shooters are after. Instead, you get solid everyday speed that actually falls slightly below several rival CSCs at the price, at this point.
The software side of the Nikon D500 Wi-Fi also wipes the floor with that of most other manufacturers. As well as transferring images and controlling the shutter remotely, you can alter camera settings like aperture, shutter speed and ISO from your mobile phone or tablet. Not bad, right?
There’s also a small pop-up flash, again giving you a sense of having all you need to get on with, adding to the Nikon D500’s accessibility.
What is the Nikon D500?
The Nikon D500 is a DSLR that, while not bottom-rung like the EOS 1200D, is reasonably affordable, and offers simple operation that’ll appeal to those who don’t want to get knee-deep into the manual side of photography. It gets you the DSLR benefits of lens choice and good image quality, without the daunting learning curve.
The DIGIC 6 processor lets you shoot at 5fps, which has become the bog-standard speed level for any self-respecting everyday DSLR. It’s the same speed as the 700D too. What has changed, though, is the buffer. The 8-frame RAW file limit may not sound impressive, but being able to shoot up to 940 JPEGs in burst does.
If you’re keen to dive right into some of the more advanced principles of photography, also consider the Nikon D500, which has the same insides but more manual controls.
Want to keep it simple? The only serious issue with the Nikon D500 is that it doesn’t offer as good dynamic range as its rivals, the Nikon D5500 and Pentax K-S2.
50D: Design and Handling
If jaw-dropping, dynamic style is high on your camera priority list, you’re unlikely to come to a DSLR for it. The Nikon D500 has the classic DSLR look, with a chunky black body that most people will only be able to set apart from other entry-level models by looking at the name badge.
It’s practical, not a preener.
Being a lower-end model, the Nikon D500’s outer parts are polycarbonate rather than magnesium alloy, which is only found on rather more expensive models. It doesn’t feel ultra-high-end, then, but its still tough.
There’s no creaking or warping of the parts that make up the Nikon D500’s shell, and it has an aluminium skeleton underneath the plastic to help keep everything rigid. A slightly lower-end construction also helps keep the camera light.
It’s 25g lighter than its predecessor the Nikon D500, and feels nicely low-heft for a DSLR
It’s 25g lighter than its predecessor the Nikon D500, and feels nicely low-heft for a DSLR, without getting rid of the large hand grip. The next step would be to add weatherproofing to more affordable cameras like the Nikon D500, but that’s not here yet. This is still reserved for Canon’s more expensive cameras.
A light, polycarbonate body camera may become a disadvantage if you’re looking to mount giant fast lenses, but if you want to sample some of Canon’s cheaper high-quality options like the bargain 50mm f1.8 lens, they’ll suit the Nikon D500 perfectly.
What’s rather more specific to the Nikon D500 is a very laid-back control style. It has just the single manual control wheel up on the top plate, and a very easy-to-reach mode dial.
This style is a total opposite to the 750D’s brother, the Nikon D500. That model is roughly £50 more and gets you more manual controls plus an extra display on the top plate, for a much more ‘pro’ feel.
If you think your next camera is likely to be a stepping stone onto more serious photography and, one day, a real top-end DSLR, the 760D is a much better bet. Think you’ll stay best friends with the Auto mode? There’s no shame in picking the Nikon D500. By cutting down on the number of controls has been able to make the few that do feature very easy to access. This camera is easy to use, and — let’s not overstate the matter — does still give you plenty of manual control if you’re after it.
The mode dial features priority modes that let you control one main element such as aperture or shutter speed, letting the camera sort of the rest to best suit that setting. We use these easy manual modes about 90 per cent of the time.
Nikon D500: Screen and EVF
The Nikon D500 provides all the basics when it comes to previewing and reviewing your images. There’s a 3-inch vari-angle display on the back whose panel is the same found on the 700D. It’s a 1.04-million-dot Clear View II LCD, with a 3:2 aspect to match the camera’s sensor. Touchscreen support means you can pick your focus point with a finger when using Live View too.
Fitting in perfectly with the camera’s fairly easy style, the Nikon D500 screen tilts out and up/down to make seeing what you’re shooting when holding the camera above or below your head easy. And at all sorts of odd angles. It’s a smooth, high-quality vari-angle mechanism.
Unlike most DSLRs, there’s also not a huge performance penalty for using the LCD rather than the viewfinder to preview the image, called Live View in photography circles. As the Nikon D500 uses on-sensor phase detection pixels rather than stepping right down to pure contrast detection software AF, it stays quick.
The one complaint we do have is about the viewfinder, not the screen. Being a cheaper model, it only offers 95 per cent coverage of the frame, meaning the shot will actually capture a bit more than you can see through the viewfinder. That’s the same coverage as the Nikon D5500, although the similarly-priced Pentax K-S2 manages 100 per cent coverage.
Specification: Nikon D500
|View Finder Type|
Eye-level Pentaprism Single-lens Reflex Viewfinder
36.0 x 24.0
Auto (3 Types), Incandescent, Fluorescent (7 Types), Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Preset Manual (Upto 6 Values can be Stored, Spot White Balance Measurement Available During Live view), Choose Color Temperature (2500 K to 10000 K), All with Fine-tuning, Bracketing Types: Exposure, Flash, White Balance, ADL
0°C – 40°C
ISO 518 Hot-shoe with Sync and Data Contacts and Safety Lock
D500 (Body Only)
ISO 100 – 51200
|Other Viewfinder Features|
Reflex Mirror: Quick Return Type, Depth-of-field Preview: Yes, Pressing Pv Button Stops Lens Aperture Down to Value Selected by User (A and M Modes) or by Camera (P and S Modes), Viewfinder Eye Point: 16 mm (‚Äì1.0 m (sup (-1)) from Center Surface of Viewfinder Eyepiece Lens)
Frame Coverage (DX (24 x 16) Image Area: 100% Horizontal and 100% Vertical, 1.3x (18 x 12) Image Area: 98% Horizontal and 98% Vertical)
|Other Lens Features|
Lens Aperture: Instant Return, Electronically Controlled, Compatible Lenses: Compatible with AF NIKKOR Lenses, Including Type G, E, and D Lenses (Some Restrictions Apply to PC Lenses) and DX Lenses, AI-P NIKKOR Lenses and Non-CPU AI Lenses (Exposure Modes A and M Only), IX NIKKOR Lenses, Lenses for the F3AF and Non-AI Lenses can not be Used, The Electronic Rangefinder can be Used with Lenses that Have a Maximum Aperture of f/5.6 or Faster (The Electronic Rangefinder Supports 15 Focus Points with Lenses that Have a Maximum Aperture of f/8 or Faster, of Which 9 Points are Available for Selection)
1.0 x (50 mm f/1.4 Lens at Infinity, ‚Äì1.0 m (sup (-1)))
153, 153 Focus Points of which 55 or 15 are Available for Selection
Nikon F Mount (With AF Coupling and AF Contacts)
|Viewpoint Dioptric Adjustment|
-2 to +1 m (sup (-1))
Programmed Auto with Flexible Program (P), Shutter-priority Auto (S), Aperture-priority Auto (A), Manual (M)
|Other Focus Features|
Focal Length in 35 mm (135) Format Equivalent to 1.5x that of Lenses with FX Format Angle of View, Detection Range: ‚Äì4 to +20 EV (ISO 100, 20°C), AF-area Mode: Single-point AF, 25, 72 or 153-point Dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking, Group-area AF, Auto-area AF, Focus Lock: Focus can be Locked by Pressing Shutter-release Button Halfway (Single-servo AF) or by Pressing the Center of the Sub-selector
1/8000 – 30 sec
1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV in Steps of -5 to +5 EV
|Other Exposure Features|
Metering System: TTL Exposure Metering Using RGB Sensor with Approximately 180 K (180,000) Pixels, Exposure Lock: Luminosity Locked at Detected Value
|Live View Shooting|
|Other Shutter Features|
Approximate Frame Advance Rate: 10 fps, CL: 1 to 9 fps, CH: 10 fps, QC: 3 fps, Speed: 1/8000 to 30 sec in Steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, Bulb, Time, X250
Electronically-controlled Vertical Travel Focal-plane Mechanical Shutter, Electronic Front-curtain Shutter Available in Mirror Up Release Mode
1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV in Steps of -3 to +1 EV
Front-curtain Sync, Slow Sync, Rear-curtain Sync, Red-eye Reduction, Red-eye Reduction with Slow Sync, Slow Rear-curtain Sync, Off, Auto FP High-Speed Sync Supported
|Other Flash Features|
Control (TTL: i-TTL Flash Control Using RGB Sensor with Approximately 180 K (180,000) Pixels, i-TTL Balanced Fill-flash for Digital SLR is Used with Matrix, Center-weighted and Highlight-weighted Metering, Standard i-TTL Fill-flash for Digital SLR with Spot Metering, Flash-ready Indicator: Lights when Optional Flash Unit is Fully Charged, Flashes After Flash is Fired at Full Output
|AE Lock/Exposure Lock|
File Format (NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit (Lossless Compressed, Compressed or Uncompressed), Large, Medium and Small Available (Medium and Small Images are Recorded at a bit Depth of 12 bits Using Lossless Compression), TIFF (RGB), JPEG: JPEG-baseline Compliant with Fine (1 : 4), Normal (1 : 8) or Basic (1 : 16) Compression, Optimal Quality Compression Available, NEF (RAW)+JPEG: Single Photograph Recorded in Both NEF (RAW) and JPEG Formats
1280 x 720
|Other Audio Features|
Audio Recording Device: Built-in Stereo or External Microphone, Sensitivity Adjustable
|Other Display Features|
Effective Angle of View: Nikon DX Format, Image Sensor Format: DX, Monitor: Tilting TFT Touch Sensitive LCD with 100% Frame Coverage and Manual Monitor Brightness Control
|Number of Batteries|
2 Years Warranty
MOV, H.264, MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding