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The mirrorless cameras have been waving 4K video for so long that many of us wondered when DSLRs would join the party. Fortunately, they’re about to, as Nikon delivers UHD video in two digital SLRs.

There’s big news afoot if you’re a photographer this week, with CES giving companies the opportunity to dazzle audiences and buyers with their wares ahead of the new year.

And it is a new year, and one where these companies will all be vying for a piece of your pay packet, and Nikon hopes to grab photographers this year with two large bodies designed not just for photography, but also for video work, too.

A lot of changed in the world of photography and videography over the past couple of years, what with better developed low-light capable sensors and 4K Ultra HD video, and to show that it still has what it takes to compete, Nikon is ready with two bodies: one that’s big, and one that is a little less big and easier to hold by the common person.


First there’s that big body, because it’s photographic flagship time as Nikon’s flagship single-digit “D” series gets a fifth major entry, the D5.

There have been more than five models in the single-digit cameras thus far, with various “x” and “h” monikers here and there, but traditionally when Nikon announces a new digit in the model name, it’s a big deal.

This year, that big deal results in a full-frame format camera utilising the whole 35mm sensor with a total of 20.8 megapixels being shot.

That's probably $12,000 worth of camera gear right there. Don't drop it.

That’s probably $12,000 worth of camera gear right there. Don’t drop it.

Granted, that’s not as big as some of the other sensors Nikon has, but it has also made the sensor just that much more capable for low-light, delivering a high native ISO of 102,400 and an extended low-light sensitivity index of up to 3,280,000.

Just think about that for a minute: the extended ISO can reach into the territory of three million. That’s close to seeing in the dark.

We expect that this dark mode will probably yield a fair amount of noise, but given that it will probably be used in desperate situations, it could still let pro photographers get the shots they need, while also offering people who aren’t afraid of a bit of granularity a hint of natural night vision.


Aside for this impressive sensor tech, you’ll also find a staggering 153 focus points and up to 12 frames per second continuous shooting, with the image capture occurring over two card slots, relying on both CompactFlash and XQD technologies.

Also useful is the support for video, because this is Nikon’s first dance with Ultra HD 4K video capture in a digital SLR, delivering 24p, 25p, and 30p in 3840×2160 UHD, while also giving Full HD 1080p settings of 50p and 60p. Nikon says that the D5 can also grab video at the high ISOs offered by the stills mode, meaning you might even be able to shoot in severely low natural light, though it may be a tad grainy.