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Gear Rumors

Nikon D5 Coming Later This Year?

By Anthony Thurston on February 7th 2015

Hmm, this is interesting. The Nikon D4s is barely a year old, and rumors are starting to surface that the Nikon D5 could be coming as soon as the later half of this year!


That is right, according to a new report over on Nikon Rumors, the D5 could be coming much sooner than we all thought. Not only that, but we even have the early rumored specs for you to dig your teeth into.


Nikon D5 Early Rumored Specs

  • New 20MP FX sensor
  • 173 autofocus points
  • Same processor as the D4s
  • Body design similar to the D4s

Some will probably scoff at the 20MP sensor, but for a sports/action oriented camera that is not bad, and will likely mean the FPS can be higher than if they went with a higher megapixel count. It is also a nice upgrade over the 16MP sensor currently in the D4s.


The 173 AF points sounds pretty sweet, but part of me wonders at what point does it matter if there are more AF points. Sort of like megapixels, after a certain point, sure it is nice, but it’s hardly necessary.

It will be interesting to see how this rumor evolves over the next several months. I am particularly interested in seeing what other non-standard features Nikon includes in their flagship model.

What are you looking forward to in a D5 camera? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Nikon Rumors]


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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Gary Beechey

    I have been a d user since the d1 and am presently shooting with a d4. Wireless and quiet would be the two things I would love on the a d5. The present wireless attachment is very expensive and hard to use and the camera is very loud compared to many other nikons. Just shoot a speaker at 11 frames per second and watch the entire audience focus on you. Sometimes I just do it to get a reaction but boy it is very rude behaviour.

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  2. robert garfinkle

    If Nikon want’s to be a leader in the high-frame-rate devices. do this –

    take better advantage of the electronic front curtain shutter and AF section and do the following –

    1. allow the camera’s to take multiple shots w / mirror up
    2. add a SSD memory bank via MSata slot, which acts as the buffer and goes between the camera and the SD Card / CF Card slots – essentially, the MSata could effectively warehouse 512 GB buffer and have the ability to act as a storage tank to hold media until offloaded onto the CF / SD cards
    3. Increase the processing speeds Expeed 6

    In doing this – you could effectively get 4 x the amount of FPS on a mirrored system with an ample buffer for continuous shots and even do a 4k or 8k movie etc – without sweating the load…

    in using mSata – it provides a fast enough data throughput lane to accommodate high frame rate –

    I could see 30 – 60 fps on a D5 or even 24 – 48 fps on a D820 etc…

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  3. Dean Reid

    Decisions….decisions…by the way does anyone know the specs on FPS…is higher than the D4?

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  4. Jesper Ek

    Speed speed speed! That’s what we want!

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  5. Paul Empson

    20-24mp is perfect for what I need…. the 36mp of my D810 is fantastic for detail but I don’t need it in every image…

    Lower & higher ISO range with even more improved AF would be perfect… especially if they can match it with a quieter mech’ like the D810 has….

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  6. Rafael Steffen

    The price will be pushing the 6.5K. I hope they can increase portrait color and dynamic range to come closer to the D810 quality! There will be a new processor with this new camera. I hope they put dual CF cards and not the XQD cards that are so expensive and hard to find.

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    • Mark Romine

      I was thinking 7 but for some reason typed 5. My comment should have been $7k. No doubt it will be pushing the $7k threshold.

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  7. Mark Romine

    Will the price tag be pushing 5K?

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  8. Rafael Steffen

    I can´t wait to see it live!

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  9. Daniel O’Bruba

    Lots of great points and speculation in the previous posts… On top of all of that, I am interested to see if they stick with the XQD/CF media storage or go back to CF/CF or some other combo. I personally hope they go away from it, that way I only need to worry about two types of cards with the d810 as my second body. Thoughts?

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  10. George Mizzell

    I am very anxious about the D5. I have had the D800 since it came out and absolutely love the 36 MP. There is no substitute for the brilliance of the 36 MP. I know there are some who think it is excessive but I have taken tens of thousands of pictures with it and the 36 Mp is incredible. I do not think there is any way I could step back down to 16, 20 or 24 MP. So the most important thing to me is seeing the 36 MP sensor. Secondly, I am not as interested in hitting 11 or 12 frames per second – I would be tickled to have 36 MP and 9 or 10 frames per second. Third, I really envy the ISO operating range of the D4 and would love to see the same range applied to the D5. If they put these together, they will have convinced me to to turn loose of $6K. If they fall short on any of these I’ll just wait on a D6 one day.:)

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    • Dave Haynie

      Sounds like you’re the ideal customer for a D800. I don’t expect Nikon will ever move their flagship to a 36Mp sensor anymore than Canon would. The point of these is shooting at 11fps or whatever, and shooting that practically in the dark, while falling down a mountainside into a river. You’re just never going to match that with a high pixel count sensor.

      Sure, new tricks come along every now and then. But anything that works to make a 36Mp sensor improve will work on a 12, 16, or 20Mp sensor. So that’s a lead that never goes away.

      Plus, I think Canon, Nikon, and Sony, at the very least, have intentionally decided that professionals need to buy several bodies. So they’re always going to have a few parallel lines going… some are better for video (as long as that’s a DSLR thing), some high pixel count, some for sports or in low light, etc. The market isn’t growing horizontally… there aren’t huge new markets of DSLR buyers to be found. The best new sale is the same guy who bought one from you a year or two ago.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      I am going to start saving money now for this amazing new machine! It’s like a Ferrari with a len on front of it!

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  11. Phil Bautista

    I don’t understand what’s so surprising about Nikon sticking 173 AF points into their new flagship (if true). Sony already has the a6000 which proved that having that many AF points is a good thing as far as AF speed is concerned.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Phil, I think that people are assuming it would be manifested in a way similar to how Nikon crammed 51 megapixels into its current pro cameras- it is actually quite annoying to move the AF point around the viewfinder if you’re trying to work fast!

      People aren’t realizing that, given the current size of AF points, there is simply no way to cram 173 points in even if they go right up to the edges of the viewfinder, which for phase-detect AF would be a big problem anyways.

      Therefore, it SHOULD be assumed that an AF system with this many points, as I mentioned above, will be some sort of cluster orientation, in which two or three or four separate AF points work together to form a single, selectable AF point.

      Nikon has clearly been pioneering this, since it was first introduced in the 51 point systems of the D3 and D300. I’m betting that not only will we get much better AF point spread; well also get extremely accurate, reliable AF points well off-center, even past the rule-of-thirds areas of the frame…

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    • Phil Bautista

      There’s nothing in the rumor stating that all these points would be cross type. I guess all the Nikon guys jumped the gun there. The contrast and phase detection points of the Sony a6000 are great but I wouldn’t be surprised if Nikon and Canon have projects in the works to top that since they have been ahead of the AF game for so many years.

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  12. Graham Curran

    173 focus points sounds ridiculous, there is only one focus when you take the picture. Judicious use of the focal points available is what matters.

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  13. Dean Reid

    Very interesting…I am curious about the sticker price Nikon will have on this rumored camera

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  14. Matthew Saville

    The insane number of AF points, if true, will definitely have to involve some sort of clustering for added AF accuracy. Imagine every single AF point being composed of not just a single non-cross-type point, or even a single cross-type AF point, but instead, multiple separate AF points arranged in a special pattern.

    Additionally, they could be counting AF points from a contrast-detect and/or face-detect system built into their secondary sensor, which the other recent high-end Nikon’s have been pioneering.

    Either way, in usual Nikon tradition, it’ll be a well-executed improvement that isn’t just more for the sake of more, you can count on that. :-D


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    • robert garfinkle

      Matt? Can you fill me in on some details here… I hear that Canon generally has better autofocus mecanisms than Nikon, is this correct? If so, how does Nikon pull ahead? Is the technology “the rumor” suggesting better per se, or is it a different aspect of autofucus that’s better? Cause I’m getting the sense there are two aspects in play; 1. speed, and 2. accuracy. This seems to be addressing accuracy more or less.

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  15. robert garfinkle

    Actually, the number one feature I’d love to see in a D5 would be “no problems” like no lens flare issue, left focus issue, or bright spots – :)

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    • Chuck Eggen

      I’m sure it will be just fine. Can’t wait to see the technology in this camera.

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  16. carl rug

    Too many nikon announcements per year, the d4s doesnt have even a year, and nikon wants to launch another already? wow

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  17. robert garfinkle

    But, personally, speaking generally, Nikon might want to think about introducing at least 2 Mirror less units, one entry level and one pro. It’s gotta happen soon

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    • Dave Haynie

      I’m not sure Nikon (or Canon) are going to get serious about mirrorless until mirrorless gets to be a serious threat. I don’t think numbers are out for all of 2014 yet, but in 2013 and into mid-2014, Canon and Nikon held about 75% of the ILC market. Mirrorless sales actually kind of tanked in 2013 vs. 2012… haven’t found reliable numbers for 2014. So that had mirrorless from Olympus, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Fujifilm, Leica, etc. arguing over that last quarter of the pie with DSLRs from Sony, Sigma, Pentax, etc.

      Of course, over the year, Sony’s moved from being the only real fence-sitter to being strongly in the mirrorless camp. And with all of the discussion about mirrorless, it seems like a big deal. Even inevitable. I bought a mirrorless system a few years ago as an addition to my Canon DSLR, and only bought mirrorless gear in 2014. But 2013 was a big Canon year for me. I like my OM-D, but I’m not ready to dump the Canon.

      Despite the inevitability, perhaps Nikon and Canon are being smart about this. According to DP Review, Fujifilm’s CEO was hoping to see Canon and Nikon jump into the mirrorless market seriously — thus making it perhaps more legit. After all, if the big boys make it a pro thing and not just a consumer-oriented hobby, then yeah, you’re more likely to believe. But you’re not necessarily going to buy Canon or Nikon… they’ll be the ones launching a new lens mount, deciding about the sensor sizes supported and whether they’ll actually be in practice any smaller than DSLR, etc. The established players probably do benefit. So why would Canon and Nikon do that? Doesn’t mean they’re not investigating the technology, but why not take their time, as long as the other guys are not kicking much butt.

      And really, I don’t think the Nikon 1 system was every anything more than a camera for hipsters. The EOS M had some more potential, but even with the M3, Canon doesn’t seem serious — I mean, they have that dual-pixel sensor, which in a mirrorless camera would seem to beat just about everyone — even the other guys with PDAF in their mirrorless don’t have it on every pixel.

      Of course, the counter argument is that a bunch of Canon and Nikon users like me are buying secondary mirrorless systems, and won’t be interested in switching by the time the big boys get serious. But these things rarely occur as a universal phenomena… there’s a slow rise in sales over time, when something’s catching on. The numbers don’t say that. CIPA had 2012 sales of mirrorless at about 4 million units worldwide. In 2013, that dropped to 3 million, and it looks like 2014 did about the same 3 million. However, DSLR sales dropped in 2014… so as a percentage, the mirrorless market may be looking better, but that’s a small victory at best. The IDC forcast in 2012 was for 9.5 million mirrorless in 2013 and 13 million in 2014. Some of us aren’t yet sold on mirrorless…

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  18. robert garfinkle

    While we are at it, can we speculate about the D810 replacement, the D900? (a 50/50 venture)

    1. 50mp / Expeed 5
    2. ISO 50 (to 104k) native
    3. 7fps (8fps w / Mdb12)
    4. 4k video
    5. built-in wifi AC peer-to-peer
    6. ?

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  19. Holger Foysi

    Well, there are two possibilities. Either Nikon includes PDAF on sensor to have some hybrid AF system on the D5 (spreading AF fields beyond the usual field size). Alternatively it is always possible to use a totally new design allowing for a further spread of the autofocus points. I think Thom Hogan pointed a few times to the possibility of this. There are indications, too, that the focus accuracy will be extremely improved compared to conventional DSLRs. I am looking forward to this, because otherwise the reasons for future buyers into DSLRs get lesser and lesser. On the other hand, scaling down DSLRs, doing some kind of hybrid AF and using Fresnel elements to decrease wight of lenses drastically (300 F4 PF) gives Nikon and Canon additional years to do the transition.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Agreed. I think Nikon is no fool, they know exactly what the shortcomings of current DSLR AF systems are, and what the benefits of mirrorless / hybrid AF systems are, and they’ve probably figured out a brilliant way to revolutionize autofocus as we know it.

      DSLRs, and optical viewfinders, will never fully cease to exist I suspect. For many applications mirrorless shall indeed take over almost completely, but DSLR technology has it’s advantages and will always be used by some.

      Nikon is just ensuring that both their DSLR lineup, and probably eventually their mirrorless lineup, are the best out there…

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  20. Gurmit Saini

    Well to start with 173 Autofocus points just sounds as ridiculous as megapixel race, so I am not even excited with this, but if the AF works better in low light that that will be interesting to see. As per 20MP, anything between 20-24 will be good or very good nothing more than that. FPS will be at least if not more same as D4s which is really good. We are there where High ISO is doing very well so again don’t know what they will do in this area.

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    • Chuck Eggen

      I don’t think the 173 FP can be likened to the MP race. With a jump like this there must be something significantly different so I am excited to see what this seemingly new technology may bring. Yes, we’ll have to wait and see and there is always the possibility that I’ll be disappointed.

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  21. robert garfinkle

    We’ll just have to see, rumor du jour, right?

    However, are Nikon rumors (like any other camera rumor) similar to dreaming about what happens if you win the lottery, kinda, sorta, maybe?

    A nice dream D5 (or D4x) IMO, would be:
    1. 24MP / Expeed 5 (very doable)
    2. Low end ISO 50 (native); High end ISO 204k (same, but improved DR) – actually I’d opt for less ISO and way improved DR, yes?
    3. Bring back 1/16000 shutter (retro feature, right?)
    4. 12fps
    5. 4k video
    6. keep built-in Ethernet, add built-in wifi AC peer-to-peer
    7. $7k

    I could not see them building a 36MP unit like some other sites have predicted; that could knock FPS way down, right?

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    • Bogdan Roman

      and maybe a 3rd wheel for ISO control, bulb timer, cross-type af points not only in the center of the frame

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    • robert garfinkle

      here, here

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    • David Hall

      Yes, I really hope for the lower ISO. My D3s is 200 ISO and the new D810 is 64. I’m hoping!!

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    • robert garfinkle

      Here is my thinking – it’s all about “story first” high drool-factor…

      A lot of folk like 24mp, as it’s a large enough image, yet still workable, and a lot of camera’s these days are using that number / pixel real estate.. It makes sense that the next sports / journalism camera for Nikon should be that size at the very least.

      The only reason I can see the D5 (or D4x) needing ISO 50 (or 64 – thinking that’s what they’ll really do, ISO 50 is a dream shot…) is it gives the photographer option to do a bit of studious / landscape work with some dynamic range behind it. Personally, I think if you are to have a flagship “best” in hand camera you should have the “ability” to do more with the camera, yes? Have more options.

      Although I do not personally think that video is “that” important, it is desired by some. I would imagine, though have no proof, a photographer is just that, a photographer first and would not really care about a camera’s video section / ability. Yet, a photographer using a camera like the D5 (or D4x – or any of the Dn series cameras), for the purpose of sports / journalism may also have more of a need to work with video (again, have the option), right? So, I think that the D5 (or D4x) having the 4k option would be the next advancement.

      As for networking – in my so-ever attempt at a humble opinion, I say wifi should be brought on board and it should be fast, really fast, and I’d go as far as to say camera’s like these should have stream-ability out the cat’s behind, even to the point where there is a built in server allowing remote storage. Not sure how the D4 works, but I know it has wired Ethernet and it would be my hopes that the camera has the capability to bypass the on-board card usage right down the Ethernet pipe to a laptop or a network share, and the wifi should be beefy enough to do the same thing – and that’s a tough nut to crack I’m sure, as the camera’s emphasis is to take pictures first, but as a sports / journalistic piece of equipment to get the story “first”, the ability to offload content (images / video) to a remote source would just be an appropriate / right move and very needed as a photographer who uses this type of device is of the “story first” thinking / mindset… yes?

      An extended note about wifi – historically, wifi has not been at the forefront of Nikon’s thinking. They have capability / option to do so, but it seems to be a pain point for users (at least it has been for me) where my only options have been to by very expensive attachments that are these Rube-Goldberg-type contraptions… not worth it. Now, don’t get me wrong, the wifi option pales in comparison to having every other photo-centric feature (i.e. high dynamic range, noise free ISO etc..) – i’d rather have all that before wifi, right? but I’m glad to see Nikon build it in to many units – I just hope it’s not cheaply done. Wifi should be fast, port to the right type of storage – and I’m not speaking about ANY cloud type storage, don’t waste your time IMO… just get the images to the laptop / workstation / across the network without impacting / affecting the photographer’s ability to capture the moment – the camera should be free to take as many pictures as the buffer can handle without wifi / networking being the bottle neck, or, in short, it should act as if it were a card, yes?

      As for 12fps – with expeed 5, those FPS numbers should be easy, and it could be just enough added extra to keep photographers happy without jumping ship and going to some mirrorless option, yes?

      As far as AF points, that’s your guys department, I do not have an opinion or enough information to comment on it. If the rumor and pro opinions in this forum think the feature is a better one, I trust your judgments.

      All in all – my point is, if the next D5 (or D4x) is to land it should provide a better sports / journalistic experience which has the technologies to be of “story first” thinking and have some studious / landscape abilities as well – high drool-factor…

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  22. Bogdan Roman

    173 focus points sounds a bit far fetched. If it’s true than maybe there will be many tiny AF points all over the viewfinder, even in the extreme corners

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  23. Chuck Eggen

    I have a D4 and love the camera for action photography. I’ve shot several Motocross events and you can’t beat the FPS and fast AF. I have no idea what the 173 focus points will do however, if it means a redesigned AF system that increases AF speed and makes it possible to focus in lower light then this may be the next game changer. Yes, it won’t appeal to everyone but few will invest in a pro-body for action photography. While I would welcome the addition of 4k video in the camera I think maybe that’s best left to the semi-pro bodies.

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  24. Basit Zargar

    great gear

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  25. Dave Haynie

    The 20MP sensor makes perfect sense. The very top-of-the-line camera is made for hard working pros doing a variety of things. It needs to be rugged, to be really fast shooting, excellent in all conditions including low light, etc. Same reason Canon and Nikon have both left higher pixel counts to a different model line.

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