It’s official. Nikon has announced that the D5 is coming. The D5 will be the follow-on to the professional grade D4S. Nikon also announced the pending release of the SB-5000 Speedlight and the WT-6 wireless transmitter. The release is included at the bottom of this article and I find it very Rumsfeldian. We don’t know when, we don’t know where and we don’t know how much, but it’s coming. Regardless, the announcement is absolutely necessary.
Let’s take a moment to think about why that’s true.
The photographic industry is softening. That’s likely to continue for the next three years at least. More pictures are being taken than every before, but instead of being made with intent to last, they are very transitory, only posted on social media with a four hour lifetime or lost forever on hard drives never to be seen again. Mirrorless vendors have successfully taken the beaches from the DSLR vendors with excellent products with high ease of use and superb image making capability. Mirrorless is still most often lighter than a comparable DSLR although the purported lower costs never really happened and a new Sony high end mirrorless costs at least as much, if not more than a comparable DSLR.
The pro space is where the DSLR guys still rule, meaning Nikon and Canon. Tough high performance bodies and the largest selection of glass, including very fast glass keep pros in this space. I do hope that both big DSLR players get their collective thumbs out with competitive mirrorless, but that’s a different conversation. The really solid mirrorless vendors have a gap in fast glass built tough but that will not last forever.
Rumours of the D5 have been bouncing for some months. Nikon made no announcement of specifications but the word on the street is a new 20 megapixel FX sensor, 15 fps, top native ISO of 102,600, 4K video and a tough body similar to the D4S. Nothing outlandish or unlikely there. I personally hope for a standardization of memory card slots, not the silly mix of XQD (a format that failed completely to launch) and CF, and seriously hopefully not CFast as those cards remain even more STUPIDLY expensive than XQD. I shot the D4S for a month earlier this year as part of a review and loved the camera. I have high hopes for the D5.
I’m not surprised to learn of the SB-5000. The current SB-910 is superb but getting a bit long in the tooth. Rumours suggest a flash with a built in LED continuous light. Possible but not a lot of pro value there. I would much prefer to see a Nikon competitor to Canon’s killer EX-RT radio lineup. There are already superb third party radio capable flashes that work with Nikon such as the Phottix Mitros+ and Nikon should be in that game.
I’m also not surprised to hear of the WT-6. There will be a number of whiners complaining that WiFi will not be built in to the D5, but that expected magnesium body is going to behave very much like a Faraday cage on radio signals from inside the body, so the transmitter will have to be outboard. I just hope that Nikon doesn’t pull a Canon and price the darn thing into the stratosphere. WiFi transmitters in all bands are very cheap at the component level today. Build cost for Nikon will be under $20 in volume so get the retail price right. Canon was clearly on heroin when they priced their version for the 1Dx well over $600. There is real value to the pro in having WiFi. You can be shooting wirelessly at the game and streaming via a repeater direct to the editor’s desk using FTP. Or you can be shooting in the studio, unencumbered by tethering that is often flaky and pushing nice large images to the art director’s monitor in real time. Doing that well up until now has needed a third party tool like the excellent CamRanger that works great but is a proprietary system.
Development of Digital SLR Camera Nikon D5
Mississauga, ON, November 17, 2015 – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that it is developing the Nikon D5 digital SLR camera, which represents the next generation of professional Nikon FX-format models.
The new Wireless Transmitter WT-6 and Speedlight SB-5000, which will be positioned at the top of Nikon's Speedlight lineup, are also being developed.
Through the combination of this next-generation professional camera offering an even higher level of performance, these advanced accessories and the rich lineup of existing NIKKOR lenses, Nikon is pursuing further possibilities for imaging expression.
* Details including release date and suggested retail price for this product have not yet been determined.
Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™, is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Canada distributes consumer and professional digital SLR and HD-SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and System Accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics as well as the Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lens system. In 2013, Nikon Corporation celebrated the 80th anniversary of the launch of its NIKKOR brand of photographic lenses, and announced the production of more than 95 million NIKKOR lenses in 2015, creating a new milestone in Nikon’s heritage of superior optics. At the heart of every Nikon camera is Nikon's exclusive EXPEED, EXPEED 2, EXPEED 3, EXPEED 4, EXPEED 4A or EXPEED 5A advanced digital image processing system technologies. All Nikon Canada products are sold through a network of Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers. For more information on Nikon Canada and its products and services or to find an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer, visit www.nikon.ca.
* Specifications and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacture.