Nikon D5 review

The Nikon D5 is a great camera with a fabulous AF system – but forget about using the highest sensitivity setting

Nikon D5 review
(Image: © Nikon)

Digital Camera World Verdict

A replacement for the Nikon D5 is imminent, so not surprisingly this has led to some useful discounts on this model. But is it still desirable after all this time? The Nikon D5's AF system, rugged build, continuous shooting speed and buffer capacity are still well ahead of any other camera not designed for this kind of work, and its 4K video capabilities will still pass muster even today. It does feel, however, as if its arch-rival the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II has stood the test of time just a little better.


  • +

    12fps continuous shooting

  • +

    Huge 200-shot raw buffer

  • +

    Advanced 153-point AF

  • +

    4K video


  • -

    Live view AF is contrast only

  • -

    Highest ISOs yield poor quality

  • -

    The D6 is imminent

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

The Nikon D5 is Nikon's answer to the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, a powerful, practically bulletproof sports camera for professional photographers. Camera makers now split their top pro models into resolution specialists (the Nikon D850 would be Nikon's) and high-speed, high frame rate cameras like this one.

The D5 was launched way back in 2016, a month ahead of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, and just in time for the 2016 Olympics. It's no coincidence that four years later in 2020 (as we write this), Nikon is ready to unveil a new Nikon D6 in time for the world's biggest and most prestigious sporting event.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Angela Nicholson

Angela has been testing camera gear from all the major manufacturers since January 2004 and has been Amateur Photographer’s Technical Editor and Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography portfolio (Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-PhotoPractical PhotoshopPhotography Week and Professional Photography magazines, as well as the Digital Camera World and TechRadar websites). She is the founder of SheClicks - a community group that encourages and supports female photographers.