Is the Nikon D500 a High-ISO Beast? Check out these Samples!

High-ISO performance is big for me in my photography. Therefore, I was watching closely to see if any information leaks about the new D500 beyond the usual marketing talk by Nikon themselves. And sure it did.

Here are the first credible High-ISO samples provided by a user at who calls himself “ortega” (original source). He managed to sneak his own SD card in and out of the camera at one of the launch events. I aligned ortega’s samples and slightly cropped them to give you a better way of comparing them. Here are the images shot at ISO sensitivities ranging from 400 to 51200 (the camera’s highest native ISO ranges from 100 to 51200):


The images appear to be the JPEGs created in camera. Possibly, some in-camera noise reduction has been applied. A strong indication of that is the notable lack of color noise. So, the raw images will have more noise then these samples. But what is already apparent is that the camera has some very good high-ISO capabilities. The images seem to be usable even between ISO 6400 and ISO 25600, depending how you intend to use them.  Some people speculate that they could be on par or even slightly better then those of Nikon’s own D750 full-frame camera. Nikon themselves claim that the camera features a newly developed sensor making it very sensitive to light.

Obviously, we will only know for sure once some reliable real-world tests have been conducted and published by the first few owners of the camera. But these results look promising.

What about you?

Did you pre-order the D500 or are you thinking about getting one when it comes out? What are your thoughts on the camera and the high-ISO capabilities in particular?

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