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Nikon D5 4K camera from CES 2016 bizarrely only shoots 3 minutes of 4K video, supposed firmware update coming

by on January 25, 2016

Stephan Jukic – January 25, 2016

Nikon’s D5 full-frame flagship 4K camera was announced by the manufacturer at CES 2016 and it promises a host of cool features, some of which include solid performance under low-light conditions and the ability to shoot 4K video. The camera is apparently designed to have particular appeal with photographers who want a solid, clear performer in settings like concerts, dark building interiors, caves and night time outdoor scenery.

That said however, the 4K performance of Nikon’s latest little (or actually not quite that small) powerhouse leaves a lot to be desired. As it turns out, as far as its seemingly awesome 4K video recording capacity is concerned, the new D5 is one seriously weak performer indeed and can manage only a measly 3 minutes of video in this resolution. This is worse than the 4K video recording capacities of many smartphones and 10 times worse than the 4K video shooting power of Nikon’s similar D500 camera, which can manage a full 30 minutes of 4K footage in one single go.

In other words, it’s sort of bizarre that Nikon’s flagship full-frame sensor 4K camera can barely manage 4K footage while the considerably cheaper and less feature-rich cropped sensor D500 can do so much better.

However, the good news, as the title of this post implies, is that Nikon will apparently be remedying this problem in the D5 with a new upcoming firmware update which, according to Nikon representatives, will be released in the “near future” and correct the grossly short 4K recording capacity of this otherwise great new camera.

The D5 is just one of several new 4K cameras from Nikon for 2016

The D5 is just one of several new 4K cameras from Nikon for 2016

According to the site Nikon Rumors, the company rep questioned claims that the D5’s firmware update will be released shortly after the camera starts shipping in march and will let the new shooter record 30 minutes of 4K video at a time. Why Nikon didn’t include this feature right off the bat is a bit of a mystery but perhaps the company was rushing to meet a CES 2016 unveiling date and hadn’t quite ironed out development yet because they wanted to see what other features consumer and tech watcher feedback would request.

Once again, this update on a potential 4K recording update is only coming from a Nikon rep and does not reflect any official statement on the matter from Nikon itself so it shouldn’t be taken as a done deal but further rumors indicate that the 4K recording extension will be achieved by sequential recording of 10 different 3 minute 4K files instead of a single chunk of 30 minute footage.

Either way, for those of you who are Nikon fans and want the otherwise very interesting D5 only if you can get solid 4K video performance out of it, then we’d suggest waiting until the rumored firmware update becomes official before buying this camera, or simply going for another great low-light performer with more robust UHD video recording power.

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  • Altagracia Martinez
    July 13, 2016 at 4:10 am

    D5 and D500 are a big jump including now 4k video! althoug the 3 minutes limit on the D5 is an issue for videographers, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be fixed in a near future with a firmware.


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