Nikon D5 vs Nikon D6 | Side by Side Comparison

Nikon D5 vs Nikon D6

In this discussion, we will be comparing the D5 and the D6, two DSLRs by Nikon. The D5 was released in January 2016, whereas the D6 was released in February 2020.

As you can see, the D5 is about four years older than the D6. So let’s see if the age difference between these two Nikon has a significant impact.

We expect this to be a close comparison because both cameras are ranked among the best professional DSLRs today. Out of 36 pro DSLRs in this class, the D6 ranks number one, whereas the D5 sits in position five.

Before we get into a more detailed comparison of the D5 and the D6, first, let’s start by looking at their technical specifications to understand what these cameras comprise.

Nikon D5 Technical Specifications

Nikon D5 vs Nikon D6
Nikon D5 vs Nikon D6
  • Autofocus: Dynamic-area autofocus with 99 cross-type focus points
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, HDMI mini, Gigabit Ethernet, Micro USB, and Wi-Fi
  • Continuous shooting speed: 12 fps
  • Image sensor: 20.8 Megapixel full-frame CMOS
  • ISO range: 50 – 12800
  • Max Image Size: 5568 x 3712
  • Metering Modes: center-weighted, highlight weighted, matrix and spot
  • Video Resolution: 4K (2160p) and Full HD (1080p)
  • Viewfinder: Pentaprism
  • Storage: 2x CFExpress & 2x XQD
  • Dimensions: 160 x 158.5 x 92 mm
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds (body only) or 3.12 pounds (body, battery, and storage cards)

Nikon D6 Technical Specifications

Nikon D5 vs Nikon D6
Nikon D5 vs Nikon D6
  • Autofocus: phase-detect autofocus with 105 cross-type focus points
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, HDMI mini, Gigabit Ethernet, USB-C, and Wi-Fi
  • Continuous shooting speed: 14 fps
  • Image sensor: 20.8 Megapixel full-frame CMOS
  • ISO range: 100 – 102,400
  • Max Image Size: 5568 x 3712
  • Metering Modes: center-weighted, highlight weighted, matrix and spot
  • Video Resolution: 4K (2160p) and Full HD (1080p)
  • Viewfinder: Pentaprism
  • Storage: 2x CFExpress (Type B) & 1x XQD
  • Dimensions: 160 x 163 x 92 mm
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds (body only) or 3.2 pounds (body, battery, and storage cards)

Nikon D5 vs. Nikon D6: Design and Ergonomics Comparison

Nikon D5 vs Nikon D6
Nikon D5 vs Nikon D6 – Ergonomics Comparison

Physically the D5 and the D6 are almost identical. The D5 is a very solid unit with remarkably impressive ergonomics, so it makes sense that Nikon reused the same design on the D6.

What about the top of the camera? Apart from very small variations, the D5 and the D6 are again almost identical.

The knob placement is similar so are the labels. However, Nikon did make a subtle change to the left dial on the D6, which is now a bit taller.

What’s more, the Shape of the BKT, metering and MODE buttons has changed a bit, and there is a small indentation in the middle.

Nikon D5 vs. Nikon D6: Sensor Comparison

Nikon D5 vs Nikon D6
Nikon D5 vs Nikon D6 – Sensor

The imaging sensor is at the heart of DSLRs, and its size is one of the key determining factors of picture quality.

A large imaging sensor has a larger individual pixel count, which means better low-light sensitivity, richer color-depth, and wider dynamic range.

A larger sensor gives photographers and videographers more creative options when using low DOF (depth-of-field) to separate a subject from its background.

The downside of larger sensors is that they tend to be pricier, leading to bigger and heavier cameras.

Both the D5 and the D6 feature full-frame sensors and have a format factor of 1.0. Inside the spectrum of camera imaging sensors, this places the D5 and the D6 among large-sensor cameras that produce top-notch picture quality.

Both these cameras have the same sensor size; they also have an identical resolution of 20.8 Megapixels. The resemblance in imaging sensor specification means that both the D5 and the D6 have similar pixel density and size.

However, note that the D6 is younger than the D5; as such, its sensor will have benefitted from technological advancements making it somewhat better than the D6’s.

Nikon D5 vs. Nikon D6: Physical Comparison and Price

If you’re aiming to carry a pro DSLR frequently, you’ll want to consider the dimensions and weight.

The D5 measures 160mm x 158.5mm x 92mm and weighs 3.12 pounds, whereas the D6 measures 160mm x 163mm x 92mm and weighs 2.8 pounds

When it comes to price, the Nikon D5 costs around $5200 or €3930, whereas the Nikon D6 costs around $6,496 or €4900. So as you can see, the D6 is pricier but with better specs overall.

Final Thought

So what conclusions can we draw? Is there a clear winner between the D5 and the D6? Based on technical specs, the D6 is the clear winner.

However, the pertinence of various cameras aspects will differ from photographer to photographer. Therefore consider the individual camera traits to find out which camera is ideal for your imaging needs.

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