Closer inspection of the video capabilities of the professional Nikon D5 reveal it isn't quite as good as it seems

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Amidst all of the excitement of the launch of the Nikon D5, the precise details of the 4K video capture seem to have been somewhat overlooked. Scroll through the full specification of the camera reveals that in the 4K UHD video capture the Nikon D5 only has 3mins of recording time.

Niikon D5 WEB SIZE

The reason behind the short recording time remains unclear. One theory is that the sensor and processor are simply not designed to cope with the amount of data that is created by shooting 4K video, although this seems unlikely given the shooting rate of the camera, and the fact it can make use of XQD cards. A more likely suggestion is that the camera can simply not disperse the heat generated by the sensor and processor when in this mode. With the advanced weather sealing on the Nikon D5 there are few places for heat to escape the camera, and the recording time may have crippled to 3mins to prevent over heating which could potentially damage the camera.

Whether you consider the 3min recording length to be too short will depend entirely on what you intentions are with the Nikon D5. Three minutes as actually a very long time for a single shot, with most shots we see on television only a few seconds long. However, interviews and live events will require far longer than 3mins recording time, even if the eventual shots used between cuts are far shorter.

With the camera aimed at photojournalists there is an argument that short clips of less than 3 mins will be fine for news and reportage. However, equally as a journalist you will be required to interview people and 3mins just isn’t long enough. Then again, if you are recording seriously recording 4K to an external recorder will get around the problem completely.

What is interesting is that the Nikon D500, with its APS-C sensor can record for almost 30mins at 4k resolution, which may make it the more convenient camera for shooting video.

We will be speaking to Nikon about the 4K recording in the D5 and D500 over the next few days, so keep checking back to find out more.

  • Deep Das

    Dont worry they will correct in D5s model..Its shit buying there non “s” models.Their D4 was crappy, D4s was stable.Just like you i have invested hugely on Nikon lenses

  • Richard Sibley

    Could you send us a link, please? I have checked both the Nikon UK and USA sites and both state a UHD/4K record time of 29mins 59 secs for the D500.

  • Real_

    Sure, maybe Nikon once was great like Nintendo… But something about these big companies become immune to what the future wants… And fanboys will be like all fanboys, blind and religious and keep follow on like the N64 and the GC… 3mins 4K is clearly a fart in the face, but noooo, pro don’t care, we know what pro want… Like Nintendo, noooo, PlayStation disc sucks, we know what hardcore gamers want… Nikon 4K is a fart in the face!!!

  • DisqusMan

    I just looked at the tech specs for the D500 on Nikon’s website and it also says it has a 3 minute recording time limit like the D5. You may want to update they article as you’ve said it can record for 30 minutes and it would certainly annoy anyone spending that much money on a camera if they wanted this feature based on that.

  • esolesek

    NIkon has been a joke for a long time now. I don’t know what they’re doing, but I’ve already decided to leave them, despite being fairly well invested in their lenses. Their releases are consistently messed up. This is beyond insane. You can shoot longer 4K video on an iphone? Is this for real? What is wrong with the company?