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Nikon D5 vs Sony A7S

The Nikon D5 and the Sony Alpha A7S are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and April 2014. The D5 is a DSLR, while the A7S is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 20.7 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 12 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D5   Sony A7S
Nikon D5 Sony A7S
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
20.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor 12 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-102400 (50-3280000) ISO 100-102400 (50-409600)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots)
3.2" LCD, 2359k dots 3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
14 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
3780 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
160 x 159 x 92 mm, 1415 g 127 x 94 x 48 mm, 489 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D5 and the Sony Alpha A7S? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Nikon D5 vs Sony A7S

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D5 and the Sony A7S is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D5 vs Sony A7S
Compare D5 versus A7S top
Comparison D5 or A7S rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A7S is considerably smaller (53 percent) than the Nikon D5. Moreover, the A7S is substantially lighter (65 percent) than the D5. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D5) and the Sony FE Lens Catalog (A7S). Mirrorless cameras, such as the A7S, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the D5 gets 3780 shots out of its EN-EL18a battery, while the A7S can take 380 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D5 has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the A7S, Sony provides the VG-C1EM vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay). The power pack in the A7S can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D5» 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
 
Sony A7S« 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 17.2 oz 380 Y Apr 2014 2,499- i Sony A7S
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.7 oz 1120 Y Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
Nikon D850« » 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
 
Nikon D4S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.6 oz 3020 Y Feb 2014 6,499- i Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D750« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 26.5 oz 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
 
Nikon Df« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D3S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 43.7 oz 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 44.4 oz 4400 Y Dec 2008 7,999- i Nikon D3X
 
Sony A7S II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.1 oz 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.7 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
 
Sony A7R« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A7S was launched at a markedly lower price (by 62 percent) than the D5, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D5 vs Sony A7S

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Nikon D5 and Sony A7S sensor measures

With 20.7MP, the D5 offers a higher resolution than the A7S (12MP), but the D5 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.44μm versus 8.45μm for the A7S). However, the D5 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the A7S, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D5 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D5 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.9 x 18.6 inch or 71 x 47.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 22.4 x 14.8 inch or 56.8 x 37.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.6 x 12.4 inch or 47.3 x 31.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony A7S are 21.2 x 14.2 inch or 53.8 x 36 cm for good quality, 17 x 11.3 inch or 43.1 x 28.8 cm for very good quality, and 14.1 x 9.4 inch or 35.9 x 24 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 102400, which can be extended to ISO 50-3280000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A7S are ISO 100 to ISO 102400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-409600.

D5 versus A7S MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D5» Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388Nikon D5
 
Sony A7S« Full Frame 12.0 4240 28321080/60p23.913.2370287Sony A7S
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« » Full Frame 17.9 5184 34561080/30p23.811.8278682Canon 1D X
 
Nikon D850« » Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100Nikon D850
 
Nikon D4S« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/60p24.413.3307489Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D750« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693Nikon D750
 
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094Nikon D600
 
Nikon D3S« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-24.713.7199288Nikon D3X
 
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890Sony A7
 
Sony A7R« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695Sony A7R

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D5 provides a higher video resolution than the A7S. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D5 vs Sony A7S

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A7S has an electronic viewfinder (2400k dots), while the D5 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the D5 has a higher magnification than the one of the A7S (0.72x vs 0.71x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D5 and Sony A7S in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D5»optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n Nikon D5
 
Sony A7S«2400 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Sony A7S
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n Canon 1D X
 
Nikon D850« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n n Nikon D850
 
Nikon D4S« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D750« »optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D750
 
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n Nikon D600
 
Nikon D3S« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D3X
 
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Sony A7
 
Sony A7R« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 4.0 n n Sony A7R

One feature that is present on the D5, but is missing on the A7S is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the A7S is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Nikon D5 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The D5 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or XQD cards, while the A7S uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The D5 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the A7S only has one slot.

 

Connectivity comparison: Nikon D5 vs Sony A7S

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D5 and Sony Alpha A7S and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D5»YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D5
 
Sony A7S«YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D X
 
Nikon D850« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D850
 
Nikon D4S« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D750« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Nikon D750
 
Nikon Df« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D600
 
Nikon D3S« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D3X
 
Sony A7S II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7
 
Sony A7R« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R

It is notable that the A7S offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D5 does not offer wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D5 (unlike the A7S) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The D5 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the A7S has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A7S was succeeded by the Sony A7S II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Sony websites.


Review summary: Nikon D5 vs Sony A7S

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D5 or the Sony A7S – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D5:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.7 vs 12MP) with a 32% higher linear resolution.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.2 bits more color depth).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.72x vs 0.71x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 921k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (3780 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 9 months after the A7S).

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha A7S:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (127x94mm vs 160x159mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 926g or 65 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (62 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2014).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D5 is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 12 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D5 17:12 A7S

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D5 and the Sony A7S place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D5 or the A7S perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Nikon D5 vs Sony A7S

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D5»-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
 
Sony A7S«-86/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2014 2,499- i Sony A7S
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 1D X« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
Nikon D850« »+ +89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
 
Nikon D4S« »--4.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2014 6,499- i Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D750« »+ +90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
 
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »+ +87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« »+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D3S« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X« »-86/1004/55/55/5 Dec 2008 7,999- i Nikon D3X
 
Sony A7S II« »+-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« »+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7« »+ +80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
 
Sony A7R« »+ +82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon D5:
Check Amazon price
Sony A7S:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Nikon D5 vs Sony A7S

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D5 Sony A7S
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 April 2014
    Launch Price USD 6499 USD 2499
    Sensor Specs Nikon D5 Sony A7S
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9 mm 35.8 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 858.01 mm2 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.1 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 20.7 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5588 x 3712 pixels 4240 x 2832 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.44 μm 8.45 μm
    Pixel Density 2.42 MP/cm2 1.40 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-102400 ISO 100-102400 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-3280000 ISO 50-409600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 5 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 88 87
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.1 23.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.3 13.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2343 3702
    Screen Specs Nikon D5 Sony A7S
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.72x 0.71x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2400k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 2359k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D5 Sony A7S
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000/s 1/8000/s
    Continuous Shooting 14 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterno E-ShutterYES
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or XQD cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D5 Sony A7S
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D5 Sony A7S
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL18a power pack NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)3780 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 160 x 159 x 92 mm
    (6.3 x 6.3 x 3.6 in)
    127 x 94 x 48 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 1.9 in)
    Camera Weight 1415 g (49.9 oz) 489 g (17.2 oz)

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