Nikon D500 vs. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Comparison

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D500 image
vs
EOS 5D Mark IV image
Nikon D500 Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
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Megapixels
20.90
30.10
Max. image resolution
5568 x 3712
6720 x 4480

Sensor

Sensor type
CMOS
CMOS
Sensor size
23.5 x 15.7 mm
36 x 24 mm
Sensor resolution
5600 x 3733
6720 x 4480
Diagonal
28.26 mm
43.27 mm
Sensor size comparison
Sensor size is generally a good indicator of the quality of the camera. Sensors can vary greatly in size. As a general rule, the bigger the sensor, the better the image quality.

Bigger sensors are more effective because they have more surface area to capture light. An important factor when comparing digital cameras is also camera generation. Generally, newer sensors will outperform the older.

Learn more about sensor sizes »

Actual sensor size

Note: Actual size is set to screen → change »
vs
1 : 2.34
(ratio)
Nikon D500 Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Surface area:
368.95 mm² vs 864.00 mm²
Difference: 495.05 mm² (134%)
5D Mark IV sensor is approx. 2.34x bigger than D500 sensor.
Pixel pitch
4.2 µm
5.36 µm
Pixel pitch tells you the distance from the center of one pixel (photosite) to the center of the next. It tells you how close the pixels are to each other.

The bigger the pixel pitch, the further apart they are and the bigger each pixel is. Bigger pixels tend to have better signal to noise ratio and greater dynamic range.
Difference: 1.16 µm (28%)
Pixel pitch of 5D Mark IV is approx. 28% higher than pixel pitch of D500.
Pixel area
17.64 µm²
28.73 µm²
Pixel or photosite area affects how much light per pixel can be gathered. The larger it is the more light can be collected by a single pixel.

Larger pixels have the potential to collect more photons, resulting in greater dynamic range, while smaller pixels provide higher resolutions (more detail) for a given sensor size.
Relative pixel sizes:
vs
Pixel area difference: 11.09 µm² (63%)
A pixel on Canon 5D Mark IV sensor is approx. 63% bigger than a pixel on Nikon D500.
Pixel density
5.68 MP/cm²
3.48 MP/cm²
Pixel density tells you how many million pixels fit or would fit in one square cm of the sensor.

Higher pixel density means smaller pixels and lower pixel density means larger pixels.
Difference: 2.2 µm (63%)
Nikon D500 has approx. 63% higher pixel density than Canon 5D Mark IV.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.



Specs

Nikon D500
Canon 5D Mark IV
Crop factor
1.53
1
Total megapixels
21.56
31.70
Effective megapixels
20.90
30.10
Optical zoom
 
 
Digital zoom
No
ISO sensitivity
Auto, 100 - 51200 (expandable to 50 - 1640000)
Auto, 100-32000 (expandable to 50-102400)
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
Macro focus range
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
Aperture priority
Yes
Yes
Max. aperture
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
n/a
n/a
Metering
Multi, Center-weighted, Highlight-weighted, Spot
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot, Partial
Exposure compensation
±5 EV (in 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
±5 EV (in 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
Shutter priority
Yes
Yes
Min. shutter speed
30 sec
30 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/8000 sec
1/8000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
Optical (pentaprism)
Optical (pentaprism)
White balance presets
12
6
Screen size
3.2"
3.2"
Screen resolution
2,359,000 dots
1,620,000 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
3840x2160 (30p/25p/24p)
4096x2160 (30p/25p/24p)
Storage types
SD/SDHC/SDXC/XQD
SD/SDHC/SDXC/CompactFlash
USB
USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Lithium-Ion EN-EL15 rechargeable battery
LP-E6N lithium-ion battery
Weight
760 g
890 g
Dimensions
147 x 115 x 81 mm
150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9 mm
Year
2016
2016




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vs

Diagonal

Diagonal is calculated by the use of Pythagorean theorem:
Diagonal =  w² + h²
where w = sensor width and h = sensor height

Nikon D500 diagonal

w = 23.50 mm
h = 15.70 mm
Diagonal =  23.50² + 15.70²   = 28.26 mm

Canon 5D Mark IV diagonal

w = 36.00 mm
h = 24.00 mm
Diagonal =  36.00² + 24.00²   = 43.27 mm


Surface area

Surface area is calculated by multiplying the width and the height of a sensor.

D500 sensor area

Width = 23.50 mm
Height = 15.70 mm

Surface area = 23.50 × 15.70 = 368.95 mm²

5D Mark IV sensor area

Width = 36.00 mm
Height = 24.00 mm

Surface area = 36.00 × 24.00 = 864.00 mm²


Pixel pitch

Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of the next measured in micrometers (µm). It can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel pitch =   sensor width in mm  × 1000
sensor resolution width in pixels

D500 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 23.50 mm
Sensor resolution width = 5600 pixels
Pixel pitch =   23.50  × 1000  = 4.2 µm
5600

5D Mark IV pixel pitch

Sensor width = 36.00 mm
Sensor resolution width = 6720 pixels
Pixel pitch =   36.00  × 1000  = 5.36 µm
6720


Pixel area

The area of one pixel can be calculated by simply squaring the pixel pitch:
Pixel area = pixel pitch²

You could also divide sensor surface area with effective megapixels:
Pixel area =   sensor surface area in mm²
effective megapixels

D500 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 4.2 µm

Pixel area = 4.2² = 17.64 µm²

5D Mark IV pixel area

Pixel pitch = 5.36 µm

Pixel area = 5.36² = 28.73 µm²


Pixel density

Pixel density can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel density =  ( sensor resolution width in pixels )² / 1000000
sensor width in cm

One could also use this formula:
Pixel density =   effective megapixels × 1000000  / 10000
sensor surface area in mm²

D500 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 5600 pixels
Sensor width = 2.35 cm

Pixel density = (5600 / 2.35)² / 1000000 = 5.68 MP/cm²

5D Mark IV pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 6720 pixels
Sensor width = 3.6 cm

Pixel density = (6720 / 3.6)² / 1000000 = 3.48 MP/cm²


Sensor resolution

Sensor resolution is calculated from sensor size and effective megapixels. It's slightly higher than maximum (not interpolated) image resolution which is usually stated on camera specifications. Sensor resolution is used in pixel pitch, pixel area, and pixel density formula. For sake of simplicity, we're going to calculate it in 3 stages.

1. First we need to find the ratio between horizontal and vertical length by dividing the former with the latter (aspect ratio). It's usually 1.33 (4:3) or 1.5 (3:2), but not always.

2. With the ratio (r) known we can calculate the X from the formula below, where X is a vertical number of pixels:
(X × r) × X = effective megapixels × 1000000    →   
X =  effective megapixels × 1000000
r
3. To get sensor resolution we then multiply X with the corresponding ratio:

Resolution horizontal: X × r
Resolution vertical: X

D500 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 23.50 mm
Sensor height = 15.70 mm
Effective megapixels = 20.90
r = 23.50/15.70 = 1.5
X =  20.90 × 1000000  = 3733
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3733 × 1.5 = 5600
Resolution vertical: X = 3733

Sensor resolution = 5600 x 3733

5D Mark IV sensor resolution

Sensor width = 36.00 mm
Sensor height = 24.00 mm
Effective megapixels = 30.10
r = 36.00/24.00 = 1.5
X =  30.10 × 1000000  = 4480
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 4480 × 1.5 = 6720
Resolution vertical: X = 4480

Sensor resolution = 6720 x 4480


Crop factor

Crop factor or focal length multiplier is calculated by dividing the diagonal of 35 mm film (43.27 mm) with the diagonal of the sensor.
Crop factor =   43.27 mm
sensor diagonal in mm


D500 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 28.26 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.53
28.26

5D Mark IV crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 43.27 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1
43.27

35 mm equivalent aperture

Equivalent aperture (in 135 film terms) is calculated by multiplying lens aperture with crop factor (a.k.a. focal length multiplier).

D500 equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Nikon D500, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Nikon D500 is 1.53

5D Mark IV equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Canon 5D Mark IV, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Since crop factor for Canon 5D Mark IV is 1, the equivalent aperture is aperture.

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