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D500: What am I missing?


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#1
StephenJohn

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I received a lot of helpful information through 2 posts here while I was trying to decide what camera to migrate to (from the D5300).  Eventually, I decided on a 2-camera approach (CD and FX), purchased a  used D750 and went with the D500 for the DX (as opposed to a D7500).  The "pro's" were that the D500 was a better camera and the D7500 might be easier to operate in a 2-camera environment (similar to controlling the D750).  MY WORRY about the D500 was losing the safety net of the scene modes found in lesser models and now having to "struggle" to find settings to use in each application.   Folks here were very encouraging and after 2 weeks of testing/success shooting the D750 in Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority, I gained the confidence to go with the D500.

 

FAST FORWARD 1 MONTH:   I'm out every day shooting beach birds (plus an air show) with the D500 and D750, using the 80-400MM lens.    I'm getting EXCELLENT to SPECTAULAR results regularly.   But in all honesty, the images from the D500 are no better than the ones from the D750.

 

SO, WHAT AM I MISSING?   Would I have been better off with the D7500 (given that it is sometimes confusing when switching between the 500/750)?   I bought the D500 new with the 16-80MM F/2.8-4 lens for $2100.  Someone is offering me $1500 for the D500 (body only).  Am I better off taking that deal, buying a D7500 for $1000, and ending up with the D7500 and the nice 16-80mm lens for a total of $1600?  Or keeping the D500 & lens for a cost of $2100?

IS THE D500 (and lens) WORTH $500 more than the D7500 (same lens)?


 

 

 

 

 

 



#2
krag96

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Why would you think image quality would be better in one Nikon vs. another in the same format and vintage with the same sensor and processor?   It goes much deeper than that.  For what you're shooting, (air shows and beach birds, I'll add sports, racing, children and other fast moving things) the D500 is the better machine by far.  The D500 is 2fps faster than the D7500, will take a battery grip, has longer battery life, better bracketing, 3X the screen resolution, 3X more focus points, and a higher build quality to name a few. 

 

What are you giving up with a D500 vs. a D7500?  On board flash, scenes and effects modes.  On board flash I would very rarely miss.  Scenes mode is mostly a white balance specific, (lighting type tool) I don't use, I set my D700's and D750 to auto white balance in most cases unless I want a specific look, then set it accordingly.  Most times on my cameras, WB is on Auto, Nikon does a great job with white balance, so why complicate things?.   Effects can be interesting to a point, if you're looking for such an ''effect''.  I can find the same in most cases in post processing, and more. 

 

It isn't a case of the two cameras presenting the same shot at the same settings, (like writing or reading music) post processing will present the photos, (like preforming the music).  Look at the D500 as a high quality instrument with capabilities the seasoned player uses to broaden his music vs. a lower quality instrument with a narrower range.  You can play the same music on either, but in this case, the higher quality instrument will give a broader spectrum and be the more useful tool to obtain the raw image to begin with, (you can get a broader range of images and not miss a critical shot with the better instrument).  Post processing is your presentation, but if it isn't there to begin with...what do you have?  In short, you'll get more shots with the D500 than you will with the D7500.  You may not even notice it.  If you miss the effects mode, you can gain it back in post processing and make it what you like-how you like.  

 

In my case, I shot film with a pair of Canon F1n's and had a cheap totally mechanical Canon SLR for a back up, just in case.  The light meter didn't even work on it, had to use the old Kodak, ''Sunny 16'' rule, but it didn't even need a battery to work and take pictures!  I had the basics for 35mm film photography.  Then one day, more recently I went digital.  Digital scared the hell out of me, I'm not of the digital generation so I decided to start with a camera that wouldn't intimidate me, (so I thought).  I looked at Canon, Nikon, and Pentax and Nikon seemed to be what I though I could learn on the easiest, I bought a Nikon D5500.  That was a mistake on my part.  Yes, it was/is a very easy camera to use if you like AUTO mode, but way too many motions in MANUAL for my liking.  With only one command dial I had to remember too many button combinations to get what I wanted.  To solve this I bought a D700 which is a 180 degree turn from a D5500 as for manual photography and I felt at home again.  

 

Later I found I would like more dynamic range and a few more mega pixels for low light street type photography.  The D750 made the most sense, so I added one to the line up.  No-one makes a perfect DSLR to meet our individual needs.  We often find two or more model bodies are needed to cover everything we shoot.  My opinion is, (for what you shoot) you made the right choices.  A D7500 would leave you missing some shots.  What you think you miss in the D7500 can be made up in post processing.  Affinity Photo is your friend, check it out.

 

Same photo, first out of camera, nothing done post

 

ER9j5Hyl.jpg

 

post-processed

 

y2JCijKl.jpg



#3
Merco_61

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You would probably get much more misfocused shots and missed opportunities with the D7500 since the good old 51-point AF tends to hunt much more when it loses AF tracking.

I wish I shot enough action to justify getting a D500. It is the best suited body for bif and aircraft in flight, better than both D5 and D6 as you will be more agile using the shorter focal lengths you can get away with compared to FX because of the crop. The extra reach is a myth, but the crop will still give advantages for these types of shooting.

The D7500 is dumbed-down compared to the D7200 to not cannibalize sales from the D500.

#4
TBonz

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I agree.  I mostly shoot action and when I decided to pick up a 3rd body to pair with my D4 bodies, the D500 was my choice.  The D7200 would have been my second choice over the D7500 for many of the reasons Peter pointed out above.  You have two great bodies - looking forward to seeing some images in the best photo of the week section!



#5
Ron

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If I had to choose, and unfortunately I don't, I'd pick the D500 and sell the D7500 while it's resale value is still reasonably high.

 

Photography is a lifelong learning experience and most people who seriously take it up, either as a budding pro or just for the love of it, gradually progress from cheaper, less capable cameras and lenses towards higher end bodies and lenses. That doesn't mean that those cheaper cameras can't produce excellent photos, but at some point you'll reach a plateau where your less capable body (or lens) limits your ability to capture the image you envision. Granted this happens less often with modern bodies and lenses. But it does happen.

 

By choosing a high end body to start with you future proof yourself a bit. Unfortunately, you have to learn to walk the high wire without a safety net (scene controls).

 

--Ron



#6
bluzman

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I will not dispute that the D500 is a great camera. That said, I guess I'll offer a different opinion here but with the caveat that I the majority of what I shoot is not fast action. I own both a D7500 and a D750 as well as a couple of other Nikon ILCs. I have no issues using the the D7500 to capture images of birds in flight despite it having only 51 AF points and many fewer cross AF points. I have considered trying to find a reasonably priced used D500 from time to time. My enthusiasm to actually buy one, however, has always been tempered by several things.

 

I'm not a professional. As such, I don't care if a body has two card slots (my D750 does but that wasn't the reason I got it). Also, I've never experienced an SD card failure on any of the many cards I've owned. The D500 is heavier and larger than the D7500 and that difference is only increased by employing a battery grip. Moreover, at least for the way I shoot, battery life is not an issue although I admit that I always carry a spare. The D500 and D7500 use the same sensor and the same generation of processing. Finally, I don't use Scene or Effects modes but having a built-in fill flash is a plus for me.

 

There are other differences to be sure but for me, I simply haven't been able to justify replacing my D7500 with the D500.

 

P.S. For post processing (I shoot RAW + jpg), I've found that Nikon's free Capture NX-D and, most recently, NX Studio work fine for me. YMMV