Author Topic: Nikon D500  (Read 99 times)

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Offline Dominic Chan

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Nikon D500
« on: May 15, 2017, 09:05 AM »
I am curious if anyone is shooting sports or low-light situation / events using D500 and like to share their opinions? Esp. those who have both D5 and D500.  Or others who decide to go with D500 plus another full frame and ditch the D5?

thanks!

Offline Warren Toda

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Re: Nikon D500
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 01:24 PM »
I'd say the D500 is maybe 1-1/2 to 2 stops**  worse than a D4S at mid-range and higher ISOs. I don't have a D5.

On a D500, I have no hesitation of using ISO 25,600 (well, maybe a bit of hesitation) and I'd use ISO 51,200 if I really, really had to. ISO 100,000 might be useable but that will depend on your definition of useable.

At ISO 200,000, everything has to line up just right – good lighting, no fine details, small reproduction size – and/or you are very, very desperate.

The top three ISOs (ISO 400,000, 800,000 and 1.6 million) aren't really useable.

Below ISO 12,800 or so, I don't think the difference between the D500 and D5 is huge. But remember that the D5 costs three times as much.


Problems with the D500 are:

• The focus tracking is missing the "d9" option (to track using 9 focus targets). No idea why it's missing and no idea why it hasn't been fixed through a firmware update. The D500 has been out for over a year.

• The built-in wifi/bluetooth is not at all what you expect it to be. The wifi/bluetooth works only with proprietary Nikon software (which is not very good) and only with cellphones and tablets. For me, the built-in wifi is completely useless.  I assume this could be fixed with a major firmware update but I doubt Nikon will do it. By contrast, Canon's 5DmkIV apparently has very good built-in wifi.

• No voice annotations. This, too, could be fixed through firmware but it won't happen.

• No ethernet

• Battery life is adequate and that's with the wifi/bluetooth turned off. With every other Nikon camera I've had, I've been able to get reasonably close to Nikon's estimated number of shots per charge. But with the D500, I get about 60%-70% of Nikon's estimated number of shots per charge. I'm using Nikon's newest Li-ion20 batteries.


I bought the D500 as a temporary camera: I needed a camera last year, Nikon hadn't announced its two new full-frame cameras yet  ;)  and the D500 was one-third the cost of a D5.

Also, the D500's 1.5X crop factor means that it was cheaper to buy a D500 to use with my 300 f2.8 than to buy a 400 f2.8 or 500 f4. Think of a D500 as an expensive teleconverter  :)

When on sale at $2300 (and even at $2200), the D500 is a pretty good deal. The battery grip is very overpriced. XQD cards are nice. The tilt-screen does come in handy once in a while. I don't use the touchscreen.


**Added: By definition (and by physics) small-sensor cameras always have at least a one-stop disadvantage compared to a corresponding full-frame camera. Smaller sensor => smaller pixels.

For example, you cannot fairly compare a D500 at ISO 12,800 with a D5 at 12,800. A fairer comparison might be with the D5 at 25,600 to 40,000.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 06:19 PM by Warren Toda »


Offline Dominic Chan

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Re: Nikon D500
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 09:29 AM »
Great write up!  I probably end up doing a D500 as I don't imagine shooting above ISO 10,000 and wait to see about the suppose to be coming out replacement for D810. I am 100% in agreement in terms of D5 pricing.

Regarding Nikon battery grip ... I have start using non Nikon and I found a reasonable brand (Neewer, they make some and most are rebrand of something) that I am happy with. Will do another post on which brand makes what.

Offline Warren Toda

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Re: Nikon D500
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 05:14 PM »
The D500 is probably as good as a D4, and maybe even better. I don't think it's as good as a D4S but it's close. And the D500 is $4,600 less than what a D4S cost.

When you need to shoot long, a D500 is better than using a D4S and cropping. The D500's small sensor means the autofocus targets cover much of the viewfinder.

The D500 is not magical despite what Nikon says. The camera's autofocus can still miss and the high ISOs have noise. But the noise cleans up very well in software. Of course, photographers have the bad habit of looking at their images at high magnification with their nose right up against the computer screen.

The D500's auto white balance is the best Nikon auto white balance I've used, (although that's not saying much), other than maybe the D4S. It's not perfect but I do use it from time to time. I never used the auto white balance on any previous camera.

The D500 is just one big firmware update away from being (nearly) perfect.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 05:19 PM by Warren Toda »


Offline Dominic Chan

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Re: Nikon D500
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 10:20 PM »
I tried the D5 in sports at Greycup / MLS playoff. Overall happy with it just not the pricing. White balance...love it. Focus not perfect but I did end up back in 9-point or 21-point. I do like crop factor focus a bit better because the focusing point goes closer to the edge vs full frame that stays just in the middle. I just called Nikon to borrow the D500 for Memorial Cup coming up.

I tried the D4 and D4S in concert/event. Didn't see enough justification over my D3 / D3s and D7100.  My D3 just went out after 350k clicks. it's almost 10 years old and I have dropped that thing a number of times. I figure its time to add couple new camera to the mix instead of fixing.

Besides performance, these days I am also looking at replacement value...if I drop and destroy the gear...I want to be in the position where I can say I don't care.




Offline Jimmy Jeong

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Re: Nikon D500
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 12:50 PM »
In the USA, you get the grip for free if you purchase a D500. But they won't ship the camera to Canada. So you might have to drive down or get an American friend to buy it for you.


Jimmy Jeong
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Offline Dominic Chan

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Re: Nikon D500
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 04:56 PM »
WOW! Good to know. Well I am right at Windsor next 10 days..ahmm. The problem is Nikon Canada won't service for any thing that is purchased outside of Canada. I have owned 7 Nikon digital, and I have sent back 4 of them within first 6 months for sensor problem. 

On a separate note: All the sent backs are Canadian. The other was all USA model. go figures!

Offline Jimmy Jeong

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Re: Nikon D500
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2017, 07:15 PM »
Well that's silly if they won't service USA models. It's not like its Grey Market gear. So, if I'm in the USA as a tourist and I buy a camera do I have to send it to the states to have it serviced?


Jimmy Jeong
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Offline Dominic Chan

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Re: Nikon D500
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2017, 09:17 PM »
According to Nikon Canada...yup! you mail it to USA.