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Old Jul 17, 2016, 4:41 PM   #1
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Default My Nikon D500 Thoughts

After using the Nikon D500 for 5 weeks here are my thoughts…….

Note: I move from Pentax to Nikon because my 2 Pentax K-3 bodies had over 200,000 shutter clicks and the new released Pentax's were a major let down especially the K-1. I needed a top of the line fast camera for what I do not a middle of the road camera. The K-1 lacked a deep buffer and faster frame rate...... M ral options were another K-3, a K-3ii or moving to Cannon or Nikon. After 2 weeks of heavy reviewing/studying etc I choose a Nikon D500 that arrived 5 weeks ago.

All the written reviews are way off on who this camera is meant for. It is not a middle of the line camera or even prosumer. This is CLEARLY a PRO body. Yes its an ASP-C (Crop Camera) but it’s a very good pro level camera. It is not a learning camera but one once you know how to adjust focus, about the various focusing modes and proper exposure etc. it will give you nothing less than pro photos. It Is a "PRO" ASP-C body and to not market it as that is a negative. Nikon says the D-5 is a pro body but not the D500 saying its one level behind. Both are very good pro bodies. The D5 is meant for FF shoots and the D500 for those who need a crop sensor camera. I guess Nikon wants to sell more D-5s but the D500 in my opinion is a "PRO" camera.

Nikon needs to be upfront on battery issues. Not just the older ion ones draining suddenly in this body, but the fact that 3rd party batteries do not work in the camera or at least in a number of the cameras. Even several suppliers had no idea about this till brought to their attention and they followed up on it. Nikon did tell one supplier yes what did this for a reason so their is an issue with 3rd party batteries how big I have not really found out.

Memory Cards – as much as XQD cards cost they are much faster in terms of doing burst/fps. My testing with 2000x, 1000x and 600x SD cards proved only 2000x cards are good when you need to do 10fps. Spend the extra cash and get a XQD card (or cards if you shoot that much). Also based on the quality of AF and bursts you will be taking more photos than expected so have extra memory cards. If you need to stay with SD cards use only 2000x cards. The XQD cards are way faster/ore burst depth etc than the fastest SD cards right now.

Focus - many people are saying shoot in GP (Group Area) for fast moving subjects. I have found while it works I get better results in 3D focus tracking especially for subjects that go in and out of the frame/focus area like a bird in flight going behind a tree or column. Also when you need to move to single point AF to shoot through a fence make sure you keep the mode to Continuous focus and not changed to single AF/single shot focus because images will not be as sharp especially for moving targets..... For some reason I kept changing the mode until I finally figured out why and have not done it since but only by being careful on how I change focus. Focus is quick and good but also understand if the first frame is not sharp the entire burst will be out of focus. If in the middle of the burst you notice the frames are not in focus you can quickly stop and refocus and keep shooting (a lot faster that my old Pentax K-3 could). Also in 3D focus tracking using the Center 8 points works really well for one subject moving though the frame.

Battery grip is nice to have for use with 70-200mm type lenses/long glass. Without the grip the camera seems to be front heavy and hard to handle. Also when paired with correct batteries it last a long time. You can select to use the internal or the grip battery first (not using both equally, one will go dead before the other kicks in). Batteries in the supplied charger charge in about 2 ˝ to 3 hours.

Al in all, in the same shooting situations as with my old Pentax K-3 I am getting 30% more final/finished frames and the frames are as sharp or sharper in most cases with less post processing required from the 14 bit full raw file.
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Old Jul 17, 2016, 8:44 PM   #2
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I migrated from Pentax to Nikon in 2009 and for a short while while used both systems. At the time, I too realized the ratio of "keepers" from my Nikon (used to be a D300s) was significantly higher than what I was getting with the Pentax for my needs in aviation photography. I continue to be very satisfied with how Nikon is meeting my needs.

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