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D500 vs d7500

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Old Saturday 25th May 2019, 14:20   #1
StuartReeves
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D500 vs d7500

I have a Nikon D300 which has done sterling service and still takes great photos, mostly with my 80-400mm lens, but I'm thinking about replacing it. I've been down this road before - see this thread) - but ended-up buying a new lens instead of a new camera. If I'm going to stay with a DX sensor, the choice seems to be between the D500 (the direct replacement for the D300) and the smaller, cheaper D7500. Does anyone have any views on the relative merits of these two cameras for bird photography? In particular, what advantages does the D500 have over the d7500 in practice and do they merit paying the extra cash?

Thanks in advance for any help,

Stuart
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Old Saturday 25th May 2019, 15:40   #2
Andrew Whitehouse
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I've not used the D7500 but have the D7200, as well as the D500. To me the most obvious advantages of the D500 are that it's quicker to focus and has a better viewfinder.
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Old Saturday 25th May 2019, 21:13   #3
marcsantacurz
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The d7500 has a single Sd slot and only 8 FPS. It is, however, easier to use with the U1/U2 vs the d500 memory banks. The d500 has XQD which is a really nice format and very fast.

The d500, d5, and d850 all have the same focusing unit, whereas the d7500 uses a different one. I don't know how the d7500 compares for action focusing vs the d500. The d500 is really really good.

If you use a wired shutter release, the d500 has the 10-pin interface which is pretty solid. The d7500 uses the plug on the side of the camera that I tend to break.

If you use a battery grip for portrait shots, the d500 has a good option with full communications. The d7500 does not have a Nikon grip and the Vello uses an external wire to connect to the USB port on the side of the camera.

For uncropped photos, I've seen reviews that put the d7500 up to ISO 25,600 and the d500 up to 51,200 with usable results. Back when I had the d500, I would shoot it up in the 3200 - 6400 range quite often when I needed the shutter speed, and the images were quite usable even cropped some (edited from raws).

In summary, the memory banks of the d500 are awful and the worst part of the camera, though I lived with it then and now on my d850. The d7500 would be much easier to use if you switch between two modes (say people and things). I used the d500 for a few weeks in Alaska last year and it was a real winner, even on drizzly overcast days.

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Old Tuesday 28th May 2019, 19:18   #4
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The D500 has twice as many autofocus points and it has a dedicated autofocus processor (same setup as is found in D5 and D850). The D7500 is a slight improvement over the D7200 and not nearly as good for photographing birds in flight. The new autofocus system is the first substantial improvement with Nikon autofocus since the introduction of the D3 in 2007.

The D500 is the least expensive camera you can buy that provides excellent autofocus performance for bird photography. Its group AF actually works, unlike that of the D750. I was getting close to 100% keepers when photographing hummingbirds in the wild with this camera and using its Group AF mode.
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Old Tuesday 28th May 2019, 19:47   #5
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Thanks all. I had a play with a D500 in a shop today and I think it's probably what I will end-up buying.
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 05:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcsantacurz View Post
It is, however, easier to use with the U1/U2 vs the d500 memory banks.
Marc
Hey Marc, can you elaborate on these memory banks? I have a D7200 and heavily use the U1/2 switch. Is this different/worse on the D500?

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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 06:06   #7
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Hey Marc, can you elaborate on these memory banks? I have a D7200 and heavily use the U1/2 switch. Is this different/worse on the D500?

Thanks
On the 7000s and 5000s, the U settings basically lock in all settings. They do not change unless you re-save them. It is easy. Very little cognitive load.

On the high-end cameras, the d5, d4, d3, d850, d500, Nikon has a different scheme called memory banks. There are two: shooting banks and custom settings banks, corresponding to those menus. You have 4 memories (A, B, C, D) for each, so you have 16 combinations. You can also assign a descriptive name for each memory location in each bank (e.g. people, things, sports).

An issue is that when you are in a setting and you change something, it is automatically updated in the memory bank. So if you had a Custom bank with AF-C release priority Focus and you change it to Release, it is updated. This makes it a even more complicated because its a moving target.

To make it even more complicated, the Photo Shooting bank has an option ("extended banks") that if turned on also record the exposure more, shutter speed (S & M), aperture (A & M), and flash mode.

If you can setup the banks and and only switch between them, rather than fiddle with settings once in a bank, you're golden. They will work as expected. But if you go in and change, for example, the minimum shutter speed for auto-iSO, that's now the permanent setting until you change it back for that memory bank.

Nowadays, I mostly shoot raw, so I don't use banks as much as I used to to switch between vivid and normal. I still use them to switch between people and sports, but that's all in the Photo Shooting bank not the custom bank. The

Here's a few youtube that explain it. Maybe you could find better ones, these are the two that didn't seem too bad.
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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 01:18   #8
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Originally Posted by marcsantacurz View Post
If you can setup the banks and and only switch between them, rather than fiddle with settings once in a bank, you're golden. They will work as expected. But if you go in and change, for example, the minimum shutter speed for auto-iSO, that's now the permanent setting until you change it back for that memory bank.[/list]
Thanks for that explanation. Very helpful. I do fiddle with the settings quite a bit when I am in U1/U2 (particularly the ISO and exposure compensation), so I can certainly see how that would be frustrating. From watching those videos, it also seems like it takes quite a bit longer to change between banks that is does U1/U2. It looks like you have to actually open the menu (which takes a second or two), and then navigate it on screen. That would be pretty annoying, where with U1/U2 you can make the switch instantly without even lowering the camera (helpful if you're shooting a perched bird and all of a sudden another goes buzzing overhead).
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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 05:44   #9
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I believe you can program a function button to pull up the photo or custom banks and change them by rotating the front/back dials. I don't use that, but I heard it can be done.

I just don't fiddle with settings much any more and shoot raw. The settings I change, like ISO or FX/DX, are hard buttons. Or speed and aperture are dials. I mostly shoot M or P.

I think the d500 and d850 are worth the effort. They are both great cameras hindered by memory banks. But if you use U's a lot, it might be hard.

I really hope that with the Z series, menu banks are dead forevermore. So far Z has only had U's.
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