Sports body/D500 for non sports

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kylebybee, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Just because a camera body is designed to shoot sports and wildlife, doesn't mean that it's inferior to other bodies when it comes to shooting portraits, landscapes does it? I wouldn't think so. My reason for asking is if I want to shoot portraits/weddings for hire, but also like shooting sports for enjoyment, I should be able to do both with the D500, right? I know full frame is the "pro" option for weddings/portraits, but for now I'm too heavily invested in DX lenses.
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I should be able to do both with the D500​
    Of course you can. It is just that some of the features on the D500, such as 10 fps and the very fast data transfer rate with XQD memory cards, are not particularly useful for portraits and weddings, but you are paying for those features regardless.
    Meanwhile, compared to DX from the same era, FX will always have better low-light, high-ISO results which is generally a major plus for wedding photography.
    In other words, for wedding photography, the D500 will not give you the best bang for you bucks (i.e. not the best way to invest your money), but if you also need to balance against shooting sports, that maybe the best choice overall for you.
  3. Shun. I shoot ice hockey with a d4 which is coming up for 4 years old now. My plan was to trade the d4 and go for the d5 next month. I never go higher than iso3200 and shoot mostly iso2000/2500.
    The d500 is more in line with my budget and all my lenses are FX. What is your opinion on me changing my plan and going with the d500 instead of the d5 for hockey?
    I do have a d750 which I use for portraits, landscapes etc.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Brian, since I have never used the D5 and D500, it is difficult for me to comment at this point. But what is wrong with the D4? I can't imagine that the D500 will have better high ISO results than the D4, which also gives you 10 fps.
    If you are selling the D4 to upgrade to the D5, I would imagine that the upgrade will cost you $3000 to $3500 or so. That is kind of steep.
  5. Actually Shun there is nothing wrong with the d4. It is a super camera and I am very satisfied and happy with it but I have taken close to 200k images with it. My reasoning is that at some point soon, the shutter may give up on me.
    However, if someone tells me it should be ok for another 4 years or 150k, the likelihood is I would keep it until it dies on me.
  6. Kyle: Few cameras these days are "bad" at even the things they are less good at. Stick the D810 in 1.2x crop mode and it'll do 6fps, for example, which is faster than an F4 with the sports battery pack (and with much better autofocus) an matches the D300 without an external pack. I have found advantages to having frame rate and low light support available for weddings, especially during dancing and (for low light) dinner speeches. The area I've found the higher resolution sensors more useful - as, I should stress, an amateur wedding shooter - is with dynamic range. Stick the groomsmen in white-and-gold in direct Australian sunlight and (so they don't wilt) the bridesmaids in deep purple in some shadows, and you have quite a test for the sensor dynamic range, especially if you're trying not to do some very careful flash positioning. Historically, the sports cameras have been worse at dynamic range than the sensors which were optimised for landscape and portrait use. The D4/D4s isn't quite as good at minimum ISO as the D8x0, for example, and the D3/D3s are appreciably worse still. The D7200 and D810 are extremely good with dynamic range at minimum ISO - as is the D750, which holds the advantage at higher ISOs (and the D800 actually has a small edge over the D810 for some of its range). Of course, it balances out by ISO 400-800, so it's only an issue when you have enough light.

    Without seeing tests of the D500 and D5, I can't tell you whether the base ISO dynamic range is class-leading or slightly limited by the needs of high ISO and fast read-out, as with the D4 generation. If you do a lot of post-processing to reduce the need for flash, as I do, I would wait for some reviews before ordering. I'm sure it won't be bad - and Canon have managed to sell a lot of cameras with worse low-ISO dynamic range than Nikon, so it won't be the end of the world either way. But you might be giving something up, based on the behaviour of the historical models. Of course, if you never find yourself doing these kind of edits, you may not care. I wonder whether the increasing appearance of HDR televisions is going to have an effect on how significant the sensor behaviour is.

    For what it's worth, I doubt the minor resolution differences (at least to the 24MP sensors) will be remotely significant. I like having 36MP available, and I'd be slightly wary of reducing that (I wonder how many 1Ds3 shooters Canon lost with the 1Dx generation or whether they all just got 5D3s/5Ds/rs?), but I'm under no delusion that it's relevant to most situations. Though if I'm doing a group shot of the wedding attendees, the more pixels the merrier. But you can always stitch.
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Brian, the D4 has a shutter that is rated to 400,000 actuations. Therefore, yours should last a while longer, but nobody
    can guarantee it. In any case, a D4 shutter replacement is like $500. It is not the end of the world. Moving to a D500 may
    give you a newer AF system and newer electronics, but it is mostly a downgrade.
  8. Meanwhile, compared to DX from the same era, FX will always have better low-light, high-ISO results which is generally a major plus for wedding photography.​
    And yet I used a pair of D7100 to do weddings for two years and never had any issues. My standard is ISO 800, and rarely needed to shoot anything more than ISO 2000. I haven't seen any shots from "real" users and the D500 yet, but it's likely the D500 is an ISO stop higher than the D7100. Even with D7100 and D800, there's only a stop & half difference. The difference in cost is considerable, especially considering you need TWO cameras, not one. The money is better put into lenses, flash, computer software (e.g. Portrait Pro,) and advertising for your business. As for D500, no doubt it will work for weddings--people once raved about the D100. The main downside to that camera would be more $$ tied up that would be better spent elsewhere. It also does not have a pop up flash, something that can be useful for fill light. Certainly not essential though.
    Kent in SD
  9. I think it's instructive to look at the sample picture on Dave Etchells' Imaging Resource website. His "Camera Comparometer" is an excellent way to compare the IQ of cameras using the same subject, lighting, and where possible, lens.
    I was a bit shocked to see that the D610 fares worse than a D7200 WRT noise at ISO >1600, and the D750 isn't as impressive in that respect as I would have expected. The only area where FX comes out ahead is in colour differentiation and resolution (presumably simply down to a higher megapixel count). High ISO clarity not quite so much.
    Of course the D500 and D5 aren't available on that Comparometer yet, but anyone interested in IQ alone should have a look at how Nikon's cameras fare against each other on a level playing field. Personally I'm not seeing a huge difference between any of the latest generation of Nikon cameras, DX or FX. However, IQ wise, it looks to me as if the Sony A7R II has the edge over any currently available Nikon. While Canon are trailing in the dirt a little.
    Andrew: I've just bought myself a 4K telly, and it ain't all that. So I can view a 9 megapixel image at native resolution - no big deal really. The colour-space isn't very large or accurate, and because of the screen size I have to sit about 8ft away to view it comfortably. The main advantage to me is that the SIPS screen allows viewing at an angle other than square-on while still getting good colour and contrast.
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I own both a D750 and a D7200, and I use both regularly. My experience is that the D750's high-ISO capability is far superior to that from the D7200. Once you go up to ISO 1600, 3200, the difference is obvious.
  11. Back to OP.

    "casual sports shooting" will be fine with a camera that is better for weddings, don't you think?

    If it's just casual, I would NOT buy the body designed for it. A little like buying a Ferrari to limp along in L.A. rush hour traffic. Wrong tool for the job.

    For the price of a D500 you could get a D7200 and a new lens or two or two D7200s. Both of those would serve you fine for weddings I bet, and would keep up with the kind of sports shooting I bet you're doing, too.
  12. For the price of a D500 you could get a D7200 and a new lens or two or two D7200s.​
    That's an important point. From the performance of a pre-production D500 I handled last night and judging from the back LCD screen alone, I would not expect a significant difference in high-ISO capability between the D7200 and the D500. Nikon gives the range as 100-25600 and 51200, respectively - which supposedly is to indicate a 1 stop difference. The full extent of the AF performance differences is also unknown at this point. One confirmed difference is the 10fps of the D500 - and I doubt that one will be a necessity for weddings.
    At the event yesterday I met a professional wedding photographer - currently shooting D3s and checking out the D5. I asked why he considers it - and the answer was simple - for the high-ISO performance he needs shooting in rather dark churches where flash is generally not allowed. He would probably be very happy with a D5 sensor in a D810 body ;-)
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I would not expect a significant difference in high-ISO capability between the D7200 and the D500. Nikon gives the range as 100-25600 and 51200, respectively - which supposedly is to indicate a 1 stop difference.​
    I wouldn't either. The electronics is within a year apart. Pixel count from the D7200 to D500 actually goes down a bit (24MP to 20MP). While the D7200 has better high-ISO results than the D7100, it is definitely nowhere close to 2 stops. (The D7100 has an ISO range from 100 to 6400, the D7200 100 to 25600.) That 100-25600 range for the D7200 is very generous.
    IMO, on the DX sensor, anything above ISO 6400 is quite iffy.
  14. The electronics is within a year apart.​
    What could make a difference is Expeed 4 vs Expeed 5 - more power to handle some in-camera noise reduction? Seems to me one of the differences between the D7100 and D7200 - apart from the possibility that the sensors are from different manufacturers.
  15. D7200 and D7100 both have Toshiba sensors according to Chipworks who take apart stuff and investigate. Of course it
    may also be something that Toshiba made to Nikon's design.
  16. Dieter: I'm not sure how much the in-camera noise reduction affects raw files. JPEG may well improve appreciably, depending which cameras you're comparing, but I'd likely trust a slow off-line solution like PRIME to do a better job.

    RJ: I'm not expecting UHD tellies to have that much effect on photography, although they do make for incrementally nicer screen savers. I have a 9MP (3840x2400 - none of this 2160 nonsense) monitor from a decade back - it was nice to check for sharpness when editing a 6MP DSLR image at 1:1, and I'll take the detail where I can get it, but the reason I think resolution matters more these days is because people can zoom in and pan around an image on a phone, not because I think people have suddenly started making 40" prints of everything. What might have an effect is the newer TVs with HDR support, which is a macro-level feature visible from a distance - I believe the first batch of UHD TVs were still very limited in dynamic range. While I suspect even Canon could put out the dynamic range of most HDR televisions, Rec. 2020 gives 10-12 bits per channel, and we might start finding that 8-bit JPEG isn't such a good universal intermediate format. That said, if Canon get their 8k monitor to market, I'll be saving up.

    Having a quick look on imaging resource, and trying a D7200 at ISO 25600 against a D750 at the same ISO, I think I'm seeing a fairly thorough spanking in the noise stakes for the smaller sensor, as you'd expect. The D7200 is very impressive at minimum ISO, though (it keeps a D800 honest). The D4s seems to be a bit better, but also isn't throwing out the same pixel count. I'd expect a resolution advantage from the FX sensor to be a combination of more signal-to-noise and a lower demand on the lenses. The A7R II has an advantage at moderate ISOs in part due to it being a BSI sensor and having more on-site processing; last I looked at any figures (and it took a while for Sony to stop mangling them due to their lossy raw compression), Sony do better above ISO 400, but a D810 still has an advantage of a stop or so at their respective minimum ISOs. I would not be surprised to find the D500 and D5 sensors using some BSI secret sauce, since Sony have done it on the A7R2 and Samsung did it on the NX-1. I do expect a bit of a performance bump (not that I've been to a launch event), but I certainly don't expect it to be huge.

    Kent: I clearly guest-shoot weddings under different conditions from you! I've been known to carry external flashes to weddings (sometimes held on a monopod for a clamshell effect); the D500 and D5's lack of flash partly alarms me because you need something attached to do the triggering. I'd really appreciate the D810 replacement having an integrated wireless flash trigger, and I'll buy an SB5000 as a reward to them for doing it! While I'm in favour of the on-camera flash for emergencies and as a trigger, I tend not to use it for fill, partly because of the clearance on big lenses and partly because of colour balance. Give me direct light and I'd usually try to make use of low ISO dynamic range instead (or a reflectior). Give me better flash colour control and Nikon may have my attention. Otherwise, in available light, I've often been well into uncomfortable ISOs (5000+) at weddings - especially in the evenings, and even with a fast lens and using a monopod. Speeches and wedding dances have an annoying habit of happening under candlelight, to me; I have shots of a relative's wedding where the father of the bride (who was an amateur photographer and should have known better) was lit mostly by the iphone screen he was using to illuminate the bit of paper with his speech on it. That stressed my 200 f/2. Sure, you can get a lot of very professional wedding photos under much less extreme lighting conditions, I'm just suggesting that I wouldn't discount the merits of high ISO support. But, again, I'm an amateur...

    But to the original question, unless the D500 has a really big high-ISO performance boost over a D7200, I'm not sure I'd see the merit.
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    D7200 and D7100 both have Toshiba sensors according to Chipworks who take apart stuff and investigate.​
    Not to mention that Sony has now acquired that business from Toshiba:
    a few months after Nikon had introduced the D7200, though.
  18. I'm not sure how much the in-camera noise reduction affects raw files.​
    I don't know either and don't want to invest the time to find out. Fairly certain though that a lot of massaging of the "RAW" data takes place in camera - so why not some NR as well?
  19. I have taken close to 200k images with it. My reasoning is that at some point soon, the shutter may give up on me.​
    Shun already mentioned you can just get the shutter replaced. i would just do that rather than get a D5 unless you are a pro sports shooter. the new AF and metering system is nice, but is it worth $6000 if you already have a pretty good camera?

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