Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
BillW1204 Forum Member • Posts: 99
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

Bill Ferris wrote:

NikonNature wrote:

I shot birds (everything from warblers to eagles) and wildlife for 4 yrs with a FF D610 and Tamron 150-600mm. While you lose the crop factor, IQ-wise it was fantastic.

Last October I added a D500. I love the AF performance, fps, buffer, and crop factor. But for pure IQ the D610 still wins. If I had a do-over and the money, I think a D850 would be a better choice.

So perhaps consider a D850 & 200-500mm. Plenty of room to crop with the D850 and cleaner files, IMO. Keep saving and upgrade the lens later if you desire. Not knocking the D500 by any means. Perhaps I've become a FF snob

You raise some good points. When I'm confident I'll be filling the frame (landscapes, portraiture), I'll shoot with the D610. A used D750 or D810 would be lower cost options to the D850. But the D850 - if there's room in the budget - is a good option to add to the list...high res, great AF, good burst & decent buffer.

I agree that if you can fill the frame, because you are close or have a longer lens, using a higher resolution full frame camera is great and may often give you a better image than a DX camera with fewer (or even the same number of) pixels. But if you crop a full frame image from a higher resolution camera to the size of a DX image, because you are not that close or need a longer lens, it's not clear to me that you get a better image with the full frame camera.

I find images from my D850 cropped to DX size are pretty similar to the images from my D500. The Photons to Photos website suggests that a D500 has a bit more dynamic range than a D850 used in DX mode. Not sure it would be enough for me to notice.

I took my D850 to Patagonia in April. Used it for landscapes (along with a Z7), but also put the 500 mm PF lens on it for birds and other wildlife, cropping as needed. On that trip, the D850 was certainly the more versatile choice.

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