Thoughts on Z7 and D500 combo

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draacor Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
Thoughts on Z7 and D500 combo

I recently acquired a used D500 with grip for $800. Seemed like a killer deal. I have only had it a couple of days and it became clear to me that the D500 just flat out blows my Z7 out of the water in terms of BIF and AF Acquisition and tracking. But it really dawned on me that I think people are trying to find the perfect camera and honestly it just doesnt exist. Here is my findings after using a Z7 and previously a D850 and D810 and D800 before that.

1. MP is great, and absolutely amazing when it comes to Landscape and portraits. I shoot a lot of landscape and the Z7 clarity and dynamic range just blows me away. Here is a shot i took a couple of months ago using my Z7:

2. MP Is not great for wildlife, at least not for budget conscious people. Look I definitely understand the need for more MP when it comes to wildlife. Cropability is a godsend when you cant get close. But getting close is still king. That is where the 10k lenses come into play with full frame. Not everyone has that kind of money to spend though and for someone like me who makes money with photography but isn't dependent on it its just not feasible. There are 3 issues with high MP cameras in terms of sports/action/wildlife and i definitely get why the high end bodies like the sony a9 or the d5 or even the 1dx only offer 20 or so mp. Not only do you maintain crazy high fps but have you ever tried to process a burst of say 30 shots of a bird in flight at 45mp? Its an absolute chore, takes up loads of space, and processing power required goes through the roof. I never contemplated this aspect when getting the D500 however its kind of enlightening dealing with smaller file sizes.

3. Tracking birds with a D500 is a lot easy than on the Z7. Not to say you cant do it but its just a lot easier and i had a lot more keepers.

What i realize is that im not sure there will ever be a camera that is the jack of all trades do everything camera. I fully love my new z7/d500 combo. I get the best of both worlds. Fast tracking, DX crop - more reach with my D500, and unbeatable mp and dynamic range for landscapes with the z7. The beauty is if they ever improve the AF more on the Z7 i can just slap it onto my 200-500 if i really want that extra mp. They both use the same memory cards, and batteries as well which is convenient.

I would say the d850 was the closest in terms of jack of all trades, but then it doesn't have an EVF or Eye AF which i really love and even with grip still isn't as fast as d500.

To put it bluntly you want the best camera for landscapes or portraits? Get a d850, Z7, sony A7rIV, possibly Canon 5DSR, or better yet Fuji GFX

You want an amazing wildlife or sports action camera? Get a Sony a9, D500, d5, 1dx, etc. Although I would argue that the D500 beats them all because as a DX body you get more reach and reach is key, crop any of the ff bodies i just listed and its a lower mp count than the d500.

So enough of my mumbling but i had an epiphany today. I shoot wildlfe and landscape and therefore to get the best with both (within my budget) i need two bodies. Anyway here are a couple of shots i took today with the D500.

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Aaron Smith
Wolfe Photography

 draacor's gear list:draacor's gear list
Nikon D500 Canon EOS R Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 135mm F2L USM Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR +3 more
Canon EOS 5DS R Nikon D5 Nikon D500 Nikon D800 Nikon D810 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 Sony a9
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