Mirrorless vs DSLR - Why I switched to a Nikon D500

Started Nov 25, 2017 | User reviews thread
tsinvest Senior Member • Posts: 1,291
Re: Mirrorless vs DSLR - Why I switched to a Nikon D500

Sucama wrote:

Lobbamobba wrote:

I made a video version of this review as well with 30ish samples, video samples and a couple of more thoughts on the Nikon D500.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8bbXIJo4YE

A beauty and a beast.

Mirrorless vs DSLR

There are a lot of ups and downs to both type of systems. One can't yet completely replace the other.
If you are a full time sports shooter choosing a DSLR is a no brainer.
If you are just a casual shooter a mirrorless might make more sense.
What camera to get is always very individual.

I switched to mirrorless in 2013 with the Panasonic GH3.
Since then I have bought a number of mirrorless cameras. And if not counting interchangeable lens video cameras, range finders and premium compacts they are,

  • Panasonic
    GF3, GF5, G7, G85, GX7
  • Olympus
    OMD-EM5, Pen-f, E-P5
  • Sony
    Nex-5, a6000, a6300, A7, A7ii, A7sii
  • Samsung
    NX1, NX500
  • Fuji
    X-T10, X-T20, X-T2, X-Pro2
  • Leica T

This list is not to try and show of. Its to pre answer a comment I have gotten a lot on youtube which is, "you tried the wrong mirrorless".

At the end of the day, how good I think those cameras where and how much I liked them. There are things they can't give that a DSLR sure can.

5 Reasons I bought a DSLR

1. Size and grip
Shooting on the street is one thing. But covering a full day at a sports arena or event. Then I want something to hold on to.
Mirrorless needs to compromise the sensor size to be smaller. Otherwise the lenses (which will actually be bigger than DSLR lenses) will make the balance unbearable (imo) for a full day.
For street and casual shooting I have already made my choice.
So my backup system with interchangeable lenses can be as big as it want. Still would have needed a bag if I had gone mirrorless.

2. Viewfinder
I love EVFs. I always have.
But I can't deny how nice it is to look through the lens again. Seeing everything crystal clear. Even in dim lighting.
And the OVF on the D500 is very nice. Like crazy nice.

The live view isn't bad. Its not as fast as mirrorless but its touch screen so you can point to focus and/or shoot.

For video its fine, still no peaking but the screen is clear enough to focus manually.
The video by the way is excellent. Same great quality as the D750. I made a full review of its video features.
And on top of the D750 quality, in s35, it has 4K.
I know, people go bananas over the x2.25 in 4K. But here me out.

The crop is less than a GH4 in 4K. Its less than a Blackmagic Cinema Camera. And its way less than a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.
It really isn't that bad.
I use it to my advantage. Since I deliver in HD anyway I can get 27-460mm with a constant f1.8 from only two lenses (18-35 and 50-100).
Thats pretty sweet.

3. Auto Focus
The AF of DSLR like the D500 still walks all over the mirrorless options. Even in the dark it locks on every time.
My Sigma 50-100/1.8 that some say doesn't always lock is at 100% hit rate. I kid you not. I have 100% successful and accurate hits so far.
Never experienced focus like this.

Couple that with the 10fps Raw in up to 200 bursts..
And the highlight weighted metering which basically is instant ETTR.

Im golden

4. Battery
I seriously haven't charged my camera for a week.

5. Coming home
This is all subjective and might just be me. But I feel joy when shooting with a simple, straight forward and intuitive DSLR again.
There really isn't any compromises made from not having a mirror, a certain style or size.
Its a machine thats made to let you take pictures fast and efficiently. Nothing else. Its all it does and it does a great job.
That translates in to relaxation, confidence, joy, etc in me as a shooter.

Samples

Like I said, lots of samples in the video . But here are a few to peep at.

Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 G2, great lens.

The affordable 50mm f1.8 G.

second shot is very noisy (iso 100) and horrible halos !

I thought the same thing.  I get much better IQ with my Z6 and the 24-70mm f/4 lens.  I do have a D7500 by the way that I use for wildlife/birds so I am not biased.  The D7500 has the same sensor as the D500

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Thanks, Tom
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 tsinvest's gear list:tsinvest's gear list
Canon G7 X II Nikon D7500 Nikon Z6 Nikon Z50 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +15 more
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