Nikon/Sony/Canon wildlife setup/update

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Pandarail Junior Member • Posts: 35
Nikon/Sony/Canon wildlife setup/update

I made a topic earlier this week where I asked overall opinions about mirrorless vs dslr, and thanks to everyone who helped with those questions, I have narrowed my options. Im asking quite the same questions, but more in the sense that what would be the optimal plan for the future. This is a longer post, sorry if its too confusing.

My current setup at the moment is Nikon D500 + 200-500mm F5.6, (I also have nikon macro/landscape lenses). I have about 3000$ to spend with the resell price of the Nikon setup that adds +2000$ so about 5000$ total, I would rather spend less, or probably just keep my current setup if I don't get any significant benefits in AF/sharpness/ISO/reach etc. I really like the versatility of the telezoom, but would want some lower aperture to work with so primes are the only option.

So my question is what would you do with these options,


Keep my nikon gear, and just buy some older DSLR/ F mount lenses, and wait(pray) they come up with similar mirrorless cameras like Sony.

So I currently have the D500+200-500mm F5.6. I have been looking at the 600mm F4 primes but their price is too much for me so I have been looking at the 500mm F4 G prime. There are currently used one at 3800$.

D500: I really like the aps-c, that would make the 500mm F4 a 750mm F4 or 1050mm F5.6 with added 1.4 TC. So the cropping factor with D500 is huge for me with or without the TC. Nikon D850 would be my overall choice, but the price is still too high, and I would rather buy another lens, because I already have the D500. Nikon Z7/Z50 doesn't seem to offer anything the mentioned cameras already have.

500mm F4: I would get lower aperture and with 1.4 TC some extra reach, but with the cost of alot of extra carrying weight with the older G model. What I have read that the VR is better with the 200-500mm compared to the 500mm F4 G, so handholding wouldn't probably be the best, handholding would mean higher shutterspeeds/ISO etc. The overall weight would probably require tripod to be used more than with the 200-500mm. So the 500mm would not be the hiking option, but would get me some extra reach with 1.4 TC, and maybe alot better IQ. Im a little uncertain to buy the older lens, because the lack of spareparts and no warranty. How much would the 500mm F4 really add to overall image sharpness, focus speed and low light situations, compared to 200-500mm F5.6. And how much IQ/AF would I lose with the 1.4 TC, I would probably use this with 1.4 TC because I already have the same reach with my 200-500mm, could use it with bare lens to get better IQ ofcourse.


Camera: I have been looking at the A9 and im quite obsessed already with the silent electronic shutter and the 20fps. I wouldn't need to worry about shutter replacement and the noise of the mechanical shutter. The A9 autofocus is also something that im really interested in. Im really uncertain with the 24MP combined with full frame and the 200-600mm telezoom and with the 150mm drop in reach. Seems like the A9 works fine with the 1.4TC, but with 200-600mm it becomes 840mm F9, and requires more ISO/lower shutter speeds. I have looked into the Topaz gigapixel and maybe I could work with the lower megapixels with the topaz software to make it artificially more like the A7R3/4 OR just get closer to the subjects if possible. A9 also has the AA filter and there has been some negative comments about the loss of sharpness, the A9 also has lower pixel density compared to D500.

I've also considered the A7R3 that has much more cropping possibilities, but is worse with AF and low light situations (ISO seems to be much bigger problem than with A9), it basically lacks the silent shutter option as well because of the rolling shutter, so I would basically use it with mechanical shutter anyways. Seems its best for stationary wildlife.

Lens: Currently for my Sony budget the 200-600mm is the only option. I've read about the sharpness and it seems its equal to the nikon 200-500mm or even better. It also has internal zoom, and faster zoomring. Im just very skeptical about the F 6.3 and the lower reach of the the zoom compared to the D500+200-500mm combo.

Future speculation:

Nikon might catch up with sony with their mirrorless and there is the nikon 200-600mm version coming in couple of years for Z mount, so it could be okey to stay with Nikon and just use the FTZ adapter with my older lenses when I switch to nikon mirrorless.

Or I could just jump into Sony and forget about Nikon/Canon with their upcoming releases. Sony seems to be in charge with their mirrorless at the moment, and probably they will release A9 III with higher MP in the next 5 years. It just seems there isn't any real cheaper aftermarket Sony lenses like 600mm F4 in the near future, their 600mm F4 will probably be around 8000-10000K for the next 7-10 years anyways, where Nikon and Canon already offer 3000-6000K older prime lenses for DSLR that can be used with the adapter for mirrorless.

So would you just keep buying used DSLR and nikon F mount old lenses, because the prices are dropping, for example the 500mm F4 and probably D850 later on. Or would you just jump into mirrorless and forget the DSLR cameras and older lenses and wait for the newer ones.

So my options are.

1.Keep the D500+200-500mm and buy the older prime lenses like 500mm F4 G, and maybe later the D850. Wait for Nikon to release new Z lenses like the 200-600mm and catch up with the mirrorless. Later use the older telezooms/primes with the FTZ adapter.

2.Jump into mirrorless and buy the Sony A9 + 200-600mm and maybe add later A7R3/A7R4 to stationary objects for higher MP. Wait for future E mount releases, some tweeks to the A9 with higher MP, and maybe someday the current prime lenses could also be in reasonable prices used like Nikon&Canon(10 years).

3. Look for some Canon DSLR/mirrorless options (example what) ?

Thank you in advance if you could give some opinions, I really don't have the possibility to rent the 500mm F4 G or sony A9+200-600mm combo. The rental prizes are about 300-400$ a day. I have also narrowed the 5.6 PF out because the price for the 500mm F4 G is about the same and adds better aperture. Unless the the 5.6PF is much better than the F4G.

Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Sony a9
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