Used D810 or new D7500 for beginner wildlife?

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sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,298
Used D810 or new D7500 for beginner wildlife?

So I've been looking at camera ideas for beginner wildlife and have narrowed my search down to these two bodies, partially because I have Z cameras and the FTZ adapter so I could use the F-mount lenses on my Z bodies if I wanted to, BUT I'm still planning to get a DSLR for wildlife purposes.

I guess my decision now is go to with a 36MP full frame sensor to give me more room to crop in post if I need to, and also to get the actual angle of view from a lens.


Do I get a D7500 and get a lower resolution, but take advantage of the crop factor with the lenses

I plan to shoot general wildlife, including BIFs, and at this point, will probably get a Tamron 100-400 to go with the body as I want something good for hiking (the Nikon 200-500 and Tamron 150-600 are a bit too heavy IMO for afternoon hikes).

The advantage that the D7500 has is it has a similar AF system, and the same sensor and processor (I believe) as the D500. The D810 has dual card slots (not a big deal as this isn't my primary camera, but is a nice feature), higher resolution and probably better low-light performance compared to a D7500 (perhaps).

The other thing is the D810 has an option for a vertical grip but the D7500 doesn't (unless I use a third party one from companies like Vello, which is OK, but it only has a shutter button but no other controls so it's actual use might be limited over a true grip for the D810).

The crop factor also has me a little concerned, because, for example, with  the NIkon 200-500, factoring in the 1.5x crop, you're at an equivalent angle of view of roughly 300-750mm.  Good for BIFs but probably not good if something is near you (such as photographing a lion at a the zoo).

Thoughts on which direction I should go? The prices are quite similar so i wouldn't say that cost isn't going to be a factor here. It's either the used D810 for around $1000-$1200 or the D7500 for about $1000 (so the $100-200 is not considered relevant in my book).

Are there any advantage of the lower-resolution DX cameras?  Both have 51 point AF and both appear to have group AF which I heard was important for many things, such as BIFs.

 sirhawkeye64's gear list:sirhawkeye64's gear list
Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon D7500 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z7 II Fujifilm XF 23mm F2 R WR +14 more
Nikon D500 Nikon D7500 Nikon D810
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