D500 > A6400 for Wildlife

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
bryand7k
bryand7k Contributing Member • Posts: 957
D500 > A6400 for Wildlife

Well, my D500 + Sig 100-400 just got messed up and my Insurance will be paying the cash for replacements. So I have a chance to change. I'd go to the G9(my wife has it) if it wasn't for the contrast detect AF as it can be frustrating trying to find and keep focus.

I've been pretty happy with this kit but the Sig has it's limitations in reach and AF speed.

So without getting into lens questions has anyone gone from a D500(DSLR) to the A6400 for birds. If you look at the Dpreview lens review/comparison it beats the D500 on a few key items like metering and low light!

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a6400-review/9

I can't even find an A6400 locally to even hold.

Anyone who has made this kind of leap please respond.

 bryand7k's gear list:bryand7k's gear list
Nikon D500 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | C Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR
Nikon D500
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chile7236 Contributing Member • Posts: 733
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife

not a D500 but moved from the D7500 to the A6400 today...don't have a super tele for the sony yet but the reduction in body size will prove to be  something to adapt to...but with it's AF capability, I was willing to make the tradeoff over going with an upgrade to the D500 (which really didn't/wouldn't change much for what I shoot IMO) so I jumped to the hyped AF of the 6400 (bought with the 18-135)...should have the 100-400 G next month so I should have a better idea about how this smaller body will really feel while standing on a beach for a few hours at a time...I have a feeling i'll be using my strap and/or tripod a lot more with this set up, tho (to reduce hand cramps).  but if the AF works and I get to work "less" by using the full capability of the camera, then it'll be worth it.

 chile7236's gear list:chile7236's gear list
Nikon D300 Sony a6400 Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM +8 more
bryand7k
OP bryand7k Contributing Member • Posts: 957
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife

chile7236 wrote:

not a D500 but moved from the D7500 to the A6400 today...don't have a super tele for the sony yet but the reduction in body size will prove to be something to adapt to...but with it's AF capability, I was willing to make the tradeoff over going with an upgrade to the D500 (which really didn't/wouldn't change much for what I shoot IMO) so I jumped to the hyped AF of the 6400 (bought with the 18-135)...should have the 100-400 G next month so I should have a better idea about how this smaller body will really feel while standing on a beach for a few hours at a time...I have a feeling i'll be using my strap and/or tripod a lot more with this set up, tho (to reduce hand cramps). but if the AF works and I get to work "less" by using the full capability of the camera, then it'll be worth it.

I got the Pany 100-400 to try with her G9. In camera things look good but on the computer I just couldn't get the results I should've been able to imo. In fact i think the 100-300 is a better lens then this copy of the 100-400.

Anyways I'll prolly be going back to the D500 but I'd like to hear more on the A6400, as you get comfortable with it and just how much that AF helps with wildlife/birds. Even without the 100-400G you should be able to get a feeling for the A6400 .... good luck

 bryand7k's gear list:bryand7k's gear list
Nikon D500 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | C Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR
Boss of Sony Senior Member • Posts: 2,073
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife
1

bryand7k wrote:

Well, my D500 + Sig 100-400 just got messed up and my Insurance will be paying the cash for replacements. So I have a chance to change. I'd go to the G9(my wife has it) if it wasn't for the contrast detect AF as it can be frustrating trying to find and keep focus.

I've been pretty happy with this kit but the Sig has it's limitations in reach and AF speed.

So without getting into lens questions has anyone gone from a D500(DSLR) to the A6400 for birds. If you look at the Dpreview lens review/comparison it beats the D500 on a few key items like metering and low light!

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a6400-review/9

I can't even find an A6400 locally to even hold.

Anyone who has made this kind of leap please respond.

Honestly, I think it is a mistake to choose Sony APS-C system over an M43 system for birds/wildlife. The Sony system only has one native lens option that gets you to an equivalent of 600mm, and it costs $2500 and weighs 1.4kg. The M43 system has a plethora of sharp options that reach 600mm (equiv), ranging from 420 grams and only $400, some of which you might pick up much cheaper secondhand. On top of that, M43 bodies have better IBIS, and some special tricks like Panasonic's 4K and 6K photo modes and Olympus's Pro-Capture mode.

I see decent bird photos posted on this Sony APS-C forum, but I don't see anything like this:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62594495

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62687198

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62698248

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62586972

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62648104

 Boss of Sony's gear list:Boss of Sony's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Sony a6000 Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Olympus 9mm F8 Fish-Eye Body Cap Lens +3 more
chile7236 Contributing Member • Posts: 733
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife
3

those are some nice shots but I wouldn't move from the D500 (or D7500) to M4/3 for those kind of results...

 chile7236's gear list:chile7236's gear list
Nikon D300 Sony a6400 Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM +8 more
Boss of Sony Senior Member • Posts: 2,073
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife
 Boss of Sony's gear list:Boss of Sony's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Sony a6000 Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Olympus 9mm F8 Fish-Eye Body Cap Lens +3 more
chile7236 Contributing Member • Posts: 733
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife
2

Boss of Sony wrote:

chile7236 wrote:

those are some nice shots but I wouldn't move from the D500 (or D7500) to M4/3 for those kind of results...

How about these?

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61687657

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60978334

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62310297

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61633036

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62663740

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62199661

all of these, and the others you linked, are really nice but not enough to get me to go back to M4/3...hell, the sony may put me back into a DSLR but I've played around with M4/3 and it is a capable system but I feel like I get better results with my Nikon DSLRs...and hopefully, I can do the same with the 6400.

 chile7236's gear list:chile7236's gear list
Nikon D300 Sony a6400 Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM +8 more
snapa
snapa Veteran Member • Posts: 3,922
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife
2

Boss of Sony wrote:

chile7236 wrote:

those are some nice shots but I wouldn't move from the D500 (or D7500) to M4/3 for those kind of results...

How about these?

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61687657

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60978334

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62310297

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61633036

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62663740

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62199661

You need to change your name to Boss of mFT and stop trolling the Sony forum in favor of mFT cameras. If you like them so much, why are you trying to make people in this forum want to change to mFT cameras? It looks like that is all you are trying to do, you troll.

BTW, none of those pictures are as good as the Sony APS-C cameras can take with the 70-300G or 100-400GM. Mostly because of the smaller, outated, inferior 16 or 20MP sensors. Give it up while you are behind, and stop making yourself look bad.

-- hide signature --

Life is short, so make the best of it while you can!
http://grob.smugmug.com/
https://grob.smugmug.com/Wildlife-Pictures/

 snapa's gear list:snapa's gear list
NEX-5T Sony a6300 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN +4 more
Boss of Sony Senior Member • Posts: 2,073
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife
1

snapa wrote:

Boss of Sony wrote:

chile7236 wrote:

those are some nice shots but I wouldn't move from the D500 (or D7500) to M4/3 for those kind of results...

How about these?

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61687657

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60978334

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62310297

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61633036

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62663740

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62199661

You need to change your name to Boss of mFT and stop trolling the Sony forum in favor of mFT cameras. If you like them so much, why are you trying to make people in this forum want to change to mFT cameras? It looks like that is all you are trying to do, you troll.

Hi, very sorry for pushing up your blood pressure. I love both of my cameras (Sony a6000 and Panasonic GX85), but I don't feel any particular brand loyalty. Just trying to offer an objective perspective. None of my MFT combinations can beat the sharpness of my a6000 with the Sigma 30mm prime, and the a6000 definitely produces cleaner files. On the other hand, MFT seems to offer the best bang for the buck/weight when it comes to telephoto.

BTW, none of those pictures are as good as the Sony APS-C cameras can take with the 70-300G or 100-400GM. Mostly because of the smaller, outated, inferior 16 or 20MP sensors. Give it up while you are behind, and stop making yourself look bad.

Certainly APS-C will give you better detail and cleaner files. On the other hand, having a smaller, lighter lens can help significantly when shooting fast moving animals. On top of that, the 6K photo /Pro-Capture modes of the latest MFT bodies can make it easy to capture the most remarkable images of birds in flight, like those shots of swallows I posted. An extremely difficult bird to photograph even when still, let alone in flight.

 Boss of Sony's gear list:Boss of Sony's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Sony a6000 Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Olympus 9mm F8 Fish-Eye Body Cap Lens +3 more
Craig Gillette Veteran Member • Posts: 9,964
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife
1

I think you do have to get into the lens issues here.  The D500 can be used with the Nikon 200-500 and a variety of third party lenses in the xx-600 or xxx-600 range, and others as well.  Sony doesn't have that potential yet, for the most part, and some only by adapter with some good and some mixed results.

A side issue is that using bigger, longer, faster lenses, etc., works against the size advantages of a smaller mirror-less body.  So, if subject matter draws in big lenses, at least for some uses, the smaller camera doesn't provide much  advantage.

SurfFish Regular Member • Posts: 484
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife

Craig Gillette wrote:

I think you do have to get into the lens issues here. The D500 can be used with the Nikon 200-500 and a variety of third party lenses in the xx-600 or xxx-600 range, and others as well. Sony doesn't have that potential yet, for the most part, and some only by adapter with some good and some mixed results.

A side issue is that using bigger, longer, faster lenses, etc., works against the size advantages of a smaller mirror-less body. So, if subject matter draws in big lenses, at least for some uses, the smaller camera doesn't provide much advantage.

I pretty much agree with Craig here, not because Sony is not there yet, but for price point. Once a native e-mount third party tele-zooms are available then I’ll recommend the A6400.

It is always better to try before pushing the buy button. See if you can rent one along with sigma lens and adaptor.

Goodluck!

 SurfFish's gear list:SurfFish's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony a99 II Sony a6400 Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS +8 more
zackiedawg
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 31,468
My personal situation and experience
7

I personally really love the Sony A6xxx system for wildlife and birds, and after starting out using one as a second body alongside DSLRs, I eventually decided to just go all in with the E-mount system as it just worked best for me all around as a compact travel system, all purpose system, and once the lenses became available, it did birding, wildlife, and focus tracking better than my other systems.

However, I would always say that it's best if you can get your hands on any A6xxx body to at least see how it fits you.  Ergonomics, despite all the reviews that try to put a definitive on it, is NOT something that can be summarized for all people - and the A6400 body may end up just fitting you like a glove and you can fall in love with it, or it can be jarring, awkward, or too small and you don't fine it comfortable at all.  That's for only you to decide.

The other complaint on the E-mount system in my opinion isn't lens availability or compatibility, but rather price-to-lens-availability ratio.  The lenses available for E-mount for wildlife are excellent lenses, and the reach is up to 840mm equivalent, so actually competitive to most systems except for the very top birders who invest in the high-end 500-600mm primes...obviously those folks wouldn't be worried about the price of Sony's lenses since they buy lenses that cost $8K plus.  With adapters, wildlife and birding can be done quite well with Canon and Sony Alpha lenses, with the only demerit being that the adapted lenses won't track as well as native lenses when it comes to BIF work...it can still be done, but it's not as good as native.  But the E-mount lenses are not cheap - if the goal with the system was to get into cheap, entry-level photography and stay on a budget while stretching into birding and wildlife, no mirrorless system is the way to go.  I suspect budget isn't all that much of an issue for you if you were shooting a D500, as that's not a cheap body.

The big question I'd have is why you wouldn't want to go back to a D500?  What's the motivation to switch systems?  If it's to get better tracking, better focus, or more resolution, you won't see any significant gains or losses from your D500 which is already one of the most competitive systems out there for wildlife.  The A6400, and some other mirrorless bodies, are excellent, but not necessarily BETTER, actually none of these systems is ridiculously better than another - it's all just increments.  If the goal is to downsize the system, or lighten the load, the A6400 can definitely accomplish that, when shooting with other lenses, and for overall packing for travel - but when shooting with the birding lenses, the differences won't be all that much.  Obviously, the longer the reach, the more the weight and bulk resides in the lens and not the body.  I find the wonderful part of the A6xxx series for overall compactness is that I  can travel with a medium shoulder bag containing up to 9 lenses plus body and all accessories...when I had my DSLR, that same shoulder bag could accommodate 4 lenses plus body, and that's it...I needed a large backpack to carry the same amount of kit.  When I go birding, and use the FE70-300mm or 100-400mm, I'm not saving that much anymore on weight or bulk over a DSLR, but it's still a bit of weight savings, and I find the ergonomics with big lenses to work out very nicely for me as all the weight is usually supported under the lens, not the body.

For me, birding and wildlife with the A6xxx system has been wonderful, and I stopped using DSLRs and any other system in favor of it for the past year or two...and I have no intention of returning to DSLRs as the mirrorless system works better overall as a travel and all-around system while having reached parity in birding and wildlife.  The system is a little more expensive especially when big lenses are involved, but it's within my personal budget so that's not an issue.  And the overall lens selection has grown very quickly and now covers my birding needs with up to 560mm of optical reach - very rarely do I need more, and I suspect more lenses are still to come soon that would satisfy that itch.  And I've never had a system that I enjoyed shooting BIF with more - it's just absolutely solid at acquiring in all situations, and continuously focusing against all scenarios while letting me still watch the exposure and control the shots at up to 11fps...and the EVFs have finally gotten good enough to provide real-time live view that lets me keep up with fast and erratic birds in flight.

Hope all of that helps you figure things out one way or the other!

-- hide signature --

Justin
galleries: www.pbase.com/zackiedawg

 zackiedawg's gear list:zackiedawg's gear list
Sony a6300 Sony DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake +22 more
bryand7k
OP bryand7k Contributing Member • Posts: 957
Re: My personal situation and experience
1

thanks for input.

My motivation is that I am nearing 70 and a lighter and better system was appealing.

I've tried the Pany 100-400 with my wife's G9 and was not impressed. I was happier with her 100-300 MK II.

I just went out and got a D7500 and Nikon 200-500 today to try out. They didn't have a D500 in stock??

Anyways I like what I see in the 200-500 so far and think it will be a bit better with the D500

 bryand7k's gear list:bryand7k's gear list
Nikon D500 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | C Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR
chile7236 Contributing Member • Posts: 733
Re: My personal situation and experience

bryand7k wrote:

thanks for input.

My motivation is that I am nearing 70 and a lighter and better system was appealing.

I've tried the Pany 100-400 with my wife's G9 and was not impressed. I was happier with her 100-300 MK II.

I just went out and got a D7500 and Nikon 200-500 today to try out. They didn't have a D500 in stock??

Anyways I like what I see in the 200-500 so far and think it will be a bit better with the D500

I don't think there's a noticeable difference between the 7500 in 500 IQ...the 7500 is really quite capable in just about everything.

 chile7236's gear list:chile7236's gear list
Nikon D300 Sony a6400 Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM +8 more
Tim O'Connor
Tim O'Connor Veteran Member • Posts: 5,427
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife
1

Owning both the D500 and A6400, the D500 is still my preferred camera for wildlife.

  • ergonomically it on a different level to the A6400.
  • Performance wise I find the A6400 to be a bit patchy  (sometimes the lockdown AF mode causes the camera to slow down to a few frames per second,I and I have had some AF inconsistenties)
  • the buffer depth and clearing speed is vastly better
  • Battery life is much better
  • The D500 has a grip
  • Much better lens selection for wildlife
  • Because it is a DSLR it is always good to go.

The ergonomics alone are enough to keep me with the D500 for now.  The A6400 is a great little camera, but it is not a D500 killer.

-- hide signature --
 Tim O'Connor's gear list:Tim O'Connor's gear list
Nikon D600 Nikon D500 Sony a7R III Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art +18 more
Tim O'Connor
Tim O'Connor Veteran Member • Posts: 5,427
Re: My personal situation and experience

chile7236 wrote:

bryand7k wrote:

thanks for input.

My motivation is that I am nearing 70 and a lighter and better system was appealing.

I've tried the Pany 100-400 with my wife's G9 and was not impressed. I was happier with her 100-300 MK II.

I just went out and got a D7500 and Nikon 200-500 today to try out. They didn't have a D500 in stock??

Anyways I like what I see in the 200-500 so far and think it will be a bit better with the D500

I don't think there's a noticeable difference between the 7500 in 500 IQ...the 7500 is really quite capable in just about everything.

I moved from the D7200 to the D500 and found the difference pretty large - much better AF,  (not just raw speed, but consistency and tracking) buffer, and handling.  Not a lot of difference image quality wise though.

-- hide signature --
 Tim O'Connor's gear list:Tim O'Connor's gear list
Nikon D600 Nikon D500 Sony a7R III Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art +18 more
bryand7k
OP bryand7k Contributing Member • Posts: 957
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife

Tim O'Connor wrote:

Owning both the D500 and A6400, the D500 is still my preferred camera for wildlife.

  • ergonomically it on a different level to the A6400.
  • Performance wise I find the A6400 to be a bit patchy (sometimes the lockdown AF mode causes the camera to slow down to a few frames per second,I and I have had some AF inconsistenties)
  • the buffer depth and clearing speed is vastly better
  • Battery life is much better
  • The D500 has a grip
  • Much better lens selection for wildlife
  • Because it is a DSLR it is always good to go.

The ergonomics alone are enough to keep me with the D500 for now. The A6400 is a great little camera, but it is not a D500 killer.

Thanks Tim,

After not being any happier with the G9 + Pany 100-400 I went back to the D500 and got a longer lens .. the Nikon 200-500 ... so far am pretty happy with it

 bryand7k's gear list:bryand7k's gear list
Nikon D500 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | C Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR
wb2trf Veteran Member • Posts: 3,220
You're right. Thanks. Don't be defensive.

Thanks. You're right to talk about this. The cost and size advantage of mft offerings for long telephoto are terrific.  Except in low light the differences will be indistinguishable, although, unconnected with sensor size, Sony also has a huge AF advantage which may or may not be important. So, it is all something to consider for a person looking to switch out of a dslr.

Anyway, thanks for posting.

Mark K
Mark K Veteran Member • Posts: 6,423
Re: D500 > A6400 for Wildlife

Well I am kind of.

I have been using D500 and Sig 150-600 S for years, and thinking about adding a Sigma 100-400 for lighter alternative.

Yes, I have been sticking around a bunch of bird shooters of which Nikonian are predominant. However one of the better shooters encourage to jump to Sony so I have this A6400 and Sony 100-400 to try out.

I also planned to have Sigma 60-600 adapted. However, all EF mount Siggy were sold out.

I will join a day tour tomorrow to find out

Basically the tracking is fantastic and the light reduction (comparing to my gripped D500) is indescribable. While idle, I often flip my A6400 and 100-400..just to show how I am so pleased with the weight reduction.

I also know Sony is releasing a 60-600

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Mark K

 Mark K's gear list:Mark K's gear list
Nikon D800 Canon EOS 5D Mark III Sony a6000 Sony a7R II Nikon D500 +72 more
Mark K
Mark K Veteran Member • Posts: 6,423
Re: My personal situation and experience

chile7236 wrote:

bryand7k wrote:

thanks for input.

My motivation is that I am nearing 70 and a lighter and better system was appealing.

I've tried the Pany 100-400 with my wife's G9 and was not impressed. I was happier with her 100-300 MK II.

I just went out and got a D7500 and Nikon 200-500 today to try out. They didn't have a D500 in stock??

Anyways I like what I see in the 200-500 so far and think it will be a bit better with the D500

I don't think there's a noticeable difference between the 7500 in 500 IQ...the 7500 is really quite capable in just about everything.

I have the same problem of carrying. I remember last year when I joined this expensive bird tour..all people expect the 70 year old leader were panicking...imaging we had to walked up and down to shoot wild life in the wild.

-- hide signature --

Mark K

 Mark K's gear list:Mark K's gear list
Nikon D800 Canon EOS 5D Mark III Sony a6000 Sony a7R II Nikon D500 +72 more
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