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by Jim Zipp on Thu May 23, 2019 8:37 am
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For years I've been lugging around a Canon 600 and top Canon body of one flavor or another. Mostly thrilled with each upgrade along the way.  Still am for the most part.

I'd really like a smaller rig for times when walks are longer, steeper and traveling lighter etc. I tried the 7D2/400DO combo and was not impressed at all even though I love that lens and still do.

I shot with Nikon for more than 20 years before Canon for 20 so NO brand loyalty. I could care less on that other than the fabulous CPS service over the years.  I'm hearing so much great about the new Nikon 500 that it has my interest.  Maybe not to replace what I have but for different situations and would love to hear from anyone who has tried both on how files would compare between say the

Canon 600/2X/1DX2 (1200mm) would compare file wise with
Nikon 500/1.4X/D500 (1050mm equiv field of view)

Note: I shoot almost exclusively birds.  Often in flight. I'd also probably get a D850 as well if I totally jumped ship and know the quality there but for the moment just looking for a light weight rig easier to lug around the woods with.  Seems that 600mm combo gets heavier all the time!

Many thanks in advance.   Jim
 

by DChan on Thu May 23, 2019 10:59 am
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Re D850 and D500, you'd probably would be told just get the D850 and shoot in crop mode. But:
1. D500 has a bigger buffer.
2. D500 can lock on to the target faster.
3. D500 is smaller and lighter.
4. D500 has a higher fps.
5. D500 has better high ISO performance.


And probably other stuff, too :)
 

by E.J. Peiker on Thu May 23, 2019 11:15 am
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Hi Jim, FWIW, my only bird rig at this point is a D500 with 500PF (and 14x when needed). 10FPS is plenty, the AF is superb and the Dynamic range is fantastic. You might want to get the vertical grip for both battery life and it will be a more familiar shooting experience for you when you shoot vertical and you can always remove it if you want to stay as light as possible. It's the same megapixels as your 1Dx and of course has a Sony sensor so you know the shadow recovery is incredible. As stated above, you can get almost as many megapixels in the D850 shot in cropped mode and there is also an APS-H like 1.25x crop mode that still leaves you with about 30mp which makes that desirable. But on the D850 to go from 7FPS to 9FPS you need the vertical grip, a D5 battery (and charger) and the D5 battery insert - all of that will set you back another $900 or so unless you go third party which I don't recommend.
 

by Jim Zipp on Thu May 23, 2019 11:45 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
Hi Jim, FWIW, my only bird rig at this point is a D500 with 500PF (and 14x when needed).  10FPS is plenty, the AF is superb and the Dynamic range is fantastic.  You might want to get the vertical grip for both battery life and it will be a more familiar shooting experience for you when you shoot vertical and you can always remove it if you want to stay as light as possible. It's the same megapixels as your 1Dx and of course has a Sony sensor so you know the shadow recovery is incredible.  As stated above, you can get almost as many megapixels in the D850 shot in cropped mode and there is also an APS-H like 1.25x crop mode that still leaves you with about 30mp which makes that desirable.  But on the D850 to go from 7FPS to 9FPS you need the vertical grip, a D5 battery (and charger) and the D5 battery insert - all of that will set you back another $900 or so unless you go third party which I don't recommend.


Hi E.J.  Exactly what I was hoping and I know your standards well enough to totally trust!  I'd probably get both bodies if I do it and make the switch back to black where I was for many years long ago.  Old enough that I don't want to wait much longer for Canon to get something going.

One last question...  How is the iso?  I shoot a lot with the 1DX2 at 1600 and it's really not bad if the light is decent.  How is the noise at 1600 with the D500?  I've gotten used to being able to use it and with long lenses the added shutter speed is often needed in the forest etc.

Thanks so much.  Jim
 

by Jim Zipp on Thu May 23, 2019 11:47 am
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DChan wrote:
Re D850 and D500, you'd probably would be told just get the D850 and shoot in crop mode. But:
1. D500 has a bigger buffer.
2. D500 can lock on to the target faster.
3. D500 is smaller and lighter.
4. D500 has a higher fps.
5. D500 has better high ISO performance.


And probably other stuff, too :)


All true from from what I've read up on so far except number 5.  Is the noise better on the D500 than the D850?  As I said, I'd probably get both bodies if I do make the switch.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Thu May 23, 2019 1:36 pm
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The 1Dx2 at 1600 will be a bit cleaner than the D500 but the D850 when downrezzed to the same pixel count during RAW conversion would be a bit cleaner. At the pixel level though it would not be but realize you have more than twice as many pixels. noise is tricky that way, are you evaluating at the pixel level, than the 1Dx2 would be better for noise or are you evaluating for a fixed output size and then the D850 would be cleaner. That said I know you are very familiar with Alan Murphy's work and to a lesser degree my own and others, do you find that our photos have noise problems? ;) I think the better dynamic range and capability to dig detail out of the shadows without pattern noise more than makes up for it. I also think you will find the AF better as have virtually all that have switched.
 

by Jim Zipp on Thu May 23, 2019 3:55 pm
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Thanks again E.J.
I get what you are saying about downsizing to compare noise. I do that with my 5D4 files before I compare to the 1DX2 for that reason.
And yes I am pretty darn familiar with both yours and Alan's images and of course can never find a flaw which is why I value your input above all others!
Thanks again. Jim
 

by WJaekel on Thu May 23, 2019 7:03 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
Hi Jim, FWIW, my only bird rig at this point is a D500 with 500PF (and 14x when needed).  10FPS is plenty, the AF is superb and the Dynamic range is fantastic.  You might want to get the vertical grip for both battery life and it will be a more familiar shooting experience for you when you shoot vertical and you can always remove it if you want to stay as light as possible. It's the same megapixels as your 1Dx and of course has a Sony sensor so you know the shadow recovery is incredible......

Hmm, just curious - so you think the D500 generally has better DR than Jim's 1Dx2 - especially at higher ISOs (1600) he uses a lot ? Maybe I misunderstand W. Claff's graphics below as for capturing and lifting the shadows, too ? Weight of the Nikon combo surely is a big point in favor of the D500, though.

Wolfgang

Image
 

by flygirl on Sat May 25, 2019 12:05 pm
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DChan wrote:
Re D850 and D500, you'd probably would be told just get the D850 and shoot in crop mode. But:
1. D500 has a bigger buffer.
2. D500 can lock on to the target faster.
3. D500 is smaller and lighter.
4. D500 has a higher fps.
5. D500 has better high ISO performance.


And probably other stuff, to


I would probably agree with all except iso.  The D500 is VERY good for sure, but when I really need to push the boat out, I reach for my D850.  The hummingbird was taken with the D500 at iso 3200, which I kinda feel is my top end iso for the D500, but now the barn owl was with the D850 at iso 12, 800.  It was either have an image or not with the barn owl so I took it.  Plus I had just bought the D850 and wanted to see the results if I really needed this kind of iso.  We were on a boat that had wind and waves, so had to use the iso to have any kind of shutter speed 1/200, without a tripod, using the Nikon 500 f/4E, FL lens.





Image


Image
 

by Jim Zipp on Sat May 25, 2019 12:38 pm
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Thanks for the input Nancy. Jim
 

by Karl Egressy on Sat May 25, 2019 5:10 pm
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I have both cameras. I use the D850 most of the time. I use it at 1.2 crop or full frame.
The pixel coverage is 19.5 MP equivalent to 1.5 crop so it is almost the same as D500.
I rarely use the D500 but it is good to have a second camera, I always had at least two bodies just in case.
Both cameras are very capable BIF cameras. The D850 is better at high ISO, almost as good as the 5DM4.
DXOMARK rates D500 at 1324 ISO and D850 at 2660 ISO.
Up until last June I had 1DM4 and 5DM4  with 500 f 4.0 II. Now I have a 500 f 5.6 PF and I love it.
 

by DChan on Sat May 25, 2019 5:56 pm
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flygirl wrote:
The D500 is VERY good for sure, but when I really need to push the boat out, I reach for my D850.  The hummingbird was taken with the D500 at iso 3200, which I kinda feel is my top end iso for the D500, but now the barn owl was with the D850 at iso 12, 800.  It was either have an image or not with the barn owl so I took it.  Plus I had just bought the D850 and wanted to see the results if I really needed this kind of iso.  We were on a boat that had wind and waves, so had to use the iso to have any kind of shutter speed 1/200, without a tripod, using the Nikon 500 f/4E, FL lens. [snip]




I think it would be great if you show the raw files and tell us what noise reduction software you used to get the results.
 

by flygirl on Sun May 26, 2019 4:44 pm
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DChan wrote:
flygirl wrote:
The D500 is VERY good for sure, but when I really need to push the boat out, I reach for my D850.  The hummingbird was taken with the D500 at iso 3200, which I kinda feel is my top end iso for the D500, but now the barn owl was with the D850 at iso 12, 800.  It was either have an image or not with the barn owl so I took it.  Plus I had just bought the D850 and wanted to see the results if I really needed this kind of iso.  We were on a boat that had wind and waves, so had to use the iso to have any kind of shutter speed 1/200, without a tripod, using the Nikon 500 f/4E, FL lens. [snip]




I think it would be great if you show the raw files and tell us what noise reduction software you used to get the results.


Ok was not sure how to do this with file size restrictions on the forum, but I just converted my RAW to jpg.  Now, the High iso NR in camera is set to low, which was incorporated into the Jpeg as I use Nikon's NX-D to convert.  The only other NR I use is the Nik Define in Photoshop after I have converted to 16-bit Tiff out of NX-D.
Image


Image
 

by ricardo00 on Sun May 26, 2019 5:03 pm
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flygirl wrote:
DChan wrote:
flygirl wrote:
The D500 is VERY good for sure, but when I really need to push the boat out, I reach for my D850.  The hummingbird was taken with the D500 at iso 3200, which I kinda feel is my top end iso for the D500, but now the barn owl was with the D850 at iso 12, 800.  It was either have an image or not with the barn owl so I took it.  Plus I had just bought the D850 and wanted to see the results if I really needed this kind of iso.  We were on a boat that had wind and waves, so had to use the iso to have any kind of shutter speed 1/200, without a tripod, using the Nikon 500 f/4E, FL lens. [snip]




I think it would be great if you show the raw files and tell us what noise reduction software you used to get the results.


Ok was not sure how to do this with file size restrictions on the forum, but I just converted my RAW to jpg.  Now, the High iso NR in camera is set to low, which was incorporated into the Jpeg as I use Nikon's NX-D to convert.  The only other NR I use is the Nik Define in Photoshop after I have converted to 16-bit Tiff out of NX-D.

  Okay, please don't take this the wrong way, but since you had to crop the picture of the owl to about what the D500 would have gotten, wouldn't the noise be about the same for that picture if you took it with your D500 instead of the D850?
 
 

by flygirl on Sun May 26, 2019 5:11 pm
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ricardo00 wrote:
flygirl wrote:
DChan wrote:
flygirl wrote:
The D500 is VERY good for sure, but when I really need to push the boat out, I reach for my D850.  The hummingbird was taken with the D500 at iso 3200, which I kinda feel is my top end iso for the D500, but now the barn owl was with the D850 at iso 12, 800.  It was either have an image or not with the barn owl so I took it.  Plus I had just bought the D850 and wanted to see the results if I really needed this kind of iso.  We were on a boat that had wind and waves, so had to use the iso to have any kind of shutter speed 1/200, without a tripod, using the Nikon 500 f/4E, FL lens. [snip]




I think it would be great if you show the raw files and tell us what noise reduction software you used to get the results.


Ok was not sure how to do this with file size restrictions on the forum, but I just converted my RAW to jpg.  Now, the High iso NR in camera is set to low, which was incorporated into the Jpeg as I use Nikon's NX-D to convert.  The only other NR I use is the Nik Define in Photoshop after I have converted to 16-bit Tiff out of NX-D.

  Okay, please don't take this the wrong way, but since you had to crop the picture of the owl to about what the D500 would have gotten, wouldn't the noise be about the same for that picture if you took it with your D500 instead of the D850?
 


You know, I am not sure about that.  I have used the D500 up to about iso 8000 with not great results, so could not imagine it at iso 12,800.  I would like it better explained to me about what you say.  The full frame bodies I have had, both the D810 and now the D850 has just seemed to retain much better detail at the higher iso's than my DX bodies, even the D500.
 

by DChan on Sun May 26, 2019 5:34 pm
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flygirl wrote:
DChan wrote:
flygirl wrote:
The D500 is VERY good for sure, but when I really need to push the boat out, I reach for my D850.  The hummingbird was taken with the D500 at iso 3200, which I kinda feel is my top end iso for the D500, but now the barn owl was with the D850 at iso 12, 800.  It was either have an image or not with the barn owl so I took it.  Plus I had just bought the D850 and wanted to see the results if I really needed this kind of iso.  We were on a boat that had wind and waves, so had to use the iso to have any kind of shutter speed 1/200, without a tripod, using the Nikon 500 f/4E, FL lens. [snip]




I think it would be great if you show the raw files and tell us what noise reduction software you used to get the results.


Ok was not sure how to do this with file size restrictions on the forum, but I just converted my RAW to jpg.  Now, the High iso NR in camera is set to low, which was incorporated into the Jpeg as I use Nikon's NX-D to convert.  The only other NR I use is the Nik Define in Photoshop after I have converted to 16-bit Tiff out of NX-D.
Image


Image


Thank you for the effort, Nancy !

If I were to post with examples, I'd post a 100% crop with no post-processing. Pick an area that is usually the most susceptible to noise (usually a darker area)  and post a 100% crop of that. Usually I'd also post a full-frame of it for reference purposes.

Anyhow, for anyone interested in comparing the high iso performance of both cameras, you can actually download some raw files of both cameras from sites such as dpreview and imagingresource and see for yourself.
 

by ricardo00 on Sun May 26, 2019 6:31 pm
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flygirl wrote:
ricardo00 wrote:
flygirl wrote:
DChan wrote:
flygirl wrote:
The D500 is VERY good for sure, but when I really need to push the boat out, I reach for my D850.  The hummingbird was taken with the D500 at iso 3200, which I kinda feel is my top end iso for the D500, but now the barn owl was with the D850 at iso 12, 800.  It was either have an image or not with the barn owl so I took it.  Plus I had just bought the D850 and wanted to see the results if I really needed this kind of iso.  We were on a boat that had wind and waves, so had to use the iso to have any kind of shutter speed 1/200, without a tripod, using the Nikon 500 f/4E, FL lens. [snip]




I think it would be great if you show the raw files and tell us what noise reduction software you used to get the results.


Ok was not sure how to do this with file size restrictions on the forum, but I just converted my RAW to jpg.  Now, the High iso NR in camera is set to low, which was incorporated into the Jpeg as I use Nikon's NX-D to convert.  The only other NR I use is the Nik Define in Photoshop after I have converted to 16-bit Tiff out of NX-D.

  Okay, please don't take this the wrong way, but since you had to crop the picture of the owl to about what the D500 would have gotten, wouldn't the noise be about the same for that picture if you took it with your D500 instead of the D850?
 


You know, I am not sure about that.  I have used the D500 up to about iso 8000 with not great results, so could not imagine it at iso 12,800.  I would like it better explained to me about what you say.  The full frame bodies I have had, both the D810 and now the D850 has just seemed to retain much better detail at the higher iso's than my DX bodies, even the D500.

  I guess I use crazy ISOs on my D500 since I can't resist photographing.  When the light gets low, especially for owls, I just crank things up.  This is one of my shots of a GHO at ISO 32,000.  I have wondered if I would be better off with a D850 but thought, since it is cropped, I wouldn't be.  I did use DxO for noise reduction.
  https://www.flickr.com/photos/60519499@N00/46057667032/in/album-72157680589751103/
 

by Joe Subolefsky on Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:27 pm
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I shoot mostly BIF almost always with extenders on 600II, 1DX/ 5DIV and was seriously considering selling off all my Canon gear and making the switch you’re talking about until I had a chance to shoot the new Canon 600III in Jan. It only took a few shots to know I almost made a big mistake. It took me a few months to get my own but the new 600III absolutely kills for handholding and is even more responsive with extenders then my verII. I was less then impressed when trying extenders on the Nikons in the final keeper rate. Everyone is different and I would highly suggest getting your hands on things and trying them VS trusting lab reports,blogs etc.
 

by Jim Zipp on Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:53 am
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Karl Egressy wrote:
I have both cameras. I use the D850 most of the time. I use it at 1.2 crop or full frame.
The pixel coverage is 19.5 MP equivalent to 1.5 crop so it is almost the same as D500.
I rarely use the D500 but it is good to have a second camera, I always had at least two bodies just in case.
Both cameras are very capable BIF cameras. The D850 is better at high ISO, almost as good as the 5DM4.
DXOMARK rates D500 at 1324 ISO and D850 at 2660 ISO.
Up until last June I had 1DM4 and 5DM4  with 500 f 4.0 II. Now I have a 500 f 5.6 PF and I love it.


Thanks Karl.  The hands on real world experience is great to hear.  Now I just need to get my hands on that lens.  Jim
 

by Jim Zipp on Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:59 am
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Joe Subolefsky wrote:
I shoot mostly BIF almost always with extenders on 600II, 1DX/ 5DIV and was seriously considering selling off all my Canon gear and making the switch you’re talking about until I had a chance to shoot the new Canon 600III in Jan. It only took a few shots to know I almost made a big mistake. It took me a few months to get my own but the new 600III absolutely kills for handholding and is even more responsive with extenders then my verII. I was less then impressed when trying extenders on the Nikons in the final keeper rate. Everyone is different and I would highly suggest getting your hands on things and trying them VS trusting lab reports,blogs etc.



Thanks Joe. I've owned every version of the Canon 600 and loved them all. I have not tried the new one but am sure I'd love that as well. It is still more than double the weight of the Nikon 500.  I do not expect to get equal results when comparing a $3700 lens with a $13000 lens. I do find it interesting that you find it performs better than the old.  I have read and talked to people using them who absolutely love the reduced weight and better balance but haven't really heard about it performing faster or sharper.  Once I do find one of the Nikon lenses I do plan on using it for a while before selling my Canon gear.
 

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