View on D500/Z6ii

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bwest

Member
Supporting Member
Like many others, I have had the sickening experience of dropping a camera.
My beloved D500 with 24-120mm attached slipped out of my backpack and hit the concrete floor.
Strangely, no damage was evident, apart from a tiny bit of paint came off the uv-filter.
I have since taken several pictures and everything seems to be working as before and sharpness still as good as ever.

However, (gee, don't you just hate this word) in my mind the camera is not the same as before the fall and am thinking of replacing.
I did get a quote from my local camera shop and was offered AUD 600,00 for the D500 and AUD 300,00 for the lens...
Electronics looses value quickly, but was surprised with the offer as they are only less then three years old.
So, while I appreciated the offer I declined.

Nevertheless, I am now considering going mirrorless and replace with a Z6ii, but with several lenses for the D500 I would probably have to slowly built up another "arsenal" of different lenses.

I am aware that I can use a converter, but would love to hear from other users who are using same.
Have you experienced any degradation in sharpness etc. ?

My main photography is everything and nothing :)
I am retired and enjoy taking snaps of birds, landscape, environment - basically anything that catches my eye.

What are the general thought of going from dslr to mirrorless, especially D500 to Z6ii.
Would I be disappointed - I like the D500, but not in favour of the heavy build - although it comes in handy when dropping it on concrete floors.

I had a quick feel of the Z6ii and quite liked it, but long term is another thing.

Your thoughts are most appreciated, as always,

Thanks,
 

abc123brian

Well-known member
I have been a fan of mirrorless for a long time, so my thoughts might be a little biased. I find many advantages to mirrorless over DSLR. The wysiwyg viewfinder is excellent, you get other data in the viewfinder as well, horizon levels, histograms, for the most part it’s better than EVF. Where that is not true, at least with the current Nikon Z series and most other non flagship mirrorless cameras, you get EVF blackout which is similar to a DSLR mirror going up when you shoot causing a momentarily blacking out of the screen. this makes tracking fast, erratic subjects more challenging. It is doable, but different than a DSLR and takes a little more work. I find the AF for static subjects to be better as well. The mirrorless cameras use on sensor focusing so it tends to be more accurate than DSLRs that use a separate focusing system. In the current firmware, this could change, but the AF-C focus is not as fast as the D500. I’d rate it closer to the D750 system level of performance. This means it is good, but you will certainly notice it being a little slower on fast moving subjects compared to the D500. The D500 also acquires focus quicker. Though smaller and lighter, the build quality should be about the same.

comparing the D500 to the Z6ii is difficult. In anything but fast moving subjects, I think the Z6ii wins. The D500 is a very fast and powerful DSLR and it’s speed is going to be noticeable over a Z6ii. The D500 is the only DSLR I own and will likely be the last, unless I get the crazy idea to pick up a D5 if I see a good deal. I use my Z7ii and Z7 for most of my photography and rarely grab the D500. I don’t use tele converters. I tried the, previously with Canon and Fujifilm and it wasn’t for me so I haven’t even looked at Nikon’s.

I know this is mostly ramble, but hopefully it helps you somewhat with your decision.
 

Jmaes

Well-known member
Supporting Member
It'll depend a bit (I know :) ) on how much time you spend on each type of photography. If you don't shoot much fast action, definitely go for the z6ii. If you do, I would honestly just consider getting another D500.

I recently rented a z6ii for the day to see if it it would have a place in my bag for a specific use case (won't bore you with the details). Long story short, I'll be buying one for use on everything besides BIF/action. For those cases, I still find my D500 to be vastly superior and just more fun to use.

EDIT: seems I misread a bit. If your D500 is still functioning as it should, I agree with what Steve W is saying below (keep it).
 
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Steve W

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Mmm, I don’t think you need to stress over the change to ML or not. The camera is functioning fine as is the lens. You’ve not been offered much for it. As you’ve been happy, until now at least, why not hang on to it or try to sell on “flea bay” to ease the pain.
You have proven the D500 is one tough camera, I’m not sure how the Z6 would have fared.
 

sid_19911991

Active member
I own a D500 & Z6 ii.

Here is my opinion.

I use Z6 ii only for shooting wildlife videos & non-wildlife still subjects.
4k 30 fps is good, while 4k 60 is soft as it is comes cropped.
Its dynamic range for still images is good.
It gives out far less luminance noise compared to D500.

However, for wildlife/bird action, D500 wins hands down.

Z6 ii sharpness for still animal subjects is not good due to its heavy AA filter.
However, if you use a prime lens (500/600 F4), then the softness gets overcome by a significant margin.

Z6 ii AA filter/sharpness issue is not much of a big deal if the lens is exceptionally sharp like the Z line of lenses.

As 100-400 & 200-600 are going to come out soon, the sharpness issue can be mostly negated.
 

Owney

Member
Supporting Member
I started out with a single D500 for high school sports. When I decided to add a second camera I chose a Z6 and have since upgraded to a Z6ii because I find mirrorless is more enjoyable to use. When I first started carrying both cameras simultaneously I would favor the 500, especially for fast action. As my skill level with the Z gets better I find myself wanting to use it more and more. I now know that I will add a second Z to replace the D500 someday so I have been selling my F glass and only holding on to my 500 PF and 70-200. For everything else I am slowly converting over to the Z system. You mentioned that you are retired so I would suggest you get a 6ii and slowly move Into mirrorless. I don’t think you will regret expanding your photography skills. Is it better to read a physical book or read on a Kindle? Both will get the job done but only you can decide which you enjoy and prefer.
 

Aussie Geoff

Melbourne Australia
Supporting Member
Hi Bwest
I am fairly new to photography, Living in Australia I know camera gear is very expensive, and was wonder if have you had the camera checked as it maybe cheaper to fix it then replace it,
Remember if you buy a new camera or refurbished from Ebay or similar be care full it is not a grey camera as Nikon Australia will not do any warranty on camera or lenses,
 

Steve W

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Hi Bwest
I am fairly new to photography, Living in Australia I know camera gear is very expensive, and was wonder if have you had the camera checked as it maybe cheaper to fix it then replace it,
Remember if you buy a new camera or refurbished from Ebay or similar be care full it is not a grey camera as Nikon Australia will not do any warranty on camera or lenses
I understand why he’s thinking of changing it, not sure if he can trust it ongoing and perhaps opportunity to make change to ML. I’d never advocate buying anything grey market on eBay. I was only suggesting he might sell the D500 there.
 

Aussie Geoff

Melbourne Australia
Supporting Member
I understand why he’s thinking of changing it, not sure if he can trust it ongoing and perhaps opportunity to make change to ML. I’d never advocate buying anything grey market on eBay. I was only suggesting he might sell the D500 there.
Steve W
Sorry for the misunderstand mate I didn't mean you. It's just remember the first DSLR I purchased was a Nikon D80 on Ebay and the seller claimed to be in Australia and approved Nikon seller but when I tried to claim a warranty I found out that the seller was from over seas and the only way I could get it fixed was to pay out of my own pocket.
 

bwest

Member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Thank you to all for very informative comments.
Yes, I think it will be time to go mirrorless in the near future.
For now, as Steve W said, I'll hang on to it for now.
I must admit that I would never buy second-hand electronic gear no matter how well looked-after it may be.
Reckon there is a reason why the item(s) are being sold and could be due to various problems with the gear.
I am one of the people who will take the item home from the shop and scrutinize the box and camera for fingerprints in case it had been opened before.
I know it may be over the top, but the thought that someone have touched my new toy before me would leave me sleepless 😁
All jokes aside, thank you all for taking time to answer my post,
Thanks again,
 

aolander

Well-known member
I own a D500 & Z6 ii.

Here is my opinion.

I use Z6 ii only for shooting wildlife videos & non-wildlife still subjects.
4k 30 fps is good, while 4k 60 is soft as it is comes cropped.
Its dynamic range for still images is good.
It gives out far less luminance noise compared to D500.

However, for wildlife/bird action, D500 wins hands down.

Z6 ii sharpness for still animal subjects is not good due to its heavy AA filter.
However, if you use a prime lens (500/600 F4), then the softness gets overcome by a significant margin.

Z6 ii AA filter/sharpness issue is not much of a big deal if the lens is exceptionally sharp like the Z line of lenses.

As 100-400 & 200-600 are going to come out soon, the sharpness issue can be mostly negated.
I think the issue many seem to have about loss of sharpeness because of an AA filter is way overblown. I feel images taken with my Z6 are sharp if I do my part, and I believe Steve himself said he never worried about that.
 

Whiskeyman

Well-known member
Do you have to sell the D500 to afford the new camera? Would having a backup camera to your D500 help reduce your anxiety about your D500 failing you during a shoot? If the answers to those questions are no and yes, then keep the D500 and buy the second camera. If those aren't your corresponding answers, it will require a bit more discussion.

(I nearly always carry a second camera with me, even though I've never had a camera fail in the field. I've read enough stories about those who have, and been with one person who had their camera fail when we were out shooting.)
 

DRwyoming

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Your thoughts are most appreciated, as always,
I agree with the others that you shouldn't feel forced to buy a new camera unless there's some obvious problem with your current camera and even then a repair is likely much less expensive than a new camera.

But to your questions:

- There's no loss of sharpness when changing from a D500 to a Z6 or Z6 II. I run a D500 and D5 alongside my Z6 II and the sharpness for the same lens and same shooting situation is fine for any of those cameras. The Z6 II actually tends to nail focus a bit better when it does acquire a focus lock with no lens fine tuning issues but either the D5 or the D500 are better choices for high speed action photography. That said I've captured many action images including fast flying birds with my Z6 II if that's what I had with me when I encountered them and though I'd give the edge to my D5 or D500 for pure BIF work the Z6 II does much better than many blogs and review videos might lead you to believe.

- In terms of the overall user experience it's a toss up. The EVF on the Z cameras brings some nice features like WYSIWYG exposure and ability to display the histogram in the viewfinder to nail exposure compensation before releasing the shutter. It also allows close zooming to check critical focus before capturing the shot as well as other things like ability to make menu changes or review images through the viewfinder instead of the rear panel display which is nice in bright sunshine and nice for those of us that need to dig out reading glasses to see the rear panel display clearly. But the EVF experience in Nikon's current crop of MILCs isn't quite the same as looking through a good optical viewfinder like that on your D500, there's more blackout between images and more of a stuttering effect with the EVF compared to an optical viewfinder and that takes some getting used to.

- Other things that I wish were better on my Z6II include ability to customize controls like selecting different focus area modes on the fly by assigning it to a button the way I can on the D500, D5 or D850. For some reason Nikon didn't carry over as much ability to customize buttons on their current Z series cameras and as this is just a firmware issue it's annoying but hopefully something Nikon will fix with firmware updates. The crazy thing is most buttons are configurable on the current Z cameras but just with fewer configurable options than their DSLR counterparts. Better battery life would be nice as well as I never go through a fully charged battery with my D500 but sometimes don't get through a day of shooting with my Z6 II and that's even with only using the EVF and not really chimping images much if at all. So with my Z6 II I'll carry a spare battery or two.

The MILC experience is a bit different than shooting with my D500 and has some definite plusses but it's enough different that some don't like it and personally it took me a few weeks to warm up to shooting with my Z6 II. These days I'll grab the Z6 II for just about everything and definitely when weight or size is a concern but if I really plan to shoot action I'll still grab my D5 or D500.
 
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Rassie

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I think the issue many seem to have about loss of sharpeness because of an AA filter is way overblown. I feel images taken with my Z6 are sharp if I do my part, and I believe Steve himself said he never worried about that.
Agreed. I've had numerous cameras with AA filters and I have yet to see a problem with sharpness due to the filter. Not once when I post a sharp picture does anyone ever comment that it could have been sharper but for the AA filter.
 

MartyD

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I purchased a D500 when it was released and still shoot it, I purchased the Z6 when it was released, then upgraded my Z6 to the Z6ii via Nikon's trade up program. I like shooting both cameras but I will grab my Z6ii for most shooting situations. I like the high ISO performance of the Z6ii better than the D500. If you decide to purchase a Z6ii realize that you will have to learn the mirrorless settings that work best for you, don't expect it to behave just like the D500.
 

sid_19911991

Active member
I think the issue many seem to have about loss of sharpeness because of an AA filter is way overblown. I feel images taken with my Z6 are sharp if I do my part, and I believe Steve himself said he never worried about that.
I don't think so. I feel if anything people don't notice the differences enough. The final output may be about 20% less sharp with all things equal, but when you upload such an image on social media, the compression makes it worse.

For an interview with Adorama, Nikon product manager himself talks about the AA filter in Z6 ii & the lack there off in Z7/Z7 ii.

These subtle nuances matter to me. Wildlife videos by BBC/Natgeo are typically shot with Red cameras these days for their exceptional sharpness as opposed to Arri cameras which are used by Hollywood production houses as they make the skin look more smooth & appealing off the bat. I am sure there are many other reasons too.

Also, Z6 & Z6 ii was never intended to be a wildlife camera by Nikon. It shows in its AF ability. It is geared more for hybrid shooting & probably made more for portrait/fashion/astro photography.

But if a camera works for you, nothing like it. We all have different preferences.


Steve is a pro photographer, who I would imagine would typically shoot in good light & with prime lenses. The two factors will negate the loss of sharpness from AA filters. Even Sony A9 i & ii have AA filters but their lenses (200-600, telephoto primes) are exceptionally sharp.
 

bwest

Member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Thank you all for your advise and information.
Yes, I think I will go the mirrorless way in the near future.
Thank you once again,
 

Steve W

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Steve W
Sorry for the misunderstand mate I didn't mean you. It's just remember the first DSLR I purchased was a Nikon D80 on Ebay and the seller claimed to be in Australia and approved Nikon seller but when I tried to claim a warranty I found out that the seller was from over seas and the only way I could get it fixed was to pay out of my own pocket.
That’s cool. I took no offence. As you say, there is some dodgy sellers on eBay.
 
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