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Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?
  
 
Wilbus
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


So, yes I know, another one of those threads "which to choose" and sorry for the long post, hopefully someone manages to read through it and help me discuss with my self regarding pros and cons of my thoughts.

This is something I am considering, for several different reasons, economy being one oddly enough as I am looking at some fairly expensive gear anyway.

So, I am currently using m43 with Olympus, a single E-M1 body (after my other one together with two lenses decided to take a swim and end up at the bottom of a lake in Norway). The insurance money covered the 12-40 and 40-150 lens but I haven't replaced the E-M1 body. All good and well, the other body has served me well as have the lenses.

There are a few different reasons I am considering adding Nikon again. @Pavel here on the forums is one as he actually planted a seed in my brain (not by purpose I believe) but myt m43 gear has grown to such an extent that it is now a bit larger then I think it should be. It's still very much smaller then an APS-C or FF camera with lenses of the same quality giving the same or similar FOV. My m43 gear covers 24-300 F2.8 with another 120mm at the long end using a 1.4 TC. No, let's not get in to other DOF equivalent discussions, we all know about it and we all work with what we have, or work around it.

I have been interested in shooting wild life for a long time but never really got around to it until this weekend where I brought the 80-300 eq with a TC 1.4 along (for about 420mm reach) and tried to get some birds of prey. The walk resulted in the shot posted bellow as one of the better shots, quite heavily cropped though. The bird was sitting on a pole, I managed to walk closer, shoot, walk closer, shoot and so forth until I actually made to good call to stop and wait for it to take off. The E-M1 mark I can't focus track for S*** so I locked the focus and fired away at high speed, 10fps. The first few shots before it took off were of course in focus but only this one was in good focus after that, another one "good enough" and the third one out of focus.

For me, this was the first "real" experience of some kind of wild life shooting and I loved it. I love being in the outdoors and hiking, kayaking etc. This experience really gave me another "push" to get out there and shoot this kind of stuff.

However, what it also resulted in was this: My m43 gear with this lens and a wide angle one is very light, small and easy to carry along even on extended multi day hikes which was one of the reasons I got it from the beginning (although these lenses didn't exist at the time). However, it also made me realize that my E-M1 isn't really up to the snuff when it comes to wild life autofocus and second, I need a longer lens still, for most birds that is.

So, thinking about this, and calculating costs the obvious solution would be to get the new E-M1 Mk II with much better AF tracking and the Olympus 300mm F4 lens (around 600mm FOV). However, results have proven the E-M1 MK II, though much better at tracking, still has a long way to go. Also, the E-M1.2 costs around 2000 US dollars. The 300mm lens another 2,500 (both are actually more expensive in Sweden but rough calculations).

This would set me back 4500 and I'd still not really have the AF performance I believe I want. A secondary thing is I won't get a whole lot better ISO performance or image quality upgrade from my 2013 E-M1 Sensor although there is a difference. I would get extreme high speed shooting (18fps with tracking, although if the tracking misses all the 18fps is worthless).

So this got me thinking, as I used Nikon D700 before changing to m43 I still have some Nikon love, quite much actually. I have some older AF-D lenses (50mm F1.4 and 180mm F2.8) as well as some older MF glass.
A Nikon D500 costs $1900 in Sweden, about 100 less then an E-M1.2. A Nikon 200-500 is about $1400, that's $3300, or some $1200 US less then the Olympus combo. I would gain a bit more reach with that lens on APS-C. much better ISO performance and the best AF tracking in the world at this time. A bigger buffer as well as some other things. I would lose out on size, but then again the 200-500 is a zoom and a bit more versatile. I would lose a stop of light (F4 vs F5,6) but this is more then made up for by the better high ISO quality. I would also lose on build quality, the Olympus PRO glass is built like heavy tanks. Weather sealed, metal, pure quality. The Nikon 200-500 while weather sealed (I believe?) just isn't in the same league. I would lose IBIS but the IBIS won't do me much good when I need to fast shutter speeds anyway. In many other cases, it more then weights up for the lack of high ISO performance. The lens of course has VR but not as effective as Olympus dual IS. I also lose the EVF that I love but gain OVF that might very well be better in this case.

Now, I am not too fond of APS-C, specially not since I don't think Nikon will support it for with updates for much longer. It took them ages to replace the D300 and I suspect the D500 was a way of trying to save some of their finances as the D300/D3 release was Nikons prime time of the digital age. I don't wanna invest in any sort of pure APS-C glass which would put me in a weird situation as far as super wide angle or even wide angle goes. Not to mention the fact that I hate a FF 50mm lens on APS-C.

So this got me thinking of a used Nikon D4. They can be had in Sweden for around $1400-2000, depending on how much they have been used.
This finally leads me to the question. How does the D4 compare to the D500? What might be the better choice here? I know there is no right answer but I will still ask. The D4 has got better ISO performance once above 6400 or so, if I understand it correct? It's got fewer pixels but 16mp is plenty for large prints, specially with a good sensor like the D4.

I would lose some "reach" which would again bring me down 500mm (around 80mm longer then my current lens with TC) which I suspect might still be a bit too short. On the other hand I wouldn't have to worry about any crop factor for other lenses. I could gladly buy lenses and use them the way they were intended to in terms of field of view rather then losing out on crop factor.
I would also lose the new AF system, how much difference is there between the D500 and D4 in terms of tracking?

So my possible choices I've figured out are. Sell my zooms for m43 and possibly the E-M1. Replace the zooms and camera with a smaller PEN-F with 2-4 small fast primes, the entire package weighting about 900g (just bellow 2 lbs). Use this as my every day kit while walking around the city shopping, keep in my car etc.

To this I would use the wild life setup in terms of D500 + 200-500 lens or a D4 with 200-500 lens. I suspect that if I get rid of my zooms for m43 I will eventually replace these with zooms, or primes (wide angle and normal) for the Nikon system which further strengthens the D4 side of things. Another option would be a D500 now with the 200-500 and possibly a D800 or D810 for landscape work with a super wide angle zoom or a prime.

Dangers of this. One system never gets used for whatever reason and I have money tied up in two systems while one should be enough. A D500 with a good wide angle prime is a lot bigger then a m43 with a similar prime, but not big enough to leave at home for normal walks. Then again, neither is the D4.

So, if anyone actually read the thread, or even any parts of it, I would be very glad to hear opinions about the D4 vs D500, what are the pros and cons etc? I know the D850 would solve my issues but again, the cost would be a lot higher and I am not 100% sure I would agree with DSLR's anymore plus Nikon might release a FF mirrorless. Sony is not an option, I hate their cameras not to mention their oversized lenses that costs even more then the competition.

Kind Regards

Rasmus






  E-M1    M.40-150mm F2.8 + MC-14 lens    210mm    f/5.6    1/1250s    400 ISO    +1.0 EV  




Sep 20, 2017 at 04:27 PM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


Wilbus wrote:
So this got me thinking, as I used Nikon D700 before changing to m43 I still have some Nikon love, quite much actually. I have some older AF-D lenses (50mm F1.4 and 180mm F2.8) as well as some older MF glass.
A Nikon D500 costs $1900 in Sweden, about 100 less then an E-M1.2. A Nikon 200-500 is about $1400, that's $3300, or some $1200 US less then the Olympus combo. I would gain a bit more reach with that lens on APS-C. much better ISO performance and the best AF tracking in the world at this time. A bigger
...Show more

The D500 and 200-500 is the best bang for the buck wildlife combo you can buy right now, all things considered. You get the best AF on the market right now with the D500, along with 10FPS and exceptional image quality from the 200-500. The build quality of the 200-500 is still very good and not a concern. The 200-500 is sealed with gaskets, but it is a telescoping design so it is not sealed to the same level as the internally zooming 70-200's, for example. Either way, probably not a big deal unless you shoot in the pouring rain without any other protection. The VR in the 200-500 is to my knowledge the best VR available anywhere, even within Nikon's own lineup - you won't be giving up anything there. I also think you would prefer the OVF for wildlife as they have zero lag and no severe low light or dynamic range limitations.

Wilbus wrote:
Now, I am not too fond of APS-C, specially not since I don't think Nikon will support it for with updates for much longer. It took them ages to replace the D300 and I suspect the D500 was a way of trying to save some of their finances as the D300/D3 release was Nikons prime time of the digital age. I don't wanna invest in any sort of pure APS-C glass which would put me in a weird situation as far as super wide angle or even wide angle goes. Not to mention the fact that I hate a FF
...Show more

I don't think APS-C is going anywhere. Consecutive natural disasters in Nikon's key geographic areas is the best explanation for the delay of the D300 replacement and why there was no D400. Nikon execs have said as much as well. They also make most of their money in the DX segment with the lower-end models. The huge popularity of the D500 surely reminded them how well a camera like that can do in the lineup. Most people don't shoot APS-C glass with their D500's, they are glued to lenses like the 200-500 or other big tele's which are all full frame glass. Nikon's APS-C lens lineup is very limited anyway compared to their full frame offerings. The only DX glass you might want is a UWA if it's not covered by one of your other systems, and that isn't a big deal - the DX UWA's are quite inexpensive.

Wilbus wrote:
So this got me thinking of a used Nikon D4. They can be had in Sweden for around $1400-2000, depending on how much they have been used.
This finally leads me to the question. How does the D4 compare to the D500? What might be the better choice here? I know there is no right answer but I will still ask. The D4 has got better ISO performance once above 6400 or so, if I understand it correct? It's got fewer pixels but 16mp is plenty for large prints, specially with a good sensor like the D4.


The D500 is better than the D4 in every way except obviously not being full frame, and the 'pro' body style. ISO performance is very similar outside of the extremes, up to about ISO 12,800, then the D4 pulls ahead. Overall there isn't a huge difference there:

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison/fullscreen?attr18=daylight&attr13_0=nikon_d4&attr13_1=nikon_d500&attr13_2=nikon_d4&attr13_3=nikon_d500&attr15_0=raw&attr15_1=raw&attr15_2=raw&attr15_3=raw&attr16_0=12800&attr16_1=12800&attr16_2=6400&attr16_3=6400&normalization=compare&widget=1&x=-0.13743289409468032&y=-0.9841684822076983


Wilbus wrote:
I would also lose the new AF system, how much difference is there between the D500 and D4 in terms of tracking?


The CAM20K AF and related processing in the D500 is a huge improvement over the D4. Probably the single most noticeable area of improvement, and it would be the primary reason I would go with the D500 over the D4 in your situation unless full frame becomes a requirement. For wildlife, you can't really beat the D500 in that price range. Normal tracking is improved significantly, and the 3D tracking is pretty incredible (to the point where pros are actually using it for paid shoots rather than it just being something that is nice to have). Aside from all the extra AF points and cross points, it's also twice as sensitive in the center and 1.5 times more sensitive off center. Specifically regarding the 200-500, it also seems to work best on the new bodies like the D500/D850/D5, focusing faster than it does on the older bodies.


Wilbus wrote:
To this I would use the wild life setup in terms of D500 + 200-500 lens or a D4 with 200-500 lens. I suspect that if I get rid of my zooms for m43 I will eventually replace these with zooms, or primes (wide angle and normal) for the Nikon system which further strengthens the D4 side of things. Another option would be a D500 now with the 200-500 and possibly a D800 or D810 for landscape work with a super wide angle zoom or a prime.


Personally, I would do the latter and you will have the best of both worlds. You will have industry leading wildlife and landscape combinations, and your lenses will work on both bodies. You also never have to haul around a large D4-style body if you are trying to keep things more compact. I've tried to have two completely different systems before (for example Nikon and M43) and in my experience one always gets neglected. YMMV of course as that is highly dependent on other factors.

Based on current rumors and people usually 'in the know', I would expect Nikon to release both APS-C and FF mirrorless by the end of 2018, but that is not a guarantee.

All just my opinion, hope it helps.



Sep 20, 2017 at 05:47 PM
Blakehfreeman
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


I read part of this... but, from everything I've heard/know... I'd try and spring for a used D4s... decently better cam and stupid low prices right now.


Sep 20, 2017 at 05:53 PM
jeffp3456
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


In my experience, the Mark 1 holds up well on C-AF if you have it set up so that it uses the pdaf af points, you'll know because you see the pdaf frame in the viewfinder when shooting. It is not as easily distracted by contrast as is the Mark 2.
Also IMO, the image quality of the Mark 2, at least in marginal situations, is noticeably better than the Mark 1, in most situations the AF is fine but there are situations where I do not trust it to truly focus even when focus square is green and IMO Oly would have already fixed this if it were fixable (M2 is one year old already).
Having said that I recently purchased a used D4 on ebay for around $1800 and look forward to receiving it and putting it thru its paces. I don't plan to use it for wildlife as the 200-500 is over 2 kilos alone!
Whatever you do have fun!





Sep 20, 2017 at 06:27 PM
Pavel
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


When I have decisions in front of me I research all the specs, find out the plusses and cons, see if there are any major issues and then make a decision. A short time later I change my mind. And then I'm like a ping-pong ball, back and forth, forth and back. Sometimes the engineering side, you know that logical dry part of the brain, easily impressed always by more, wins. Once in a while, though not very often, the intuitive side wins.

What I've noticed from years and years of that overthinking tendency I have is that very often when I choose on logic, I wind up having to fix it later, and that always leaves me more broke than I had anticipated. So, if you at all like me Rasmus, I think that somewhere in your heart you sort of know which somehow makes your pulse beat a bit faster, and which one you can somehow picture yourself happy with when you try to imagine yourself shooting - get that one. Don't be like me!

I recommend a nice relaxing Sunday, lots of your favorite alcoholic beverage and some nice music or whatever you like to relax with - then some more alcohol - and go with what your drunk minds eye sees you with.

But since I can't ever take my own advice about not overthinking things and have a hard to finding that inner intuitive voice inside me: I will say that you should never go hiking in high heels.

What I mean is that if you don't give something a good chance of working for you, by buying or using other than the best equiptment you can get your hands on, or your wife to approve, you are doing yourself a large disservice. Your not giving things the best chance, you won't see it in the best light - and in my example you'll never go hiking again.

So get the D4. This is Nikons very best effort which by happy confluence is at a remarkably low point in price. It's in your range. It track as the best Nikon knew then how to design, it is rugged, the battery is fabulous and basically you are getting a no compromise camera. And a camera which has strenghts built in for excelling in exactly the way that your chosen interest is best served by.

And it's a matter of balance. The Olympus bodies shine their best mated to small sweet primes. The birding/wildlife lens you are thinking of getting (me too!) is a great performer , and a remarkable value to hear Thom Hogan's write on it but it is large. The size of the lens will be better matched by the larger D4. The balance will be there. I also like that in the case of Goldilocks and the three cameras, you get to choose two, not just one. The two extreme oposites seem a better pair that two systems closer together, and again, the D4 fits that mold.

Have you factored in how much the 200-500 along with the D4 will save you each month in Gym membership!

Lastly, life is short, and reputedly they don't allow even carry on luggage when you go. Get the best. That would be the D4. Oh, and a gimbal head.




Sep 21, 2017 at 12:30 AM
Wilbus
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


CanadaMark wrote:
The D500 and 200-500 is the best bang for the buck wildlife combo you can buy right now, all things considered. You get the best AF on the market right now with the D500, along with 10FPS and exceptional image quality from the 200-500. The build quality of the 200-500 is still very good and not a concern. The 200-500 is sealed with gaskets, but it is a telescoping design so it is not sealed to the same level as the internally zooming 70-200's, for example. Either way, probably not a big deal unless you shoot in the pouring rain
...Show more

@CanadaMark

This helps so much, thank you for not only taking the time to read through my lengthy thoughts and ideas but also answering to it in such a comprehensive way!

It does help a lot, although the other replies seem to point towards the D4 way

Thanks for posting the DP review comparison table, the D4 has got some slight advantage in high ISO but not by all that much and most likely not enough to make a huge difference, specially not when comparing to m43.

Weight and size is somewhat of a factor but I also realize that if I'm gonna go bigger I might as well go big and deal with the weight and size in the best ways possible.
The weight and size of the D4 and D500 goes both ways. Maybe a bit better balance with large lens on the D4 but also more weight, then again, the D500 would most likely feel better with smaller lenses.

Biggest reason for the FF is to keep a larger gap between the m43 system and the, to be, FF system, getting the best of both worlds. The downside of this is the fact that the 200-500 would indeed, still "only" be 500mm which is "only" about 100mm more then the 40-150+1.4 TC on m43 and in that case, maybe not give me enough reach?
Also, the Nikon 180 F2.8 is lovely on FF and would give me a nice long portrait lens and my 50mm's, although somewhat old, would work the way they "should".

The D500 really seems like the smartest choice for what I am looking for, it would be somewhat more expensive then a used D4 and 200-500 but then again I would gain a newer focus system and newer sensor.
The D4s would be a bit more expensive then the D500 and of course both the D4 and D4s would be used with all the potential bad things that might come with that. I have found a used D500 for around $1400, shutter count 1010 so barely used which would put it in the same price as a used D4 with 100-250k on it. (All this in Sweden btw, like I said, prices differ to US).

How many people shoot wild life and birds with the 200-500 on FF? Would 500 be enough reach for most cases? Like I said, this is totally new genre for me and I'm trying to learn it as best I can.
I will of course spend more time with my E-M1 and 400mm reach for wildlife before making a choice, hopefully I can manage to test it through and through till X-mas and then make a choice, for once trying to think hard and long.

Thanks again, super grateful for the reply!



Sep 21, 2017 at 07:06 AM
Wilbus
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


@Blakehfreeman thank you for the reply, I understand you didn't read all of it but I am thankful for the reply either way!

The D4s would be an option but it still sells for fairly high prices used in Sweden making it all a bit more expensive. If I happen to find one used for a lower price it might be an option.




Sep 21, 2017 at 07:11 AM
Wilbus
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


jeffp3456 wrote:
In my experience, the Mark 1 holds up well on C-AF if you have it set up so that it uses the pdaf af points, you'll know because you see the pdaf frame in the viewfinder when shooting. It is not as easily distracted by contrast as is the Mark 2.
Also IMO, the image quality of the Mark 2, at least in marginal situations, is noticeably better than the Mark 1, in most situations the AF is fine but there are situations where I do not trust it to truly focus even when focus square is green and IMO Oly
...Show more

Very interesting to know, I must try it more and in more different situations I suspect.

Like I said in my reply CanadaMark I will try and wait with a real decision till X-mas (and maybe hope for a X-mas discount) and in these three months I might have time to spend shooting some more wildlife with the E-M1 and 40-150.
I will start using C-AF far more (just noticed what you mean with the PDAF framing, weird I haven't seen that before).
Not always trusting the focus is something I have found as well, but the situations are few and far between and the contrast detect is usually dead on as well.

What made you pick up a D4? Is m43 your primary system otherwise? The 200-500 is a heavy beast but hopefully it delivers as well, the only other way is to go small with m43 if I want that reach but like I said, 4500k and with worse tracking it feels like a hard and not very smart choice to make. Had the 300mm F4 been priced differently I am quite sure the choice would have been easier.

Looking forward to hearing about your D4 adventures!




Sep 21, 2017 at 07:16 AM
Wilbus
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


Pavel wrote:
When I have decisions in front of me I research all the specs, find out the plusses and cons, see if there are any major issues and then make a decision. A short time later I change my mind. And then I'm like a ping-pong ball, back and forth, forth and back. Sometimes the engineering side, you know that logical dry part of the brain, easily impressed always by more, wins. Once in a while, though not very often, the intuitive side wins.

What I've noticed from years and years of that overthinking tendency I have is that very often when
...Show more

I love this answer! Full of humor and still serious which ticks all the right boxes for me. Not only that but yes, I am "sorry" to say. I am exactly like you (but you knew that already). I always overthink things, and when I don't, I think too little, act too fast and sometimes regret it afterwards. In the case of m43 and Olympus, I love the system, but for 5 years I have had the nagging feeling in the back of my head that just won't go away... "I miss my D700". I miss the actual knobs and dials, I miss the responsiveness. The OM-D series is fast as hell but a simple thing as I can't review images while the camera is still writing to the card has pissed me off from the beginning, I thought this would have been solved with the E-M1.2 but it's not. It's not a big thing, it's not even important, but it's a little tiny bit annoying.

My logic tells me, the D500 would suit the needs better. Newer sensor, better AF especially for wildlife plus a few more pixels cramped in to a smaller space for a longer equivalent field of view. Only small downside is APS-C, which is "too close" to m43 and a weird crop factor to me, I much prefer "2x crop" or non at all. This is the biggest reason I am considering the D4. Of course, the D4 would make a wonderful landscape camera as well and I would be able to use my older, although manual lenses, for this purpose without the crop factor.

That is the logical dry part of my brain, that part has always made choices for me, work, where to live, what to drive etc (part from that one time when I got a 1989 Jeep Wrangler, that was fun... and expensive, and short lived )
The intuitive part should maybe get a chance this time? Without having to wear high heels on a hike, I seriously doubt my girlfriend would find it amusing if I came back with her high heeled shoes all muddy telling her "Well, this guy in a photo forum told me to go hike in high heels..."

Even with my worries bout D4 tracking being worse then D500, I can't imagine it as bad, am I right?
So the remaining big worry would be the reach of the 200-500, part from the fact that I save on a gym membership, would the 500mm be enough for birds? Or would I put my self in a situation where I will end up with a D500 in a year or two anyway? Then again, my old 50mm F1.4 AF-D and 180 F2.8 AF-D both will work "better" with FF anyway.

I do agree that m43 sensor and FF would be better suited to work together then m43 and APS-C. Though in the D500 the sensors seems to produce such excellent results that it is like moving to a FF anyway.

Life is short, I have no intention of leaving it with my bank account stashed with money (this is also the reason my bank account has more or less NO money) but hey, at least when I do leave this life I have achieved one of my goals

Your advice about a Sunday afternoon, wine and whisky is one of the best I've heard. I will combine it with Pink Floyd and camera and lens reviews and hopefully I will have made a choice by early next year when the funds also allow me to do so.

A final question, Nikon is having an Expo near me this weekend, I will be able to test both the D500 and the D5. How much does the D5 compare to the D4 in terms of pure ergonomics? Will it be close enough to get a feeling of how the D4 feels?

Many many thanks!!!

/Rasmus



Sep 21, 2017 at 12:23 PM
Blakehfreeman
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


Don't try the D5! Like anything in life, you don't miss what you don't know! They feel similar but the D5 is the better camera, and if you're like me you'll end up with a D5 after that trip!

Wilbus wrote:
I love this answer! Full of humor and still serious which ticks all the right boxes for me. Not only that but yes, I am "sorry" to say. I am exactly like you (but you knew that already). I always overthink things, and when I don't, I think too little, act too fast and sometimes regret it afterwards. In the case of m43 and Olympus, I love the system, but for 5 years I have had the nagging feeling in the back of my head that just won't go away... "I miss my D700". I miss the actual knobs and
...Show more



Sep 21, 2017 at 02:44 PM
 

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CanadaMark
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


Wilbus wrote:
It does help a lot, although the other replies seem to point towards the D4 way


Unless they are arguing for full frame or something else unique to the D4 body style (which is fair), they probably have not used a D500 and D4 together if they think the D4 is a better action/wildlife camera. The D500 has objectively better autofocus, a much deeper buffer (unlimited RAW), and the same FPS with autofocus. It has the same AF as the D5, and it obviously does not stand to reason that the D4's variant of a 2007 autofocus system has better AF than the brand new state of the art system from the D5.

You can also just look at the technical specifications of the AF itself:

Center point: -4.0 EV sensitivity vs -2.0
Outer points: -3.0 EV sensitivity vs -2.0
Cross type points: 99 vs 15
Total AF points: 153 vs 51
Meter: 180k pixel RGB vs 91k pixel RGB
Processing: Expeed 5 + dedicated AF processor vs Expeed 3 alone
Modes: The D500 adds group AF, automatic AF fine tune, steady & erratic AF adjustment, and vastly improved 3D tracking

The argument that the D4 was one of Nikon's best is put into perspective when you consider it's coming up on 6 years old, the processing is over 2 generations old, and the underlying autofocus system is coming up on 11 years old. Everything was the best at one point in time. This is not to say it's bad, but things have come a long way since.

Wilbus wrote:
Biggest reason for the FF is to keep a larger gap between the m43 system and the, to be, FF system, getting the best of both worlds. The downside of this is the fact that the 200-500 would indeed, still "only" be 500mm which is "only" about 100mm more then the 40-150+1.4 TC on m43 and in that case, maybe not give me enough reach?


500mm is pretty long on FF, but if you went with the D4 you are also giving up a lot of your cropping ability as well if you did need longer, and a TC makes the 200-500 F8 which his getting a bit slow. The D500 gives you 750mm (equivalent) while maintaining 20.9MP (equivalent to a DX crop from a 49 MP FF camera). You could also think about picking up a used D800 or D810 or even a D750/D610 sometime in the future for your landscape and more normal lens range needs. Something like a D500/D810 combo is unbeatable unless you move up to a D850 which combines everything into a single camera. D750's can be had for very cheap and can stand in as an action camera as well. A D500 with the 200-500 is going to be a better combo than the 40-150 M43 + TC.

Wilbus wrote:
The D500 really seems like the smartest choice for what I am looking for, it would be somewhat more expensive then a used D4 and 200-500 but then again I would gain a newer focus system and newer sensor.
The D4s would be a bit more expensive then the D500 and of course both the D4 and D4s would be used with all the potential bad things that might come with that. I have found a used D500 for around $1400, shutter count 1010 so barely used which would put it in the same price as a used D4 with
...Show more

It would be the same story with the D4S, you are not really gaining anything over the D500 except of course sensor size, 1 FPS, small gains at extreme ISOs, and the 'pro' body style. AF remains much better on the D500, which seems to be one of your primary concerns. I also probably wouldn't want a body with 100-250k shutter acutations on it unless the price was already adjusted for the ~$400-500 you'd need to set aside for an eventual shutter replacement (I have no idea what this costs in Sweden).

Wilbus wrote:
How many people shoot wild life and birds with the 200-500 on FF? Would 500 be enough reach for most cases? Like I said, this is totally new genre for me and I'm trying to learn it as best I can.
I will of course spend more time with my E-M1 and 400mm reach for wildlife before making a choice, hopefully I can manage to test it through and through till X-mas and then make a choice, for once trying to think hard and long.


A lot of people use the 200-500 on full frame for wildlife, myself included. Head over to the 200-500 image thread and there is a lot to see. It pairs with the D810 very nicely as well. Many of us cannot afford the 500mm or 600mm F4 primes or do not have the desire to lug it around. The bang for the buck the 200-500 provides is one of the best in Nikon's entire lineup. I do think 500mm is enough reach on FF for a lot of things, but small birds or other distant creatures can change that pretty quick. The old saying of "you can never have too much reach" often comes into play for wildlife.






Sep 21, 2017 at 03:13 PM
Blakehfreeman
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


I can't go back to crop! You could shoot 15fps and make me coffee in the morning and I'd still rather have full frame. To each his own I suppose!

CanadaMark wrote:
Unless they are arguing for full frame or something else unique to the D4 body style (which is fair), they probably have not used a D500 and D4 together if they think the D4 is a better action/wildlife camera. The D500 has objectively better autofocus, a much deeper buffer (unlimited RAW), and the same FPS with autofocus. It has the same AF as the D5, and it obviously does not stand to reason that the D4's variant of a 2007 autofocus system has better AF than the brand new state of the art system from the D5.

You can also just
...Show more



Sep 21, 2017 at 04:36 PM
Wilbus
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


Blakehfreeman wrote:
Don't try the D5! Like anything in life, you don't miss what you don't know! They feel similar but the D5 is the better camera, and if you're like me you'll end up with a D5 after that trip!


Haha! That's what worries me BUT I don't have the money for it now neither will I try to find ways in getting the money for it! I'd rather "rebuild" the system and start with something cheaper and spend some more on lenses in the beginning before I completely commit to it again But I do believe you!!




Sep 21, 2017 at 05:59 PM
Wilbus
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?




Again, thanks for taking the time to explain and to reason with me in a way that both my mind and heart understands
That list alone actually kind of settles it, more or less at least. The D500 is much better for what I am looking for right now, which is a pure wild life camera. Of course it can server as a do everything camera as well but that would require some different lenses. This is the biggest reason I am considering FF but maybe I can pick up some decent APS-C zooms that don't cost a fortune to begin
...Show more
A lot of people use the 200-500 on full frame for wildlife, myself included. Head over to the 200-500 image thread and there is a lot to see. It pairs with the D810 very nicely as well. Many of us cannot afford the 500mm or 600mm F4 primes or do not have the desire to lug it around. The bang for the buck the 200-500 provides is one of the best in Nikon's entire lineup. I do think 500mm is enough reach on FF for a lot of things, but small birds or other distant creatures can change that pretty quick. The old saying of "you can never have too much reach" often comes into play for wildlife.


I've been drooling over the thread for quite some time now, lovely photos in it but I haven't seen a 10:th of it so far! Everybody seems to agree the 200-500 is great bang for the buck, I read Thom Hogans review of it after you mentioned it and it was also very positive. I've noticed the reach thing, suddenly 400mm isn't all that much when you try and lock on to a bird, even a large one from far away. It ends up like a speck on the sensor.

Once again, a huge thanks for the long and detailed responses!!
It helps more then you know!




Sep 21, 2017 at 06:16 PM
Wilbus
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


Blakehfreeman wrote:
I can't go back to crop! You could shoot 15fps and make me coffee in the morning and I'd still rather have full frame. To each his own I suppose!


That's the good thing about having been with m43 for 5 years. "Even" APS-C is quite a bit larger and even after that I can add a FF and get the "full feeling"





Sep 21, 2017 at 06:17 PM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


Wilbus wrote:
Again, thanks for taking the time to explain and to reason with me in a way that both my mind and heart understands
That list alone actually kind of settles it, more or less at least. The D500 is much better for what I am looking for right now, which is a pure wild life camera. Of course it can server as a do everything camera as well but that would require some different lenses. This is the biggest reason I am considering FF but maybe I can pick up some decent APS-C zooms that don't cost a fortune to
...Show more

You're welcome.

The third parties make the most cost effective DX zooms. Of note would be the Sigma 17-70C F2.8-4 HSM OS, Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC and Sigma 17-50/2.8 HSM OS. Nikon makes a 16-80/F2.8-4 but it's extremely expensive. The old 17-55/2.8 is still a great lens but it's very expensive and lacks any kind of stabilization.

For UWA's, again nothing is very expensive but you have quite a few options if you don't end up supplementing your setup with a full frame:

Nikon 10-24/G
Nikon 10-24 AF-P (stabilized)
Sigma 10-20/3.5
Tamron 10-24 VC (stabilized)

Of course if you end up with a full frame camera as well, you would probably want to focus your wide angle and general purpose lenses there rather than bothering with DX specific lenses. All the FF lenses work on the D500 too as I'm sure you know.


Wilbus wrote:
True, everything is "best" at some time but I didn't quite realize the underlying AF was actually that old. I guess it's closer to the D3 then it is to the D5/500?


The CAM3500FX module used in the D4 debuted in the D3 in August, 2007. Since then, refinements have been made in both sensitivity, AF algorithms, and the processing power that runs it all. But the module itself is all based on the one from the D3. In 2016 with the D5/D500, Nikon introduced the CAM20K AF module, which they then paired with a much faster Expeed5 processor, but also for the first time a dedicated, separate, AF processor. The upgrades were enormous, as described in my previous post. This AF system is likely to be the foundation they build upon for the next decade or so. One thing I forgot is that the CAM20K also has over 130% the coverage of a D4 on full frame. That means on the D500 that same system covers essentially the entire DX frame.

Here is the D500 brochure if you haven't already seen it - it's a huge file (beware if on mobile) but it offers some Autofocus diagrams and things you may find interesting:

https://www.europe-nikon.com/imported/images/web/EU/learn-and-explore/brochures-leaflets/d500/brochure_nikon_D500_en_GB--original.pdf


Wilbus wrote:
Like you said before, this is what you would do and I believe that to be the better choice. A D800 should still server well even though it has got an AA filter, and if not, D810's should soon be quite available on the used market thanks to the D850. The extra 250mm thanks to the crop factor should help a lot with birding for example. The D750 never did it for me, I hate the fact that they charge (new) 2k for a camera that doesn't even go to 1/8000th of a second shutter speed. Silly thing to be
...Show more

If you are concerned about the AA filter, you could simply get a D800E instead. It still has the physical filter, it is simply oriented in such a way that removes the aliasing effect. The D810 on the other hand truly has no AA filter (and neither does the D500). The differences in sharpness from the lack of an AA filter are most noticeable at larger apertures. In either case, if you can swing a D810 for your landscape/FF body it's worth it. If you *strictly* do landscape, the differences are a lot smaller between the D800, D800E, and D810. You could also scrap the whole plan and replace everything with a D850 I'm not sure what the price difference is in Sweden compared to a used D500 and D800 or D810 combo, or if you are also considering selling your M43, but there may be a scenario that ends up mostly even all said and done.




Sep 21, 2017 at 08:14 PM
Surfnsun
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


For wildlife I’d say you’re going to want all the reach you can get. I’d go D500 + 200-500 over a D4. I personally wouldn’t worry about it being a crop sensor. It’s an incredible camera. The better AF alone puts it above the D4 if my intention was wildlife shooting. Because after-all the picture doesn’t matter at all unless you can get it in focus. I think we’d all agree that the best wildlife shots are absolutely tact sharp. I would just want to get myself every advantage possible when shooting a subject I can’t control, such as wildlife.


Sep 21, 2017 at 09:35 PM
Pavel
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


One other idea is to spend a bit of time in the Bird and wildlife forums and track some of the others who shoot with the Nikon 200-500 to see what equipment they have mated the lens to and see how their results are.

I don't shoot birds but did belong to a birding forum for a few years about twelve years ago. A dedicated and passionate bunch the birders are. It's always appealed to me, I somehow find birds interesting and their pursuit a relaxing hobby that gets one outdoors but until I took note of that particular lens, the Nikon 200-500 I put shooting to the back of my mind, pending a favorable lottery outcome. That lens possibly changes the game.



Sep 22, 2017 at 10:59 AM
OwlsEyes
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


I am a little late to this discussion, but I would like to offer a bit of insight... at least from my observations and experience. I am a Nikon shooter. My wife and I have quite the collection of bodies and lenses that fall within your intended use. We have 3 D500's , a D810 and a D610. I shot a D4 for years, and while its low noise performance was amazing, the 16mp and non-crop body required me to shoot at the longest focal lengths or with a converter all of the time. As for lenses, we have a 200-500mm VR, 300mm pf, and 200-400mm VR for our telephotos.

Tamy (my wife) and I took a photo-workshop to photograph whales, seals, sea lions and otters this last August. It was a small party (6 photogs + tour leader) and a crew of two. We did our work from a sailboat and zodiac. Now I share this because one of the participants on the tour was shooting u43 gear. He had a pair of EM-II bodies, the 40-150 and the 300mm f/4. If you pm me, I will share his name with you, as he is and FM member and would likely tell you his impressions. Now, to be honest, I was very envious of the agility in which he could shoot. While he was clearly limited by the ISO ceiling compared to me, he did have the benefit of IBIS and in lens IS. Furthermore, he could use that funky "tracking and shoot after the fact" mode. Because of this, he was able to catch breaching whales that I could not get my lens on prior to the big splash.

As for the D500 vs the D4... I would take the D500 over the D4 any day... even when shooting at ISO 3200. Sure the D4 will be less noisy, but the D500's AF accuracy is only exceeded by the D5 (and maybe D850). Capture One Pro eats high iso luminance noise and this is a great software package for processing your ISO 1600-3200 images with the D500. Now if your pockets were deep enough, then owning both would be an option.

As for mass and lens quality... well, if you got into the u43 system for its diminutive size, then the D500 paired with the Nikon 300mm pf is not much bigger than and EMII with the Oly 300mm f4. The 300mm pf is pretty close to 300mm f/2.8 quality by the time you get to f/4.5. The tiny Nikon 300mm does well with a 1.4x converter and will effectively get you to 600mm on the D500.

With respect to the 200-500VR, this lens is not weather sealed, but it served us well at sea, throughout Minnesota winters, and in Iceland last summer. We have a very good copy that is paired with one of our D500's. I think that sample variation is a reality with this lens. Some are great through 400mm and others are great throughout the range. We love ours for its flexibility, but it is not as sharp or contrasty as the 300mm pf. This does not mean that it is not sharp... it is plenty sharp and can be improved by processing... it is just not as sharp as the pf.

So... in the the US, you would be looking at around $4000 for the D500 and 300mm pf (all new) or $3400 for the D500 and 200-500mmVR (all new).

regards,
bruce



Sep 22, 2017 at 11:02 AM
Pavel
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Used D4 or new D500 with m43 as second system?


I have to confess Wilbur that on the strength of some of the points raised by OwlsEyes, CanadaMark and others, I'd now go for the D500 myself if you don't mind losing a more general purpose use a bit by losing you wide angle lenses on Nikon (assuming you have some and care).

But for that you have your micro 43 gear, as do I, so yeah, the D500 is a very attractive option, even to me now.

I'd never paid much mind to the D500 due to liking FF so much and valuing other aspects of the Nikon system such as their tilt-shift lenses (which just are not as effective on a crop sensor) but seeing that one can't have it all and compromises suck ... the D500 I just checked it out better and it's impressive more than I bargained for so - forget what I said above.



Sep 22, 2017 at 11:33 AM
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