Upgrade from D5600 to D500?

webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 97Member
So, I have the opportunity to upgrade from my newly purchased D5600 to the D500: should I do it?

Here is the scenario that is playing out. Since getting the D5600, my girlfriend has been by my side watching the youtube videos and listening to my talk all about it. After today's photo outing to the local Zoo, she now has the bug. She wants a camera and is willing to buy my D5600 with the 18-140mm lens. We would share all the additional lenses and equipment I have purchased thus far. So with that, I want to purchase a D500 with the 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR. Would this be a smart move? I know the D500 is over a year old now, would Nikon moving to a D510 anytime soon?
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  • ericktessierericktessier Posts: 38Member
    It took 9 years to upgrade from the D300 to the D500. I think you're safe.
    Now... why do you think a D500 would worth the buy? Do you expect to get better pictures out of it? Did you had the time to master the D5600 yet?
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,015Moderator
    edited March 5
    Go for it. The D500 is an awesome camera. You will not regret your decision. If in the highly unlikely event Nikon releases an "upgrade" to the D500 in the near future, you can always trade it in for a new one, unlike your girlfriend :wink: In my opinion, it will be at least 3 years before we see a D500 upgrade.
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 97Member
    @ericktessier I want to switch to the D500 for the extra focus points but mostly for the better low light shooting. I thought about switching to full frame, but that would require more of investment I am willing to make right now. Unfortunately I can't get my girlfriend to buy ALL my DX equipment.

    @Ironheart Lol, I think it would cost way too much to trade in my girlfriend.

    From what I have read, the only thing that I don't like with the D500, is the lack of touch screen menus. But I from what I have seen, the items I am using the touch screen menus on the D5600 for should have dedicated buttons on the D500.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,015Moderator
    @webmastadj The D500 has a touch screen.
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 97Member
    edited March 5
    @Ironheart One of the reviews I watched stated the menus were not touch enabled. I will do some more digging to confirm.

    The only other things I was a bit concerned about is the 20 megapixel vs 24 megapixel sensor. But I would assume it shouldn't matter as the D500 would have a better sensor.
    Post edited by webmastadj on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,015Moderator
    Ah, yes. The menus are not touch screen enabled. However, the pro controls allow direct access to almost anything you might want to change in a hurry.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,756Member
    Nikon takes forever to update their camera bodies. If you have the money, then go for it.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 97Member
    @Ironheart That is what I was assuming.

    @NSXTypeR I have noticed that they are slow to update everything really. But the D5xxxx line looks be updating every year (even if it only is minor updates) and the fact of their latest press release stating they will start focusing more on enthusiasts and professional level cameras, makes me wonder if we will be seeing more frequent updates.

    Anther good point is the money. It will cost me about $1,800 for the D500 kit based on what my girlfriend is willing to give me for the D5600. I have debating on getting some portable speed light studio stuff (I don't have room for a permeant studio) but this would push that back. I currently don't do many portraits / studio work, but looking to maybe giving it a try. Would you say the D500 is a better place the spend the money now? I have much to learn and I am sure the studio can wait.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,756Member
    edited March 5
    I think the D5600 is a good place to start and a good way to learn the ropes. However, I'm getting the impression that you're getting into the excitement of things and your initial enthusiasm is making you want the D500. I think you should look hard into what you like shooting first before you splurge on a D500. I personally like macro and photos with good isolation, so after I got my D40 with kit lens, I got a 35mm 1.8 and then a 105mm macro. I got to know my camera well and I shot that camera into the ground and it subsequently died. It was responsive as digital cameras go, but I got to know the shortcomings of the camera well so I appreciated the jump in performance my next camera gave me, which was a D7000.

    Personally, I think buying lenses gives you more room to grow than buying camera bodies because it gives you more creative options than a body could.

    Edit- I didn't realize you already had lenses, at least the 85mm macro and the 70-300 AF-P. In that case I would still say hold off on D500 purchase unless you decide to go seriously with fast action sports or wildlife photography/birding. Even if you do do that you might need to upgrade your lenses. In terms of studio lighting I have no idea, because I haven't done much of it, but I think you could get a lot of gear for $2000, especially with speedlights/strobes.
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 97Member
    @NSXTypeR My excitement and enthusiasm I think is definitely playing a role in the the decision which is why I posed the question. As far as lenses, I have the 85mm macro, 35mm f1.8, 70-300mm and the 18-140mm. I am very close to purchasing the 200-500mm F5.6. Even with the 300mm, I still find myself wanting a little more distance (which I hear will always be an issue). Yet at the $1,400 price point and the RAVE reviews, I can't pass it up. My only concern is the performance of that 200-500mm on the d5600. I would like to assume it would work well, but I have only seen reviews for the 200-500mm with a D7xxx and a D500?

    You are also correct in assuming there will be a lot of studio gear for $2,000. It would basically be an entire setup with three flashes, two soft boxes, umbrella, light stands, and backdrops. All of which would fit it less than 10 bags, so very portable in my opinion.

    Now am I interested in fast action sports and wildlife, very much so; seems to be the most I do lately along with Macro. Granted the majority of the wildlife I shoot is still and I haven't had much issue catching a few with what I have already. I think the D500 is definitely a "nice to have" but I wouldn't say I need it. It wasn't even a thought until my girlfriend said she wanted to buy my D5600 and my 18-140mm lens, which would give me $800 towards the purchase of a new camera body and lens.

    With that would you recommend I stay with the D5600 and use the extra $$$ to put towards some studio equipment and maybe upgraded lenses in the future (like the so called "holy trinity")?
  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 598Member
    If you work hard for your money and can afford the D500 and that's what you really want, buy it. The D500 will not disappoint and you already know it pairs well with the 200-500mm. Camera purchases aren't always based on what you need. Often it can be based on what you want as long as you can afford it. I don't need most of the equipment I own. I wanted it.
    D4, D810, D800, D700, Nikon 2.8 Trinity, 80-400G, 85mm 1.4G, 24-120 f4G, Zeiss 100mm ZF2, Sigma 35 1.4 Art, Sigma 50 1.4 Art and I want a 600mm prime.
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 97Member
    edited March 6
    @autofocus I like your mindset! You have a great collection of lenses and bodies.

    Any thoughts on the 24MP vs 20MP?
    Post edited by webmastadj on
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 918Member
    I think you would be better off with the newest 7XXX series. The D500 has pro controls and is really like the D5 in that it is geared for speed and not IQ. If you must purchase a D500, answer this question: why do you need 10fps over 6-7 fps? If the answer is you don't know why, then get the D7XXX camera and spend the extra money saved on a trip for you and your girlfriend to somewhere scenic where you both can shoot together. I think both of you will be happier that way.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,015Moderator
    The main thing missing from the D5600 vs the D7200, other than the second wheel, and a bunch of direct access controls, is the Fine Focus Adjust, which is a must to get the most out of lenses like the 200-500mm. That would be my minimum bar.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,756Member
    edited March 6
    I would say you could split the difference and get the D7200 instead, or wait for the D7300 that's rumored to come out and get the D7200 for some savings. That would leave you around $1000 for other stuff. The D7200 would give you most of the pro features and a flash with commander mode for speedlights.

    As far as studio gear purchases, I'm not really one to say, since I have no studio gear.
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 97Member
    edited March 6
    @manhattanboy So are you stating the IQ of the D500 is not as good as the D7200? I find that very hard to believe. And yes, saving the money for a trip does makes sense I am sure she would love that.

    @Ironheart Fine focus adjust does look like a very valuable tool.

    Here are some of the features I feel (so far) I will miss on the D7200 vs the D500:
    - Titling Screen
    - Touch Screen
    - 4k Video
    - AutoFocus Preformance
    - FPS (which I may not need yet but may need in the future)
    - XQD Card (two options for memory cards)
    - separate "joystick" for focus point
    - Additional custom function buttons
    - Backlit buttons

    Now, if the D7300 comes out, maybe then Nikon will add some of these features. But who knows when that will be. It could be next month or not until the fall. If it was just FPS as the difference, then sure, D7200 here I come. So with that, I think right now the decision I have is to keep the D5600 or to upgrade to the D500 (which is a huge jump I know)...and right now, I am leaning towards the D500.
    Post edited by webmastadj on
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 918Member

    @manhattanboy So are you stating the IQ of the D500 is not as good as the D7200? I find that very hard to believe. And yes, saving the money for a trip does makes sense I am sure she would love that.

    @Ironheart Fine focus adjust does look like a very valuable tool.

    Here are some of the features I feel (so far) I will miss on the D7200 vs the D500:
    - Titling Screen
    - Touch Screen
    - 4k Video
    - AutoFocus Preformance
    - FPS (which I may not need yet but may need in the future)
    - XQD Card (two options for memory cards)
    - separate "joystick" for focus point
    - Additional custom function buttons
    - Backlit buttons

    Now, if the D7300 comes out, maybe then Nikon will add some of these features. But who knows when that will be. It could be next month or not until the fall. If it was just FPS as the difference, then sure, D7200 here I come. So with that, I think right now the decision I have is to keep the D5600 or to upgrade to the D500 (which is a huge jump I know)...and right now, I am leaning towards the D500.

    The IQ on the D500 is less than that of the 7200; at base ISO the 7200 has greater DR and resolution vs the 500. Its a small difference and for most evaluations you can say they are the same, but the 500's images at base ISO are not better than the 7200's. Again, the D500 is built for speed, and things you need 10 fps for are often shot at vary high shutter speeds resulting in increases in the ISO. The D500 outperforms the 7200 at these scenarios in IQ as it's images at higher ISO are cleaner. But if you don't need that scenario, then its really not a value added feature for you.

    The tilting screen is nice, but I don't use it as much as I thought I would. Same for 4K video and the touch screen. The AF performance, is of course, really what you are paying for and I have to concede it is amazing. But again, its really built for speed and its ability to to track objects that are rapidly moving. The XQD cards are super fast, but are also annoying that you have to buy new adapters to transfer images; make sure you budget in a couple of those if you get a D500. Some folks love the joystick; me personally I take advantage of the amazing imaging tracking abilities and just place the single 3D AF point on whatever I want to shoot and let the camera goto town. For me its faster to just recenter the camera and let the tracking system do its job then it is is to manually move the point around with the joystick. But, if you primarily shoot people or static objects, then I think the joystick is awesome in helping to avoid the focus hold and recompose scenarios that you would have to do with other cameras. The nice thing about the D500 is that the AF points are basically across the whole frame so the joystick is really useful in getting focus anywhere you want it.

    You sound like you really want the D500 so probably just go buy it and be done; I think you would be happy with say a refurb 7200 and using the extra money for an amazing shooting trip, but I fear that you will always wonder if you should have gotten the D500 and may have buyer's envy. PitchBlack (or is it PeachBlack now ;) used to always say buy the best and be done that way you don't waste money constantly upgrading. There is a lot of truth to that, and if you find yourself unable to resist temptation, then spend a little extra and get the best. I would just caution you that the D500 is not a "consumer" camera, and will likely be a relatively steep learning curve coming from the 5XXX series in order to get the best out of it. I am not predicting any problems for you as you seem very motivated; just budget some extra time and resources to learn the camera as shooting with the D5XXX is not the same as shooting with the D500.
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 97Member
    @manhattanboy First, thanks for your reply. So if I understand, I will sacrificing speed and focus points for a little bit of loss on the lower end which shouldn't be noticeable unless the images are side-by-side. I think I would be willing to sacrifice that.

    I have used the tilting screen a few times on the D5600. Also the touch zooming and touch to take a photo is nice as well. I have not flipped the screen completely around so I don't see a need for that feature for me. In reference to the card reader for the XQD card, I am a Mac user and I have come to accept that SD card slots will no longer be included when I upgrade my computer (sad I know). With that said, when the time comes I will need an SD card reader anyways and BH has a Sony SD/XQD combo reader.

    About the shooting trip, you are probably right on both counts.  I would use the camera, and enjoy the trip, but that D500 would still be in the back of my mind.  We are planning some day trips to places like St Augustine and I owe her a trip to Key West.  Last Saturday we took a trip to the local zoo and are planning to go to Busch Gardens and Sea World (living in Central Florida does have its advantages).  We may visit her sister in Spain at the end of this year.  We are normally good at finding local photo opportunities.

    My long term plan after I purchase the camera is to start saving to purchase the holy trinity of lenses; which will take some time....year or two. Once I do that, I will then decide on purchasing the 105mm Macro and the 50mm f/1.4 along with a D810 or whatever the equivalent is at the time. That would give me an DX and FX body. Or if I am happy with the D500, then I just stay with it.
  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 598Member

    I would just caution you that the D500 is not a "consumer" camera, and will likely be a relatively steep learning curve coming from the 5XXX series in order to get the best out of it.

    A pro body will be easier considering you don't have to search menus to adjust so many camera settings. The difference between the Dxxxx series and pro/semi-pro bodies is you might actually enjoy shooting more since creativity is easier to explore with external controls. Try shooting manual mode on a Dxxxx series and adjusting the exposure triangle through menus.
    D4, D810, D800, D700, Nikon 2.8 Trinity, 80-400G, 85mm 1.4G, 24-120 f4G, Zeiss 100mm ZF2, Sigma 35 1.4 Art, Sigma 50 1.4 Art and I want a 600mm prime.
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 918Member
    edited March 6
    autofocus said:

    I would just caution you that the D500 is not a "consumer" camera, and will likely be a relatively steep learning curve coming from the 5XXX series in order to get the best out of it.

    A pro body will be easier considering you don't have to search menus to adjust so many camera settings. The difference between the Dxxxx series and pro/semi-pro bodies is you might actually enjoy shooting more since creativity is easier to explore with external controls. Try shooting manual mode on a Dxxxx series and adjusting the exposure triangle through menus.
    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you as control over every item is what allows you to sculpt the photo you desire. But there is no Auto mode on those cameras, and its system of memory banks, etc. is different from the consumer cameras like the D7XXX's. I'm not saying the OP won't enjoy using it, just that some time will need to be invested into learning the camera, more so than if the OP bought a 7XXX camera.

    Another option that I would highly encourage is the purchase of a grey/refurb 810. IMHO the OP would probably find the 810 an even more worthwhile purchase than the 500 because of the notable increase in IQ. Perhaps even a refurb/grey 750, which would still have the similar control layout to the 5XXX series, along with the flip screen, but bring with it a noticeable improvement in IQ. The only downsides to these cameras are that they are FX and the OP does not own a lot of FX glass.

    @webmastadj at base ISO (e.g. ISO 100) the 7200 IQ slightly outperforms the 500 in both DR and resolution. But at higher ISO's (e.g. 3600) the 500 slightly outperforms the 7200 in DR and noise. So for example, say I'm shooting basketball indoors in an arena, the 500 is going to be the much better camera because of the better AF system, light flicker detection mechanisms, higher fps, and shooting a fast shutter speed like 1/1000 will give me cleaner and better pics at the resulting higher ISOs on the 500 versus the 7200. The one caveat that often gets overlooked for the 500 is that only in lenses at f4 or larger aperture will ALL the focus points be active in the D500.

    Now flip it around and say I'm taking a photo of a bear or tiger at the zoo; here the 7200 will give me a slightly better shot because of greater DR and resolution, because I can shoot at base ISO of 100 from not needing a fast shutter speed for a static object (especially if I have a VR lens). Hope that helps!
    Post edited by manhattanboy on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,015Moderator
    The crossover between the D500 and D7200 happens at ISO 400, at which point the D500 has the edge. The difference between the two is roughly 1/3 of a stop, which is usually in the margin of error, at least for me and the way I think about exposure:
    http://photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm#Nikon D500,Nikon D7200
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 97Member
    edited March 7
    @Ironheart and @manhattanboy Is there anyplace where I can see a comparison picture between the D500 and the D7200 where they have the same ISO specs?  Or just two pictures in that 100-400 ISO range?

    @Ironheart It is funny you mentioned getting the D810. A fellow co-worker of my girlfriend recommended I get the D810 and use my DX lenses, then slowly migrate the lenses to the camera. My plan was the opposite as why would I buy a D810, use only 50% (not using the entire FX sensor) of it for 2-3 years (estimating the time it will take save for the holy trinity) when I am probably going to end up getting the bug to upgrade the body again anyways? As I gear up with the FX lenses, they will still allow me to use the DX camera 100%. That is just my thought process.
    Post edited by webmastadj on
  • retreadretread Posts: 352Member
    I upgraded from a D5100 (now the back up) to the D500. I shoot mostly sports and wildlife. I have no regrets. It has raised my hit rate for sports shots. I am starting to make a little with my sports and having some requests for specific shots. Love the joy stick and do use it in sports. I shoot the play and the player not the game and the team so crop close in the camera. I move the focus points to put the face where I want it in the frame.

    My son just got a new D7200 and I am anxious to try it.

    As for the D7300 I want a souped up D7200 not a cut down D500.
  • sportsport Posts: 15Member
    I would say that you should rent a D500 before getting one. Make sure that you are comfortable with the pro controls or at least know what you are getting into with them. The only thing I would not recommend is waiting for the next best thing.
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 97Member
    I did find some comparisons at the ISO 100 located here. Maybe it is my untrained eye, but I didn't really see a difference at the ISO 100 images. Based on that, I would go for the D500. Granted that is only one comparison.

    @sport I have thought about renting one. I did stop by the store today, they didn't have a D500 but did have a D7200. It does feel bigger than the D5600 that is for sure. In my opinion, I don't think the controls are really my biggest hurdle. I am just trying to decide in my current situation if I should make the leap from the D5600 to the D500.
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