[Resolved] Looking for opinions on a D500 vs D780 vs Z6 for wildlife

photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 105Member
edited April 12 in General Discussions
Greetings folks, hopefully I have chosen the correct sub-forum for this question. Nikon bodies are a little alien to me so I could do with some advise from those in the know.

I have until now been shooting wildlife(Nothing smaller than a squirrel) with a Canon 5DII and a 300mm f/2.8. Unfortunately this camera has suffered its last drop and I am left with needing a stopgap until 2021 and see there is really good value on your side of the pond with the 200-500mm f/5.6 which will cover me until I can afford a 200-400 f/4.

I also have a wedding to do in August which will mean renting a lens for that occasion.

My question comes to you folks given my two use cases for the year, which of these(Z6, D500, D780) bodies would serve these functions the best?
Post edited by photobunny on
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Comments

  • retreadretread Posts: 555Member
    I use a D500 for sports and wildlife. I have never used a D780 or Z6 so can't speak to them. For wildlife I would lean to the D500 I think but for the weeding maybe not. The D500 would do well in low light but the others may have other advantages.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,264Member
    Why do you exclude a D850? I ask because that is the Nikon equivalent to your Canon.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 105Member
    The d850 is not available on BNPL12 months. It is also a vastly more expensive camera when I am looking for something to get me by until the middle of next year. I am sure each of the options I have picked will be a vast improvement over the 12 year old camera they are replacing.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,455Member
    If you are just looking for something temporary I'd consider a D750. They are super cheap now.

    Do you need good video performance, for the wedding or anything else? If so then it would have to be D780 or Z6.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 105Member
    I hadn't considered the D750. Mostly the d500 and z6 are up there due to having CFE compatible slots so I don't need to waste money on SD cards that'll have no use when I get a newer body next year.

    The D750 is temping as paired with a 200-500 f/5.6 it is just over £2000 and this is my most common range. For the wedding I will rent a 85mm lens and will not be doing video. I have no desire for doing video work.
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 958Member
    I own most of the cameras you are looking at. I'd get a D7500 or a D500. I use the tiny and mighty Z50 with the two kit lens and it is my current travel camera. The stills and video from it are very good. The 200-500 5.6 is superior to the 200-400 F4 according to a number who sold that lens for the 200-500. The 200-400 f4 is huge! Since you are specifying CFE compatible slots I believe the D500 is by far your best choice!
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,061Member
    The only wildlife camera you list is The D500. the others would be better for the wedding but a 18-140 on the D500 would do the job.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 105Member

    The only wildlife camera you list is The D500. the others would be better for the wedding but a 18-140 on the D500 would do the job.

    The D500 does get rave reviews from wildlife photographers I know, even ones that are primary canon shooters. I think the Z attracts me for the upcoming 200-600 and the cheep 50 and 85mm primes it has. Even If my super-tele ends up being a Canon on a Canon body. The Z6 and its primes would still be good for the shove in the bag camera.

    So what's the main takeaways from going for the D500?


    Also a minor note: My 5DII had 1 useful AF point and 4/5FPS
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,264Member

    The d850 is not available on BNPL12 months. It is also a vastly more expensive camera when I am looking for something to get me by until the middle of next year. I am sure each of the options I have picked will be a vast improvement over the 12 year old camera they are replacing.

    Makes sense. Based on your other responses, I would buy a new D750 while you can. While I would advocate a D780 if you wanted it to be your main camera for several years and even if you don't do video (see Thom's blog: https://www.dslrbodies.com/cameras/camera-blogs/the-d780-blog/) the D750 is still a very competent camera. The reason to get the D780 over the D750 for you is the significantly improved autofocus.

    Then I would see if Nikon launches a Z6 M2 in the next 18 months. I expect that they will.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 105Member

    I would buy a new D750 while you can.

    I see that D750 is about £500 cheeper than the D500 and Z6 so definitely looking like a solid option. Part of the reason for this is the 200-500, I really want to try the 400mmm and 500mm focal lengths on FF before decide which big lens I buy, Canon users call a 'big white'.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,264Member

    I would buy a new D750 while you can.

    I see that D750 is about £500 cheeper than the D500 and Z6 so definitely looking like a solid option. Part of the reason for this is the 200-500, I really want to try the 400mmm and 500mm focal lengths on FF before decide which big lens I buy, Canon users call a 'big white'.
    This is the biggest bargain in full frame photography today. Sony has early versions of their cameras selling new still, but those are crap. The D750 even today is a solid camera.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,246Moderator
    Yep. D750 was my all round favourite camera and I own a D850 now.
    Always learning.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,264Member

    Yep. D750 was my all round favourite camera and I own a D850 now.

    I almost bought one to convert to infrared, but one of my instructors described to me that a mirrorless ir conversion will focus much better. So I suspect that when I get into Z, I will do that with a Z7.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 912Member
    If you often need to crop I would say that the D500 works well with the 200-500 5.6 and is a great wildlife camera. (zoom lenses and crop cameras work well together because you can zoom out when the wildlife gets too close)

    If you often fill the sensor I think the Z6 is a good alternative. I haven't used it myself though. There is also the D810 which I use myself.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 105Member
    snakebunk said:

    If you often need to crop I would say that the D500 works well with the 200-500 5.6 and is a great wildlife camera. (zoom lenses and crop cameras work well together because you can zoom out when the wildlife gets too close)

    If you often fill the sensor I think the Z6 is a good alternative. I haven't used it myself though. There is also the D810 which I use myself.

    On my 300mm f/2.8 on my FF 5DII I was more than filling the frame on a fox and only needed a small crop for a squirrel. Birds don't interest me that much and the abysmal AF on that camera could never catch one anyway. My 300mm is now pushing 30 years old too so it is a good chance to try out Nikon with a lens and body that is a bit less than than the cost of even a 100-400mm lens alone.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,246Moderator
    @photobunny - Changing from the D750 to the D850 was a revelation in terms of AF ability. I don't shoot fast moving birds often but when I did, I found that instead of looking for a sharp shot to use, I was looking for the best composition from all of the sharp shots.

    If you go for the D500 you will be getting the same AF ability as the D850.
    Always learning.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 105Member
    Can the D500 take CFE cards yet?
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,264Member

    Can the D500 take CFE cards yet?

    Not yet. Since it is quite an old camera, it may not be possible to update to CFE with a firmware update, despite having XQD.
  • retreadretread Posts: 555Member

    Can the D500 take CFE cards yet?

    Not yet. Since it is quite an old camera, it may not be possible to update to CFE with a firmware update, despite having XQD.
    I believe Nikon has said they will do it with a software upgrade. I certainly hope so as CFE cards will less expensive than XQD in the future.
  • gene_mcgillgene_mcgill Posts: 291Member
    I have a Z 7, D500 and D800E. After using the Z 7 exclusively for months, I took the D800E out on a hike with my dog and found that the controls on the D800E were so much better for very quickly switching back and forth for action and landscape shots. Because this is for an issue with ergonomics, I believe my experience on my Z 7 would apply to my experience on a Z 6. I also find that the D500 and even the D800E are less likely than the Z 7 to hunt for focus. I did need to focus tune my lenses/DSLRs though. I am settling on the D500 being my best action body, the Z 7 being my best landscape body and the D800E being a bit of an all-arounder. I never owned a D750.The D780 looks attractive with its AF improvements over the D750.

    I am somewhat agnostic on memory cards. I have had more non-catastrophic glitches with the Sony XQD cards than either the SD or CF. If I was shooting weddings, I'd likely want the two slots in a body to be different technologies.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,455Member
    edited March 17

    I have a Z 7, D500 and D800E. After using the Z 7 exclusively for months, I took the D800E out on a hike with my dog and found that the controls on the D800E were so much better for very quickly switching back and forth for action and landscape shots.

    How is that? I assume you are making use of the User Modes on the Z7? I find that works very well for this exact thing on Z6. Only annoyance is the FPS control isn't tied to the user modes so you have to change that manually. But I believe you have to do that on DSLR too since they have a separate control ring for FPS.
    Post edited by mhedges on
  • gene_mcgillgene_mcgill Posts: 291Member
    mhedges said:



    How is that? I assume you are making use of the User Modes on the Z7? I find that works very well for this exact thing on Z6. Only annoyance is the FPS control isn't tied to the user modes so you have to change that manually. But I believe you have to do that on DSLR too since they have a separate control ring for FPS.

    I am not using User Modes. That may be my loss. Having been through seven Nikons, some with shooting banks and some with user modes, and the details of each changing from body to body, I gave up on the concept. If I suppressed my GAS to the point where I had a single body, I might get to know that implementation of modes/banks enough to take advantage. ;)
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,455Member

    mhedges said:



    How is that? I assume you are making use of the User Modes on the Z7? I find that works very well for this exact thing on Z6. Only annoyance is the FPS control isn't tied to the user modes so you have to change that manually. But I believe you have to do that on DSLR too since they have a separate control ring for FPS.

    I am not using User Modes. That may be my loss. Having been through seven Nikons, some with shooting banks and some with user modes, and the details of each changing from body to body, I gave up on the concept. If I suppressed my GAS to the point where I had a single body, I might get to know that implementation of modes/banks enough to take advantage. ;)
    Ahh. Yeah I definitely recommend trying them out. They work great. Just get the camera set as you’d like then go to the Setup menu and save to whichever mode you want. Then it will always be just a dial turn away.

    I’ve never used the settings banks myself but from what I have read most folks seem to prefer the user modes.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 105Member
    edited March 19
    Thank for folks for all the input. Though I have went against some advice and ordered a Z6 as it dropped another £200 today which put it well below a D500 pretty close to the D750 in price.

    I'll order a lens next week if they hit the sales and a memory card. In addition I ordered a used Canon 7DII to make use of my existing Canon lenses as the offers for one I bought just last year were terrible and the 300 f/2.8 is still a sharp lens.

    For the Z6 I'll get the 50 and 85 f/1.8 lenses and maybe a 200-500mm to try out the focal lengths. I may also get the 24mm f/1.8, but I don't see a case for a 35mm that a 50 can't cover.
    Post edited by photobunny on
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 105Member
    Small update: The z6 came with a 64GB XQD card in the box, much to my surprise.
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