P950 VS. D500/500 PF?

jdbjdb Posts: 32Member
I already have the best birding camera body/lens set up ever, the D500 with 500 PF lens! I have just one question I'd like some input on. On the occasion there is a VERY distant bird that I just need a decent photo to document the observation would it be worth buying the P950? I know it's effective focal length is 2000m, but with such a small sensor would I be just as well off just using a big crop from the D500?
D600, D7100, 300 f/2.8 AF-S, 300 f/4 ED-IF, 16-35 f/4 VR, 105 f/2.8 AF-S VR, 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 VR, 85 f/1.8D, 50 f/1.4D, 80-200 f/2.8 AF, 20 f/3.5 AI, TC 1.4 II, TC 2.0 III

Comments

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,319Moderator
    My advice having been disappointed with a P900 once would be to go to a shop and handle one or hire one. If the AF can pick your bird out and keep up, that's a good start. When the D500 sensor only has 20mp to start with, your cropping is always going to have to be less than you would like, but handling such a different body when you need total familiarity might cause you to lose the shot too.
    Always learning.
  • jdbjdb Posts: 32Member
    Good advice spraynpray, thank you.
    D600, D7100, 300 f/2.8 AF-S, 300 f/4 ED-IF, 16-35 f/4 VR, 105 f/2.8 AF-S VR, 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 VR, 85 f/1.8D, 50 f/1.4D, 80-200 f/2.8 AF, 20 f/3.5 AI, TC 1.4 II, TC 2.0 III
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    jdb said:

    Good advice spraynpray, thank you.

    Report back.. I am keen to read your views.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 216Member
    I tried the Nikon P950, it is basically a middle range phone sensor with a big lens. It'll get the shot but at the quality till not compare to your D500 and 500mm PF.
  • MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 133Member
    I have the D500 and 500PF and often use it with the TC14Eiii for extra reach. This works quite well in good light (in low light the autofocus hunts too much).
  • bassangler73bassangler73 Posts: 1Member
    I have the D500, I have the same problem with distant birds while using the 500mm...I think what I am going to do is get me a good used D850 for those occasions or even D810 although I question the AF on the D810 for BIF
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,257Member
    The D810 really lags behind the modern cameras, to be honest I think my D800 focused better too.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,136Member
    D810 No. D800 is equivalent to D750 due to its heavy LPF.
    The D850 will give you no advantage with distant birds as its the same pixel density as a D500. If you cannot get it with a D500 get closer
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 216Member
    I think reliable extra reach would be the 500 PF + a 2x converter on a Z50, Z5/6/7. The image won't be spectacular, but it'll be better than the P950. Something like a Z6/7 also gives you a nice body for non wildlife shots.

    It'll likely be more than acceptable IQ, if pushing a little close into defraction limits. I haven't found sample shots though and my rental is November before I can try it out.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,257Member
    edited August 24

    D810 No. D800 is equivalent to D750 due to its heavy LPF.

    I was talking about auto focus, not resolution... :D Do you even read other peoples posts?

    The only thing better is getting closer, resolution from F-mount glass just isn't that good, no if or ands about it. The levels of atmospheric distortion gets higher the greater the distance, no amount of resolution or a longer lens is going to make up for that. You'd have a better chance of getting sharp shots by using a circular polarizer, which cuts through the haze and light distortion, rather than just throwing MP at it and hoping for magic.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 933Member
    @PB_PM: I think the D810 has better AF than the D800. I havn't used the D800 for a while but when I switched to the D810 I experienced an improvement. Overall, I would say that the D810 is clearly a better camera due to many improvements over the D800.

    About photographing distant birds, geting close is always number one. Try camouflage (or dull colored) clothes, keep low and move slow. Set up a hide if possible. Secondly high camera/lens resolution helps.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,136Member
    PB.PM ..I was replying to Bassangler73s post on getting a D810/D850.
    Totally in context.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,257Member
    snakebunk said:

    @PB_PM: I think the D810 has better AF than the D800. I havn't used the D800 for a while but when I switched to the D810 I experienced an improvement. Overall, I would say that the D810 is clearly a better camera due to many improvements over the D800.



    About photographing distant birds, geting close is always number one. Try camouflage (or dull colored) clothes, keep low and move slow. Set up a hide if possible. Secondly high camera/lens resolution helps.

    I owned a D800 and have a D810, nether are great by any means, IMO. Just about every other modern higher end Nikon camera I’ve owned (D300, D700, D750) have/had more reliable continuous and single AF. The D800 was better of the 800s, at single point focus, at least in the centre. The D810 has many advantages, AF is fast and group, but in terms of accuracy it leaves a lot to be desired. It’s the only camera I’ve had to do focus adjusting on, ands still far from perfect even turned.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • tc88tc88 Posts: 537Member
    @PB_PM, D810 and D750 have the same AF module and released about the same time. I can't really see why the AF performance will be worse on D810.

    I think what you are seeing is just the consequence of having more pixels. That it's easier to find AF inaccuracy and camera shake in that case.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,257Member
    edited August 24
    I have the D750 and D810 as my main cameras, it’s no contest between them. The D750 focuses faster, nails focus more often and focuses better in low light as well. The pixels do not hide missed focus that much. Downsampled D810 shots are just as out of focus as at full resolution. The AF module doesn’t care how many pixels are on the image sensor, it focuses totally independent of it unless you are using live view.

    The same module does not mean it has the same programming, and keep in mind the D750 came out a year later with a better processor. It’s AF module is more sensitive in low light. It’s all in the specs.

    A better example of this is the D300/D3 and D700. All 12MP sensors with the same AF module. I can tell you without a doubt they did not all behave exactly the same.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,648Member
    It's also dependent on the metering module, particularly with subject tracking. The two (AF and metering) work hand in hand - the metering module is what actually tracks the subject and it tells the AF where to focus.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,257Member
    edited August 25
    If you are using 3D colour tracking, then yes the metering module will matter. The newer cameras have a much larger sample data base, which also improves the function of this mode greatly over older cameras. I don't believe the metering module is used for single point, or the older multi-point AF tracking, those are purlely phase detect as far as I know. Group AF might use the same technology as 3D colour tracking as well, I don't recall.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,136Member
    PB PM..
    I have had all the 800 810 850 using the same lenses on all of them and the AF fine tune figure remains the same whatever the body .(28-300 was +15 on all) .The variations that require fine-tune are in the lens, not the body. If you try a tamron on a tap in console you will be horrified by the 16 inputted figures. One of mine goes from +7 to -4 and all variations in between.
    I check FFA on the auto mode of the D850 and then input the figure to any camera I am going to use it on including DX models.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,257Member
    AF fine tune doesn’t make any difference in this case. It’s not that the D810 cannot get good focus, when it does it’s fine, it just misses far more often. It’s just that simple.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,136Member
    Having taken tens of thousands of wedding photos with a pair of D810 I can say I never had one out of focus...but I use my brain and shoot at F8
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,257Member
    Not everyone shoots weddings, or wants to take boring flat shots. Get over it.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,136Member
    Great weather here in UK today ..off to shoot some flat landscapes. May even go to F11.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 933Member
    There is no lens like a lens in great weather :).
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