July, 6th 2016 - THE D500



TL;DR: I ordered the D500 instead of the 7D MK2, I'm honestly very impressed and very, very happy with it.


I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of 3 packages from B&H for a little over a week. (I'll be covering the other items I received later as well.) I was debating between the 7D MK2, and the D500. I needed a body that can hold up well against some pretty rough weather. Something that shot fast, did video (Preferably 4k @ 60 but 30 is ok), and something reliable.

The D500 met most of my specs, and reviews of the body were well received of course. I've never liked Nikon's in the past... Just personal preference. I never liked their Menus and UI, the Buttons, etc. I've shot with Minolta's, and Canons primarily in my past but I decided to take the leap.


Right out of the box, the D500 feels really good. It even smells decent, which is odd and maybe not good for my health? Hah! Even as someone who's never liked Nikons before, this felt really good in my hands.

I personally have pretty large hands, and it's not that bad to hold. I have the Sigma 150-600 Sport lens, so throwing the body on this lens seems to dwarf it's size quite a bit.

D500 + Sigma 150-600 Sport

As someone who's never really used a Nikon outside of using one in a store for a few minutes... It was very quick and easy for me to jump right into it. Navigating the menus was actually, very nice. The menu's seemed to have been changed since I last dealt with any Nikons, and it wasn't so horribly painful to navigate through them and find what I needed (The addition of the My Menu is very, very nice as well).

Setting up the Camera was pretty easy, it did take me embarrassingly too long to figure out how to get it into Manual and resulted to me jumping into the manual a few times however... I had no real issues with the camera.

I took it out for a quick shoot, the sun was setting, and it was getting dark. I was having to push the ISO's pretty high. Much more than I was comfortable usually shooting at.

I was so impressed with how well it handled low light. This might be because I've been shooting really, really (REALLY), old bodies now for quite some time. But going into even 10,000+ ISO I could actually get something that's useable.

Here's some shots.

ISO 800 @ 600mm      f/6.3      1/800s

ISO 2000 @ 550mm      f/6.3      1/800s

ISO 12800 @ 600mm           f/6.3              1/640s

This last picture is quite noisy (Also slightly too high, I know), however on print.. It's actually not too terrible. Which is pretty crazy considering this was shot at 8:43pm, at 12800 ISO.

It is also worth noting that this was shot using the Sigma 150-600 Sport Lens. I will be doing a review of that later, and at this point I had no NOT dialed in the AF.

The 10fps definitely does not disappoint, and the buffer handles it very well. Even shooting 14bit Raw files, it takes it like a champ.

The LCD screen is very well built, I love being able to Pinch to Zoom, swipe around when viewing photos.. It has a pretty decent pixel count and density. The photos on the back of the camera look really good. I'm impressed with that.

The viewfinder is great, I have no gripes with it whatsoever.

The customization in the camera is so good. There's so much you can do here. From changing what certain buttons do, to quickly accessing features in the My Menu. It's really great, and a huge plus in my book.



Now, I guess I'll go over some of my small gripes and things that bother me with the camera.

The memory card slots. There's 1 XQD, and 1 SD. Part of me feels like this is Nikon just trolling people who buy this but it really should just have 2 XQD slots. It's annoying having to carry not only slower cards, but different types. I suppose if you like shooting both RAW + JPG, then it can be beneficial. But otherwise, it's kind of a let down.

The AF has been kind of hit and miss for me. However, that I know is more or less user error. Especially since I'm not used to shooting Nikon's. But coming from Canon's, it's been kind of hard adjusting to, to be quite honest.

I also personally find using the front dial by the shutter awkward, but this once again is more or less just me not being accustomed to Nikons, and I'm sure I'll get used to it in due time.





Overall, I love this body. I think it's very well thought out, it handles and performs beautifully. My minor gripes aren't really big deals, and it might just be that sort of, new love and infatuation throwing things off and I might find more flaws in the future.