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  1. #1
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    pnomanikon's Avatar

    New Camera For Retirement - Narrowed to 5 - Seeking Advice!

    Greetings! I am retired military and a long-time hobbyist/amateur photographer. I am in a real quandary about buying a new camera and would appreciate your advice. I do a mix of travel, landscape, and occasional action like air shows and wildlife. Except for a few family snapshots, 99% of them are only used online on my website, not printed. I do want to expand into RAW, HDR, birds, and night-time photography.

    I have a Nikon D3100 (along with 55-300 and 18-140 zooms) which is OK for general travel photography, but seems to lack some features I would like, such as HDR and bracketing. I also have a Nikon Coolpix L830 for easy family snapshots, and I have been very pleased with general travel photos, and it does well inside with no flash.

    A few years ago, I bought a D7200. Just weeks after buying it, my father died and I spent most of the next 2 years taking care of my mother as she battled cancer. Then she passed and I spent a year cleaning out 60 years of "stuff" from their house and our old farm. Needless to say, the camera collected dust to the point where I sold it.

    In the short time I used the D7200, it had many nice features. The weight was probably the only negative factor. The complexity frustrated me, but that was because I only had limited time to actually study the manual.

    Now I am retired and have time to learn the complexities of a modern camera. I've narrowed it down to four or five choices, but now am at a total impasse.

    Here are my choices along with Pros/Cons of each, according to what I've read online. I would appreciate feedback and input from those who have actually used these cameras or have insight into them. Thank you!!!


    Nikon D-7500

    Pro: Rugged, weather sealed; Expeed 5 sensor; Good battery life (900-1000); shutter rated at 150K; 5EV bracketing; AF fine-tuning; HDR

    Con: Weight!; Only 1 SD card (I want 2 so I can do RAW separately, like the D7200); 51 focus points but only 15 are cross-type; price went up about $300 from the D-7200 but seems de-contented; almost 4 year old tech.


    Nikon D-500 (Wow! - great reviews and performance)

    Pro: Rugged, weather sealed; Expeed 5 sensor; very fast and accurate 153 focus points with 99 cross-type!!; 2 SD card slots; HDR and 5EV bracketing; can use my existing lenses; Great battery life (1200+); Shutter rated at 200K; night lighting on buttons; DX so my current lenses work

    Con: Even heavier than the D7200! Ugh!; No built in flash, but small used flash is cheap; almost 5 year old tech (but, it's proven!); Price is at my very upper limit $1,500 (US)


    Nikon D-5600 (My son has one and it is nice)


    Pro: Lightweight and easy to carry all day!; Price only $600; flippy screen; good battery life (800+); built in HDR and built in flash; works with my DX lenses

    Con: Not weather sealed; only 1 SD card slot; worry about breaking flippy screen; 39 focus points but only 9 are cross-type; shutter rated at 100K; Older Expeed 4 sensor


    Nikon Z5 Mirrorless **** EDIT: I WAS INFORMED THIS IS FX, SO I MAY CONSIDER Z50 ***

    Pro: lightweight!! ; 273 focus points; Released in 2020 so new technology; weather sealed

    Con: Battery life (only 300-400); At $1,300 it is just slightly less than the proven D500 and I still have to buy a $250 adapter to use my existing Nikon lenses; no built in flash



    Canon 90D (Can I say the "C" word on this forum?? LOL)


    Pro: Rugged, weather sealed; 33MP sensor (vs 21MP on D7500); 45 cross-type focus sensors; Bracketing and HDR; Outstanding battery life (1,800!!); only 1-year old technology; built in flash

    Con: Only 1 card slot; have to sell all my Nikon gear and buy Canon lenses so I'm looking at over $2,000 (US), I could buy the D500 for less overall


    SUMMARY

    I really like the performance and features of the D500, but am worried about the weight. I have had 2 surgeries on my right elbow and one on my right shoulder. I do use the Coolpix L830 for just casual outings when the photos will be used just for emails or my website blog postings.

    The D7500 seems like they are charging $300 more than the D7200 for less features.

    The D5600 seems nice and lightweight (I've looked at my son's briefly). I do go out in light rain/snow/dust and would worry about weather sealing. I'm worried, too, about breaking off the flippy screen.


    Thanks for reading this LOOOOONNNNG post. Whew! Let the advice begin. LOL

    .


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    Last edited by pnomanikon; 11-15-2020 at 02:26 PM.
    Pianist/Organist
    MSgt, US Air Force (Retired)

    www.MichaelElyard.com

    www.RidingWV.com



  2. #2
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: New Camera For Retirement - Narrowed to 5 - Seeking Advice!

    Out of these, the only bodies I've ever held are the D500 and D7200. That said, usually when there is only one card slot, Nikon offers the option to write both NEF and jpeg to one card. You'd have to look into that to be sure. When I used that option with my D90, both the NEF and jpeg files were in one folder together.

    No suggestions as to which body though. I had tennis elbow surgery and have chronic tendonitis in both forearms - particularly my right arm. Fortunately for me, my arm is now strong enough to hold a D500 along with a lens of decent weight providing I don't hold it for really long periods of time at once. Good luck with whatever you choose!
    Thanks/Like pnomanikon Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy - D750, D500, D7200
    Flickr
    and My 2020 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  3. #3
    Senior Member
    pnomanikon's Avatar

    Re: New Camera For Retirement - Narrowed to 5 - Seeking Advice!

    Thank you. Yes, I realize both formats would go on the same card, but I thought that way I would have a backup in case I do something stupid and accidentally erase or lose one card. In the short time I had the D7200, I set up the second card as backup. (That was before I tried RAW)

    Glad your arm is healing. I have good days and bad.

    Is the D500 really as good as they say? I saw a video with Ronan Donovan doing birds and it seems to track and focus really well. Video is on this page: https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d500

    Thanks again for your input.



    Quote Originally Posted by hark View Post
    Out of these, the only bodies I've ever held are the D500 and D7200. That said, usually when there is only one card slot, Nikon offers the option to write both NEF and jpeg to one card. You'd have to look into that to be sure. When I used that option with my D90, both the NEF and jpeg files were in one folder together.

    No suggestions as to which body though. I had tennis elbow surgery and have chronic tendonitis in both forearms - particularly my right arm. Fortunately for me, my arm is now strong enough to hold a D500 along with a lens of decent weight providing I don't hold it for really long periods of time at once. Good luck with whatever you choose!
    Pianist/Organist
    MSgt, US Air Force (Retired)

    www.MichaelElyard.com

    www.RidingWV.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Challenge Team
    cwgrizz's Avatar

    Re: New Camera For Retirement - Narrowed to 5 - Seeking Advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by pnomanikon View Post
    Thank you. Yes, I realize both formats would go on the same card, but I thought that way I would have a backup in case I do something stupid and accidentally erase or lose one card. In the short time I had the D7200, I set up the second card as backup. (That was before I tried RAW)

    Glad your arm is healing. I have good days and bad.

    Is the D500 really as good as they say? I saw a video with Ronan Donovan doing birds and it seems to track and focus really well. Video is on this page: https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d500

    Thanks again for your input.
    I can't tell you anything about your choices, but I can say that there are a lot of D500 owners on the forum. You might want to check out the specific subforum on D500 and the photos taken using that camera.

    Also there are a growing number of Z camera owners on here. Off of the top of my head a few of them got the Z because of weight and accompanying performance. @Danno and I think @wev have Z's
    Thanks/Like pnomanikon Thanks/liked this post
     
    Walt

    D750; D7100; D5300;
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G II VR; AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED; AF-S 85mm f1.8; Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 (IF) DX II; 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR; AF-S VR 24-120mm f/4G ED; TC14E II



  5. #5
    Senior Member
    bluzman's Avatar

    Re: New Camera For Retirement - Narrowed to 5 - Seeking Advice!

    A few comments in no particular order.

    Can't comment on Canon DSLRs...only one I own is a point-and-shoot Powershot SD600 Digital ELPH.

    Unless you're using your camera for a business and can't afford to risk losing a client's images, I wouldn't be concerned about having two cards. JMO. However, make sure that the cards you acquire are from a source with a reputation for quality and reliability.

    I owned a D5600. The two reasons I sold it? It only has one control dial. The viewfinder is poorly illuminated and uses a text font that's small and hard to read.

    I currently have a D7500. It's my "go to" camera for action shots, particularly for birds in flight. It uses the same sensor and processor as the D500 and is less expensive and lighter. Since you said you only shoot action occasionally, the things that I find great about the D7500 may not be justification for you.

    Although I don't own a Z5, I do own a Z50 with its two Z DX kit lenses and a full frame Z 24-70mm f/4 S. I also got the FTZ adapter that allows me to use my F-mount DX lenses. The Z50 is light weight, has excellent ergonomics IMO, produces sharp images, embodies up to date features, and uses Nikon's most current processing technology. The only caveat is that it isn't quite as good at action shots as the D7500 or D500.

    For grins, here's a pic of my D7500, Z50, and D5600 (L to R).

    New Camera For Retirement - Narrowed to 5 - Seeking Advice!-20200109_140429.jpg
    Thanks/Like pnomanikon Thanks/liked this post
     
    D750, D7500, Z50, FZ1000 II

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Danno's Avatar

    Re: New Camera For Retirement - Narrowed to 5 - Seeking Advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by pnomanikon View Post
    Greetings!


    Nikon Z5 Mirrorless

    Pro: lightweight!! ; 273 focus points; Released in 2020 so new technology; weather sealed

    Con: Battery life (only 300-400); At $1,300 it is just slightly less than the proven D500 and I still have to buy a $250 adapter to use my existing Nikon lenses; no built in flash




    SUMMARY

    I really like the performance and features of the D500, but am worried about the weight. I have had 2 surgeries on my right elbow and one on my right shoulder. I do use the Coolpix L830 for just casual outings when the photos will be used just for emails or my website blog postings.

    The D7500 seems like they are charging $300 more than the D7200 for less features.

    The D5600 seems nice and lightweight (I've looked at my son's briefly). I do go out in light rain/snow/dust and would worry about weather sealing. I'm worried, too, about breaking off the flippy screen.


    Thanks for reading this LOOOOONNNNG post. Whew! Let the advice begin. LOL

    .
    I can speak to the Z bodies. First battery life is way underestimated after a few uses. I get 700-1000 per charge. The Z5 is a good camera with a few less video features than a Z6 but it is still good for family stuff. It's a good stills camera.

    The FTZ adapter works great with lenses that contain the focus motor. The body has 5axis IBIS which is amazing. I have the Z6 and it is the same IBIS and I can hand hold at much slower shutter speeds. it also works with F mount lenses whether they have VR or not.

    The other big piece for me is the EVF. With that view finder you get to see what the exposure will be. The EVF allows you to see what your changes to the exposure will look like once you press the shutter. What You See Is What You Get...

    The last plus is the glass. It is really good. The Z lenses that have an "S" designation is premium. All the primes are S lens. the 24-70 f4, 14-30 f4 are S lenses.

    If yhou can you should give the Z5 a try. it is much different than the DSLR bodies and there is more to it than just the weight.
    Last edited by Danno; 11-15-2020 at 02:05 AM.
    Thanks/Like pnomanikon Thanks/liked this post
     
    Dan~~Kentucky

    "The natural man must know in order to believe; The spiritual man must believe in order to know. " ~ Aiden Wilson Tozer ~ "The Dwelling Place of God"

    Nikon Z 6 Nikon, Nikkor Z 50 mm f/1.8S, Z 85 f/1.8S, Z24-70 f/4S, Z14--30 f/4S
    Nikon D700 w/Grip, AF-S Nikkor 200-500 mm f/5.6E ED VR, Tamron 28-75, Tamron 70-200 F/2.8

    ,
    https://www.dailywalkinthelight.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    pnomanikon's Avatar

    Re: New Camera For Retirement - Narrowed to 5 - Seeking Advice!

    @bluzman - Thank you! I appreciate you sharing your experience with these. My son also mentioned the dark viewfinder on his D5500.

    Looking at your photo really emphasizes the size (and certainly weight) differences between the three. The mirrorless looks like the one I would prefer to carry on a long day hiking and taking photos. Since the Z5 is about the same cost as the D500 (when you factor in the F-mount adapter), it's a hard toss-up between the performance of the D500 and the ease of use Z5. That and the short battery life of the Z5.

    Glad to hear you like your D7500.

    The 1 card vs 2 card issue is a strong preference, but certainly not a deal breaker. The second backup slot in my D7200 was comforting when traveling somewhere I might not get back to.

    Again, thanks for the info. Lots to process. Luckily, I am not in a big hurry. I'm hoping a huge sale (HA!) over the holidays might nudge me in one direction or the other.
    Pianist/Organist
    MSgt, US Air Force (Retired)

    www.MichaelElyard.com

    www.RidingWV.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    pnomanikon's Avatar

    Re: New Camera For Retirement - Narrowed to 5 - Seeking Advice!

    @Danno - Thank you, also! I appreciate the info on the Z line. I did read one review where the writer said he got around 800 shots on one battery, but he thought it may have been because he did a lot of bursts. Maybe the overall battery performance is better than advertised.

    As I was doing more searching, I saw where the adapter was only $100 if bought with a new camera. I went back later and could not remember what site I saw that on. That wouldn't be too bad if my current lenses worked OK.

    Have you done birds in flight with the Z? We get hummingbirds in our garden, and I struggled to get just a few decent photos this summer with the D3100.

    Thanks again.

    .
    Pianist/Organist
    MSgt, US Air Force (Retired)

    www.MichaelElyard.com

    www.RidingWV.com

  9. #9
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: New Camera For Retirement - Narrowed to 5 - Seeking Advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by pnomanikon View Post
    Thank you. Yes, I realize both formats would go on the same card, but I thought that way I would have a backup in case I do something stupid and accidentally erase or lose one card. In the short time I had the D7200, I set up the second card as backup. (That was before I tried RAW)

    Glad your arm is healing. I have good days and bad.

    Is the D500 really as good as they say? I saw a video with Ronan Donovan doing birds and it seems to track and focus really well. Video is on this page: https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d500

    Thanks again for your input.
    I don't shoot video so am not able to give you any info there. But the D500 is amazing. I prefer its sensor to the D7200 and notice a difference when I pixel peep. One thing to keep in mind is that even though the D500 has 2 slots, only one slot holds an SD card. The other is an XQD which is pricey. As for the flash, I don't use the pop-up flash so don't miss it. The Godox TT685N Thinklite TTL Flash is just $99 but has about the same power as the Nikon SB-910, and it has high speed sync like the SB-910. For the price, it's a very good flash. Off camera would require a trigger - and for me that's fine since I moved away from Nikon flashes and wouldn't use their Creative Lighting System (line-of-sight triggering with the pop-up flash). Besides radio triggers have a better reliability rate to fire much more consistently.

    If you are still considering the D7500, then I'd suggest buying several smaller sized SD cards and don't use one until it's full. Swap them out so if there is a write error, hopefully it would only affect images on one card - not all the images on multiple cards. I had an issue with a Lexar card (some images had pink fringe along one edge). Now I stick with San Disk.

    You have a lot to consider. If weight were a big issue (and it used to be for me), it might limit how often you shoot. Or carry a lightweight monopod and make use of it if your camera body is a little heavy. Holiday shopping sales will be available soon. Good luck with whatever you choose.
    Cindy - D750, D500, D7200
    Flickr
    and My 2020 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  10. #10
    Senior Member
    pnomanikon's Avatar

    Re: New Camera For Retirement - Narrowed to 5 - Seeking Advice!

    @hark

    Thanks again. I just assumed the XQD was a type of SD card, but I see now that they are both different and expensive. $100+ for 64GB - wow! A few of those would take care of all my beer money for the year. Thanks for pointing that out.

    I see the Z5 does have dual SD slots. I also found on the Nikon website where the lens adapter is $50 when you buy a new Z5. Then I could use my existing AF-S lenses (18x140 and 55x300) It's also encouraging to hear the Z cameras have a better battery life than advertised. Link: https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-pr...apter-ftz.html

    I'm wondering how heavy the adapter is. Does it make the camera as heavy as a D7500 or D500? Time for me to do more research.

    I've been a car nut since I was a kid, and pretty much know almost every car inside out. It was easier for me to decide on my last new car than it is to decide on a camera that costs 5-10% of that. Haha!

    Maybe I will make up my mind by the time holiday online sales start. Thanks again to everyone for your input.





    Quote Originally Posted by hark View Post
    I don't shoot video so am not able to give you any info there. But the D500 is amazing. I prefer its sensor to the D7200 and notice a difference when I pixel peep. One thing to keep in mind is that even though the D500 has 2 slots, only one slot holds an SD card. The other is an XQD which is pricey. As for the flash, I don't use the pop-up flash so don't miss it. The Godox TT685N Thinklite TTL Flash is just $99 but has about the same power as the Nikon SB-910, and it has high speed sync like the SB-910. For the price, it's a very good flash. Off camera would require a trigger - and for me that's fine since I moved away from Nikon flashes and wouldn't use their Creative Lighting System (line-of-sight triggering with the pop-up flash). Besides radio triggers have a better reliability rate to fire much more consistently.

    If you are still considering the D7500, then I'd suggest buying several smaller sized SD cards and don't use one until it's full. Swap them out so if there is a write error, hopefully it would only affect images on one card - not all the images on multiple cards. I had an issue with a Lexar card (some images had pink fringe along one edge). Now I stick with San Disk.

    You have a lot to consider. If weight were a big issue (and it used to be for me), it might limit how often you shoot. Or carry a lightweight monopod and make use of it if your camera body is a little heavy. Holiday shopping sales will be available soon. Good luck with whatever you choose.
    Last edited by pnomanikon; 11-15-2020 at 12:50 PM.
    Pianist/Organist
    MSgt, US Air Force (Retired)

    www.MichaelElyard.com

    www.RidingWV.com





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