by Anura Guruge
Click pictures to ENLARGE.
Taken with my Fuji X-E2s.
The Nikon D500, with a Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 lens, that I rented from ‘LensRental‘, for a week, starting Friday, August 12, 2016, is indeed, as it should be given its caliber (not to mention its reputation) is an interesting camera.
It sure feels good to hold it in your hand. The grip appears to be a perfect ‘British Standard Handful‘ (BSH). As such it just nestles in your grip, with near perfect balance. The ‘thunk’ the mirror and shutter makes when you take a shot, in viewfinder mode, is incredibly satisfying and makes you feel that you achieved something.
Though I had reservations all the controls (and their placements) work out well. I was concerned that there was no dedicated ‘Exposure Control’ dial and that setting ‘exposure control’ and ISO was a 2-step operation in that you had to press the appropriate button and then dial in the value using the rear command wheel. On Fujis there is a dedicated ‘exposure control’ dial that you just turn without having to press any button. (And on the X-T1 and X-T2 the same is true for ISO). But I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to use the 2-step scheme. Yes, you can get used, pretty quickly, to anything. The layout really does makes sense and as such easy to use. I like that.
Impressive camera. It can see in the dark! Scary. That is nice. Yes, makes taking pictures in low-light — and even no light — a breeze.
Lots and lots of features of course — as you would expect from a FLAGSHIP camera, for Nikon no less.
And, suffice to say, it takes some AMAZING shots. Pictures, with definition and detail, I have never been able to get with another camera and that with a far from ‘optimum’, slightly-soft Tamron zoom. Some of the pictures take my breath away.
The much vaunted autofocus is impressive. But it is NOT infallible! I had a fair number of out-of-focus shots (albeit mainly macro). I used manual focus more often than I expected.
All that said, right now, on day 3 of my trial, I am NOT convinced that this is the camera for ME.
Very simple reason, I am one of those RARE individuals that do NOT like to touch up my pictures via post-processing. To me the joy and challenge is to shoot JPEGs — straight out of the camera. All of the ‘6 Images a Day‘ are UNTOUCHED. Straight-Out-Of-The-Camera.
The D500 appears to be OPTIMIZED for those that do post-processing. So we have a BIG disconnect.
Auto White-Balance, for a start, is ‘non-existent’. People just fix WB during post-processing. I even, on Sunday, took a crash course in Kelvin Scale WB … It was good to know. Ditto exposure compensation.
Yes, I took some GREAT shots on Sunday BUT I even ended up shooting MANUAL! Yikes. That is NOT what I want to do.
So right now, based on my experiences so far, the Nikon D500 is NOT for I.
I am sure glad I rented. (Yes, I could have returned it after a week BUT I hate doing that.)
Now in a kind of ‘bind’ — but not a bad one.
I am just going to wait. I will get a Nikon P900, from the money I got from my Fuji lens trade-ins, just for the 83x zoom. It will not be my main camera. It will be for special occasions.
I sure can ‘afford’ to wait. I will keep the Fuji X-E2s. Lets see what PhotoKina 2016 brings. And maybe the Nikon DL range, as I had one believed, might be the right choice for I.
Maybe Pentax. So back to the drawing board.
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by Anura Guruge