?: D810 for sports in 2020?

Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
89
Hello everyone,

I hope you are doing well and are staying safe!

I currently have a Nikon Z7 and use it for everything, portraits, macro, events, sports, birds in flight etc. Im looking to add a DSLR to my kit to be used mainly for action photography and as a second body.

I really enjoy the extra resolution from the Z7 vs. prior cameras Ive had and while I think the D500 is an amazing camera, I would sacrifice some speed in order to pick up the mega pixels. Im also not concerned about the 5 fps vs. what I could get with the D500/D850.

I would love to get a D850 but the prices are just a bit out of reach for me right now. I realize the D810 is not quite a D850, but would like to know if the autofocus ability of the D810 is that much less capable vs. the D850/D500. Ive read some mixed reviews about the D810 for sports, action and low light and would welcome any insight you can give me regarding the camera.

Do you think the D810 is better at action photography vs. the Z7?

I have shot the new Sony A7riv and was impressed by its autofocus, but I have been a Nikon shooter for 13 years and there is too much about the system I love to ever leave for another brand.

Ive shot the D850 and D500 but have never shot a D810.

Thanks so much for your help with this. Any camera purchase is a big decision for me and I appreciate your expertise!

Take care,

Rick
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
1,360
Location
Central Ohio
Real Name
Andrew
The D810 has the same Cam 3500 AF system as the D300, D700 and D750. All very capable cameras for shooting sports. So no issues there.

I used the D300/D700 for years shooting all kinds of sports until I replaced them, without regret with the D500 and Z6.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
5,313
Location
New Mexico
No trouble with mine, love ISO64 with fast glass! :D

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
5,391
Location
Alaska
The D810 AF is definitely slower than either the D500 or D850 but should still be plenty fast for sports. But don't forget that the lens makes a difference. The only time I've had issues with it is with fast moving birds traveling straight at the camera with slower lenses(e.g. 200-500mm). When using it on a big prime I've never had any issues with it.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
482
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
Hello everyone,

I hope you are doing well and are staying safe!

I currently have a Nikon Z7 and use it for everything, portraits, macro, events, sports, birds in flight etc. Im looking to add a DSLR to my kit to be used mainly for action photography and as a second body.

I really enjoy the extra resolution from the Z7 vs. prior cameras Ive had and while I think the D500 is an amazing camera, I would sacrifice some speed in order to pick up the mega pixels. Im also not concerned about the 5 fps vs. what I could get with the D500/D850.

I would love to get a D850 but the prices are just a bit out of reach for me right now. I realize the D810 is not quite a D850, but would like to know if the autofocus ability of the D810 is that much less capable vs. the D850/D500. Ive read some mixed reviews about the D810 for sports, action and low light and would welcome any insight you can give me regarding the camera.

Do you think the D810 is better at action photography vs. the Z7?

I have shot the new Sony A7riv and was impressed by its autofocus, but I have been a Nikon shooter for 13 years and there is too much about the system I love to ever leave for another brand.

Ive shot the D850 and D500 but have never shot a D810.

Thanks so much for your help with this. Any camera purchase is a big decision for me and I appreciate your expertise!

Take care,

Rick
More data needed:
WHAT kind of action photography? And how far from the action?
What lighting conditions?
In low light, the D750/Z6 is probably better than the D810/D850/Z7.​
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,310
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Unless you're getting paid to shoot in a highly competitive scenario like pro sports, red carpet, spot news, etc. the D810 should still be plenty good. I'd just get the EN-EL18 and grip for the fastest frame rate. Also the D810 should be faster to AF than the Z7. My D750 is faster than the Z6 I used and partly the reason why I didn't make the switch to the Z system. Just make note though, the D810 will put you at 3 storage formats with XQD, CF and SD.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
89
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
trenchmonkey, drr1531, ac12 and Jonathan F/2,

Thank you all for your input and the great image! I really appreciate it!

Well, after watching about umpteen videos, reading etc. I have decided to go with a used D500.
That will give me the Z7 for most of my shooting and the D500 for BIF, baseball, soccer, etc.

The determining factor for me was when I realized that the D500 with the cropped sensor actually has more pixels than the D810 does in crop mode. I realize the pixel pitch is different but Im fairly confident that the D500 can come close to handling the files pretty well.

What do you think?

Thanks again and best to you all. Please keep yourselves safe!

take care,

Rick
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
482
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
@greyhoundrick
You have to THINK about the lens you use on the D500.
DX does not have the equivalent of some of the FX lenses.
Example if you want the equivalent of a 70-200/2.8 on a FX camera, there is no DX equivalent. The closest is the Tamron 35-150/2.8-4.​
I got the 70-200/4 because at the time, there was no real option. The other lens the I considered was the 24-120. I use the 70-200/4, for field games (football, soccer, lacrosse) on the sidelines. If the 35-150 was available when I got the 70-200, I probably would have gotten that instead.​

I do not know how well the D500 does in low light, for night games. I think the D750 does better. Although my D7200 at ISO 6400 is OK. The D500 would probably be OK with the 70-200/2.8.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
5,391
Location
Alaska
...I have decided to go with a used D500...The determining factor for me was when I realized that the D500 with the cropped sensor actually has more pixels than the D810 does in crop mode. I realize the pixel pitch is different but Im fairly confident that the D500 can come close to handling the files pretty well.

What do you think?...
I was going to mention the pixel density earlier but didn't want to get into that whole debate. Plus thought that you might have been set on the FX format. The D500 is a far superior camera for shooting action. And in real world shooting I don't think there's a noticeable difference in ISO performance.
You have to THINK about the lens you use on the D500.
DX does not have the equivalent of some of the FX lenses...
I don't understand why people make such a big deal about DX lens availability. I've always had at least one DX camera body and only own one DX lens, the 16-80. And only own that one for traveling so I don't have to carry two in order to cover the entire focal range. There is also an advantage to using FX lenses on DX bodies. Softness and distortion on most lenses is worst at the edges. When using FX lenses on DX bodies only the sharper middle portion of the lens is used. So it is possible to get much better IQ out of less expensive lenses.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
482
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
OK my situation was shooting field games; football, soccer and lacrosse.
The 16-80 is too short, so what lens to use?
On a FX camera, I would use the 70-200/2.8.
The DX equivalent would be 45-135. So anything around that would work.
But, is there a GOOD lens to use around that range, NO.
I am not talking about a DX specific lens, but ANY, GOOD and FAST lens that falls in the desired range, be it DX or FX. I wanted at least f/4, to get the ISO down to 6400, my kit f/5.6 lens required ISO 12800.
f/2.8 at ISO 3200 would be even better, but the weight penalty was too much, when shooting for five hours. So f/4 it is.​

There were NO DX specific lens that met the primary criteria of min speed of f/4 through the zoom range. So the search quickly expanded to FX lenses.

Here are the two Nikon lenses that I narrowed down to:
  • 70-200 f/4. Long end is good. But the short end is too long on a DX camera, for closer shots.
    • The Tamron 70-210/4 is a good alternative to the Nikon 70-200/4.
  • 24-120/4. Short end is great, but the long end is a bit short. And on a football field reach is always an issue, even out to just half-field.
A year later Tamron released the 35-150/2.8-4
  • Tamron 35-150/2.8-4. Seemed close to perfect. Short end easily handled the shots when players got close to me, and 150 was long enough. And zoom ring turns in the same direction as Nikon zooms. But no tripod collar.
Note that all three of these are FX/FF lenses.

I ultimately got the 70-200, and very quickly ran into the issue that the 70mm end was too long when the players got closer to me. That gave me seconds thoughts, that I should have gotten the 24-120 instead.
If the Tamron 35-150/2.8-4 was available when I got my 70-200/4, I may have gotten that lens instead.

This is purely a matter of matching the focal length requirement.
DX specific is not an issue, since all three are FX lenses.
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
42,622
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
trenchmonkey, drr1531, ac12 and Jonathan F/2,

Thank you all for your input and the great image! I really appreciate it!

Well, after watching about umpteen videos, reading etc. I have decided to go with a used D500.
That will give me the Z7 for most of my shooting and the D500 for BIF, baseball, soccer, etc.

The determining factor for me was when I realized that the D500 with the cropped sensor actually has more pixels than the D810 does in crop mode. I realize the pixel pitch is different but Im fairly confident that the D500 can come close to handling the files pretty well.

What do you think?

Thanks again and best to you all. Please keep yourselves safe!

take care,

Rick
for day games the D500 is a good choice and maybe a 70-200 2.8
2.8 is critical for backgrounds.
another good choice is the Sigma 120-300 2.8

for high school games at night the D500 is not a good choice....high ISO (like 8k) does not look good (to my eye). You can process each picture thru some of the great noise removal software currently available and get a good look but if you're shooting for money and come home with 800 pics you're not going to like it.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
482
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
for day games the D500 is a good choice and maybe a 70-200 2.8
2.8 is critical for backgrounds.
another good choice is the Sigma 120-300 2.8

for high school games at night the D500 is not a good choice....high ISO (like 8k) does not look good (to my eye). You can process each picture thru some of the great noise removal software currently available and get a good look but if you're shooting for money and come home with 800 pics you're not going to like it.
D500 is OK.
My D7200 has similar high ISO performance, and it is OK at ISO 6400 at f/4. Would be even better at ISO 3200 with a f/2.8 lens.​
D750 is the better choice for low light.

And an f/2.8 lens, for those night games.
70-200/2.8 has been the sideline lens for decades, and for good reason. It works.
With the Sigma 120-300, you give up close shots for long shots.
Major issue with Sigma. The zoom ring turns in the opposite direction from Nikon zooms. If you zoom with muscle memory, this will be an issue. It is for me.​
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,310
Location
Los Angeles, USA
trenchmonkey, drr1531, ac12 and Jonathan F/2,

Thank you all for your input and the great image! I really appreciate it!

Well, after watching about umpteen videos, reading etc. I have decided to go with a used D500.
That will give me the Z7 for most of my shooting and the D500 for BIF, baseball, soccer, etc.

The determining factor for me was when I realized that the D500 with the cropped sensor actually has more pixels than the D810 does in crop mode. I realize the pixel pitch is different but Im fairly confident that the D500 can come close to handling the files pretty well.

What do you think?

Thanks again and best to you all. Please keep yourselves safe!

take care,

Rick
I think the D500 will give you better storage and battery compatibility, but will you be okay with the APS-C crop factor? Have you also considered a D4? There's a few bodies floating around in the $950-1500 USD range on Fred Miranda. I believe the shutter is rated at 400K clicks. If you only need it for sports, I think having a pro-sports body is the way to go. Batteries will be different, but you'll gain XQD compatibility and have one high speed camera and another for high resolution. You'll also have very good high-ISO capabilities with the D4.

As for me I don't shoot sports and use a pair of D750 for my general event shooting, but I still needed a fairly fast body on occasion, so I picked up a used D700 with low shutter clicks for $400 USD. I paired it with an MB-D10 I purchased for $20 and a brand new EN-EL4A battery that gives me 8fps. Personally for me, I'd rather have an all FX kit vs a FX/DX setup.

I'm going against the grain here and I suggest you ask yourself what you really NEED vs WANT? Ideally all of us would want a D5, D850 and Z6/Z7 in our kit, but most of us don't have that kind of budget! What I notice is a lot people tend to over gun their needs, when in reality they would of been fine with a much cheaper setup. ;)
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
42,622
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
D500 is OK.
My D7200 has similar high ISO performance, and it is OK at ISO 6400 at f/4. Would be even better at ISO 3200 with a f/2.8 lens.​
D750 is the better choice for low light.

And an f/2.8 lens, for those night games.
70-200/2.8 has been the sideline lens for decades, and for good reason. It works.
With the Sigma 120-300, you give up close shots for long shots.
Major issue with Sigma. The zoom ring turns in the opposite direction from Nikon zooms. If you zoom with muscle memory, this will be an issue. It is for me.​
in NC high school stadiums are usually around ISO 8k at 2.8 and then there's the BG at f/4
120mm FX is close enough for me
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
42,622
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
UGH
And I thought I had it bad.

I'm too old to lug a 70-200/2.8 on the field for five hours (JV + var)
I'm 68
I used to shoot a D3/D4/D5 + 400/2.8 and a D800 + 70-200 on a black rapid strap
now I shoot D5 + 400e. 2 bodies is way too much work and so is flipping from a zoom to a long prime......
shooting just a long prime for so many years changes the way you see the game. You definitely miss a lot but what you get in 200-400 range has that creamy BG. Parents buying my pics probably don't care or don't even notice but i do.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
482
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I'm 68
I used to shoot a D3/D4/D5 + 400/2.8 and a D800 + 70-200 on a black rapid strap
now I shoot D5 + 400e. 2 bodies is way too much work and so is flipping from a zoom to a long prime......
shooting just a long prime for so many years changes the way you see the game. You definitely miss a lot but what you get in 200-400 range has that creamy BG. Parents buying my pics probably don't care or don't even notice but i do.

View attachment 1658105
I'm right behind you, 65, but sometimes feeling like 75.
Bad back and injured knee, limits my gear load. Hence my decision to shoot with the lighter f/4 lens.
I do not use a monopod, because it restricts my ability to pan with the action, like a shotgun. Just my style of shooting.

Unlike you, I never got into the sniping mode, of picking off shots with a long lens.

My standard field sport kit is a D7200 + 70-200/4.
But the lens is currently in Nikon repair, to fix the VR. $$$ :(

My backup kit is an Olympus EM1-mk2 + 40-150/2.8.
It is a nice kit, but the Pro Olympus lenses don't compare to the handling of the Nikon 70-200. The Nikon zoom ring is soooo nice and easy to use. And my hand is so used to the Nikon lens, that it has trouble with anything else.

I wish I could sell my pics, and pick up some cash to help offset the cost of the hobby. But the principal told me that I can't sell pics of students.
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
42,622
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
I'm right behind you, 65, but sometimes feeling like 75.
Bad back and injured knee, limits my gear load. Hence my decision to shoot with the lighter f/4 lens.
I do not use a monopod, because it restricts my ability to pan with the action, like a shotgun. Just my style of shooting.

Unlike you, I never got into the sniping mode, of picking off shots with a long lens.

My standard field sport kit is a D7200 + 70-200/4.
But the lens is currently in Nikon repair, to fix the VR. $$$ :(

My backup kit is an Olympus EM1-mk2 + 40-150/2.8.
It is a nice kit, but the Pro Olympus lenses don't compare to the handling of the Nikon 70-200. The Nikon zoom ring is soooo nice and easy to use. And my hand is so used to the Nikon lens, that it has trouble with anything else.

I wish I could sell my pics, and pick up some cash to help offset the cost of the hobby. But the principal told me that I can't sell pics of students.
Checkout Maxpreps..com
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
89
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
Thank you so much ac12, drr1531, Randy and Jonathan F/2. I appreciate your knowledge and experience very much!

Since a lot my action shooting is done in the day time I think I will be ok with a 70-200 f/4. The only inside sports I shoot currently is women's Roller Derby. Believe it or not I can use a 24-70 f/4 S lens for that without any reach problem as Im allowed to get as close as I want. I also am allowed to use flash there and that really helps.

My low light shooting is usually indoor events with flash and I should be ok with the Z7 and D500. The D500 will be used mostly for action shooting outside which, for me, is birds in flight and weekly shooting for The Phoenix Zoo. Im also hoping that at very low light events like parties that the D500 will be able to grab focus well.

Ive actually got a little flashlight I wear sometimes which I set very low and kind of cheat a bit to grab focus in very dark areas. I like to shoot in AF-C so no focus assist lamp. I believe the D500 will focus a little better than my Z7 in low light if I remember correctly but we will see in a few days.

As far as DX/FX goes... I used to shoot with a D3/D300 combo and used all FX lenses. With those two cameras I would use the D3 most of the time, but when I needed more pixels on the subject further away Id go with the D300 and it did great.

Would love to keep in touch and always welcome any comments and input. You folks have helped me tremendously over the years and I love Nikon Cafe!

Take care and hope to hear from you soon,

Rick
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom