quick question on DSLR vs Mirrorless quality

Joined
Jan 8, 2012
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211
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UK - Northwest
OK quick question.

If you took a photo of say a small bird (static), with a 500mm lens on a Nikon D850 and Nikon Z7 (both in DX mode), vs the same lens on a D500, which would generally give you the superior image all other things being equal. The D850 and Z7 in DX mode would give an effective 750mm FOV, the same as the D500, with almost identical image resolution (19.5mp vs 20.7mp)

I mean which would have the lowest amounts of noise and the sharpest image or would they all be very similar (note I'm not referring to AF speed at all, just ultimate image quality).
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
211
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UK - Northwest
With all the Z reviews out there, you want to decide if Z's are good or not over one DX photo?
No, it won't change my opinion of the Z's (I love them). I was just having a conversation with a friend of mine who shoots with a Canon 7d MK II and he said his bird shots were better in high ISO and sharpness than shooting with his 5D MK IV and cropping them to the same level. Now, the 5D MK IV only has 30mp, so in it/s APS-C crop isn't putting down as many pixels on the subject as the 7D MK II, but the D850/Z7 are similar (in DX count) to a D500 sensor. It got me thinking, if one already owns a Z7 (like I do) or indeed a D850, from a purely image quality perspective would there be much difference to a D500 image.

I appreciate that the D500 has numerous advantages over the Z7, (better AF, Tracking etc, massively bigger buffer, better battery life etc. etc.).
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
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southern England
OK quick question.

If you took a photo of say a small bird (static), with a 500mm lens on a Nikon D850 and Nikon Z7 (both in DX mode), vs the same lens on a D500, which would generally give you the superior image all other things being equal. The D850 and Z7 in DX mode would give an effective 750mm FOV, the same as the D500, with almost identical image resolution (19.5mp vs 20.7mp)

I mean which would have the lowest amounts of noise and the sharpest image or would they all be very similar (note I'm not referring to AF speed at all, just ultimate image quality).
Curious if you are considering printed images or viewed on a monitor?
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2008
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Missouri, USA
Let me ask you a question. Are you going to use a camera to take small birds and using 500mm only, and nothing else? If the answer is NO then you know what camera is a better choice :)
 
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Jan 22, 2019
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St. Charles, IL
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Andy
It got me thinking, if one already owns a Z7 (like I do) or indeed a D850, from a purely image quality perspective would there be much difference to a D500 image.
Although I have not done this analysis myself (others have), the D500 files will generally have better detail than the equivalent image taken in crop mode on a FF sensor. However, the more pixels you have on the FF sensor, the harder it is to see the difference. Perhaps a another consideration:

If your subject is filling the viewfinder lines in crop mode on a FF camera using a prime lens, you can switch back to FX mode to help keep your subject in frame. If the same thing happens with a D500, that option doesn't exist.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
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Maple Bay, Duncan, BC, Canada
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Andreas Berglund
Answer is that they are very very close, and the pixel density is about the same in the Z7/D850 situation as the D500. In my testing between my D500 and D850 (in DX mode) I really cant see much difference.

Other factors in the camera influence the differences as much or more are:
  • Accuracy of the AF (Z7 should have a small advantage here but generally my D850 is slightly better than my D500 at AF accuracy, slightly newer algorithms in firmware?)
  • Exposure, how close you get to perfect
  • ISO
  • The light and time of day you are shooting
  • Subject movement
  • The person behind the camera.....
  • Post processing
  • etc.....
My point is that there are many factors the influence the IQ, they all need to come together for the perfect shot. And it might not need to be the latest camera that takes the greatest shot could be an old one too. I have a shot with my old D2x and my old Nikon 500mm AF-S II of a Sapsucker in glorious afternoon light that is still one of the sharpest and most colorful images i have ever taken, just 12 mp but one would never know.......

https://pbase.com/andreasb/image/55006518/original.jpg
 
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