A6500 vs. D500 from a Sony fanboy.

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by SRHEdD, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    449
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    First, I'm a Sony fanboy. Loved my A77II, NEX-6, NEX-7, A6000, and hoped to love the A6500. As a camera I loved it, as a gadget it is awesome! But to me it has a glaring functional weakness. I'm left-eyed (and wear glasses). Shooting my sons' lacrosse games on sunny weekend mornings, a left-eye/left-corner eyepiece/EVF just didn't work. I found myself shielding glare from the left side of my face with my left hand and holding the camera with my right. Or I'd hold the camera properly and not fully see what I was shooting. Very washed out viewing in bright light. It was also uncomfortable to grip for extended periods due to the short height and the right side of the camera digging into the pad of my right hand (even with a case).

    On a daily basis, I'm Senior Editor for a popular regional lifestyle publication. I shoot what I write constantly. There I use my A7RII and D750 interchangeably mostly based on which I feel suits the situation/assignment. Neither is as fast as I'd like for my family sports photos (though not my expertise), so I sought out a fast APS-C body. I'd had an A6000 for year, then an A77II, and a D7100 along the way as well. When it came time to buy a "sports" body (and one for general photos that don't require full frame files), I came really close to buying another A77II (traded first one toward A7RII). I liked the heft of that body and already have flashes, radio remote, etc. But it is a couple of years old now, and the D500 is the new kid (I already have lenses and flashes for it, too.). The D7200 was very attractive for the price, but I settled on a refurb D500 (I'm a big refurb buyer, never been burned.). One sunny Saturday later and I'm blown away. This is MY opinion, and I've shot with both. The color and sharpness of the D500 is better, the AF is faster and more sure with a Nikon 18-300 than the A6500 was with my 24-240. The light changed during the games all day, and the Nikon's pics are just better to look at and better in post. Also, the heft is there again which is somehow reassuring. The 24-240 on the A6500 was uncomfortable to grip, the weight cantilevered into my right palm.

    It kind of reinforces my habits for my full frame cameras. If lighting is tough I take the A7RII, but for controlled lighting like food and portraits, I like the D750 more.

    The A6500 has been the least impressive Sony camera I've owned. Is see DXO thinks it is better IQ-wise, but I don't see it in practical use compared to the D500. The D500 is operationally faster, AND I can SEE much better in the environment I use the camera in. Then lastly, IMHO, the photos are better in every regard.

    This is Nikon D500 w/18-300DX at 187mm. ISO800. 1/3000@f/11. Shutter Priority/Center Weighted metering. Cropped slightly to straighten verticals.


    DOC_0220.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  2. unlo

    unlo Sony ******

    Jan 19, 2014
    Ohio
    Matt
    i see 'fanboy' is no longer a bad word here at Talk-Emount

    To play devil's advocate here, all i've really got is = if you were a real fanboy you would have never touched one of "their" cameras EVER!

    :dance3::dance4::biggrin::2thumbs::drinks::026:

    I do appreciate reading posts from users who have tried both. It's an interesting perspective to consider.
     
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  3. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Veteran

    395
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    To be honest I much prefer Nikon image processing over Sony. Sony wins by default for being the only FF mirrorless game in town, plus the ability to use different lenses. If Nikon released a competent FF mirrorless, I'd probably switch in a heartbeat!
     
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  4. unlo

    unlo Sony ******

    Jan 19, 2014
    Ohio
    Matt
    As a consumer i'm probably doing myself a disservice by not trying out the competition. Maybe that's where my loyalty hurts me. As invested as I am at this point, a change would be overwhelming to say the least.
     
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  5. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    449
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    True. I was a slow Sony convert. My Nikon D600 had a flaky mirror box before Nikon admitted it, and I sold it for a big loss. I swore I'd never buy another Nikon (and I'm a NPS member!), especially after reading Sony makes a good number of their sensors. Dumped all my Nikon gear for the NEX-6/7 and A6000, then crawled up the ladder to the A7RII. It makes exceptional image files.

    Alas, old habits die hard, and I was swayed by the Df (still have it and still love it). Then a D750 on an expensive trip to a camera store in Orlando (Colonial Camera...shameless plug). I have two working bags now, a Nikon and a Sony. The Sony kit is only the A7RII now (though "only" is hardly appropriate). It is for the little video I do and the tougher stills work.
     
  6. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    449
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    One of the reasons I got another Nikon FF body after my D600 incident was the Nikon 85mm 1.8. I've always loved that lens for portraits.

    But now the plot thickens as Sony is bringing that lens to us, too!
     
  7. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Veteran

    395
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    Honestly Sony exist in a grey area for me. I probably would of dumped the system and stuck with Nikon for my FF needs because the D750 is excellent and nearly the same size as an A7 II once you factor in native FE lenses. The release of the Techart Pro adapter and especially the latest 5.0 firmware has made my Sony A7 II into a viable workhorse. The fact that I can adapt everything from M mount to M42 lenses has really made Sony cameras that more flexible, but at the same time I now don't see myself buying a native lens ever!

    Processing raws from the D750 are a joy and just that more malleable in post over my A7 II. If need be I can also use the Commlite Nikon to Sony AF adapter to use my Nikon AF glass as well, so no need to get stuck with only E mount lenses!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  8. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    There is something to be said about the quality of Nikkor glass. It renders so beautifully, luxuriously so at times. And that's coming from a former Canon L glass shooter.
    But I never poo-poo-ed another brand because of brand loyalty. Nikons are great. But I've always been confused by their naming convention.
    Steve,
    Given you already had the D750, isn't that the top dog for action photos currently? I got a bit confused when you bought a D500. It was always my understanding that the numbers in their models differentiated consumer (xxxx), pro-sumer (xxx), pro (x). Higher the newer.

    Just as Jonathan stated, I love my Sony because of lens adaption. And love the live-view/EVF.

    It will be interesting to see how Nikon will develop their FF mirrorless system, lens mounts, etc.
     
  9. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    449
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    The D5 would be THE top-dog, but overkill for me. The D810 is the highest megapixel body. The D750 (3rd in FF line) obviously has a bigger sensor than the D500, but the D500 (top of APS-C line) shoots much faster. D750 is rated at 6.5fps, the D500 is 10fps. The Sony A6xxx series did spoil me for faster frame rates in APS-C, so to have a better viewing experience (for me) and still keep the fast frame rate was a big plus. The Sony A77II was a very close second choice because I had a great experience with it. I could have purchased an A77II with the 16-50 and 55-300 zooms for same price as D500 body, but really didn't want to get into A-mount lenses. Plus, it is just older tech (by two years). The newness of the D500 was the determining factor (and great reviews). I go to my sons' games to enjoy the time outside with them, not carry a bag of gear like during the week. The D500 with an 18-300 is a good one camera solution for bright sun sports (again, for ME). No hassles, no weight (comparatively), and pics like the one above are all I'd expect.

    I don't mind saying I'll fire off 400-600+ frames a day between 2 or more games. Some part of me wants to keep that kind of wear and tear off of my FF kits. They pay the bills.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  10. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    776
    Feb 14, 2016
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Paul
    I'm left eyed too and while I'm used to putting up with it when using cameras it does have drawbacks on any camera. It's harder to access the buttons and dials and the sun in the eye issue is a problem at times as you say (I don't wear glasses).
    I have the A6300 and I like it, I use my A7R2 mainly but do like the small compact form factor of the A6300, I use it with the 10-18, 16-70 and 70-300 and primes occasionally and don't have any issues really, certainly the 70-300 focuses quickly and accurately and I'm happy with the resulting images. I'm very pleased with all my Sony images from both cameras TBH. I came over from m43 and Olympus is reputed to have excellent image rendering but I don't feel the Sony is any worse. I've not owned a Canon or Nikon so can't comment about them but interesting to read your experiences.
    How is it you liked the A6000 but not the A6500 when the ergonomics are virtually the same?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  11. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    449
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    "How is it you liked the A6000 but not the A6500 when the ergonomics are virtually the same?"

    Honestly, I think the newness wore off. I still think the form factor is incredible, but my internal slider moved back toward DSLR for sports. What I tolerated when it was new (my glare issue and side lighting in the EVF) just isn't something I'd like to deal with long-term. When the D500 was announced, it seemed to be a DSLR with the features I wanted for an amateur sports camera. I wish I could have just lived with shooting sports with my A7RII or D750, but that just isn't a strength of those cameras (IMHO). I'm very lucky I can have both, it is truly a First World Problem.
     
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  12. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    The D500 seems like a great camera for sports. I just don't want to give up my EVF.

    Did you use the A6500 in no-lag EVF focus mode? Just curious if you did and if so how did it compare to an optical view finder.
     
  13. Chris Munden

    Chris Munden TalkEmount Regular

    59
    May 13, 2016
    Peter Bower
    There will always be tribal loyalty with camera brands, my first DSLR was a Olympus E-510, ( and the Jpegs are still hard to beat and I still have it ), but as I'm sure many of us have switched to other brands and often returned to your favourite brand, I first tried Pentax KR, only because AP magazine rated it highly, with a couple of lenses, not impressed with body or lenses, then a Nikon, D5100 with 18-125 kit lens, very impressed, then jumped ship to a Sony A-550 with kit zoom, very average, Nikon was far better, we do make poor judgements at times, well at least I do and at a cost.

    Then another leap to Canon a 550D with the latest 18-55 STM lens, very impressed especially with Canon's colour. After that it was my first Sony SLT a A57 with standard kit lens and then added a A37 body with a 18-135, great cameras to use and excellent A mount lenses from both Sony and Minolta and in many ways superior to the Canikon equivalents, but for one area, Sony colours especially Jpeg suck by comparison. Sorry, its no good the reviewers saying just use RAW on Sony, I want both formats to be good.
    I then caught the CSC bug and got a A6000, Great camera, great performance, but it handled like crap with a big lens and the Jpeg IQ colours were off the mark. Just sold it and went back to Olympus, EM-10 this time.
    Stunning Jpegs. If I was to build a new system round APS-C cropped, it would be one of the Canikons, for one reason, they are tried and tested cameras, with a big choice in models and the used body/lens market is huge in the UK, its either Canikon or M4/3, not sure yet.
     
  14. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    449
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    Up until these recent Nikons, I'd agree that the Olys had the best jpgs easily. That gap has all but closed now (to me). I don't see the difference I used to.

    In normal lighting I still prefer a EVF. I like to see my adjustments on the fly, it became part of my workflow. It is just in the environment of my family sports photos, outdoors in bright Florida sun, an OVF works better for me. ESPECIALLY now that it is at 10fps in the D500. I can SEE, the jpgs have a really nice "pop" and the camera works blazingly fast. A D500 could NEVER replace my A7RII for critical print work. It is just a different tool altogether.

    I've posted this elsewhere on here, and it is how I sum up my Sonys versus my Nikons; the Sonys are amazing image capture devices. The Nikons are amazing cameras. The distinction being, again IMHO, that the Sony's lack the soul of a camera with 100 years history. Be that in color processing or in handling (yes, I know they bought Minolta), they lack a connection to me that a good CAMERA has. If you're a car-guy (or girl), you'll read that a particular sports car is very smooth and fast, but lacks road feel. That's the same sort of thing I'm saying here. I want to feel the road. But then I use both interchangeably, so go figure.
     
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  15. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    920
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    So sometimes, you want to drive the Lamborghini, other times you want the Corvette. It doesn't mean either one is a poor vehicle, they are just different.

    And no way am I saying which is which here. :rofl:
     
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  16. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    449
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    ...or the Jeep!
     
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  17. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Well thought out thoughts.

    I can see that the left eye placement in the APS-C's could be frustrating, but I love it.

    I personally have been loyal to Sony for several caneras and am loving my A6000, but I see nothing wrong with finding what works for you, be it Nikon, Fuji or Canon.

    As a non-proffesional I don't need the absolute sharpest combo out there. I occassionally will print an in age larger than 5x7", but it is pretty rare. 90% of my stuff is shared on Social Media or here. My priority is portability and takeability.
     
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  18. Kmac76

    Kmac76 TalkEmount Regular Subscribing Member

    130
    May 3, 2016
    SRHEdD... as a newer member to the forums, I feel it is obligation to step up help make things right for a respected veteran... I will take it upon myself to take a bullet for the team and take that a6500 off of your hands...
    In all seriousness, this thread has been one of many that has great points and counterpoints about Sony and many other camera bands out there. I know that I take a lot of the different opinions and info into account when I am looking at gear, tips, or just for amusement...
     
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  19. ArendV

    ArendV TalkEmount Regular

    91
    Nov 27, 2015
    The Netherlands
    Horses for courses as they always say. I shoot both a Nikon D500 and Sony A7 and used a NEX-6 in the past.
    Besides what is mentioned above what I like about Nikon camera's is the consistency in files between camera's (having used a D300 and D7100 and now a D500, Coolpix A and J5), requiring little and similar PP to get a photo to my liking. For some reason I was always struggling with the NEX-6 files - especially in getting the right colours - but that may just be me. I am also left-eyed but that did not bother me on the NEX-6 with the good eye-cup (and not wearing glasses).
    My Sony A7 is my dedicated MF lens camera and it is very good at that. Focusing is very easy, I can really get the shallow DOF I am looking for and the IQ is excellent.
    My D500 is used as allround camera, but mainly for birding, macro's and flash photography at events (and if I want to go really compact I use my Coolpix A and for street photography my J5. But actually also the A7 with 3 Contax Zeiss primes fits in a very small bag that you easily carry the whole day).
    Overall we should be happy with the camera choice we have as photographers these days and it is good to share experiences like above so we can all make our own choice.
    Mirrorless are closing in on DSLRs in terms of autofocus speed and viewfinder experience and EVF certainly already has advantages over OVF (but personally I still prefer OVF, but don't want to start that discussion once again here).
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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