Crop to Full Frame?

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Hi all,

I’ve been a Nikon D90 owner for quite a few years now. Photography has never been my main hobby and so I have lost the love for it over the years but next year I’m looking at getting back into it.

So with this thought in mind I decided now is the time to upgrade my camera body. I shoot mostly cars (at events) and landscape.

I was considering upgrading to a D7200 (secondhand) due to the fact I have 4 DX lenses (Nikon 16-85, Sigma 10-20 & 70-300, and a Nikon 35mm) However I started to think about the option of full frame? I’ve done a lot of reading of the pros & cons of both systems but still slightly undecided.

Is full frame worth the jump in the real world taking into consideration what I shoot? I would be considering the D750 as the FF option.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
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Hi all,

I’ve been a Nikon D90 owner for quite a few years now. Photography has never been my main hobby and so I have lost the love for it over the years but next year I’m looking at getting back into it.

So with this thought in mind I decided now is the time to upgrade my camera body. I shoot mostly cars (at events) and landscape.

I was considering upgrading to a D7200 (secondhand) due to the fact I have 4 DX lenses (Nikon 16-85, Sigma 10-20 & 70-300, and a Nikon 35mm) However I started to think about the option of full frame? I’ve done a lot of reading of the pros & cons of both systems but still slightly undecided.

Is full frame worth the jump in the real world taking into consideration what I shoot? I would be considering the D750 as the FF option.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
The gap between FF and crop is very narrow these days, I've had the D750, D7200 (briefly), D500 and now D850 and tbh you have to loo hard in most situations to see the difference. When you say you shoot cars at events are we talking shows where the cars are static for show, or racing events? If it's the latter then the D500 would be a cracking option. IQ very similar to the D750 but with a noticeably better AF system and you don't have to spend more money buying new lenses.
 
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Ned
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In your situation I'd stick with crop, the difference between a modern camera like a D7200 and your old D90 is huge, you'll be amazed without having to go FF and change your lenses...
 
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Chris
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I think the main thing to consider is how much want to spend. I moved over from crop to FF a few years ago and if I'm honest I didn't see that much difference. The main areas you gain are in noise handling and dynamic range, however most newer crop sensor are almost on a par with FF.

The negatives to FF are cost and weight. Both the bodies and the lenses cost and weigh more than their APS-C counterparts. To help with the size and weight issue, many are starting to move over to mirrorless (myself being one of them). Without getting too in depth, as you are looking at having to replaces everything and start again, why not find a shop and play with all the varying bodies and see which you like the best.

One final thing I will add though is to ask what is it that you want to change about the D90? As you say it has never been a main hobby and something that you fell out of love with. So why not get out there with what you've got and find out what it is you love before spending hundreds or thousands of pounds, if you are buying with the view of rekindling a flame, trust me that flame will quickly go out again and you will find yourself in the never ending gear battle.
 
OP
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Thanks for the replies guys I appreciate that! The D90 is just getting a bit tired now so was just thinking of changing to a newer body. What I’m thinking of doing now after reading your advice is buying a secondhand Crop and go from there, at least the resale wouldn’t be so bad.

If I’m honest I only use 2 out of those 4 lenses now anyway. I can’t remember the last time I used the 70-300! I could get away with just one mid range tele with a FF if I did switch but like you say it’s a massive jump in cost and having to change all my gear.

Thanks guys.
 
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Aside from noise handling and dynamic range, the other thing to consider is megapixels. The current max on on a full frame sensor is ~45MP, whereas crop sensors are topping out at 24-26MP. Whether this makes a difference to you comes down to a) whether you print and b) how large you print. If you don't print or print ~A2 or smaller it won't make a great difference to you :)
 
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My Nikon D810 accepts DX lenses and automatically recognises them when on the camera. So not only do you not have to sell all your DX lenses but add to them in future with FX lenses. A camera well worth considering and now the price new/second hand is dropping, due to the newer D850 which everybody is after, so a good time to get a bargain
 
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My Nikon D810 accepts DX lenses and automatically recognises them when on the camera. So not only do you not have to sell all your DX lenses but add to them in future with FX lenses. A camera well worth considering and now the price new/second hand is dropping, due to the newer D850 which everybody is after, so a good time to get a bargain
I'm not a fan of using DX lenses on FX bodies (unless it's EVF) as you still see the FF perspective. I know you can black out the edges on some FF cameras but the subject still looks small in the frame. Plus you do lose a lot of MP, which may or may not be important. Of course, as you're essentially cropping you are also exaggerating noise. Each to their own and all that though (y)
 
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I'm not a fan of using DX lenses on FX bodies (unless it's EVF) as you still see the FF perspective. I know you can black out the edges on some FF cameras but the subject still looks small in the frame. Plus you do lose a lot of MP, which may or may not be important. Of course, as you're essentially cropping you are also exaggerating noise. Each to their own and all that though (y)
Agree,I was just thinking the OP could get by with what is already owned until the time the finance will stretch to getting FF lenses. I have "greyed out" the areas on my D810 when an DX lens is attached which does help somewhat.That is looking through the view finder not on the rear screen

Jpeg is 7.7MP
RAW 31.3 MP

On a Nikon D810 fitted with a DX lens
 
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One final thing I will add though is to ask what is it that you want to change about the D90? As you say it has never been a main hobby and something that you fell out of love with. So why not get out there with what you've got and find out what it is you love before spending hundreds or thousands of pounds, if you are buying with the view of rekindling a flame, trust me that flame will quickly go out again and you will find yourself in the never ending gear battle.
Defo this, exact path I’m on at the moment had/have a d5100 (more than capable body by the way) some years back 2012/2013 , 6-8 months, passion dulled, decided to rekindle the flame July, then August bought a D500, 4-5 months down line lost a little interest again (could be jus weather)
Nothing new will hold, just be an exciting time with new toy, when new toy isn’t new, it may just get packed away again.

Play with what you have, when you find an issue you can’t overcome then look to upgrade based on that, for me it was AF on the d5100 for sports.
 
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Stephen
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Maybe buy another prime lens at a different focal length to the 35mm.

It will be a new toy to play with to get you interested again, and may give you the increased IQ that is perhaps what you are looking for in the move to full frame?
 

akr

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Al
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Defo this, exact path I’m on at the moment had/have a d5100 (more than capable body by the way) some years back 2012/2013 , 6-8 months, passion dulled, decided to rekindle the flame July, then August bought a D500, 4-5 months down line lost a little interest again (could be jus weather)
Nothing new will hold, just be an exciting time with new toy, when new toy isn’t new, it may just get packed away again.

Play with what you have, when you find an issue you can’t overcome then look to upgrade based on that, for me it was AF on the d5100 for sports.
I'm not sure. For me getting a new (well second hand) EM5mkII over a year ago truly rekindled my photography interest. This was more based on it being light and having some nice features my old 40D did not have. I'd stopped taking my 40D out, my EM5 now comes out very often. On the back of that I've just bought (off here) a 1Dmkiii to try BIF. So I think getting a newer (or different) camera can help, if it offers you something you didn't have before. Of course sometimes you are right, new kit solves nothing.
 

Dangermouse

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I don't know if this is relevant, but I made the switch to FX and never really got into it, the D700 was superb and just did everything with its 12mp sensor, so I decided to upgrade to a D810 and soon found the 36mp sensor was very unforgiving for aircraft shots, which is my main interest, so I went down or up as most say, to a D4 and that performed 100% better than the D810 for my style but I did feel I was being held back with 16mp so went back to give the D810 another go, it still didn't work for me, I think the more MP was the factor, very unforgiving at low shutter speeds for prop aircraft, so I now have a crop D500 and find it so much better than FX for what I need, I also shoot without VR with a Tokina 80-400 for aircraft as its pretty light and 120-600 on the DX sensor, I have given up on FX for now and only use crop, the D810 is probably one of the worlds best cameras, in the right situation like studio or wedding work, but its hard work for anything fast action.
 
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One of the things I like about FF is the bigger image in the viewfinder, that may or may not be relevant to you, so if you haven't looked through a FF finder I suggest you do and take that into consideration.
 
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I don't know if this is relevant, but I made the switch to FX and never really got into it, the D700 was superb and just did everything with its 12mp sensor, so I decided to upgrade to a D810 and soon found the 36mp sensor was very unforgiving for aircraft shots, which is my main interest, so I went down or up as most say, to a D4 and that performed 100% better than the D810 for my style but I did feel I was being held back with 16mp so went back to give the D810 another go, it still didn't work for me, I think the more MP was the factor, very unforgiving at low shutter speeds for prop aircraft, so I now have a crop D500 and find it so much better than FX for what I need, I also shoot without VR with a Tokina 80-400 for aircraft as its pretty light and 120-600 on the DX sensor, I have given up on FX for now and only use crop, the D810 is probably one of the worlds best cameras, in the right situation like studio or wedding work, but its hard work for anything fast action.
I’ve seen it said before that using more MP is less forgiving but I’ve not found it any different using my 45.7mp D850 over my 24mp D750. In fact I don’t find it any different to my 16mp Olympus, I don’t need to use any faster shutter speed and in fact can pan as low as 1/15.

Tbh I wonder sometimes if it’s perception. The D500 has a higher pixel density than the D810 so I’d have thought the D500 would highlight it even more?
 
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The D90 can produce great images, I would ask the OP if they are shooting in RAW, using exposure compensation, using auto ISO when appropriate and all the exposure modes and not auto all the time. In other words getting the maximum out of their existing kit before upgrading. I've just changed to shooting RAW after 10 years or more of jpegs and am amazed at the difference and the ability to improve in post.
 
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I’ve seen it said before that using more MP is less forgiving but I’ve not found it any different using my 45.7mp D850 over my 24mp D750. In fact I don’t find it any different to my 16mp Olympus, I don’t need to use any faster shutter speed and in fact can pan as low as 1/15.

Tbh I wonder sometimes if it’s perception. The D500 has a higher pixel density than the D810 so I’d have thought the D500 would highlight it even more?
I used to work with someone who ran a wedding photography business with her husband, and when they first tried FX she commented how difficult it was to get good crisp shots and how it showed up flaws in technique.

Having moved to FX a couple of years back (really back to my roots as a 35mm film user) I have to say that's piffle. If anything FX is more forgiving of handling than DX EXCEPT when focusing, where the slightly shallower depth of field (that I generally like) makes accurate focus necessary. And I really like the ability to crop much harder too, even down to 1:1 if the lens used to take the image is good. I also really like the almost 3D quality one can sometimes get with FX that gives an image a greater sense of depth compared to the slightly flat look from a smaller sensor.

So for the OP - FX is definitely better for landscapes, all things considered, and will help you isolate parts of cars more easily than DX. BUT if you prefer images with greater depth of field and you think the lenses you already have are good then I'd stay with DX.
 
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Sounds to me you just fancy a change more than anything and with what you photograph, I wouldn't worry if you chose crop sensor over full frame. I'd suggest you consider the actual size of full frame or a D500 body, as you might get fed up with carrying them around?
Personally I prefer the ergonomics of the D7500 over the D7200, you lose a card slot but for me that's not the end of the world and you gain the D500 sensor. If you're not going to change your entire lens lineup, forget the full frame advantages.
 
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One has to become more aware of taking photos with the D810. As said less forgiving and for that reason should make one more aware of how one takes a photo with it. Yes it takes a little time to get used to, like anything else, but once mastered knocks spots of the other Nikon DSLR cameras apart from the D850 maybe..
Just to mention the video side is extremely good on the D810 as well, something that seems to be overlooked in the above comments
 
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John 'Jack'
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Hi all,

I’ve been a Nikon D90 owner for quite a few years now. Photography has never been my main hobby and so I have lost the love for it over the years but next year I’m looking at getting back into it.

So with this thought in mind I decided now is the time to upgrade my camera body. I shoot mostly cars (at events) and landscape.

I was considering upgrading to a D7200 (secondhand) due to the fact I have 4 DX lenses (Nikon 16-85, Sigma 10-20 & 70-300, and a Nikon 35mm) However I started to think about the option of full frame? I’ve done a lot of reading of the pros & cons of both systems but still slightly undecided.

Is full frame worth the jump in the real world taking into consideration what I shoot? I would be considering the D750 as the FF option.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Full Frame is really more suited for those in business, professional photographers, photojournalist, film companies, those who really need the bigger sensor size for higher print sizes or higher quality.

Crop size are fine for those who just take snaps or do it for a hobby, many of the modern crop size cameras can print up to A3 size and still look fine.

Unless you plan to take poster sized or billboard sized photos, you would be better off saving money by going for later model crop frame cameras, after all you already have 4 DX lenses.
 
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A lot of sensible posts in here , early last year I gave up on using my heavy canon and sigma gear and switched to mft using both Panasonic and olympus gear , it put the life back into my photography , MFT also adapt to classic legacy glass to and my two best lenses for that are a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 and a vivitar f3.5 200mm , I have also now due to those lenses bought a old Nikon D300S a camera I used to own and regretted selling .i have owned and used lots of the up to date megapixel bodies to , but there imho is a harshness to the images that doesn’t work for me ..
 

Caerus

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I’ve seen it said before that using more MP is less forgiving but I’ve not found it any different using my 45.7mp D850 over my 24mp D750. In fact I don’t find it any different to my 16mp Olympus, I don’t need to use any faster shutter speed and in fact can pan as low as 1/15.

Tbh I wonder sometimes if it’s perception. The D500 has a higher pixel density than the D810 so I’d have thought the D500 would highlight it even more?
I noticed it on day one going from 16mp crop to 24mp crop. I could see many shots were affected and realised it was fussy straight away.
 
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Bazza
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Full Frame is really more suited for those in business, professional photographers, photojournalist, film companies, those who really need the bigger sensor size for higher print sizes or higher quality.

Crop size are fine for those who just take snaps or do it for a hobby, many of the modern crop size cameras can print up to A3 size and still look fine.

Unless you plan to take poster sized or billboard sized photos, you would be better off saving money by going for later model crop frame cameras, after all you already have 4 DX lenses.
have to disagree. Who wants to have to work out a 1.5 times magnification on a crop size sensor every time, before they take a photo? With FF cameras you see and get what you want in a photo. FF cameras are for all not those mentioned,I have no idea where that though came from. Maybe the poster has not got a FF camera so has no experience of using one
As asking for suggestions what about a nikon D810 camera? then you will see the difference

Yes i do have a D300 as well which is a crop camera but now only as a second backup camera if needed.
 
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Who wants to have to work out a 1.5 times magnification on a crop size sensor every time, before they take a photo? .

TBH who does this anyway? You look through the viewfinder and compose as necessary. The only time you need to worry about crop factor really is if you swap format and are buying lenses and you want to get a similar framing to what you're used to (y)
 
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Toni
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Full Frame is really more suited for those in business, professional photographers, photojournalist, film companies, those who really need the bigger sensor size for higher print sizes or higher quality.
FF allows better control of depth of field, and is another tool in the photographers kit, just like crop giving effectively narrower field of view for a given focal length. With respect, the reasons for selecting it are never about print size - this isn't the bad old days of film, where one needed to move up to medium or large format to get crisp prints in larger sizes.
 
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Graham
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FF allows better control of depth of field, and is another tool in the photographers kit, just like crop giving effectively narrower field of view for a given focal length. With respect, the reasons for selecting it are never about print size - this isn't the bad old days of film, where one needed to move up to medium or large format to get crisp prints in larger sizes.
Agree with this and I have always wondered what percentage of the time the f1.2 /1.4 lenses on ff are used wide open, but that's probably just me personally I was happy to use the f1.8 versions on ff.
 
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Toni
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Agree with this and I have always wondered what percentage of the time the f1.2 /1.4 lenses on ff are used wide open, but that's probably just me personally I was happy to use the f1.8 versions on ff.
I always tend to stop down a little since I can't afford an ART lens. ;) So 85mm f1.4 is used at f1.7, 50mm f1.8 used at f2 or f2.4. The one exception is an old manual Nikkor 135mm f2.8, which is great wide open.
 
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have to disagree. Who wants to have to work out a 1.5 times magnification on a crop size sensor every time, before they take a photo? With FF cameras you see and get what you want in a photo. FF cameras are for all not those mentioned,I have no idea where that though came from. Maybe the poster has not got a FF camera so has no experience of using one
As asking for suggestions what about a nikon D810 camera? then you will see the difference

Yes i do have a D300 as well which is a crop camera but now only as a second backup camera if needed.
Could you expand on this please?

I’ve been shooting on multiple formats for years, and I’ve never once considered the ‘magnification’ difference. I choose a camera that suits the situation, a lens that fits the shot I want to produce.
 
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Bazza
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I don't see why I have to explain to " so called " knowledgeable members on this thread..
 
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have to disagree. Who wants to have to work out a 1.5 times magnification on a crop size sensor every time, before they take a photo? With FF cameras you see and get what you want in a photo. FF cameras are for all not those mentioned,I have no idea where that though came from. Maybe the poster has not got a FF camera so has no experience of using one
As asking for suggestions what about a nikon D810 camera? then you will see the difference

Yes i do have a D300 as well which is a crop camera but now only as a second backup camera if needed.
I do see where you are coming from as years ago when I changed from my canon A1 film camera to a canon crop I did find I couldn’t get wide enough with the lenses I had
Now tho I just think of canon crop as the standard and get the lenses I need to do the job
For what I do (wildlife) it would be really expensive to get the same reach that i get now on full frame and cropping shots heavily just goes against the grain I like to fill the frame as much as I can
 
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Chris
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have to disagree. Who wants to have to work out a 1.5 times magnification on a crop size sensor every time, before they take a photo?
Nobody. I guess that's why nobody with a crop sensor camera ever bothers to do it. I can't imagine why anyone would ever want to do it. Perhaps to pass the time by practicing pointless mental arithmetic?

With FF cameras you see and get what you want in a photo.
Just as you do with with a crop sensor camera.

FF cameras are for all not those mentioned,I have no idea where that though came from. Maybe the poster has not got a FF camera so has no experience of using one.
I used full frame film cameras for decades. I shifted to crop sensor digital cameras a decades ago.
You have weird ideas about what is involved in using an exchangeable lens crop sensor camera. Do you have any experience of using one?
 
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FF allows better control of depth of field, and is another tool in the photographers kit, just like crop giving effectively narrower field of view for a given focal length. With respect, the reasons for selecting it are never about print size - this isn't the bad old days of film, where one needed to move up to medium or large format to get crisp prints in larger sizes.
Exactly. Every time someone asks this question you know print size will come up. I hardly ever print, and never print large, but the benefits of FF are obvious to me having owned both a 7D2 and 5D3. The FF image quality is better. DOF nicer, noise much less of an issue and finding quality wide lenses easier.
 
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Soeren
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have to disagree. Who wants to have to work out a 1.5 times magnification on a crop size sensor every time, before they take a photo? With FF cameras you see and get what you want in a photo. FF cameras are for all not those mentioned,I have no idea where that though came from. Maybe the poster has not got a FF camera so has no experience of using one
As asking for suggestions what about a nikon D810 camera? then you will see the difference

Yes i do have a D300 as well which is a crop camera but now only as a second backup camera if needed.
:thinking: sorry, what?
 
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Graham
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Exactly. Every time someone asks this question you know print size will come up. I hardly ever print, and never print large, but the benefits of FF are obvious to me having owned both a 7D2 and 5D3. The FF image quality is better. DOF nicer, noise much less of an issue and finding quality wide lenses easier.
Having moved from D810 to Fuji crop and recently giving in to gas and going Sony ff then realising I missed using the Fuji and changing back, the IQ of the ff wasn't obviously better for me. The only time I tended to notice it was if I looked at the images at 100% on the screen.
Never been one for ultra small depth of field using f1.8 lenses on ff for portraits was small enough for me so a crop sensor can give me that and in landscapes the extra depth of field is a bonus ( I know diffraction kicks in earlier on crop).
Finding good wide angle lenses for crop is not a problem personally I have a choice of the Fuji 10-24, Fuji 14 or 16mmm, zeiss do a nice 12mm, Samyang do 12mm and Laowa do the 9mm.
But after saying that if you want the benefits of ff gives you and you can afford it why wouldn't you go that way.
 
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Steven
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I’ve seen it said before that using more MP is less forgiving but I’ve not found it any different using my 45.7mp D850 over my 24mp D750. In fact I don’t find it any different to my 16mp Olympus, I don’t need to use any faster shutter speed and in fact can pan as low as 1/15.

Tbh I wonder sometimes if it’s perception. The D500 has a higher pixel density than the D810 so I’d have thought the D500 would highlight it even more?
In a normalized comparison (same size) the higher resolution sensor with smaller pixels will deliver exactly the same sharpness/detail/blur/noise assuming the higher resolution was downsampled. It's when you use the higher resolution for a larger display (or edit at 100%) that the differences can become apparent.

The higher resolution sensor does have a slight (potential) advantage in DR and color information even in a normalized comparison, but IMHO it is often of no real significance.
 
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