Sony v Nikon

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Dean
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I have decided to sell all my Canon gear so now I’m looking at the Sony A9ll +200-600 mm or Nikon D850 or D500 with the 500mm Pf for wildlife and bird photography Can I ask people’s opinion on these two setups please and if anyone has either of these kits and what there thoughts are , many thanks .
 
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I have decided to sell all my Canon gear so now I’m looking at the Sony A9ll +200-600 mm or Nikon D850 or D500 with the 500mm Pf for wildlife and bird photography Can I ask people’s opinion on these two setups please and if anyone has either of these kits and what there thoughts are , many thanks .
In terms of AF then the A9-II is king, tracking is uncanny. However, in terms of IQ it’s hard to beat the big tele primes and so if you don’t mind the weight I’d sacrifice the AF a little to get that lovely 500mm prime.

Between the D850 and D500 the D850 is a better camera overall imo but if you purely shoot wildlife then the D500 is probably a better choice due to the better AF and frame rate.
 
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Mike
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If you're looking at birds in flight, then the Sony is the current king, no question.

However, that's not to say the nikon is poor, far from it, its just the Sony can nail shots in more difficult situations such as raptors against varied backgrounds.

If flight us only a small part of your shooting then the d850 will probably give you more versatility with the extra pixels, and the 500mm pf is a great lens

Mike
 
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I looked at both when I sold my D500 and 500mm f/4.

The thing that put me off the Sony was the lack of megapixels, when you are shooting wildlife you nearly always need the ability to crop hard and the A9II just hasn't got what I need sensor wise, the A7RIV does but some of them seem to have problems with the 200-600mm.

I am waiting to see what the R5 can do, I would have preferred the R6 tbh but that has a small sensor as well. Nikon mirrorless just doesn't seem to be there with AF speed .... yet.
 
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Graham
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I would go with the D850 and 500mm prime.

The megapixels on the D850, give you some wriggle room with cropping, so you have sort of got the equivalent of a 500mm to 750mm zoom for more distant subjects, but lots of quality from that sensor and lens when you can get close enough.

It isn't going to match the A9 for birds in flight, but for other wildlife subjects the D850 AF will be as good and sometimes better than the A9.

The 500mm with an FTZ adaptor will work just fine on a Nikon Z, and the Z system seems to be coming along nicely for when the inevitable happens and we all go mirrorless, but for wildlife, DSLRs still have some life left in them.

If you add the existing Nikon long lenses (which should work fine with the FTZ) to the lenses in the Nikon Z road map (all due by the end of next year) and you have a really good choice of wildlife lenses from Nikon. You also have the versatility of mixing and matching Nikon F and Z mount lenses and cameras. Including secondhand exotic primes that may not otherwise be affordable (at least for me, but you may have more money available).

But as I'm already committed to Nikon, have no "burning" desire to go mirrorless (but still look forward to the day that I do) and I'm not that fond of zooms (even though I use a Nikon 200-500 zoom), my views are almost certainly a bit biased towards the Nikon option.
 
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Graham
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Interesting, how so?
I'm just going on various comparative reviews I have read over a fair period of time where the AF between the A9s (and A7s) vs various Nikons (and others) is not as straightforward as might be indicated by how well they perform in the areas that tend to be emphasised eg birds in flight and eye detection.

Most recent (and I know its not a D850) is Steve Perry's D6 review where as well pointing out how much better the A9 was for flying Swallows, he also points out how much better the D6 was for focussing on a bear in shadows (both cameras with 600mm f4 lenses). Or the Z6 vs the A9 (not BIF) where the focus is faster on the A9, but the focus on the Z6 is more accurate.

Overall, there seems to be a fairly clear pattern that the comparative AF performance between cameras (and I have only put any effort into Sony, Olympus, Fuji) and Nikon, principally the D850, D500 and Z6) is not straightforward and which is "best" for you will depend on the range of subjects you photograph and the range of conditions you photograph them in.
 
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Darren
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In terms of AF then the A9-II is king, tracking is uncanny. However, in terms of IQ it’s hard to beat the big tele primes and so if you don’t mind the weight I’d sacrifice the AF a little to get that lovely 500mm prime.

Are you thinking 500mm f4? The Nikon set-up with the 500 PF would be a good 600g lighter, 2465 vs 3075, it's also 3" shorter.
 
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I'm just going on various comparative reviews I have read over a fair period of time where the AF between the A9s (and A7s) vs various Nikons (and others) is not as straightforward as might be indicated by how well they perform in the areas that tend to be emphasised eg birds in flight and eye detection.

Most recent (and I know its not a D850) is Steve Perry's D6 review where as well pointing out how much better the A9 was for flying Swallows, he also points out how much better the D6 was for focussing on a bear in shadows (both cameras with 600mm f4 lenses). Or the Z6 vs the A9 (not BIF) where the focus is faster on the A9, but the focus on the Z6 is more accurate.

Overall, there seems to be a fairly clear pattern that the comparative AF performance between cameras (and I have only put any effort into Sony, Olympus, Fuji) and Nikon, principally the D850, D500 and Z6) is not straightforward and which is "best" for you will depend on the range of subjects you photograph and the range of conditions you photograph them in.
Interesting, thanks. I’d be surprised if the Z6 was more accurate than the A9 though, my experience on the Nikon Z’s is that the hit rate on moving targets (not BIF) isn’t the best. Not bad, but not as good as the D850, or D750 for that matter.
Are you thinking 500mm f4? The Nikon set-up with the 500 PF would be a good 600g lighter, 2465 vs 3075, it's also 3" shorter.
Yeah, I was getting confused. I’d imagine the PF is still better in terms of IQ than the 200-600mm though, the 200-600mm isn’t one of Son’y flagship GM lenses
 
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Darren
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Yeah, I was getting confused. I’d imagine the PF is still better in terms of IQ than the 200-600mm though, the 200-600mm isn’t one of Son’y flagship GM lenses
Expensive camera cheap lens, Cheap camera expensive lens, the latter wins everytime.
 
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Graham
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Interesting, thanks. I’d be surprised if the Z6 was more accurate than the A9 though, my experience on the Nikon Z’s is that the hit rate on moving targets (not BIF) isn’t the best. Not bad, but not as good as the D850, or D750 for that matter.
I admit to no personal comparisons, just what I've read. The overall impression has been that the Z6 can be slower to lock on focus, but its more reliable at locking on focus in the right place.

And I have been heartened by the favourable comments on the Z6 for BIF as its got its firmware upgrades, and as people have learned, they can't use the same approach to BIF with the Z6 that they did with Nikon DSLRs. Still not as good of course, but getting better. I look forward to seeing what Nikon manage to do with the Z6s.
 
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I admit to no personal comparisons, just what I've read. The overall impression has been that the Z6 can be slower to lock on focus, but its more reliable at locking on focus in the right place.

And I have been heartened by the favourable comments on the Z6 for BIF as its got its firmware upgrades, and as people have learned, they can't use the same approach to BIF with the Z6 that they did with Nikon DSLRs. Still not as good of course, but getting better. I look forward to seeing what Nikon manage to do with the Z6s.
The Z’s are great cameras tbh, and not far off in terms of AF which is a pretty good achievement for a first attempt. They’re the best mirrorless cameras in terms of ergonomics imo, and I still prefer Nikon colours over the other brands.
 
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Mike
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Expensive camera cheap lens, Cheap camera expensive lens, the latter wins everytime.
Normally I'd agree with you on that one, however this combo is proving extremely competent.

Arash Hazeghi is a birds in flight specialist and is extremely exacting his his IQ standards. He's recently switched to Sony, and although he's kept his d500/500pf combo, hes now happy with the IQ on his a9ii / 200-600 combo (albeit it took 2 lenses to convince him). Arash is not sponsored by any camera company to my knowledge.

Both options are good, it all depends on your chose subject and style

Mike
 
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