Beginner Which Nikon DX camera is better and why?

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#1
How do you judge which is better? Is megapixels everything?
D3500-24.78mp
D7500-21.51mp
D500-21.51mp

I was wondering as most users seem to class the D500 as the best DX camera out there yet megapixels are lower than entry level D3500.
Do you rate the D500 better due to its focussing speeds and low light abilities over the others or is there some other reason also?
 
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#2
Megapixels mean absolutely nothing, it's a marketing gimmick to fool people who don't know any better. All those cameras will have pretty much the same IQ, they just have different features and you have to decide which features are worth paying for.
 
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#4
Define best....

you are comparing 3 very different cameras from the same manufacturer. Your requirements might not stretch to the D500 and the D3500 could potentially fulfil your list of needs.

I had a D7100 which was superb except for the fact the buffer was criminally small - which defeated the 2 card slots and super AF system... had that camera been able to capture as many RAW+JPEGs in a long burst I would still own it.....

But if you ask me which DX/APSc camera I liked most - it's my Pentax K-3...

All very subjective....just because the D3500 is the cheapest doesn't mean it's the worst. No such thing as a bad camera anymore...just some are too small for my hands
 
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#5
Is megapixels everything?
No not at all, the difference between 24 and 21mp will not be noticed ... however the difference between 12 and 46mp will be noticed.
I was wondering as most users seem to class the D500 as the best DX camera out there yet megapixels are lower than entry level D3500.
Do you rate the D500 better due to its focussing speeds and low light abilities over the others or is there some other reason also?
The D500 is the best DX camera due to its overall specification, for example AF, buffer, two card slots, build etc.
Now whether you need all of that spec, whether your budget is okay with its pricetag and most importantly whether your type of photography needs its spec (wildlife/fast action) will dictate whether it is the camera for you.
 
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#6
Megapixels have very little to do with image quality, most cameras have more than enough these days. Megapixels can matter if you crop heavily and/or print VERY large, but for most things 8mp is enough ;) (for example a 4K TV is 8mp).

What you’re paying for is features, better AF, better build and weather sealing, better viewfinder, dual card slots, buffer, frame rate etc etc.

The D500 wins in every department, it’s a top of the line so called “pro level” camera, the best of the APS-C type DSLRs.

As mentioned the D7200 is still a cracking camera and could save you lots of pennies. No it’s not as good as the D500, mainly in terms of AF performance, AF spread, buffer, frame rate, and noise handling, but it’s still a hell of a camera.
 
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#8
I’m asking not to buy but just to learn why certain cameras may be rated better.
My camera is 12MP and I’ve got some large quality prints which I’m happy with so I know Mp isn’t everything but just want your thoughts.
Another scenario example: Assuming D500 and D850 were both either fx or dx again would you look at features or would resolution play a small part in deciding which is better?
 

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#9
Another scenario example: Assuming D500 and D850 were both either fx or dx again would you look at features or would resolution play a small part in deciding which is better?
Sorry, but as posed that's a nonsensical question. You can't just pretend that the D500 is FX or that the D850 is DX without specifying in detail what other changes you're assuming. For example, what are you assuming about dynamic range and low light performance? Other things being equal, a 20MP camera will beat a 45MP camera with the same size sensor. What are you assuming about the spread of AF points? What are you assuming about frame rate, buffer depth, and so on? All these things are issues when you magically scale one of your cameras up or down.
 
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#10
I have D5, D850, D500, D7200, D7100 and forgetting the features they all feel different in the hand, whilst I can shoot all day with the first 3 I only ever use the D7200 or D7100 for short periods of time because they are uncomfortable in my hand - ergonomics is too often forgotten

Mike
 
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#11
Sorry, but as posed that's a nonsensical question. You can't just pretend that the D500 is FX or that the D850 is DX without specifying in detail what other changes you're assuming. For example, what are you assuming about dynamic range and low light performance? Other things being equal, a 20MP camera will beat a 45MP camera with the same size sensor. What are you assuming about the spread of AF points? What are you assuming about frame rate, buffer depth, and so on? All these things are issues when you magically scale one of your cameras up or down.
There's no such thing, OP is a beginner! They're looking for you to explain, they're not trying to argue a point. They may not understand dynamic range or buffer depth. Best explain it in basic terms, and I know you can do this better than I ever could.
 
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#12
I’m asking not to buy but just to learn why certain cameras may be rated better.
My camera is 12MP and I’ve got some large quality prints which I’m happy with so I know Mp isn’t everything but just want your thoughts.
Another scenario example: Assuming D500 and D850 were both either fx or dx again would you look at features or would resolution play a small part in deciding which is better?
You’ve got to consider the whole package, and what you shoot. MP was a consideration for me when I bought the D850 as I want FF (I like the perspective and DOF) but with my fibro I’m finding carrying heavy lenses such as the 150-600mm more and more of a chore. The D850 allows me to use much lighter lenses such as the AF-P 70-300mm and still maintain a decent reach after heavy cropping (which high mega pixel cameras allow).

If I was primarily a wildlife shooter I’d choose the D500 for the better AF, AF spread, and frame rate.
 
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#13
There's no such thing, OP is a beginner! They're looking for you to explain, they're not trying to argue a point. They may not understand dynamic range or buffer depth. Best explain it in basic terms, and I know you can do this better than I ever could.
Thank you.

I’m just posing a hypothetical question and yes I genuinely want to just learn why some cameras are rated better than others.
 
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#14
Thank you.

I’m just posing a hypothetical question and yes I genuinely want to just learn why some cameras are rated better than others.
Sometimes it’s hard to spot straight away due to the ‘phony’ marketing, ie megapixels and stating things like the camera is capable of 25600 ISO. Yes it might be capable, but it doesn’t mean the images will be any good.
 
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#15
You’ve got to consider the whole package, and what you shoot. MP was a consideration for me when I bought the D850 as I want FF (I like the perspective and DOF) but with my fibro I’m finding carrying heavy lenses such as the 150-600mm more and more of a chore. The D850 allows me to use much lighter lenses such as the AF-P 70-300mm and still maintain a decent reach after heavy cropping (which high mega pixel cameras allow).

If I was primarily a wildlife shooter I’d choose the D500 for the better AF, AF spread, and frame rate.
Is the D850 not heavier than the D500 and if so does that not offset advantage gained by using lighter lenses on D850?

Sometimes it’s hard to spot straight away due to the ‘phony’ marketing, ie megapixels and stating things like the camera is capable of 25600 ISO. Yes it might be capable, but it doesn’t mean the images will be any good.
That’s the whole reason I was posing my question. ISO capabilities seem better and better nowadays but I’m not sure I’d want to shoot over a 6400 if I could help it.
In terms of megapixels my brother has recently bought the D3500 and I saw it had more MP than the D500 yet everywhere cites D500 as a better camera so of course I had to ask you guys WHY.
I tried the D3500 and it’s light as anything yet I’m not sure on the controls compared to my D90 as I found it isn’t set up to allow changing settings rapidly enough for me
 
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#16
Is the D850 not heavier than the D500 and if so does that not offset advantage gained by using lighter lenses on D850?
Yes it’s 160g heavier but then if I use the 70-300mm instead of the 150-600mm that’s nearly a 1.3kg saving.
The D850 gives me a bit of everything, the FF DOF and perspective, the reach of DX if I want it, with better performance (apart from noise) over the D750 I had previously. As I mentioned before, you need to look at the whole picture.


That’s the whole reason I was posing my question. ISO capabilities seem better and better nowadays but I’m not sure I’d want to shoot over a 6400 if I could help it.
In terms of megapixels my brother has recently bought the D3500 and I saw it had more MP than the D500 yet everywhere cites D500 as a better camera so of course I had to ask you guys WHY.
I tried the D3500 and it’s light as anything yet I’m not sure on the controls compared to my D90 as I found it isn’t set up to allow changing settings rapidly enough for me
And that (ergonomics and button layout/function) is vitally important and why specs alone don’t tell you everything.
 
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#17
Yes it’s 160g heavier but then if I use the 70-300mm instead of the 150-600mm that’s nearly a 1.3kg saving.
.
Sorry if I’m being thick but surely 70-300 won’t give you the reach of 150-600 and being full frame won’t give you the “crop factor” zoom either so isn’t that gain in lightness offset against a loss of reach?
I suppose if you aren’t going to shoot over 300 then it definitely is a gain
 
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#18
Sorry if I’m being thick but surely 70-300 won’t give you the reach of 150-600 and being full frame won’t give you the “crop factor” zoom either so isn’t that gain in lightness offset against a loss of reach?
I suppose if you aren’t going to shoot over 300 then it definitely is a gain
Using the D850 in DX mode gives you an equivalent reach of 420mm (1.5 crop) and with 19.1mp left to crop from. :)
 
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#20
Sorry if I’m being thick but surely 70-300 won’t give you the reach of 150-600 and being full frame won’t give you the “crop factor” zoom either so isn’t that gain in lightness offset against a loss of reach?
I suppose if you aren’t going to shoot over 300 then it definitely is a gain
No, that’s why I said the 70-300mm gives me a “decent reach” in DX mode rather than the same ;)

It’s all a compromise, but with the D850 in DX mode it gives me 450mm effective reach and still 19MP. I do still use my 150-600mm and can get 900mm effective reach on this if I use DX mode on the D850, but it’s nice to have a lighter alternative with decent reach for when my fibro is playing up.

As for your FF not giving the “crop factor zoom”, this is exactly what DX mode is. It’s the DX crop factor, so a FF camera in DX mode will give you the same effective reach (zoom) as a DX camera such as the D500 or D7200 (assuming no further cropping)

Using the D850 in DX mode gives you an equivalent reach of 420mm (1.5 crop) and with 19.1mp left to crop from. :)
Your math is shocking :p
 
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