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Specs give advantage to the D800 in both. Even if they are the same, what are you really gaining by trading? It's not a lot smaller (120g is hardly a lot) and you have to replace housing and probably a couple lenses. If you don't use one already, you'll also need a flash trigger.

 

Honestly, I don't see much of an upside at all.

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Hi Tim,

 

No change in color depth and at the same ISO, dynamic range is similar.

 

However, usable ISO range is greater on D810 than on D500.

 

Practically, this makes a difference only when using fisheye lenses. With rectilinear wide angle, the depth of field advantage of the DX sensor more than offsets the reduced usable ISO range.

 

The 1.5 crop factor works really well for macro/fish portraits. Of course you can crop with the D810, but I am old fashioned!

 

I think the D810 really shines when shooting wide angle scenics but I think the D500 is better for everything else. I am fortunate to be shooting both at the moment.

 

Practically, the opto-electrical converters that are becoming available are (in my opinion) the best solution for triggering strobes. This is true whether you have a pop up flash or not.

Whether this is worth the cost of changing from FX to DX is a personal decision :mocking:

 

Adam

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Thanks, Adam. This is really helpful. I suspected that it would be wide angle where you might see the difference.

 

Hmmm, tough decisions.

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I’ve continued to use both, since the D3 came out. But increasingly I use the FX option (in my case D5) for more and more of my photography.

 

I think a major reason in this (apart from the D5 being an amazing camera - if you like the D500, you’ll love the D5, it is even more of the same) is the FX wide angle solutions I am using. Three of which are water contact optics (I use 3 - RS-13mm, Zeiss Ivanoff with 20mm, and Nauticam’s forthcoming lens). These at the very, very least negates any advantage that a DX system has regarding corner sharpness, therefore allowing me to shoot at more open apertures and restoring the ISO advantage of an FX body.

 

ISO flexibility is a huge part of how I shoot underwater and FX does this best. This is something that I value even in bright, topical destinations, because it is not bright everywhere! Below are a couple of examples - the first from my first 2000 shots in Cayman Dec 2016 to show the spread of ISO values I used (all set manually, no Auto-ISO):

 

post-713-0-51466800-1496666152_thumb.jpg

 

This example is from the Wetpixel workshop in Lembeh Oct 2016 - also with Nikon D5 (although I think it includes some shots taken with D500 and some with my Olympus):

 

post-713-0-31327800-1496666737_thumb.jpg

 

Alex

 

 

 

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Thanks so much, chaps, for all the helpful, excellent advice.

 

I'm still not entirely sure what the conclusion to this might be. I REALLY like the D800 for wide-angle in blue water and have found a very happy solution with the Sigma 15mm or, for bigger critter pics, the Nikkor 16-35mm - even though having to travel with a 230 dome is a bit of a pain. (Important point: my girl friend hates it too).

 

I can certainly see the advantages for the D500 setup with macro. I was always very happy with the D300 for macro so am sure the D500 would be terrific. (Totally agree on the D5 by the way, Alex. Awesome. Mine ain't going u/w though)

 

So the balance is between FX for WA and DX for macro. And yeah, thanks guys for suggesting having both. Fabulous idea. Sadly one of the reasons for looking at switching was reducing the amount of gear and, by way of that, quite possibly, switching to a 4" dome which would actually fit in my Pelican case; and the Subal D500 housing is a good bit smaller especially as it doesn't need the space for a pop-up flash. So two systems? Ha, yeah, right....

 

And then you look at the "business case". We all kid ourselves on that one, right? It is going to cost a shed load of cash to make the move. Shed Load. Am I thinking of speeding a ton of money just so I can get a domeport in my Pelican case? Have I lost my mind?

 

So, I am mulling over advertising my Subal ND800, a D800 body and the 230 dome and see if there are takers at a reasonable price...... if there are then maybe I'll make the move.

 

If there aren't, I'll mull some more.....

 

Meanwhile I'll go in search of my mind :crazy:

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I have had my D500 for just over 12 months now and I love it. Fast auto focus, huge buffer, High fps, 4k video, easbility of doing custom WB for video are some of the major reasons I love it. I shoot mainly 10.5mm on larger subjects locally and occasionally trip to Indonesia for macro where the D500 excelled in both. Yes its only got 20.4MP but I wont be making any billboards for you to notice the difference.

 

Regards Mark

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Hi all,

 

My two cents worth is that it isn't reasonable to compare the D500, which is a relatively new camera vs the D800, which is now 4?, 5? years old. Why not wait for just a few months and compare the D500 vs the upcoming D820/D850 or whatever Nikon calls it. It might be fairer to compare the D500 image quality vs the D810 in the DX crop mode. The D800/810 has slightly fewer Mpixels that the D500, but not so many fewer that its theoretical resolution would be much less than about 85% of the D500.

 

As I see it the D500's primary advantages are the very enhanced auto-focus system and the newer image processor (X-peed 5), both of which are already in the F5 and will almost certainly be in the D8XX. Thom Hogan and others are predicting that the D8XX will be released in only a few more months and will probably be about 46Mp, which means that in the DX crop mode you would get virtually the same Mp as the D500, and have the ability to switch up to the FX mode or the intermediate 1.2 crop mode at will. Even during the dive. This would allow you to shoot the FX crop, the 1.2 crop, and the DX crop all on the same dive, with the same lens, while shooting the same subject.

 

I recently bought one of the new Nikon 8-15mm fisheye zoom lenses. In the past I have briefly shot a few topside shots with three different Tokina 10-17mm lenses. Everything I shot with the Tokina zooms was so lacking in image quality that I felt shooting the Sigma 15mm f2.8 fisheye or the Nikon 16mm f2.8 fisheye and cropping the image to equal the coverage of any Tokina shot would result in better image quality. Now that the Nikon 8-15mm lens has arrived and covers a very similar zoom range to the Tokina, but with much better image quality. By switching a Nikon FX camera from DX crop at 10mm, to the 1.2 crop and about 12mm, and then 15mm at the FX crop, you can get a stepped variation of the zoom range with progressively higher and higher image quality. Or just shoot everything in the FX mode at 15mm and crop each image to suit.

 

I am looking forward to seeing and shooting with the D8?? when it arrives and will be perfectly satisfied with my D800's until it does.

 

Fred

Edited by divegypsy

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Quick question here. I've got a d610 and I'm probably getting a hugyfot for it. People talk about DX lenses for macro, but with an fx couldn't you use fx mode in UWA and DX mode for macro? Would it in theory give you the same output? I.e. working distance, IQ (hopefully better), sharpness etc?

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