Nikon is a company that is well-known for its top-range DSLR cameras. These cameras come with a host of features that truly enhance the overall photographing experience for both amateurs and professionals. Little wonder then that most DSLR models of Nikon are popular.
Today, we will be comparing two of the most popular DSLR models from Nikon, namely D500 and D750. As with all models, both these cameras come with top of the line features that give you great looking output every time.
But, if you have to choose between the two, which one will you pick? Obviously, you’ll pick the one that you like the most and the one that best fits your needs. To help you identify which of the two is better for you, we are doing a detailed comparison where we compare the two products across many features.
Table of Contets
- 1 Nikon D500 vs D750 – A Comparison
- 2 Nikon D500 vs D750 – The Final Verdict
Nikon D500 vs D750 – A Comparison
In this section, we will be comparing the two cameras across different parameters such as design, performance, and cost. The idea behind such a detailed comparison is to help you identify the features or aspects that are most important for you, so you can choose the camera that scores well on those features.
1. APS-C and Full Frame
Nikon makes DSLR cameras in two formats – APS-C and full frame. Generally speaking, small DX-format cameras use sensors that are about the size of an old APS-C film. Roughly this measures about 24 X 16mm, which is about half the size of a full-frame DSLR camera.
In the past, such small frames lead to the loss in image quality. But with its advanced research, Nikon has bridged this gap, so there is no drop in image quality. Nikon’s D500 camera falls in this category. It uses smaller and cheaper DX format sensors, but the output is super sharp. In fact, only an expert in FX sensors can identify whether an image was shot with APS-C or full-frame sensors.
What this means for you is D500 presents no compromise on image quality despite having a smaller and cheaper DX format. At the same time, you get to make the most of the advantages that come with such small sensors.
One of the biggest advantages is their portability. Since they are small and lightweight, you can carry them around easily. Also, the cost is a lot less when compared to full-frame sensors. For these reasons, DX-format sensors are most suited for amateurs and for those who want to try out a DSLR camera and photography in general, before plunging into professionally.
Moving on to full-frame sensors, these are the same size as that of 35mm film sensors. So, they measure 36 X 24 mm. If you compare, this format gives you almost twice the area of a DX sensor and in the process, increases the final output quality.
However, the downside is that these large sensors increase the cost for you. In fact, your cost will only go up because you have to buy larger lenses that fit into this full-frame format. This can prove to be an expensive hobby.
Another downside is the size. Since these are full-frame, they are bigger and heavier than DX format. This means, the camera itself will be bigger to hold this full-frame sensor and it will not be ideal for carrying.
Nikon’s D750 has these full-frame sensors and this is why they are most ideal for professionals and for those who are ready to invest considerable money to pursue their photography interest.
So, in short, if you prefer the smaller DX format, go for Nikon D500. On the other hand, if you prefer a full frame, then D750 is your choice. It is a personal preference and depends on your interest level, experience, passion and the amount of money you are ready to invest.
There is no better camera between the two in terms of their frame size because each camera is distinct in their own way and caters to a different group of users.
2. Pixels and Noise
The final output of images depends to a large extent on many factors such as pixel density, background noise and megapixels. Though many people think that megapixels is the only factor in photo quality, it is not true because the size of pixels and their density also have a bearing on the final output. Size of pixels are called photosites, and in general, big photosites mean less noise and better range. Needless to say, small photosites mean more noise and less dynamic range.
As we have already seen, D500 is in the DX format, so the size tends to be smaller when compared to D750. This means, there is a limit to how many megapixels D500 can take when compared to D750. Here, Nikon has to strike a balance between having more megapixels and maintaining the overall image quality. After much research, Nikon has decided that 20.9 megapixels give the best possible between megapixels and image quality, and this is why the resolution is 20.9 megapixels.
D750 is a different story altogether. It has a larger size and can fit in more megapixels. But still, Nikon has left the resolution at around 24.3 megapixels because it wants to give more space to photo sites. As a result, the dynamic range tends to be better and the noise lower because there is ample room for photo sites.
If you see, there is not much difference in resolution. One is around 20 and the other is at 24 megapixels respectively. So, you will not be able to find a big difference in terms of the sharpness of images. They will be more or less the same.
But one area where you will get to see a significant difference is the background noise. The backgrounds will be more blurred in D750 than in D500, and this could be an advantage when you want to take professional images that focus on a particular object or person.
Going by this difference, D750 is a better choice, especially if the lack of background noise is an important aspect for you. In terms of image sharpness though, the difference is hardly significant.
Again, this boils down to how you want to use the camera and what is your expectation from it. If you would like to have a professional image, the D750 is what you should go for because it blurs the background noise. But, if you are an amateur trying to understand the ropes, go for D500 because you will not find any significant difference in image sharpness.
3. Field Depth
The depth of field or field depth describes the level of detail that you can see in the image. For example, some cameras allow you to see the letterings on an image while others don’t. Let’s say you’re taking the picture of a letter or even a hotel menu. In some images, you will be able to read everything clearly as if you are seeing it in real life, while in other cameras the image will be blurred and you’ll only be able to partially make out what’s being displayed.
This difference is because of the size of the camera’s sensors. Generally speaking, when the lens of a camera is small, the depth of field is greater at the lens aperture and the resulting focal length. Such a depth of field is most ideal when you are photographing landscapes. Still, life images, taking macro shots of an image or any other kind of photography where you want the highest possible depth of field. On the other hand, when you want to make your subject stand out by blurring the background, you do not see so much depth.
Now moving on to the sensors, FX sensors do not give as much depth as DX sensors. When you compare the two sensors, you will realize that DX sensors give one f-stop more of depth than FX sensors, provided the focal length remains the same.
Since D750 uses FX sensors and D500 uses DX sensors, you’ll see this difference in depth of field. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get the depth of field with D750. All that you will have to do is use longer focal lenses to get the same angle of view. This is where your expertise in choosing the right lens comes into play.
In the past, extra depth of field was seen as a luxury because photographers used the primitive way of taking images, where they focused heavily on zone focus. But today, the emergence of sharp lenses allow photographers to exploit the special effects that come with a shallow depth, so when you add the right lens, you can get creative images. This flexibility is possible with D750.
We took many sample shots with both the cameras and they look fairly similar. You have to look closely to notice that the background in D750 is more blurred when compared to D500. The one thing to keep in mind is the depth of field or the lack of it, is not a disadvantage at all. The difference will only be in the degree of blurriness in the background.
Overall, there is no better camera again. If the field of depth is what you want and you are not ready to spend extra money on the lenses, D500 is your choice. On the other hand, if you are willing to spend that money or you want to use creative ways to tap into shallow depth, D750 is your choice. Just depends on what kind of photos you want to take.
A rule of thumb is all lenses should be able to produce an image circle that is large enough to cover the sensors. Since DX is smaller than FX sensors, it is possible to make a lens that tends to be small and lightweight. As a result, the cost will also be much lower. Though this may seem like the best option, in reality, it comes with some drawbacks as well.
The primary drawback is flexibility. DX lens is too small and cannot fit into FX sensors, which means, you can use them only on DX cameras. Also, since their focal lengths tend to be shorter, their use is largely limited. Mainly, you will not be able to use them for wide photography. Again, this could be a disadvantage depending on what type of photographs you prefer to take. For D500 you need only DX lenses.
With D750 though, you need larger FX lenses which cost more because they are bigger and heavier when compared to DX lenses. Another advantage is you can use FX lenses on DX sensors because they anyway cover the entire width of these sensors.
Though you can try using DX lenses on FX sensors, there’s a lot of work involved. You’ll have to use these FX sensors only in crop mode, which means they will be about half in width. Making these setting changes is not easy and could be quite a hassle for everyday use.
So, which is better? FX lenses are better because they are more versatile even if they cost more and are not easily portable. DX lenses are a cheap alternative, but their purpose is highly limited and they cannot be used for everyday shooting, especially on FX sensors.
This is an important aspect for camera enthusiasts. The good news is both the cameras use the same autofocus modules, but they have slight variations to suit each model. This means, both the models have the latest and advanced autofocus system from Nikon.
When compared to the two models, D500 has a slight advantage because its sensor area is small. This effectively means the autofocus area stretches right to the edge of the frame. This feature makes D500 most suitable for taking moving images, especially that of sports.
The D750 has a larger focus area, so the distribution points of autofocus are more spread out. As a result, the autofocus does not reach the endpoints of D750. Though this is not an issue for regular photos, it could impact the overall quality when you take a shot of a moving object.
So, when it comes to autofocus, D500 is a clear winner simply based on the final output and the flexibility it offers in terms of taking photos of an object.
6. Continuous shooting
The small mirror and faster autofocus make D500 ideal for continuous shooting of images. Moreover, D500 comes with a powerful Exspeed 5 processor and twin card slots that make it easy to take continuous shots. It can shoot continuously at 10 frames per second with a capture of 200 RAW images in just one single burst.
On the other hand, D750 can take about 6.5 frames per second and can capture only about 15 lossless images in RAW format with a single burst.
When you compare the performance of these two cameras, the clear winner is D500.
The final and the most important aspect is the cost because DSLR cameras can be quite expensive. Also, you will have to keep spending money on lenses, so the basic cost has a big bearing on your buying choice.
The cost of D500 is a little lower than D750. Out of the two, D500 is the better choice because it offers just a host of useful features for its price. While D750 is not a bad choice, it is not the best camera when you want to take outdoor and sports photo shoots.
8. Nikon D500 vs D750 – Pros and Cons
Nikon D500 Pros
Here is a look at the pros of Nikon d500:
- Great value for your money.
- Lenses are small, cheap and lightweight, so you can carry them around easily.
- Compatible with both DX and FX lenses.
- Crop factor makes 1.5x lenses more powerful.
Nikon D500 Cons
Nikon d500 is not all perfect, as it comes with some shortcomings too. They are as follows.
- There is some compromise on image quality as the small DX sensor cannot fit well into a full-frame FX sensor.
- Beauty is hard to achieve with this small sensor, though you will get an increased depth of field.
- It works best with DX lenses, but their usefulness is limited especially if you upgrade to a full-frame Nikon in the future.
Nikon D750 Pros
Nikon d750 comes with many advantages that are sure to make them highly usable and functional. Some of the benefits it offers are:
- One of the biggest advantages of d750 is its large sensor area. This opens the way for higher ISO sensitivity or higher resolution. These sensors also ensure that there is no compromise on quality whatsoever.
- The depth of field is shallow and this is a big advantage too because the spatial depth of images tends to be deeper and the background blur is also greatly reduced.
- This full-frame Nikon is most ideal if you are a professional or aspire to become one.
Nikon D750 Cons
Nikon d750 comes with many shortcomings too, and some of the notable ones include the following:
- Expensive and is not possible for everyone.
- To make the most of this full-frame camera, you have to invest heavily in lenses which could add up to the cost really fast.
- These cameras tend to be heavy and large, and this makes it difficult to carry them around.
- This camera is not a good choice for amateurs.
We hope these pros and cons give you a quick glance about what each of these products offer, so you can make informed decisions.
Nikon D500 vs D750 – The Final Verdict
Overall, which of the two is better? To a large part, the answer depends on the kind of photos you want to shoot and the features that you think matter most. Generally speaking though, D750 is more expensive and is more appropriate for professional photographers when compared to D500, that is best suited for amateurs and novices who want to try out their skills at photography.
Nikon D500 and D750 are two popular, top-notch and well-built cameras that can exceed your expectations. If you’re looking for a quality device, you have to choose between these two.
But if you are a specialist in outdoor or sports photo shooting, your choice is undoubtedly D500. Cost is another factor that can help you decide which of the two is ideal for you.