How do I click super sharp images of birds with the Nikon D500 camera and the 200-500mm lens? In this video, I’ll teach you all the camera settings that go into clicking awesome photos of birds and wildlife.
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Are you wondering if the Nikon 200-500 lens is relevant in 2022? Then stick around, because in this video I’m going to tell you more about the Nikon 200-500 mil lens and why it’s still one of the best lenses you can lay your hands on, even in 2022.
Ok, so you want to click wildlife, and are watching this video to find more about the Nikon 200-500 lens. You’re in the right place!
There are 4 main points that I wish to explore. The build quality, autofocus speed and accuracy, image stabilisation performance, and last but not the least… sharpness.
The build quality is good, with basic weather sealing, but doesn’t compare to Canon’s 100-400 Mark II lens where even the switches are weather sealed.
The autofocus is good, I’ve never had a problem with it, even in difficult situations where there are twigs and leaves in the way.
The image stabilisation is exceptional, now I used a bean bag while clicking these photos… still the shutter speeds were as low as 1/60th of a second at 500 mil on a shaky boat. So full marks to the stabilisation.
I never found the sharpness to be lacking in any way. It somehow gets the job done, even though… it doesn’t have the fluorite element that the Canon 100-400 Mark II does.
Now Nikon has a slight edge over Canon. Canon does not have an affordable 500 mil lens for their DSLR cameras whereas Nikon have two, a 200-500 mil and the 500 5.6 lens that costs less than half the price of the 500 mil f/4 lens.
However, the 100-400 lens is 100 mil wider, and at 38.4 inches has a ridiculously minimum focusing distance.
But when I go out to click birds, I prefer the Nikon 200-500 because of its extra reach. However when I go on a tiger safari, I prefer the wider 100 mil focal length for times when I get the opportunity to click tigers that are close to me. But sooner or later, once you become more committed to wildlife photography you can get an additional Nikon camera with a 70-200 mil lens. That way you’ll be covered from 70 right up till 500 mil which is beyond the reach of any affordable Canon lens for DSLR cameras.
Wildlife photography is challenging, so you must make sure that your gear is best suited to your style. Please see links in the descriptions to videos about the Canon 7D Mark II and Nikon D500 to get a better idea about these cameras and find out which brand will suit you better.
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Is the Nikon D500 relevant for bird & wildlife photography in 2022? Bird & wildlife photography needs gear that’s fast enough to meet challenges. In a world of mirrorless cameras, are DSLR cameras such as the Nikon D500 and Canon 7D Mark II good enough to click sharp pictures of birds and wildlife?
I have a 5-point checklist to decide whether a camera is good enough for wildlife photography and they are, the number of autofocus points, autofocus speed, burst speed, buffer size and image quality.
Now before we talk about each of these in detail, I want to tell you that the camera has excellent build quality. It is weather sealed. So you can use it briefly in light rain, and its’ dust resistant.
If you read the specs, they’ll tell you that this camera has 153 focus points. And that 99 of them are cross type focus points.
But what you should know is that only 55 out of those 153 points are selectable by the user. And only 35 out of those 55 are cross type focus points.
On the other hand the D500’s biggest rival, the Canon 7D Mark II has 66 focus points, all cross type.
Cross type focus points are able to focus faster and more accurately than non-cross type points. You can rely on them to nail focus every single time.
I always choose my autofocus area as “single point”, and select the relevant point where I want maximum sharpness. I align that focus point with the eye of the subject.
You must also know that the focus points on the D500 that fall along the rule of thirds are not cross type. Which is a bummer when I want to align something along the thirds. But it’s not always that the eye of the bird needs to be along the thirds. And even though there are no cross type focus points at the thirds, we have non-cross type points there. That’s better than no focus points at all.
The autofocus speed is fast. With some practice, you should be able to nail focus on your subjects even in challenging situations.
The camera has a 20.9 megapixel sensor. And can click 10 frames per second which is exceptional.
It has a buffer size of 200 RAW images. So as long as you have a fast enough card, which you should when clicking wildlife, your camera shouldn’t slow down because its buffer is full.
When clicking pictures of birds in flight, for example, we need shutter speeds in excess of 1/2000th of a second, sometimes even 1/4000th. That means higher ISO values. The image quality is exceptional, even at 1600 ISO.
The Nikon D500 camera checks all boxes and that’s why it’s still one of the best cameras you can lay your hands on, even in 2022.
The thing that makes it most appealing is the Nikon 200-500 mil lens. This lens has a fixed maximum aperture value of 5.6 through the entire range of focal lengths. The 500 mil focal length is extremely essential when clicking pictures of birds. Canon, unfortunately never considered providing an affordable 500 mil lens for DSLR cameras whereas Nikon offers two, the 200-500 and the 500 5.6 prime lens.
But the Canon 100-400 Mark II lens is much smaller and lighter, ideal for jeep safaris if you’re going to click tigers, leopards, rhinos, and other mammals.
Please see www.girishmenon.com to know more about the bird and wildlife photography workshops and tours that I teach and organise