Whether you are just starting with photography or are a pro, choosing a camera is a hard nut to crack. With so many options available on hand, we understand how hard it is to sift through the models and figure out what you need. So, to help you out a little, we have reviewed our top two favorite models, the Nikon d500 and d750, with a side-by-side comparison.
Over the years, Nikon has built a reputable image in the market. With their top-tier technology and robust build, we can quickly narrow our search to just Nikon cameras. Nikon manufactures cameras in two different categories, the DX, and the FX format. Before we get into the review, let’s look at how these two categories differ from each other.
- Before We Begin — Nikon’s DX And FX Formats
- Face off Nikon D500 vs Nikon D750
- Nikon D500 vs. Nikon D750 — Our Pick
- Nikon D500 Overview
- Nikon D750 Overview
- More About The Nikon D500
- More About The Nikon D750
- Similarities Between the Nikon d500 and the Nikon d750
- Differences Between the Nikon d500 and the Nikon d750
- Which One Should You Go With?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- 1. What is light sensitivity?
- 2. Which sensor do I need for daily photography?
- 3. What role does focal length play in photography?
- 4. What type of autofocus mode should I use?
- 5. Can I put FX lenses on my DX camera?
- 6. What is the role of shutter speed in my DSLR?
- 7. How does low light sensitivity compare between the Nikon d500 and the Nikon d750?
Before We Begin — Nikon’s DX And FX Formats
As explained in Nikon’s terms, the DX or FX format refers to the sensor size. Whether you are looking for a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, sensor tech determines the image quality. These camera sensors work similarly to the human eye. They are responsible for adjusting the light depending on where the image is captured. The ISO in the camera sensors does this by regulating the dynamic range. So, a camera with an advanced image sensor will have an excellent dynamic range and give you good quality images in different light settings and contrasts.
Now that we have established that sensors are an essential part of a camera let’s talk about DX and FX formats. DX is 23.5 mm by 15.6 mm, which has a smaller sensor area when compared to the FX -35.9 mm by 23.9 mm. Since the FX-format cameras are bigger, they are full-frame and have better image quality when compared with the DX cameras. With that being said, the DX format is usually used in more compact bodies and has pretty decent image quality itself. Dx cameras are used in many professional shoots and have shown incredible results as well.
The two sensors both have their advantages and drawbacks, but in the end, it all comes down to what you want.
Face off Nikon D500 vs Nikon D750
Nikon D500 vs. Nikon D750 — Our Pick
If you are looking for a detailed comparison of the Nikon d500 and Nikon d750, you’ve come to the right page. Here we will highlight their similarities, compare their specs, and look at the different aspects of the two models. The goal is to end the debate on the Nikon d500 vs. the Nikon d750.
The Nikon d500 and the Nikon d750 are two of the top-ranked Nikon cameras with high image processing qualities, sturdy and compact builds, and of course, advanced sensor technology. These models are DSLR, meaning they come with better autofocus, an optical viewfinder and are better if you are looking for a professional camera.
After a great deal of testing and researching, we have reviewed the two cameras and the differences and similarities between the two.
Both models are exceptionally good at what they do. However, the Nikon d750 has added advantages, such as a full-frame sensor and better image resolution outcomes. The Nikon d750 also comes with a larger sensor, which is the full-frame CMOS 24MP FX sensor. Apart from this, the built-in image stabilization and the low light sensitivity range makes sure there is minimal background noise in the outcome.
The d500 is also worth your money as it comes with a 21MP APS C sensor and DX lens, a 153 focus point AF system, 150,000-cycle shutter life expectancy, and a built-in flash. Depending on what you need, either of these two models can be a worthy investment.
Keep reading to find more about the Nikon d500 and Nikon d750 and why we believe the Nikon d750 to be the better option.
Nikon D500 Overview
The Nikon d500 was a long-awaited release that has scored many fans with its top-tier features. This DSLR comes with a 21.5-megapixel DX-format sensor that is 23.5 mm by 15.7 mm. The ISO adjustment can range from 100 to 51200, giving a tremendous dynamic range when working with different environments.
Apart from this, many photographers greatly appreciate the high ISO performance, giving sharp and high-resolution images, even in extreme exposures. The ISO is expandable up to 1640000, which has quickly made this camera a pros’ favorite.
Nikon d500 also comes with a huge buffer that gives more space to store raw pictures while shooting. If you want to expand the memory, it also comes with an extra slot for the memory card. Other features include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
The Nikon d500 stands out significantly when we talk about autofocus. The Nikon d500 provides you with excellent image quality and portability convenience with no compromise on image quality.
Nikon d500 has a light and compact body compared to other DSLR models available on the market. The Nikon d500 is an ideal camera if you want to get something for action or wildlife photography. The DX-format sensor is used solely to make the product compact and easy to carry.
Features and Specifications
- 5 megapixel APS-C, DX sensor
- ISO ranges from 100 to 51200 and expands from 50 to 1640000
- 4K video performance 3840x2160p at 30 fps
- 10 fps continuous shooting
- No anti-alias filter
- Optical viewfinder
- Weight: 860 grams
- Dimensions: 147 x 115 x 81 mm
- Tilted touchscreen
- Shutter speed varies between 30 seconds to 1/80000s
- Weather sealed body
- Huge buffer cable (can fit up to 200 raw images)
Nikon D750 Overview
Another device packed with impressive features is the Nikon’s full-frame camera, the Nikon d750. If we start with the sensor, the Nikon d750 comes with a 24.3 Megapixel CMOS full-frame FX sensor. The sensor area is about 35.9 mm by 23.9 mm that allows sharp, high-resolution photos in both very low light as well as bright. The fx lenses combined with the fx sensor make this an excellent camera for professional-grade photography.
Nikon d750 offers an exciting 6.5 fps for fast continuous shooting at a higher resolution, all thanks to its EXPEED 4 processor. On the subject of high-resolution shooting, the AF system in d750 allows fast shooting with absolute accuracy.
If we talk about convenience, d750 offers live view, a touch screen that can tilt, and an advanced Wi-Fi module. These features make the Nikon d750 highly accessible as you don’t need to revise a thousand different settings after each shot.
As we explained earlier, the Nikon d750 has a 24 MP FX sensor that is considered one of the best sensors on the market. It offers notable ISO performance and allows you to capture shots even in low-light environments. This camera is an excellent investment if you want to get into wildlife or sports photography with continuous shooting.
Good battery life is another benefit that you get with the Nikon d750. You get more than 1200 shots depending on the settings you are using. This feature makes d750 an excellent choice if you want to cover significant events without switching the batteries too often.
Features and Specifications
- 3 megapixel CMOS, FX sensor
- Full frame DSLR
- ISO ranges from 100 to 12800 and expands up to 26,600 – 51,200
- 1230 shots after a full battery charge
- Full HD video performance – 1920 x 1080p
- 5 fps continuous shooting
- Excellent AF performance
- Good battery life
- Weight: 840 g
- Dimensions: 141 x 113 x 78 mm
- 2″ tilting screen
- Shutter speed varies between 30 seconds to 1/4000 seconds
More About The Nikon D500
Nikon D500 is one of the top-selling Nikon cameras with a 21-megapixel DX-format and 180k-pixel RGB sensor. D500 is a flagship model best known for compact build and quick shooting while maintaining a high image resolution. Below is a detailed product review along with some key features that we love about this camera. Keep reading to get into more detail.
21.5 Megapixel APS C Sensor
If you are looking for a smart and compact camera that does the job of both still and dynamic captures, the Nikon d500 is undeniably the best. It comes with a 21-megapixel APS C CMOS sensor characterized as the 23.5 x 15.6 mm DX format. The ISO performance is also notable as it ranges from 100 to 512000 but can be expanded from 50, going up to 1640000.
The ISO settings paired with the EXPEED 5 image processor captures even the most challenging light environments smoothly. Thanks to its impressive ISO sensitivity and processor, images are caught in the highest quality. They are not blurred or distorted, no matter how bad the lighting is. Users love the smooth, clean, and high-resolution images and videos that they shoot from the Nikon d500.
If you are into high-speed shooting such as wildlife or sports photography, the deciding factor for you should be the AF points. With the D500, you get an impressive 153 AF points with ten shots per second for fast continuous shooting. The high-end DX-format sensor coupled with its excellent ISO performance takes care of the light and exposure, giving you the perfect shot to work with.
So, whether you want something for fast and continuous shooting or still life, the Nikon d500 is an excellent option. It gives you a big buffer to store up to 200 14-bit lossless raw pictures and a big window to capture those even in a small time frame.
When we compared the Nikon d500’s image quality with its siblings, we saw a drastic improvement in image resolution. Even with a DX-format sensor, this camera can easily pass for professional-grade photography as it resolves even the minutest of details without incorporating any noise whatsoever. The Nikon D500 also comes with 21 white balance presets that allow you to capture your target in different lights easily and conveniently.
As we mentioned above, the Nikon D500 is the ideal choice for fast photography. You need to consider the size and weight of the camera, so here’s a quick roundup. Nikon’s D500 weighs 860 grams and is 5.79 x 4.53 x 3.19 inches in size. This compact device also comes with a 3.2 inch LCD monitor. Since the LCD is a tilted touch screen and everything is within reach, the navigation and controls are straightforward and convenient.
The Nikon d500 records in 4k UHD quality at 30 fps. You can adjust the frame rate, and it can go from 24 to 60 fps. Since this camera uses a dx sensor, the videos are cropped. The lens and other components make up for it by providing various options for recording in bright and low light and expandable ISO range, to name a few.
More About The Nikon D750
The release of the Nikon d750 was a long-awaited one that excited many camera enthusiasts and photographers. The d750 is a full-frame 24.3-megapixel camera with a CMOS fx-format sensor, capable of continuous shooting at 6.5 fps. This alone has made the Nikon d750 an excellent steal in the market, considering the price point. To help you understand this camera better, we have listed the top features of this device with detailed explanations. Keep reading to know more about the Nikon d750.
24.3 Megapixel CMOS and an FX Sensor
The Nikon d750 comes equipped with a 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor with an Anti-alias filter and Nikon’s FX format. The metering system is the impressive 91,000-pixel RGB sensor that allows just the right amount of light to enter for a perfect well-contrasted photo. If we talk about the ISO sensitivity range, it varies from 100 to 12,800. The ISO range is also expandable to 51,200 and still produces a sharp image, unlike other cameras on the market.
The highly advanced frame sensor in Nikon d750, paired with the EXCEED 4 processor, allows continuous shooting at six fps, which is a decent rate even for fast photography. The images produced are high-resolution full-frame photos. So, whether you are working with wildlife, sports, street, or portrait photography, the Nikon d750 is a great option to go with.
Nikon d750 full-frame DSLR offers a great dynamic range thanks to its excellent ISO range and FX sensor. It has 13 stops of dynamic range that produce results mimicking the higher-end photos. The pictures are well-contrasted and balanced, and there is no distortion even in very low light. The d750 recovers all the shadows and highlights to capture photos in their most original form.
The standard video recording settings on the Nikon d750 are at 60 fps at 1080p, but you can change the frame to suit the situation. The d750 offers 24, 25, 30, and 50 frames-per-second apart from the 60 fps setting. The camera also comes with a built-in stereo microphone and an external microphone jack outside.
The Nikon d750 offers various exposure settings in the video recording mode as well. The exposure variables can be set according to the situation, similar to the picture mode.
With the Nikon d750, you get a higher-end autofocus system with 51 points. This allows the photographers to choose from various focus points available to choose from, according to the situation. Since the rating is relatively high, there are minimal gaps between the focal points, and even the fast-photographed images are just as good.
Nikon d750 is one of the slimmest cameras you’ll find if you go looking for a DSLR. Even with an FX sensor, the camera maintains its sleekness. Apart from this, the body is also weather-shielded. Hence it would be safe to use during wildlife photography.
If we talk about the actual design and the body of the Nikon d750, you’ll find that all the necessary buttons are well within range.
Similarities Between the Nikon d500 and the Nikon d750
Nikon has done an exceptional job with both the d500 and the d750. The two cameras feature a different type of sensor, the DX, and the FX, but both are designed for fast and continuous photography. We have listed a few other similarities below to help you get a better idea about them.
One of the most impressive, not to mention accessible, features found in the two cameras is the Nikon F-mount. Nikon developed this feature as a way to interchange or attach lenses from other models and cameras. It can also be used to connect different types of adapters. Thankfully, both cameras come equipped with this feature.
The two flagship models have impressive battery life. The Nikon d500 provides 1240 shots per charge, while the Nikon d750 offers 1230. This number can vary depending on your usage and setting but is pretty similar if we compare the two. The takeaway here is that you won’t struggle with constant charging and recharging as both cameras offer good battery life.
The Nikon d500 and the Nikon d750 both come with a quality pentaprism viewfinder. This type of viewfinder is more advanced compared to the pentamirror viewfinder. It is light and more durable than the other options available on the market and gives the photographer a “live view.”
Having remote or wireless access is a blessing in disguise. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you transfer raw photos to your computer or control your cameras through your smartphone when using a tripod. Think about all the times you could post photos on Facebook or transfer them instantly to your phone while traveling. Seems convenient, right? Thankfully, the Nikon d750 and Nikon d500 both have built-in wireless features that provide you with not only accessibility but convenience as well.
If you want to do wildlife, nature, or sports photography, these two models are for you. The Nikon d500 and the Nikon d750 both have weather-sealed bodies, which means you can take them out in any kind of weather, and the camera won’t get damaged. This weather-sealing also protects your camera from humidity in normal conditions.
2-inch Tilting Screen
If you have worked with cameras before, you know what a blessing tilting screens are. Whether trying to find the perfect position for your camera to sit or shoot in confined spaces, a tilting screen can capture the shot without moving your camera after every click. You can also shoot from higher and lower angles without having to get into weird positions, all thanks to the tilting screen that comes with the Nikon d500 and the d750. The d500 also has the advantage of a touch screen which makes navigation slightly easier.
Apart from this, the ISO range of the two cameras is also pretty wide. Both offer great contrast and noise reduction despite having a significant difference in the range. The two cameras work well with fast photography, like capturing wildlife or shooting a moment from a sports match. At the same time, they also show notable results for stills like portrait or street photography.
Other similarities include a dual card slot for memory cards in case you need extra storage.
Differences Between the Nikon d500 and the Nikon d750
To help you get an even better idea, we have made a detailed side-by-side comparison of the Nikon d500 and the Nikon D750. Read on to find out the significant differences between the two cameras.
Sensors and Image Stabilization
First things first, let’s talk about an essential component of any camera, the sensor. As mentioned earlier, Nikon has two flagship sensor formats, the FX and the DX sensor. One of the significant differences between the two is the sensor size. The larger this sensor size is, the better is the image resolution. So, here the Nikon d750 is a clear winner with a 35.9 mm by 23.9 mm FX sensor.
With d500’s smaller APS C sensor, the crop factor is 1.5x, which can be a plus for telephoto shooting. Aside from the crop factor, the DX sensor will struggle to give you a shallow depth of field, whereas the Nikon d750’s full-frame sensor is slightly easier to achieve.
Since the FX sensor is a full-frame sensor, you’ll get high-resolution images without any crop factor. You will also get less noise with the Nikon d750’s full-frame FX sensor. Apart from this, an impressive feature missing in the d750 is the electronic first curtain shutter option found in the d500. This reduces the vibration in the image and provides better image stabilization.
The two sensors, the APS and the CMOS full-frame, are excellent for producing high-resolution images. But if we compare the two, the Nikon d750’s FX sensor is the winner here.
While on the subject of sensors, the two cameras offer a great dynamic range, all thanks to the APS C and the CMOS sensor installed. The dynamic range of the d500 is 14EVs, while the Nikon d750 offers 13EVs. With that being said, the Nikon d750 offers a 0.8EVs more dynamic range at the base ISO level. There isn’t much difference between the two in theory, but it makes a sizable difference in shooting.
Shutter Life Expectancy
The shutter life expectancy of the d500 is 200000, whereas the Nikon d750 offers 150000 cycles if the shutter settings are not drastically changed. Although the shutter life expectancy varies on several other factors, the d500 takes a win here since it also adds to image stabilization.
The number of lenses in the d500 and the Nikon d750 for each category is the same. The only difference here is that the d750 comes with a full-frame lens. This eliminates any crop factor and gives you a larger field of view. Other than this, both cameras have 309 lenses in total.
Nikon has made its lenses cross-compatible with the FX and DX formats. So if you buy the d500, you might still be able to use full-frame DX lenses with it. There will be some adjusting required, but it will work in most cases.
If we look at the specs of the two cameras, the d500 offers 4K output, whereas the Nikon d750 has a full HD video recording. This might make d500 the winner here, but when you shoot the video, the 4K feature crops the frame from 1.5x to 2.25x.
This might not be a problem for some people, but if you want full-frame coverage with the exact resolution, you might have to add a wide-angle lens or go with the Nikon d750 if you don’t want the 4K resolution.
This was an easy win for the Nikon d500 as it comes with a 153 AF point feature. A benefit of the 1.5x crop factor in the APS sensor is that the frame is smaller and becomes more saturated with the AF points.
This means that the coverage of the d500 is better when compared with the Nikon d750’s full-frame sensor. The d750 also has an excellent AF range, which aids image stabilization. The 51 point autofocus system, although less than the d500, provides an excellent ground for fast photography.
The d500 weighs 860 grams and measures 147 x 115 x 81 mm. The Nikon d750 weighs 840 grams and is 141 by 113 by 78 mm. If we look at the specs of the two cameras, we might think that the d500 will be more compact. In reality, Nikon has managed to make the d750 slimmer than the d500, even though it has the larger, full-frame FX sensor. With that being said, the d500 does provide more options and customization, which is suitable for the more detailed shoot. Then again, the Nikon d750 is a bit lighter and comes with a built-in flash. So, we are going to leave this one to you to decide which one you prefer more.
Which One Should You Go With?
Before presenting you with our reasoning for our final verdict, here are some points you should think about before deciding for yourself. When buying a DSLR, the most important thing is whether you need an APS C or a full-frame lens. If you have figured this out, then the decision is pretty straightforward. For full-frame, we would suggest Nikon’s flagship model, the Nikon d750. If you are looking for an APS-C, we recommend you go with the impressive Nikon d500.
If you want something small and compact, the Nikon d750 is for you. But if you don’t mind the size and enjoy extra features like a touchscreen, then the Nikon d500 should be just as good. If you are looking for fast continuous shooting, the Nikon d500 offers ten fps which is significantly higher than the Nikon d750’s six fps shooting rate.
Coming to our verdict, we prefer the Nikon d750. It comes with a full-frame DX sensor, a slim and compact body, and better image processing. The reason why we prefer the Nikon d750 over the Nikon d500 is because of the larger sensor. The larger sensors and additional megapixels capture a higher resolution image. Apart from that, the d750 is full-frame and has better image stabilization as compared to the d500. With the d750, the full-frame sensor won’t result in cropped photos or videos.
With that being said, the d500 is also a great option with top-tier features like 153 point autofocus, 4K video recording, and of course, better shutter life expectancy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
To help you out even more, we have added some important frequently asked questions so you can make an informed camera decision.
1. What is light sensitivity?
The ISO or light sensitivity in your camera basically determines how much light will be allowed in. If you are photographing at night time, where there is low light, you should keep the ISO high. This will produce a well-contrasted image, whereas a low ISO under the same situation will result in a dark photo.
2. Which sensor do I need for daily photography?
A full-frame sensor is an ideal choice whether you want fast photography like wildlife or sports photography or daily photography like portraits—a full-frame sensor, like the FX sensor, measures around 35.9 mm by 23.9 mm. The megapixels depend on the model of the camera, but more megapixels mean a more refined and high-resolution output.
You can also go with an APS C sensor, but it will have some crop factor due to the smaller sensor size. The pixel count depends on the manufacturer but is usually decent if you go with a well-reputed brand. A smaller and compact camera with an APS C sensor would be more suitable if we’re talking about daily photography. Cameras like the Nikon d750 come with a compact build and a full-frame sensor, which are good options. If you can find one that’s lower in weight but has larger sensors, you’re golden.
3. What role does focal length play in photography?
Focal length calculates the optical distance from the light source to the focal plane of the camera. In short, the focal length is a property of your camera lens that determines the angle of view and the magnification. Your camera has a few different lenses, like a zoom and prime lens, to name two. The zoom lens comes in when you are capturing landscapes or portraits. On the other hand, the prime lens has a larger maximum aperture that photographs the subjects even if there is some shaking or vibration from the photographer’s end.
Other lenses include wide-angle lenses, standard lenses, telephoto lenses, macro lenses, etc., and they all differ due to focal length.
4. What type of autofocus mode should I use?
Since the days of just two autofocus modes have passed, your DSLR might come equipped with a few different modes. So, here’s a brief explanation of what each does. The AF tracking in your camera is constantly tracking the object to focus when you take a photo.
First off, you have the single or one-shot mode. This is comparatively simple and one of the most used modes. You have to press the button halfway through before capturing to lock the focus. This mode isn’t very intuitive, however. If the object or the camera moves, you will have to lock the focus again.
You can also use the automatic mode, where the camera locks the focus of the object by itself. Many cameras also have group and dynamic autofocus modes that focus several points in one capture. In dynamic mode, the objects can move, and the camera will lock the focus separately with each photo.
5. Can I put FX lenses on my DX camera?
When we talked about the Nikon d500 versus the Nikon d750, we looked at two different sensors: the APS DX frame sensor and the FX frame sensor, respectively. The models with these sensors have their respective lenses, but Nikon has made their cameras cross-compatible with each category. This means that both the Nikon d500 and the Nikon d750 can exchange lenses and still work.
The same goes for all the other Nikon cameras. There will be some limitations when it comes to quality and processing. For the most part, FX sensors work well with DX lenses, and FX lenses work just as well with DX sensors.
6. What is the role of shutter speed in my DSLR?
The shutter speed determines the period that the sensor is exposed to light. To clear this up, let’s take the example of any moving object. If the object is moving fast, the shutter speed should be increased in order to capture that object. If the shutter speed is kept slow, the image will be blurry and unclear.
To put it simply, a fast shutter speed will capture the object and freeze it. At the same time, a slow shutter speed adjustment will capture the object in motion.
7. How does low light sensitivity compare between the Nikon d500 and the Nikon d750?
The sensor determines how much light should be allowed in. This is responsible for capturing sharp and clear pictures. If your camera isn’t set right according to the environment and the setting, the photos will come out grainy with a lot of background noise. The image quality and contrast are determined by the ISO sensitivity and pixel count of the camera.
To recap, the Nikon d500’s ISO ranges from 100 to 51200 and expands from 50 to 1640000, while the Nikon d750’s ISO ranges from 100 to 12800 and is expandable to 51200. Increasing the ISO sensitivity will allow more light to enter, brightening your image. When photographing outdoors where light is abundant, your ISO should be kept comparatively low.
After testing Nikon d500 and Nikon d750 for several months, we have found that both of these exceptional cameras fall into every claim they have made. From excellent autofocus systems to sensors, the two models are definitely worth every penny. However, we favor the Nikon d750 more due to its advanced features, mainly the fx sensor. That being said, the Nikon d500 also comes with impressive features and won’t disappoint you in the long run.
In the end, your decision should depend on your needs. Think about how and what you are going to be using your DSLR for. Once you have done that, make sure you have done enough research before investing in anything. Read customer reviews along with tech reviews to get a better idea about the product.
We hope this article eased some of your doubts and painted a better image of the two models. We aim to help you make an informed decision so that you can invest in a camera you want.