Yeah, I titled this “Why I’m Not Going To Get The D500”…weird for this gear-head, huh?
Nikon has finally put out the true D300s successor…and really, I should be chomping at the bit to try and get my hands on one. And yeah, normally, I would be…but I’m not.
First of all:
1. Money Factor: Unless you got the simoleons (insert SimCity credit here) to play the Gear Game (not to be confused with Game Gear (a gamer’s website); you gotta be satisfied with previous generation gear. Otherwise, you’d be upgrading every single time that the camera company put out a new camera.
2. New Gear Growing Pains: Every time a camera comes out there are growing pains. Things don’t work right or there is some technical problem that requires a firmware fix or a recall. It takes about a year for bugs to be worked out of the camera system. If you really need a camera that badly; then go for it, but most wait to upgrade until they’re sure the camera works as advertised.
I have a D300s, bought in 2010 and six years later, it still has only 33,000 actuations of the shutter. That’s low usage for a D300s which is rated for 150,000 shutter actuations. And I use it often. When I shoot a minor hockey game, I can usually get almost 600 shots per game when I shoot and usually that’s at Continuous High (CH on the dial) and even so, my shutter actuation count is only at 33,000 and that’s in six years of relatively constant use. But that is usually due to the fact that the D300s, is considered a professional DX camera. The shutters are made to take the abuse. Consumer grade cameras average around 50-60,000 actuations. And rarely does a shutter fail. In fact, I’m so confident of that fact that for my second camera, I’m trying to find a used D300s with around the same number of actuations as well as a D700 FX (full-frame), since my pocketbook isn’t going to allow me to grab a D500. I don’t have a spare three grand lying around the house.
3. Camera Compatibility.: The Nikon D300s and Nikon D700 have the same battery, the EN-EL3e. I can take a carry bag of charged spare batteries and fit them to either one and be able to use them in a pinch. The same battery offers convenience. Whereas if I bought the D500. I’d have to buy a whole new set of batteries (it takes the EN-EL15) and frustratingly have to bring two different chargers with me every where I go (especially annoying when you have to go on a trip somewhere). Whereas I can toss in my MH-18a battery charger with both the D300s DX and D700 FX and I’m good to go. And THAT is critical when you’re short on cash to deal with equipment.
Sure, it’s all good feels when you have a brand-new D500 strapped to your neck and you’re walking around getting all the jealous looks from people who have older equipment, but the simple fact of the matter is that for a working photographer, gear simplicity is the key and battery compatibility between DX and FX cameras is a critical factor in reduced weight in the camera bag (after all, the more space you have in your camera bag, the more lenses you can cram in: choices - either one helps you, but the lens helps you get the image. I'd rather cram three more batteries and a lens in the extra space that it takes to have a second charger for a second camera). If I were to get a D500, I would have to get myself a Nikon D810 FX to get the same battery compatibility and if I don’t have an extra three grand lying around the house, where do you think I have an extra four and a half grand on top of that…plus battery costs?
So in summation. There are really only three key reasons why I’m not getting the D500 right now. Financially, it doesn’t make sense for me; as a working photographer, to upgrade at this point in time. Where as for half the cost of a new D500, I can pick up a second D300s body and a D700 body and still be able to do what I need to do as a photographer. Probably a lot farther down the road, I will be making the jump to DXXX-DX and DXXX-FX purchase, but that won’t be now or in the near future.