Mirrorless vs DSLR – 5 Reasons to Buy a Nikon D500

My first 5 Reasons video ever was on switching to mirrorless. This one is about switching back to a DSLR.
And not just any DSLR. A serious, crazy bang for the buck image making monster.

I bought mine used but if you feel like splashing some extra cash around you can do so here:
Nikon D500
Sigma 18-35mm f1.8
Sigma 50-100mm f1.8
Video recorded with:
Fuji X-T20
Manfrotto Befree

Mirrorless vs DSLR

There are a lot of ups and downs to both type of system. One can’t yet completely replace the other.
If you are a full time sports shooter choosing a DSLR is a no brainer.
If you are just a casual shooter a mirrorless makes more sense.
What camera to get is always very individual.

I switched to mirrorless in 2013 with the Panasonic GH3.
Since then I have bought a number of mirrorless cameras. And if not counting interchangeable lens video cameras, range finders and premium compacts they are,

  • Panasonic
    GF3, GF5, G7, G85, GX7
  • Olympus
    OMD-EM5, Pen-f, E-P5
  • Sony
    Nex-5, a6000, a6300, A7, A7ii, A7sii
  • Samsung
    NX1, NX500
  • Fuji
    X-T10, X-T20, X-T2, X-Pro2
  • Leica T

This list is not to try and show of. Its to pre answer a comment I have gotten a lot on youtube which is, “you tried the wrong mirrorless”.

At the end of the day, how good I think those cameras where and how much I liked them. There are things they can’t give that a DSLR sure can.

5 Reasons I bought a DSLR

  1. Size and grip
    Shooting on the street is one thing. But covering a full day at a sports arena or event. Then I want something to hold on to.
    Mirrorless needs to compromise the sensor size to be smaller. Otherwise the lenses (which will actually be bigger than DSLR lenses) will make the balance unbearable (imo) for a full day.For street and casual shooting I have already made my choice.
    So my backup system with interchangeable lenses can be as big as it want. Still would have needed a bag if I had gone mirrorless.
  2. Viewfinder
    I love EVFs. I always have.
    But I can’t deny how nice it is to look through the lens again. Seeing everything crystal clear. Even in dim lighting.
    And the OVF on the D500 is very nice. Like crazy nice.The live view isn’t bad. Its not as fast as mirrorless but its touch screen so you can point to focus and/or shoot.
    For video its fine, still no peaking but the screen is clear enough to focus manually.The video by the way is excellent. Same great quality as the D750. I made a full review of its video features.And on top of the D750 quality, in s35, it has 4K. I know, people go bananas over the x2.25 in 4K. But here me out.The crop is less than a GH4 in 4K. Its less than a Blackmagic Cinema Camera Its way less than a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.
    It really isn’t that bad.I use it to my advantage. Since I deliver in HD anyway I can get 27-460mm with a constant f1.8 from only two lenses (18-35 and 50-100).
    Thats pretty sweet.
  3. Auto Focus
    The AF of DSLR like the D500 still walks all over the mirrorless options. Even in darkness it locks on every time.
    My Sigma 50-100/1.8 that some say doesn’t always lock is at 100% hit rate. I kid you not. I have 100% successful and accurate hits so far.
    Never experienced focus like this.Couple that with the 10fps Raw in up to 200 bursts..And the highlight weighted metering which basically is instant ETTR.Im golden :)
  4. Battery
    I seriously haven’t charged my camera for a week.
  5. Coming home
    This is all subjective and might just be me. But I feel joy when shooting with a simple, straight forward and intuitive DSLR again.
    There really isn’t any compromises made from not having a mirror, a certain style or size.
    Its a machine thats made to let you take pictures fast and efficiently. Nothing else. Its all it does and it does a great job.
    That translates in to relaxation, confidence, joy, etc in me as a shooter.

Samples from the Nikon D500

There are 30ish samples in the video and here are two that you can pixel peep.

Nikon D500

Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 G2

PS. I still love and use mirrorless so try not to take offense.