We had a D300 for ten years, taking it with us all over the United States, Asia and Europe and shooting both for pleasure and to accompany news stories until it bit the dust and we sold it on eBay for parts. Liking the brand, though, we obtained a test D500 from Nikon as well as a AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm F/2.8-4E ED VR lens. There is far more information than can be repeated here – the owner’s manual is 400 pages – but here are some highlights as well as the difference between the D300 and D500.
What we loved:
*The D500 feels good in your hands – you quickly find your way around the controls and when the moment unfolds in front of you, you’ll be able to turn it on, bring it up, auto-focus and shoot up to 10 frames per second for up to 200 frames if you wish, like the pros.
*The D500 allows you pinch its tilting touch screen with a thumb and forefinger to have a look at key elements of a shot, such as how in or out of focus a subject may be.
*You can arrange, via an app, to upload your photos directly to a smartphone. We didn’t do this, preferring instead to upload the photos to Apple’s Photo at the end of every day and see them huge. One look at the quality, the depth of color and the density of the subject matter and you’ll be hooked and probably start shooting everybody, everywhere.
*D500 auto-focus options are far, far more advanced than the D300, saving you precious time and preventing disappointment.
*Its audio and video are outstanding – clear, crisp and easy to use, though, like most video, they take up massive amounts of space on your hard drive. Try a Western Digital “My Passport” External Hard Drive; they hold up to 4 TB of memory.
What we didn’t love:
*The D500 doesn’t have a built-in flash as the D300 did, and we sorely miss it.
*The D500 requires its own unique Nikon adaptor to upload photos, whereas the D300 used an adaptor we also used for other devices.
The gripes were few and the pluses many, however. The D500 is an up-to-date, superbly crafted tool that will capture not only your car but you, your family, friends and your world at the highest level.
There is, of course, much more. See Ken Rockwell’s review for more details on all we didn’t get to in our test.