I never thought that within a few weeks of making the recommendation to photographers everywhere, I'd break my own proclamation.
Darn you Nikon, and your D500!
So, let's talk about the decision to drop three thousand dollars on camera gear when I just recommended to the aviation photography world:
4. Don't buy that shiny new camera
The Nikon D7000-series has done VERY well for me over the years. They've taken the abuse, delivered stunning shots and captured split-second events (almost) every time. I can take them on flights where I don't have the room or the weight for a full-size professional body like the D4. But the camera still has weaknesses. The buffer for one. For anyone who has used the D7000-series to capture missile shoots, ordnance drops or any coordinated-but-split-second event, the 3.5 seconds of useful buffer are a bit frustrating. I loved using my D300S, but it was quickly eclipsed by the D7000-series and became relegated to a backup (and heavier) body. Now to have the tilting screen, a better buffer than the D7200, expanded ISO range, and 4k video, it became a no-brainer to order the D500.This IS in fact the camera that a lot of us aviation photographers have been waiting 5 years for.
Okay, so it isn't just the D500 that is eating a hole in my pocket. For years I've used the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 OS as my primary air-to-air lens. It has also been a great counterpart to my Nikon 70-200 f2.8, helping me to cover just about every focal length I need during a static aircraft shoot with just 2 lenses. While the quality of the Sigma has been excellent, I have noticed a difference between it and the Nikon lenses in my kit. So, with the addition of the new Nikon 16-80 f2.8-4 VR to the D500 kits offered online, I had to jump on it. The chance to have the focal lengths I needed in new Nikon glass, just couldn't be passed up. (I have pretty much beat the crap out of my Sigma lens, and it was due for a trip back to Sigma for a refit soon!)
Of course that doesn't explain why I also threw in the Nikon AF-S 80-400VR lens, but that moment of weakness is due to be the subject of ANOTHER blog post!