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Old Thursday 2nd November 2017, 06:18   #1
stoop
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Smile D500 or D850?

Hello. I see there are threads about both cameras but I wanted to get some thoughts specifically about this.

I was going to trade in my D300 and D7100 and get a D500. Then I will be left with a D800 and a new D500.

However, I realised I could trade in my D300+D7100 and D800 and get a D850 for just a little more. I will then only have a single D850 body.

What do you think is better? One D850, or a D500 body and a D800 body.

A peregrine rocketed over me at dusk earlier last month and tried to snatch a small bat in the air. I didn't have any camera at the time.

I've enjoyed feedback here before and look forward to your ideas. Thank you.
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Old Thursday 2nd November 2017, 06:43   #2
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The headline news is the D850 has the same AF system as the D5 and the D500 has the same AF system as the D5.

One analogy i read summed it up car wise, you could have a very powerful 1.6 lit engine in a car, giving good fuel economy and plenty of power making the car a great buy.
Take the same engine and put it in a car weighing 50% more and you will not get the same results.
The D850 is one great camera and in crop mode it gives very similar MP to the D500 but do a lot of research on the AF ability in that camera rather than the fact its from the D5.
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Old Thursday 2nd November 2017, 08:00   #3
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Very Good question! I was almost going to post this thread, so will be very interested in the answers.

I'm mulling over D500 vs D850 myself.

I would use the D850 with grip and upgraded battery to give 9fps.

The D500 has that extra frame per second advantage, smaller size, better reach, and less cost. The D850 has that wonderful ISO 64 high dynamic range, and that wonderful shallow depth of field, subject isolation, and out of focus background that only a FF can give. I would also be interested in the IQ/DR performance in DX mode - in theory it should be slightly better than the D500, but Bill Claff's PhotonsToPhotos indicates the opposite ??

I am questioning what lenses to use.
D500 would be the Nikon 200-500 f5.6 (until a lightweight FL 300 f2.8 with 2x TC comes along), and an existing Tokina 12-28 f4 for landscapes.
D850 would be (I'm guessing - haven't used FF since film days with a 200-400 + 2x TC, and based on friends who use either 400 f2.8 + 2x TC, or 600 f4 + 1.7x TC) the 500 f4 + 1.4x TC as a minimum, and on up (600, +TC's), and a Tamron 15-30 f2.8 for landscapes.

Dayum I wish that Nikon had a 600 f4 PF sitting on the shelves .... would make things so much easier!

Even though the D850 uses some D5 AF hardware - (different shutter mechanism) - early results (without grip) indicate different processing (algorithms and/or software ... CPU/Graphics Chip hardware and/or operating specs?) and altogether lesser AF performance. The D500 apparently (anecdotally) doesn't lose as much to the D5 in AF performance ??

This is a key point for me - can the D850 (with grip + battery) match the D500's AF performance ????


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Old Saturday 4th November 2017, 01:10   #4
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Thank you. Your thoughts are pretty helpful. I think I will stick to getting the D500.
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Old Saturday 4th November 2017, 11:41   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoop View Post
Thank you. Your thoughts are pretty helpful. I think I will stick to getting the D500.
Stoop, I think the jury is still out on the D850's performance vs the D500. The final story is still to be written.

What is reasonably clear (well to my way of thinking anyway) is that it is somewhat unrealistic to expect total flagship (D5) AF performance for ~ half the price, especially when it is purpose designed to run at 12fps and has the larger capacity EN-EL18a battery as standard. It remains to be seen how the D850 performs when equipped with that battery and grip.

What is also clear at this stage judging from people who have owned both the D800/810 and D850 is that the D850 is a useful leap ahead in AF performance solving many of the complaints of the former hi-res offerings AF shortcomings in certain situations.

Of course if the D850 needs the EN-EL18a battery and grip to more closely approach D5 levels of AF, and get within 1fps of speed of the D500, then physically it becomes a different animal. It is no longer the circa 1kg D800/D810 sized camera, or the slightly smaller lighter D500, it rather becomes ~ 1.4kg D5 weight and size.

So it will come down to a usage situation - do you value the D800's smaller size and can live with the lesser speed and AF? Would the same sized but better D850 at 7fps suffice? Or would you need the extra 2fps (to 9fps) of the D850 with the attendant size, weight, and cost increase of the dedicated D5 battery and grip? Or could that function be split with a blazing D500 though with its APS-C limitations and keeping your D800 for low speed landscapes/portraits etc?

I would think these questions would carry more 'weight' than any (what I'm guessing will ultimately be) minor differences in AF performance between the D850+battery+grip vs the D500 ......

Lenses and 'reach' might have just as much bearing (though perhaps a cropped D850 image would be better?) .....

Good luck with the choice!



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Old Sunday 5th November 2017, 12:31   #6
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Thumbs down

Well ...... I'm none the wiser on this question after the Australian BirdFair this weekend --- the Nikon folk were a complete no show ..... grrrr!



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Old Sunday 5th November 2017, 14:50   #7
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Just a quick comment as I've just moved and haven't had enough time to say anything about AF other than I'm happy . I have had 2 d500's and i instantly preferred the d800 for picture quality . You end up with same size pic for both cameras at long range and at short range detail with d800 is superb.
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Old Monday 6th November 2017, 01:57   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capdegat View Post
Just a quick comment as I've just moved and haven't had enough time to say anything about AF other than I'm happy . I have had 2 d500's and i instantly preferred the d800 for picture quality . You end up with same size pic for both cameras at long range and at short range detail with d800 is superb.
Hmmn. That's a spanner in the works. I don't want to go backwards on image quality.
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Old Monday 6th November 2017, 05:41   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capdegat View Post
Just a quick comment as I've just moved and haven't had enough time to say anything about AF other than I'm happy . I have had 2 d500's and i instantly preferred the d800 for picture quality . You end up with same size pic for both cameras at long range and at short range detail with d800 is superb.
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Hmmn. That's a spanner in the works. I don't want to go backwards on image quality.
I think? Les is referring to D500 VS D850 ?? We will have to wait until he gets settled and can confirm and gives us his feedback on his new D850 .....


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Old Monday 6th November 2017, 05:47   #10
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Hmmn, dunno. The DXO score for D800 is 95 vs D500 at 84. Maybe more dynamic range with the D800. That's what's holding me back. The D7100 is 83 and I don't know if there will be much change in image quality between D7100 and D500. The biggest difference would be the buffer. The D7100 is painful.
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Old Monday 6th November 2017, 05:59   #11
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Russ, I'm not sure of Les's history with the D800, but I know he mentioned he just got the D850. The D800 in DX crop is a bit smaller resolution (about ~3/4 of) than the D500, whereas the D850 is within a few % , so that's what I'm guessing (assumption only) he meant. I don't know of anyone else doing actual DR testing - DXO says one thing, Bill Claff another ...... ???


..... and yes the D7100's buffer is painful! shooting in 1.3x crop mode helps a bit, but 9fps of the D850, or 10fps of the D500 - Ooooh Yeah !!



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Old Monday 6th November 2017, 16:17   #12
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did mean d850 !
I've put some up on flickr but hope to get out more soon.
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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 15:34   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoop View Post
Hmmn, dunno. The DXO score for D800 is 95 vs D500 at 84. Maybe more dynamic range with the D800. That's what's holding me back. The D7100 is 83 and I don't know if there will be much change in image quality between D7100 and D500. The biggest difference would be the buffer. The D7100 is painful.
Depends on your shooting style of course, but having two camera bodies is more flexible. A DX + FX body is a nice combo. D7100 to D500 would be the logical step to take.
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Old Thursday 9th November 2017, 22:09   #14
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Steve Perry's youtube review answers the question.
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Old Thursday 9th November 2017, 22:22   #15
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Steve Perry D850 review:

"Don't buy the D850 to crop out DX size all the time"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRC6dhUF-H0
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Old Saturday 11th November 2017, 06:05   #16
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Unhappy

Some of Les's shots on Flickr look really nice - nice DR.

I have uncovered some test results on the D850's buffer with the you beaut battery + grip attached and shooting at 9fps .... in 14-bit lossely compressed RAW it seems to decrease disproportionately MP/s in DX mode which is disappointing - also in absolute terms from 40 down to 25 frames in FF when going from 7fps to 9, and from 200 frames down to 41 in DX when going from 7 to 9 fps. I really don't get this - with the extra power of the bigger battery I would expect faster processing, instead it's slower? - see the October 15 Blog post ....
http://www.naturalart.ca/voice/blog.html

I think unless there is compelling IQ reasons to choose the D850, then I'm leaning toward the D500. The much greater weight, and battery and grip expense, and higher lens expense, and drop in max fps and buffer capacity drawbacks seems to outweigh the ever so slight gain in DR and of course wonderful FF bokeh, for me ...... I think I'm starting to go off the idea of a D850, unless someone has got a compelling reason otherwise ....


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Old Saturday 11th November 2017, 09:17   #17
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Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
Some of Les's shots on Flickr look really nice - nice DR.

I have uncovered some test results on the D850's buffer with the you beaut battery + grip attached and shooting at 9fps .... in 14-bit lossely compressed RAW it seems to decrease disproportionately MP/s in DX mode which is disappointing - also in absolute terms from 40 down to 25 frames in FF when going from 7fps to 9, and from 200 frames down to 41 in DX when going from 7 to 9 fps. I really don't get this - with the extra power of the bigger battery I would expect faster processing, instead it's slower? - see the October 15 Blog post ....
http://www.naturalart.ca/voice/blog.html

I think unless there is compelling IQ reasons to choose the D850, then I'm leaning toward the D500. The much greater weight, and battery and grip expense, and higher lens expense, and drop in max fps and buffer capacity drawbacks seems to outweigh the ever so slight gain in DR and of course wonderful FF bokeh, for me ...... I think I'm starting to go off the idea of a D850, unless someone has got a compelling reason otherwise ....


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I don't think overall processing (CPU) speed is affected at all by the extra battery.

But driving the mechanical shutter and physical movement of elements in the lens might be, and that's where the extra power is needed.

I don't know how the readout in DX mode is done but maybe the camera needs to read the complete FX file and then crop it in the next step, before further processing. In that case, a dedicated DX sensor like in the D500 would be faster.

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Old Saturday 11th November 2017, 12:18   #18
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Originally Posted by Vespobuteo View Post
I don't think overall processing (CPU) speed is affected at all by the extra battery.

But driving the mechanical shutter and physical movement of elements in the lens might be, and that's where the extra power is needed.

I don't know how the readout in DX mode is done but maybe the camera needs to read the complete FX file and then crop it in the next step, before further processing. In that case, a dedicated DX sensor like in the D500 would be faster.
Yes, the mechanical and lens motor requirements are certainly where that extra power needs to be used. Has anyone seen or heard of reports of AF comparisons without and with the battery+grip at 7fps vs 9fps, in various modes and settings, and indeed how this compares against the D500 ??

More power 'could' also make it possible to overclock the CPU and sensor processing pathways, or more likely remove 'throttling' back up to full spec - the reduced performance really is a bummer

It may well be correct that the D850 reads the full FX file first before cropping to DX and then processing (this seems analogous to how the video reads all before binning to 4K) .... but that seems like an unnecessary hobbling of performance - surely the sensor area definition and algorithms would be very straight forward to read directly since the only way of getting into DX mode is by a deliberate and dedicated setting by the user.

It smacks of deliberate, careful, and calculated engineered limitations, and precise market segmentation - a bit crook on a device of this cost, and the exorbitant incremental cost of the battery + grip upgrade necessary for 9fps.

This has taken some of the gloss off for me, but I await further IQ, and AF performance test results before a final decision - I have got a big lean on now though!



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