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Nikon D850 (1 Viewer)

opticoholic

Well-known member
Brad Hill was lucky to get one of the few first production D850's, and he has posted his very early impressions in his September 11 blog entry here:

http://www.naturalart.ca/voice/blog.html

He is only one reviewer, and he's not a bird photographer, but he has a lot of experience and I tend to trust his evaluations. Also these are just his very first impressions. His final conclusions may change after he posts his much more detailed entries with examples. A few key excerpts:

Exceptional tonal range and "drop dead" fantastic overall image quality at low ISO's (ISO 64 to about ISO 250). After just over 2,000 shots over a range of conditions (and ISO values) there is no doubt in my mind that this is a superb landscape camera that exceeds the image quality of the D800e and/or D810 by a significant margin.

Burst Rate: NOT exactly as advertised. ...What have I found when shooting full-size 14-bit uncompressed raw files? When using a Lexar Professional XQD 2933x card (440 MB/s) I get approx 40 shots at 7 fps before the camera slows to about 3 fps....

ISO performance? BELOW my expectations (which were conservative) ... the D850 seems particularly high in luminosity noise... the D850 and D500 are exceptionally close in the amount of noise they exhibit at various ISO's (with the D500 having only a VERY small edge over the D850...in the "1/3 stop at most" range). While this may disappoint some (and doesn't come close to matching some of the early and unrealistic marketing "hype" about the D850), I personally think that in an absolute sense the D850 has outstanding ISO performance for a 45.7 MP DSLR.


Dave
 

capdegat

Well-known member
Understatement of the year ! I'm happy.
 

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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Hi Les,

Nice. Thanks for posting those shots :t:

It looks like your new toy has solved your system dilemmas!

I have been mulling over a few questions in my head (primarily D850 vs D500 - they are very similar, yet different).

The D850 has a few % larger pixel pitch than the D500, though when cropped (or in-camera mode) to DX size it has a couple of % less resolution. Overall though very similar. With the D850's pixel pitch advantage and more advanced BSI sensor I would have expected a DR advantage to the D850 when comparing apples to apples DX mode - yet this is not what some initial analyses show (Bill Claff's http://www.photonstophotos.net/ --- only one source, I know ...)

Photonstophotos_D850DX_comparison.jpg Photonstophotos_D850_comparison.jpg

In fact far from an advantage (apart from ISO64 which the D500 can't match) , the D850 lags the D500, and they both lag the D7200 up to ISO400 (which matches nicely with my experience of the D7200 and what I have seen of the D500). Okay so the D7200 gets ruled out on AF system and performance and its slower framer rate ....

The D850 has that wonderful shallow depth of field that only a FF can provide, but I'm wondering (given the DR charts) whether I would be better off with the D500 since birds (usually far away!) will be 90% of the usage. Perhaps I expected too much from the BSI tech?

I know you had the D500 setup in the past (and had similar thoughts to me about it's sensor performance/IQ) , and so would be interested in your thoughts on how you are finding the D850 compares ?? :cat: Thanks.



Chosun :gh:
 
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capdegat

Well-known member
Hi Chosun

Given my limited time ( i'm about to move house ) I can only say I much prefer d850 over my 2 attempts with d500. Much easier for bifs because you have much bigger area to frame the bird with same amount of pixels on actual bird . I think sensor is better but again not enough time ( it is full frame ). I did my standard test shots ( which unfortunately I didnt keep ) at 3200 and 4000 iso , these were definitely better with d850 . I'll see if I can get a bit more time to play !
 

capdegat

Well-known member
You should here what my wife says . The struggle has been about weight which I gave up on . Then of course the pics from fuji weren't exactly brilliant. This one stays ( so I've been told ! )
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Looks like grey lines along the wing edges.
Is it LR contributing again?

I only checked the beak on first glance when Les initially posted it, but now that you mention it Vespo, there is a pronounced thick grey line around the leading edge and bottom of the far wing .....


Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Hi Chosun

Given my limited time ( i'm about to move house ) I can only say I much prefer d850 over my 2 attempts with d500. Much easier for bifs because you have much bigger area to frame the bird with same amount of pixels on actual bird . I think sensor is better but again not enough time ( it is full frame ). I did my standard test shots ( which unfortunately I didnt keep ) at 3200 and 4000 iso , these were definitely better with d850 . I'll see if I can get a bit more time to play !
Hi Les,

I'm flat biscuit myself! so no rush - I won't get to compare these for 2 months, so no rush.

I'm very interested in the D850 vs D500 question. I couldn't live without the full whack 9fps so of necessity it would be with the accessory grip. Most of my shooting is at 1200mm equivalent though occasionally closer like about 800mm, and in certain situations at the short end of the zoom range so ~250/300mm.

Short of Nikon surprising us with a 600mm f4 PF, I'm hoping they lighten up the 300mm f2.8 soon to use with a 2x. Otherwise it would probably be like you, the 200-500, and maybe down the track a 600mm f4 FL (though that depends on how I like the weight when I test in a couple of months - I certainly struggled with the 'old' 4.6kg 400mm f2.8 +2×TC when I tried it).

I'm wondering how the two bodies compare with regard to:-
DR (particularly in light of the photonstophotos data)
Other IQ considerations
AF
Viewfinder size (prism magnification, and 'unmasked' area) and ease of use in both FF and DX (+ 1.3× crop mode)
Weight (I'm happy with either size)

I would be interested to hear more of what you have to say when you get time :t:



Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Mike, further to this, it seems that having your hi-res cake and the 7 or 9fps eating of it too, is not quite so straightforward (or easy) as first hoped, despite the BSI sensor processing advantages ..... :eat:
Even though the new D850 and the D5 share the same 153pt AF module - it looks like the results of different internal hardware/communications and processing result in a substantially different (lesser) 'in-focus' hit rate in comparison to the mighty D5 for strings of shots.
https://m.dpreview.com/articles/872...d-nikon-d850-versus-nikon-d5-subject-tracking

Even more interested now to hear of Les's experience in this regard, and in comparison to the D500, since AFAIK in terms of AF performance and hit rate, the D500 is widely considered pretty much on par with the D5 in that respect. :cat:



Chosun :gh:
 

nikonmike

Well-known member
Two things from my point of view, 1 i cant afford a D850 2 i never use any form of tracking so the D500 is perfect for me even though i dont know how well it tracks.
With a duck flying towards me with the D500 its past me with out me losing focus and that's at F9 with the Sigma 100-400 and 1.4 converter i use single point or 25 points.

A set from yesterday, i would need to have a lot of spare cash to buy the D850.

These where in the ISO 6400 area
 

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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Thanks Mike - nice shots and a very pretty bird :t:

With the D7100/D7200 I'm also using single point. I tried the 3D tracking and while good for some of the time - it couldn't quite keep up - so I find better results now with single point.

The D5/D500 have far superior 3D tracking though I'm yet to get my hands on it to give it a good workout. I would think the (expanded) single point AF would be the way to go. I like the idea of the D850's 1/4 focus point mode - but overall the [email protected] would have to at least equal the D500 for me ......

Time will tell .....


Chosun :gh:
 

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