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From D850 back to D810 + D500 combo

PostPosted: Fri 16 Feb 2018 13:16
by Stany Buyle

I was testing a D850 back in August 2017 and I had my own on Sept 7th. I was extremely enthusiast...

The above image was taken handheld with D850 and 200-500 and heavily cropped
:arrow: Nikon D850 - 3 reasons why I love it, in one image.

Nikon D850 with sigma 12-24 F4.5-5.6G
This image was taken handheld over a 2 meter high fence while looking, aiming and activating the shutter with the the D850' tiltable LCD

To keep up the good relation with my wife I sold my D800 & D500 combo to partly fund my new toy. I have some older Nikons in case I need a backup.
I also ordered the MB-D18 grip but it wasn't available for long time, so long unavailable that I finally never got one... And third party stuff is not my thing.

As a photographic tool, D850 is fantastic, and with exception of high iso it covers many photographic opportunities, but already after a couple of weeks I changed my mind about D850 being a perfect replacement of my former D800 or D810/D500 combo, while it is not (to me)...

related topic: :arrow: Nikon D850 - 3 reasons why I love it, in one image.
related topic: :arrow: D850' DR and/or exposure latitude with sample
related topic: :arrow: Nikon D850 with sigma 12-24 F4.5-5.6G
related topic: :arrow: First picture with my own D850, very dim light, iso 12800
related topic: :arrow: Procirep is fantastisch ! Yaw & pitch afstelling D850 (Written in Dutch)

Re: From D850 back to D810 + D500 combo

PostPosted: Fri 16 Feb 2018 18:10
by Stany Buyle
D850 vs D500...

  • My only reason for the MB-18 grip was to get 9 fps... nearly as many fps than what my D500 did standard, without expensive accessories, at nearly half the weight and less than half the price...
    Back in 2016, the first reason I changed my D5 order into a D500 was weight and bulkiness, (the second reason I went for D500 vs D5 was the crop factor). ...
    Two years "older" I went back for action photography from a relative compact camera to a 0,5kg heavier tool that does 1 fps less... :roll:
    :arrow: The importance of 10 fps(or more) for nature photography...

Resolution wise D850 covers the same cropped image than D500, but when you use D850 in this way, there are some practical issues.

  • If you shoot with the intention of cropping by at least 1.5x, the DX area in the D850 viewfinder is small compared to that in the D500, which can make it harder to focus and compose on the subject.

  • D500 vs D850 DX size looks very different in your viewfinder:

    Image Image
    ( Please notice that the first image(D500 viewfinder) is a simulation based on the image taken with my Phone through the D850 viewfinder.)

    And how you see the AF point coverage in your viewfinder makes the big difference for me when you compare D850-DX mode vs D500 for wildlife photography:

    Image Image
    ( Please notice that the first image(D500 viewfinder) is a simulation based on the image taken with my Phone through the D850 viewfinder.)

  • About Focus point coverage and the way you see it in your viewfinder, D500 beats D850 & D5 hands down.


  • Shooting action with D850 in full image size while having the intention to crop to DX size afterwards also can place quite a burden on your storage and post processing workflow.

  • If you shoot in full resolution with the intention of cropping afterwards, D500 has a much bigger buffer(200 nefs) than D850(52 nefs).

  • About IQ, and TMHO, D500 produces significantly better images at high iso than D850 DX crops. While D850 does rather well at high iso when you look to a full size image, it gets bad while looking at 100%. Taking DX into account, D500 performs amazingly well at high iso, while D850 used in DX crop is -after what I've seen with approx. 6000 pictures- visible inferior.

  • In tricky AF situations like dragonflies or swallows in flight my D500 performs significantly better than my D850 does, whether in FX or in DX crop mode. This is probably the result of a much bigger AF field coverage or a much better view in the viewfinder(If you shoot D850-DX image size).
    :arrow: Nikon D500 has an amazing AF system

    Some images taken with D500 & 200-500, handheld:

Whatever Nikon PR'staff and Nikon ambassadors might say, to my opinion the D500 is the best wildlife camera Nikon produces. Better than D850 and in good light, also better than D5.

related topic :arrow: Nikon D500, the long time awaited D300 successor...
related topic :arrow: Nikon D500 vs D5 in lowlight from iso 100 --> iso 102400
related topic :arrow: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR user review
related topic :arrow: Lens VR setting on tripod

Re: From D850 back to D810 + D500 combo

PostPosted: Sun 18 Feb 2018 13:18
by Stany Buyle
D850 vs D810...

  • :!: Compared to D810, D850 is a rather loud operating DSLR again. Not as loud D800 or D700 used to be, but much louder than D810 and significantly louder than D500. Little birds don't like that, people in church neither.

  • :!: :!: Slightly related to the above, vibrations due to mirror Slap and Shutter Shock -which are much more present in D850 than in D810-, might cause more blur than with D810 while shooting handheld. I found my D850 images to be less sharp than what I get handheld with my D810, especially at relative slow shutter speeds. The D810 lack of vibration rules out the resolution advantage D850 should have.
    While shooting in LV, D850 excels though...

  • :!: :!: :!: D810 has a PUFlash which might be quite handsome as an occasional flash, but even more interesting as a (compact) flash commander.

  • Even though D850 beats D810 about resolution, I did not encounter any situation yet where 36Mp wasn't enough...

  • For high magnification and handheld macro, my D800 and D810 were auto focusing very well with my 105AF-S + 2xTCIIIe combo, my D850 does not.
    I had quite nice results with this combo while shooting macro...

    A picture I took with 105AF-S VR +TC-20 E III on D800E, taken handheld... With the D800 PUFlash.
    A screenshot of the AF area as seen in NikonViewNX:

    And a 100% crop of the AF area:


  • D810 vs D850: AF
    D850' AF beats the D810' AF with a big margin, but this does not make your D810 obsolete for action photography.
    Much more important than a sophisticated AF system is your general shooting technique, shutter speed and more...
    All images in the link here below have been captured with my "prehistoric" D800e and the "slow" nikon 28-300..

Some kingfisher pictures with my D810, both heavily cropped from the originals:



:arrow: related topic: Nikon D810 vs D800e

Re: From D850 back to D810 + D500 combo

PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2018 19:02
by Stany Buyle
Last but not least, price.
  • In Europe a D850 + Nikon MH-26a + EN-EL18a costs about € 5000.
  • Also in Europe, a brand newD810 + a brand new D500 cost € 4500 for both.

So I sold my D850 and went back to a D810 + D500 combo. Operating next to each other they can do 15-16 fps... ;)

Re: From D850 back to D810 + D500 combo

PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2018 19:10
by Stany Buyle
Appendix: My idea about two options for complete camera gear sets

  • As someone who cares very much about the weight of a camera body, TMHO the ideal and complete lightweight gear set is composed of a D810 or D850 for landscape, macro, studio and high resolution, a D500 for action and a D750 for high iso. D750 beats both D810 and D850 hands down at (very) high iso.
  • If weight, size and price are not a problem, TMHO the perfect set is a D850 (+ Nikon MH-26a +EN-EL18b) and a D5.

Thanks for reading and kindest regards,


Re: From D850 back to D810 + D500 combo

PostPosted: Tue 6 Mar 2018 10:09
by GAshby

Final word and my opinion on D850 today and in the future

PostPosted: Wed 7 Mar 2018 11:28
by Stany Buyle
Final word and my opinion on D850 today ànd in the future after more than 6 months shooting with it and approx 5500 images:

    • D850 is the best camera Nikon offers until today for studio photography.
      D850 is the best camera Nikon offers until today for landscape photography.
      D850 is the best camera Nikon offers until today for LV photography.
      D850 is the best camera anybody offers at this moment for macro shooters who work with non moving subjects, intentionally undercooled or etherized insects, partly because of resolution and partly because of the stacking feature.
      • If you don't mind bulkyness and weight, while used WITH the battery grip and D5 battery and in good light, D850 is the best "all in one" wildlife camera anybody offers at this moment.
    • TMHO, there are much better options for high iso photography though:
      A D750 if your budget is limited. (D750 blows away D810 ànd is significantly better than D850 at iso 6400+)
      A D4s or D5 if you don't mind weight or price.
    • TMHO D500, -while used in good light-, is a better action camera because of the viewfinder & AF point coverage differences as mentioned in my topic here above ànd -of course-, because of native 10 fps, WITHOUT battery grip and last but not least, the 200 NEF buffer .
    • For people like me who prefer D810 in a combination with D500 over D850 because of the benefits it provides for my kind of photography, a very good friend of mine who is a professional photographer and teacher wrote me the following:
      "The good thing about the D850? It reduced the price on the D810!
      The D810 is good enough for 99.99% of the photographers out there!"

For the future though, with a Nikon FX mirrorless in my mind and if it will be as I would like it to be:
• with F mount or "in-house" Nikon F mount adaptor
• with streaming magnification possibility in your viewfinder
• with PUF and flash commander on board
• even more resolution than D850 actually provide (75MP?)
• with very wide AF point coverage in viewfinder, like Sony pro cams.
• .....

..., D500, D810 ànd D850 might become obsolete, and probably even sooner as we expect.

Just my thoughts...

You can support this website...

PostPosted: Wed 7 Mar 2018 12:31
by ritaB

Jouw stuk over de D810 + D500 is super....

PostPosted: Fri 9 Mar 2018 19:09
by CDW
Jouw stuk over de D810 + D500 is super. Gedurfd, waardevol en professioneel. Elke camera blijft inderdaad een compromis en achter sterke punten schuilen soms nadelen. Bedankt om dit alles uit de doeken te doen.


D850 image quality vs D810 IQ

PostPosted: Sat 17 Mar 2018 15:50
by DiederikVP

D850' A(uto) picture control setting

PostPosted: Sat 17 Mar 2018 16:51
by Stany Buyle
D850 has a new, superb A(uto) picture control setting which has "just enough" sharpening, contrast, saturation, clarity, brightness and hue to deliver great images straight out of the camera. This applies to jpeg ànd to NEF*(*=if you use Nikon software to PP)
I would love that setting om my D810. It would avoid fiddling in PP.

Screenshot from D810 & D850 camera manuals:

:idea: :arrow: Picture Controls Step-by-Step