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D850 released. Nothing to see here, move along

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4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Yes focus peaking in the D850 is limited to only in 1080 (which is DUMB!! You want it for 4K too), but the sheer existence of this feature means a major shift is going to happen within the Canikon duolopy. Just like what happened when the Nikon D90 arrived on the scene as the first HDSLR.

You will see all future Nikons having focus peaking, and you'll see the focus peaking improve (such as for 4K), and I bet within the next year or two we will see Canon add focus peaking to one of their DSLRs. Just like what happened with the D90, then Canon had to respond to Nikon. If the D850 didn't have focus peaking, I bet we'd need to wait an extra couple of years (or more!) before Canon would finally in its own sweet time add focus peaking to its DSLRs.

Focus peaking has been available for years on Canons via Magic Lantern. Zebras too. Canon purposely omit them from their DSLRs to upsell their EOS C line. D850 isn't going to change that fact.

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6 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

But as a gesture of goodwill they should release a development platform camera for enthusiasts, which has a full SDK supplied with it on digital media, an open OS for Magic Lantern to fully develop the functionality, and to make features like raw video bullet proof reliable. And Canon's consumer division will NOT offer support for it. It's supplied as-is and not sold in regular shops to regular Joes.

I couldn't agree with you more!  I mean like, triple AMEN! :)   I have never worked with a camera SDK that seemed like it was designed by half-competent developers (unlike the main ML devs).  Indeed, recently I wanted to control Sony cameras.  Did I load up the SDK?  NOPE.  Been down that road, with unanswered questions on life-less forums.  So I installed the USB Camera Remote and used a library that basically does key-stroke pressing on the application's interface.  When it comes to SDKs, all the camera makers are pathetic.

Now this may seem like a tangent, but I want to prove a point.  Adobe Premiere just re-vamped their whole TITLE making process.  THREW OUT THE WHOLE THING.  Now there is a "Graphics" interface.  When you create a title you get bountiful properties and methods in the Graphics pane.  It's been built from the ground up.  Should be perfect, right?  Yet it has everything but the TEXT OF THE TITLE!  In order to change the text of the title you have to click on the "Text" tool on the timeline.  Is the text of a graphic a property of a timeline?  WTF!  It makes me speechless! My brain freezes trying to comprehend how Adobe management could let something like that pass.   It's a KLUDGE of monumental incompetence.  My 2-cents ;)  

There are very, very few software developers who have a real talent for programming.  Just like there are very, very few bloggers who have a talent for writing about cameras ;)  The world runs on computers.  There is still a fair amount of managers at Canikon who weren't brought up on computers.  In short, there is a chronic shortage of talent.  If Adobe can't get enough good talent, what hope everyone else?

Look at ML, of the 28,000 members my guess is there are only 50 or so people with hard-core programming skill.  And if more, they don't have the time.  Put another way, I bet 8 out of 10 software guys at Canon don't even understand what the ML devs do.  It's over their head.

 

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On 8/25/2017 at 4:50 PM, IronFilm said:

In a way I'm not at all surprised in the slightest!

People keep on forgetting that Nikon has been beating Canon to the punch in video over and over again, when we compare Canon vs Nikon directly. (if we ignore Canon's Cinema range)

First ever HDSLR: Nikon.
First with 4K DSLR: Nikon. 
First with 1080 60fps: Nikon.
First with focus peaking: Nikon.

Nikon never intended to compete in video market, so any "first" or "fast" video feature they introduced was basically fruit of strong relationship they had/have with best sensor makers of the world.

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On 8/24/2017 at 7:31 PM, mat33 said:

I suspect all of the crippling in the D850 video is what you get when you rely on Sony for your sensors. I imagine Nikon have some contract that allows them to use Sonys latest sensor tech but they aren't allowed to provide certain features like peaking in 4K for a period of time. If you produced you own sensors or brought them from someone else like BM does then it makes no sense to hold back unless you are protecting your cinema camera range or are engineering limited.

Actually, Nikon designed their own sensor for the D850.  It is unknown at this point who actually builds it for them.

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On 8/25/2017 at 2:56 PM, maxotics said:

I couldn't agree with you more!  I mean like, triple AMEN! :)   I have never worked with a camera SDK that seemed like it was designed by half-competent developers (unlike the main ML devs).  Indeed, recently I wanted to control Sony cameras.  Did I load up the SDK?  NOPE.  Been down that road, with unanswered questions on life-less forums.  So I installed the USB Camera Remote and used a library that basically does key-stroke pressing on the application's interface.  When it comes to SDKs, all the camera makers are pathetic.

Now this may seem like a tangent, but I want to prove a point.  Adobe Premiere just re-vamped their whole TITLE making process.  THREW OUT THE WHOLE THING.  Now there is a "Graphics" interface.  When you create a title you get bountiful properties and methods in the Graphics pane.  It's been built from the ground up.  Should be perfect, right?  Yet it has everything but the TEXT OF THE TITLE!  In order to change the text of the title you have to click on the "Text" tool on the timeline.  Is the text of a graphic a property of a timeline?  WTF!  It makes me speechless! My brain freezes trying to comprehend how Adobe management could let something like that pass.   It's a KLUDGE of monumental incompetence.  My 2-cents ;)  

There are very, very few software developers who have a real talent for programming.  Just like there are very, very few bloggers who have a talent for writing about cameras ;)  The world runs on computers.  There is still a fair amount of managers at Canikon who weren't brought up on computers.  In short, there is a chronic shortage of talent.  If Adobe can't get enough good talent, what hope everyone else?

Look at ML, of the 28,000 members my guess is there are only 50 or so people with hard-core programming skill.  And if more, they don't have the time.  Put another way, I bet 8 out of 10 software guys at Canon don't even understand what the ML devs do.  It's over their head.

 

@maxotics to further go down this tangent let me just say that I despise the new title workflow. For some reason my computer slows to a crawl when trying to use the new title tool and much of the UI seems like a backwards step. I hope Adobe fixes this soon. I think the parallel you draw here is accurate; often times programmers overlook the user experiences when adding/updating features.

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Nikon claim the sensor is their own design passed to a third party to manufacture in their fabs. By the word “design” it isn’t clear if Nikon has a CMOS design office or Sony’s engineers and technology develops the fundamental sensor and Nikon just picks the numbers and features they want. I suspect the latter.

It's actually the former, Nikon has had an in-house design team for a very long time; the D1x's oddball configuration was from them, and it's not always a hit either: the disaster that was the D2x's LBCAST sensor was from them too.

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Dual pixel AF with 45MP final output image would require a natively 91MP sensor and for continuous AF purposes all of this data would have to be read and processed during focusing. Cross-type phase detection with a quadruple pixel design would require 182MP (if 2x2 are used instead of some other pattern). These things are easier to implement in a camera that isn't intended to produce high-resolution stills. Dual pixel AF is limited by the processing power available and having a high pixel count makes it more difficult. Notice that Canon's 50MP models don't have dual pixel AF either.

D2H and D2Hs had an LBCAST sensor.  I think the main problem wasn't the technology of the sensor but the fact that it was 4MP while Canon's was 8MP. The D2X had a 12 MP sensor but Nikon hadn't yet cracked optimal high ISO at that time (the breakthroughs came later with the D3s).

In my opinion, the details of how Nikon collaborate with their partners to make the sensors for their cameras should not matter to the customer. Users should be interested in 1) image quality, 2) performance, and 3) cost. If the results are excellent that is usually enough. It is clear that Nikon's focus isn't in video but they offer video as a feature (instead of the primary function of the camera). Nikon seems to prioritise still image quality over features such as video AF. This is neither a good thing or a bad thing, every company would do well to concentrate on their strengths. I do think Canon may be more motivated to offer full frame 4K in the near future because both of their main rivals now offer it. Since Nikon are planning on releasing a high end mirrorless camera system in the future, that will surely require some kind of on-sensor PDAF which then can be offered on the DSLR side as well.

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1 hour ago, Ilkka Nissila said:

Dual pixel AF is limited by the processing power available and having a high pixel count makes it more difficult. Notice that Canon's 50MP models don't have dual pixel AF either.

Yes, one actually looks at RAW frames from Canon cameras, as you will with ML, then they see those focus pixels in frames, which lead to the "pink pixel" problem.  There can never be a perfect camera!  I suspect that Canon adds more red to their filters, which reduces dynamic range, but gives a more pleasing image for many people, whereas Nikon goes for wider dynamic range with neutral colors which aren't as "psychologically" appealing.  Since even a video 4:2:2 compression will essentially double up on every 3rd pixel of color it's no wonder that dual-pixel effects on color are not noticed in video.  My wonder is if dual-pixel auto focus, because it requires pixels made slightly different (my guess) makes it more difficult to get 4K, definitely 4K with focus peaking (which is Nikon's problem).  Bottom line, for Nikon to keep its lead in still photography dynamic range, I can't see how it can implement Canon's video compromises--EVER.  Mirrorless may get them to similar video features as Canon, but it will be at the expense of their still frame photography technology which one can best appreciate by shooting with a D810/D850.

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This video illustrates most of my problems with D850.

rolling shutter artifacts, micro-vibrations, noisy and lousy AF. 

Especially the micro vibrations coupled with the AF noise gave me a chilling flashback of my D800 days. 

It is no joke that once you have IBIS, EVF, and proper AF it is next to impossible to go back.

Great stills camera as D850 may be, for video I would look elsewhere. 

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1 hour ago, Don Kotlos said:

It is no joke that once you have IBIS, EVF, and proper AF it is next to impossible to go back.

Great stills camera as D850 may be, for video I would look elsewhere. 

Yeah I agree... When I tried the D500, I thought "great, beefy Nikon ergonomics instead of Sony fiddly buttons"... Haha, not for video it isn't. There is something very dated about the form factor now we've been spoilt with prosumer mirrorless cameras.

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The high end FF DSLRs are just too big and clunky.

And they don't need to be. Anyone from the golden days of film cameras will remember the consumer DSLRs from that era, which were about the size of modern day MILCs. I still have my old Minolta XG-1, which was tiny compared to modern FF DSLRs. It is smaller than my NX1. The presence of a mirror doesn't mean that the camera has to be huge, that is a purely cosmetic choice made by manufacturers, presumably so that they could mimic the old film pro-cameras (which were huge, due to the need to incorporate things like autowinders and the associated batteries).

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It's not so much the big size compared to mirrorless that's the problem, more the clunky AF in video mode (Dual Pixel AF aside), flippy mirror, need to activate live-view, flip the mirror up, no EVF, few stabilised primes and so on...it's a pain!

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@Don Kotlos

Never seen such a horrible "video test" - it's really a pain. It shows all issues with Nikon video: horrible video AF, loud noise during focusing, lack of stabilization, flickering in questionnable light conditions, etc....If I were a fan of conspiracy theories, I would say, the competition paid the "tester" to show up how bad the D850 is for filming... :grin:

BTW: I'm interested to see, how the D850 video performs in very low light scenes - would it be near A7S ii performance ?

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this is much nicer, but if it was shot handheld at 50mm, where are those jerbils? (as I have unilaterally decided to call rolling shutter artefacts caused by jitters).  THeres some warp stabiliser in here methinks

 

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11 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Also, to be fair, I think it also illustrates a lot of problems with the shooter!

Definitely, but it is unpolished enough to not hide real life problems. 

I am sure D850 can produce really nice looking videos, it is just a bit harder.  

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Every time. It doesn't matter how many new cameras gets released.
Every time we have to go through the same debates based on clips like this where some guy is hand holding a long focal length in a store. And people base opinions of the gear from it... instead of trying it first.

Or someone sees a promotional video and say "crushed blacks"...

And every time we wait a few months and every single commenter changes their minds in silence when they see what actually can be done with the gear.

So like every time before my tips are,

  • Promotional videos always crush blacks on purpose.
  • Some dude in a store shooting with the camera attached to a cable isn't a good sample.
  • Wait.
  • Try it first.
  • Promotional pictures are often very mainstream and stock photo looking.
  • Wait.
  • For gods sake wait!
    There is no rush. A new camera is released again tomorrow :)

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Indeed.

A good idea to wait and try the camera yourself.

The image might be really good.

There will be ways to shoot with it optimally and get the best out of it. Sure, it is not going to make your life as easy as a GH5, but for those who need video bolted to a full frame Nikon, it might be just the ticket.

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I bet you Nikon are really chuffed they let him have a go with it, aren't they?

I mean, I have to say that based on this test, the D850 is absolutely off my list now if it can't even be used for shooting wide open on an f1.4 non VR short tele whilst waving it round randomly.

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4 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Indeed.

A good idea to wait and try the camera yourself.

The image might be really good.

There will be ways to shoot with it optimally and get the best out of it. Sure, it is not going to make your life as easy as a GH5, but for those who need video bolted to a full frame Nikon, it might be just the ticket.

I think whatever they call the sequel to the D750 will be quite interesting, too...

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