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Andrew Reid

Not much love for Nikon D850

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Something I have noticed...

Nobody talks about this cam! Panasonic, Fuji, Sony... tons of topics on forums everywhere. Nikon? tumbleweeds.

I suppose everyone interested in video went out and bought a A7R III or GH5 instead!?

Thing is, D850's 4K and stills are better than both of them, and so is the lens line-up.

Yes it lacks IBIS and good video AF.

But so does the Canon 1D C.

The D850 shoots a comparable image, yet without a crop and without MJPEG file sizes.

I can really see myself picking the D850 above the A7R III if it carries on performing like it does... Such a clean codec, so little moire in full frame 4k by comparison to the Sony, and way better colour.

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I think it’s just two years too late unfortunately. Things have moved on. We need IBIS and AF these days I guess. It’s been almost like a second revolution in video from the dslr movement. 

I just hired a full time shooter/editor to help me with my YT videos and he’s never used a large sensor camera that doesn’t have good AF. He is fresh out of college and they learned on the C100mkii and 70D. I handed him my 1DC and he didn’t know what to do. I told him he needs to learn..but still, it’s going to be a whole new crop of kids coming up in the film industry never touching manual focus lol

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6 minutes ago, DaveAltizer said:

I think it’s just two years too late unfortunately. Things have moved on. We need IBIS and AF these days I guess. It’s been almost like a second revolution in video from the dslr movement.

Yes but for shoots where IBIS and AF are not required, manual focus & tripod still gain a more cinematic result if we're talking traditional movie-making vs new fangled IBIS / AF movie-making. I prefer a fully locked down shot to a handheld shot pretending to be locked down, if you know what I mean. Handheld is a different style. AF is a different style. It's a great shot getter though and very convenient.

I am thinking of getting a 24-120mm F4 VR II for the D850, when I need stabilisation. Nikon's VR is very effective in video mode. Close to Sony's 5 axis IBIS performance, but 3 axis not 5.

Quote

I just hired a full time shooter/editor to help me with my YT videos and he’s never used a large sensor camera that doesn’t have good AF. He is fresh out of college and they learned on the C100mkii and 70D. I handed him my 1DC and he didn’t know what to do. I told him he needs to learn..but still, it’s going to be a whole new crop of kids coming up in the film industry never touching manual focus lol

This is true (and somewhat crazy)

Anyway, talking just image quality... This thing has it. D850 over A7R III and GH5 any time. Yeah, it's only 8bit, but it has mojo by the bucketload.

Full frame FX is virtually identical in quality to the oversampled Super 35 mode.

A7R III still has a lot of shimmering and false detail going on.

The D850 is higher bitrate too.

Really is like having a 1D C Mark II.

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16 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Something I have noticed...

Nobody talks about this cam! Panasonic, Fuji, Sony... tons of topics on forums everywhere. Nikon? tumbleweeds.

I suppose everyone interested in video went out and bought a A7R III or GH5 instead!?

Thing is, D850's 4K and stills are better than both of them, and so is the lens line-up.

Yes it lacks IBIS and good video AF.

But so does the Canon 1D C.

The D850 shoots a comparable image, yet without a crop and without MJPEG file sizes.

I can really see myself picking the D850 above the A7R III if it carries on performing like it does... Such a clean codec, so little moire in full frame 4k by comparison to the Sony, and way better colour.

Maybe I am going blind, but after watching your comparison, I don't know if I would use the word "better" to describe the D850 4K video... at least at higher ISOs:

 

It looks sharper than the A7R II and III models but looks pretty noisy to me. Am I missing something?

But for me, the real reason I don't own one is because I don't think it would work so well on a single hand gimbal, which is something I use most of the time for my filming. I imagine I would need at least a Ronin M, which I can afford, but would not find that convenient. And Nikon LiveView autofocus...

As much as I hate my a6500 for the ergonomic / UI issues it has, it works pretty darn well on a one-hand gimbal.

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In that test I made a mistake, had the noise reduction turned off on the D850, and it turns out the Sony noise reduction is pretty darn good. They have similar sensors, similar megapixel and both BSI designs, so you'd expect them to perform similarly in low light when both are operating with NR turned on. D850 has a nice fine noise grain at ISO 3200-6400. I wouldn't say the low light is awful at 12,800, this was a torture test and under-exposed a bit. Will re-do it.

Nikon 105mm F1.8 AI/S seems like a nice characterful lens. Any experience of it?

Also the 120fps is very detailed on this camera... Super 35 only but still impressive.

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1 hour ago, Andrew Reid said:

This is true (and somewhat crazy)

I haven't found that to be the case. From what I've seen, most film schools (at least any with a technical focus) are still requiring at least one class shooting 16mm. AFI requires lots of shooting on film. Whereas most schools with a focus on directing assume you'll be hiring your own experienced DP from a program like AFI.

The D850 looks great, though.

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Film schools are a bit of an exception to the norm though. In commercial video, young talent coming in from commercial photography are used to AF, happy with AF and want it on their video cameras.

It's the number one area for Nikon to improve in terms of video, as image quality is nailed down just right now.

It's the best full frame 4K image, bar none.

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37 minutes ago, DaveAltizer said:

Ok Andrew... you convinced me. I need to test it out. I’ll add it to my list of cameras to try! Lol. 

Isnt there something weird with the focus peaking if I remember correctly? 

apparently focus peaking is only in HD.

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3 hours ago, Inazuma said:

Does it have focus peaking?


First Nikon with it! (but with limitations, not in 4K for instance)

About bloody time!

Gives me hope that they'll improve it, and include it in their lower end cameras too which I can actually afford. 

 

3 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Thing is, D850's 4K and stills are better than both of them, and so is the lens line-up.

 


Better than the 10bit flexibility of the GH5?

 

 

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6 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

In that test I made a mistake, had the noise reduction turned off on the D850, and it turns out the Sony noise reduction is pretty darn good. They have similar sensors, similar megapixel and both BSI designs, so you'd expect them to perform similarly in low light when both are operating with NR turned on. D850 has a nice fine noise grain at ISO 3200-6400. I wouldn't say the low light is awful at 12,800, this was a torture test and under-exposed a bit. Will re-do it.

Nikon 105mm F1.8 AI/S seems like a nice characterful lens. Any experience of it?

Also the 120fps is very detailed on this camera... Super 35 only but still impressive.

Thanks for the clarification / update. That does make sense.

Off Topic: Do we know yet that the D850 sensor was made by Sony??? I know people were claiming it was made by TowerJazz, but as Thom Hogan pointed out, that is doubtful. 

Not familiar with the 105 AI-S lens myself. Probably great for video, less so for stills. Even the D750 with its lowly 24mp full frame sensor and with an AA filter could out-resolve some of the vintage lenses and AF-D lenses for stills.

4 hours ago, mercer said:

Can’t you get your focus in HD, then change a custom setting back to 4K for record?

Focus peaking with the NX500 required a few steps as well, but in the end it forced me to think about the frame more. 

If the D850 screen is anything at all like the screen on my D750, you might not need focus peaking.

My D750 screen is very sharp, and when you press the center button, it will automatically punch in. Much easier to manual focus my D750 than it is to manual focus my Sony a6000, a6300, a6500, a5100, even though the sony bodies have focus peaking and can punch in as well. In fact, I often turn OFF focus peaking when using my a6500 and just rely on punching in, because, Sony.

The drawback for the D750 is if you want to move the AF focus point (which is the punch in point when using MF), it is slower to move around than the Sony bodies (at least it is for me). Plus the focus point is one size. I don't know if on Canon bodies, for instance, the focus box can be different sizes when you are moving it around or not. On the D750, the focus box is small, which may or may not be good depending on your needs.

Oh... forgot; focus ring on Nikon turns backwards compared to Canon, so there is that...

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5 hours ago, IronFilm said:

About bloody time!

Gives me hope that they'll improve it, and include it in their lower end cameras too which I can actually afford. 

 

From what Thom Hogan has heard from Japan:

Two new Nikon DX mirrorless bodies shipping in May new 24 mp sensor roughly D3400/D5600 price points.

So competing against Canon M5/6,Fuji X-A5,Fuji X-T20, Sony A6300.Hopefully some of

the D850 video tech will be in them,the D3400/D5600 lines have had virtually no video improvements

since the D5300 came out over four years ago-Pull your heads out of the sand Nikon !!!

 

 

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AF is good to have, but if you gonna shoot with that like handycam, isn't full frame and particularly D850 overkill for that style of shooting? Its like saying I need 50mp cam with good Auto mode for my Instagram posts! If you do top quality work, you wouldn't trust AF. Even the smartest ones are dumb.. they can't realize which objects worth to be focused, which one is likely to be next target, how fast should be transition, and how long should keep doing nothing. (Maybe one day AI comes to help, but even AI is usually programmed to do routines, it can't read your mind). On the other hand, AF lenses are designed for photography where focus breathing is not such an important issue, and none of them are parfocal (except new fly by wire lenses). NatGeo shooters are using RED with white exotic Canon tele lenses on it, and focus manually, even in tracking a fast animal. Think about that. Even a tiny focus hunting, or faster than intended transition is not allowed in that thin DoF.

IBIS is also good to have, but eliminates the chance of sensor chip to get rid of its heat, which translates to higher noise at pixel level. Again if you do top quality work (or trying to get the best quality work possible with a top still camera), you wouldn't like to have any extra noise. The best approach is what Samsung did: optical+electronic stabilization. 

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I was already interested on the D850 and after reading your take on it @Andrew Reid i bought one the day after, only had the chance to shoot photos on it and a small portion of video but i already see the potential it really is an amazing camera! Will try to do a bit of video this weekend. Im really excited because i loved the video coming out of the D800 and D750 so this can only be better! BTW also bought a Tamron 24-70 VC (not the G2)

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2 hours ago, Eric Calabros said:

AF is good to have, but if you gonna shoot with that like handycam, isn't full frame and particularly D850 overkill for that style of shooting?

... The best approach is what Samsung did: optical+electronic stabilization. 

Sure is overkill. For this whole random event shooting aka. runandgun etc... something like a IBIS AF machine sure is the way to go. This is what I always miss when I try to be low key but wanting to be high key in outcome. It can be done but I am to wiggly of a bugger. The d850 has optical and electronic VR if you shoot with newer lenses

 

12 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Nikon 105mm F1.8 AI/S seems like a nice characterful lens. Any experience of it?

personally, and I don't shoot very expensive cinema glass, I love all the of the AIS lenses I had so far and I doubt that 105 1.4,  135 2, are dogs. Had the 180 2.8 and it was outragous although I hardly used the AIS I still want to get the AF version of that lens again to use it for fashion stuff and so on...

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6 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

Thanks for the clarification / update. That does make sense.

Off Topic: Do we know yet that the D850 sensor was made by Sony??? I know people were claiming it was made by TowerJazz, but as Thom Hogan pointed out, that is doubtful.

Yeah I doubt it is TowerJazz. Seems like Sony's upgrade to their 42MP BSI CMOS to me. Has all the hallmarks of one. The real puzzle is why Sony keep giving their main rival the absolute top spec sensor, whilst putting older tech in their own.

The 46MP sensor seems to have more dynamic range, lower minimum ISOs, more resolution, faster readout, possibly even onboard moire reduction in pixel binned 4K mode from 46MP and then the D850 uses XQD cards as well - another Sony tech, which they can't be bothered to put on their own cameras!

6 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

If the D850 screen is anything at all like the screen on my D750, you might not need focus peaking.

You don't need it.

Live-view feed is crystal clear, super sharp and detailed, big screen and very high res panel. It's better than D750 and that was already good to start with.

6 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

Oh... forgot; focus ring on Nikon turns backwards compared to Canon, so there is that...

I believe the Sigma ART lenses for Nikon mount focus the same way as the Canon versions... so there's a solution!

6 hours ago, Aussie Ash said:

From what Thom Hogan has heard from Japan:

Two new Nikon DX mirrorless bodies shipping in May new 24 mp sensor roughly D3400/D5600 price points.

So competing against Canon M5/6,Fuji X-A5,Fuji X-T20, Sony A6300.Hopefully some of

the D850 video tech will be in them,the D3400/D5600 lines have had virtually no video improvements

since the D5300 came out over four years ago-Pull your heads out of the sand Nikon !!!

Definitely the new tech should filter down to a D5700 or D6000 of some sort. No crop. No moire. Just clean 4K with flat profile and super clean codec, Nikon colours, etc. It would be very popular under $800.

11 hours ago, mercer said:

Can’t you get your focus in HD, then change a custom setting back to 4K for record?

Focus peaking with the NX500 required a few steps as well, but in the end it forced me to think about the frame more. 

It's easier...

Enable peaking in stills mode, focus, then flick the switch to movie mode to record.

The flick to movie mode has zero lag or black out. No mirror flipping, or refocussing.

Peaking looks lovely in stills live-view...pro-video quality.

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