D850 compared to D810?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by sallymack, Dec 2, 2021.

  1. Thoughts, please. I've been shooting a Nikon D810 for several years, generally pleased with it but it's slow to focus, a problem now that I shoot more birds. Does the 850 focus faster? Or is it better in other ways? Other suggestions? I can't switch to mirrorless: my Mac computer is so old (OSX 10.13.6) it can't be upgraded and, according to Nikon techies, the mirrorless software can't accommodate the older software. Thanks.
  2. Don't have D850 but, because I have the Z7ii, I did some research on its (Z7ii's) focus ability and have come across articles and videos saying how much better the D850 is over the Z7ii in focusing and especially in tracking. Just thought to let you know.
    Don't quite understand. What "mirrorless software"? Do you mean the older Mac cannot process large files due to cpu and memory limitation? However, the D850 generates 50mp images and Z7ii generate 45mp. Both gigantic. :eek:
  3. The latest versions of Nikon software do support their current mirrorless and DSLR files and the also work with older Nikon camera files (the same is true of Adobe and others who make photo processing tools). There may be some OS incompatibility that may prevent your computer from being compatible with the latest versions of software and this could be the issue; I'm not familiar with Macs so I can't really comment on how serious this might be.

    The D850 is significantly faster and more reliable in focusing on fast-moving subjects than the D810. It's also faster in terms of fps rate (7 without accessory grip, 9 with grip and EN-EL18 series battery). The images are a bit more detailed as well (45 MP vs. 36 MP), and the viewfinder is better (and there are a host of new features such as automatic collection of a stack of images for extending depth of field in focus stacking software). However, the D850 is likely to require quite new OS as well, it's a 2017 model. Mac users can perhaps comment on which OS version would be needed to support various software that can work with the D850 raw files.

    Generally it might be a good idea to upgrade the computer every 5 years or so, in order to gain performance benefits and generally to get a reliable experience. My 5-year-old laptop's fan just failed yesterday and it was heating up a lot, until I realized something was wrong and turned it off. It gave the message "FAN ERROR" upon shutting down. I shook it a bit and it restarted and the fan started again, so it's not quite finished yet, but I can't be confident any more that it'll be a reliable tool for several years so I am looking towards purchasing a new laptop and delegating the old one to backup status.
  4. The computational demands to process a bunch of D850 RAW files or merging a 60 slice focus-stack will probably crash your poor machine, or at least put it into a terminal snooze.

    High-end camera + low-end computer = :(

    If you only take JPEGs and don't stack, it's probably not a problem. The D850 is 'better' in pretty much every way. Focus tracking is much improved for BIF.

    Best get a pair of ear-defenders too if you intend to pop the grip on it for 9fps. It's LOUD in a very metallic clangy way..:eek:
  5. Which lens do you have that, coupled with a D810, is slow to focus? I have a D850 now and had a D810, but did not have both at the same time. I don't shoot birds, but had no AF speed issues when shooting sports with the D810. I typically used AF-C with D9 settings, not AF-A or the other more automatic modes. The automatic AF modes seemed slower.

    For birding, I expect that the increased number of focus points coupled with faster processing in the D850 would result in a notable but probably not dramatic improvement in AF performance, assuming that the lens you are using is up to the task.
  6. If you think the mirrorless is better then you should go with mirrorless.
  7. FWIW I just fired up my 9 year old MacBook Pro running MacOS 10.12.4 and opened four 50MB D850 NEF files in Adobe CC 2018. It was definitely a bit slow but it didn't have any particular problems. The machine limps along most of the time these days only as a Netflix viewer.

    No other programs were running at the time, the machine has 8GB memory and 500GB free disk space so memory and scratch disk space were not factors.

    The version of Capture NX I have on that machine wouldn't read the file and I didn't try to upgrade it.
  8. Thanks, Mary. I purchased a Z7 only to discover after receiving it that its software is not compatible with my old software, my computer doesn't recognize it when the cable is attached to the computer. I don't know if Lightroom 6 would recognize the NEF raw files if I could get them onto the computer. Nikon techies say there's no fix or workaround to the compatibility issues. I'm checking the software specs on the D850.
  9. Thanks, Ilkka. I'm looking into the D850. I obviously haven't upgraded computer equipment for years. Upgrading would involve purchasing desktop computer, laptop, scanner, printer, and software.
  10. Thanks, Mike.
  11. Thanks, Robert. I use an AF-S 70-300 Nikkor zoom lens.
  12. Thanks, Mike. I don't do anything fancy with pictures, nothing that Lightroom 6 can't handle. 9fps not necessary.
  13. Iā€™d be happy to send you a D850 and/or Z7 NEF file via Dropbox for you to test.
  14. Great, thanks Edwin. I'd like to look at a file from the D850. I've just about decided the Z7 won't work.
  15. I have both the D810 and the D850 - I use the later for bird photography and would not consider the D810 for that task at all.
    +1 to what Ilkka said. In my case the D850 competes with a D500 when it comes to bird photography. Both have their advantages and disadvantages in that regard. If I can fill the frame of the D850, then, of course, I have the approx. 1 stop ISO advantage when it comes to noise performance and a higher resolution image. Cropping the D850 then gradually gets me at par with the D500 - though often locating a subject in the D850 viewfinder is easier. AF area coverage is less in the D850 - which quite often turns out to be a disadvantage. In terms of AF performance, they are close but I would give a slight advantage to the D500 (I only use single point or GRP). I don't have the grip and larger battery for the D850, so it's 7fps vs 10fps (D500).

    Maybe replacing the D810 with a D850 is not the right choice - but adding a D500 might be?
  16. I have an older copy of Nikon Capture NX-D 1.6.2. This runs on my old Macbook (older than yours!) and it opens NEF raw files from both the D850 and the Z7. I don't use Nikon software anymore so I can't say anything more than the files open successfully, as did Photoshop CC 2018.

    BTW I use an XQD card reader to transfer files rather than a camera to computer connection I find it easier and doesn't affect camera battery longevity.

    Here's a dropbox link to D850 and Z7 NEF files. I'll delete it in a few hours.
  18. I used the Adobe converter for a while but I found that I preferred the results from batch converting NEFs using Nikon Capture NX-D. Can't say if that was due to "user error" on my part or actually a difference between how Nikon converted its own raw format and how Adobe did.
  19. [QUOTE="I've been shooting a Nikon D810 for several years, generally pleased with it but it's slow to focus, a problem now that I shoot more birds.[/QUOTE]

    Have you gone through the various Menu settings to optimise the D810 for shooting birds - things like using AF-C instead of AF-S etc?

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