D850 vs. Df - in real life

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kevin_beretta, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. So this afternoon I took a shot of my neighbor's cat again. This time with the Df. I took a shot earlier of the same cat on Feb 1 with the D850. Same lens, AF-adjusted on both cameras, 85 1.4G Nikkor.

    First pic is D850, ISO 800, 1/160s, f/1.4


    Second pic is Df, ISO 5600, 1/250s, f/1.4


    The only change I made was the square crop and in the D850 picture I bumped up the exposure by 0.75. The first pic had the cat on the kitchen table under a light, the second on top of the fridge, in a much darker environment. I much prefer the latter picture versus the first. The D850 picture feels a lot harsher and not what I expected at f/1.4. It sort of confirms what I found when I started re-processing (in CaptureOne) some older pics shot with the D70. I found the D850 vs. the D700 pics not as satisfying. Certainly, for shooting birds or landscapes you'd want the extra mpix to crop but I think for daily life and people shots, the Df is going to be more my go-to camera.
  2. I think you are comparing lighting conditions rather than cameras here. I also much prefer the second image, probably because it is closer to what I consider properly exposed. Also, the background is less busy, the light is flatter, and the color temperature slightly colder. I would, however, shift the tint towards magenta slightly. I'm saying all this while viewing on my smartphone. The cat's posture is also different, with its torso sideways in the first picture, and more head-on in the second one, falling more out of focus, which is perhaps part of what you are referring to as expected at f/1.4.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  3. I agree with the above. You're mostly comparing light and composition in these two.
  4. Cats for still life pictures?

    I see your problem....:p
    bnelson, daniel_bliss and bgelfand like this.
  5. Very much an apples to oranges comparison.

    How about if the WB and exposure are made more similar?
    I actually prefer the cat's expression and composition of the D850 picture.

    And it would be much better if the subject was a dog or a squirrel.;)
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  6. That's a bit harsh on kitties!

    Some of my best friends are cats!

    No, wait......:D
  7. At least it's not a raccoon!
    doesn't sit still to pose for very long
    Albin''s images likes this.
  8. I'd suspect, apart from a slightly different pixel density, any minor differences in image, would be more than 'corrected' by RAW conversion.

    Now, UI, that's another story completely.

    .. and the Df's claim to fame as being the only other modern DSLR, apart from the Sigma SD1 Merril, NOT to have video/LV.
    1. I "know" that color, contrast, WB, and so on can be adjusted to match camera to camera, and that higher res cameras should just have higher resolution (and maybe lower noise when size is adjusted). My experience has been that some cameras I had (including a D4 briefly) seemed to produce more pleasing results with less or no manipulation than others. I do shoot NEF+JPG, but prefer to do other things rather than mess with NEFs. I never could seem to find the optimum tweaked picture controls for the D810 I had, while I am usually happy with SOOTC JPGs from my Z6. While I briefly had the D4, I compared it to the D810 with all PC's matched, and preferred the D4 results. I then tweaked PC's in the D810 and got the two producing similar results.
    Not sure why the 1 and indent starts this, I can't seem to edit it out.

    Agree with RJ and others that the two pics in different lighting conditions are not the best test, my comparisons that led to PC adjustments in the D810 were photos of Mandi at almost the same time & lighting. I have two 50/1.8Gs for this purpose.
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  9. I don't think the cameras made the difference. I like the first shot much better.
  10. It doesn't have video but does have LV. I never used the LV until one day the meter went dead when using the viewfinder but it would work perfectly with LV. I didn't realize that until the meter failed. I ended up guessing my exposure instead of using live view. After I had my camera fixed I hate the LV because it introduces a dual system in the same camera. The 2 systems are independent of each other and while supposed to be identical but can be different. For example pointing the camera to the same scene and switch from viewfinder to live view can show different meter reading.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  11. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    The reason a viewfinder cover or shutter is provided is so that light coming in the viewfinder will not impact exposure with live view.
  12. In fact when you use live view you can shine a flash light into the viewfinder and it doesn't affect the meter reading. In live view nothing in the viewfinder is used. Not the metering sensor or anything. The mirror is up and no light in the viewfinder can reach the sensor. The imaging sensor is now used for imaging the picture of course, provide a view on the live view, to measure light intensity for meter and to perform AF. It's 2 totally independent system except using the same sensor to acquire the image.
  13. I remember getting a clip-on viewfinder cover with some of my film SLRs, which obviously did not have live view.

    I think the purpose is to prevent stray light from throwing off the meter reading when using auto-exposure and the photographer's head is not blocking the viewfinder, such as when using the self-timer.
  14. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

  15. Funny, the D850 manual skips this step when writing about live view:

    Live View Photography

    On the other hand, it gets mentioned at the part about the self-timer mode:

    Self-Timer Mode
    Sandy Vongries likes this.
  16. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Interesting! Don't have a D 850, will check that in the Df Manual.
    Note: Df Manual also specifies covering the viewfinder as a major point - P 48.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  17. Yes that would happen when you use the viewfinder and your eye isn't at the eye piece but not when in live view.
  18. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    You know more than the Manual?
  19. Aside from the differences in lighting and white balance, I don't see much technical difference at this resolution...

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