Nikon D850, Early Impressions

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ShunCheung, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. D850 with 45 f2.8 at f2.8 DSC_1593.jpg
  2. Using older AIS 28 f2.8 and 45 f2.8 at f2.8 and my impression is that the bigger sensor enhances the use of those lenses. Same for my AIS 105 f2.5. Of course, newer lenses like the 105 f1.4e outstrip the legacy lenses on MTF charts but the legacy lenses can produce contrasty images with sufficient MP's for picture agencies or other purposes.
  3. The 45mm lens is OK, but that 28mm used wide open has pretty bad corner issues.
  4. Huge video files are intimidating, but not necessarily limiting. Many cameras have options for smaller files. Full 4,2,2 4K/30p is 100 MB/sec and 2K is half that. Both my Canon video cams and Sony A7/A9 have the option of recording MP4 proxy files along with the main recording. Even the proxy files are a little large for email, but work well via Dropbox or FTP. Offhand, they run about 150 MB per 10 minutes viewing. Until super-BD software becomes a reality, I won't be distributing 4K, but I will use it to downsize to standard HD (2K). Likewise I downsize 2K video to 720p, which is easier yet to distribute. Downsampling in Premiere Pro removes nearly all aliasing (staircase edges) and framing artifacts.

    You can't use standard zoom lenses in real time unless you have a B-roll to cover the jitters. Sony makes a couple of power zoom lenses, and power zoom is standard issue for most video cameras. I've used my still cameras for B-roll at fixed settings. You just have to stop and restart every 29 minutes or less, and change batteries when needed (or use an external USB battery). My smallest video camera is three times as large and twice as heavy.

    The shutter is silent (electronic) and the mirror up for video with a DSLR. Quiet is cool!
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Back in 2011 when I tested the then brand new Nikon 1 J1 mirrorless camera, I used that to shoot some HD video. After like 10 minutes, that little camera became very hot, so hot that it almost hurt my hand to hold it. I can't imagine that kind of heat is good for the electronics inside.

    I haven't pushed the D850 to that extend. I have mostly captured short video segments, usually shorter than one minute and a few that lasts 2, 3 minutes. Unfortunately, we don't have a 4K TV to watch it.
  6. True
  7. the good 28 is the 2.0
  8. The sigma 24-35mm f2 behaves nicely on my D810, guess it will be OK on a D850.

    I tend to be a bit lazy with it and leave it @ f4 unless more DoF is needed.

    Even wide open, it doesn't really 'do' shallow DoF, and I prefer in-camera sharpness as I can soften it later. It doesn't really work the other way around!

    Guess I'll keep my D810 for the rest of 2018 and then look around.
    erik_christensen|3 likes this.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    One addition I am quite happy about is the new options for the Exposure Delay Mode on the D850.

    Back in the early days such as the D2X, there was a fixed delay of 0.4 sec. Later on Nikon changed the delay to selectable among 1, 2 and 3 seconds, which is fine but sometimes even 1 second is a bit long. On the D850, there are more choices.

    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  10. I set my camera up so that the Pv button with the command dial changes the exposure delay setting. It is quite neat to have that option.
    ShunCheung likes this.
  11. Is it possible to set up a button to change from FF to crop without going into the menu on the d850?
  12. US manual Nikon D850 page 139 - yes, it is possible.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  13. Probably a little less useful than previous D8x0 cameras, though, since it doesn't gain you any frame rate. It still saves you storage (and buffer) - I've thought of it being useful before, especially when tracking wildlife that's varying in distance.

    I know the D850 had a "third FN button" (if not in a very helpful place). I'm beginning to wish there were more suited around the right hand, for all the things I might end up configuring. I'd quite often like virtual horizon, DoF preview, AND several other options...
  14. Thanks Dieter, haven't ordered one yet. Looks like still a delay on delivery. Andrew, I was thinking of using it to get a 4 "zoom" settings on a 400 2.8. 400 on ff, 600 as crop, 680 with ff and 1.7 tc, crop plus 1.7 1020.
  15. I don't think of crop modes as zoom - I always crop in post anyway, and they don't give you any more detail, they just discard some pixels at the point of capture. If you're worried about storage space or buffer (I sometimes am) and you know you'll crop the edges of the frame anyway, it's useful, but it doesn't gain you anything like a teleconverter does.

    I've been known to put my D810 into 1.2x crop to take it up to 6fps, but since the D850 can do its full speed at full frame rate (ignoring the 30fps "not video honest" mode) you don't gain speed, just buffer/storage. I used my D800 in DX crop at the London Olympics because there was a limit on lens size so I didn't have the reach I needed, and I absolutely wanted not to run out of CF space, but that was the exception. Usually the extra pixels do no harm.

    If small raw actually used binning (like Phase One) the same would apply - it's an operation I'd be doing later in post anyway, so I may as well save storage. I remain unclear what the D850's small raw modes do - it sounds as though they've changed since the D810, but they don't retain dynamic range as I'd hope binning does.

    On that note, it would be nice if you could configure 14-bit vs 12-bit depending on ISO (as Thom Hogan had proposed). I haven't looked whether it can at least be switched by programming a function button.
  16. I also feel like there still aren't enough configurable buttons within easy reach. I am coming from the D700, and the exposure mode button moving to the left is a definite step back, so I quickly mapped it to the video record button.

    It would be nice if I could configure some buttons on the left (for example the mode button, which I now have moved to the right, or the quality button, which I rarely ever use, and if I did wand to change the quality once a year, I wouldn't mind going into the menu for that) for functions that I do use occasionally, but not necessarily while the camera is held to my eyes. For example the image area is one I can think of. First I put that on the Fn 1 button, but then I decided the virtual horizon was more important for me, so I ended up putting it in "my menu" instead, and configured Fn 2 to on the back of the camera to open "my menu". I put a couple more items there which I use often, but couldn't map them to any button. I don't think I'll use the crop modes much, but the 4:5 and 1:1 modes are nice in the studio I think. I compose differently with the unused area masked out, and I personally find it hard to "crop in my head".

    The placing of the BKT button is very awkward, I would prefer to have it on top, for example instead of the metering mode button. As for metering mode selection, I like the rotary switch on the D700.

    I now have the joystick set up so that it activates group area AF directly. This way I have the AF-ON button to activate whatever I have the camera's AF system set to (mostly 25 point dynamic AF), and if I need group area AF, I just use the joystick as my AF-ON button. This way I have two AF modes constantly available, activates with different buttons. The downside is that now I don't have exposure lock function available, which I would occasionally use with center weighted metering and aperture or shutter speed priority exposure modes.I guess I'll have to go through a couple of configurations until I find the ideal one. I know I could do multiple configurations and save them in different banks, but that is just too much for my brain to remember.

    One thing that confused me was that by default, the command dials were behaving differently when setting exposure and when setting exposure compensation. A turn to the right on either command dial decreases exposure, while in conjunction with the exposure compensation button they did just the opposite. So I had to reverse the command dials for exposure compensation. It's something I take care of once and never have to change again, but the default configuration just didn't seem to make any sense.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  17. It is more the added speed than saving card space that I like about the DX crop mode and why I think it is a relevant feature on such a high resolution body (a body most want to use near base ISO without cropping). Granted, the D850 is fast enough, so cropping in post would be enough on the D850.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  18. You do get increased burst depth in crop modes, and some people may actually want to see what is happening just outside of the selected field of view while shooting, in the viewfinder.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  19. Agreed, Ilkka. I do think the crop is still useful on the D850, just less so than on previous D8x0 bodies.
  20. Haven't engaged any of the crop modes on the D810 at all - I rather crop in post if needed. Or use the D500 when I want "more reach", faster fps, or better AF.

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