Should I Enter the FF DSLR World with a 5div or a D850?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by hussain_al_lawati, Dec 1, 2017.


Should I Enter the FF DSLR World with a 5div or a D850?

  1. D850

  2. 5DIV

  1. Will this endless thread never end?

    At some point, you just have to jump in and make a decision. IMHO Any decision is better than this.

    And the Kodak digitals were WAAAY before there was a Canon 5D. They were ahead of any of their contemporaries and their failure to make it in the marketplace is probably due to their cost and the failure of Kodak to really commit to the idea altogether...
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  2. To be fair, I don't think Hussain has posted since last Saturday. We're continuing this for him. :) (I think we're a way short of the Df thread of doom, anyway.)

    And yes, the big Kodak pro cameras were earlier. I believe they were huge and unwieldy frankencameras based on barely-modified film bodies, and they were very expensive. Laughable though this is compared with the refinement of modern DSLRs, the D1 was a league ahead in usability (although I was always vaguely curious about the 6MP monochrome version). Then we got cameras like the 10D, 300D and D100, and Kodak were priced out. I'm not sure that Kodak didn't commit so much as not really having their own SLR system to adapt - too much time creating film for everyone else. At least, I think this is the case - obviously Kodak had APS cameras, various compacts, and a range of products going back to the Brownie, but I certainly didn't register them having an SLR system to compete with Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Minolta, etc. in the 1990s. Kodak may also have been a bit over-optimistic about how quickly others would create competitive sensors.

    However, I was specifically talking about the DCS-14/n and DCS-14/c, which slightly beat the original 1Ds to market, and which I believe were still about (and much more affordable by then) concurrently with the original 5D. I did still consider one, nervously, after I got my D700. I wouldn't now, except for historical interest. Fortunately I've never had to resort to my F5 as backup to my DSLRs even when I've carried it along, although it still gets wheeled out occasionally.
    hussain_al_lawati likes this.
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I wouldn't be surprised that the OP is no longer reading this thread :), but I wonder whether he has come to a decision, though.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  4. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Moderator Staff Member

    If he waits much longer, someone will buy one and rest it on his chest when he passes!
  5. I don't think so. When he passes I think nobody would even remember or know what is the D850 or 5D Mk IV any more.
    hussain_al_lawati likes this.
  6. It might be a collectors' item. I happened to be wandering around the "camera museum" in London yesterday (where Aperture used to be - reassuringly they've moved rather than closing, although their coffee facilities and at least the 1000mm f/6.3 stayed at the museum). They have an Eos 300D and an Eos 500 in there, which made me feel a bit old. The computer history museum in Bozeman had the same effect ("remember that, had that, still have that one, I have the older version of that...")

    Fun aside, we're being a little harsh given that Hussain may have bought a body last weekend for all we know. And I've dithered over buying a camera body way longer than this - though fortunately when I switched systems I was waiting for the manufacturers to ship for long enough to absorb my hesitation. Indeed, I've discussed the Df, which I never had any intention of buying, for way longer than this! (This fact may not be to my credit, or to anyone else's liking.)
    Albin''s images likes this.
  7. I agree that the horse has long been beaten to a bloody pulp.

    Still, I have to comment on this. Like Andrew, my comments were specifically directed at the DCS 14/n(and its EOS equivealent), which came to the market when Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and others were all making excellent and cost-competitive DSLRs.

    Essentially, the only reason why it got any traction at all was the fact that it was the first F-mount full frame DSLR. For $5K, you got a clunky and cheap feeling body that just happened to have a 24x36mm CMOS sensor. I think it had a SLIGHT resolution edge over most of the other cameras on the market, but realistically the difference between something like a 12mp D2x and 14mp DCS 14/n wasn't worth splitting hairs.

    I still regularly use my D2x. It is long in the tooth, but serves its purpose well and I like the color rendition it gives. On the other hand, I find the limited dynamic range of the DCS 14/n to be a handicap, and it takes a fair bit of effort to get colors I like whether working with JPEGs, RAW files in the Kodak software, or RAW files in Lightroom. There again, the fact that it's so incredibly slow and clunky in operation makes it of limited use. It's no wonder to me that the D3 dealt the death blow to Kodak's SLR efforts.
  8. Now I look at it, I'd forgotten that the DCS-14n and DCS Pro SLR/n (and /c) were different cameras. Although, it appears, not by as much as you'd hope. The original 14/n was a big step up in resolution compared to their previous sensors, but the 1Ds wasn't far behind, price aside, and was also a 2002 camera. The 5D came out about a year after the DCS Pro SLR cameras (2005 vs 2004) - and the SLR/c was $5000 at launch, with the 5D at $3500, so I assume that had to have a catastrophic effect on Kodak's profits from the camera. The D3 wasn't until 2007, but I'm not aware of flocks of Nikon shooters picking up the Kodak in the meantime - far more switched to Canon for the 5D and 1Ds/1DsII, as far as I'm aware. Kodak's decision to base the EF mount version on a Sigma with iffy ergonomics can't have been helping - woohoo, 5 point autofocus when the 1Ds had 45-point...

    They were only ever tempting to me as a D700 backup when they were available for less than the price a D700 goes for now. I've concluded that back-up cameras aren't worth the carry weight for what I do with them (since I'm not a pro), and the Kodak would barely have sufficed even then. If Nikon make a cheap(ish) small FX body, possibly mirrorless with an adaptor, I'll reconsider in the future.

    Kodak struggled with these bodies partly because they were competing with Canon (an electronics company) and Nikon (who made lenses for electronics and had a good chance of getting a good deal on sensor advancements), partly because they were just competing with companies with years of experience making an ergonomic and responsive SLR, and partly because they tried to preserve their existing technology (film) base for too long - a worry I have about Nikon when it comes to not competing with their own high-end dSLRs (both with mirrorless and just with DX). I'm sure it was more complicated than that.

    Anyway, to my original point, Canon had the semi-affordable full-frame consumer market effectively to themselves with the 5D (and the occasional used 1Ds) for a long time, and Kodak didn't really do anything to get market share or produce a properly desirable body. Canon could have updated the 5D with better technology in the meantime and fixed a number of issues with the 5D - particularly, I was waiting for live view - but because people were still buying the only reasonable choice, they chose not to invoke the costs of ramping up production on a new model; maybe they figured they couldn't get enough people to upgrade from existing 5D bodies with the prototypes they had at the time. I was expecting a 5DII with the 16MP 1DsII sensor after the 1DsIII came out (as the 5D had a sensor roughly in line with the original 1Ds). The actual 5DsII sensor, roughly from the 1DsIII, made for a more interesting camera (when it eventually turned up), although it also killed the 1Ds line. I'm okay with that, on the basis that I think more landscape shooters who want portable cameras care about resolution than studio shooters care about portrait grips - by the same argument I think Nikon did right with the D800 rather than making a D4x (despite Thom Hogan's complaints about parts compatibility). But effectively Canon left potential customers hanging for a couple of years without what I believe to be the best technology they could deliver at the time, and that annoyed me enough that I was at least willing to consider the D700 when it appeared.

    Of course, Nikon have had their own share of prioritising profits over the customer (not servicing grey market cameras, the situation with third-party repair centres, denying the D600 oil problem, etc.) so nobody's pure here. It's a lesson that companies who don't put their customers first do, at least a little, lose sales as a consequence, though.
  9. As best as I can tell, the SLR/n basically addressed a lot of the shortcomings of the 14n sensor and in that sense is a much better camera. Aside from that, it seems to be the same camera. In fact, if you run across a DCS-14nx, it's actually a camera that started life as a DCS-14n and was sent back to get the sensor and whatever other tweaks the SLR/n got.

    I think that the SLR/n and DCS-14n use the same body(Nikon N80 based). I do know that the batteries are compatible between the two.

    I've been keeping my eyes open for an SLR/n, but Kodak seems to have sold even fewer of them than they did the DCS-14n. You can have a nice 14n if you wait around on Ebay(I paid a bit above the going rate for mine, but got the box and all of the accessories). In the time I've been watching, I haven't seen an SLR/n or DCS-14nx come up for sale.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  10. I actually have a couple of Kodak digital cameras and they are not larger than the later Canon film professional cameras. Kodak-DCS-560-&-Pro-SLR.jpg
    The images from these are really quite as good as any of the first made-at-home versions from the manufacturers of the camera bodies.
    I will be posting on these in the future, but first I have to clear the decks of some other hardware.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  11. I should clarify that my size criticism of the DCS 14/n comes more specifically from the construction of the battery chamber.

    As I mentioned, the "chin" prevents some recent Nikon lenses from mounting. In addition, even though they sort of attempted a vertical grip by putting a secondary shutter button, it's kind of blocky and not really all that comfortable.

    The camera is-in most dimensions-smaller and is certainly lighter than a single digit D-series body but that doesn't excuse its ergonomic faults. I do actually find that the hand strap makes the camera fairly comfortable to use.
  12. Although Kodak didn't make the cameras they did use their own sensor in those cameras. I am not sure about the 14n sensor though. Kodak sensor was the best but they didn't know how to keep the lead.
  13. I won't argue (although especially with the original 14n, there were some unflattering reports about the sensor behaviour). But putting a good sensor in a hard-to-use camera isn't enough to take the market by storm, if you're not offering enough to compensate for it. That's why the medium format cameras sell in tiny volumes compared with 135-format and DX DSLRs. The F80 wasn't exactly cutting edge, and I'm guessing Kodak talked to Sigma because they were the only people willing to work with them (and who understood the EF mount) rather than because they believed the Sigma bodies were class-leading; despite the interesting Foveon sensor, Sigma have never really made a competitive body in other respects. Though (now I check) I'd forgotten they had the command dial around the shutter, like the Eos M6; in theory that should allow either index or middle finger to be used to turn the dial, although I suspect the dial on both is a bit small to use with another finger on the shutter.
  14. I think Kodak was trying to be in the business of making sensors rather than cameras just like they were in the business of making film. They made those early SLR because there were none on the market. The problem is really that they couldn't keep their lead in the sensor business.
  15. FWIW, it's my understanding that the CMOS sensors in the 14/n and SLR/n(and presumably their EF counterparts) came from Sony.
  16. Interesting, Ben.

    BeBu: Kodak seemed to be trying to build not just the sensor but also the electronic side of the camera. I don't know if that was by necessity - I'm sure Canon weren't using Kodak sensors, and Nikon seemed pretty tied to Sony even that early. With Sony picking up Minolta and with Canon and Nikon not looking likely to use Kodak sensors, Kodak were always going to struggle. I'd say they were in deep trouble from the moment Sony got their sensor in the D1, and Nikon competed with the old DCS line (and Canon did their own thing soon after).

    There were plenty of Kodak film cameras (including brownies) in the small camera museum I visited yesterday. Now the name only shows up on a range of strange licensed stuff. Sad times for historical brands.
  17. The Leica M8 used Kodak sensor and possibly the M9 too. However, the newer 24MP sensors are not Kodak (or Trusense) any more.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  18. Oh, that does ring a bell. Sorry, I forgot about Leica. Not that they're exactly a high volume market for keeping your sensor division alive. :)
  19. Welcome back everyone!
    I am really sorry for disappearing from the forum for more than a month; I had a severe injury that caused me to care on nothing. Now, am finally back again, but not as what I was before ;)

    Before the injury, I was leaning towards the D850, and once I recovered, I said : Come on I must end this up and finish this endless debate!
    I finally got the D850 last week, with a Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 (newest version) and a Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 non vr.
    Thankfully, Nikon's agent in my country (Oman) had the three beasts (camera and 2 lenses) in stock !
    I can't be happier ! The camera is AMAZING, as are the lenses. The dynamic range and low light performance is insane!
    I have liked the controls much more than Canon's full frames.

    Thanks to you all guys for you faithful support in my decision. I really benefited from all of your valuable input, and it is really appreciated.
    LOL, you comments made me laugh alot xD "If he waits much longer, someone will buy one and rest it on his chest when he passes!" :)

    Don't worry, i've not gotten a camera last weekend xD

    BTW, you all contributed in making this thread a valuable source of knowledge and opinions for me and for everyone. The amount of details is amazing! Thanks for that!

    Finally, excuse me if I have used wrong grammar or vocab (am not a native speaker of english)
  20. Am not sure if all of u are notified on the new post..
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  21. Congratulations on your decision and your purchase!
    hussain_al_lawati likes this.

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