Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Nikon D850 improvement in basic image quality  (Read 1727 times)

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9610
Nikon D850 improvement in basic image quality
« on: October 13, 2017, 12:13:15 AM »

Now that the D850 has been released and has been tested by organizations such as DXOMark, I see a lot of confusion about the increased image quality compared with its predecessor, the D810.

Nikon personnel claimed during interviews, before the camera was released, that high ISO performance would be about one F-stop better at high ISOs. But what does 'better' mean? Better in what respect?

DXOMark test results have now revealed that the D850 is mainly better in terms of Dynamic Range at ISO 200 and above. It's not better in terms of SNR at 18%, which is a level of luminance which approximates the luminance of a face in a portrait. It's slightly better in terms of Color Sensitivity, but not by a significant degree. Overall tonal range is about the same.

If one wishes to demonstrate the improvement in DR, one has to raise the shadows in comparison shots of a 'High DR' scene. If the scene being shot does not require the extra DR of the D850 in the processed image, then of course one can claim that the D850 shows no improvement.

An example of the sort of shot that is required to demonstrate the higher DR of the D850 would be a shot of the scene out of the window of one's living room on a sunny day with some isolated clouds in the sky, exposing in order to get full detail in the sky and clouds.

In order to make such an image realistic, one would then raise the shadows in the living room to mimic the detail that the eye sees in the real scene. One might then conclude that the D850 has about half a stop better detail and lower noise at ISO 200, and close to one full stop better DR at ISO 800 and 1600, or perhaps closer to 0.75 EV better, which is still significant.

The fact that one can create an argument that one doesn't need such increases in DR, because one can use flash in the case of the living-room shot, or bracket exposures for all 'high-DR' scenes, is not relevant to the issue.

When I was using only Canon DSLRs a few years ago, I used to bracket all my shots, just in case I accidentally blew highlights in the 'normal' shot, or in case some interesting detail in some shadows were too noisy to display.

An increase in DR, at whatever ISO, simply provides more leeway and reduces the necessity to use compensatory measures such as fill-in flash or exposure bracketing, which might not always be appropriate for moving subjects or situations where flash is not allowed, as in museums and art galleries. Flash also has distance limitations.
Logged

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10591
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Nikon D850 improvement in basic image quality
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 05:03:23 AM »



Cheers,
Bernard
Logged
A few images online here!

opgr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1628
Re: Nikon D850 improvement in basic image quality
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2017, 05:20:07 AM »



Cheers,
Bernard

That blue rendering alone is worth the upgrade...
Logged
Regards,
Oscar

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9610
Re: Nikon D850 improvement in basic image quality
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2017, 07:13:39 AM »

That's a very clear and detailed shot, Bernard. It's a pity you didn't also have the D810 with you at the time, so we could compare 100% crops of the shadows.  ;)
Logged

hogloff

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 308
Re: Nikon D850 improvement in basic image quality
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 09:17:14 AM »



Cheers,
Bernard

Are you implying this image could not have been captured by a he 810?
Logged

Alan Goldhammer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2376
    • A Goldhammer Photography
Re: Nikon D850 improvement in basic image quality
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2017, 10:29:55 AM »

From everything I've read, the D850 is an improvement over the D810.  Bernard's images with the new model have been excellent.  We have also read on the other D850 thread that some respected LuLa participants speak glowingly of the new model.  Don't know what else could answer Ray's question other than for him to do the visual test himself with both camerea models. ;)
Logged

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10591
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Nikon D850 improvement in basic image quality
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2017, 10:35:54 AM »

Are you implying this image could not have been captured by a he 810?

I feel that the D850 delivers significantly better colors than the D810.

The combination of silent shooting in live view and VR on the 24-70 f2.8 certainly helped also.

Whether these aspects are key to the success of this image is a subjective question that I am not interested in debating.

Cheers,
Bernard
Logged
A few images online here!

rgmoore

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 58
    • http://
Re: Nikon D850 improvement in basic image quality
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2017, 12:28:35 PM »

Great image of the church, Bernard, and an outstanding testimonial to D850 and 24-70mm f2.8!

With respect to the VR, was the capture hand held?

Thank you in advance.

Richard
Logged

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10591
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Nikon D850 improvement in basic image quality
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2017, 06:04:48 PM »

Thanks, yes this was shot handheld.

Cheers,
Bernard
Logged
A few images online here!

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9610
Re: Nikon D850 improvement in basic image quality
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2017, 01:45:58 AM »

Don't know what else could answer Ray's question other than for him to do the visual test himself with both camera models. ;)

I won't be testing the D850 any time soon. My D810 is not saleable because it fell out of a shopping trolley about a year ago. It crashed onto a concrete floor from a height of about 1 metre. The 14-24/F2.8 Nikon zoom was attached, so it was an expensive package.

I immediately drove to the nearest police station to report the accident for insurance purposes. Unfortunately, when I returned to my home base I discovered that I wasn't insured. I've been in the habit of accepting travel insurance as a free bonus by paying for my airfare with my Gold Class Master Card. I wasn't aware that such insurance applied only to overseas travel. Silly me!  ;)

On this occasion I was traveling in Australia on domestic flights, with my female partner. Whilst she was doing the shopping, in Darwin, I was wandering around the shopping centre photographing Aboriginals. When she came out of the supermarket with a trolley loaded with food items, I offered to push the trolley, because I'm so magnanimous and compassionate. However, the camera slung around my neck tended to bang against the top of the trolley, so I placed it in a compartment at the top of the trolley, which is probably the place where ladies place their handbags.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the rear of that compartment was open. As I pushed the trolley over rough ground in the car park, the camera fell out due to excessive vibrations. When I picked it up I could see that the lower left corner of the camera had split open. The zoom lens appeared to be okay, except for a slight resistance close to the 14mm end, as I turned the focal length ring. For some reason the auto-focus didn't work but the camera was still usable with manual focusing. I was looking forward to buying Nikon's next full-frame offering. This accident occurred before the D850 announcement.

However, some time later, back at home base, I began fiddling around with the menu settings again, trying to get auto-focus to work. This time I succeeded, surprisingly. Perhaps the problem was similar to the problem I've occasionally experienced with my home internet service. For some inexplicable reason, on a few occasions, I've been unable get an internet service, even though everything appears to be working. The solution has been to switch the modem off, wait a while, then switch it back on.

Now that my D810 is fully functioning, I decided to plug up the open crack in the corner of the base, where it hit the ground, with glue, just to make sure no water or dust gets into the camera body. I wouldn't be able to sell such a camera.

The bottom line is, I'm rather amazed at how robust this Nikon D810 is. I'll probably replace it with a D850 in a year or so when prices have dropped and the bugs have been fixed. In the meantime, I don't think it's likely that I'll go to the trouble and expense of hiring a D850 for the current price of $76.85 / Week for a minimum 6 months rental, just in order to compare image quality with my D810, because there are lots of other reasons to buy a D850, and I'll get the opportunity to do my thorough testing and comparison of image quality eventually.  ;)
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up