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Author Topic: The Mirrorless Nikon D850  (Read 11666 times)

Michael Erlewine

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The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« on: April 02, 2018, 06:51:38 pm »

Thatís how I use the Nikon D850, with no mirror (or mirror-slap) and only LiveView. I never was infatuated by the mirrorless concept just because it was a smaller camera. I like the size of the D800E, D810, and D850. If anything I liked about the concept of a mirrorless camear was the ďideaĒ of using alternative lenses, getting perhaps a greater field of view out of some really fine lenses.

I was disappointed with the Pentax K3 and K1 (which I owned) and how little they lent themselves to alternative lenses. Same goes for the Hasselblad X1D (which I bought); although they have some nice lenses of their own, they did not care about all my lenses. As for the Fuji GFX (which I also bought), I held out hope for it accommodating the many great lenses I have, and they did do a so-so job, IMO; they kind of came half-way, but certainly not like I had hoped or imagined.

I sent all the above cameras back or sold them and was left with my Nikon D810, which did work for me and which I appreciated. But my thirst for what I imagined mirrorless might bring was still there.

Then along came the Nikon D850. It was everything I could hope for in a mirrorless camera other than it was heavier (which I did not care) and it had a mirror (which I never have used, other than to test it). The Live View LCD on the D850 was just enough better to be fully usable by me and those few extra pixels (45.7 Mpx, which donít seem like much, are just enough to quench my thirst for a larger sensor.

Then it dawned on me that most of my search for a medium-format mirrorless was about the EVF and not about the presence or absence of a mirror, a larger sensor (or so I thought), being smaller, or anything else. Give me a workable LiveView screen, an electronic front-curtain shutter, silence, and turn the mirror-up off and I am a happy camper. I am.

So, the bottom line for me is that I am interested in what Nikon will come up with in their potentially forthcoming mirrorless camera, but I donít need it. Yes, if it is 100 Mpx I would turn my head and if it had an even better EVF that might interest me too. But I doubt we will see in it THAT large a sensor and actually I donít really need it. My very fast computer is already chugging on the D850 files.

For me, the Nikon D850, as I use it, IS the mirrorless camera I always imagined AND it has all the other goodies that I have learned to love in a Nikon DSLR.

If I had to guess, Iíll bet that the forthcoming Nikon mirrorless will NOT add up to what I have right now in the Nikon D850.

Your thoughts, other than that I may be crazy. LOL.

Shot with the Nikon D850 and the Schneider Macro Varon 85mm f/4.5
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 06:55:48 pm by Michael Erlewine »
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Schmoe

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2018, 08:11:27 pm »

I tend to agree with what youíve said here. I never cared much for Live View on my D800 but have found myself using it much more on my D850.  It is rather fun and useful, especially with features like focus peaking. Itís been so nice Iíve toyed around with the idea of using one of those Hoodman loupes to turn Live View into an EVF. :)

The only thing thatís a little odd adjusting to is the change in hand holding technique. When I have heavy glass on there I donít feel like I get the most stable hold. Another reason I thought about using a loupe.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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chez

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2018, 08:16:29 pm »

Nope, if mirrorless does not reduce the bulk and weight of the camera...it can just sit on the shop shelves. I truly need an EVF as I would find it very awkward walking around tight SEA markets looking at the rear LCD for composing my images. Just would not work out at all.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2018, 04:26:46 am »

I think the largest doubt hanging in the air concerning what Canon and Nikon will do with their coming MILCs is lenses, and lens' mounts. New lens mount plus adapter?

Canon already has a small MILC system, so they can keep their EOS - FF more or less the size it is now, and keep the mount. There are millions of lenses out there for Canon and Nikon, a big heritage to cater for.

As for Nikon, they will have to introduce both a small and large camera lines for MILC.

I went for MILC because of smaller size and weight, plus the new lenses coming out for Sony E mount from the likes of Zeiss. I am happy now using a A7 with  Loxia 21, instead of a Canon FF with Zeiss 21 Distagon. Just an example. I prefer primes, so I am a happy camper.

I recently could not resist and got an Olympus Pen F and small 17mm lens, for street shooting and travel. The capability of these small cameras in the digital age is amazing.

shadowblade

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2018, 06:28:37 am »

Couldn't care less about size and weight, as long as they're within reasonable limits - anything from A7r (original version) and D850 size is fine. I switched to mirrorless for capability, not size. True WYSIWYG EVFs are so much better than OVFs, which show you the composition, but leave you guessing as to the exposure, clipped highlights/shadows, etc.

Sure, live view gets you that functionality, but AF becomes almost non-functional when using that. With the latest generation of mirrorless cameras, you can have highly-functional AF while retaining all the EVF advantages - quite useful if you find yourself shooting landscapes, wildlife and people all on the same trip.

If you want to use top-tier glass, you won't get much in the way of size and weight savings anyway. Sure, you might get a few compromised 'pancake' lenses with smaller apertures and poorer optical quality than their full-sized counterparts, as well as some smaller wide-angle lenses (not the sharpest ones - for optical quality, you'll still need to use a retrofocus design), but, if you want the best optical quality and wide apertures, you'll still be stuck with full-sized lenses. The only way you're going to get size and weight savings is with new optical materials, such as what Canon have done with their diffraction optics lenses, and what may be done in the future with things like electromechanical materials and negative refractive index metamaterials. Better design and manufacturing will net you better image quality, but won't reduce the size of the lenses without new materials to do more things to light in a shorter distance.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 09:23:45 am by shadowblade »
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DP

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2018, 09:13:37 am »

I never was infatuated by the mirrorless concept just because it was a smaller camera.

just get some dSLM with a battery grip and L-plate around that
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DP

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2018, 09:19:33 am »

Give me a workable LiveView screen, an electronic front-curtain shutter, silence, and turn the mirror-up off and I am a happy camper. I am.

which was for ages in dSLM ... but you had and still have to suffer with awkward dSLR
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HSakols

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2018, 09:20:30 am »

Right now I can't imagine nikon coming up with a full frame mirrorless that is then mounted to the 24-70.  Now if nikon redesigned the old AFD primes eg 20 2.8 35 2.0 etc.. they might be on to something.  I'd like to see a 24-70 f4 or even 5.6 for landscapes. 

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hogloff

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2018, 10:02:18 am »

Couldn't care less about size and weight, as long as they're within reasonable limits - anything from A7r (original version) and D850 size is fine. I switched to mirrorless for capability, not size. True WYSIWYG EVFs are so much better than OVFs, which show you the composition, but leave you guessing as to the exposure, clipped highlights/shadows, etc.

Sure, live view gets you that functionality, but AF becomes almost non-functional when using that. With the latest generation of mirrorless cameras, you can have highly-functional AF while retaining all the EVF advantages - quite useful if you find yourself shooting landscapes, wildlife and people all on the same trip.

If you want to use top-tier glass, you won't get much in the way of size and weight savings anyway. Sure, you might get a few compromised 'pancake' lenses with smaller apertures and poorer optical quality than their full-sized counterparts, as well as some smaller wide-angle lenses (not the sharpest ones - for optical quality, you'll still need to use a retrofocus design), but, if you want the best optical quality and wide apertures, you'll still be stuck with full-sized lenses. The only way you're going to get size and weight savings is with new optical materials, such as what Canon have done with their diffraction optics lenses, and what may be done in the future with things like electromechanical materials and negative refractive index metamaterials. Better design and manufacturing will net you better image quality, but won't reduce the size of the lenses without new materials to do more things to light in a shorter distance.

There are some great small light lenses made for the Sony mirrorless system such as the Loxia line, Batis line and some real Sony gems like the 35 2.8 and 55 1.8 and the 14-24 zoom.

Sure if you need the traditional 2.8 zooms or the 1.4 primes, they will be big...but with today's high iso abilities, I'm finding the NEED of these traditional pro lenses not required for majority of shooting conditions.

My travel kit went from a dual DSLR setup with accompanying lenses to a dual mirrorless system with much smaller lenses and not only did I reduce the bulk and weight by over 40%, the quality of my images improved.
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2018, 10:23:20 am »


Sure, live view gets you that functionality, but AF becomes almost non-functional when using that.

Auto-focus? Never thought about that. Have not used it in years. LOL. All manual for me, please.
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John Nollendorfs

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2018, 12:00:27 pm »

Imagine, a 100 MP mirrorless Nikon, with a iPad attached to the back. What say you, 8x10 film shooters???? ;-)
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32BT

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2018, 12:39:16 pm »

Imagine, a 100 MP mirrorless Nikon, with a iPad attached to the back. What say you, 8x10 film shooters???? ;-)

The art of mirrorless is the art of an electronic viewfinder. An EVF an iPad is not. IMO, if you can shoot with an iPad as RC (i.e. slow pace contemplative photography), then it likely already works with the current SLR offerings.

The main question might be this: would an 850 with EVF and slightly lower specs and price, be an enticing intro into FF mirrorless? So, even though you don't get the advantages of smaller lenses, you could get a smaller body supporting current lenses with the latest digital image quality.
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2018, 12:46:42 pm »

The art of mirrorless is the art of an electronic viewfinder. An EVF an iPad is not. IMO, if you can shoot with an iPad as RC (i.e. slow pace contemplative photography), then it likely already works with the current SLR offerings.

The main question might be this: would an 850 with EVF and slightly lower specs and price, be an enticing intro into FF mirrorless? So, even though you don't get the advantages of smaller lenses, you could get a smaller body supporting current lenses with the latest digital image quality.

The larger lenses like the Zeiss Otus series (and others) fit well with the size of camera like the D850. I had a bunch of mirroless cameras that were of smaller size (Hasselblad X1D, Sony A7s, A7r2, A7r3), not to mention the Pentax K3 and K1, plus the Fuji Gfx). Those little cameras don't feel right with larger lenses. And the smaller lenses I use with the Cambo Actus Mini View Camera.

Since I am not doing a lot of hiking, I don't need or appreciate the smaller versions of better lenses, like the Zeiss Milvus, etc. I would just use the Otus series that I have, and so on.

As mentioned, the key to me is the LCD of LIveView. If they could perfect that even more, I would appreciate it, but the D850 is fine by me for now.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2018, 11:07:04 pm »

It would be fun if Nikon came up with a modular design.

- base camera a la D850
- 2 possible sensor/mount units, one for F mount, one for new mount

Cheers,
Bernard

shadowblade

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2018, 01:39:48 am »

I agree.
I like best the D4, D5 line bodies and with good lenses the balance is right, unlike small and light packages.
The best lenses are generaly big enough and when mounted on those little thin bodies, I don't like how they balance.
I used the 800 line but really never feel the same as a D4, although being different purposes cameras.

The weight brings stability also. Since the D2, D3, D4, the 800s...but stopping here at this point because the only problem I have with Nikon right now is that they never took really seriously the video aspect as well as other brands such as Sony and that is not acceptable any more for me to keep waiting for a 4k video package on par with the bests on 5000euros cameras. 2018 is a multimedia era, not still only anymore and 4k is the today's standart.
Nikon does a few 4k but with too many compromises.
And as I'm sure that a Nikon mirrorless will not look/feel like a D5 anyway but likely a digital remake of the FM2 and the video specs will not likely to be what I want. 100mpx does not interest me -my workflow being 0% Lightroom (don't shoot raw) and 100% PSB or EXR based I'm arround 3GB/File - and if Nikon goes mirrorless it is likely to be with a new mount that will have to be developped. So I'm looking for other system right now.

I wish I had a D850 in a D5 body with cutting edge 4k video specs such as Prores or DNx, 120fps etc... and forget about mirrorlesses.

But this Nikon, unfortunatly, does not exist and will not

Balance is no longer an issue if you hold the setup by the lens rather than by the camera. The lens hand bears weight and adjusts zoom, the right hand just operates the camera controls. If you're using a heavier lens, such as a 70-200/2.8, you pretty much have to shoot this way, regardless of what camera you're using. If you absolutely must use your right hand, holding the grip, to bear weight as well as operate the camera controls, there's nothing stopping you sticking a brick to the bottom of it. It's easier to add weight to a light camera than to take weight away from a heavy one.

Conversely, big, heavy cameras with large grips are hard to hold if you don't have super-large hands. Without large hands, you just can't get a secure grip around them, particularly when your thumb and index finger are occupied operating the controls. The 5D4 and D850 are tolerable, if stretching it. Bodies with inbuilt grips (or attached grips) are almost unusable, unless attached to a monopod or other support.

The Canon EOS-5 (film precursor to the current 5D series) only weighed 675g - that's about the same as the A9 or A7r3. I don't recall anyone complaining it didn't weigh enough.

And, if you're going to stick it on a tripod anyway, what's the issue?
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2018, 04:25:43 am »

Much of what is being discussed in this thread already exists: Sony Alpha A99II.

32BT

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2018, 06:16:05 am »

Much of what is being discussed in this thread already exists: Sony Alpha A99II.

Do you mean specs-wise, or image-quality-wise?
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fredjeang2

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2018, 08:02:25 am »

It would be fun if Nikon came up with a modular design.

- base camera a la D850
- 2 possible sensor/mount units, one for F mount, one for new mount

Cheers,
Bernard
They would provide adapter I guess. As their DX lens line as been a bit the weak point and subject to a lot of complains, it would not be surprising that their mirrorless will not be full frame first but more in the Fuji xh philosophy.
I would be very surprised to see a design a la D850. People today seem to like best vintage style bodies a la F3 or FM2 and marketing depts love the cool factor. One thing is sure: Nikon has to bring something wao that everybody wants as they did in the past with the D3 because they don't do very well and it seems that we are going to see a big battle with Canon.
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fredjeang2

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2018, 08:31:48 am »

Balance is no longer an issue if you hold the setup by the lens rather than by the camera. The lens hand bears weight and adjusts zoom, the right hand just operates the camera controls. If you're using a heavier lens, such as a 70-200/2.8, you pretty much have to shoot this way, regardless of what camera you're using. If you absolutely must use your right hand, holding the grip, to bear weight as well as operate the camera controls, there's nothing stopping you sticking a brick to the bottom of it. It's easier to add weight to a light camera than to take weight away from a heavy one.

Conversely, big, heavy cameras with large grips are hard to hold if you don't have super-large hands. Without large hands, you just can't get a secure grip around them, particularly when your thumb and index finger are occupied operating the controls. The 5D4 and D850 are tolerable, if stretching it. Bodies with inbuilt grips (or attached grips) are almost unusable, unless attached to a monopod or other support.

The Canon EOS-5 (film precursor to the current 5D series) only weighed 675g - that's about the same as the A9 or A7r3. I don't recall anyone complaining it didn't weigh enough.

And, if you're going to stick it on a tripod anyway, what's the issue?
I like mirrorlesses in general but specialy in the spirit of a really small camera that delivers more than a smartphone to carry everywhere, and I think there are good systems out there right now, specialy the Leica as a street camera. It's just not a priority for me. Same with weight. I certainly would not complain about less weight but not in my priorities either.
On inbuilt grips designs, I have the opposite experience as your, but that is very personal and differs a lot from users.
I tend not to like external accessories and prefer an integrated design from the roots.
I don't want to have to worry about built construction. It has to handle bad treatments over the years. Not a lot of cameras allow that. I also tried Pentax because of their reputation to be built like tanks but didn't like it at all and lens line (third party) is very limited and same thoughts as Michael.
Small batteries drive me nuts as well as small buttons and I don't like menus.
I may enjoy touch screens but can live without.
Having a viewfinder packed with info such as histogram etc...is not a priority either.

I'm much more interested in for ex the Eterna film simulation from Fuji a user put it in my radar in another thread because if it works as expected it is a strong alternative to the log workflows we have else where in motion imagery. But I'd have to do some tests and don't have the time right now.

I could live both with or without a mirrorless system.
In other words, if what matters most for me has to be mirrorless, fine. If I stay dslr using it the way the OP does, fine too.
But everyone has different priorities of course.

« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 05:38:57 pm by fredjeang2 »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: The Mirrorless Nikon D850
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2018, 11:07:47 pm »

A very timely article from Thom.

http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/the-mirrorless-prisoners.html

Cheers,
Bernard
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