D850 crop verses D500

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR' started by Ogof Mole, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. I'm looking to upgrade my D7200 coupled with a Nikon 300mm Vr f2.8 lens which I use for aviation photography. The D500 is my initial thought, but I did wonder how the D850 performs as a cropped sensor camera, as this would also give me the option of having a nice FF camera.

    So now that the D850 is out and about, has anyone done any testing to see how well the D850 performs as a cropped sensor compared to the D500.
     
  2. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    Steve Perry compared the D810 to the D500....and found that if you cropped to the image size of the D500....the image quality was slightly better with the D500. The video is on his website. While the D850 IQ is slightly better than the D810, I would think if you will be cropping a lot, you'd be better off either getting a D500 or perhaps longer focal length lenses.
     
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  3. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    Current reports are that the cropped raw files are soft, hypothesized to be created in software in camera so possibly fixable with a firmware update.
     
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  4. Thank you both, looks like I will be better going for a D500 for this type of photography as I do sometimes need to crop in on the RAW files. Then maybe find a nice low shutter count D810 as there seems to be plenty on the market at the moment.
     
  5. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    When I say crop, I mean in-camera .. the medium and small raw format files. There is a blog post about it from Thom Hogan.

    mRaw and sRaw are Raw, but... | DSLRBodies | Thom Hogan
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  6. I will have a look for this.
     
  7. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
  8. Interesting read.
     
  9. Wait a minute. This is kind of confusing. There's a difference between the image area settings and the settings you use for NEF (RAW) recording. On my D810, the image area refers whether a crop is used, e.g., FF, 1.2, DX or 5:4. That setting is separate from the NEF (RAW) recording, i.e., RAW L, RAW S; NEF compression, and bit depth. From what I could see from the D850 manual, it looks like they added RAW M as an option.

    I think what Barry was asking is how the D850 in DX mode stacks up to the D500 when the other settings are identical. I did see one comparison but it was at ISO 25,600 and the D500 file looked a little better but the sizing for the comparison wasn't identical so it was hard to really tell. If I was shooting aviation photography or other subjects where a DX camera would be helpful, I'd either keep the D7200 or get the D500 if I needed to upgrade my autofocus capability.
     
  10. That is what i meant, using the D850 in cropped mode, compared to the D500. As this should produce similar sized images 20-24MP.

    But saying that isn't cropping down of a full sized D850 image the same as a in camera cropped image anyway.
     
  11. TonyW

    TonyW

    Jan 15, 2010
    UK
    I would imagine that using the D850 in crop mode (not small raw or other sizes) that the results should be very similar to the D500 as the pixel pitch is very close between cameras and the same Expeed 5 used.
    Nikon D850 used with DX crop 5408 x 3600 pixels compared to the D500 5568 x 3712 pixels. So if all else equal in the system there is nothing worth losing sleep over in potential IQ

    I am not really surprised that the small and medium raw versions may appear softer as from what I understand there is a drop from 14 bit acquisition in the D850 to around 11 or 12 bit and coupled with the in camera resizing this may lead to a less than stellar result - nontheless in all probablilty a very acceptable result that will stand comparison favourably.

    I would not want to make the call here FF v DX as there are a lot of factors to weigh in including system costs, your current and future needs and aspirations.

    It would be interesting to see side by side comparisons of the D850 in DX crop mode vs the D500 but I am not aware of any published actually attempting a like for like
     
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  12. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    Certainly one consideration would be your current investment in lenses. If you have DX lenses, the FX body won't be useful.
     
  13. All my lens are Nikon FX, which I use on both D7200 and D700.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. If I had to choose between the D500 and D850 for aviation or BIF photography - I would go with the D850 in FX mode. That way I could crop in Lightroom or Photoshop to get the D500 DX field of view, but also create the composition I was not able to achieve when I took the shot.
     
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  15. Shoot3r

    Shoot3r

    5
    Oct 11, 2017
    I love nature and wildlife photography, so I can never have enough reach. I was debating between the D850 and D500 for this purpose, and was very interested in how the 850 image would respond to severe cropping (down to DX size or smaller). In theory, the 850 sounded great because I figured I could use it for all my photography, and crop down to DX size for wildlife. From what I've seen so far, there's not a whole lot of difference between the 850 in DX mode and the D500. I did see this, though, and it appears the D500 actually edges out the D850, although this example is a bit extreme because of the high ISO.

    D850 cropped to DX: Nikon FX SLR (DF, D1-D5, D600-D850) Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

    Anyway, if I'm being honest with myself, I know I crop my DX shots (a little or a lot sometimes), so if I shot with the 850, I'd be throwing away all of it's advantage. The pixel densities of the two cameras are nearly the same (the D500 is actually slightly higher), so pixels on target should be the same. For any situation when you're focal-length challenged, I think the D500 is the clear winner. It's smaller, lighter, less expensive, shoots faster, has great AF, etc....and, you can actually buy one before X-mas ;) I initially preordered a D850, but after much research, I decided to buy the D500. Awesome camera, and believe it or not, the high-ISO performance seems about the same as the 850 which is a feat in itself since it's DX vs FX.

    Also, the latest tests show that shooting in mRAW on the 850 is a waste of time because the images are much softer.

    I'd like to see more comparisons between 850 images cropped to DX size vs D500 shots, but no one seems to be doing this.
     
  16. That may make sense except for he mRAW bit. So what if it is reported to be soft (one report) in the D850, the D500 doesn't do mRAW.
     
  17. Shoot3r

    Shoot3r

    5
    Oct 11, 2017
    If you plane on shooting full res all the time, it really doesn't matter. However, I think some people had the idea of shooting in mRAW for the reduced file sizes, especially when they really don't need 45 MP. For those people, it sounds like it'd be a bad idea.
     
  18. If you seek sharpness you need a full sized 45 mp RAW. Right?
    And of course DPR is the authority on everything: D500 Grainy When Shooting Raw: Nikon Pro DX SLR (D500, D300, D200, D100) Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review :cool:
     
  19. Shoot3r

    Shoot3r

    5
    Oct 11, 2017
    Sharpness compared to shooting mRAW? Yeah, it sounds like it. As for sharpness in general, I don't think 45 MP is needed for that. Most of the time, if I have sharpness issues on my cameras, it's my fault or the fault of the lens. Then there is the question of what's needed to really reap the benefits of 45 MP...the best glass, tripods, higher shutter speeds.
     
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