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Test New ISO comparison - D810 and D850

Discussion in 'Reviews, Tests, & Shootouts' started by RickW, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Shot today under overcast sky with 300/2.8 @ f8 from tripod. Just changed bodies. No adjustments at all - SOC.

    Shot raw, opened in Camera Raw and made no adjustments to WB, exposure, curves - nothing at all. Opened in CR and saved as jpeg. No sharpening or noise adjustments'

    ISO comparisons D810 to D850 - Rick Waller

    If you hover over each thumbnail, you can see the ISO used. Or click on the info button lower right for exif.

    Things I see -
    • Not all that much difference between 810 and 850. Perhaps a stop or so better in the noise department with 850.
    • at ISO over 6400, the color is less saturated with both.
    • Even at 25,600, the image is certainly usable. Pretty amazing.
    • both are MUCH better than the D500. did not do that comparison since 500 is DX and it was too hard to try to equalize the framing. But there is NO question that both beat the hell out of the 500 over ISO 400.
    • Not ISO or image quality related, but I did notice that it took noticeably longer to open and save the 850 files compared to the 810 files. I assume this is solely because of the increased size in the 850 files. Resolution in the 850 files are to die for, not that the 810 is a slouch in that department.
    I like the 850- probably will keep it. Want to test it out with flash to see if it is as good as the 810. Can't imagine why it would not be. The 810 mounted in a Custom Bracket connected by SC cord to an SB900 and a Demb Flip It is simply idiot proof. I expect nothing less with the 850.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  2. Thanks for the comparison Rick - this sort of just pushes me more towards the D5 (or it's successor assuming it improves on the D5 high iso performance)...definitely not seeing a lot of reason to invest in a D850 over my D810 or my D750 even at this point for what I shoot....
  3. Kingfisher


    Dec 26, 2010
    Thanks! This makes it easier for me to not rush getting the D850 as the D810 is still a great contender.
  4. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    I'm perfectly happy with my D810. No surprise here for me. The only improvement important for me over the D810 might be the faster focusing/tracking.....but the D5 scratches that itch.
  5. Tim - If I shot mostly landscapes, I would not buy the 850. The main attractions of the 850 over the 810 are far more impressive for action shooters.

    You get the D5 amazing AF module and more fps than the 810 if one shoots critters or sports or anything else moving. the 850 also has -
    • ISO change button on top right so you don't need your left hand to change ISO. Easy to do on the fly and this is quite useful.
    • better lcd screen - it moves, is touch sensitive for scrolling, menu adjustments, enlarging, etc.
    Just curious about one thing you said though. You mention that you are not upgrading to the 850 from the 810 "based on what you shoot", but then say you are leaning toward a D5. I haven't shot with the D5 (I have about 6,000 reasons why I can't), but I was always under the impression that the D5 was geared more toward action shooters due to the unbelievable AF speed, better focus tracking and the very fast f/p/s. Seems to me that landscape shooters are not lusting for the D5 when the D810 does such a fabulous job on stationary subjects at a fraction of the cost. Why would a D5 be more interesting to you than an 850?
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Just want to hit one point I made in my post that may not have stuck out. The placement of the ISO button on the top right just behind the shutter is a very big deal. Makes changing ISO's a breeze. With the 810 and other Nikon bodies, you need to press the button with your left hand and at least for me, I found that I had to drop the camera from my eye. With new button placement, I can change with the camera at my eye. Much easier with the new button placement. Certainly not enough of an improvement by itself to warrant the new body, but if you are weighing the pros and cons, this ISO button placement is a big plus.
  7. I almost bought a used D5 today. The perfect pair is the D5 and D850.
  8. I shoot mostly concert and performances - lots of bands in small venues usually with poor lighting, some theater and dance work, and indoor events.

    What I'm primarily interested in is IQ at higher ISOs. IQ is why I hung onto my D750 instead of selling it when I got the D810...both do fantastic w/high ISO's in venue, and from what I've seen of the D5 (I haven't actually shot it, I should probably rent one!) .vs the D850 (so far) in low light, high ISO situations, the D5 is a better choice (or it's successor depending on performance).

    Either way it's a big chunk of money to drop. Whether it's keeping what I have and upgrading glass, getting a D850 or a D5 (D5s if that's coming soon) - I'm all about using the best tool for the job I can. :) 
  9. " I'm all about using the best tool for the job I can"

    No one would argue with that.
  10. I still consider myself somewhat of an amateur at this stuff. I've learned a lot here and through just working at it over the last three years. I've gotten pretty serious about it, and it's finally starting to (slowly) pay off. I can get there with what I have, but if there's something better I could be using....I'm there... :D 
  11. Selling the D810 and buy the D850 or keep the D810 and buy the D850 anyway?
  12. I would sell it before it goes any lower, they’re already below 2k
  13. 1 stop is huge. I never pushed my D800 so I don’t know how good it is. Is the D810 supposed to be better than the D800 in the high iso dept ? I’m still trying to figure out how good the D850 is
  14. I decided to keep the D810 and buy the D850 as well.
  15. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    I personally found the D810 at least a stop better than the D800. I used the D810 a LOT in South Africa and got VERY usable images even at ISO 3200

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  16. this is starting to sound like a great time to buy a D810
  17. that's my plan as I watch the prices drop, $1600 now
  18. With the reports of the louder shutter on the D850, I'm thinking about another D810. I've come to love the sound.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  19. where is it for 1600?
  20. Nikon refurbs are $2444.95. New with grip $2,799.95 looks like a better deal.
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