Nikon D850 AF performance

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chambeshi Junior Member • Posts: 39
Nikon D850 AF performance
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There's been no lack of parroting by the more gullible of a few reports  on the www that the AF of the D850 falls short of that in the D5.

These clickbait "tests" flooding the www (eg the Granger video) are vague on AF settings, let alone how the D5 and/or D500 performed on the same targets in the same scene. Trying to rely on 3D-tracking with any background (let alone clutter) probably explains the glitches they had trying to keep the AF system on an erratic target. Configuring the AF on these top Nikons is complicated. To summarize, I do not believe these reports mainly because my own use reveals there's little if any difference between the AF performance of the D850 and D500. And the AF in the D500 is lauded justifiably as near equal to the top of the range D5.

My tests over the past week compared the D500 and D850 on small passerine birds flying within clutter, I use AFC with Group-Focus interchanging with Point-Focus (set DoF preview button to Point-Focus to complement Back Button AFC). I use the 300 f2.8G VRII with TC14E II on both cameras, and also the 200 f2G VRII where possible

I will try and post below 2 examples of the nuptial display by the male Shaft-tailed Whydah - challenging little subjects. Let alone when they are flitting in the clutter of twigs etc and in very challenging light. While waiting for the ideal behaviour of these little birds in the ideal light, I took these sequences deliberately to test the AF performance of the D850. Either harsh backlighting or near sunset (ISO 256 000). So terrible noise etc. Well...i've yet to use a D5 but so far I struggle to find the differences between the D850 and D500 on AF - mainly the AF point coverage in their respective viewfinders.

male Shaft-tailed Whydah pursues female - D850 300 f2.8G VRII + TC14E II ISO 1600 1/2000 f11 jpg ex 14bit RAW

Nikon D5 Nikon D500 Nikon D850
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