Quick thoughts - D850 for sports

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
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lonewolf1983 Regular Member • Posts: 490
Quick thoughts - D850 for sports

I have now had a D850 for a few months and unlike many i havent used it all for portraits/landscape.
Did have one trip for some birding but only took the 200-500 out.
I'm a semi-pro sports shooter, who currently has 2x D4's and a D500.
Shooting various glass, with mostly motorsport and australian rules football and some cycling.
I'll include some sample photos later.
I sold my D800, and had planned to also sell the D500 and combine their functionality into a single body.
Some initial thoughts

  • Autofocus - great system (shared with the D500) but did find the D9 setting pretty handy at times. I tend not to use tracking very often, just boring single point or D9
  • Battery grip - I purchased a 3rd party grip, and utilised one of my D4 batteries. 9FPS is close enough to 10FPS for my usage
  • Buffer - being that i usually shoot at higher shutter speeds, I shot in 12 bit raw files and honestly have been happy with the IQ (and i can often push files pretty hard). I was worried that the buffer may be an issue with 14-bit files.
  • File sizes - I have shot with a 64gb XQD and purchased a 64gb UHSII card. 
    Speed with the XQD was very good, slightly slower with the SD card
  • IQ - fantastic, sharpness is awesome and the cropping ability is obviously very good. Dynamic range is also as good as expected.
  • ISO performance up until about ISO 6400 is pretty damn good as long as you dont need to crop much
    Its maybe lagging slightly behind the D4, but adding additional noise reduction and/or downsizing brings it up.
    generally shooting in the ISO200-1600 range
  • Ergonomics - near perfect for me
  • viewfinder - huge, you really do notice a difference

Given i shoot with a long prime a lot (500mm F4) - the main benefit i found was that i can have the reach of a DX body, but if the action comes closer, maintain the action without losing arms/legs in a crop, options are great to have with sports compositions.
The ultimate question for me is if i keep it, or sell it and keep the D500 and re-invest the extra money into glass - still some thinking to do there.
The $2500 difference would go towards something juicy like a 200mm F2
First world problems!

Happy to answer any queries if i can

 lonewolf1983's gear list:lonewolf1983's gear list
Sony RX100 III Nikon D4 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z6 +11 more
Nikon D4 Nikon D500 Nikon D800 Nikon D850
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