Changing out the D850 with a D5. Would you do it? (Wildlife)

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
PerfectPoms Senior Member • Posts: 1,864
Re: Changing out the D850 with a D5. Would you do it? (Wildlife)

larrywilson wrote:

Thanks, be sure to put more weight on people who have exactly owned a d4, d4s or d5 on opinions. Experience is always better than opinions.


Hi Lasse.

Larry is correct: you should place much more trust in the opinions of people who have actually used BOTH the D5 and D850 to most accurately be able to offer opinions about the relative merits of both cameras.

I think I've taken about 100,000 shots with my two D850's. They USUALLY disappoint me. I think I've taken 600,000 or 700,000 shots with my 3 D5s. (I just bought my third one used for $3,315 (US) (with 536,000 shots on the shutter!!)

Each camera has very different strengths and weaknesses; advantages and disadvantages. Don't place too much importance on the opinion of someone who is using the camera for a different purpose than yours.

I think you should spend considerable time digesting this great article:

Brad shares my preference for the D5 over the D850 - but your preference may depend on whether you are shooting in good light or low light, and on the speed of the birds you are trying to track.

So let me say, in summary, you are being offered a GREAT deal. I've been watching used prices on D5s VERY carefully for the past year, and they HAVE dropped by almost a thousand dollars in that time - BUT - the D5 STILL commands a high used price. You're still at least $1,500 ahead with a D5 to sell, rather than selling a used D850 (at least when selling on local classifieds: the buying price for used D5s by KEH I think someone mentioned is interesting: I think the D5 is FINALLY starting to get sold used in more than tiny numbers in anticipation of the D6 announcement, and because of the mirrorless cameras and availability of the D850.)

I'd jump all over this trade - if I were you.

Why don't I like my D850's nearly as much as my D5s? I'm almost ALWAYS disappointed when I use my D850's because they are absolutely NOT as forgiving as the D5. The focus speed and tracking ability of the D850 is significantly poorer than the D5 (for my use with my subjects), and the D850 just seems to make out of focus images seem MORE out of focus than those shots taken with the D5. This may be partly because zooming in to 1 to 1 on the D850 gets you so much 'closer,' but the D850 just seems to demand better technique, and I think it clearly punishes camera shake more severely, and I'm convinced I need higher shutter speed on my D850 to avoid the TINY detail of very small hairs on my puppies being smeared across more than one pixel when there is movement of the hair on my puppies in photos.

But this goes all the way back to the D2x vs D2hs for me. I HATED my D2x, but LOVED my D2hs (which I took over a million photos with). It's just fairly obvious that the larger pixels are more 'forgiving.'

So why should you grab the D5? It's got a bunch of strengths over the D850: faster fps, better at higher ISO, a solid body that will last forever, and, for me, better, faster AF.

One major complaint about the D5 is the lower dynamic range at base ISO compared to the D850. It's for this reason that I dragged my D850's out of mothballs this week to use them for the first time in many months, because I've finally been able to shoot in LOTS of light. (This winter here in Toronto Canada has been VERY cloudy.)

Now, for my subjects: see - I find that I need a shutter speed of 1/1,600 to stop motion blur when my dogs are moving - so as a result, I usually need fairly high ISO - unless my dogs are in direct sunlight, with the sun at my back. So I almost always favor the D5 over the D850.

In my recent tests this week using the D850 - I got nice results - IF my dogs were NOT moving. I was shooting at ISO 100 to 200. Tons of light. But when there is less light available, and the fur on my dogs is moving 'across the sensor' - the results with the D850 suffer considerably.

And for you, I think the results with moving birds may be similar. D850 AF just won't be as good as the D5. And the D5 will be more forgiving, I think, with the 200-500 lens.

If you do go ahead with the trade - please come back here later and let us know how you find the comparison with the shots you get with the 'new' D5.

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