Still Photo Image Quality D800[e] vs D850

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Bernard Delley Senior Member • Posts: 1,737
System change: Still Photo Image Quality D800[e] vs D850

Benjamin Kahane wrote:

TheMerchantofVenice wrote:

We discuss image quality a great deal, but in real world situations it pretty much depends on the shooting situation and/or viewing conditions/intended use of the output.

If you just want something to post to Instagram it doesn't much matter what you use.

If you print large or crop heavily that's different.

If you view on your computer at high magnifications that's different.

I suspect that what you are actually interested in knowing is something like "Will I notice an image quality difference in my particular use case?", which requires more information.

With no more information than what is provided, or probably even with a detailed discussion , I would personally push for a D850. As they are rumored to be replaced soon, the prices are very favorable.

And of course there are improvements in all the categories you mentioned as not making a difference. Nikon pretty much nailed it when they produced the D850.

If you happen to be investigating the possibility of purchasing used, which I usually do myself, it may be of use to consider the age of D800 bodies in regard to potential end of product life support issues.

(As an aside, we have two D850's and sometimes have a difficult decision whether to use one of them or our medium format system. They are very good.)

Is it possible you are referring to a 50mm f1.8 rather than a 55mm f1.8 ?

Thank you all for your answers.

I am a user of Olympus (e-5 and E-M1) so I've never been close to anything full frame. I'd like to print future works for hanging it in my house, at least 1 meter wide. It's been years that i have done that (my model was my future ex wife....).

I'd like to go back to studio photography (https://www.flickr.com/gp/benjaminkahane/0m902j) but with higher quality than my current gear.

I saw a lot of d800s second hand but start contemplating the 850, having features that i came to love on my em1 (focus peaking, tap to shoot etc). And the illuminated back buttons.

You are planning for a system change, to get really FX image quality. This means getting a good camera + good lenses. It will sum up, if you got the money, ultimately your heirs will have paid for it. So you should carefully think what you want to achieve and not get bogged down in sparing money in the wrong place.

I have the D800 and still like it, I often use it with the excellent AF-S 105mm f/1.4 for portraits. While the D800 may not get every bit of the across the field sharpness of the 105mm lens, but it does show its superb out of focus bokeh. I also have D850, and it is better than the D800 in almost every possible way, so it gets to do more different jobs, including portraits. I particularly like the D850 with the outstanding Sigma 40mm f/1.4 normal lens as well.

If you can use a 105mm lens in your studio, I would highly recommend the 40 and the 105.   The AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G lens is a very low priced lens, and a good sample is very good for the price.  You can do very good images with it as you can do with the OM system, your link showed that. But, the 50 f/1.8 will not be capable to deliver images that differentiate so clearly as the the 40 and the 105.

The AF-S 58mm f/1.4 is liked by some portrait photographers for its great bokeh. It may not be actually sharper than the 50mm f/1.8, but as an about 7x more expensive lens, it may have better quality control and sample consistency.

For outdoors peoples photography, a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens may be of interest.

Since you are doing a system change, you might consider Nikon Z7 II because of the the excellent Nikon normal lenses available for the Z mount.  The Z 50mm f/1.2 S has not many competitors (the Z 58mm f/0.95 S is in the very very expensive league, sure unique). The Z 50mm f/1.8s has a reputation of being excellent. I have not made the jump to the Z system, I glean that the 40mm and the 105mm have no pars in the Z system.

 Bernard Delley's gear list:Bernard Delley's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
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