D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??

Started Feb 9, 2021 | Discussions
Nikon 79
Nikon 79 Regular Member • Posts: 392
D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??

Is that possible or am i completed confused?

Also,it seems D800E to have better high iso performance than D810.
is that possible?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mingthein/14568146238

Nikon D800E Nikon D810 Nikon D850
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ericbowles
ericbowles Senior Member • Posts: 1,791
Re: D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??
11

Those charts are correct, but you're splitting hairs and could not see the difference visually.  I find there is also a difference in the quality of the noise that favors the newer cameras.

There are a lot of reasons to get a D850 over a D800E.  I would not choose a camera based on Noise or Dynamic Range today.  All current cameras are so close that the differentiating features are other factors.  And the next camera released will almost always be better.

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hypercore360 Senior Member • Posts: 1,747
Re: D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??
3

Wish I had something to add to what you have already stated below, but I do not. You've hit it all on the head so to speak.

The only limitation of any photographer is their skill. It always has been and always will be.

ericbowles wrote:

Those charts are correct, but you're splitting hairs and could not see the difference visually. I find there is also a difference in the quality of the noise that favors the newer cameras.

There are a lot of reasons to get a D850 over a D800E. I would not choose a camera based on Noise or Dynamic Range today. All current cameras are so close that the differentiating features are other factors. And the next camera released will almost always be better.

michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 17,067
Re: D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??
4

ericbowles wrote:

Those charts are correct, but you're splitting hairs and could not see the difference visually. I find there is also a difference in the quality of the noise that favors the newer cameras.

There are a lot of reasons to get a D850 over a D800E. I would not choose a camera based on Noise or Dynamic Range today. All current cameras are so close that the differentiating features are other factors. And the next camera released will almost always be better.

Hard to say if it's splitting hairs or not.  What the OP may not be considering is that the D800 has a base ISO of 100, while the D810 and D850 moved the base ISO to 64.  And the result at ISO 64 is a slight increase in DR over the D800.  And with the D850 they added dual gain.  So you have slightly higher max DR at ISO 64 and then gain back the high ISO scores through the use of dual gain.

I liked my D800E.  But never liked the idea of two AA filters on the sensor that cancelled each other out.  Blur the image and then unblur it.  To me that's just an additional "lens element" for no gain.  The D810 properly just did away with the cancelling AA filters.

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Nikon 79
OP Nikon 79 Regular Member • Posts: 392
Re: D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??

Quality of noise? Maybe it is just me but according to the Ming thein's comparison, the superiority of the older camera is more than obvious.(even at iso 25600)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mingthein/14568146238
Is it just me i see something like that ??

Nikon 79
OP Nikon 79 Regular Member • Posts: 392
Re: D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??

Though from iso around 80 up to iso 400 the 2012 sensor has significant better DR than the D850s' super sensor. From this point on the two sensors go neck to neck up to 6400 iso.
All this is weird to me considering that we are comparing the best DSLR ever made to a 2012 obsolete camera.

PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 18,490
Re: D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??
11

Good Grief!    Look at three good images shot at base ISO and then ask us where the difference is.

I've got all three.    I never noticed a difference between D800e and D810, though I might be able to see something comparing dynamic range at ISO 64 on the D810 with ISO 100 on the D800e.

The DR on the D850 seems basically the same, except there are more pixels at the same time, which is an indirect win there.

In the real world, the only difference you're likely to see is a very small difference in noise patterns when you boost shadows a lot.  Not something you would notice without comparing back-to-back.

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photonut2008 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,577
Re: D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??
6

Nikon 79 wrote:

Though from iso around 80 up to iso 400 the 2012 sensor has significant better DR than the D850s' super sensor.

I wouldn't characterize a third of a stop as ""significant." To put it in perspective, you can compensate for it by opening up your aperture a third of a stop, and a third of a stop does not significantly alter DOF.

From this point on the two sensors go neck to neck up to 6400 iso.
All this is weird to me considering that we are comparing the best DSLR ever made to a 2012 obsolete camera.

My D800 works fine with every modern F-mount lens made. I can still get it repaired if it breaks. How is it "obsolete?"

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vbuhay
vbuhay Veteran Member • Posts: 4,922
Re: D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??

I try not to put too much emphasis on the charts rather I try to gauge the the suitability of the sensor for a particular type of shots from the output of the camera+ Lens. I have both the D800e and D850..

D800e or D4s for night sky/milkyway(with my 14-24G) shots and Portraits (with 105 f1.4E)

D850 (with my 14-24G) for Daytime Landscapes, short distance less active birds (with my 200-500)....

this is why I have ended up with 6 different bodies....

D500 or D4s (with 500PF) - long distance active Birding,

D750 or D500 (with my Tamron 150-600) for surfing shots from the Beach,

and Z50(with 16-50 Pancake) for Travel, Hiking and Disneyland.

For events - D850 + 70-200 VRII + D4s 24-70G with or without Flash(SB800)...

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Bernard Delley Senior Member • Posts: 1,860
DR consider also FW
3

you are right that compromises were made concerning DR. The point is that more low ISO DR is not enough of an advantage to go all in on this. DR is only part of the full story.

If you think on how uniform you can image a well exposed  area of uniform color, the full well (FW) capacity determines how low SNR due to photon noise can go. Thin of  residual noise (graininess) in a patch of blue sky for example. Now FW has gone up fromD800 to D810 to D850 , in the case of the D850 you have to weight the achievement considering the smaller pixels.

All in all the IQ achievable has gone up from D800 (to D800E) to D810 to D850. However, this progress, while obvious in measurements, remains subtle in practice.  They are all great cameras, you can spare quite some money if a all the attributes of a D800 satisfy your needs.

I own a D800 and  love it for portraits and landscapes etc and use it quite a bit. I also have a D850, and use it for the same things. Its DX crop at 20 Mpix sometimes serves as a digital zoom,especially in animal shots. Then the D850 is vastly superior for MTF measurements.

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Nikon 79
OP Nikon 79 Regular Member • Posts: 392
Re: DR consider also FW

Thanks a lot for the info!
I am not sure if i can properly read the graph you posted and which of the numbers are more important than the others.
What impresses me the most is the fact that a 2012 camera (D800E) has better DR and less noise at iso 12800 and 25600 than a 2014 camera (D810).
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mingthein/14568146238

ericbowles
ericbowles Senior Member • Posts: 1,791
Re: DR consider also FW
3

Nikon 79 wrote:

Thanks a lot for the info!
I am not sure if i can properly read the graph you posted and which of the numbers are more important than the others.
What impresses me the most is the fact that a 2012 camera (D800E) has better DR and less noise at iso 12800 and 25600 than a 2014 camera (D810).
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mingthein/14568146238

But the point most of us are making is that high ISO and noise are no longer a differentiator across cameras.  They are all close enough to the same that it does not matter.  If you think you can see a difference, it's probably in processing rather than inherent noise or dynamic range.

If anyone would like to buy a D800E, they are readily available for $650 and up.

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Nikon 79
OP Nikon 79 Regular Member • Posts: 392
Re: DR consider also FW

I already own a D800e but my point here is not to prove to anyone that is a better camera.
i am just trying to learn things about technical details, sensors and how a newer sensor (D810-D850) compares to an old sensor as well as how much of an improvement we can see on a newer sensor.

When i had to decide between a D800E and D810 i went through literally thousands of pictures taken with those two cameras and i have never been happy with the D810 colours. That was the main reason i finally chose the D800E although most of the guys here kept telling me the D810 is a better camera overall.

Some days ago i read the Meing Thein review on the D810 and i was really surprised when i read this paragraph and especially this part of the following paragraph
"...whilst you can still recover a surprising amount of information, this comes at the expense of mainly colour fidelity and separation"

This review made me think that i might be not completely wrong when i considered the D810 colour as way worst than any other camera i have seen so far.
So i started to look for more technical info and comparison in order to better understand the whole thing.
https://blog.mingthein.com/2015/03/22/long-term-review-the-nikon-d810/

"Allow me to explain: the D800E has a very linear tonal response, with low shadow noise, and highlights that clip fairly abruptly. This means you want to expose to the right just to the precise point of clipping; your dynamic range maximization comes from bringing up the shadows – since there is minimal penalty in color accuracy or noise. The D810 is the opposite: it is nonlinear and all of the extended dynamic range appears to rest in the highlights. What appears to be clipped even on the flattest picture control setting (the histogram is read off the preview jpeg embedded in the raw file) often still has a stop or more of highlight recoverability in ACR 8x, process 2012*. So you effectively need to have quite a bit of the frame blinking to make the most of the D810’s extraordinary highlight latitude. However, it’s still subject to the laws of physics, so this headroom has come at the expense of the deep shadows – whilst you can still recover a surprising amount of information, this comes at the expense of mainly color fidelity and separation. Recovered shadows somehow just look muddy – I suspect something in the ADC conversion has forced a ‘toe’ curve upstream of writing the raw file. If you expose properly it’s a non-issue in practice."

mostlyboringphotog Forum Pro • Posts: 10,427
Re: DR consider also FW

Nikon 79 wrote:

Thanks a lot for the info!
I am not sure if i can properly read the graph you posted and which of the numbers are more important than the others.
What impresses me the most is the fact that a 2012 camera (D800E) has better DR and less noise at iso 12800 and 25600 than a 2014 camera (D810).
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mingthein/14568146238

Not quite true that D800E has less noise at ISO12800 and 25600.

D800E max native ISO is 6400 and its 12K and 25K are expanded, so it doesn't change the exposure at ISO12800 D800E shoots as if ISO6400 and brightens the image. D810 reduces the exposure by 1 stop at ISO12800, so it looks noisier.

Down load the raw files and check the exposure setting.

If you compare ISO6400 D800E looks a tad worse.

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mostlyboringphotog Forum Pro • Posts: 10,427
Re: DR consider also FW

Nikon 79 wrote:

I already own a D800e but my point here is not to prove to anyone that is a better camera.
i am just trying to learn things about technical details, sensors and how a newer sensor (D810-D850) compares to an old sensor as well as how much of an improvement we can see on a newer sensor.

When i had to decide between a D800E and D810 i went through literally thousands of pictures taken with those two cameras and i have never been happy with the D810 colours. That was the main reason i finally chose the D800E although most of the guys here kept telling me the D810 is a better camera overall.

Some days ago i read the Meing Thein review on the D810 and i was really surprised when i read this paragraph and especially this part of the following paragraph
"...whilst you can still recover a surprising amount of information, this comes at the expense of mainly colour fidelity and separation"

This review made me think that i might be not completely wrong when i considered the D810 colour as way worst than any other camera i have seen so far.
So i started to look for more technical info and comparison in order to better understand the whole thing.
https://blog.mingthein.com/2015/03/22/long-term-review-the-nikon-d810/

"Allow me to explain: the D800E has a very linear tonal response, with low shadow noise, and highlights that clip fairly abruptly. This means you want to expose to the right just to the precise point of clipping; your dynamic range maximization comes from bringing up the shadows – since there is minimal penalty in color accuracy or noise. The D810 is the opposite: it is nonlinear and all of the extended dynamic range appears to rest in the highlights. What appears to be clipped even on the flattest picture control setting (the histogram is read off the preview jpeg embedded in the raw file) often still has a stop or more of highlight recoverability in ACR 8x, process 2012*. So you effectively need to have quite a bit of the frame blinking to make the most of the D810’s extraordinary highlight latitude. However, it’s still subject to the laws of physics, so this headroom has come at the expense of the deep shadows – whilst you can still recover a surprising amount of information, this comes at the expense of mainly color fidelity and separation. Recovered shadows somehow just look muddy – I suspect something in the ADC conversion has forced a ‘toe’ curve upstream of writing the raw file. If you expose properly it’s a non-issue in practice."

If you don't want highlight headroom with D810, then dial in  +1EC. Now you can bring up the shadow as much as D800E.

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Nikon 79
OP Nikon 79 Regular Member • Posts: 392
Re: DR consider also FW

I see but at least on this comparison, it seems the D800e does better.
Though i might be wrong
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mingthein/14568146238

patricksmith32
patricksmith32 Senior Member • Posts: 1,082
Re: D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??
1

hypercore360 wrote:

Wish I had something to add to what you have already stated below, but I do not. You've hit it all on the head so to speak.

The only limitation of any photographer is their skill. It always has been and always will be.

ericbowles wrote:

Those charts are correct, but you're splitting hairs and could not see the difference visually. I find there is also a difference in the quality of the noise that favors the newer cameras.

There are a lot of reasons to get a D850 over a D800E. I would not choose a camera based on Noise or Dynamic Range today. All current cameras are so close that the differentiating features are other factors. And the next camera released will almost always be better.

This is somewhat true while also being grossly understated and or partially very wrong. For instance my D5 or D6 along with my 500mm f/4E VR FL can easily capture birds as they take off or land. Which is only one small example of how gear can make all of the difference. The D5 and D6 along with a new FL super-tele prime or zoom can capture difficult action images with high precision and accuracy. While a D810 and Tamron 150-600mm would likely miss almost every shot. So not only are you capturing more than twice the amount of images per second or per burst, but almost all of those frames and extra frames will be in perfect focus. There are many, many other examples of where gear can make all of difference, the difference of getting the shot or not getting it. Of course skill matters and matters more than the gear, but gear can and does also make the difference between getting “the shot” or not getting it.

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briantilley
briantilley Veteran Member • Posts: 6,776
Re: D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??
4

hypercore360 wrote:

Wish I had something to add to what you have already stated below, but I do not. You've hit it all on the head so to speak.

The only limitation of any photographer is their skill. It always has been and always will be.

ericbowles wrote:

Those charts are correct, but you're splitting hairs and could not see the difference visually. I find there is also a difference in the quality of the noise that favors the newer cameras.

There are a lot of reasons to get a D850 over a D800E. I would not choose a camera based on Noise or Dynamic Range today. All current cameras are so close that the differentiating features are other factors. And the next camera released will almost always be better.

I agree.

There are several good reasons to choose between the D800e, D810 and D850 - but noise and DR performance are not amongst them.

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Nikerman Junior Member • Posts: 41
Re: DR consider also FW

Me too I see D800E is better.

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ericbowles
ericbowles Senior Member • Posts: 1,791
Re: D800E better overall DR than both D850 and D810??
2

patricksmith32 wrote:

hypercore360 wrote:

Wish I had something to add to what you have already stated below, but I do not. You've hit it all on the head so to speak.

The only limitation of any photographer is their skill. It always has been and always will be.

ericbowles wrote:

Those charts are correct, but you're splitting hairs and could not see the difference visually. I find there is also a difference in the quality of the noise that favors the newer cameras.

There are a lot of reasons to get a D850 over a D800E. I would not choose a camera based on Noise or Dynamic Range today. All current cameras are so close that the differentiating features are other factors. And the next camera released will almost always be better.

This is somewhat true while also being grossly understated and or partially very wrong. For instance my D5 or D6 along with my 500mm f/4E VR FL can easily capture birds as they take off or land. Which is only one small example of how gear can make all of the difference. The D5 and D6 along with a new FL super-tele prime or zoom can capture difficult action images with high precision and accuracy. While a D810 and Tamron 150-600mm would likely miss almost every shot. So not only are you capturing more than twice the amount of images per second or per burst, but almost all of those frames and extra frames will be in perfect focus. There are many, many other examples of where gear can make all of difference, the difference of getting the shot or not getting it. Of course skill matters and matters more than the gear, but gear can and does also make the difference between getting “the shot” or not getting it.

I completely agree that there are differences.  My point was that when it comes to ISO and noise, all of these cameras are very close and differences are typically less than a half stop - from the D800 to the latest Z7II.  The D6,5,4,3 cameras are a little different - and the D5 and D6 were optimized in a different manner sacrificing low ISO for better high ISO.  But the buyer of those cameras understands that tradeoff.  But in general - any recent model from Sony, Nikon or Canon is not going to have a meaningful difference in ISO performance.

Focus and focus speed are the places where there is the biggest difference across cameras.  That's one of the big advantages of the D6 or D5 over earlier cameras - and the D850 over the D800/E.

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