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Archive 2016 · D5 does indoor horse shows

  
 
ELinder
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · D5 does indoor horse shows


There are already lots of higher quality photos posted and more extensive reviews, so Iím going to confine this to a few observations that I noticed shooting my first 2 horse shows with the D5. Iíve been using the D4s since it came out, so all these comments are things I noticed that were different or made me do something differently either during or after the event.

The rear display is significantly better. This is definitely where all the wild claims of 2-3 stop better performance came from, as the display is very flattering to the images. Noise looks less than it is and exposures show better contrast and less hot spots than there really are. I had to go to looking at the histogram more often than relying on the highlight-blowout blinking as I normally do.

Battery life is also much better. On the D4s I shoot about 6 hours, 1500 shots, all the wile using the WT-5A to wirelessly sent the JPGs to my iPad. On the D5 I did a 10 hour day, 2000 shots, same WT-5A and it had just dropped to the last bar when I finished up.

I really like being able to rate photos in camera in addition to locking them. That way I can lock keepers as well as rate those that are special in some way.

My normal winter indoor venue is very poorly lit, with uneven lighting, different light types, dark areas, and just no color except browns. Focus performance even with the D4S was many times hit and miss. Dark horses, low light, and low contrast had me constantly looking for a spot to keep the focus points on. I used Group AF-C about 95% of the time on the D4S

The D5 Group is better, but I was sort of expecting more. Then I switched to the 25 point, and wow what a difference over the D4S 9 point. It is much better at initial lock, and much much better at holding lock even in low contrast areas. They changed the focus tracking lock settings, and that will take some getting used to. I had the old system figured out with so many jump section constantly in the way, but the new system reacts differently. I set it to fast and erratic, (Is that totally off or not?) and was amazed at how fast focus changed.

I was using mostly my 70-200 f/2.8 and 300 f/2.8, and having the outer focus points as cross section was a huge difference in portrait orientation. Lock on was fast, it held lock, and my keeper rate was significantly higher when holding the focus point on the riders face.

These first 2 shows I shot only JPG, and as everyone has already said, they are much better than the D4S. I had to be a bit careful since everything looks so good on the display, so I wanted to crank up the ISO way high. The problem with that is that with the normal High ISO NR setting it at times washed out the horse hair detail more than I would want. Next show Iíll set it to low as well as shooting RAW+JPG. There is definitely more DR at high ISOs over the D4S. It may not be noticeable in many areas, but in my barn there is so little color that ever little bit makes a big difference.

The JPGs were also much better when shot brightly backlit. The better processing is definitely helping here, but I also have the feeling the sensor deals with it better. Iíll see when I have more RAW files to work with.

So far, the improvement in both ISO performance and slightly higher file size is letting me try my f/4 lenses instead of being stuck with the f/2.8 lenses. This is going to be a huge increase in flexibility for indoor shows. Being able to use the 200-400 f/4 or put the 1.4x extender on the 70-200 f/2.8 is going to be big. Much less cropping with better files will be a big jump in final image quality.

The difference in frame rate feels like a lot more than it is. Shutter is quieter, black out times are less, and the extra frame per second is letting me catch the horse mid-air while galloping or trotting with much more frequency than I was able with the D4S. That was unexpected. I can also more frequently catch both the initial knee-level stretch and going over the top of the jump with a high speed burst of 3 frames. Having both positions for the same jump is really nice.

If I was a movie critic, Iíd give it 2 thumbs up! I obviously have much more to learn to get the most out of the camera, but itís already proving a big step up from the D4S. I do all my processing in Lightroom.

Erich







a new well lit venue

  NIKON D5    200mm    f/4.5    1/1000s    6400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  NIKON D5    86mm    f/4.5    1/1000s    6400 ISO    0.0 EV  







my normal home show, it's much darker than the photos show!

  NIKON D5    300mm    f/4.0    1/400s    16000 ISO    0.0 EV  







Better upper Focus points helped a lot here D5 f/4 1/400 ISO16,000







no hesitation on using up to ISO 25,600 even if cropping, higher if full frame

  NIKON D5    300mm    f/4.0    1/500s    25600 ISO    0.0 EV  




Apr 21, 2016 at 05:16 PM
LMT1972
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · D5 does indoor horse shows


A good review of a D5! You must have got a faulty one Nice review & images.

Cheers
Leigh



Apr 21, 2016 at 05:23 PM
ELinder
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Thanks. I forgot one major point. The auto WB is orders of magnitude better. Normally I have to correct both blue and yellow shifting photos in bursts as the lights cycle, but the JPGs from the camera are almost always spot on. That alone is going to save a lot of time in post processing since presets or custom WB doesn't work in this case.

Erich



Apr 21, 2016 at 05:59 PM
leewoolery
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Great pictures and equally nice ( and honest ) review.

This is the real world environment where the D5 was designed to perform.

We have all seen the charts, graphs and read page after page of techno-mumbo-jumbo about shortcomings of dynamic range, only minor improvements to high ISO performance and possible problems with the AF system before anyone ever shot with the D5 so it's great to see these results that show Nikon engineers did their job to continually improve the D Series of cameras.

Way to go Erich!



Apr 21, 2016 at 06:02 PM
mco_970
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Those are EXCELLENT for indoor equestrian venues! I'm impressed!!


Apr 21, 2016 at 06:22 PM
DonM2
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · D5 does indoor horse shows


HEY, TRENCHMONKEY......

You have some really serious competition from this guy in the Cleveland area with a new D5 in his mitts!!

A very hearty salute to both you and this Erich shooter w/his new D5 and the stunning camera work you do at horse events!!

Thanks for sharing.

DonM2



Apr 21, 2016 at 07:39 PM
jrscls
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Wow! Really nice shots and very impressive.


Apr 21, 2016 at 07:51 PM
runamuck
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Photo 3 shows an earthquake hitting the brick wall!!

Great work. I will be about 105 before I can afford a D5, sadly.



Apr 21, 2016 at 08:53 PM
m.sommers00
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Yep these are fantastic!


Apr 21, 2016 at 09:10 PM
ELinder
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Thanks all. Too bad I already admitted a lot of the credit goes to the camera.

Erich



Apr 21, 2016 at 09:40 PM
Trey Neal
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Excellent real world review. I have wondered if the upgrade would be worth it. This helps to understand the move.


Apr 21, 2016 at 09:44 PM
mp0363
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · D5 does indoor horse shows


somebody knows how to shoot horses! nice job

the noise reduction seems heavy. wax like texture isn't attractive to my eyes. maybe the RAW will serve better?



Apr 21, 2016 at 10:05 PM
ELinder
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Yes, as I said, I'll turn down the NR for the JPGs next time as well as shooting RAW. That effect is something I have to watch out for when shooting the indoor shows. The combination of low light, NR, and the horse's short but brushed, groomed, and sometimes even sprayed hair to make it look shiny can have that effect in the photos. For purchased photos I'll frequently go back to the raw photo and use Nik Define instead of LR NR since it seems to do a better job in the out of focus areas while still preserving detail in the hair. A highlight reduction brush also helps in spots.

Having said that, we're looking at the images with a photographer's eye. Not once have I had a customer comment on that issue. Frequently when someone is looking at the previews on the iPad I'll hear "He's so cute in that one!!" referring of course to the horse, not the rider. I'll look at the photo, and it's crooked, noisy, and with more horse motion blur than I want. On the other hand, a photo I nailed that's got the rider and horse tack sharp over a high oxer but the rest of the image blurred with DOF and motion often won't even get a second look. I've had to make sure I look at what I'm doing from the customer's viewpoint, not necessarily what I think would look good.

Erich



Apr 22, 2016 at 08:57 AM
Frode
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Nice pictures, especially the second one!


Apr 22, 2016 at 10:30 AM
RexGig0
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Thanks for the excellent, real-world images and narrative.


Apr 23, 2016 at 02:00 AM
Frode
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · D5 does indoor horse shows


I always have the NR set to OFF. Due to hold as much details as possible before PP (and then I only adjust for color- noise).

ELinder wrote:
Yes, as I said, I'll turn down the NR for the JPGs next time as well as shooting RAW. That effect is something I have to watch out for when shooting the indoor shows. The combination of low light, NR, and the horse's short but brushed, groomed, and sometimes even sprayed hair to make it look shiny can have that effect in the photos. For purchased photos I'll frequently go back to the raw photo and use Nik Define instead of LR NR since it seems to do a better job in the out of focus areas while still preserving
...Show more



Apr 23, 2016 at 02:22 AM
bernardl
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Thanks for the review, it does perfectly match my own findings.

Cheers,
Bernard



Apr 23, 2016 at 04:17 AM
Laslo Varadi
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · D5 does indoor horse shows


ELinder wrote:
Yes, as I said, I'll turn down the NR for the JPGs next time as well as shooting RAW. That effect is something I have to watch out for when shooting the indoor shows. The combination of low light, NR, and the horse's short but brushed, groomed, and sometimes even sprayed hair to make it look shiny can have that effect in the photos. For purchased photos I'll frequently go back to the raw photo and use Nik Define instead of LR NR since it seems to do a better job in the out of focus areas while still preserving
...Show more
I know exactly what you mean about the way customers look at the photos. I have shot of outdoor events, professionally with the D300, a number of years ago. I have not shot many indoors but it is definitely more challenging.




Apr 23, 2016 at 07:35 AM
Charles Loy
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · D5 does indoor horse shows


I'll give a two thumbs up for this post, thanks.


Apr 23, 2016 at 07:58 AM
RRRoger
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · D5 does indoor horse shows


Nothing is harder than indoor Equestrian.
These make the ones I took with a D3 look blaaaa.

I quit taking pictures of little kids all dressed alike on brown horses or I would get a D5.
Not only did I get bored but I was loosing sales to selfies with cell phones that were instantly posted to the internet.



Apr 23, 2016 at 10:42 AM





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