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Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?

  
 
Eric214
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


jwolfe wrote:
The D500 and the D850 have the exact same AF system. The only difference is the speed.


So do the D500 and the D5 and there D500 isn't quite as good as the D5.

But not going to go back and forth. There is a difference with and without the grip with the D850. It's certainly noticable and more that a few have said it was well. It's not placebo.



Jun 30, 2022 at 10:23 PM
jwolfe
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?




Eric214 wrote:
So do the D500 and the D5 and there D500 isn't quite as good as the D5.

But not going to go back and forth. There is a difference with and without the grip with the D850. It's certainly noticable and more that a few have said it was well. It's not placebo.


You’re splitting hairs. Unless you’re shouting something extremely demanding if there is a difference it’s not going to be noticeable. The biggest difference in capturing action is the fps between the two bodies.



Jun 30, 2022 at 11:23 PM
Sauseschritt
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


As I understand it, the D500, D5 and D850 are very close in autofocus performance.

Mind autofocus is not exactly an area of which I care too much about, but pretty reliable sources like Steve Perry said so.



Jul 01, 2022 at 01:46 AM
jbear
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


I never use a body without a grip, so I can't speak to that, but...shooting the 850 and 500 side by side quite often...I don't notice any practical difference in AF. They may exist and may perhaps be situational, but if the D850 shutter wasn't so freakin' loud...I wouldn't know which camera I was shooting with my eye to the VF.
Note: With regard to performance-demanding AF...most common scenario for me...Sigma 500mm f4 OS Sport on one body and 300mm 2.8 VRI on the other (tc's when necessary).



Jul 01, 2022 at 11:51 AM
ACEG
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


I’ve read many times that there’s no difference in AF performance between the three cameras.

In my experience the D5 is in another league!

Sauseschritt wrote:
As I understand it, the D500, D5 and D850 are very close in autofocus performance.

Mind autofocus is not exactly an area of which I care too much about, but pretty reliable sources like Steve Perry said so.




Jul 02, 2022 at 08:12 AM
trenchmonkey
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


As someone that actually shoots with all 3 (D5/D850/D500)
...there is no discernable AF difference.



Jul 02, 2022 at 08:39 AM
Rimpson
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


trenchmonkey wrote:
As someone that actually shoots with all 3 (D5/D850/D500)
...there is no discernable AF difference.


Agreed. I owned all three at the same time and shot similar subjects in similar conditions. If I didnt have to go over 640 ISO I ALWAYS chose the D500. When the light was low I chose the D5.



Jul 02, 2022 at 10:27 AM
groob
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


I think the AF in the D500 is a bit more responsive, but the D850 is plenty capable. I don't know that there are any shots my D500 would've gotten that the D850 didn't.

As to the other active debate, I have not noticed any difference in AF function when using a grip on a D850 versus no grip.



Jul 02, 2022 at 02:52 PM
 


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ACEG
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


So did I, and in my opinion there’s a clear advantage in favour of the D5.

Much more «power» and better «tracking».

Golden eagles in low light….D5 24/7!

It’s the same story with the D3 and D700. Even though some like to think otherwise (yes, I’ve used both a lot 😉.

trenchmonkey wrote:
As someone that actually shoots with all 3 (D5/D850/D500)
...there is no discernable AF difference.




Jul 02, 2022 at 06:29 PM
Lee Saxon
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


I know several local pros who agree with me that the D850 autofocus is actually kind of slow and the D5 meaningfully better particularly at tracking. I think it goes to show how much your particular setup*, skill, and shooting style makes a huge difference? Or maybe there's some sample variation problem with the D850?

*For example, I don't know what 3D Tracking mode is supposed to be for, but following action ain't it. For that you MUST use one of the Group AF modes. This forum taught me that last year when I was trying to learn BiF and it made a stunningly huge difference.



Jul 05, 2022 at 05:44 PM
ACEG
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


I dont find AF performance of the D850 slow, instead I find it rather fast and accurate. Of course, one has to use the right AF mode for the situation.

There’s always been a step up regarding AF performance for the single digit bodies (no matter what others want to believe). Faster, more accurate and not least; more dependable.

Lee Saxon wrote:
I know several local pros who agree with me that the D850 autofocus is actually kind of slow and the D5 meaningfully better particularly at tracking. I think it goes to show how much your particular setup*, skill, and shooting style makes a huge difference? Or maybe there's some sample variation problem with the D850?

*For example, I don't know what 3D Tracking mode is supposed to be for, but following action ain't it. For that you MUST use one of the Group AF modes. This forum taught me that last year when I was trying to learn BiF and
...Show more



Jul 06, 2022 at 12:21 AM
CanadaMark
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p.5 #12 · p.5 #12 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


I think the D5 AF being slightly better than the D500/D850 is mostly due to the shorter blackout times, so the AF sensors get exposed to the subject longer, which in theory would make it track better. According to Nikon anyway, the AF module and dedicated AF processor are literally identical in all 3 bodies, so I think the D5 being slightly better is just down to it being a slightly faster camera overall and all the little things adding up. Maybe they also clock one or both of the processors higher and don't tell anyone, we'll never know for sure.

The D500/D850 are identical in AF performance as far as I've ever been able to tell but the D5 feels ever so slightly better. I do think the fact that the camera is faster and snappier contributes to that feeling, placebo or not. I've shot all 3 quite a bit and they are so close that it's hard to tell what is a noticeable difference or if knowing that the D5 is supposed to be the best influences that perception. It's a heavier camera with a faster frame rate and better ergonomics so you are naturally going to get more keepers anyway, all else equal.

I'd say just buy for the sensor or frame rate you want and don't worry about the rest, they are all close enough and get incredibly high hit rates that the photographer is more likely to be the weakest link anyway.



Jul 06, 2022 at 01:02 AM
hans98ko
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p.5 #13 · p.5 #13 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


@CanadaMark
I am with you all the way except for the part for running at a higher clock speed.
The reason for some to perceived that the D5 or D500 is running or locking onto focus faster than the D850 is because of the larger D850 file size, heavier work load on the image processor (and filling the buffers faster thus the delay for continuous shooting) which you have explained clearly. I truly doubt that either the D5 or D500 is running at a higher clock speed because it will bring in another variable and that is heat, which will increase digital noise and will be a negative rather than a positive advantage. This is based on all else are being equal.
But to be frank we are really splitting hairs here because it is almost impossible for anyone to be able to tell the difference between 1/1000s to 1/1125s, that is about 10%, or go a little more extreme 1/1000s to 1/1250s at 20%. The delay between shots will be confined by the frame per second (fps) we have selected. And this will never go higher than 20fps for electronic shutter, which means 1/20 of a second. That will be more than enough for acquiring focus in good light for continuous tracking. I don't think anyone can tell if one camera is acquiring focus faster than the other with a shutter speed of let's say 1/1000s and an interval of 1/20 of a second. How do we know which is causing which? Delay due to acquiring focus or the fps interval holding it back, but still falling well within the interval. The next thing is proper settings on the camera will also make a difference like someone already mentioned here. AFFT, AF Mode, AF Points, exposure mode, WB...all make a difference. More preset settings require less computation and processing because it has already been defined.
Then there is the difference in AF motor speed for different lenses even for the same made and model.
The more I think about it the more I said to myself that it sure is difficult to pinpoint the source.

I used 1/1000s because we are talking about shooting something that is moving fast like airplanes, birds and cars (ABC).



Jul 06, 2022 at 04:55 AM
CanadaMark
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p.5 #14 · p.5 #14 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


hans98ko wrote:
@CanadaMark@
I am with you all the way except for the part for running at a higher clock speed.


I very much doubt it as well, I was just throwing it out there as a wild guess. Regarding heat though, the D5 should be able to cool itself better than either of the smaller bodies. We see this in the Z9 as well, and to a much higher degree as it can shoot 4K/120 and 8K/60 internally which generate a lot of heat. They can use the extra body size to turn the camera into a giant heat sink basically.

Any AF differences between the cameras are extremely difficult to quantify or measure, so everything is anecdotal (including my own experience). This opens the door for other things to influence people's opinions, such as how they might think it *should* be performing relative to something else based on the cost being much higher, for example. I'm not saying that's necessarily the case, but objectively evaluating the AF between these 3 models is nearly impossible with how many uncontrolled variables there are. Personally I believe Nikon when they say they have the identical AF system, and I think it's the sum of other small improvements that lead to a better experience on the D5.



Jul 06, 2022 at 09:57 AM
Spectro
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p.5 #15 · p.5 #15 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?


I still use D5 and D850 and was a D500 owner before I bought the D850. I don't hesitate to use either camera for sports often on deadline and I often prefer the D850 in certain situations. My point is that I would not use AF speed as a deciding factor for which one I purchase.


Jul 06, 2022 at 10:17 AM
Denny JetTone
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p.5 #16 · p.5 #16 · Is it worth buying a Nikon d850 for wildlife in 2022?



I’m late to the party, but …

I have two of these “muzzlers” (below) for quiet concert work — D850, D800 (very noisy), D750, D7200. Not perfect, but effective. I have never used the part made to cover the lens.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1334667-REG/camera_muzzle_muz_001_sound_muffling_enclosure_for.html/reviews?ap=y&ap=y&smp=y&smp=y&lsft=BI%3A6879&gclid=Cj0KCQjw5ZSWBhCVARIsALERCvw_TRnTbktfQU8pcDLf-xZ9TJKubuW_4mqMnErxUC1bUMIXDVj-Bd4aAjB0EALw_wcB

You’ll need to know some of your controls by touch. You’ll have to remove any straps on the camera body. Firm foam blocks are used to seat and stabilize the camera inside the bag.

The clear, plastic view windows are good enough to be functional.

There’s enough room in the bag for a remote shutter receiver.

—Denny



Jul 06, 2022 at 06:25 PM
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