First Nikon D850 vs. D810 high ISO comparison published online *UPDATED*

Foto Info published the first Nikon D850 vs. D810 high ISO comparison (click for larger view):

ISO 3,200:

ISO 6,400:

ISO 12,800:

ISO 25,600:

Conclusion (Google translation):

It seems that Nikon has managed to improve image quality with high ISO settings. This is especially noticeable with ISO 12800 and 25600 (Nikon D810 Hi1). However, the digital noise pattern is quite different than that of the Nikon D810. Despite the less color noise, the Nikon D850 has a slightly more pronounced Luminance noise, probably due to a completely new light sensor and a different way of processing and sharpening the image. We will be able to get the right comparison as it will be possible to compare the photos in RAW format. At ISO 6400, the Nikon D850's image was slightly sharper, which was because of my error, it was fiercely slightly out of the comparison point.

Update - Bojan uploaded a new set of ISO comparison:

ISO 3,200:

ISO 6,400:

ISO 12,800:

ISO 25,600:

D850 pre-orders: B&H | Adorama | Amazon | BuyDig | WEX | Jessops
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Additional coverage: Nikon D850 directory

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  • jtang128

    I will pay the price $3300 if Nikon D850 have D810 sensor in the camera

    • Rick Ram

      I agree

    • Nika

      850 has entirely different new sensor designed by nikon

      • Adam

        Have not heard one way or the other. Assumed it was Sony. Can you link me to source?

        • Hood Ben-Eshak

          It’s definitely Sony sensor

          • Luca Motz

            It might be manufactured by Sony but it’s designed by Nikon. If you say it’s by Sony it would be saying the Iphone is made by some random Chinese factory and implying they designed it

          • Nika

            Nikon designed the sensor and manufactured by Silicon Foundry

            • Frank O’brien

              What are you saying? ahahaha Silicon foundry is not a company it is just a foundery of Silicon wafer is generic.Like to say that you buy a camera made by a factory. ahahahah I can’t believe it

          • Mike Luedey

            850 does NOT have a Sony sensor.

        • neonspark

          the source is this site. read it.

        • Nika

          Pls check imaging resource article on Nikon D850 Para no.13
          Nikon designed the sensor and manufactured by Silicon Foundry

    • bobgrant

      Thus far the D850 appears to be superior. Why would you want an inferior sensor?

      • Alexander Gray

        Sounds to me that they’re saying that even IF it had the lesser D810 sensor it would be worth 3300.

      • jtang128

        Nikon D810 sensor is so impressive, I don’t think new sensor designed by Nikon is good sensor. take a look at new sensor which is more brown and black color, lack of dynamic range.

        • Reggie

          Are you using one set of photos of some weird subject, from a random site, of OOC JPEGs to declare the quality of the sensor?


          Maybe best to not to rush to
          That judgement if the only comparison pic is of a brown and black subject lollolol

        • Ethan Olson

          Noise Reduction off at ISO 12800 and 25600. Compare the two. D850 is clearly on top.

          As for the rest, the difference isn’t big to me.

      • neonspark

        because it is the same old tale we hear every day from defensive camera owners. Happened when the D800 shipped. all the 12MP shills came out. Let them be irrelevant and not bother with them.

    • eric

      I agree. I prefer the d810 sensor already. there was nothing wrong with it so why change it.

      • Proto

        yup! If a person’s pictures sucked with D700 or D800, it will still suck with D6 or D850 (unless something else changed besides the camera)

        • Brett A. Wheeler

          D6? I’ve already got the D7s prototype!

      • Richard Hart

        Probably to include the other features like 4k and electronic shutter etc. Plus Nikon had to wow people and show they are still leading the field. A d810 user who doesn’t do video/sports/timelapse may not feel urgency to upgrade.

        Who is the 45mp for? Some people have complained that 36mp is too big for them. I feel a bit shortchanged with 24mp but would rather have one or two stops better dynamic range with 36mp than the 45mp. Shame they didn’t have 36mp as an output size.

        If I do a big shoot with 2-3k images, think how much space it will take and processing power too! I will probably get one, however I am keeping an eye open for the mirrorless, if it happens. D850 will be out of stock for a few months anyway…

        How good will the snapbridge be? Will it be as good as camranger?

        • eric

          Yeah, I understand they want to retain customers who might be thinking of switching to fuji or sony etc. I just think the logic is more of the same.

          I like 36mp, the resolving power is great, but having also shot 24mp full frame the difference is very minute if noticeable at all for most applications. The benefit of 24mp though is more noticeable though for less camera shake effect. Im curious to see if 45mp will exhibit even more of that than 36mp does on occasion.

          Nikon could probably make a 100mp tomorrow if it wanted to but at some point this is all just a marketing game that leads to the user owning more hard drives than they know what to do with.

          I wanted to go small and mirrorless so I switched to Leica this year. Couldn’t wait on Nikon to finally develop a smaller mirrorless. But I hope they make one that’s good. Dslr’s are on the way out for sure.

          • neonspark

            you clearly do not understand oversampling and its benefits which is why you come out clueless as to why people

            • eric

              What are you even talking about? If you’re going to comment at least make sense.

          • David Gottlieb

            I think the D850 can shoot 24 mp & 12 mp as well – Done!

        • Warren Salgado

          If you’re doing a 2-3k image shoot, and you don’t need 45mp images, or want to save space, just shoot smaller or medium RAW. That’s why that option is there. Simple.

          • Hysz

            sRAWs are nto truly RAWs, they don’t contain as much data [to example cropped 36PMX]. I tested it on Canon and on Nikon, dynamic range, tonal etc is ‘cropped’ too, I am not sure they even can store 14bit data. It’s not much, but those sRAW files are inferior to normal RAW.


            It is not RAW. While it does store the information in a higher
            precision than JPEG, sRAW is basically the same thing, just with
            lossless compression rather than lossy. The sRAW format employs yCC
            encoding, specifically a wide gamut 14-bit Ycbcr encoding that uses the
            full constituent of pixels to reference luminance information, but a
            small fraction to reference chroma information (i.e. 4:1:1 or 4:2:0

            Using sRAW means that in-camera image processing is baked in, just like with JPEG. That’s a big deal killer for astro.

            When I first got my 7D years ago, I experimented with using sRAW. My
            testing indicated it did not have nearly the post-process editing leeway
            that true full resolution RAW did. Since the information is not truly
            raw, but a reencoding of the raw sensor information much like JPEG, that
            wasn’t surprising.

            I would not recommend using sRAW for astro. ” – Jon Rista – a guy.

            If it were binning and/or lossless 1:1 crop of image, then I would be all over D810, D850 now. But as wedding main pro, I just cannot afford to edit those files 3 years. [And I do have really great PC with M.2 and whatnot] For me 24MPX is too big, I would gladly use lossless 12MPX from D600/D610/D750. Alas, I can only dream.

            TL;DR sRAW =/= RAW

        • verstaerker

          the AF system is so much better. 810 users who need AF do want to switch!
          I like the 46 MP option and especially that I can use 24 as well. the 21 in the D500 felt sometimes a bit to low. for average shootings 24 is perfect. And if my computer can handle it smoothly I will use 46 always 🙂
          I’m also excited about the not-cropped 4k video and 120fps HD.

      • Somerandomblokeontheinternet

        Why do you think? They can sell and market a new camera with a years old sensor?
        Seriously some of you guys have next to zero common sense.

        • eric

          Lol, right. I have no common sense. Im just some random bloke on the internet.

          • Piooof

            Well, if you look at some impressive prints by Cartier-Bresson, there was nothing wrong with silver halide, so why change it, right?

            (answer to your original question: because the D810 sensor couldn’t deliver all the new video features of the D850, otherwise they wouldn’t have waited two years just for fun. Plus, the D850 sensor is superior to the D810’s even for stills — yes).

            • eric

              Lol, this cracks me up. Throwing around Cartier-Bresson analogies. He was a street/travel photographer man who shot Leica, he wouldn’t have been caught dead with a bulky Nikon dslr.

              You’ve never used the d850 to compare it to the d810. You’re just assuming it’s sensor is better which is ridiculous. Every sensor renders differently and people have different ones they like. Some prefer the old CCD sensors to CMOS etc.

        • neonspark

          It’s the same crowd that was telling us nobody needs more than 12MP and a D700. And off course, forget nikon is not in the business of making cameras. Nikon is in the business of making MONEY and staying in business by SELLING cameras.

          • Somerandomblokeontheinternet

            Yup, sadly there is a contingent of dinosaur photographers who consistently preach how new technology isn’t needed and anyone who appreciated the advances MUST have GAS etc etc.

        • Jacob Smith

          What a simpleton. Put the old sensor in a new camera and sell it for years. You are assuming that the old sensor along with the same processor has the capacity to handle all of the new advanced features the D850 has.

          • bernard

            Dinosaur photographers? That’s not fair. Maybe your budget is unlimited, but some of us have to decide if the new features and improvements are the best way to spend the money.

            Aside from budget concerns, that might also depend on what kind of work you do.

            Sneering at improvements is silly, but so is sneering at those who decide not to pay for them. After all, your “outmoded” camera was a marvel just a few years ago.

            • Jacob Smith

              If you want a D810 then buy a D810. It’s not like the camera is going to go away anytime soon. It will be around for sometime along with the D850. The point is putting the guts of the D810 into a new body and a new designation and calling it a new camera is idiotic. No company is going to stay in business if this is how new products are developed.

      • neonspark

        if you are sticking with the D810, why comment on a camera you won’t get?

        • ZoetMB

          Yeah, I have to wonder how much of negative comments are based on a true analysis and how much is based on, “I can’t afford to upgrade, so I’m going to badmouth the new camera.”

          Also, people think every time a company releases a new model, it’s intended for them. While the companies would certainly like that, it’s not the case. I think this started with the iPhone (although I generally keep mine for three years). Do you buy a new car every model year?

          If one has a D810, while the D850 certainly has some nice new features, one doesn’t necessarily have to upgrade. I always skip generations: I went from the D70 to the D200 to the D800. Will I buy the D850? Maybe when they have the first sale or rebate, but I also might wait a few years for the next generation or a mirrorless.

        • Jacob Smith

          Maybe simple jealously. You know they want the latest and greatest but probably can’t afford it so instead talk smack about it.

    • Luis F. Vidal

      even if

  • Marek Kunicki

    With the resolution increase I didn’t really expect much if any high ISO performance increase, so I’m satisfied with what I’m seeing here. The extra resolution also allows for stronger NR application while retaining enough detail.

  • TheInfinityPoint

    I definitely welcome the lower amount of color noise. Between that and luminance noise, I’d rather have to deal with the latter especially in my time lapse work. The human visual system copes with “averaging out” luminance noise easier than color noise, at least for me.

    • cBBp

      Very true. It also effects photoshop curves and levels less.

    • Yu

      Actually I think color noise is easier to be removed in post-processing than luminosity noise so anyway…

    • Max

      I am sure with portraiture colour noise is a bigger nuisance than luminance noise too.

  • Captain Megaton

    Clean kill.

  • hussey

    Are we looking at one to one comparisons or resized to match ones? If this is resized then I’m not seeing an improvement!

    • Captain Megaton

      ISO6400 and above it’s obvious. The color noise (blotchyness) is less in the shots without NR applied, though the graininess might be slightly higher visually the D850 images are more pleasing.

      At ISO3200 there isn’t much in it though.

      • Pippo

        My thoughts, test not the best, but I like less yellowish cast from D850. ISO 6400 seems to be ok – this is upper border, higher only for alarm situation. More interesting be lower ISO DR.

      • akkual

        The JPEGs provided by others have shown that ISO1600 can be considered “clean” on D850, where as D810 that was ISO800. From what I have seen, after ISO6400, both D810 and D850 are no where near the quality that D750 produces on those ISOs at 1:1 level. Reducing the size imporves the situation a bit, but D750 still rocks them. So for low light photographers, D750 (or D4s/D5) is the one to get as usable up to 25,6k ISO (these D8x0 are usable to ISO6400 to my standards). In DR wise, impossible to say until we get RAWs from various exposing situations.

        • Ricky Mackie

          1:1 pixel comparisons of the 750 to 810/850 isn’t altogether fair. Let me explain, the pixel size (pitch) is much greater at lower resolution, allowing for less noise. The benefit of higher resolution is the ability to functionally oversample when desired. You would have to look at the size of the image on the sensor, not the resolution

  • MindGrenadius

    Very interested to see how this performs in astro environments with this new sensor tech. 12K + 25K ISO looks really good so far

  • VanHoff

    It would be interesting to know what WB were used on both cameras, seems like the D850 handled better skin tones overall.

    • eric

      d810 will always be my favorite nikon digital.

      • Ralph La Forge

        My D500 + D810 – perfect combination!!

        • eric

          Nice! I only shot with the d500 once but i do remember it being lightning fast. had i not switched systems recently i would definitely consider it as a second body. my d810 has been all over the world and still clicks like new. it definitely is a legendary camera in my book.

  • Stangs55

    Take my money now.

  • Aldo

    It’s ‘human’ after all…

  • To our usual “complain everything about everything”. Take some time and embrace the fact that it’s a 45.7MP vs 36.3MP. For a higher megapixel sensor, those files look clean to me.

  • Arpe

    With these large improvements in sensor tech, what could be achieved now with a, say, 12MP sensor with large pixels – real night vision?

    • Jeffry De Meyer

      20 stops of dr at base iso

      • Piooof

        Nope. The largest DR at base ISO is attained by high-MP count sensors (because oversampling reduces the impact of read noise). The forte of low-MP count sensor is at high sensitivities (because larger photosites reduce the impact of shot noise).

        • Jeffry De Meyer

          That is just dynamic range in low light.

          Dynamic range in good light is more a how much can a photosite store before being completely full.
          The low light thing is just how little can be detected and not be mistaken for noise.

    • See the Sony A7S…

      • Jacob Smith

        Try a Sony forum instead…

        • I don’t shoot Sony. It was an answer to a genuine question – it’s the only modern camera out there with such a sensor you idiot.

          • Jeffry De Meyer

            Hey no fighting on the internet!

          • Jacob Smith

            Really the way you worded it you sure as hell sound like a Sony fanboy. Try using complete sentences you simpleton.

  • eric

    Ive never understood what these tests have to do with photography but there amusing none the less. im glad the d850 renders differently than the d850 though, it will make people grow nostalgic about the d810 sensor which happens whenever a new camera is released.

    • DafOwen

      For those of us that regularly shoot in low light (I do music/concerts) noise etc is important.

      • You should buy hígh ÍSO camera.

      • eric

        Yes. I’m not even sure how they took photos in the film days, must have used a flash i guess.

        Im aware for certain kinds of specialized photography these technical aspects matter but 99.9% of photographers are not shooting music concerts, not shooting underwater sea creatures, etc. I was just making a point that this is not what the majority of pro photographers are concerned with.

        • ZoetMB

          It depends upon the type of pro. I’m with DafOwen. I’m constantly shooting in very low light. Back in the day, venues let me shoot with flash, but no one does anymore. That’s when I had to move from a D200 to a D800 because even at high-ISO settings (which looked like crap anyway), the f2.8 exposure would be 1/15th to 1/25th of a second. Even if I could hand-hold that (which I can’t anymore), it would be a smear because the subject moved (which sometimes makes for an interesting photo, but one wouldn’t want every photo like that.)

          Back in the film days, there was a lot of “pushing”, but that would be the equivalent of 1600 tops and you’d have grain the size of golf balls. On the other hand, at least at normal focal lengths, there were a lot of f1.2, 1.4 and 1.8 lenses so in many cases, one gained a stop or two.

          • eric

            Yes, as I mentioned above there are specialty areas which may require high ISO settings. But the majority of pro photographers are not shooting in those cave-like conditions and even if they do at times shoot in darkness it is infrequently.

            I have been to a few concerts recently where they didn’t even want anyone taking photographs. I guess the times have changed. Everyone is obsessed with controlling their public image. Im surprised bands even have photographers anymore.

            • AlphaStatuz

              I shoot in darkness on a regular basis (but I’m doing it on a tripod at 30-60 seconds – Muhahahahaha).

  • Photoman

    What’s NR?

  • Claude Mayonnaise

    At this point in sensor tech and similarities being so minor, wouldn’t a RAW file between these sensors come down to a tweak here or there and result in many different versions of the same file depending on who is processing the file. These tests are getting loony. One improvement here may piss one person off and make another happy as heck.

  • Photoman

    Looks like the D850 has more grain.

    • Richard Hart

      I think the grain is created by sharpness. I agree with you.

    • Yep. Failing to see any advantage whatsoever. The D810 looks better to me. However I said all along if the D850 could deliver similar or the same as the D810 then this could be regarded as a triumph. But what I read elsewhere of the D850 having a 1 stop advantage because of the BSI sensor is clearly and completely false.

    • Ande Notos

      But the D810 has way more color noise.

      • Allen_Wentz

        Color noise is the easiest thing to correct for.

        • Ande Notos

          Not if you want your colors to stay nice and natural.

  • Personally, from what I am seeing here, I like the rendering of the D850 better than the D810. It’s a small survey sample, I know, but this is all I have to go on for now. For me, I prefer to deal with luminance noise over color noise (when I have the choice). I find it easier to produce an acceptable image with less need for NR with an image that has lots of luminance noise vs. one with lots of color noise. That is, I don’t feel the need to eliminate all luminance noise the same way that I feel the urge to completely wipe out every ounce of color noise. That is just my preference.

    I tend to not care as much about anything above ISO 8000, because I personally don’t shoot in situations that would require it. The latter two examples are so far divorced from my practical experience that it is almost theoretical to me. I am more concerned with the ISO 3,200 and ISO 6,400, and frankly even more with the ISO 100-800 range. Of course, I understand that is not the point of this review, but I would still like to see those comparisons. I mostly do classical concert or opera settings, but proper light metering in RAW gives me plenty of latitude for producing good, strong, clean images that maintain a good bit of dynamic range (vs. shooting higher ISO).

    In the first couple of images, from what I can make out in this weird sample image, there appears to be more contrast (and detail) in the D850. It might be because of the higher-MP sensor vs. a presumably blown-up D810 image. That would tend to make the D850 much grainer, but, given that consideration, again, I don’t think it is that bad (especially considering the extra pixel count). With good NR software and technique, I would imagine that I could produce a better final product with the D850 images here over the D810 ones (purely speculation and gut feeling based on these images). I’ll wait until mine comes in next month to find out. 😉

  • Eric Calabros

    As we expected its D500 noise quality, upscaled to full frame.
    If DxO is your trusted benchmark, you’ll be disappointed with their score

    • JXVo

      D500 sensor isn’t BSI is it?

      • But then agaín, BSÍ accordíng to níkon ís ímplemented for data transfer and not for DR.

        • JXVo

          Pyes but the BSI chip architecture provides both benefits even if, as the designer, you are only needing one of them ….more space to route conductors behind the photosites as well as less obstructions between incident light and photosites.

          The fact that the smaller pixels of the new sensor seem to be providing at least equivalent high ISO performance is a sign that they are likely more efficient than before.

    • sandy

      It will pretty closely match the D8120, IMO, based on posts bill Bill Claff. I personally find that rather good.

  • per

    D810 with NR off and D850 with NR on. Useless comparison.

    • See all the ímages.

    • MB

      For each ISO there are four images:
      Left side … NR Off … Right Side … NR On
      First row D850, second row D810

  • CaMeRa QuEsT

    The are some very distracting focusing issues with all the shots, but yes, color noise on the D850 seems to be better controlled than on the D810 at ISOs beyond 3200, though the opposite seems to be true for luminance noise. They should be both about even after editing, with perhaps a bit more detail available on the D850 for recovery. D850’s NR is very aggressive compared with the D810’s, though, seems like Nikon engineers are running out of tweaking ideas for their JPEG engine.

    • Saad

      Yes indeed, there are focusing issues.

  • fränk

    haha, jpegs 😀

  • Tomas Hellström

    I will wait with my judgment until I see RAW. I will upgrade my D800 so for me definitely substatial improvement.

  • HD10

    Ease up! Wait for better well-controlled comparison that will soon be avaiable before concluding that the D850 sensor is not as good as the D810.

    • JXVo

      I’m waiting to see some objective measurements…….too many variables in handheld samples of an artwork of unknown colour and texture as above.

  • Gordon Hamilton

    I find this disappointing. The improvement in high ISO performance of the D850 versus the D810 is negligible. Improvement is in other areas may still make the upgrade worthwhile though.

  • Gordon Hamilton

    I find this disappointing. The improvement in high ISO performance of the D850 versus the D810 is negligible. Improvements in other areas may still make the upgrade worthwhile though.

    • hje

      you need to see those images at a color screen.
      a black and white screen really might deliver the impression that there isn’t much improvement 😉

    • Mike

      Even if the noise levels were identical, the D850 has 12% more resolution. That in and of itself is impressive. This is what the D3/700 looked like 10 years ago. And people lamented a noisy world over 20mp. If this scene looks like that with this noise level on a JPEG at that ISO with this many pixels…. life is good and you have nothing to worry about in your images in this regard. 🙂

  • fotograf

    Just a quick correction on the “Google translation” of the conclusion – from the original Slovenian text;

    “Pri ISO 6400 je slika iz Nikona D850 nekoliko manj ostra, to je bilo
    zaradi moje napake, ostreno je bilo malenkost vstran od točke

    “At ISO 6400 the Nikon D850’s image is slightly LESS sharp, which is
    because of my error; the focusing was slightly off of the comparison

  • Orgil Orgildinho

    I shot music band pictures with D810 in iso12800 with 35 f1.4 in a completely dark bar. After in post some basic enhancements results were not amazing but good. If you see them in cellphone or tablet they are good but not in 15 plus monitors then you start seeing horrible noises. I shot exactly in same condition week before with d800e pictures were unacceptable. D810 is a great camera, if 850 is better in low light I’ll go for it.

    • DafOwen

      I try to avoid going above 5,000 on my D800 (also gigs)

    • Steve

      ISO 12800 with a 35mm 1.4? That’s available darkness mate, not available light.

    • silmasan

      Around ISO 2500 or 3200 and above, D5 is the undisputable king. The question is whether we will get that kind of performance in a smaller body like D8x0 or even Df. There is a market for that I’m sure.

  • James Michael

    I am not seeing much of a difference, and since I rarely shoot above ISO 800 it is negligible. This is a camera I need to put my hands on before I plunk down my money. I was planning to wait for the price to drop anyway, but my D810 is still more than good enough.

  • MB

    As much as I appreciate the effort I fail to see the value of this kind of spray and compare shootouts …
    It is obvious that camera settings were different and picture controls does affect not only colors but also contrast so noise can be more pronounced on one camera, and images may seem sharper etc …

  • DafOwen

    Going to wait for more consistent RAW images before I make my mind up.
    Although many rave about D500 images – it’s true the jpeg images look better – but from what I’ve seen RAW files aren’t that awesome.

  • Steve

    Seriously I know this is a gear page but reading these comments has made me realise something. If we all spend x2 as much time on technique, learning lighting and what makes a superb picture; rather than the amount of time we discuss sharpness and high ISO many of us would be a lot better photographers than we are. Something a little bit sad and pathetic about that when you see these comments. Something a little bit tragic about it all.

    • DafOwen

      If people enjoy talking about pixel peeping – let them get whatever enjoyment they do out of it. Not everybody is the same.
      It’s unfair and inconsiderate to call them pathetic.

      • Steve

        But possibly the truth 😉

        • People are not ready for the truth. They won’t accept that buying new gear won’t make them better photographers (only a few). Tell the masses the truth many times and they sure will hate you sooner or later.

          How many times could be read looking at a weak picture that ‘it was the photographer’s intention originally….’ People will even happily lower their expectations for themselves just to avoid the hard way: to learn and practice for years.

      • bonem

        Trolls gonna troll. It’s just how Steve do. Unfortunately it’s on here and is disappointing to see. His comments are more of a nuisance than anything.
        I personally don’t mind seeing as many tests as can be had by anyone with any gear. It’s fun. Is what I enjoy. And I’m sure it’s what a lot of folks on a gear forum enjoy as well.
        For techniques I use other forums, books and actual practice.
        Hooray learning!

    • You can’t change people, but your attitude to them. So, you may look at this phenomenon (I mean the gear-buying-and-pixel-peeping-passion) as the more expensive and the indirect way of learning. And it’s just another method to get more self-knowledge.

      Win-win situation: you will not worry so much and people won’t hate you because of your comments. :))

      • Steve

        People hate me because of my comments? Well no evidence of that, actually 2 people have already thumbed up my comment. And how will I sleep at night? It’s the sign of the times; people would rather discuss how sharp a lens is; or how noisy an image is vs go into a forum to discuss technique or buy a book and read about actually crafting a picture and honing their talent.

        • 1. The fact that you wrote (how we could be better photographers) is right.
          2. The way you judge people is not.

          The thums up is for number 1.

          People functionate like this, they are looking for the easiest way and they believe what they read and hear. Marketing is pathetic in its current state, not people.

          • Steve

            Well tell it to Jeff Ascough, he says exactly the same thing as do many of the decent photographers out there. If someone’s feelings got hurt, well boo-hoo. The reality is these discussions are amusing at best. Time would be better spent learning the craft.

            • Luca Motz

              What are you doing on here then?.. Feeling stupid now?

            • Steve

              I’m a curious individual. I like to titillate.

            • FL13OH16


        • Alexander Gray

          What if I told you it’s possible for people to care about both? What if I told you that not only is it possible, it’s common.

          I spend equal hours studying tech as I to technique. I love art and gear.

          In writing I love expensive pens that write silky smooth lines. It lets me focus on content better when my pen just works all the time.

          In music I love playing a trumpet with fast responsive valves that keep up with quick moving arrangements. I also love circular breathing and growling.

          In photography I love lenses that are sharp corner to corner because I focus so much in composition and framing of landscapes. I love cleaner high ISOs BECAUSE I don’t want to compromise or have to pick between shooting a bird at f8 with high noise and detail loss or f5.6 or down to 2.8 with less wing or tail in focus.

          I find that 99.99% of customers taking classes still shop on specs. Then when I show them before and after pictures and they understand dynamic range and lifting shadows and recovering highlights, they are more inspired to create art in different situations they didn’t think possible.

          Let people be.

          • Steve

            What is I told you that you did not need to put a word in CAPITALS to make a point? Reality is you are the exception not the rule. Jeff Ascough is one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world and he says the same…that most people are wasting their energy on the wrong things. Must be something in it if someone at his levels sees it.

            • Alexander Gray

              Of all I wrote you focused on the single word written in all caps. Bravo.

              Fact is, you and Jeff Ascough have ZERO idea what anyone who visits this forum does after they leave it. It’s nice to parrot a pro or find a pro who supports your thought but I can find those too. In fact, joe McNally is set to go live pretty soon and will be talking about new gear along with Dixie Dixon and others. I guarantee they will all say something about how the new gear inspired new vision and technique and ability to focus on composition and their subjects.

              Steve Perry almost ALWAYS talks about both the worlds of tech and technique in his lens reviews.

              The people accused of being the biggest gear heads online happen to sell the number one technique book and talk about composition a LOT in their live shows.

              Are some people misguided about what gear can do? Of course. I tell people all the time to stop researching cameras after they buy one. But that isn’t most people.

            • Well saíd.

            • Steve

              Most people on here don’t print, or if they do it’s a 12×8 where these noise differences won’t matter.

              I don’t buy this “near gear” inspiring new vision. Do you see a carpenter get a new hammer and suddenly get his passion back for creating? Do you see a painter on the down and out, lost their mojo, they then receive a new brush and off they go, back on the wagon? Your sentiments suggest an emptiness to the people in forums and here, and even working pros, if they truly need that boost from gear, well that’s even more concerning.

            • Alexander Gray

              You asked what you assumed was a stupid question but weren’t ready for real answers.

              Yes, a new coping saw or jigsaw WILL inspire a wood worker. A new brush WILL inspire a painter. I know people who geek out over that shit. Just like people geek out over cars. Just like gamers geek out over mouse pads. Or chefs geek out over food processors and knives.

              And though it’s arrogant to assume these people are down and out or that they “need” a boost from their gear, the fact is that new tools CAN ignite new flames.

              But you go right ahead and shoot weddings with your iPhone 3G and proper technique books.

    • XT

      For astrolandscape photography, high ISO noise, DR, and sharpeness are all very important qualities. I shoot a lot of night photos at 3200 & 6400 ISO and so any significant improvements are welcome.

    • ToastyFlake

      What’s pathetic is complaining about or insulting people discussing two cameras’ high ISO performance in the comment section of an article about two cameras’ high ISO performance.

    • jarmatic

      You should have stopped before you wrote the last two sentences. Well they aren’t sentences technically, but you get it. You went from a positive suggestion to insult and criticism. Something a little bit unfeeling. Something a little bit hyperbolic about it all.

  • TinusVerdino

    People expect too much of new sensors. CMOS is very near it’s limit of potential. Any advances over the past 5 years are due to more sophisticated electronic noise reduction.

  • Bojan

    I made a second part of high iso setings test in more controlled conditions. Results are similar. Here is link to test:

    • TinusVerdino

      Especially chromatic noise is better. Easier to deal with in post because it is not as blotchy as in the D810.

    • Looks to be around 1/3 stop better and colour and exposure too ís better.

  • Oguz

    Let us wait, until the final product is sold with final or better firmware

  • fanboy fagz

    Thank god no af assist light or flash was added. Both unnecessary to me.

    Wb looks better as it caught the yellow color cast better and 6400 is the highest id shoot this in weddings. Ill use the D3s for the dance floor.
    Looks very capable. Mack diamond warranty for shutter failure repair and im set.

  • DSP~

    The D810 has way more detail. I can’t see why people think that the D850 looks better here. The chroma noise is the smallest problem imho. It’s all about the details.
    If those D850 images are downscaled to fit the D810 files, the problem is even worse! Have a look at the hair, even at ISO 3200 the D850 lacks detail!

    • Yasfaloth

      I think you need either to look at the “no NR” pictures or buy new glasses… at 3200 there are much more details in the hairs (second square from the top) in the D850 picture, NR off of course, which is what is matter !

    • silmasan

      See Bojan’s comment, there is a second set of images from a more controlled test.

      • DSP~

        Thanks for the heads up! That completely changed my mind about the camera.

  • Appreciate the work put into this, but I would never buy a body like this and use it to shoot jpegs. I’ll wait to see raw images tested with software that works with nikon’s nef files before making a plan.

    That said. A camera that creates great jpeg files is always preferable. Still. I never shot jpegs with my d700. I tried it. Curious. Always prefer to spin my own jpegs in Lightroom/photoshop or Capture 1.

    • James R Mercer

      Keep in mind that Nikon cameras don’t actually directly shoot JPGS. They shoot RAW files which are then processed on-camera to create the JPGS, after which the RAWs are deleted.

      While it’s possible that the on-board RAW-to-JPG conversion process on the D850 is better than on the D810, Occam’s Razor suggests that the source RAW is of better quality on the D850 to start with.

      Just sayin’. 😀

      However, yes, a RAW-to-RAW comparison would be cleaner. I just don’t expect to see anything different come out of that. 🙂

      • Hi James. I have tried jpegs + raw with my nikon, an olympus m5v2, and a ricoh GR2…I’m really never satisfied with the jpegs from camera and much prefer what I can get converting raw files myself. Sure. Some are acceptable, but I’m always glad to have the raw files to fall back on.

        Maybe it depends on what you plan to do with them. And I’ve read plenty about some photographers preferring to shoot jpeg. Getting the shot in camera. No, or little post processing work. More power to ’em. I still prefer to have raw and cook my own jpegs, tiffs, etc…

        And you may be right. The d850 jpeg engine might process better jpegs than the d810. But I would compare raw to raw before I lay my money down.

    • David Gottlieb

      Shoot in raw – develop to jpegs in camera and/or your favorite image editing software…..

  • Amir

    D850 has won and D810 has lost the game of severe ISO performance.Get over yourselves and accept the fact of the performance of new designed sensor,please!

    • Nikos Skartsilas

      Agree. More film looking grain, cast free color and sharpness.

      • silmasan

        See more of that in the second set linked by Bojan below/above. I recall seeing the D5 results the first time, and the color processing improvements are apparent here too. Still nice to have quality OOC JPEGs that already nailed it down without needing any work, for proofs or instant sharing or whatever purpose.

    • jarmatic

      No. You’re not the boss of me.

  • Any possibility for a better small/medium raw?. Since D850 has some kind of pixel binning for video that uses entire frame, there’s a slight chance, but since they didn’t shout about the feature, I know I should be ready to be disappointed.

  • Ian

    the other set of photos embedded below is of higher quality and doesn’t have focus issues, easier to detect subtle changes

  • James R Mercer

    Hmm. To my (unpracticed) eye, it looks like the D850 is an improvement over the D810, both with and without NR. Anyone see anything different than me?

  • I don’t understand why these comparisons are not BOTH NR OFF?

  • Lanskymob

    If I can’t photograph a black cat inside a black velvet bag inside a sealed room inside a mine shaft…fuck it.

  • Exynos

    Photons posted DR performance of D850 against a7r2

  • Gary Smith

    The complaints here are hilarious – so many sensor experts and you haven’t even seen the camera. If you love your 810 great – keep it. For those who see the value in the 850 order one – I did. From some of the comments, it sounds like several of the complainers aren’t even aware of all the features of the 810 so yes, for you, it would be a waste of money. If I had to come up with one criticism it would be that the wireless triggering is not built in but that’s about all I can come up with.

  • mas921

    bit better, not bad for 25% increase in MP’s

  • Glen

    I’ll take slightly more luminance noise for significantly less chroma noise every day of the week and twice on Sunday so this is a very good result.

  • David Gottlieb

    Lots of crazy debate here. The D850 pics from elsewhere look great. The DR is very close to the D810 or even the D800.
    They are all very sharp if exposed correctly.
    But the D850 offers loads and loads of features that is missing from earlier D8x0 models.
    That is why I am purchasing the D850 – not just for the 10 extra mp – and the D850 will let me shoot at 24 and 12 mp. Very curious to see the comparisons, though I think I would always shoot at the 45mp… Why not?
    So you can debate all you want over noise in the D850 vs that in the D810 – but it is going to be negligible. And it is not, at least for me, the reason to purchase this camera!!!

    • Michiel953

      Indeed. No substantial IQ improvement to be gained, but improved ease of access to that IQ.

      • David Gottlieb

        LR and CO1 will probably have updates very soon, I would suspect…..

    • Jeffrey G. Bank

      I am kicking myself a little bit. I bought a D500 to add to my D800 a couple of months ago. I expect my D850 in one of the first shipments from B&H, and although I have sold my D800 to a co-workers daughter, I am wondering what to do with my D500, keep it or sell it. Trying to get the wife interested in photography, so I may keep it for a while. D850 makes having a D500 redundant, but I love the D500.

      • Allen_Wentz

        Keep the D500, learn both bodies, and report your experiences back to us. Then sell one if you feel like it.

  • spam

    Looks like JPGs, what’s the point?

    • Captain Megaton

      In camera JPEG are as good as any other JPEG for what we want to do here.

  • the post is updated with new samples

    • Michiel953

      So what am I seeing?


    • CaMeRa QuEsT

      Now we’re talking! Amazing how details hold up against ISO and how noise stays relatively put as ISO ramps up, but this is more about how great the JPEG engine works, the proof of the pudding is still in the RAW files, hope those are the real basis for these amazing noise and details improvements. Nikon wouldn’t say 1 stop improvement in JPEG and RAW just for marketing’s sake, would they?

      • Eric Calabros

        there is something better in raw data that jpeg engine can make a better result from it. NR cant de-blotch the noise for instance.

  • I did

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