This has been a very productive week with the Easter breaks allowing me more time to get out with the cameras. It has also been a very interesting week for me on a technical level as I had access to a Nikon D850 and got a chance to compare the D500 and the D850 for a few days. I will cover that a bit later in this post.

On Tuesday morning  the light was beautiful and soft and I picked off a few images of this Egyptian Goose female watching over the only remaining gosling. I was allowed to sit close and got some nice close-ups. The gosling was hidden in the grass so I left it alone.

20190416-7420190416-75

A few other water fowl coming in for landing.

20190416-289

These ducks looked great gliding in towards the water. I had to quickly swap focus points to get one shot each of the male and female Mallards.

20190416-41120190416-415

Twenty minutes later four stags appeared on the shore-line. The light was great and they where play-fighting. We were treated to some super photo oportunities.

20190416-47820190416-479

Then I got this shot.

20190416-468

This is one of my favourite red deer shots. It would have been great if the antlers where fully grown out, but I like it a lot as it is.
I did an edit feature of this image in an earlier blog post here.

The next day I decided to go out very early to catch the sunrise. The forecast was for clear skies, but when I arrived in the park at 05:45am it was very misty.
The atmosphere was airy and really beautiful. I spotted some deer hidden in the mist and got this shot.

20190417-3

There isn’t much detail, but I like the soft etherial mood it gives.

Then only thirty minutes later this happened.

20190417-11

The morning light changes so quickly that I almost missed this whilst setting up the camera. A minute later and the colours had changed to a pale yellow.

Down at the lake it was lively and I picked a few shots from the day.

20190417-5720190417-7920190417-8020190417-13120190417-13620190417-23120190417-23320190420-25

 

A few days later I had the oportunity to try the Nikon D850.
This camera features a 45.7mp full frame sensor compared to 20.9mp APS-C sensor of the D500. So why compare these cameras? The reason is this; the D850 features a DX crop mode that is essentially the same sensor as the D500. This means that you can crop the D850 image and have the same resolution and image size as the D500.

So is the D850 two cameras in one body? Could I simply shoot with the D850 and crop out the portion of the image that I want to keep?

As I don’t have two AF-S 400 f/2.8 lenses and only one tripod and gimbal there wasn’t really any practiacl way to do a side-by-side A-B comparisons. Instead I decide to only use the D850 for a few days and the find D500 images in my library that closely compared. This worked fine.

The two bodys are almost identical in button layout and functionality so I set the D850 up the same as my D500. Apart from the sensor the main difference is in the speed of processing and maximum frames per second.
The D500 is a speed demon with 10fps and a huge buffer to process the stream of images. You can shoot up to 200 frames, wait a second and simply continue shooting.

The D850 shoots up to 7fps (9fps with the optional grip), but the buffer fills up much faster so you cannot shoot as many frames before the camera slows down. To be honest I didn’t run into any problems with this during my testing, but I know I would run into it at some point.

So how did the image quality compare?

It became quickly apparant that unless you fill the frame of the D850 with the main subject there is little benefit to the larger sensor and extra pixels.
As the D500 has a 1.5x crop factor the 400mm lens becomes a 600mm and that allows me to fill the frame with the subject and crop less. That compensates for the smaller sensor and less megapixels of the D500.
I compared a lot of images and found very few that really made the D850 stand out as cleary better.

Here are some of the images I took with the D850.

This first one is a two-frame panorama.

20190419-7-Pano20190418-420190419-2620190419-194

I have always imagined a shot of the geese flying low through the trees, coming straight towards me, and I finally got the shot I wanted. I love the perfect formation and the colours of the background.

20190419-138

And this concluded my trial of the D850.
I returned the camera and have decided not to make this purchase for now. The D500 is so good and for my wildlife requirements it is all I need for now.
Besides I already have high resolution camera.

Almost 18 months ago I purchased the Fujifilm GFX medium format camera and several Fujinon GF lenses. This camera features a 51.4 megapixel sensor and is truly superb. The images from this camera always impresses me with detail, colour and dynamic range.
It has one problem, however. It cannot track moving subjects in any meaningful way. That naturally makes it a non-starter for BIF photography.
For this reason I was curious if the D850 could provide the quality of the GFX with the speed of the D500.
So I took the GFX with me to the park today and managed to get some shots that closely matched some of the D850 shots I took. Here is an example:

Nikon D850 + AF-S 400 f/2.8 @ f/4.0

20190419-76

Fujifilm GFX + GF250 f/4.0 + GF1.4TC (300mm full frame equvilent)

20190420-18

It was lucky that the deer would repeat this behavour and give me a comparison shot.
Here you see the different aspect ratios of the full frame (3×2) and the medium format (4×3). I really like the 4×3 frame.

Screenshot 2019-04-20 at 21.48.42

100% close-ups – click for a bigger view (may take a while to fully load)

 

It is a bit difficult to draw objective conclusions here as the deer are different and the distance and framing also varied a bit, but the overall image quality of the GFX is really great.

Here is an image of a pair of Egyptian Geese taken with the GFX. This was taken hand-held with the GF250 f/4 + GF1.4TC.

20190420-97

There is so much detail and an overall delicate quality that is simply unmatched by the Nikon’s.

100% close-ups – click for a bigger view (may take a while to fully load)

 

So in concusion I will stick to the D500 and use the GFX when possible. When Nikon updates their cameras I will take another look.

 

Here are the larger images for a closer look.

 

Equipment used:

Nikon D500
Nikon D850
Fujifilm GFX50S
AF-S 400 f/2.8
AF-S TC14-mk3
AF-S TC20-mk3
Fujinon GF250 f/4.0
Fujinon GF1.4TC
Gitzo Series 4 tripod
Gitzo Fluid Gimbal

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Weekly Captures

  1. Enjoyed reading this Mads. I wouldn’t mind to see a comparison between the sigma 150-600mm and the 400mm with the 2xTC. I’m sure the 400mm would win but I’m curious to know by what margin …

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s