I normally post about film related items, as I love my collection of film cameras. I have to admit however, that my love for photography began in the digital realm and never completely left. I shoot both digital and film and my favorite images can be found in both mediums.
When I purchased my Nikon D800 it was to replace my D300 way back in 2009. From a 12Mp camera to a 36Mp was a massive jump and, for the time, it was an unheard of resolution (in reality potential resolution but that is another blog topic). I love travel photography and this camera would allow me to capture some breathtaking images.
When the Nikon D810 camera out, I yawned and kept happily shooting my Nikon D800. Resolution was spectacular and while the low light performance left a bit to be desired, it functioned perfectly. The only drawback to the camera was the file sizes which made storage and editing a bit of a challenge. An upgrade of back up drives and a new solid state hard drive for my computer and I was back in action.
I began hearing about the Nikon D850 a few months ago and largely ignored it. Then the camera came out and I must admit I am amazed. The resolution took another step forward at 45.7Mp, low light improvement (especially over the D800) is there and the frame rate is astonishing (7fps stand alone) for these size of files. Nikon refers to it as an 'evolution of a revolution' which is the perfect definition for it. Everyone seems to call it the perfect cross over camera, in that it can cross over from landscape to sports very easily.
There is a big part of me that wants to run out and purchase this camera for all those improvements it has made especially the buttons that light up and tilt screen. I know it seems like a small thing but how many nights I had to balance the camera, tripod, bag and flashlight in order to set up the camera correctly? How often have I struggled to get a low angle shot?
There is another part of me that is stopping me. I have two reasons I am postponing this purchase...I am unwilling to say that I won't buy it just yet...
1. The file size is an issue again. Out of 100 digital images I take, 10 will be shared online and of those 10 maybe 1 will be printed in some form. The resolution of the image is wonderful when it comes to cropping an image or to pixel peak but in terms of real-life benefit I see little.
Nikon has answered this by offering an amazing approach to reducing the camera down to 20Mp making the filed more manageable. The argument is that you can shoot at this resolution and then swap when you really find an image worth captured at the full 45.7Mp brilliance.
2. My Nikon D800 continues to be a brilliant camera with more resolution than I can possibly use. It makes absolutely sick files and is more of a camera than I am a photographer. While I would love the lighted buttons, the tilt screen and the focus peaking, is it worth the upgrade?
This is something that film photography has taught me. Even a camera found in the bargain bin at a store is still am amazing machine. It can still shoot pictures just as perfect as the day the camera was made. So if the camera was enough for you when you first purchased it why change?
Let me look back at my Nikon D300, which I still have an love. Right now my son is using it for a photography class he is taking. The D300 was perfectly capable of outshooting my ability level however the big change was a DX to an FX. For non-Nikon people this means going from a cropped sensor to a full frame sensor. I am happy with that change especially on my wide angle shots. But the D800 to D850 I do not get that game changing upgrade.
I have seen many sites comparing the Nikon D850 with the Sony camera and wondering what will Sony respond to. This is a pointless discussion for me as I am invested into the Nikon brand. I have a great deal invested in wonderful lenses so even if Sony comes out with the DSLR killer, I will still continue with Nikon. The cost to convert is just not worth it.
As the Nikon representative put it, the Nikon D850 is a "evolution of a revolution" and I agree. I may very well pick this camera up but I will wait for now. I have a few film cameras to play with that will help my hunger for gear for a little while. But when I do decide to pick up another digital camera the D850 will be on a very short list!
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.