airplanenut
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 8:46 am

What's the "right" Nikon DSLR for Night Photography?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:15 am

I've been using my D90 for 9 1/2 years, and it's time to upgrade. Any new camera will be a big upgrade, but beyond higher resolution photos (I do want to be able to get larger prints from my photos), one thing I really want to do that I can't with the D90 is get good night shots, specifically cityscapes while flying. I've seen good results with the D850, and don't mind ponying up if that's really what I need to get these shots. I've heard good things about the D750 and D500, as well, and they're obviously much more affordable cameras. What I haven't been able to figure out as I've been looking around is whether they can perform similarly to the D850 at night, or if the D850 is far and away the winner.

I do have some other needs/requirements that should be met by any camera, and want to stick with Nikon since I have a few full-frame macro lenses I don't want to replace. I do know that going to the D850 or D750 will require a new FX lens, and that's fine by me.

Thanks,

Jeremy
Why yes, in fact, I am a rocket scientist...
 
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seahawk
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Re: What's the "right" Nikon DSLR for Night Photography?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:35 pm

Nikon Z6
 
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clickhappy
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Re: What's the "right" Nikon DSLR for Night Photography?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:06 pm

I guess you are asking about the ability to take moving pictures at night, not static shots? If so, you need something with high ISO performance.

The D500 is a DX body and won't perform as well at high ISO as a full-frame camera. The D750 is actually a better low-light performer than the D850, but the D850 gives you a little bit more Dynamic Range. Where the D850 shines is as a landscape camera - the print quality I am getting with ISO64 is unreal - the images have a surreal 3D-effect. But, as much as I love my D850, I still do a ton of shooting with my D750 (My current travel set-up is a D850 and one of my D500's - but when I am local I use my D750 more).

The current D750 cost is about half of a D850, that buys a lot of accoutrements. I would recommend the D750 and use the extra money to buy an external flash and a couple of fast primes. Remember, the D850 does not have a built-in flash and uses XQD memory, both of which need to be considered in the overall cost of ownership discussion.
 
airplanenut
Topic Author
Posts: 620
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 8:46 am

Re: What's the "right" Nikon DSLR for Night Photography?

Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:26 am

clickhappy wrote:
I guess you are asking about the ability to take moving pictures at night, not static shots? If so, you need something with high ISO performance..


That's correct. As an example, I'd love to replicate this shot in the dark (or be closer to downtown and just get the Space Needle or the 4th of July fireworks over Lake Union):



If you look through my other photos, you'll see what I go for, though I also have many more shots of the local landscape that don't have a wing in them, thus aren't a consideration here. https://www.airliners.net/user/airplanenut/profile/photos?sortBy=dateUploaded

As far as the landscapes go, I'd like to start printing some of them. I do have some prints of existing shots, but they're limited to around 20x16 or so... nice, but I'd like them to be larger. One of the other local guys who has some stellar landscapes (including some night cityscapes) from the air says he's gotten good performance with the D850 combined with the Nikon 28-300mm lens.

Regarding the flash, I'm curious how much use that would see. From what I've known about flashes, they won't usually be good for any of the distances I shoot, except the occasional (rare) cockpit/panel shot. Is there a trick I don't know of where a flash would be helpful, or are you suggesting the flash for use with portraits, indoor/closeup photography (which isn't much of a concern for me, though of course, all else equal, I'd get the more capable camera)?

Appreciate the thoughts!
Why yes, in fact, I am a rocket scientist...

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