Was I right NOT to buy the new Nikon D850?

D800E, Nikon, aurora borealis, aurora, northern lights, winter, Alberta, landscape, full moon, Dan Jurak, prairie, rural, Canada,

I love new equipment. I think that we all do. It’s also nice to drive a brand new vehicle, to have a new pair of sneakers, gee you can’t beat the smell of a new house.

In short we all like new things.

Before Nikon released their brand new DSLR the D850 there were of course all manner of drooling and speculation about what the new camera would be.

Everyone saw it through their own wants and needs. Could it be a great news/sports camera? Would the high ISO performance blow away all other cameras? Was it lighter? Weather sealed? On and on the speculation went for weeks until the specs of the camera were released.

When Nikon officially announced the specifications of the new camera I of course needed wanted one and so I watched the international online and local online stores to see when they would be available and at what price.

We all idealize things. It is what we do. Everyone seems to be in a better situation than ourselves. They are better looking. Have more money. Have better marriages and yes even have better camera equipment than us. That isn’t a realistic way of seeing things, something that I learned years ago. That lesson is a huge part about learning to be happy.

I had my chance more than once I woke up early, checked a Canadian website and guess what? They had the camera in stock. A few hours I would check again and it would be back ordered.

Three times I saw that coveted camera there for me to pick up and yet I held off on making the purchase. Today I am officially happy that I held off on that purchase.

I came across an article that had the numbers comparing the Nikon D850 to other cameras and it scored for the first time ever 100 out of 100. Sounds impressive doesn’t it?

But is it really? The website, https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras does comprehensive tests on camera bodies and lenses a little bit like Consumer Reports but more on the technical side.

A score of 100 is certainly impressive. Who wouldn’t want such a camera? I still do but now I realize that for me it isn’t worth the money.

Below is a chart courtesy of https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras detailing the top camera bodies regardless of manufacturer. They are all put objectively through the same test. Some people swear by DXO others swear at them because they either don’t believe in the methodology or hate to see their favourite brand not do so well.

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras, dxomark,

For colour photography I use a Nikon D800E. For infrared black and white I use a modified Nikon D800. Both were great cameras when they were released in February 2012. Those are two old camera bodies. Five years in digital technology is a long, long time. Both still take very, very good pictures quality wise. With large file sizes, great sensor quality and good lenses these two bodies are probably more camera than I am photographer.

If you look at the chart my old D800E scores 96 out of 100 on the chart. That begs the question, are those four percentage points worth $1,000 for EACH percentage point of difference? Four thousand dollars out of my pocket for a measly 4% points difference? The answer to me at least was obvious. Wait for the next iteration of this camera body. I don’t NEED the D850. Wanting and NEEDING are two different things.

I was going through more old photos last night, photos that I had long forgotten about. The photo of the old church was taken with an old D800E, fitting eh? LOL How different would it be to have been taken with the D850? NOBODY would see a difference. Maybe a 1:1 comparison would show a difference but still, would that splitting of hairs be worth $4,000 to me. Nope.

So today I sit with four thousand dollars in the bank which will probably be going to replace my 2011 iMac later this year. My iMac is already starting to show its age and unlike my camera gear I use it EVERY day. Money that is better spent on the computer this time and no buyers remorse.

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on October 7, 2017.

4 Responses to “Was I right NOT to buy the new Nikon D850?”

  1. That is totally awesome! The sky looks nuts!

  2. Thank you Rob. We do get great displays this far north.

  3. Sound logic to me, Dan. One thought, though. Theoretically, you could sell your current D810E and use that money to cover part of the cost of the new D850, so you wouldn’t be out $4K. I imagine your camera still has good value on the market. But, regardless of the final cost, I agree that too often people are off and running with the next latest greatest when what they have in their camera bag is perfectly fine. Many times, more than fine. Cheers …

  4. You are right Frank, I could try to sell my D800E and then I would only be out three thousand dollars. Three thousand dollars for an incremental increase in image quality seems like over pay to me.

    We are approaching the time when for most people the cameras on their smart phones are plenty powerful, portable and economical. 40+ megapixels is nice but the difference between what I have and what I would end up with is maybe an extra thousand or so pixels length wise and a teeny bit more quality. That is easily remedied in Photoshop with a few seconds of tweaking.

    Thank you as always for visiting and commenting,

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