Some First IQ Observations

As usual, I don't think Adobe's initial NEF conversion is up to snuff. Whether it will be tweaked in the future is a good question. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

But looking at standard color tests in controlled lighting, I see the usual Adobe default conversion problems: there's too much of what Adobe calls Orange luminance, and the default Color Noise Reduction value is almost twice what it should be. Greens go slightly yellow, Reds and yellows go slightly orange. Orange goes flat. 

Adobe's default (ISO 6400):

D850 colorchecker


Some quick corrections:

d850 colorchecker 2


You can definitely dial in more accurate color with a little work in ACR on your NEFs. But that's been true for as long as I can remember. (Just remember, these are JPEGs and managed by an image manager to scale with screen size on the Web site, so what you see may not be exactly what I see.)

Noise at higher ISO values seems higher in the blue channel than the red, and Nikon appears to be using some sort of pre-WB adjustment to the raw data again, whose effect is to generate more luminance noise than color noise. 

But these are very first impression. I've got a lot more shooting to do, and more raw converters to test. Overall, the D850 seems to be about where I'd expect it to be if it were a D500 sensor with some slight tweaking.

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