Nikon D850 review
Nikon D850 -1

Our Verdict

Nikon D850 Review is written according to the test and examination. Nikon D850 Review contains all the information which a person wants to know to know before they buy the Nikon D850. Nikon D850 Review is complete information about Nikon D850. If we talk about the features of Nikon D850 we can say that it is the best camera for beginners and expert for a photo shoot and video recording in a very reasonable price. It has all the features which a user wants to perform the best photography.

Pros Cons
45.7-megapixel sensor detain
outstandingly excellent feature
No phase finding AF in Live View
Speedy viewfinder autofocus with
quiet shooting option in Live View
Touch screen action doesn’t
contain key exposure settings
Rear thumb-operated sub-selector
for quick AF spot positioning
Wireless SnapBridge connectivity
wants to upgrade
Exceptionally excellent 1840-shot
battery life
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Key Specifications

  • 45.7-megapixel full-frame backlit-CMOS sensor
  • ISO 64-25,600 ordinary; ISO 32-102,400 extensive
  • 7fps shooting (9fps with MB-D18 grip)
  • 153-point autofocus
  • 4K 30p video recording
  • XQD and SD (UHS-II compatible)
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • 3.2-inch, 2.36-mdot leaning touchscreen

What is the Nikon D850?

Nikon’s D850 was a real game-changer when it was announced in July 2017.

The big shock was not just the resolution, but the D850’s continuous shooting ability and increased ISO range. Before the D850, it was generally assumed that you had to choose either high resolution or high shooting rapidity in an expert camera since the massive amounts of statistics generated by high-resolution sensors took too much processing power for quick burst rates.

But the D850 dispelled this supposition overnight, offering an inspiring 7fps continuous shooting rapidity as standard, boosted to a hardly credible 9fps with Nikon’s optional MB-D18 battery grip. It offers a pretty excellent buffer capability too, although for long-burst raw file capture you’re still better off with a high-speed expert like the Nikon D5.

This grouping of resolution and high-speed shooting has since been repeated by the Sony A7R III and Nikon Z7, but the D850’s performance remains eye-opening still now.

The D850’s specifications appear to suit practically any subject type or shooting condition, and while a pair of later mirrorless opponents now edge ahead somewhat in speed, Nikon’s powerhouse of a DSLR is still in the top echelon of expert full frame cameras.

Frankly, it doesn’t have a whole lot of rivalry in the DSLR market. Canon has not yet revealed any sign of updating or replacing its 50-megapixel EOS 5DS and 5DS R, launched way back in 2015, and the only camera to beat the D850’s resolution, the Pentax K-1 Mark II, is an entirely decent camera, but does not effort to match either the D850’s rapidity or resolution.

Instead, the D850’s challengers have come from the mirrorless marketplace, counting the Sony A7R III, with approximately the same resolution and quicker shooting speeds, and Nikon’s own 45.7-megapixel mirrorless Z7.

So has the D850 still got what it takes to fend off the competition, and is it still the ground-breaking that amazed us all when it was launched?

The Nikon D850 has a 45.7-megapixel full-frame (FX-format) CMOS sensor not formerly seen in any other camera. Like many other later Nikon models, it does not have an optical low pass filter. This means there is some theoretical risk of moiré effects in fine patterns and textures, but the payback is extra-sharp excellent detail rendition.

Nikon D850 – Features

This sensor furthermore features gapless on-chip micro-lenses, with the newest back-illuminated design to maximize its light-gathering capabilities. In effect, the sensor’s layout is reversed so that the wiring is behind the light receptors rather than in front and no longer obstructs any light. The effect can be seen in the D850’s wider ISO range – its ancestor, the D810, had a native ISO range of 64-12,800 (expandable to ISO 32-51,200), but the D850 offers ISO 64-25,600, expandable to ISO 32-102,400. Usually, higher resolution brings a lower maximum ISO range, but the D850’s sensor offers an enhancement in both respects.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

In the D850, Nikon uses the same Expeed 5 image processor as its flagship D5, which helps attain the healthy 7fps continuous shooting speed, and 9fps with the MB-D18 grip – although this is further £369/$397 and you’ll need an EN-EL18 high-power battery on top of that to achieve those frame rates. Confusingly, these have been made obtainable in ‘a’, ‘b’ and ‘c’ variants. The current EN-EL18c costs £189/$155.

Running at 7fps the D850 offers a 51-frame raw buffer. That’s very fine for a camera with this resolution, if not fairly up to the standard of the Nikon D5. It has both an XQD card slot and a UHS-II compatible SD card slot, so it offers potentially incredibly quick data capture for sports and action photographers.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

The D850 also inherits Nikon’s most excellent autofocus system – once more lifted directly from the D5. It has 153 focus points (55 of these are user-selectable), including 99 of the more precise cross-type AF sensors, and 15 that will work with lens and teleconverter combinations with an aperture of f/8. The center point is sensitive to -4EV, and the rest to -3EV, allowing the camera to focus speedily in low light.

Autofocus modes contain the auto area, 3D color tracking, only point AF and the option to select the number of continuous (AF-C) focus points from a group of 9, 25, 72 or 153. In Live View, there’s a new pinpoint AF mode that’s designed to simplicity accurate focusing on slighter subjects in the frame, but the key point here is that the D850 still relies completely on slower contrast detection for autofocus. The on-chip phase-detection sensor used in the Nikon Z7 was still a long way off when the D850 was designed.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

Exposure metering is handled by Nikon’s highly-capable 180,000-pixel RGB sensor – yet one more feature inherited from the D5. It doesn’t just handle exposure, though, as it’s also used for subject-recognition and face-detection, and this information is fed back to the autofocus system for precise and accurate subject tracking.

The D850’s raw files are, unsurprisingly, huge. Even a compressed 14-bit Raw file takes up 43.8MB, and this rises to 51.6MB for a lossless compressed file. An uncompressed Raw file is 92MB.

Nikon has added two reduced image size options when shooting in Raw or JPEG. Change the image size from large to medium and the D850 will record 25.6-megapixel files (6192 x 4128 pixels), with the little setting reducing the resolution to 11.4-megapixel files (4128 x 2752 pixels). It’s improbable you’ll buy a camera with this resolution and then immediately reduced it, but Nikon has pointed to the value of smaller raw files for stop-motion animators, for example.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

Like other full-frame Nikon DSLRs, the D850 has a DX Crop mode. This is robotically selected by the camera when a DX lens is attached but can be set manually with FX lenses when you need to enlarge the reach of telephoto lenses (the customary reason for using an APS-C DX format Nikon body alongside a full-frame model). It may make use of a smaller area of the D850’s sensor, but the DX crop mode still produces a resolution of19.4 megapixels with an image size of 5408 x 3600 pixels. This isn’t so incredibly different to the 20.9-megapixel resolution produced by the DX-format Nikon D7500 and D500.

Videographers have the abundance to smile about too. When it was launched, the Nikon D850 was the DSLR with the whole thing, including in-camera 4K recording at 30fps using the full width of the sensor – which means that there’s no crop factor in the 4K video mode (not like the competing Canon EOS 5D IV, for instance) and your wide-angle lenses stay wide-angle.

You can also capture 4K time-lapse movies in-camera, but not 8K time-lapse movies. Creating these needs third-party software, so although Nikon touted 8K time-lapse movies as a feature when the camera was being launched, it would be more precise to say the camera has a built-in intervalometer.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

Videographers will also be pleased to accept aids such as a peaking display for precise manual focus, and zebra patterns to help avoid overexposure. Both microphone and headphone sockets are built in and are located above the USB and Type-C HDMI interfaces.

The imposing list of features with a new in-camera focus bracketing mode to generate extended depth-of-field composites (focus stacking), as well as a new Natural Light Auto White Balance alternative, which promises most favorable results in outdoor lighting.

On the back, the D850 has the major optical viewfinder so far on a Nikon DSLR, with a 0.75x magnification, and below this is a high-resolution 2.36m-dot tilting LCD. It’s similar to the screen on the Nikon D500 and offers touch control of menu navigation, image browsing in playback mode and AF point positioning in Live View.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

The camera is powered by Nikon’s familiar EN-EL15 battery, but what’s mainly impressive here is that it can be used to shoot 1840 shots on a single charge – a big jump from the 1200-shot stamina of the Nikon D810.

Nikon uses its now-familiar SnapBridge connectivity for wireless image transfer to mobile devices. Images can be transferred as you shoot, and selecting the all-important down-sampling 2-megapixel mode quickly speeds up transfer times and saves on costly storage space.

Body and design of Nikon D850

Nikon has once again produced an unbelievably strong camera that feels beautifully constructed, albeit with a few subtle body changes over the D810. Professional full-frame DSLRs have to be built like tanks if they’re to be robust sufficient to put up with the rigors of daily use, and the D850 is no exception.

Body and design
Nikon D850

The camera is built around a magnesium alloy chassis for strength and rigidity, and it’s completely sealed against moisture, dust, and dirt. There’s no pop-up flash, however. This was helpful on the D810 for triggering other flashes remotely, but D850 users will have to rely on external Speedlights or remote flash trigger add-ons instead. That’s pretty standard for pro-level cameras these days.

From the front, the D850 doesn’t appear all that diverse from the D810. When you get it in your hands, though, you’ll notice that the grip has been reworked and made a fraction deeper. It’s all right for even the largest of hands and leaves your index finger resting contentedly on the shutter release.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

Comfort and excellent experience are key factors for any serious photographer who will often spend hours at a time with a camera in hand. It’s here that the D850 actually excels, to the point I’d say it’s one of the most comfortable pro DSLRs I’ve used over prolonged spells of shooting.

Spin the camera round in your hands and you’ll find every inch of the body is enclosed in buttons, dials or connector ports, with adequate dedicated controls to change every key shooting setting with no need to access the menus. In terms of button layout, there are a small number of nice touches. For instance, there’s a new joystick that falls obviously under your thumb for shifting the focus point around the frame on the fly. It’s quicker than using the four-way controller and its knurled texture helps you recognize it from the AF-ON button.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

Nikon’s choice to put the ISO button over the drive mode dial on the D810 was forever an interested one, so it’s fine to see this being exchanged with the mode button. In exercise, it means sensitivity can now be changed devoid of having to pull your eye away from the viewfinder.

The control layout remains incredibly ‘Nikon’. Unlike most DSLR and mirrorless models, the D850 dispenses with the usual mode dial. Instead, you modify the exposure mode via a single button on the stacked control bunch on the left side of the top plate. This is where you’ll also find buttons for the image quality setting, white balance, and metering mode. Beneath is a release (drive) mode dial which you can simply turn when you press a locking button alongside.

At the rear, you acquire the usual menu, lock, playback zoom and OK buttons parallel to the left of the screen, but there’s also a new customizable Fn2 button in the bottom corner that’s luminous for rating images in playback. It can also be set up to access My Menu and toggle between stills and movie shooting info in Live View. The integrated Live View button and stills/movie switch have shifted down and the info button is helpful for viewing key experience settings on-screen.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

Nikon users coming from the D800, D800E or D810 will rapidly become recognizable with the changes to the body. It must also be said that other Nikon users coming from less advanced APS-C models shouldn’t find the D850 bewildering, and can make use of their good knowledge of Nikon’s menu system to set up and navigate the camera simply.

The D850 has a little another nice touch. Flicking the on/off switch to its bulb situation illuminates not just the top-plate LCD but also numerous of the buttons across the body, which is actually helpful when shooting in the dark. In addition, there’s a clever folding port cover that allows you to keep the headphone socket completely protected from the elements when a microphone is plugged in.

The silent shooting of Nikon D850

Nikon has added ‘Quiet’ modes in the precedent to suppress mirror slap and the noise of the focal plane shutter, and the D850 offers two Quiet modes, one for single-shot photography and one for shooting constantly at 3fps.

But these simply suppress the sound of the shutter and can’t get rid of it entirely. To get around this, Nikon has introduced a silent, zero-vibration electronic shutter that allows users to capture images in complete silence when using Live View. Mode 1 offers silent shooting at 6fps at full resolution including Raw, whereas Mode 2 rattles out 8-megapixel shots at 30fps in the JPEG format only.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

This new way of shooting will be wonderful for wedding and wildlife photographers who are often at risk of terrifying or disturbing their subjects in quiet environments, but it’s simple to see the potential for theatre photography and many sports where key moments need absolute quiet – such as golf swings or tennis serves.

I tested both modes at a church marriage, and those around me were entirely oblivious to the fact I was capturing images all through the service. It’s a boon for those times when you want to be discreet and work under the radar.

Nikon D850 – Viewfinder and screen

One of the constraints of the Nikon D810 was that it had a fixed screen, so it’s fine to lastly see Nikon embracing a tilting touchscreen on one of its high-resolution pro-spec DSLRs.

It’s basically the same 2.36m-dot LCD that you get on the Nikon D500. It tilts up and down for waist-level shooting, but isn’t as ingenious as the sideways-tilting screen you get on the Fujifilm X-T3, the scissor-action design of the Pentax K-1 II‘s screen, or the fully-articulating screen on the Canon EOS 6D Mark II. The D850’s screen and its single-axis tilt constrain you to shoot in landscape rather than portrait format too.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

The angle of tilt is mainly good for low- and high-angle shooting. It goes one superior to the D500’s screen, too, in the way the touchscreen can now be used to browse menus and adjust menu settings. You can’t change exposure variables from the info display or Live View screen, but it still offers a huge step in the correct direction. It’s also astonishingly sensitive and precise to the touch, rivaling the response of Canon’s outstanding touchscreens.

The viewfinder is consistently impressive. Noticeably, being an optical viewfinder, it doesn’t offer a preview of white balance, exposure or depth of field in the way of an electronic viewfinder, but with its 0.75 x magnifications and 100% frame coverage it offers an enormously agreeable view when raised to the eye and an accurate rendition of what you see with the naked eye.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

It’s likely to turn on a viewfinder grid display, and I found myself assigning the Fn1 button to viewfinder virtual horizon, which loads a useful leveling direct on the horizontal and vertical axis to avoid skewed shots. Being an optical viewfinder, there is zero lag. There is also an astonishingly short blackout time, and there’s the option to block out the viewfinder to keep away from any light leak problems during long exposures.

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Here you can buy Nikon D850

Nikon D850 – Autofocus

Nikon’s pro DSLRs have a status for quick and accurate focusing, and the D850 is no exception, by the same Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module seen in Nikon’s flagship D5. It can be relied upon to get focus faster than you thought probable, though this will depend on the lens used and the speed of its internal AF motors.

The autofocus is most impressive in very poor lighting conditions. Dimly lit dance floors at marriage ceremony venues and low-light wildlife shots are just a couple of examples where I found the capability of the Nikon D850’s autofocus system excelled my expectations.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

I experienced no difficulty at all tracking moving subjects traveling directly towards the camera, even in fading light. A hasty fire burst of 18 frames at 7fps set to continuous AF (AF-C) of a train traveling towards the camera in surplus of 60mph resulted in only three frames not being totally pin-sharp.

The D850’s 55 user-selectable points are more than the D810 given, but they’re still grouped towards the center of the frame, meaning there may be the remarkable occasion when your subject is located in an area of the frame where you require focusing first and then recomposing.

In a similar way to other Nikon DSLRs, you adjust between single (AF-S) and continuous (AF-C) modes by pressing the AF button located within the AF/MF switch and turning the back dial. Holding down the button and turning the front dial controls the number of points in use in AF-C mode and is also used to choose 3D AF tracking.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

From the Autofocus custom setting menu, you are able to refine AF settings to suit your way of shooting. For instance, you be capable of speed up or slow down the blocked shot AF response, and tell the camera whether you’re shooting an erratic or steady-moving subject from the Focus tracking with lock-on settings. Users are given the choice to decrease the number of choosable AF points from 55 to 15, and back button focusing is simple enough to set up from the AF activation submenu.

Nikon D850 – Performance

Being such a multitalented camera, I found myself shooting a broad range of subjects in many different environments to discover out how the D850 performs. First, I used the camera to shoot a sequence of landscapes and hastily found myself blown away by the surprising detail the sensor resolves.

The wedding of high resolution, fast focus rapidity and tilt-angle screen allowed me to capture shots bursting with detail from low-angles, and far more easily than any earlier high-resolution DSLR Nikon has produced.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

The crystal-clear rear display, with its responsive touch control and precise color rendition, is outstanding for monitoring results. I frequently used the double-tap function combined with the rear dial to rapidly zoom into 100% and check focus between shots. Even if you’re not excessively keen on the idea of using a touchscreen on a DSLR, the D850’s is so excellent you’re likely to use it more than you believe, particularly to navigate the menu.

Testing the D850 at a wedding ceremony produced a pleasing set of results with two of my favorite Sigma Art lenses – the 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art and 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM. The accurate test was its silent Live View mode, where I opted for Mode 1 ahead of Mode 2 to prioritize resolution ahead of speed.

Nikon D850 -17

While it’s great that the D850 can capture shots devoid of a trace of a sound, you’re still entirely reliant on contrast-detection for autofocus in Live View, both when shooting stills and video. This is where the D850 does lose out to some of its more recent mirrorless opponents. I did find myself missing a few key shots where the D850 move violently to lock on quick enough, at which point I reverted to phase-detection focusing and composing via the viewfinder at the cost of louder operation.

The D850 can’t quite attain the heights of Canon’s EOS 5D Mark IV, which benefits from on-chip phase detection in Live View thanks to its Dual Pixel AF technology. Though, the disadvantage of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is that it doesn’t present a fully silent shooting mode in Live View like the D850. If you extend the list of possible rivals to mirrorless cameras, though, you have to include the outstanding Sony A7R III and Nikon’s own Z7. There are times when a mirrorless camera is better suited to the subject and the conditions than a DSLR.

Nikon D850 -18

To test the D850’s rapidity capabilities I used it on a car shoot – hanging out the back of a car to find a series of action shots. Without the MB-D18 grip and EN-EL18 high-power battery, I was restricted to shooting at 7fps, but the AF system proved more than able of tracking the car, delivering pin-sharp results frame after frame.

However, I did observe that shooting in Raw and Fine JPEG formats at complete resolution simply gave me around 400 shots or so to play with using a SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB card. If you’re going to shoot at the highest quality at the highest speed on the D850 then you’ll not simply require a few high-capacity cards, you’ll need suspiciously check card specifications and speed ratings before you buy – or bite the bullet and invest in the comparatively new and untried XQD format.

Nikon D850 -19

I managed to shoot 20 continuous frames (Raw and Fine JPEG) at full resolution at 7fps to my card before the buffer was reached. To get everywhere close to the promised 51-frame raw buffer – and achieve the full potential of the D850’s speed capabilities – you will necessitate making use of the fastest UHS-II SD cards or XQD cards.

Nikon D850 -20

Just as my time with the camera came to an ending, I managed to source a Sony 64GB XQD card. In the real-world exercise, I found I was recording around 40 (14-bit lossless compressed) Raw files at 7fps before its buffer was reached. This is an inspiring figure considering the vast volume of data it was being asked to process and write. Formatting the card and switching to 12-bit lossless compressed Raw saw the figure of endlessly recorded frames increase to 107 at 7fps.

Nikon’s Snapseed system has developed a status for being troublesome. I found the camera would robotically pair and connect to my iPhone via Bluetooth with no issue. Though, it wouldn’t always send my latest shots to my mobile device straight away when the auto-link inside the app was obviously switched on. It seemed totally random as to when new photos would be transferred from the camera.

To conquer this I ended up using the Download Selected Pictures option, which initiates a Wi-Fi connection with the camera. Then, I by hand selected the images I wanted to wirelessly transfer to my camera roll prior to sharing. Having the choice to select the shots you’d like to import at 2MB or full resolution is great in this part of the app, but in general, I was left with the impression that SnapBridge could be made further intuitive to make use of.

The actuality it doesn’t offer the choice to change exposure settings live in Remote Shooting mode also puts it way behind other apps from competitor manufacturers.

Nikon D850 – Video

The D850 is competent of producing outstanding movie footage in the hands of an expert videographer. It offers in-camera 4K UHD video recording (3840 x 2160) at 30fps and Full HD (1920 x 1080) at up to 60fps for the highest record time of 29mins 59secs. This is not outstanding by today’s standards, since the APS-C format Fujifilm X-T3, for instance, can record 10-bit 4K video internally at 60fps, but this is the exception rather than the rule, and the D850’s video ability are still generally on a par with its rivals.

For cinematographers, the characteristic that sets the D850 apart from others is its 4K and 8K time-lapse ability. The time-lapse movie and interval meter settings are simple to understand, also, offering advanced options such as being capable to turn on noiseless shooting and exposure smoothing.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

Once you’ve set up the period and shooting time, you get a visual of how much space the time-lapse is going to take up on your SD or XQD card, as well as the specified length of the time-lapse once complete. It’s simply an issue of hitting start to begin a 4K time-lapse. However, it’s worth noting that those who’d like to make an 8K time-lapse will need to shoot in Raw and run the files through a third-party program because this can’t be done in-camera.

Nikon D850 -22

Making high-resolution time-lapse footage is rather draining on the battery, so the MB-D18 grip and EN-EL18 high-power battery are suggested if you’re going to make use of this functionality regularly.

Nikon D850 – Image quality

The increase to 45.7 megapixels sees the D850 yield a little higher resolution than 42.4-megapixel Exmore R CMOS sensor found in the Sony A7R II, but it isn’t quite as high as the 50.6-megapixel resolution offered by Canon’s EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R twins. The benefit of the Canon models is simply theoretical, however. With its lack of optical low-pass filter, the D850’s sensor produces an amazing level of detail, with great scope for cropping and maintaining high resolution when required.

Despite the sensor being thickly packed with pixels, it offers broad dynamic range leverage and allows users to extract a high level of shadow detail from raw files with negligible sound. This is where the D850 does seem to offer an important benefit over the newer Nikon Z7, which can create faint but able to be seen banding in shadow areas in similar conditions.

Pushing the D850’s sensitivity to its extremes reveals that ISO 6400 is working, and the similar can be said for ISO 12,800, with the application of a little carefully-judge noise decrease in the processing/editing stage.

Nikon D850 – Resolution

The D850 resolves such a high level of detail that it was essential to shoot our resolution chart from twice the distance to determine our results. The sensor resolves 4800l/ph at ISO 100 – an astounding figure that it manages to uphold up to ISO 400. Beyond this point, it drops a little to an extremely reputable 4400l/ph at ISO 800 and 4000l/ph at ISO 1600.

The sensor showed no difficulty resolving 3600l/ph at ISO 6400, with a little lower 3200l/ph figure being recorded at both ISO 12,800 and ISO 25,600. Detail starts to tail off more beyond this point as noise becomes ever more widespread at advanced sensitivity settings.

Nikon D850, Raw, ISO 100. Multiply the number below the line by 400 for the resolution in lines/picture height
Nikon D850
Nikon D850, Raw, ISO 6400. Multiply the number below the line by 400 for the resolution in lines/picture height
Nikon D850
Nikon D850, Raw, ISO 25,600. Multiply the number below the line by 400 for the resolution in lines/picture height
Nikon D850
Nikon D850, Raw, ISO 25,600. Multiply the number below the line by 400 for the resolution in lines/picture height
Nikon D850
Nikon D850, Raw, ISO 102,400. Multiply the number below the line by 400 for the resolution in lines/picture height

Noise

To create the most excellent results at high ISO, you’ll like to shoot in Raw. However, I was left impressed by the in-camera processing that’s applied to the D850’s JPEG images, with fine detail being well preserved up to ISO 12,800.

A close test of raw files revealed noise-free results between ISO 100-800, withdraw luminance noise starting to creep in at ISO 1600. ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 are absolutely usable, and I wouldn’t fear to push to ISO 12,800 – just be careful that shots taken at this setting will necessitate some noise decrease applied throughout processing.

I noticed a drop in saturation beginning at ISO 25,600, and the noise becomes so impressive at ISO 51,200 and ISO 102,400 that you’ll wish to keep away from these settings at all costs. Whereas ISO 3200-6400 was the boundary at which I’d want to shoot at with the D810, I wouldn’t be too afraid of pushing to ISO 12,800 on the D850 if there’s no other option.

Should you purchase the Nikon D850?

Nikon users had a long three-year wait for a substitute to the mighty D810. Even though this time, it was tough to see what Nikon could, in reality, do to get better on a camera that had become something of a modern classic. The grand news is that the D850 doesn’t dissatisfy in the least, delivering more than possibly any of us could have expected.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

Professionals, semi-professionals and the serious devotee will be amazed by the performance of the new 45.7-million-pixel full-frame (FX-format) CMOS sensor, mainly its low-light ability at high ISO. More than that, by effectively marrying high resolution with high speed, Nikon made the D850 debatably the most multitalented DSLR on the market.

It’s factual that 2018 has seen various major innovations in the full-frame mirrorless marketplace from Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic, and that the D850’s blend of rapidity and resolution is no longer unique, but by comparison the DSLR market has remained pretty static, and if you favor DSLRs to mirrorless cameras – and many do – the D850’s landmark position is unchallenged, even now.

Nikon D850 -27

As far as Nikon users are concerned, the D850 changes one of the essential system setups. Until now, you’d necessitate a D810, say, for high-resolution shooting, and a D500 (or a D5) for speedy action work. The D850 offers both in a solitary body – although you will require the MB-D18 battery grip and an EN-EL18 battery to attain that 9fps continuous shooting speed.

It’s not just the rapidity and the way the Nikon D850 is able of processing such high volumes of data so rapidly that impresses, either, as the AF response is as fine as you get on the flagship Nikon D5. It’s insanely precise and responsive, even when challenged with the fastest subjects and poorest of lighting conditions.

In fairness, there are further arguments for carrying two bodies, such as being capable to switch from one lens/setup to one more in an instant. Real-life events tend to unfold at their own rapidity and won’t wait while you swap lenses.

The D850 is not ideal, of course. The tilting touchscreen is great, but is restricted to a single axis of movement and does not offer touch control of key exposure settings. The contrast-based Live View AF is slower than the on-sensor phase detection systems of competitor cameras (and the newer Nikon Z 7) and the Snapbridge wireless connectivity proved to some extent unpredictable and untrustworthy.

None of these points create any serious dent in the D850’s appeal, although. It’s a totally sensational camera that is as inspiring now as when it was initially launched. And if mirrorless cameras do definitely take over the world, the D850 will certainly correspond to the high water mark of digital SLR design.

After a few harsh years, Nikon appears to finally be back on track with one of the finest and most multitalented DSLRs ever made.

Features

Camera typeDigital SLR
Megapixels (Megapixel)45.7MP
Image SensorFX CMOS
Shutter speed30secs-1/8000sec, bulb
Max output resolution8256×5504 pixels
Other resolutions25.6MP (6192×4128 pixels), 11.4MP (4128×2752 pixels)
Exposure meteringMatrix, center-weighted, spot, highlight weighted
Exposure compensation–5 to +5 EV, in increments of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV
ISO settingsISO 64-25,600 (standard)
ISO 32-102,400 (extended)
LCD Monitor3.2-inch, 2359-dot tilting touchscreen
ViewfinderOptical viewfinder, 0.75x magnification with 100% coverage
Drive modes7fps (9fps with EN-EL18b battery and MB-D18 battery pack)
Image formatsJPEG, Raw
Video (max res/format)4K (3840×2160) up to 30p, Full HD (1920×1080) up to 60p
Movie length29mins 59secs
Memory card slotXQD, SD (UHS-II compatible)
Batteries suppliedEN-EL15a Li-ion

Conclusion

The Nikon D850 offers a staggering merge of resolution, rapidity, performance and image quality. It’s an actually stunning camera, particularly for those who prefer DSLRs (and their battery lives) to mirrorless cameras.

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