Nikon D850 Review

In the market for a stellar full-frame DSLR camera? Look no further than the brand new Nikon D850. With gorgeous image quality and unrivaled AF capture, the D850 is one of the best SLR cameras on the market today.

The D850 replaces the top-tier D810 as a top of the line, high resolution, full frame offering from Nikon.

Specs

Let’s take a look at just a few of the key specifications on the D850:

  • 7 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
  • 0 fps continuous shooting
  • 153-point autofocus system
  • 2″ high-res tilting touchscreen
  • 4K Ultra HD video recording
  • ISO 64-25,600
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in

Image Quality

The D850 represents Nikon’s first back-side illuminated full-frame sensor and no optical low-pass filter. It also provides 45.7 MP shooting at high speed, faster and sharper processing, and excellent AF even in super low light conditions. You can shoot up to 7 fps at 45.7 MP, so this camera is supremely versatile. The effect of all the bells and whistles and updated tech is stunning image quality and a seamless shooting experience.

The video quality is also stunning: the D850 is the first Nikon to shoot 4k from the full sensor width. It also lets you shoot slow motion sequences — record 4x (shoot at 120p, playback at 30/25p) or 5x (shoot at 120p, playback at 24p) slow-motion at 1080p. Or, record time lapse sequences in 4K UHD – an excellent option for astrophotographers.

Focus Shift Mode offers options to capture excellent DOF shots in high resolution. Advanced Scene Recognition System ensures optimal exposure, and Picture Control System helps you do less post processing. Again, this camera is nothing if not versatile, making it an excellent option for anyone from wedding photographers to wildlife photographers.

To understand just how great the image quality is, a comparison of the D850 with the D810 (which was already an excellent camera) illuminates some of the huge advancements Nikon made with this new model. Obviously megapixels is a big one (45.7 versus 36.3 on the D810), but ISO range (64-25,600 versus 64-12,800), autofocus (153 points with 99 cross type points versus 51 AF with 15 cross type), and shooting speed (7 fps in all formats versus 5-7 fps) are pretty significant too.

 

Speed

Speed is key in the D850. Not only does it offer fast shooting, but it also has faster processing. Autofocus is both fast and accurate. Capture up to 51 consecutive shots in 14-bit RAW or up to 170 frames in 12-bit lossless compressed RAW. The attention to detail and speed makes this – yes, we’ll say it again – incredibly versatile. Whether you’re shooting a wedding, a sporting event, or wildlife, the D850 ensures you can focus on the shot and not have to worry about the mechanics.

The AF on the D850 comes from Nikon’s flagship D5, a smart decision on Nikon’s part to ensure the highest-end camera they have can match speed of their beloved sports camera. Continuing with the speed (and D5) theme: the D850 can expand to 9 fps with the MB-D18 Multi Battery Power Pack.

Also related to speed: the amount of memory available means you don’t have to worry about switching out cards in the middle of a shoot. The D850 has both an XQD and SD slot. It also has excellent battery performance, boasting a battery life rated at 1840 shots.

Body

The D850 looks much like the D810, but it’s more comfortable to hold and has a few added features. New body features include a tilting touch LCD, touch sensitivity, and no more built-in flash. The removal of the flash means a new viewfinder and extra magnification (0.75x). It is 35.4 oz with a battery and XQD card.

Bottom Line

The D850 is a worthy successor to the D810 and is worth upgrading to no matter which camera you’re coming from. It retains so many of the excellent things that the D810 feature, plus it has some serious upgrades and borrows some key components from the D5 and D500. It doesn’t cost much more than the D810 and is still priced well for a full frame DSLR. This might be the best DSLR on the market right now, so if you’re considering it, we say go for it.

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