Nikon D850 DSLR Camera Review

Nikon D850 Body
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Nikon is a world-renowned producer of digital and film cameras. These cameras get the thumbs up all across the globe for their ergonomic design, AF-S lens line, durability, LCD screen, simple handling, and range of camera options to buy.

Not only Nikon’s existing cameras are great, but they also keep coming up with new cameras with updated features. A unique and worthy addition in Nikon’s family is Nikon D-850.

Nikon D850 DSLR Camera Review

D-850 is a high resolution and full-frame DSLR with a 46MP CMOS sensor, 153 points AF system, UHD 4K shooting capability, viewfinder, time-lapse, focus shift, snap bridge, weather sealing for dust reduction and water damage, and many other features:

Built and design

D850 has an excellent, sturdy, ergonomic, and weather-sealed design. The body of the camera is made up of magnesium-alloy with carbon fibers, and it weighs around 915 grams. Magnesium-alloy coating works as a weather shield against dust and water.

The camera doesn’t fall in the category of light-weight. Still, it is straightforward to use it and carry around. Dimensions of the device are approximately 5.7 x 4.9 x 3.1 inches.

Talking about the control layout, you won’t find any significant difference in it as compared to its predecessor, D810. The ISO button, video recording button, exposure composition button, all are at the top of the body. The camera can be controlled with these buttons as well as using finger touch.

You can make few adjustments using the LCD screen such as touch-to-focus, swipe the shots during playback et cetera. This LCD also displays all the shooting information.

Nikon D850 screen view

On the top of the body, there is a hot-shoe, but you won’t find a built-in flash. The XQD card slot also replaces the compact flash card slot of the predecessor. These cards are not very common but pretty fast, which is very helpful to achieve high-resolution results.

You will also find the SD card slot on the side. On the opposite side of the camera, there are a bunch of the ports for microphone, headphones, USB, and HDMI.

The battery life of D850 is awe-inspiring, and it lasts about 1840 shots. Many camera tests also showed that the performance of the camera also remains the same, even at the last bar of the battery.

Video quality

D850 can be considered as the most advanced camera from Nikon because it is the first one with the capability of capturing the video in 4K resolution from the full width of its sensor. Because of using the entire width of the sensor, when you will use the lenses to capture the wide-angle with D850, it will offer to continue a wide field of view for shooting videos.

At the bitrate of 144Mbps, you can shoot in 30p, 25p, and 24p. At 1080p of the resolution, the camera can shoot up to 60p.

Digital Stabilization and Focus peaking are also offered by 1080p resolution. In this resolution with 60p, you can also capture video in slow-motion mode with 120 frames per second before outputting at 30, 25, or 24p. 1080p video can be shot using full width or DX crop the same as 4k resolution.

The digital stabilization applies further 1.1x crop. This crop is applied to all sensor areas equally.

Image quality

It seems like that Nikon put everything they’ve got in D850. It can be the reason behind the image quality of this camera better than other models. You can capture images in three formats; RAW, JPEG, and TIFF. Images produced are of high quality and vibrant.

45-megapixel camera’s 8256 pixels wide results are beautiful enough to compete with the cameras with higher pixel counts. Default sharpening is pretty impressive and focuses on the edges of the image only instead of exaggerating the whole. Both in RAW’s and JPEG’s, you will get regular Nikon performance.

In other cameras, when you shoot with higher ISO, the trade-off is noise, but you won’t face this issue with D850 even at ISO 6400. Backside illuminated sensor also made things better by improving light sensitivity.

Images quality can further be enhanced using the two newly introduced white balance settings. Instead of using custom white balance settings, you can use these two auto WB modes to adjust coolness or warmness.

Nikon D850 tilted screen

Time-lapse

Time-lapse is a welcoming feature in D850 because of its ease of use. On high resolution, the device is capable of shooting 8k time-lapses, but you have to compile them manually. In-camera, you can create 4K time-lapse.

The details of video at 1080p time-lapse isn’t very impressive, but it is easy to use. At 1080p resolution, D850 will enable you to capture 120fps slow-motion options at 4x and 5x.

Shooting speed

The D850 gives an impressive shooting speed of 7FPS. This shooting speed can be sidestepped up to two points to 9FPS using MB-D18 battery grip and larger battery, i.e., of D5. Extra 2FPS can level-up speed, sports, and wildlife photography.

Autofocus performance

D850 features the 153 points AF system with 99 cross-type points. The central AF point of the system is working in the low light as much as -4EV, with the rest still active at -3EV. The metering sensor is also built to work at this level, which capable the user to use the 3D tracking modes even in the lighting conditions of -4EV and -3EV.

The frame coverage is 30% wider than the predecessor. It makes images sharper and can keep autofocus points on the moving subjects in the continuous shooting. For this autofocus system, the viewfinder is displayed on the LCD screen.

The AF points are shown on the LCD layer, and they only light up when they are moved manually or when the focus is acquired. The viewfinder of this camera with magnification leaping to 0.75x from 0.7x is the largest for any Nikon’s device.

Focus shift

Focus shift is a new feature that captures the series of images in the same scenery but with different focus settings. Users can customize the number of images, the distance for focus, and delay of time between every shot.

One drawback of this feature is that the camera can’t compile the resultant images, and you have to do it manually using some third-party software. All the images captured with the focus shift are stored in a separate folder.

SnapeBridge and Connectivity

Connectivity of this camera is a lot better than other models from Nikon. The SnapeBridge connectivity system establishes a full-time Bluetooth LE connection between camera and smartphone device.

The camera can immediately transfer every captured image either at 2MP or full resolution to a smartphone but only over Bluetooth. Selecting images from the device and sending it on the phone using the SnapeBridge app is slow because of Bluetooth connection.

Nikon D850 top view

Nikon D850 specifications:

In the previous section, we explained the key features of the camera. In this section, here is detailed information about all the technical and physical specifications of the device.

  • Year Introduced: 2018
  • Body Materials: Magnesium alloy and carbon fiber
  • Operating Environment: 0–40 °C (32–104 °F), less than 85% humidity
  • Dimensions Inches: 5.7 x 4.9 x 3.1″ (146.0 x 124.0 x 78.5mm)
  • CIPA Weight: 32.3 oz (915g)
  • Wireless File Transmitter: Built-in
  • Remote:  MC-30A/ MC-36
  • Megapixels: 45.7
  • Total Pixels: 46.9
  • Sensor Size: 35.9 x 23.9mm
  • Pixel Dimensions: 8256 x 5504
  • Pixel Size: 4.35µm
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F
  • AF Type: Nikon Advanced Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection and fine-tuning
  • AF Points: 153 focus points (including 99 cross-type sensors and 15 sensors that support f/8), of which 55 (35 cross-type sensors and nine f/8 sensors) are available for selection
  • AF Working Range: EV-4 to EV 20 (ISO 100, 68°F/20°C)
  • Autofocus modes: Continuous-servo (AF-C), Face-Priority AF, Full-time Servo (AF-F), Manual (M) with electronic rangefinder, Normal area AF, Predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status, Single-servo AF (AF-S), Wide area available in Live View and D-Movie only
  • Point Selection  AF: 9, 25, 72, or 153 point Dynamic-area AF
  • Assist Beam: Emitted by optional flash
  • Micro adjustment: Yes
  • Metering Modes: Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 12 mm circle in center of frame. Diameter of circle can be changed to 8, 15, or 20 mm, or weighting can be based on average of entire frame (non-CPU lenses use 12-mm circle)
  • Matrix: 3D Color Matrix Metering III (type G, E, and D lenses); Color Matrix Metering III (other CPU lenses); Color Matrix Metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data
  • Spot: Meters 4 mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)
  • ISO Sensitivity: ISO 64 – 25,600
  • Shutter Speed: 30 sec. to 1/8000 in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV, Bulb, Time, X250
  • Custom WB: Yes, six settings can be registered
  • WB Bracketing   Yes
  • Display Options: (1) Quick Control Screen, (2) Camera settings, (3) Electronic Level
  • Shooting Modes: Aperture-Priority (A), Manual (M), Programmed auto with flexible program (P), Shutter-Priority Auto (S)
  • Picture Styles: Auto, Flat, Landscape, Monochrome, Neutral, Portrait, Standard, Vivid
  • Live View Type: Electronic viewfinder with image sensor
  • Image type: RAW + JPEG + TIFF
  • Movie Size: 4K UHD 3,840 x 2,160 – 30/25/24 fps,  Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 – 60/50/30/25/24 fps, HD 1,280 x 720 – 60/50 fps
  • Slow-motion: Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 30p/25p/24p
  • Actual frame rates for 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p:  59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively
  • Wireless Features: Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Custom Functions: 55 Custom Settings
  • Water & Dust Resistance: Yes
  • Sound Memo: No
  • Orientation Sensor: Yes
  • Playback Zoom: Yes
  • HDMI output: Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
  • Memory Type: XQD, Secure Digital (SDHC/SDXC UHS-II compliant)
  • Battery EN-EL15a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • Battery Life: Approx. 1,840 shots

Pros:

  • Extraordinary technical performance
  • Great for long exposures
  • New thumb-nubbin rear controller.
  • 7 FPS; 9 FPS with battery grip.
  • Flipping 3.2″ touch LCD
  • 0.75× viewfinder magnification
  • 45.7 MP full-frame BSI CMOS sensor
  • advanced 181,000-pixel RGB meter
  • 4K full-frame video recording
  • Battery life rated at 1840 shots

Cons:

  • Touchscreen operation doesn’t include key exposure settings
  • Live view autofocus isn’t very impressive
  • Focus peaking unavailable when shooting 4K video
  • Use the XQD cards which are still rare

Conclusion

Nikon added their all best features in the D850, which makes it a perfect candidate to satisfy any photographer’s needs. With its high-quality results, it makes it easy for us to recommend it as a brilliant companion for your photography adventures!

 

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Author: condruzmf

In love with photography!

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