Camera Review: Nikon D850
Sep 29, 2019
Nikon continues to innovate with their amazing DSLR cameras and the D850 is no exception. It is a compelling upgrade from the Nikon D810 and offers better ISO performance, more resolution, and many comforts.
· 45.7-megapixel, full-frame backside illuminated sensor
· EXPEED 5 image processor
· 99 cross-type sensors, 153 AF points
· 4K UHD video at 30/25/24p
· ISO 64-25600 (expandable to 32-102,400)
· 51-shot buffer, continuous shooting up to 7 fps
· Up to 1840 stills or 70 minutes of video per charge
· Dual XQD/SD card slots
· Rugged body with dust and weather sealing
Design and Handling
The Nikon D850 is sturdy, heavy, and big. Still, it is quite modest as compared to, for instance, a D5. The grip is deep and the body feels hefty. Controls are placed right where you need them. It’s 3.2-inch LCD touchscreen is tiltable which makes it better than its key competition. The LCD display is good but you might have a difficulty seeing it in direct sunlight. The optical viewfinder is amazing. It’s very easy to use even with glasses thanks to its large size.
The image quality of Nikon D850 is phenomenal. The 45.7-megapixel sensor is obviously a standout feature. At such a high resolution (8256×5504 pixels), the D850 is like a mini medium format camera. But the resolution is not the only key factor behind the excellent image quality, the camera also has a big dynamic range and very high signal-to-noise ratio. Low-light noise on this camera for still photography is simply amazing. Even at very high ISO value, the noise looks natural and no more offensive than film grain.
The D850 is definitely one of the better cameras for videography from Nikon. It can shoot in full HD as well as 4K. In full HD, you can record at 60 fps. In 4K, you can record at 24, 25, and 30 fps. It’s full frame, even when recording in 4K resolution. When recording in full HD, you can electronically stabilize the image via DX mode. There is also an option to record at 120 fps. Autofocus in video mode is not good as it is inaccurate and slow. This is probably the weakest aspect of this camera.
The Nikon D850 is fast. You can achieve 7 images per second with continuous autofocus. The combination of fast XQD card and the large buffer is so effective that the camera doesn’t stop even when the buffer is full. Although the D850 is not as fast as the D5, you can increase the speed to 9 images per second by using the extra grip and fitting in with the large EN-EL18 battery. Battery life is rated at 1840 shots per charge which is great.
The Bottom Line
The Nikon D850 is the best and the most versatile DSLR camera available on the market. It is a decent camera for videography, but for still photography, the D850 might be as good as it gets. It is an amazing camera for hybrid shooters and this is definitely the D850’s greatest strength. If you take photography seriously, then you will surely love this camera. On the other hand, if you are a video shooter, then you will find that the D850 checks most of the boxes it needs to check.