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Nikon D850 Review

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Being a follow-up to the Nikon D810 from 2014 and having such a formidable price tag, the Nikon D850 is met with super high expectations. That is understandable, and we think this camera more than addresses the fears of D810 fans.

Just like its predecessor, the Nikon D850 is recommended by and for both pros and ordinary hobbyists (who are willing to shell out A LOT, at least). The Nikon D850 takes the features that made the D810 such a hit, boosts these features, and adds a little more to the whole package. If you were a loyal fan of the D800s, then you may like this model.

Very few things were more anticipated than the Nikon D850 since its release was announced by Nikon a few months ago. The hype still has not gone down, and we will spend the next subsections trying to see what the excitement is about. We will be exploring the hits, misses, and in-betweens of the Nikon D850.

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Last updated on November 20, 2017 2:35 pm

45.7 MP CMOS sensor

Perhaps the first thing about the Nikon D850 that reached you was word about its 45.7 MP CMOS sensor. To be specific, that is Nikon’s very own (and they are very good at this) back side-illuminated full-frame image sensor.

This BSI sensor has no optical low-pass filter, which means that you easily find the right balance between high image resolution and very little amount of noise. This sensor is mainly what is responsible for the sharp images the Nikon D850 shoots, the fast readout, and excellent light gathering and color rendition.

All of that 45.7 MP can give you up to 51 consecutive 14-bit RAW shots or 170 frames (12-bit lossless compressed) (both NEF). The Nikon D850 appears to be quite versatile, and we think it can cover your projects.

153-point AF

Nikon’s AF module is one of the things that have brought fame to their DSLRs. This time, they have made significant improvement in this already amazing feature. The Nikon D850 has 99 cross-type sensors, 153 focus points, and a dedicated AF processor. Fifteen of those sensors support f/8, which you may love if you are into wildlife or sports photography.

This frame coverage is an astounding 130% boost from that on the D810. The Nikon D850 even lets you shoot at -4 EV, thus taking care of many problems related to shooting in low-light conditions. This AF module handles moving objects really well also, making the Nikon D850 ideal for fast-action photography.

7 fps continuous shooting

The Nikon D850 shoots at 7 fps at full resolution and full AF. We know what you are thinking. There are cheaper models with that come with more fps. However, speed is not determined by fps alone. In the case of the Nikon D850, the combination of its sophisticated and advanced specs deliver excellent shots in bright and low light, still or moving.

Anyway, there is an optional battery pack that can shoot up to 9 fps at full resolution. If you are not satisfied with 7 fps, you can always go for an add-on.

EXPEED 5 image processor

Nikon also put their own image processing engine in here. As a result, the Nikon D850 takes advantage of parallel processing with a sequence control microcomputer. This is what makes this DSLR good at shooting moving subjects. We were wondering before why this camera was so expensive, but now the reason is clear.

The EXPEED 5 is known for fast processing of images at full resolution. For some reason, it works really quickly while eliminating a considerable amount of noise. The dynamic range is wide. Details in terms of tone and texture turn out impressively well. Also, the EXPEED 5 is part of how the Nikon D850 pulls off high-speed continuous shooting and 4K UHD video recording.

8K and 4K (UHD) time-lapse movies

Again, we are seeing a very concrete explanation for the price of the Nikon D850. It can shoot both 4K and 8K videos and even time-lapse movies. Furthermore, this DSLR can shoot slow-motion videos at 1080p up to 120 fps. This is admittedly mouthwatering, and we hope you find it as amazing as we do.

Nice ISO range

You can shoot from ISO 64 to ISO 25,600 using the Nikon D850. ISO 64 is currently the lowest in any DSLR. This is a really big deal for us because we think a camera is only as good as how well it shoots in low-light conditions. The range can be expanded down to ISO 32 (1 EV) and ISO 102,400 (2 EV). Not too sure about how to work with ISO just yet? There is an auto ISO sensitivity control in the Nikon D850, and we think it will take care of things as you find out more about your brand new Nikon D850’s settings.

RAW batch processing

This has become a standard feature in many Nikon DSLRs. RAW batch processing lets you switch among various image sizes (small: 11.4 MP; medium: 25.6 MP; large: 45.7 MP) without taking up too much time.

High viewfinder magnification

The Nikon D850 has a very clear viewfinder. It must be the closest we have ever been to shooting with our own retinas. The optical viewfinder has a 0.75x magnification and lets you see your controls at work in real time.