Nikon D850 Review

Nikon D850 Review

Even though it has been on the market for over three years, the Nikon D850 is still among the best digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLR) that money can buy.

The stunning 36.3-megapixel Nikon D810, favored by professionals and amateurs alike for a long time, was replaced by the D850 in July 2017. It undoubtedly had huge shoes to fill, but it could do so owing to features such as burst shooting at seven frames per second and superb performance at high ISO settings.

There is little question that mirrorless flagships such as the Sony A7R IV have again lifted the performance bar for high-megapixel cameras. Still, the Nikon D850 is much more affordable than Sony’s 61MP all-rounder.

Suppose you are primarily interested in still photography and appreciate traditional DSLR characteristics like handling and battery life. In that case, the Nikon D850 is an excellent and flexible all-rounder you should consider purchasing.

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Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body

& Free shipping
Last update was on: May 29, 2023 4:43 am
$2,496.95 $2,796.95

See: Best Lenses For Nikon D850 | Best Gimbal For Nikon D850 | Best Memory Cards For Nikon D850 | Best Flash For Nikon D850 | Best Video Lenses For Nikon D850 | Nikon D850 Bundles Deals | Nikon D850 Black Friday Deals

Nikon D850 Body & Design

  • Magnesium alloy body
  • Comprehensive protection from the elements
  • Weighs 1005g

Although the Nikon D850 and the Nikon D810 may have comparable dimensions, the D850 differs significantly from the D810.

If you upgrade from a D810 or D800, the redesigned handle will be the first thing that jumps out at you when you pick up the new camera. Due to its increased depth, it is much more pleasant to grip than its predecessor, particularly for extended periods.

Nikon deleted the pop-up flash from this model to make the camera even more durable than the D500. Some may be disappointed that this function will no longer be available; we’ve used it to activate remote Speedlights, but it’s always seemed like a weak link on a professional-grade DSLR.

In addition, there is no pop-up flash on the D850; the body is made of magnesium alloy and has weather seals to protect it from the elements. These features combine to make the D850 seem like the professional DSLR you would expect it to be. This camera is exceptionally well crafted, and there is no doubt that it can withstand the rigorous use required in a professional setting.

Nikon D850 Autofocus

  • 153-point AF, 99 cross-type AF points
  • Array determined by the user, with a maximum of 55 points
  • Outstanding coverage over the entirety of the frame

However, Nikon fitted the D850 with the same Multi-CAM 20K AF module as its top-of-the-line D5, even though the 51-point focusing system on the D810 was one of the finest performers we’d seen back in 2017.

The focusing mechanism on this DSLR remains, in our opinion, to be one of the best, if not the best, that we have seen on any DSLR. It has a fantastic total of 153 autofocus points, 55 of which are user-selectable and 99 of which are the more sensitive cross-type points that provide an even higher level of precision.

Not only that, but the autofocus (AF) sensitivity goes all the way down to -4EV for the central AF point (with the remainder of the AF points focusing down to -3EV), which ought to enable the D850 to focus pretty much in almost complete darkness.

The performance of Live View is one area in which the D850 is not entirely up to par with Canon’s most recent DSLRs. Even though the Dual Pixel CMOS technology utilized in cameras such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV can compete with that mirrorless cameras, Live View focusing with the D850 is still a bit cumbersome. It is an improvement over earlier versions, but it is still not as quick as it might be.

Nikon D850 Performance

  • Seven frames per second of rapid fire (9fps with battery grip)
  • 1,840 shots of battery life with a raw file buffer for 51 shots.

The Nikon D850 is an even more versatile piece of equipment due to its enhanced burst shooting speed, which has grown from 5 to 7 frames per second, even though it has a decently increased pixel count compared to the D810.

Additionally, suppose you insert a big EN-EL18B battery into the D850 and utilize the optional MB-D18 battery handle that comes with the camera (also used in the D5). In that case, you can raise that rate to 9 frames per second.

When considering the data the D850 has to process, the 51-shot buffer (at 14-Bit raws) is also highly outstanding. However, this pares well with the 5fps shooting speed of Canon EOS 5DS and the Sony Alpha A7R II.

The EN-EL15 is the primary battery that comes with the Nikon D850. This is the same power pack used by the D810, but Nikon has managed to wring even more life out of the battery to give a stunning 1,840 shots per charge.

To put this into perspective, if you wanted to attain anything close to the battery capacity of the D850 with an Alpha A7R II, you would need seven NP-FW50 batteries, and if you wanted to do the same with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, you would need two LP-E6N batteries.

The Nikon D850 has three different modes of auto white balance, allowing it to cater to various shooting conditions. Auto 0 is supposed to depict whites under any light source authentically; Auto 1 is supposed to preserve a balance between the original subject color and the ambient lighting, and Auto 2 is supposed to render colors with a natural warmth while keeping the color of incandescent lighting.

The optical viewfinder is breathtaking; it’s vast and well-lit, and the touchscreen display on the back of the camera doesn’t fall short in its sharpness.

Nikon D850 Image Quality

  • ISO64-25,600 (expandable to ISO32-108400) (expandable to ISO32-108,400)
  • Additional raw file sizes of 25.6 megapixels medium and 11.4 megapixels small
  • Stacking of the emphasis that is built in

The Nikon D850 can resolve an astounding degree of information, which can be expected from a sensor that contains 45.4 million individual pixels. As a result, you will be able to create big prints packed with detail; however, it goes without saying that you will want the highest quality glass to get the most out of the sensor.

Again, the D850 doesn’t disappoint you regarding how well it handles noise at high ISO settings. At an ISO of 3200, there is barely any luminance (grain-like) noise in the images, and there is no hint of chroma (color) noise. In addition, the photos display excellent levels of detail with minimal noise up to ISO3200.

If you push it to ISO 6400, you’ll see that the luminance noise is somewhat more noticeable; nonetheless, the image quality is still quite acceptable, and we have no problem shooting at this sensitivity.

Even at ISO 12,800 and ISO 25,600, the noise is still well managed, and the results are more than satisfactory. Even though the noise is more apparent, it is still well-controlled. Above that, we recommend staying away from the two extended settings, as they result in a slight loss of saturation. However, with some adjustments in Lightroom or another program of a similar kind, it is possible to achieve a picture that is passable at ISO51,200.

The dynamic range performance of the Nikon D810 has never failed to please, and the good news is that it looks to continue to do so with the Nikon D850, even though the sensor having than its predecessor.

It is feasible to significantly underexpose an image and yet be able to recover shadow detail without the appearance of undesirable noise in the shot. This is achievable because of the dynamic range of digital cameras.

The process of manually shooting focus-stacked images can be a chore. The Nikon D850, however, features a focus shift photography function that enables the camera to shoot up to 300 frames while gradually and automatically shifting the focus position from the starting point to infinity.

The period between each shutter release may be adjusted from 0 to 30 seconds, and there are ten different levels from which to choose the focus step width.

The photos must be combined in post-production using an image editing application such as Photoshop. However, this appears to be an excellent method for rapidly capturing macro shots with a high level of detail.

Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Max resolution8256 x 5504
Image ratio w h1:1, 5:4, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels45 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors47 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorExpeed 5
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 64-25600 (expands to 32-102400)
Boosted ISO (minimum)32
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets14
Custom white balanceYes (6 slots)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW + TIFF
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.3)TIFF (RGB)Raw (Nikon NEF, 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View.
Autofocus assist lampNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points151
Lens mountNikon F
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots2,359,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live ViewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.75×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash modesFront-curtain sync (normal), Rear-curtain sync, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction with slow sync, Slow sync
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modesSingle-frameSelf-timerQuiet shutterQuiet continuous mirror-up continuous low continuous high
Continuous drive7.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10, 20 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (2-9 exposures in 1, 2, or 3EV increments)
Videography features
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II supported) + XQD
USBUSB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingNo
HDMIYes (mini HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notes802.11b/g + NFC + Bluetooth 4.1 LE
Remote controlYes (wired, wireless, smartphone)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL15a lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)1840
Weight (inc. batteries)1005 g (2.22 lb / 35.45 oz)
Dimensions146 x 124 x 79 mm (5.75 x 4.88 x 3.11″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (4K movies or ‘8K’ stills)

Nikon D850 Verdict

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body

& Free shipping
Last update was on: May 29, 2023 4:43 am
$2,496.95 $2,796.95

Even though it has been on the market for over three years, the Nikon D850 is still considered a benchmark for DSLR cameras.

The D850 is jam-packed with desirable photographic features, and it backs these up with impressive performance and stunning image quality. To say that the specification is comprehensive would be an understatement.

The Live View focusing speeds could still be improved, and the rather rudimentary SnapBridge connectivity is disappointing; however, those issues aside, the D850 won’t leave you wanting for anything, whether you’re shooting weddings or landscapes, portraits, action, or wildlife. It’s a versatile camera that can handle it all.

The Nikon D850 is an excellent DSLR, much more adaptable than its predecessor, the D810, and closest competitors. Therefore, the D850 may be the most well-rounded DSLR we have ever evaluated.

Nikon D850 FAQs

Is it worth buying a Nikon D850?

Whether or not the Nikon D850 is a worthwhile investment depends on the specific requirements and inclinations of the buyer. However, it is a high-end camera with sophisticated features, a high resolution, and exceptional picture quality, making it a good option for professional photographers and photography enthusiasts.

Can a beginner use a Nikon D850?

Even though novice photographers can use the Nikon D850, it is probably best suited for more experienced photographers who have a solid comprehension of the fundamentals of photography and are prepared to invest in a camera of high quality.

Is Nikon D850 full frame?

The Nikon D850 is, in fact, a full-frame camera that features a sensor capable of 45.7 million pixels.

What is the life of a Nikon D850?

The lifetime of a Nikon D850 can change depending on how it is used and how well it is maintained; however, if you take care of it, you can anticipate it to last for several years.

How old is the Nikon D850?

The Nikon D850 was first made available to consumers in July 2017, rendering it older than four years as of 2023.

Is Nikon D850 suitable for wildlife?

Because of its high resolution, quick autofocus system, and capability of capturing high-quality images with excellent dynamic range, the Nikon D850 can be a good option for wildlife photography. This is because of the camera’s ability to capture images in RAW format.

Does Nikon D850 have autofocus?

Yes, the Nikon D850 has autofocus capabilities, which include sophisticated features like subject tracking and facial recognition. These capabilities are available in the camera.

Is Nikon D850 a mirrorless camera?

The Nikon D850 is not a standalone camera; that is a common misconception. Instead, it is a single-lens reflex camera.

Is Nikon D850 discontinued?

To answer your question, the Nikon D850 has not been taken off the market since 2023.

Is Nikon D850 Made in Japan?

The Nikon D850 is manufactured in Japan; that much is true.

Is Nikon D850 heavy?

Without a lens connected, the Nikon D850 weighs close to 2 pounds, so it is safe to say that this model belongs to the category of moderately heavy cameras.

Is Nikon D850 waterproof?

The Nikon D850 is weather-sealed and can withstand some dampness and dust. However, it is not watertight.



Joseph is a talented photographer and videographer based in the USA, with a thriving career as a freelance creative. Over the past several years, he has had the privilege of working with renowned brands, capturing captivating images and videos. His portfolio encompasses a diverse range of subjects, specializing in fashion, portrait, and lifestyle content creation. From editorial shoots to engaging social media videos, Joseph's versatile skills ensure exceptional visual storytelling in every project. Beyond his professional endeavors, he nurtures a personal passion for travel and nature photography, channeling his deep appreciation for the environment into a commitment to sustainability and environmental causes.

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