Nikon Z9 Vs Nikon D850

When it comes to selecting a camera brand that is known for producing high-quality photographs, Nikon has, for a long time,, been a favorite option among both professional photographers and photography lovers. The Nikon Z9 and the Nikon D850 are two examples of highly acclaimed cameras that are available from Nikon. In this piece, we will examine the similarities and differences between these two cameras, focusing on their capabilities, performance, and features.

When it comes to making an investment in new photographic equipment, being aware of the distinctions between these two cameras will help you make a more educated choice. This is true regardless of whether you are a seasoned professional or an ardent photography hobbyist.

Design and Ergonomics

The magnesium alloy chassis of the Nikon Z9 is weather-sealed for added protection against the elements, giving the camera a sturdy and long-lasting feel in hand. It has a pleasant feel in the hand and a variety of buttons and dials that are conveniently located so that users may quickly adjust essential parameters.

On the other hand, the Nikon D850 has a design that is more usual for DSLR cameras and is constructed in a manner that is also weather-sealed. Both of these cameras have outstanding build quality, but the Z9’s mirrorless architecture allows it to be smaller and lighter than its competitor.

Image Quality and Resolution

The Nikon Z9 and the Nikon D850 both have a sensor with a resolution of 45.7 megapixels, which results in images with an exceptionally high resolution and superb image quality. The EXPEED 7 image processor found in the Z9 raises the dynamic range of the camera and lowers the amount of noise it produces, allowing it to produce beautiful details even in difficult lighting circumstances.

The D850, which is powered by the EXPEED 5 processor, likewise provides excellent picture quality but isn’t quite as good as the Z9 at managing noise at higher ISO settings.

Autofocus and Performance

The Nikon Z9 is equipped with cutting-edge autofocus technology that has 493 focus points, which enables it to achieve extraordinary levels of speed, precision, and tracking capabilities. Because it is so good at tracking subjects, it is a beautiful choice for photographers who want to capture fast-paced action.

On the other hand, the 153-point focusing system that comes standard on the Nikon D850 isn’t exactly a slouch either, and it performs brilliantly in the vast majority of shooting scenarios. On the other hand, the autofocus mechanism of the Z9 outperforms that of the D850 in terms of both speed and accuracy.

Specifications Comparison

Camera FeatureNikon D850Nikon Z9
AnnouncedJuly 2017October 2021
Camera TypeDSLRMirrorless
Sensor TypeBSI CMOSStacked CMOS
Image ProcessorEXPEED 5EXPEED 7
Resolution45.7 MP45.4 MP
Pixel Dimensions8256×55048256×5504
Sensor Dimensions35.9 x 23.9 mm (Full Frame)35.9 x 23.9 mm (Full Frame)
Sensor Pixel Size4.35µ4.35µ
Low Pass FilterNoNo
IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization)NoYes
Base ISOISO 64ISO 64
Max Native ISOISO 25,600ISO 25,600
Extended ISOs32-102,40032-102,400
High-Resolution Sensor ShiftNoNo
Focus Stack BracketingYesYes
Fastest Shutter Speed1/80001/32000
Longest Shutter Speed30 seconds900 seconds
Continuous Shooting (Mechanical Shutter)7 FPSNo mechanical shutter
Continuous Shooting (Electronic Shutter)7 FPS20 FPS
Notes for High FPS ShootingUp to 9 FPS with MB-D18 grip20 FPS figure is for .NEF files (full-res JPEG at 30 FPS; DX JPEG at 60 FPS; 11 megapixel JPEG at 120 FPS)
Buffer Size (Raw)200Over 1000
Autofocus SystemPhase DetectHybrid PDAF
Autofocus Points153493
Low-Light AF Sensitivity (f/2 Lens, ISO 100)-4 EV-7 EV
Voice MemoNoYes
Built-in FlashNoNo
Standard Flash Sync Speed1/2501/200
Video Features
Maximum Video Bit Depth (Internal)8 bits12 bits
Maximum Video Bit Depth (External)8 bits12 bits
Raw VideoNoYes
8K Maximum FramerateN/A60 FPS
4K Maximum Framerate30 FPS120 FPS
1080P Maximum Framerate120 FPS120 FPS
Additional Video Crop FactorNoNo
Chroma Subsampling4:2:0, 4:2:2 (External)4:2:2
Video Recording Limit30 min125 min
Physical and Other Features
Card Slots22
Slot 1 TypeCFExpress Type BCFExpress Type B
Slot 2 TypeSD (UHS-II)CFExpress Type B
Rear LCD Size (Diagonal)3.2 in3.2 in
Rear LCD Resolution2.36 million2.1 million
Articulating LCDSingle AxisDual Axis
ViewfinderPentaprism / OVFEVF
Viewfinder Magnification0.75x0.8x
Viewfinder ResolutionN/A3.69 million
Viewfinder Coverage100%100%
USB TypeType A 3.0Type C 3.2 Gen 2
Battery TypeEN-EL15aEN-EL18d
Battery Life (Viewfinder)1840 frames700 frames
Battery Life (Rear LCD)N/A740 frames
Battery Life (Eco Mode)N/A770 frames
Weather SealedYesYes
Weight (Body Only w/ Battery + Card)1005 g (2.22 lbs.)1340 g (2.95 lbs.)
Dimensions (LxHxD)146 x 124 x 79mm (5.7 x 4.9 x 3.1″)149 x 150 x 106 mm (5.9 x 5.9 x 4.2″)2

Video Capabilities

The Nikon Z9 possesses extremely remarkable video capabilities, making it an excellent choice for videographers. It is capable of recording 8K footage at 30 frames per second and 4K footage at up to 120 frames per second, giving users an astonishing amount of creative leeway when it comes to creating high-quality films.

The Nikon D850 is a capable camera for shooting video, but it can only do it at a maximum of 4K at 30 frames per second. Because of its capabilities, the Z9 should be your top choice if working with video is an essential part of your job.

ISO Performance

Both the Nikon Z9 and the Nikon D850 have excellent ISO performance, which enables you to take high-quality photographs even while working in low-light settings without compromising on the overall picture quality.

When shooting at higher ISO levels, the Z9 has a modest advantage over the D850 because of its more comprehensive native ISO range and excellent noise reduction capabilities. This is especially true at lower ISO settings.

Connectivity and Workflow

The Nikon Z9 comes with a variety of networking options built right in, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an Ethernet connector, which makes it simple to send data to another location and manage the camera from a distance. It also supports the most recent memory card formats, such as CFexpress and XQD, which allows for the storing of data in a quick and dependable manner.

Even while the D850 does not come equipped with built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, it is nevertheless capable of providing a dependable and secure workflow because of its support for high-speed SD and XQD memory cards.

Battery Life

When it comes to the life of the battery, the Nikon Z9 provides excellent performance, which enables you to shoot for extended periods of time without having to worry about the possibility of running out of power.

It has a battery life that is rated at roughly 830 shots per charge, making it superior to the D850, which has a battery life that is rated at approximately 1,840 photos per charge. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the battery life might change depending on a variety of circumstances, such as the shooting conditions and how it is used.

Price and Value

When comparing the Nikon Z9 with the Nikon D850, it is essential to take into account both the price and the value of the two cameras. The Z9 is positioned as a high-end professional camera due to its pricing, which is for only the body.

The Nikon D850, on the other hand, can be purchased for a more reasonable sum (body only), making it an appealing choice for photography lovers and professionals who are working with more limited financial resources. In the end, the selection will be determined by your particular requirements, financial constraints, and long-term investment goals.


In summing up, the Nikon Z9 and the Nikon D850 are both remarkable cameras with their own distinct advantages and potential applications. The Z9 is distinguished from other cameras by virtue of its mirrorless design, improved ISO performance, excellent video capabilities, and cutting-edge autofocus technology.

On the other hand, the D850 provides exceptional image quality, dependable performance, and a price tag that is more favorable to one’s wallet. When deciding between the two, it is essential to think about the particular needs you have, the way you want to shoot, and the money you have available.


Q. Is the Nikon Z9 compatible with Nikon F-mount lenses?
A. Yes, the Nikon Z9 is compatible with Nikon F-mount lenses using the FTZ adapter, which allows you to use your existing F-mount lenses with the Z9 camera seamlessly.
Q. Can I use the same batteries for the Nikon Z9 and Nikon D850?
A. No, the Nikon Z9 uses a new battery, the EN-EL18d, while the Nikon D850 uses the EN-EL15a battery. They are not interchangeable.
Q. Does the Nikon Z9 have in-body image stabilization?
A. Yes, the Nikon Z9 features in-body image stabilization, which helps in reducing camera shake and capturing sharper images, especially in low-light conditions.
Q. Can the Nikon D850 shoot a 4K video?
A. Yes, the Nikon D850 can shoot 4K video at 30 frames per second, providing high-quality video recording capabilities.
Q. Which camera is better for sports photography, the Z9 or the D850?
A. The Nikon Z9 is better suited for sports photography due to its advanced autofocus system, faster continuous shooting speed, and superior tracking capabilities.

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