Nikon Shocks the Camera World with the D850. Should you buy it?

Photos Via Nikon

A very rare thing happened this week in the content creation world. A gear manufacture has released a professional product at the right price point that really changes the game. 

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Now I am sure all of the mirrorless fans have checked out by now, as well as most Sony fans, but the fact is that the release of the new Nikon D850 is something that has most professionals salivating. As a working professional that feels it's time to get some new gear, this release couldn't have come at a better time. 

So why is it that the D850 is a game changer? For me the first huge point is the price. I had heard and seen rumors about this forever, but the final price came in lower than I thought it would, and honestly it came in right where it should. At $3296.95 per our site of choice, Adorama, it's a very affordable camera for working professionals. This is one of the most feature filled DSLR's that we have seen, and certainly the most feature filled Nikon body. Whether you are doing stills, video, time lapse, or all of the above, this body will do it for you. 

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Who will this body work best for though? Well, with huge, detailed files, I think it's safe to say that there isn't a single person that this camera wouldn't be amazing for. It will do 4k video, and 8k time lapse which is amazing quality at this or any price point. It's base frame rate for stills is 7fps, with the ability to go up to 9fps with a battery grip and an EN/EL18b battery. At this frame rate, it's a great body for a sports photographer as well. The D850 has a native ISO starting at 64 ISO. This means that with the proper expose, the digital noise should be nonexistent. So for detailed product photography, this is most likely going to be your go to camera body. 

Is this a good body for weddings? I would say that I haven't seen a better DSLR for weddings. Whether it's a low light situation, or an outdoor daylight situation, you should be able to capture anything you need. Add the video capabilities to that, and you have added another weapon to your arsenal. The D850 at 45.7 Megapixels RAW files will allow you to crop in as needed without losing that tack sharpness in the image as well. 

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Nature is something that I do a lot of as well, and I have been disappointed with every body that I have used since selling my D80 quite a few years ago. There was something about the color rendition and range that I felt I had with that body vs. everything I have shot with since then. I see the D850 as a camera that will finally allow me to shoot nature the way that I see it. 

Now there are some cons to this camera body. Not everything is rosy. he only real downside that I see for a lot of people is the need to buy a grip and battery for the extra two frames a second. This means that you will find yourself having to purchase MB-D18 along with the previously mentioned EN/EL18b. That said, you will also have to get a charger for the battery. What I would recommend is purchasing the grip, two batteries, and a dual charger. This doesn't mean you always have to use a grip either. That's is a personal preference. That is the only downside I see to this camera, but that is just an add on feature to begin with. 

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Should you replace your D810 with a D850? My answer, based on the features, specs, and price would be a resounded yes. The added megapixels, the ISO on the higher side is better than the D850, you get 4k video, and added fps. There is no question that I would sell a D810 for as much as you can get and pick up a D850. 

Lastly, make sure to buy some more storage space as well. With 47 MP and RAW files close to 100 MP you are certainly going to need ample storage space. Get your memory cars and your hard drives ready, order the body, and start enjoying all the features that the D850 brings us. You can preorder from Adorama right now. 

Full Specs per Nikon:

 

 CollapseType

  1. Type

    Single-lens reflex digital camera

  2. Lens Mount

    Nikon F bayonet mount

 CollapseImage Sensor

  1. Effective Pixels (Megapixels)

    45.7  million

  2. Sensor Size

    35.9  mm

     

     x  23.9  mm

  3. Image Sensor Format

    FX

  4. Image Sensor Type

    CMOS

  5. Total Pixels

    46.89  million

  6. Dust-Reduction System

    Image sensor cleaning
    Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX-D software required)

  7. Dust-Off Reference Photo

    Yes

  8. Image Area (pixels)

    FX-format
    (L)  8,256 x 5,504 (45.4 million) 


    (M)  6,192 x 4,128 (25.5 million) 


    (S)  4,128 x 2,752 (11.3 million) 

    1:2 format  (30 x 20)
    (L)  6,880 x 4,584 (31.5 million) 


    (M)  5,152 x 3,432 (17.6 million) 


    (S)  3,440 x 2,288 (7.8 million) 

    5:4 format (30 x 24)
    (L)  6,880 x 5,504 (37.8 million) 


    (M)  5,152 x 4,120 (21.2 million) 


    (S)  3,440 x 2,752 (9.4 million) 

    1:1 format (24 x 24)
    (L)  5,504 x 5,504 (30.2 million) 


    (M)  4,128 x 4,128 (17.0 million) 


    (S)  2,752 x 2,752 (7.5 million) 

    DX-format
    (L)  5,408 x 3,600 (19.4 million) 


    (M)  4,048 x 2,696 (10.9 million) 


    (S)  2,704 x 1,800 (4.8 million) 


    FX-format photographs taken during movie recording
    (L)   8,256 x 4,640 (38.3 million) 


    (M)  6,192 x 3,480 (21.5 million) 


    (S)  4,128 x 2,320 (9.5 million) 


    DX-format photographs taken during movie recording
    (L)   5,408 x 3,040 (16.4 million) 


    (M)  4,048 x 2,272 (9.1 million) 


    (S)  2,704 x 1,520 (4.1 million) 

 CollapseFile System

  1. File Format Still Images

    JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx 1:4), normal (approx 1:8), or basic (approx 1:16) compression (Size priority); Optimal quality compression available
    NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single Photograph Recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG Formats
    NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed, or uncompressed; large, medium, and small available (medium and small images are recorded at a bit depth of 12 bits using lossless compression) 
    TIFF (RGB)

  2. Storage Media

    1 XQD card and 1 Secure Digital (SD) card
    SD
    SDHC (UHS-II compliant) 
    SDXC (UHS-II compliant) 
    XQD Type Memory

  3. Card Slot

    Either card can be used for primary or backup storage or for separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images; pictures can be copied between cards.

  4. File System

    Compliant with  DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0
    EXIF 2.31 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras) 
    PictBridge

 CollapseViewfinder

  1. Viewfinder

    Eye-level Pentaprism Single-Lens Reflex Viewfinder

  2. Viewfinder Frame Coverage

    FX (36x24):  100% horizontal and 100% vertical  (Approx.)

    1.2x (30x20):  97% horizontal and 97% vertical  (Approx.)

    DX (24x16):  97% horizontal and 97% vertical  (Approx.)

    5:4 (30x24):  97% horizontal and 100% vertical  (Approx.)

    1:1 (24x24):  97% horizontal and 100% vertical  (Approx.)

  3. Viewfinder Magnification

    0.75x (50 mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, –1.0 m–1)  (Approx.) 

  4. Viewfinder Eyepoint

    17 mm (-1.0 m¯¹)

  5. Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment

    -3 to + 1m¯¹

  6. Focusing Screen

    Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII with AF Area Brackets (grid lines can be displayed)

  7. Reflex Mirror

    Quick-return type

  8. Mirror Lock Up

    Yes

 CollapseLens

  1. Lens Aperture

    Instant-return type
    Electronically Controlled

  2. Depth-of-field Control

    Yes
    Pressing Pv button stops lens aperture down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or by camera (other modes)

  3. Lens Compatibility at a Glance***

    AF-S or AF lenses fully compatible
    Metering with AI lenses

  4. Compatible Lenses

    AF NIKKOR lenses, including type G, E, and D lenses (some restrictions apply to PC lenses), and DX lenses (using DX 24 x 16 image area), AI-P NIKKOR lenses, and non-CPU AI lenses (exposure modes A and M only). 
    Electronic rangefinder can be used with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster (the electronic rangefinder supports 15 focus points with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/8 or faster, of which 9 points are available for selection). 
    IX NIKKOR lenses, lenses for the F3AF, and non-AI lenses cannot be used.

 CollapseShutter

  1. Shutter Type

    Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane mechanical shutter
    Electronic front-curtain shutter available in quiet shutter-release, quiet continuous shutter-release, and mirror up release modes

  2. Shutter Speed

    1/8000 to 30 sec. in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV, Bulb, Time, X250

  3. Fastest Shutter Speed

    1/8000  sec.

  4. Slowest Shutter Speed

    30  sec.

  5. Flash Sync Speed

    Up to  1/250 sec. 
    Synchronizes with shutter at 1/250s or slower
    Auto FP High-Speed sync supported

  6. Bulb Shutter Setting

    Yes

  7. Shutter Release Modes

    Continuous low-speed [CL] mode
    Continuous high-speed [CH] mode
    Mirror-up [Mup] mode
    Quiet Shutter Release
    Quiet Continuous Release
    Self-timer Mode
    Single-frame [S] mode

  8. Continuous Shooting Options

    FX-format
    CH: Up to  9  frames per second


    With an EN-EL18b Battery inserted in a MB-D18 Power Pack:
      CL: 1-8 frames per second
    CH: 9 frames per second
    Quiet Continuous Mode: 3 frames per second 


    Other power sources:
      CL: 1-6 frames per second
    CH: 7 frames per second
    Quiet Continuous Mode: 3 frames per second

  9. Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution

    7  frames per second

  10. Self-timer

    2, 5, 10, 20 sec.; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 sec. 
    Timer duration electronically controlled

 CollapseExposure

  1. Exposure Metering System

    TTL exposure metering using approximately 180K (180,000) pixels RGB sensor

  2. Metering Method

    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) 
    Highlight-weighted: Available with type G, E, and D lenses

  3. Metering Range

    ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20 °C/68 °F
    -3 ± 20 EV (Matrix or center-weighted metering) 
    2 to 20 EV (spot metering) 
    0 to 20 EV (Highlight-weighted metering)

  4. Exposure Meter Coupling

    Combined CPU and AI

  5. Exposure Modes

    Aperture-Priority (A) 
    Manual (M) 
    Programmed auto with flexible program (P) 
    Shutter-Priority Auto (S)

  6. Exposure Compensation

    ±5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV

  7. Exposure Bracketing

    2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV

  8. Exposure Lock

    Yes

  9. Picture Control

    Auto
    Flat
    Landscape
    Monochrome
    Neutral
    Portrait
    Standard
    Vivid

 CollapseSensitivity

  1. ISO Sensitivity

    ISO  64  - 

     

    25,600
    Can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 32 equivalent) below ISO 64 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 102,400 equivalent) above ISO 25,600; auto ISO sensitivity control available 

  2. Lowest Standard ISO Sensitivity

    64

  3. Highest Standard ISO Sensitivity

    25,600

  4. Lowest Expanded ISO Sensitivity

    Lo-1 (ISO 32 equivalent)

  5. Highest Expanded ISO Sensitivity

    Hi-2 (ISO 102,400 equivalent)

  6. Expanded ISO Sensitivity Options

    Lo-1 (ISO 32 equivalent) 
    Hi-1 (ISO-51,200 equivalent) 
    Hi-2 (ISO-102,400 equivalent)

  7. Long Exposure Noise Reduction

    Yes

  8. High ISO Noise Reduction

    Low
    Normal
    High
    Off

  9. Active D-Lighting

    Auto
    Extra High
    High
    Normal
    Low
    Off

  10. D-Lighting Bracketing

    2 frames using selected value for one frame
    3–5 frames using preset values for all frames

 CollapseFocus/Autofocus

  1. Single-Point AF Mode

    Yes

  2. Dynamic AF Mode

    Number of AF points: 9, 25, 72, or 153 point dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking, group-area AF

  3. Auto-Area AF Mode

    Yes

  4. Autofocus System

    Nikon Advanced Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection and fine-tuning, and 153 focus points (including 99 cross-type sensors and 15 sensors that support f/8), of which 55 (35 cross-type sensors and 9 f/8 sensors) are available for selection

  5. Detection Range

    -4 to +20 EV (ISO 100, 68°F/20°C)

  6. Lens Servo

    Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); Continuous-servo AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status
    Manual focus (MF): Electronic rangefinder can be used

  7. AF-area Mode

    9, 25, 72, or 153 point Dynamic-area AF
    Auto-area AF
    Single-point AF
    3D-tracking
    Group-area AF

  8. Focus Lock

    Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing the center of the sub-selector

  9. Focus 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

  10. Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points

    153

  11. Autofocus Sensitivity

    -4 to +20 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)

  12. Autofocus Fine Tune

    Yes

 CollapseFlash

  1. Flash Bracketing

    2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV

  2. X-Sync Speed

    1/250

  3. Top FP High Speed Sync

    Up to  1/8000

  4. Flash Control

    TTL: i-TTL flash control using RGB sensor with approximately 180K (180,000) pixels; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix, center-weighted, and highlight-weighted metering, standard i-TTL fill-flash for digital SLR with spot metering

  5. Flash Sync Modes

    Front-curtain sync (normal) 
    Rear-curtain sync
    Red-Eye reduction
    Red-Eye reduction with slow sync
    Slow sync

  6. Flash Compensation

    -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV

  7. Flash-ready Indicator

    Lights when optional flash unit is fully charged; flashes after flash is fired at full output

  8. Accessory Shoe

    Yes

  9. Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)

    CLS Supported

  10. Flash Sync Terminal

    Yes

 CollapseWhite Balance

  1. White Balance

    Auto (3 types) 
    Choose color temperature (2500K–10000K) 
    Cloudy
    Direct Sunlight
    Fine-tuning
    Flash
    Fluorescent (7 types) 
    Incandescent
    Natural Light Auto
    Preset manual (up to 6 values can be stored, spot white balance measurement available during live view) 
    Shade

  2. White Balance Bracketing

    2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1, 2 or 3 EV

 CollapseLive View

  1. Live View Shooting

    Photography Live View Mode
    Movie Live View Mode

  2. Live View Lens Servo

    Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); full-time-servo AF (AF-F) 
    Manual focus (MF)

  3. Live View AF-Area Mode

    Face-priority AF
    Wide-area AF
    Normal-area AF
    Pinpoint AF
    Subject-tracking AF

  4. Live View Autofocus

    Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)

 CollapseMovie

  1. Movie Metering

    TTL exposure metering using main image sensor

  2. Movie Maximum Recording Time

    29 minutes 59 seconds
    Each movie will be recorded across up to 8 files of up to 4 GB each. The number of files and the length of each file vary with the options selected for Frame size/frame rate and Movie quality.

  3. Movie File Format

    MOV
    MP4

  4. Movie Video Compression

    H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding

  5. Movie Audio Recording Format

    Linear PCM
    AAC

  6. Movie

    4K UHD 3,840x2,160 / 30 fps
    4K UHD 3,840x2,160 / 25 fps
    4K UHD 3,840x2,160 / 24 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 60 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 50 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 30 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 25 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 24 fps
    HD 1,280x720 / 60 fps
    HD 1,280x720 / 50 fps
    Slow-motion: Full HD 1,920x1,080 30p (x4) 
    Slow-motion: Full HD 1,920x1,080 25p (x4) 
    Slow-motion: Full HD 1,920x1,080 24p (x5) 
    Actual frame rates for 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p are 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively
    Quality selection available at all sizes except 3,840 x 2,160 (when quality is fixed at high) and 1,920 x 1,080 slow-motion (when quality is fixed at normal)

  7. Movie Audio

    Built-in microphone, stereo
    External stereo microphone (optional) 
    Microphone sensitivity can be adjusted

 CollapseMonitor

  1. Monitor Size

    3.2  in. diagonal

  2. Monitor Resolution

    2,359,000  Dots

  3. Monitor Type

    Tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD

  4. Monitor Angle of View

    170 -degree wide-viewing angle

  5. Monitor Adjustments

    Brightness,  5  levels

  6. Virtual Horizon Camera Indicator

    Yes
    Also visible in LiveView Modes
    Also visible in Viewfinder

 CollapsePlayback

  1. Playback Functions

    Auto Image Rotation
    Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images) 
    Highlights
    Histogram Display
    Location Display
    Movie Playback
    Movie Slideshow
    Photo Information
    Photo Slideshow
    Picture Rating
    Playback with Zoom
    Playback Zoom Cropping

  2. In-Camera Image Editing

    D-Lighting
    Distortion Control
    Filter Effects
    Image Overlay
    Monochrome
    NEF (RAW) Processing
    Perspective Control
    Red-Eye Correction
    Resize
    Side-by-Side Comparison
    Straighten
    Trim
    Trim Movie

  3. Image Comment

    Yes

 CollapseInterface

  1. Interface

    Audio input: Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter; plug-in power supported) 
    HDMI output: Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
    Headphone Connector
    SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0 Micro-B connector); connection to built-in USB port is recommended
    Ten-pin remote terminal: Can be used to connect optional MC-30A/ MC-36A remote cords, ML-3 modulite remote control sets, WR-R10 (requires WR-A10 adapter) or WR-1 wireless remote controllers, or GP-1/ GP-1A GPS units

  2. Wi-Fi Functionality

    Standards: IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g
    Operating frequency: 2412–2462 MHz (channels 1–11) 
    Maximum output power: 8.5 dBm (EIRP) 
    Authentication: Open system, WPA2-PSK

  3. Bluetooth

    Yes
    Communication protocols: Bluetooth Specification Version 4.1
    Operating frequency: Bluetooth: 2402–2480 MHz
    Bluetooth Low Energy: 2402–2480 MHz

  4. GPS

    GP-1 GPS unit
    GP-1A GPS unit

  5. Save/Load Camera settings

    Yes

 CollapseMenus

  1. Total Custom Settings

    55

  2. My Menu

    Yes with customization

  3. Recent Settings

    Yes

  4. Supported Languages

    Arabic
    Bengali
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Bulgarian
    Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) 
    Czech
    Danish
    Dutch
    English
    Finnish
    French
    German
    Greek
    Hindi
    Hungarian
    Indonesian
    Italian
    Japanese
    Korean
    Marathi
    Norwegian
    Persian
    Polish
    Portuguese
    Romanian
    Russian
    Serbian
    Spanish
    Swedish
    Tamil
    Telugu
    Thai
    Turkish
    Ukrainian
    Vietnamese

  5. Date, Time and Daylight Savings Time Settings

    Yes

  6. World Time Setting

    Yes

 CollapsePower

  1. Battery / Batteries

    EN-EL15a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery

  2. Battery Life (shots per charge)

    1,840  shots (CIPA) 

     


    Movies:  Approx. 70 minutes of HD footage

  3. AC Adapter

    EH-5c/EH-5b AC Adapter; requires EP-5B Power Connector (available separately)

  4. Battery Charger

    MH-25a Quick Charger

 CollapseMiscellaneous

  1. Tripod Socket

    1/4 in.

  2. Approx. Dimensions (Width x Height x Depth)

    5.8  in. 

     

    (146  mm)

     

     x  4.9  in. 

     

    (124  mm)

     

     x  3.1  in. 

     

    (78.5  mm)

  3. Approx. Weight

    32.3  oz. 

     

    (915  g)

    camera body only

  4. Operating Environment

    Temperature: 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C) 
    Humidity: Less than 85% (no condensation)