The Nikon D850 is a high-resolution, semi-pro DSLR, and an update to the popular Nikon D800 and D810. Key features include:
45.7MP FX-format BSI CMOS sensor
Multi-CAM 20K 153-point autofocus system
Improved shooting speed
4K UHD video capture at 30 fps
45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor. The D850 features an all-new 35mm full-frame backside-illuminated 45.7MP sensor with no optical low-pass filter for maximum image sharpness. Despite its increased resolution, this BSI sensor offers improved ISO performance with a native range of 64-25,600, which is expandable to 32-102,400.
EXPEED 5 Image Processor. The EXPEED 5 image processor works with the sensor to give you markedly faster performance than the D800 and D810, letting you shoot continuously at 7 fps for up to 51 consecutive 14-bit lossless compressed RAW files in a single burst. You can use the optional MB-D18 grip and EN-EL18a battery to increase the shooting rate to 9 fps. In DX crop mode during Silent Live View, you can shoot at up to 30 fps.
Fast Autofocus. The D850’s expansive Multi-CAM 20K AF system offers 153 phase-detection AF points with 99 cross-type sensors. However, please note that only 55 of those points are selectable. This system gives you a range of autofocus modes, each of which is designed for shooting a different type of subject. The autofocus fine-tune feature will automatically ensure the best possible focus for the lens you’ve mounted. If all of this sounds familiar, that’s because this is the same system found in Nikon’s flagship D5.
4K UHD Video and 8K Time-Lapse. The D850 is capable of in-camera 4K UHD capture at 24/25/30p (DX crop only), Full HD capture at up to 1080/120p, and uncompressed output to an external recorder via an HDMI Mini input. You can capture stereo audio in-camera or with an external mic via 1/8-inch input, while a separate 1/8-inch headphone input enables audio monitoring. You also get focus peaking to help you with manual-focus control and zebra stripes to detect overexposure in the frame. The D850 can produce 8K time-lapses with its Interval Timer Mode or 4K time-lapses in-camera with up to 9,999 exposures for each method.
Scene Recognition System. The intelligent Scene Recognition System uses an 180,000-pixel RGB sensor to evaluate and analyze every element of a scene, and then quickly apply the best white-balance setting to render that scene.
SDHC/XC and XQD/CFexpress Slots. The D850 has one SDHC/XC slot (UHS II supported) and one XQD/CFexpress Type B slot, expanding your file-saving capabilities by allowing for overflow recording and in-camera file duplication, and by letting you separate RAW and JPEG files between two cards.
High-Quality Build. The D850 boasts an improved 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD with 2.359m-dot resolution. Its magnesium-alloy body features an ergonomic grip, weather-sealing, illuminated buttons, bright 0.75x optical pentaprism with 100% viewfinder coverage, and a EN-EL15b battery life rated at approximately 1,840 shots per charge. You can also use the optional MB-D18 grip and EN-EL18a battery for around 5,140 shots per charge.
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I think maybe we’re done now. The D850 bumps resolution up to 46 megapixels. That’s 46 backside-illuminated, low-pass filter free goodness. Let’s just summarize that with you don’t have to worry if...
I think maybe we’re done now. The D850 bumps resolution up to 46 megapixels. That’s 46 backside-illuminated, low-pass filter free goodness. Let’s just summarize that with you don’t have to worry if your lenses out-resolve this camera; they don’t. You can worry about moire’ if you’re paranoid, but at this high resolution it is very unlikely to be a problem. Backside illumination allows Nikon to cram in some extra circuitry for noise reduction and other goodness. Low and high ISO performance are still exceptional, even with the smaller pixels of the high-resolution sensor. Let’s just leave it at ‘this is all the sensor you could ever want’ and the resolution is as good as it gets.
Even with bigger files, the D850 shoots faster than its predecessors at 7 fps (9fps if you add a battery grip). The phase detection AF system is the same as the D5, so it’s improved over the D810; faster, more accurate, and with more options. There are other really nice features: an intervalometer for time lapse, 4k video, automated focus shift (for focus stacking or pixel-peeper testing of lenses), a second joystick for quick selection of AF points and more. The grip shape is redone and most people find it an improvement. The viewfinder is larger. Changes to the shutter and mirror should reduce mirror shock with telephoto lenses. Nikon is finally trying to catch up in video and there are clear improvements: higher resolution, focus peaking, zebras, HDMI output, etc. I’m not a video person, and it will be a while before we see how well they are actually implemented.
There are a few things that, while good, aren’t perfectly awesome. Built-in WiFi is nice, but Snap-Bridge isn’t; if you want a serious WiFi connection you’ll still need to use the WT-7A connectivity dongle. AF fine-tune is present, but you’ll probably need to read the manual to use it, and it’s limited to one focus-distance, focal length. (Nikon’s not particularly worse than the other manufacturers with this, but with such high resolutions sensors, lenses with dock-based AF adjustment, which can tune different focusing distances and focal lengths, really demonstrate their superiority. Yes, I know, you think you don’t need it. Just sit there in your wrongness and be wrong.) And unlike the excellent phase detection AF system, the live-view contrast detection AF is slow compared to other brands.
But honestly, those are nitpicking things for most users. This camera can do almost everything exceptionally well, and the other things at least well. Many years ago, I clearly remember first using a D3 and saying “Wow, this is amazing!” The D850 gives me nearly that same feeling. It’s a clear improvement, and at this moment probably the best overall SLR on the planet.
1:1, 3:2, 4:5
EN-EL15a Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
1/8" Headphone, 1/8" Microphone, HDMI C (Mini), Micro-USB, NIkon 10-Pin, USB 3.0, X-Sync Socket
Up to 7 fps at 45.7 MP for up to 51 Frames in RAW Format
|Dedicated Flash System||
5.7″ × 4.9″ × 3.1″
3.2" Rear Touchscreen Tilting LCD (2,359,000)
|Dust Reduction System||
Manual: Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO
Modes: Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority; Metering Range: EV -3.0 – EV 20.0; Compensation: -5 EV to +5 EV (in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV Steps)
|External Flash Connection||
Hot Shoe, PC Terminal
Still Images: JPEG, RAW, TIFF; Movies: MOV, MP4, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264; Audio: AAC, Linear PCM (Stereo)
-3 EV to +1 EV (in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps)
First-Curtain Sync, Rear Sync, Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Slow Sync/Red-Eye Reduction
Auto and manual
Auto, 64-25600 (Extended Mode: Auto, 32-102400)
45.4 MP: 8256 × 5504
|Maximum Sync Speed||
|Maximum Video Clip Length||
3840 × 2160 at 30 fps: 29 minutes, 59 seconds
|Memory Card Slot||
Slot 1: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
3D Color Matrix Metering, Center-Weighted Average Metering, Spot Metering, Highlight Weighted
Actual: 46.89 Megapixel; Effective: 45.7 Megapixel
20 seconds, 10 seconds, 5 seconds, 2 seconds
CMOS, 35.9 × 23.9mm
30 – 1/8000 second, Bulb Mode
3840 × 2160p at 23.98, 25, 29.97 fps (H.264); 1920 × 1080p at 23.98, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94, 120 fps (H.264); 1280 × 720p at 50, 59.94 fps
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