Proving that speed and resolution can indeed coexist, the Nikon D850 DSLR is a multimedia DSLR that brings together robust stills capabilities along with apt movie and time-lapse recording. Revolving around a newly designed 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor and proven EXPEED 5 image processor, the Nikon D850 is clearly distinguished by its high resolution for recording detailed imagery.
The back-illuminated design of the sensor is able to acquire greater detail and clarity when working in low-light conditions, and the sensor also forgoes an optical low-pass filter for improved sharpness. Working in conjunction with the sensor is the EXPEED 5 image processor, which together afford a 7 fps continuous shooting rate for up to 51 consecutive frames, an expandable sensitivity range from ISO 32 to 102400, and 4K UHD video recording using either a DX crop or the entire area of the full-frame sensor. An 8K time-lapse recording mode is also available, as well as additional specialized recording modes for digitizing film negatives and for focus stacking applications.
Benefitting the imaging capabilities is an advanced Multi-CAM 20K 153-point AF system, which debuted with the flagship D5 and offers 99 cross-type sensors for refined focusing accuracy in a variety of lighting conditions. Checking off a number of boxes for multimedia image-makers, the D850 positions itself as not only a high-resolution DSLR but also as a camera for speed, movies, and low-light shooting needs.
Nikon D850 DSLR Specifications
- Type: Single-lens reflex digital camera
- Effective Pixels (Megapixels): 45.7 million
- Sensor size: 35.9 mm x 23.9 mm
- Image sensor type: CMOS
- Total pixels: 46.89 million
- 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 FormatsNEF (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)
- Storage media: 1 XQD card and 1 Secure Digital (SD) card, SD, SDHC (UHS-II compliant), SDXC (UHS-II compliant), XQD Type Memory.
- 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.
- Lens aperture: Instant-return type, Electronically controlled
- 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.
- Exposure metering system: TTL exposure metering using approximately 180K (180,000) pixels RGB sensor
- 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 dataSpot: 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Movie file format: MOV, MP4
- Movie recording: – 4K UHD 3,840×2,160 / 30 fps– 4K UHD 3,840×2,160 / 25 fps– 4K UHD 3,840×2,160 / 24 fps– Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 60 fps – Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 50 fps – Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 30 fps – Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 25 fps – Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 24 fps – HD 1,280×720 / 60 fps– HD 1,280×720 / 50 fps– Slow-motion: Full HD 1,920×1,080 30p (x4)– Slow-motion: Full HD 1,920×1,080 25p (x4)– Slow-motion: Full HD 1,920×1,080 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).
- Monitor: 3.2 in. diagonal, Tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD
- Interface: Audio input: Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter; plug-in power supported) HDMI output: Type C mini-pin HDMI connectorHeadphone ConnectorSuperSpeed 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
- Phisical characteristics: Dimensions (Width x Height x Depth): 5.8 in. (146 mm) x 4.9 in. (124 mm) x 3.1 in. (78.5 mm)Weight: 32.3 oz. (915 g) camera body only
Reviewback to menu ↑
Nikon D850 DSLR – Features
The Nikon D850 has a 45.7-megapixel full-frame (FX-format) CMOS sensor not previously seen in any other camera. Like many other later Nikon models it does not have an optical low pass filter. This means there is some theoretical risk of more effects in fine patterns and textures, but the payback is extra-sharp fine detail rendition.
This sensor also features gapless on-chip micro-lenses, with the latest back-illuminated design to maximise its light-gathering capabilities. In effect, the sensor’s layout is reversed so that the wiring is behind the light receptors rather than in front, and no longer obstructs any light. The effect can be sen in the D850’s wider ISO range – its predecessor, the D810, had a native ISO range of 64-12,800 (expandable to ISO 32-51,200), but the D850 offers ISO 64-25,600, expandable to ISO 32-102,400. Normally, higher resolution brings a lower maximum ISO range, but the D850’s sensor offers an improvement in both respects.
Running at 7fps the D850 offers a 51-frame raw buffer. That’s very good for a camera with this resolution, if not quite up to the standard of the Nikon D5. It has both an XQD card slot and a UHS-II compatible SD card slot, so it offers potentially very fast data capture for sports and action photographers.
Nikon D850 DSLR also inherits Nikon’s best autofocus system – again lifted directly from the D5. It has 153 focus points (55 of these are user-selectable), including 99 of the more accurate cross-type AF sensors, and 15 that will work with lens and teleconverter combinations with an aperture of f/8. The centre point is sensitive to -4EV, and the rest to -3EV, allowing the camera to focus quickly in low light.
Autofocus modes include auto area, 3D colour tracking, single point AF and the option to select the number of continuous (AF-C) focus points from a group of 9, 25, 72 or 153. In Live View, there’s a new pinpoint AF mode that’s designed to ease precise focusing on smaller subjects in the frame, but the key point here is that the D850 still relies entirely on slower contrast detection for autofocus. The on-chip phase-detection sensor used in the Nikon Z7 was still a long way off when the D850 was designed.
Impressive list of features with a new in-camera focus bracketing mode to create extended depth-of-field composites (focus stacking), as well as a new Natural Light Auto White Balance option, which promises optimal results in outdoor lighting.
On the back, the D850 has the largest optical viewfinder so far on a Nikon DSLR, with a 0.75x magnification, and below this is a high resolution 2.36m-dot tilting LCD. It’s similar to the screen on the Nikon D500 and offers touch control of menu navigation, image browsing in playback mode and AF point positioning in Live View.back to menu ↑
Nikon D850 DSLR – Body and design
Nikon has once again produced an incredibly strong camera that feels superbly constructed, albeit with a few subtle body changes over the D810. Professional full-frame DSLRs have to be built like tanks if they’re to be robust enough to put up with the rigours of daily use, and the D850 is no exception.
Nikon D850 DSLR camera is built around a magnesium alloy chassis for strength and rigidity, and it’s fully sealed against moisture, dust and dirt. There’s no pop-up flash, however. This was useful on the D810 for triggering other flashes remotely, but D850 users will have to rely on external Speedlights or remote flash trigger add-ons instead. That’s pretty standard for pro-level cameras these days.
From the front, the D850 doesn’t appear all that different from the D810. When you get it in your hands, though, you’ll notice that the grip has been reworked and made a fraction deeper. It’s fine for even the largest of hands and leaves your index finger resting comfortably on the shutter release.
At the rear you get the usual menu, lock, playback zoom and OK buttons parallel to the left of the screen, but there’s also a new customisable Fn2 button in the bottom corner that’s brilliant for rating images in playback. It can also be setup to access My Menu and toggle between stills and movie shooting info in Live View. The integrated Live View button and stills/movie switch has shifted down and the info button is useful for viewing key exposure settings on-screen.back to menu ↑
Nikon D850 DSLR – Autofocus
Nikon’s pro DSLRs have a reputation for fast and accurate focusing, and the Nikon D850 DSLR is no exception, using the same Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module seen in Nikon’s flagship D5. It can be relied upon to acquire focus faster than you thought possible, though this will depend on the lens used and the speed of its internal AF motors.
Autofocus is most impressive in very poor lighting conditions. Dimly lit dance floors at wedding venues and low-light wildlife shots are just a couple of examples where I found the capabilities of the Nikon D850 DSLR ’s autofocus system excelled my expectations.
From the Autofocus custom setting menu you can refine AF settings to suit your way of shooting. For example, you can speed up or slow down the blocked shot AF response, and tell the camera whether you’re shooting an erratic or steady-moving subject from the Focus tracking with lock-on settings. Users are given the option to reduce the number of selectable AF points from 55 to 15, and back button focusing is easy enough to setup from the AF activation sub menu.back to menu ↑
Nikon D850 DSLR – Performance
The marriage of high resolution, fast focus speed and tilt-angle screen allowed me to capture shots bursting with detail from low-angles, and far more easily than any previous high resolution DSLR Nikon has produced.
The crystal-clear rear display, with its responsive touch control and accurate colour rendition, is excellent for monitoring results. I regularly used the double-tap function combined with the rear dial to quickly zoom into 100% and check focus between shots. Even if you’re not overly keen on the idea of using a touchscreen on a DSLR, the Nikon D850 DSLR ‘s is so good you’re likely to use it more than you think, especially to navigate the menu.back to menu ↑
Nikon D850 DSLR offers a staggering blend of resolution, speed, performance and image quality. It’s a truly stunning camera, especially for those who prefer DSLRs (and their battery lives) to mirrorless cameras.back to menu ↑
Price History for Nikon D850 45.7MP Full-Frame FX-Format Digital SLR Camera - Black (Body Only)
|Current Price||$2,669.95||May 23, 2019|
|Highest Price||$10,000,000,000.00||April 5, 2019|
|Lowest Price||$0.08||March 8, 2019|
Last price changes
|$2,669.95||May 23, 2019|
|$2,848.89||May 18, 2019|
|$2,848.90||May 17, 2019|
|$2,848.91||May 3, 2019|
|$58.00||April 27, 2019|
Pros and cons
|Price history for Nikon D850 45.7MP Full-Frame FX-Format Digital SLR Camera - Black (Body Only)|
- 45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor
- EXPEED 5 Image Processor
- 3.2" 2.36m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
- 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps
- Multi-CAM 20K 153-Point AF System
- Native ISO: 64-25600, Extended: 32-102400
- 7 fps Shooting for 51 Frames with AE/AF
- 8K Time-Lapse, Negative Digitizer Mode
- 180k-Pixel RGB Sensor, Focus Shift Mode
- SnapBridge Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
- No phase detection AF in Live View
- Touchscreen operation doesn’t include key exposure settings
- Wireless SnapBridge connectivity needs improvement