DSLR Cameras DSLR Review Technology Review

Nikon D850 Review

Since the Nikon D850 first came to the market at the end of 2017 it has been met with resounding praise from high-end enthusiasts and professionals alike.

The latest high-resolution full-frame DSLR from Nikon, it is one of the fastest-shooting DSLRs on the market and is packed with a plethora of useful features.

With a 46MP backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and UHD 4K video capture, it is a camera that is just as good for those wishing to film with it as shoot. Versatile and well-performing in all aspects, it’s an all-rounder camera that continues to impress, time after time.

Body and controls

The Nikon D850 has an ergonomically designed body made from a tough magnesium alloy frame with extensive weather sealing, ideal for shooting no matter the weather.

Working in the dark is made easier than ever with illuminated buttons and you will notice Nikon has removed the pop-up flash which isn’t usually seen in the most professional and resilient DSLRs as standard.

The grip has been reworked from the period D810 model to accommodate larger hands and it is created to perfectly rest your index finger on the shutter button.

The Nikon D850 comes with two memory card slots – both very fast – one for UHD II SD cards and one for XQD cards as well as a well-designed sensor created with no anti-aliasing filter so it can capture the finest of details. Buttons are laid out logistically and it is easy to navigate and control.

A new joystick enables easy shifting of the focus point, perfect for when you have framed the ideal shot and don’t want to get out of position.

Image quality

There are many elements to the Nikon D850 that contribute to its exceptional quality. The first of these is a backside illuminated sensor which not only increases the efficiency of the sensor but also allows for easier acceptance of approaching light, improving the quality of peripheral images.

It has an ISO 64 mode to tolerate brighter light conditions and has an advanced 153-point intelligent multi-CAM 20k AF system with a dedicated AF processor for very sharp, focused results.

Focus can be selected easily through the buttons or touch screen, which with a 2,359k-dot LCD display offers crisp previews of your photos. For astronomy photographers or those looking to shoot in low-noise situations, it has a silent shooting capability in live view that uses an electronic shutter to reduce shutter shake and can capture full-res images and video.

Video specs

The Nikon D850 excels in terms of video quality and is the first Nikon DSLR to capture 4k video from the full sensor width. It can simultaneously output uncompressed 4:2:2 8-bit UHD to an external recorder while also recording to the card and has a clever folding port cover for the headphone/microphone socket.

If you switch from 4k filming to 1080 it has a slow-motion mode which is great for sport or dramatic videos and can capture 120 frames per second. The 1080 mode also has digital stabilisation and focus peaking which make the filming experience that bit smoother.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Class-leading resolution
  • Dynamic design
  • Strong in both videography and photography
  • Very fast AF speed
  • Weather-sealed magnesium alloy body
  • Built-in wifi and Bluetooth
  • Integrated Snapbridge image viewing and editing system
  • In-camera RAW batch processing
  • Larger optical viewfinder
  • Tilting 3.2 inch hd touchscreen
  • Outstanding battery life

Cons

  • Live view mode slow to detect autofocus
  • 30 minute limit for video clips
  • No 4K at 60fps
  • No built-in flash Lack of low-pass filter

Conclusion

The Nikon D850 is a highly versatile camera and one of the leading items in its class. Its many strong points vastly outweigh the small number of negatives and it is a camera that can do it all – and do it very well. It is excellently built, finished to a high spec and offers both speed and resolution. This is a camera that fits the bill no matter what you’re after and will take fantastic photos time after time.

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