The Nikon D850 is a multimedia DSLR that demonstrates that speed and resolution can certainly coexist. It combines powerful stills skills with excellent video and time-lapse recording capabilities. The D850 is differentiated by its high resolution for recording detailed imagery, which is achieved through the use of a newly built 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor and the well-proven EXPEED 5 image processor.

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The sensor’s back-illuminated architecture allows it to capture more detail and clarity while operating in low-light circumstances, and it does so without the need of an optical low-pass filter, which results in sharper images in low-light conditions.

The EXPEED 5 image processor works in conjunction with the sensor to provide 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, depending on the situation.

An 8K time-lapse recording mode, as well as specialty recording modes for digitizing film negatives and focus stacking applications, are also available on the camera. An innovative Multi-CAM 20K 153-point AF system, which debuted with the flagship D5, contributes to the image capabilities by providing 99 cross-type sensors for enhanced focusing precision in a variety of lighting circumstances.

A number of multimedia image-makers will appreciate that the D850 is not just a high-resolution DSLR but also a camera that is fast, can shoot videos and is capable in low-light conditions.

The D850’s physical design is as polished as its image capabilities, which helps to strike a balance between the two. In order to meet their important shooting demands, photographers might benefit from an optical pentaprism with a big field of vision and 0.75x magnification.

This provides a bright, clear, and realistic view. In contrast, a 3.2 is a good score “It is also possible to purchase a 2.36m-dot LCD touchscreen for use in live view filming, playback, and menu navigation. The touchscreen has a tilting design that allows it to be used from both high and low angles.

In addition, weather-sealed construction is used to accommodate working in a range of climatic circumstances, and the optional MB-D18 grip may be added to increase overall shooting times and continuous shooting rates even further.

Also included is SnapBridge technology, which enables wireless sharing of low-resolution photos and remote live view viewing on a connected mobile device, as well as the usage of an optional WT-7a Wireless Transmitter for quicker wireless file transmission.

Nikon D850 Sensor

A 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor, which is a first for Nikon DSLRs, is employed for high-resolution shooting, exceptional low-light quality, and rapid readout times, which are beneficial for continuous shooting, movies, and time-lapse video recording, among other things.

With the back-illuminated sensor design, the high-sensitivity output is noticeably cleaner, resulting in reduced noise when working at high ISO values, up to a native ISO of 25600. The sensor also produces vivid and smooth images at sensitivities as low as ISO 64, thanks to the sensor’s back illumination.

In addition, the sensor’s design does not have the standard optical low-pass filter, which allows for the highest possible sharpness and resolution from the sensor.

The EXPEED 5 image processor, which is optimized for the sensor, provides a plethora of performance throughout the camera system, including the ability to shoot continuously at 7 frames per second for up to 51 consecutive 14-bit lossless compressed raw files in a single burst of up to 51 images.

When working with the optional MB-D18 handle and EN-EL18a/b battery, this shooting rate may be extended to 9 frames per second, and when working in a DX crop mode during Silent Live View, this rate can be increased to 30 frames per second.

Nikon D850 autofocus

AF system, which features 153 total phase-detection points, including 99 cross-type sensors for improved subject recognition, and 55 of the points are selectable for greater compositional freedom, is designed to complement the image sensor’s rendering capabilities and processing speed.

In order to take advantage of the employment of super telephoto lenses and teleconverters, 15 of the points, including nine selectable points, are compatible with an effective aperture of f/8, and all 153 points are capable of operating with an effective aperture of f/5.6 or brighter, which is advantageous.

A separate AF engine is in charge of managing a large number of focus points, and it provides quick response times to benefit tracking fast and randomly moving subjects, even at the highest shooting rate of 7 frames per second.

With the AF engine, you can expect improved focusing performance in low-contrast circumstances, with all points capable of focusing down to -4 EV for working in very dark environments.

In order to increase the adaptability of the focusing mechanism, several AF-area modes may be set to accommodate a variety of subject matter. These are as follows:

Single-Point AF: When focusing, the camera looks for a single point on the subject.

Dynamic-Area AF: This mode, which is available with 25, 72, or 153 focus points, employs a single primary focus point to lock onto focus and then makes use of the surrounding points to maintain focus while tracking wildly moving targets.

Group-Area AF: This mode considers smaller groupings of AF points as if they were a single point, resulting in a larger field of recognition. It is particularly useful for tracking faces or other intricate things.

Tracking in three dimensions (three-dimensional tracking): This mode uses the color information of a subject to employ all 153 points in order to keep the focus on a moving subject while half-pressing the shutter button.

This mode takes advantage of all 153 points in order to swiftly identify the main subject and then prioritizes identified faces in any AF servo mode while photographing portraits.

The last feature is the ability to use an exclusive auto AF fine-tune function to ensure that the best possible focus is achieved with each mounted lens.

As opposed to utilizing distance charts to obtain exact focus in live view, this feature allows you to fine-tune your focus manually in order to relieve front- and back-focusing difficulties.

Nikon D850 Video Quality

The D850 is a powerful multimedia camera that makes extensive use of the sensor and processing capabilities. It is capable of shooting video as well as still images. Video recording in 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) is available using either the full-frame area or a DX crop region at frame rates of 30p, 25p, or 24p utilizing either the full-frame area or a DX crop area.

Videos may be recorded in full HD 1080p resolution at up to 120 frames per second for slow-motion playback, and they are stored on the camera’s internal memory cards or as an uncompressed file to an optional external recorder through the HDMI out connector.

With regard to video recording, a separate power aperture button (Pv) allows for smooth, continuous exposure transitions when going from light to dark areas. Auto ISO may also be utilized to ensure consistent brightness when working in shifting lighting conditions.

When used in conjunction with manual focus adjustment, Focus Peaking can be beneficial, and a Zebra Stripes option is also available to aid in the detection of overexposed regions inside the frame. Using the built-in stereo microphone, you may record audio, or an optional external microphone can be connected via the 3.5mm stereo socket for even more control over the quality of the recording.

Live monitoring is also possible through the headphone port.

The D850 also combines still and video capabilities, with the ability to create 8K time-lapses using the Interval Timer Mode or in-camera 4K time-lapse movies, with the ability to record up to 9999 exposures for either method.

The D850 also has a variety of other features, including the ability to record up to 9999 exposures for either method using the Interval Timer Mode.

It also makes use of an energy-efficient silent interval timer, which does not generate shutter noise, does not contribute to wear on the shutter mechanism, and allows the battery life to be extended as much as possible.

Nikon D850 Specs

Body typeMid-size SLR
Max resolution8256 x 5504
Image ratio w:h1:1, 5:4, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels45 megapixels
Sensor photodetectors47 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorExpeed 5
ISOAuto, 64-25600 (expands to 32-102400)
Boosted ISO (minimum)32
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets14
Custom white balanceYes (6 slots)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW + TIFF
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points151
Lens mountNikon F
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots2,359,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.75×
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesNo
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash modesFront-curtain sync (normal), Rear-curtain sync, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction with slow sync, Slow sync
Continuous drive7.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10, 20 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (2-9 exposures in 1, 2, or 3EV increments)
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II supported) + XQD
USBUSB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingNo
HDMIYes (mini HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notes802.11b/g + NFC + Bluetooth 4.1 LE
Remote controlYes (wired, wireless, smartphone)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL15a lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)1840
Weight (inc. batteries)1005 g (2.22 lb / 35.45 oz)
Dimensions146 x 124 x 79 mm (5.75 x 4.88 x 3.11″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (4K movies or ‘8K’ stills)

Nikon D850 Price

18 new from $2,039.00
as of November 27, 2022 11:16 am
13 new from $2,496.95
47 used from $1,695.95
as of November 27, 2022 11:16 am

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Freelance journalist Corey has been writing about digital photography since 2006, first as a deputy editor and then as the editor of a variety of photographic journals. Featuring expert product reviews and in-depth features


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