Last Updated on January 13, 2019
- 45.7MP FX-Format back-side illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor
- EXPEED 5 Image Processor
- 4K UHD (3840x2160) video at up to 30 fps
- ISO: 64-25,600 (Expanded: 32-102,400)
- 7 fps continuous shooting for 51 Frames with AE/AF
- Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module, 153-Point AF System
- 8K and 4K time-lapse movies
- 3.2 in. 2.359M-Dot Tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD
The excitement resulting from the announcement of the Nikon D850 was understandable: this camera was packed with features that can improve the experience of taking pictures. It comes as no surprise that demand for the DSLR surged following the announcement, prompting Nikon to issue a statement that it can’t fulfill all pre-orders planned for release on September 8.
Nikon’s inability to deliver pre-orders prompts the question: what is it about the Nikon D850 that has the public clamoring to buy it?
On paper, the specs look impressive: the combination of resolution, dynamic range, ISO and processing power is unprecedented. This is the first Nikon DSLR to feature a BSI CMOS sensor for more efficient light capture resulting in low-noise images and a wide dynamic range.
Powered by an EXPEED 5 image processing engine, the D850 is fast: shooting up to 7 frames per second but can be bumped up to 9 frames per second with the use of a battery grip and EN-EL18a/b battery.
The camera can take 45.7MP resolution images and shoot 4K UHD video up to 30fps. It has an impressive native ISO range of 64 to 25600 which can be expanded to 32 to 102400 allowing more creative photography options.
Nikon D850’s autofocusing system is inherited from the D5, a 153-point, Multi-Cam 20K system that uses 99 cross-type sensors.
Sitting at the back of the camera is a 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen LCD that makes it easier to compose shots from different angles. Like most touch-enabled LCD screens, it allows users to set autofocus, control shutter, and navigate menus.
Apart from being fast, the D850 is also silent, which comes in handy for photographers who cover events where silence is golden.
Shooting focus-stacked images is also made easier with the camera’s focus shift photography function that allows 300 frames to be shot in sequence with the focus position gradually shifting from start to infinity.
Being protected against the elements is also a plus for the Nikon D850. The camera is weather and dust sealed. Plus, its body is made of magnesium alloy.
Illuminated buttons also make the camera much easier to use for photographers who work in the cover of night or in other low-light conditions.
Upgrade or switch?
No doubt users of other camera brands would be intrigued by what the D850 brings. But is the switch worth it? Also, Nikon users may be mulling over upgrading or purchasing the model to serve as a companion to their current unit.
Whichever the case, any interest in the Nikon D850 also means a willingness to part with more than $3,000. Not only that, getting the maximum benefit requires forking over an additional $900.
In short, the D850 offers a bunch of great features but at a great cost. Users who want to upgrade from its predecessor, the D810, might find the idea tempting given the across-the-board upgrades.
Certain factors should definitely be considered before taking a leap, and as recently announced, Nikon can’t deliver all units by the promised September 8 release date due to overwhelming requests.