Photographers considering a switch to mirrorless may want to rethink that notion. The Nikon D850 is official, and for those stateside, the price is shockingly low. Granted, $3,300 is still expensive for a camera, but most of us figured it’d hit over $4000 based on the specs.
The big number is the megapixel count. And a first for Nikon. It features a backside illuminated (BSI) full-frame CMOS sensor capable of 45.7 megapixels. The same sensor is capable of uncropped 4K video (looking at you Canon).
Here’s what Nikon has to say about the D850:
“The Nikon D850 is the new benchmark in DSLR image quality, with an unprecedented combination of resolution, dynamic range, ISO and processing power,” Nikon says. “The 45.7-megapixel CMOS sensor approaches medium format-level resolution […] This is also Nikon’s first DSLR to incorporate a BSI CMOS sensor, which captures light more efficiently, resulting in a wider dynamic range and low-noise image capture.”
Hit us with a marketing video Nikon.
I want to meet the sound person behind these videos.
Nikon D850 Specs
ISO range is 64-25600 (expandable to 32-102500). What about those of us who love to hold the shutter release down? Without the optional battery grip, it hits seven frames per second. Add the battery grip with the new EN-EL18a/b battery and frames per second hits nine. The buffer at 14-bit lossless RAW is capped at 51 shots. 12-bit lossless RAW has a buffer of 170 shots.
Speaking of RAW, the Nikon D850 is capable of three separate sizes: 45.4 megapixels for large photos, 25.6MP for medium photos and 11.4MP for small photos. The in-camera batch processing is capable of converting a large number of shots.
Powering the new camera is the same EXPEED 5 processor found in the flagship D5. It doesn’t just borrow the same processor; the D850 also grabs the AF system. It features a 153-point, Multi-Cam 20K AF system that uses 99 cross-type sensors (15 of them are sensitive to f/8).
Those not wanting an optical low pass filter can rest easy. It’s gone from the D850 to maximize sharpness in your photos.
If you need to work silently – weddings, etc. – the Nikon D850 does feature an electronic shutter that operates in complete silence in Live View. Frames per second hit six in full resolution. Those feelin’ a need for speed can drop down to 8.6MP and hit 30fps.
Nikon and Touch
Nikon went all in with the touchscreen. It’s a 3.2-inch, 2.359-million-pixel tilting LCD which boasts the best touch functionality of any Nikon camera to date. You can easily whip through the menu system with your finger.
Storage, Video and More
Dual card slots rule the day for the D850. One slot for an XQD card and the other for an SD card. It should be noted the SD card slot supports UHS-II for faster speeds. Other notable features include focus-stacking (you can shoot 300 focus bracketed shots for combining later on) and wireless connectivity via WiFi and Bluetooth.
Video. 4K UHD at a full-frame width of 16:9. No 60fps on the 4K. It’s stuck at 30fps. Slow-motion at 120fps is capped at 1080p. Damn it. Was hoping for 4K at 60fps.
Those wanting the ultimate in timelapse can shoot in 8K/4K.
We won’t have to wait long. It lands at your favorite retailer in September. It’s safe to say Nikon managed to have a solid 100th anniversary. And Nikon’s marketing department is quite pleased with itself:
“The Nikon D850 is much more than a camera, rather it’s a statement that Nikon is continuing to listen to customer needs, to innovate for the next 100 years, and bring to market a full-frame DSLR that exceeds the expectations of the professionals that rely on this caliber of camera to make a living,” says Nikon marketing director Kosuke Kawaura.
Wrapping the Announcement
While it seemed like Nikon was destined to underwhelm for its 100th anniversary, the D850 does wonders to right the ship. Now comes the challenge of entering the mirrorless market in 2018. Sony and the resurgence of Fujifilm are major competitors in the space. But I’m all for competition. The more camera manufacturers, the better for consumers. Sound off below on your thoughts on the Nikon D850. Hit or a miss?