Handling the D850 is similar to hopping back onto a bicycle for any photographer who has shot using a Nikon DSLR before. It keeps a lot of the same layout of earlier versions, yet has a few vital updates from its predecessors.
On paper, the Nikon D850 includes a jaw-dropping spec that is tailored for just about any topic or situation. Although it isn’t exactly inexpensive, it hits the market at a price that’s lower than what many pros expected. The D850 looks incredibly promising and the time has come to take a closer review.
Thanks to the light-collecting elements being closer to the surface of the sensor, the BSI layout should deliver better low-light performance than previous sensors. Just as we’ve seen with the D810 (and D800e), the D850 forgoes an anti-aliasing filter, meaning more detail could be eked out of the sensor, although there is the added chance of moiré patterning.
Inside the Nikon D850 is an all-new 45.7-megapixel full-frame (FX-format) CMOS sensor, which does away with an optical low-pass filter. It packs gapless on-chip micro-lenses, having a backside-illuminated structure to maximize its light-gathering capabilities.
The D850 can shoot 4K UHD movie in FX format free of sensor cropping at up to 30p, allowing you to take full advantage of the field of view of your smartphone. Lower-resolution video modes are also available, such as Full HD footage from 60p, whilst 4K UHD timelapse movies could be created in-camera.
Though the camera serves up lots of physical controllers, users can make some alterations via the LCD screen. The touch interface brings anticipated choices such as touch-to-focus, but in addition offers smartphone-like playback features, letting you swipe through your own photos or pinch to zoom.
We have seen Nikon effort to quieten its DSLRs in the past with the addition of shooting modes that effectively enhance the sound of mirror slap. The D850 is outfitted with two these modes (one offering 3fps continuous shooting) and both can be located in the drive mode dial to the top corner of the body.
The 51-point autofocus system in the D810 remains among the greatest actors out there, but Nikon has equipped the D850 with the exact same Multi-CAM 20K AF module because of its flagship D5.
The optical viewfinder has the biggest magnification on a Nikon full-frame DSLR. It also gets a new crop preview quality that grays out regions of the framework when shooting in aspect ratios other than 3:2. Sure, you could always just harvest your photos after the fact, but this makes it easier to find out what the final essay will look like while you are shooting.
When it comes to high-ISO sound functionality, the D850 does not disappoint. Images around ISO3200 display excellent levels of detail, with minimal noise, while in ISO3200 there’s barely any luminance (grain-like) noise in images and no trace of chroma (color) noise.
The tradeoff for more megapixels is often noisy, but that doesn’t appear to be a problem here. The D850 uses a backside-illuminated detector, only the second full-frame version to do so after Sony’s A7R II. This enhances light sensitivity, and also in our experience, high-ISO photos came out with a low degree of sound.
Being such a versatile camera, I found myself shooting a wide range of subjects in several different environments to find out how the D850 performs. To begin with, I used the camera to take a series of arenas and quickly found myself blown away by the astonishing detail the detector resolves.
While it’s good the D850 can capture shots without a hing of a sound, then you are still totally hooked on contrast-detection for autofocus in Live View, both when shooting stills and movie. I did find myself missing a couple of important shots where the D850 fought to lock on fast enough, at which point I reverted to phase-detection focusing and composing via the viewfinder at the price of louder operation.
The D850 may also shoot 4K video at 30 fps, and while it is not Nikon’s first 4K camera, it’s the first to take 4K from the entire width of the sensor. We found video quality to be excellent, with sharp detail and rich colour, and receiving the full-frame appearance in movie mode is a definite plus.
Once you’ve set up the interval and shooting time, you get a visual of how much space the time-lapse will take on your own SD or XQD card, as well as the suggested length of the time-lapse after the finish. It is simply a matter of starting beginning to initiate a 4K time-lapse. But it is worth noting that those who would like to generate an 8K time-lapse will have to shoot Raw and execute the files via a third-party program because this can not be achieved in-camera.
The Nikon D850 combines big resolution and snappy speed within a familiar and durable magnesium alloy body. Insert excellent image quality, excellent autofocus (except in dwell perspective ), 8K and 4K time-lapses, 4K video, 120 fps Total HD slow motion, and a well-organized controller scheme and the D850 is on track for the very best DSLR of the year.