Nikon D850

Extreme resolution meets extreme speed

When Nikon introduced the D800 and D800E, it set a new benchmark for DSLR image quality and super high resolution photography that approached medium format. Now, five years later, Nikon proudly introduces the next evolution in high resolution DSLRs, a camera that allows photographers to capture fast action in 45.7 megapixels of brilliant resolution.
The Nikon D850 is Nikon’s latest high resolution full-frame DSLR, boasting a 46MP backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. But, in a fairly radical departure for the series, it is also one of the company’s fastest-shooting DSLRs.
         Nikon D850 Camera Body

Key Specification

  • Nikon-designed back-side illuminated (BSI) full-frame image sensor with no optical low-pass filter
  • 45.7 megapixels of extraordinary resolution, outstanding dynamic range and virtually no risk of moiré
  • 153-point AF system linked to 180,000-pixel metering system
  • Up to 9 fps continuous shooting at full resolution with full AF performance
  • 8K and 4K time-lapse movies with new levels of sharpness and detail
  • 3.2″ Tilting touchscreen, Focus Shift shooting mode, outstanding battery performance and much more
  • 4K Ultra HD video recording, slow motion up to 120 FPS at 1080p
  • The lowest base ISO (ISO 64) of any DSLR or mirrorless camera
  • 19.4MP DX crop (or 8.6MP at 30fps for up to 3 sec)
  • SnapBridge full-time Bluetooth LE connection system with Wi-Fi
  • Advanced time-lapse options (including in-camera 4K video creation)
  • 1 XQD slot and 1 UHS II-compliant SD slot
  • Battery life rated at 1840 shots


The use of a backside illuminated (BSI) sensor means that the light collecting elements of the sensor are closer to the surface of the chip. This should not only increase the efficiency of the sensor (improving low light performance) but should also be expected to make the pixels near the edges of the sensor better able to accept light approaching with high angles of incidence, improving peripheral image quality.

Like the D810 before it, the D850 continues to offer an ISO 64 mode, that allows it to tolerate more light in bright conditions. The D850 promises the same dynamic range advantage as the D810, meaning it should be able to compete with the medium format sensors used in the likes of the Fujifilm GFX 50S and Pentax 645Z.


The removal of the camera’s built-in flash frees up room for a new viewfinder, so magnification is able to leap from 0.7x to 0.75x which is the largest optical viewfinder on any Nikon DSLR. The larger finder, which features a new condenser lens and an aspherical element in the design, retains a reasonable (17mm) eye point, we’re told, so the whole scene should be visible even for most glasses wearers.



As with previous Nikon cameras, the D850 has intervalometer functions built in, so that you can capture time lapses without any external accessories. This feature can be combined with the camera’s silent shutter live view mode, to avoid vibration or excessive wear on the mechanical shutter, though with the risk of rolling shutter.

The camera can either assemble the images together in a 4K video or retain the full resolution files, to allow you to create a full resolution time-lapse in third-party software. Nikon uses the camera’s high resolution to brand this second capability as “8K Timelapse,” since the images exceed the 7680 × 4320 dimension of that video format.

NIkon D850 Specifications

<trstyle=”background-color: #ffa07a;”>Physical

Amazon $3,296.95 (Camera Body)
Body type
Body type Mid-size SLR
Body material Magnesium alloy
Max resolution 8256 x 5504
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 5:4, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 46 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 47 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor type BSI-CMOS
Processor Expeed 5
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter array Primary color filter
ISO Auto, 64-25600 (expands to 32-102400)
Boosted ISO (minimum) 32
Boosted ISO (maximum) 102400
White balance presets 14
Custom white balance Yes (6 slots)
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW + TIFF
JPEG quality levels Fine, normal, basic
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • TIFF (RGB)
  • Raw (Nikon NEF, 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed)
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp No
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 151
Lens mount Nikon F
Focal length multiplier 1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3.2
Screen dots 2,359,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.75×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash modes Front-curtain sync (normal), Rear-curtain sync, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction with slow sync, Slow sync
Flash X sync speed 1/250 sec
Drive modes
  • Single-frame
  • Self-timer
  • Quiet shutter
  • Quiet continuous
  • Mirror-up
  • Continuous low
  • Continuous high
Continuous drive 9.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2, 5, 10, 20 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Highlight-weighted
  • Spot
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 Bracketing Yes (2-9 exposures in 1, 2, or 3EV increments)
Videography features
Format MPEG-4
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 120p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II supported) + XQD
USB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
USB charging No
HDMI Yes (mini HDMI)
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port Yes
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g + NFC + Bluetooth 4.1 LE
Remote control Yes (wired, wireless, smartphone)
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description EN-EL15a lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 1840
Weight (inc. batteries) 1005 g (2.22 lb / 35.45 oz)
Dimensions 146 x 124 x 79 mm (5.75 x 4.88 x 3.11)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes (4K movies or ‘8K’ stills)
GPS None

Tilt and touch

The tilting touchscreen LCD screen makes it easy to get the shot, even from high or low angles. Use Touch AF, Touch Shutter control and navigate menus, playback and more as if you were using a smartphone. Zoom in during Live View shooting and use the new Pinpoint AF to put focus right where you want it.

Autofocus & AF Tracking

Nikon says the D850 has the same autofocus system as both the D5 and D500, with 153 AF points (99 of which are cross-type), a dedicated AF processor and the ability to focus down to -4 EV with the central point. Indeed, we titled the D5 review with the phrase, ‘Setting new standards,’ due in no small part to the D5 having the best phase-detection autofocus system we’d ever tested.

We’ve already written a lot about subject tracking and Nikon’s 3D Tracking in particular. In spite of other cameras on the market perhaps offering more frames per second, more autofocus points, or both, we continue to find that the 3D Tracking implementation on the flagship D5 is still the best overall performer in terms of focus accuracy and tracking reliability. It’s remarkably reliable at automatically shifting the AF point to stick to your original subject.


Pros Cons
  • 45.7MP BSI-CMOS sensor with great low-and-high ISO performance
  • Native low ISO value of 64 offers class-leading dynamic range and rivals medium format options
  • Impressive 153-pt autofocus system derived from flagship D5
  • New mirror and shutter mechanisms nearly eliminate most blur issues
  • Excellent grip, ergonomics and controls
  • Rugged, weather-sealed construction
  • Dual slots, with XQD slot offering incredibly fast read and write speeds
  • Largest-ever optical viewfinder on a Nikon DSLR
  • Variety of 4K and 1080p video modes
  • Improved JPEG noise reduction and sharpening compared to D810
  • Generally great JPEG color
  • Tilting, high-resolution touchscreen
  • Great battery life
  • Automatic AF fine tune helps get the most out of your lenses
  • Snapbridge offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Innovative timelapse and focus stacking features
  • Live view autofocus still clunky for both stills and video shooting
  • Subject tracking not quite up to D5 standards
  • XQD cards still rare, somewhat pricey
  • Omission of built-in pop-up flash may turn off some users
  • Snapbridge is still finicky, even for basic image transfer
  • Snapbridge seems overly simplistic for high-end camera users
  • Lens calibration becomes absolutely critical at this resolution, and can be a pain point
  • Noticeable rolling shutter in 4K video
  • Focus peaking unavailable when shooting 4K video

Offering an impressive 45.7MP of resolution, 7fps burst shooting, full-width 4K video and a focusing system derived from the flagship D5, it looks as though Nikon’s thrown just about everything they’ve got into the D850, and priced it well to boot. Competitors with similarly specced megapixel counts such as the Sony a7R II and Canon EOS 5Ds R may be cheaper at this point in their lifetimes, but they also fall short of the D850 in a number of ways that may make a difference in the way you shoot.

           Nikon D850 Camera Body


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