Review: Nikon D850
Nikon’s flagship DSLR, the D850, replaces the ageing D810, and is significantly better in most respects. The highlight is the 45.7-megapixel full-frame, back-illuminated (BSI) sensor. The advantage is that the imaging circuitry is placed behind the sensor, which increases the amount of light it can capture,compared with more conventional sensor hardware. DSLR cameras don’t generally have any issues with low-light captures, but what this change additionally does is that it reduces distortions which are common in inconsistent lighting photos.
The Focus Shift feature improves the detailing and sharpness in macro photos—the camera takes a series of photos of the same subject with different focus distances and combines these together to improve the depth of the final photo. Irrespective of whether you are using RAW images for greater dynamic range, or JPEG images for the sake of smaller file sizes to share on social media, the quality remains consistent. It is at the really high ISO settings that the D850 truly shines over the predecessor, with excellent sharpness, colours and detailing
The D850’s impressive photo quality is not just because of the new sensor. Nikon has upgraded the D850 to use a 153-point autofocus system and there is also a parallel processing system to improve focus speeds too, which means up to nine frames of high-speed continuous shots (also known as burst photos). We noticed that the system is sensitive enough to not stumble even when the ambient lighting is really low.
It was perhaps expected that 4K video capabilities will also be a part of the D850, which is limited to 30 frames per second. The D850’s high resolution hardware is utilized for a mode known as 8K Timelapse, which makes this even more relevant if you are interested in astrophotography.
In terms of the design, the D850 has the same chunky design as the predecessor, but is slightly slimmer than before. There are lots of buttons, and they now illuminate, which makes it easier to use during nighttime photography. The 3.2-inch viewfinder display is a touchscreen, while the Nikon on-screen menus remain largely the same.
There is no doubt that the D850 is a true flagship-level DSLR camera, and it is hard to find faults with this. It will work with various genres of photography, and the new sensor paired with the updated focus system and the increased speed of image-processing makes it a camera that professional photographers will surely consider.
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