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News & Insight

Nikon D850 Officially Announced | Here’s The Best Nikon Has To Offer In 2017

By Wendell Weithers on August 23rd 2017

The day has finally come. Nikon has unveiled the D850 and, by doing so, they have set the all the speculation and hype on a collision course with reality. One month ago to the day, Nikon sent a warning shot across the bow of its competitors that they were intent on making waves with their next camera.

This shot was also a beacon of hope the Nikon faithful and a signal to return to those recently departed. The photography world has been watching and waiting but, now the wait now is over. Will Hercules finally rise? Or, is this a trial he cannot overcome?

According to Kosuke Kawaura, Director of Marketing and Planning:

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.

Highlights

  • 45.7megapixel FX-format (Full-frame) CMOS sensor, Nikon’s first Backside Illuminated sensor in a DSLR
  • 7 fps capture, or up to 9 fps with optional battery grip (new (MB-D18) and EN-EL18a/b battery)
  • 4K video at the full width of the sensor
  • 153 point AF system
  • Expeed 5 image processing engine
  • Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • Buffer approximately 51 frames of 14-bit lossless RAW capture / 170 frames of 12-bit lossless

According to the Official Nikon Press Release:

Users can choose from 3 sizes of RAW files to enhance workflow, including Large (45.4-MP), Medium (25.6-MP) and Small (11.4-MP). Additionally, the D850 lets users batch process RAW files in camera, saving time in post-production.

Nikon is looking to demonstrate the versatility of the D850 by launching several genre specific videos in the hope of attracting as many kinds of photographers as possible.  And by the looks the confirmed specs, it certainly looks up to the task.

Nikon is not known for its well-rounded video offering but, on paper, this camera appears to be a strong attempt to change that perception. Here’s a deeper look at the video features.

Per the official Nikon press release:

Multimedia Production Ready

Multimedia content creators and filmmakers alike will appreciate a wide range of considerate, industry-leading new features that can help to elevate any production:

  • Full-frame 4K UHD at 24/30 fps: The D850’s FX BSI CMOS sensor allows 4K UHD output at a full-frame width at 16:9, to increase lensing options and provide a true field of view.
  • Slow Motion: Creators can also capture Full HD 1080p at up to 120 fps (4x or 5x) for dramatic slow-motion video capture.
  • Focus Peaking: When shooting Full HD or in Live View for stills, focus peaking can be enabled which highlights in-focus subjects in the frame to ensure sharpness.
  • 8K / 4K Time-lapse: Users can create 4K UHD time-lapse videos easily in-camera, or can use the built in intervalometer to capture images for an ultra-high resolution 8K time lapse that can be assembled in post for those who want the ultimate in video quality.
  • Zebra stripes: The D850’s highlight display mode uses zebra patterns to quickly spot overblown highlights. What’s more, the zebra patterns come in two varieties, selectable according to the patterns and textures of the subjects.
  • HDMI output: Using HDMI, users can record uncompressed, broadcast quality 4:2:2 8-bit 4K UHD footage, directly to an external digital recorder while simultaneously recording to a card.
  • Audio Control: The D850 features an onboard stereo microphone, as well as inputs for headphones and microphone. The camera also features a new audio attenuator to regulate sound levels.

This is Nikon’s response to the Canon’s 5DM4 and a preemptive strike against whatever full frame Sony releases next.  This could get interesting.

The Nikon D850 is now available for preorder for $3,296.95 and will ship in September.

Wendell is based in Atlanta where he shoots events, portraits, and food photography. He also supports his wife Andrea as she runs their cake design business, Sweet Details.

Instagram: Wendellwphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Adrian Gojan

    If the Nikon D850 will have the same production plant as D810 in Thailand, it means it’s crap. I say it with all responsibility. Devices of poor quality, new and mold, with back-focus, with operating errors, focusing problems, etc.

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  2. Vince Arredondo

    I’m also waiting on the performance of the medium Raw. If it compromises ISO performance in low light and quality then I’ll pass on this one. As a wedding photographer, 45.7 mp is a lot of storage space and I might even require a new computer to haul all those files….

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    • Kyle Stauffer

      I couldn’t agree more. Resolution has been one of the most overrated camera specs of the last 5 years. 

      I laugh at the Nikon ambassadors on youtube pushing it…. “just look at the increase in detail in this photo”…. Sorry, your video is maxed at 1080p (2mp) and  you also aren’t zooming into eternity. Can’t see it lol. 

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  3. Kyle Stauffer

    Really curious about the high ISO while in small or medium RAW. In theory, would it be as good in low light as a newly released 12 or 25mp full frame sensor with larger pixels?

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  4. Lenzy Ruffin

    I really hope to see this camera do well because, hopefully, it will force Canon to not hold back on the successor to the 5D4.

    I bought a Fuji X-T2 in December to have something small to shoot for fun and it has proven to be more than up to the task for professional use. I need Canon to put its best effort into every camera the way all the other manufacturers do or I’ll have to do as others have done and move on.

    Congrats to the Nikon shooters. If you’re in event photography and you’ve never shot with an articulating screen (I hadn’t until I bought that Fuji), it is way more significant a feature than you can imagine.

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    • Kyle Stauffer

      I agree and I hope the live view control and AF of this camera utilizes it better than previous Nikon’s!

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    • Wendell Weithers

      Hey, Lenzy I totally agree and articulating screen is incredibly useful. Once you adapt to using it there is no going back. I image the Canon response may come in the form of the 5DSR/5DS replacement and I have no idea about the time table for that. But, you’re right, Canon can’t hold back,

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    • Chuck Eggen

      Agree 100% on the tilting screen!  One of the things I love about the D500 for events.  Will also be nice for landscapes near ground.  I won’t look like a walrus rolling around on the ground while trying to look through the viewfinder.

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    • Paul Empson

      I cover weddings with Nikon D810 & D750.. both excellent though I’ve just sold my Fuji X-T1 for the X-T2 as its just so much more the way I want to shoot.  Nikon’s  Liveview just can’t compare to the X-T1 never mind ‘2 I doubt the D850 will be any different.

      I don’t need more MP, 24 is enough, I’ve a 2m square backdrop for my wedding stand shot on a 12mp D700… enough with the pixel bloat already!

      Nikon really needs to look at a mirrorless setup as I can see my current bodies becoming backup very quickly.

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