Nikon D850

Bishara Mustafa, Kuwait

17/9/2017

At last I got my hand on the most anticipated camera of the year 2017 “Nikon D850” the successor to D810 last Thursday. As of now this camera happen to be the most versatile DSLR in the market boasting its 45.7 MP sensor and ISO range from 64 all the way to 25,600. By default, it has 7fps continuous shooting which can be bumped up to 9fps by adding the battery grip.

 

Very well constructed weather sealed body which can satisfy all the different segments of photographers from studio to landscape and architecture all the way to sports and wildlife. The hand grip has been redesigned making it deeper giving a firm grip to the photographer while the overall shape of the body has almost similar dimensions to the D810. The controls are similar to the D810 with minor changes, for the good. There is now one more customizable Fn2 button on the back of the camera.

More features include a tilt screen, which is very much similar to the D750 tilting up and down with the addition of touch to focus and click feature. A new and very handy thumb operated joystick which controls the focus point and press for AE-L function. The mode button and the ISO buttons have been swapped compared to the D810, making it more easier and faster to control the ISO speed with 1 hand.  As other Nikon camera’s around the shutter button is the on-off switch and pushing further on from the on position, the LCD panel lights up making it easy to work in low light situations. Unlike its predecessor, D810, the flash does not exist on the D850, buy I happen to notice 2 holes on both sides in the same place. These happen to be the holes where the mic is positioned.

And Yes, this time they have a SD card and a XQD card slots… (got rid of the CF cards)

My Shots with D850

Below are a set of shots i had done during the limited time i had with the camera.  ( Most of the images are straight out of the camera)

Most of these shots have been taken from rooftops of skyscrapers. I was very much surprised upon looking at the results of the image, the excellent dynamic range was outstanding from any of the cameras i have used before, be it in Nikon or other brands.  Recently all Nikon DSLRs have been known for their great dynamic range performance, and the D850 is no exception. 

 

The result was a well balanced, well-exposed photos that didn't need any major adjustments while post-processing. For the below images, i simply tweaked the shadows and highlights when processing the RAW files, which quickly  revealed the details without any harm to the quality. 

I seriously fell in love with this machine, till then i was under the impression i would get similar results to the D750, except to the fact of higher resolution on cropped images.

SS - 13.0 sec, F-22, ISO -64 @50mm

SS - 6.0 sec, F-11, ISO -64 @24mm

SS - 1/50, F 2.8, ISO - 10000

SS - 2.5sec, F 5.6, ISO - 160

SS - 2.5sec, F 5.6, ISO - 160

ISO

The Nikon D850 has a base ISO of 64, but you can expand it up to 25,600. Beyond that, you can push the ISO two full stops (Hi 1 and Hi 2 settings) to get corresponding ISO values of 51,200 and 102,400, respectively. Nikon uses the “Hi” nomenclature to denote sensitivities that are not truly “in-spec” and in accordance with the ISO standard.

The maximum i have pushed so far was upto ISO 10000.. shots below

SS - 1/800, F 2.8, ISO - 8000 

When doing sports and action photography, shutter speed is critical, which means i have to  push the ISO well above its base value.

These are few of my test shots, see how it fares.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but at the output the high ISO performance is superb. The grains on the colours  was extremely well controlled, and luminance is tight.  The grains become noticable once you hit the 12,800 mark and not very much  visible on smaller sizes. You need to zoom in to get to see the grains

SS - 1/50, F 5.6, ISO - 10000

This is me on top of the building under-construction

55th floor

Cropping

The second beauty of having the 45.7 MP sensor, i would say is the power to crop. And i would also add to the fact that no camera will do the extent of how D850 would do. do look into the below shots and judge for yourself.

The amount of justice done to the cropped image is far beyond imagination

Normal shot . SS - 1/800 , F-2.8, ISO- 160

SS - 1/1000, F-2.8, ISO 200.

After Cropping

SS - 30.0 sec, F-2.8, ISO 3200

SS - 30.0 sec, F-2.8, ISO 640, Multiple shots and stacked.

Overall the D850 happen to be a beast of a model and there are lots of reasons to upgrade,

  

The higher frame rate compared to other cameras in the same segment (7fps and 9fps with the MB-D18 battery pack) –good for wildlife.

Very fast focus, this feature was picked up from the D5 and the D500

The tilt screen,

Illuminated back buttons,

Sharper images,

Lower noise at higher ISO’s

A significant improvement in the dynamic range compared to its predecessor

sensitive down to -4 EV, which makes the autofocus system to function in extremely low-light conditions

All i know with the 1 week i had the D850 in my hands for review, i am going to make sure i get one, and this for sure is going to be my primary camera......

A very big Thanks to Nikon MEA for letting me have the camera and explore all the features related to my field and passion way ahead of the official launch 

Thanks my FotografiaQ8 team for the excellent continuous support provided...

 

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There will be more updates as soon as i get to finish my wildlife trip with the D850

Detailed tech specs available on Nikon site