Nikon D850 DSLR Camera: Full Review

A top class addition to the Nikon line-up

Nikon D850 DSLR
  • Nikon D850 DSLR
  • Nikon D850 DSLR
  • Nikon D850 DSLR
  • Expert Rating

    5.00 / 5


  • Fast - 7 to 9 frames per second
  • Tilting, touch LCD
  • 153-point AF system
  • Superb image performance


  • No built-in flash
  • No GPS
  • Uses the so-so SnapBridge system rather than offering built in connectivity

Bottom Line

Highly competitive upgrade of the Nikon D810 with plenty of new additions and stunning imaging ability makes it a serious player in the $5000 DSLR marketplace.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 5,200.00 (AUD)

So what’s new and improved in the D850? The list is long but some of the highlights include:

● Greater image quality, 45.7 effective megapixels and ISO sensitivity from 64-25,600 (which can be expanded to 102,400 but why would you want to?).  

● Continuous shooting speeds of 7fps (up to 9fps with a battery pack)  

● The 153-point AF system used in the flagship D5 - big plus!.

● It’s the first Nikon FX-format DSLR camera to offer full-frame 4K UHD video.  

● The D5’s EXPEED 5 image-processing engine.  

● A new pinpoint AF mode - which should excite macro shooters using live view photography. It has a focus area that’s one-quarter the size of conventional normal-area AF,  allowing precise focus on small details.  

● A new “natural light auto” white balance mode that takes advantage of the Advanced Scene Recognition System’s improved light source identification function. Again, a quick play with it indicated it’s very useful tool.

● A tilting touch 8cm (3.2”) LCD screen.

● Three image size options - Large (45.4 MP), Medium (25.6 MP) and Small (11.4 MP) - all settable for RAW, JPG or TIFF images: This is great when shooting RAW as it reduces file size without affecting the quality of the image.  RAW files can also be batch processed in camera which is a real plus.

Nikon D850 DSLRCredit: Nikon
Nikon D850 DSLR

The D850 is the first Nikon DSLR to use a backside illumination sensor, which allows incoming light to reach photodiodes more efficiently. Combined with the camera’s low-noise performance, this allows it to achieve ISO 25600 despite its high pixel count.  Images at that level are surprisingly clean when used small to medium size but show obvious pixelation at 100 per cent. 

The D850 also includes the new Auto Picture Control, in addition to the seven existing presets. Auto Picture Control automatically fine-tunes the tone curve, colour, sharpening and clarity of the Standard option, according to each scene’s characteristics. 

A quick test certainly indicated this is a function that will benefit landscape shooters, in particular, although I prefer doing my own tweaking in Photoshop or Lightroom. However, for on the run shooting and uploading straight away when a loaded-with-software PC isn’t available then it’s great addition. 

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