Nikon’s D850 Is Here with a 45-Megapixel Sensor, Surprising Speed and More

August 24, 2017

By Greg Scoblete

Following a vague teaser timed with its 100th anniversary, Nikon has fully pulled back the curtain on its latest full frame DSLR, the D850.

Boasting a new 45-megapixel sensor without a low-pass filter–the first backlit sensor in a Nikon full frame model–the D850 features an ISO range of 64-25,600 (expandable to 32-102,400).

Despite the high-res sensor, the D850 can burst at 7fps with AF tracking engaged. Use the optional MB-D18 battery grip ($400) with the D5’s battery installed and you can hit 9fps. You can save 51 14-bit RAW images or 170 12-bit RAW files during burst mode.

If you need more speed, there’s an electronic shutter and a DX crop mode which combine to deliver a 30fps burst of 8.6-megapixel images.

As for autofocusing, the D850 inherits the D5’s AF system with 153 AF points with 99 cross-type points (15 of which are sensitive to f/8).

Like other Nikon DSLRs, it offers 4K recording but unlike prior models, it won’t crop the sensor on you. Instead, you’ll get a full readout across the width of the sensor. Full HD video can be recorded at up to 60p and you can output an 8-bit, 4:2:2 file via HDMI out to an external recorder. A slow-motion mode enables you to capture full HD footage at 120fps for a 4x slow motion effect in playback.

When the D850 was first teased, Nikon said it would enable users to create 8K time lapses. That’s true, but not in camera. The camera can create 4K time-lapse movies in camera but for an 8K time lapse, you’ll need to use post-processing software.

When shooting in time-lapse mode, the D850 will switch to an electronic shutter, sparring your mechanical shutter from the wear and tear of potentially thousands of actuations.

Additional features include:

  • illuminated buttons
  • 3.2-inch tilting touch screen display
  • weather-sealed build
  • focus stacking which can compile up to 300 points while automatically adjusting the focus point (a final image has to be assembled in post)
  • two card slots, one for SD and the other for XQD memory
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy
  • 0.75x optical viewfinder, Nikon’s widest and brightest to date

The battery life is rated for 1,840 shots.

The D850 ships in September for $3,300. It’s available for pre-order now.

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