Proving that speed and resolution can indeed coexist, the Nikon D850 is a multimedia DSLR that brings together robust stills capabilities along with apt movie and time-lapse recording. Revolving around a newly designed 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor and proven EXPEED 5 image processor, the D850 is clearly distinguished by its high resolution for recording detailed imagery.
Working in conjunction with the sensor is the EXPEED 5 image processor, which together afford a 7 fps continuous shooting rate for up to 51 consecutive frames, an expandable sensitivity range from ISO 32 to 102400, and 4K UHD video recording using either a DX crop or the entire area of the full-frame sensor.
An 8K time-lapse recording mode is also available, as well as additional specialized recording modes for digitizing film negatives and for focus stacking applications.
The D850 is also equally refined in its physical design. A large optical pentaprism offering a wide field of view and 0.75x magnification affords photographers a bright, clear, and realistic view for critical shooting needs.
Conversely, a 3.2″ 2.36m-dot LCD touchscreen is also available for live view shooting, playback, and menu navigation, and features a tilting design to suit working from high and low angles.
A weather-sealed design is also employed, to suit working in a variety of environmental conditions, and the optional MB-D18 grip can be added to boost overall shooting times and continuous shooting rates.
Additionally, built-in SnapBridge allows for wireless sharing of low-resolution imagery and remote live view use on a linked mobile device, and an optional WT-7a Wireless Transmitter can also be used for faster wireless transferring of files.
45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor and EXPEED 5 Processor
A first for Nikon DSLRs, a 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor is used for high-resolution shooting, impressive low-light quality, and fast readout speeds to benefit continuous shooting, movies, and time-lapse recording.
The back-illuminated design of the sensor affords noticeably cleaner high-sensitivity output for reduced noise when working at high ISO values, up to a native ISO 25600, as well as vivid and smooth quality at sensitivities as low as ISO 64.
The sensor’s design also omits the conventional optical low-pass filter in order to achieve the greatest sharpness and resolution from the sensor.
153-Point Multi-CAM 20K Autofocus System
Complementing the rendering capabilities and speed of the image sensor is the robust Multi-CAM 20K AF system, which features 153 total phase-detection points, including 99 cross-type sensors for improved subject recognition, and 55 of the points are selectable for greater compositional freedom.
Benefitting the use of super telephoto lenses and teleconverters, 15 of the points, including nine selectable points, are compatible with an effective aperture of f/8, and all 153 points support working with effective aperture of f/5.6 or brighter.
Managing the abundance of focusing points is a dedicated AF engine, which offers quick response times to benefit tracking fast and randomly moving subjects, even at the top 7 fps shooting rate.
The AF engine also contributes to enhanced focusing sensitivity, with all points capable of focusing -4 EV for working in very dark, low-contrast situations.
4K UHD Video Recording and 8K Time-Lapse
Utilizing the sensor and processor attributes for more than just still imagery, the D850 is also a more-than-capable multimedia camera. Video recording is possible at 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) using either the full-frame area or a DX crop area in 30p, 25, or 24p frame rates.
Full HD 1080p video recording is also supported at up to 120p for slow motion playback, and video files can be saved to the in-camera memory cards or as an uncompressed file to an optional external recorder via HDMI out.
Benefitting video recording, a dedicated power aperture button (Pv) makes it possible to achieve smooth, continuous exposure transitions when switching from light to dark areas, and Auto ISO can also be used to maintain a consistent brightness when working in changing lighting situations.
Focus Peaking can be used to benefit manual focus control and a Zebra Stripes option is also available to help detect over-exposed areas within the frame.
Audio recording can be handled using the built-in stereo microphone or an optional external mic can be added via the 3.5mm stereo jack for greater control over quality, and live monitoring is possible via the headphone jack.
The D850 also blends both still and video capabilities with the ability to produce 8K time-lapses using the Interval Timer Mode or in-camera 4K time-lapse movies, with the ability to record up to 9999 exposures for either method.
This system also makes use of a silent interval timer, which produces no shutter noise, does not contribute to wear on the shutter mechanism, and is energy efficient to maximize battery life.
Scene Recognition System and Exposure Metering
The intelligent Scene Recognition System with 3D Color Matrix Metering III utilizes a 180,000-pixel RGB sensor to evaluate and analyze all aspects within a scene, including brightness, contrast, subject distance, and the scene colors, to quickly determine an accurate exposure and white balance setting to best render the scene at hand.
The information gathered is also checked against onboard reference images to ensure consistency from image to image in regard to exposure, white balance, i-TTL flash settings, and subject-tracking AF performance.