I have now owned one of the first batch of Nikon D850’s thanks to Saul from Camera Electronic for sourcing me one of the early supplies that came into WA a few weeks ago.
Now having used my new D850 for the last 4 weeks and having travelled with the camera in various parts of France and Croatia over that time, I have used most of the functions in the camera and feel I can do a reasonable review of the camera.
A bit of history!
My photography journey started just over 9 years ago after doing a photography course with my now good friend Christian Fletcher. Back then I started with a Canon 1DS MK 3 which at the time was at the forefront of the DSLR
I loved that camera and used it extensively in the early stages of my photography passion until sadly I lost it to some salt water ingress at which time I bought the Canon 5D MK2. Same sensor as the 1D s, but with much better dynamic range and high ISO capability and a way better screen.
Fabulous camera and its still going today as my go to time lapse camera. I would hate to guess how many shots that camera has taken now, but its still going strong with the 17mm tilt shift lens.
That is about where Canon and I parted company as the D800e came out in the Nikon range at 36.3 megapixels and even better dynamic range. After waiting for a couple of years for Canon to catch up, myself and quite a few other passionate photogs jumped ship to the Nikon D800e.
What was not evident to me at that time is that when using the Canon cameras I always used to default to using prime lenses as the zoom’s were quite soft on the edges.
With the Nikon zooms I was pleasantly surprised to find they were very sharp all the way through the range and therefore I really only have 3 main lenses: the 14-24, the 42-70 and the 70-200. The main go to lens for me is the Nikon 24-70. I do all my stitching with that lens and it is super sharp.
So, after having the D800e for a while, I upgraded to the D810’s and had 2 until recently when the D850 came out.
I think it is safe to say the D850 is going to be a game changer in a similar manner to the Canon 5D MK2 was when it came out.
At 45+ megapixels and an improvement in dynamic range capability from the D810 (which was already very good in its own right) and to have the expanded ISO capability that it does, this camera is a serious weapon!
Other features I have found impressive is the focus speed is way quicker than previous Nikon’s, the noise factor in high ISO usage is definitely lower and the need to use noise softening software is very much reduced.
See below an image shot in the Split palace at about 1600 ISO!
The focus stacking function works a treat and the clarity of the screen on the back is as good as I have seen on any camera. The tilt function is also handy.
Battery life goes on forever and I doubt you would ever need more than 2 batteries.
The function of being able to illuminate the buttons at night is also a very handy feature!
All in all the Nikon D850 has lived up to all my expectations and I guess it will mean I will now have to buy a new housing to fit the new camera into it and buy another back as well I suppose!
The only down side I have found with the camera is that it is a little heavier than the previous models and that they changed the ISO button from the left hand wheel at the top to a button on the front right side?
Old habits die hard and I am struggling to retrain my fingers to not pushing the left hand buttons when changing ISO and not sure why Nikon changed the function as it was fine where it used to be?
I think the medium format companies should be very wary of this camera as in my mind, it can do anything a medium format camera can and some with the high ISO capability and depth of field that can only come from a DLSR when compared to a medium format.