Nikon D850

Nikon D850

More product images of the Nikon D850

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Source: Manufacturer


The D850 was introduced by Nikon in August 2017. It belongs to the Professional DSLRs category.

Nikon is well-known and shouldn't require further introduction, please see our manufacturer's page for more digital cameras by Nikon.

CategoryProfessional DSLR

The D850 features a CMOS sensor in Full frame size that has an area of approximately 36 x 24 mm² (1.42" x 0.94").

This infographic compares the D850's sensor to other common formats:

Infographic: D850 comparing sensor sizes

(The 1-Euro coin used for scale has a diameter of 23.25mm, slightly smaller than a US quarter.)

The D850's image sensor has an effective resolution of around 46 megapixel. The resolution is far above average and will easily be sufficient for years to come. Photos with this resolution can easily be printed in A2 size or larger, even if unwanted parts of the photo have to be cropped.

The Nikon supports taking images in RAW. RAW images are stored as they come from the sensor, without any in-camera processing or sharpening. Converting to JPEG or other formats takes place on the computer, using software like Adobe Lightroom or Nikon's RAW converter. This involves one extra processing step but almost always results in superior image quality. Some filters, like converting to monochrome (black and white) will only yield decent results when used with RAW images.

The D850 features a mechanism for automatic sensor cleaning.

FormatFull frame
Sensor area36.00 x 24.00mm²
(1.42" x 0.94")
Resolution (physical)46.90 megapixel
Resolution (effective)45.70 megapixel
Pixel size19.01 µm²
Sensor cleaning
RAW support
Continuous 7 frames/second

All compatible F lenses can be mounted to the D850.

Currently, approximately more than 200 F lenses are available, not counting lenses by third-party manufacturers. Further lenses can be connected via suitable adapters.

Interchangeable lens
MountNikon F

The D850 uses an optical viewfinder with a penta prism. Viewfinders with a penta prism are typical for enthusiast and professional DSLRs. The viewfinder covers 100% of the field of view and has a magnification of 0.75x, an excellent value for a viewfinder like this.

Simulated viewfinder D850

The infographic illustrates the viewfinder magnification of the D850. The black area represents a magnification of 1x, corresponding to natural size. The red frame indicates the largest viewfinder magnification in any digital camera on the market today (0.85x).

Tip: If the viewfinder image of the D850 is fuzzy, us the little wheel next to the viewfinder to adjust the sharpness.

TypeOptical (Penta prism)
Dioptric correction

The D850's shutter speeds range from 1/8000s to 30s.

Max. shutter speed1/8000s
Min. shutter speed30s

The D850's sensitivity goes from 64 ISO und 25600 ISO, a very useful and practical range.

Additionally, the Nikon's sensitivity can be boosted to 102400. However, ISO boosting will almost always lead to an increase in noise.

Min. sensitivity64 ISO
Max. sensitivity25600 ISO
Boost102400 ISO

The D850 supports all common metering modes.

The Nikon will also allow spot metering, a must for challenging motives.

Center weight

The D850's auto focus processor uses 153 AF points (or sensors). A basic rule of thumb says that the more AF points you have, the better. More AF points mean a better chance to have a point at the location of interest in a scene, a big plus in challenging situations (e.g. in sports).

Manual focus is also possible with the Nikon, a plus in tricky situations or for some creative freedom.

TypePhase Detection, Contrast Detection
AF points153
Manual focus

The D850 doesn't feature a built-in flash. That is not unsusual in this camera category.

A flash or a trigger for remote flashes can be attached to the Nikon's hotshoe.

Hot shoe
D850 display and touch screen

The D850 features a monitor with a diagonal of 82.00mm (3.2 in.) and a resolution of c. 2.36 megapixel. A resonable value that will make it easy to evaluate images directly in-camera.

The camera's display is articulated, a plus for selfies and other challenging situations.

The D850's monitor can work as a touch screen, just like a smartphone. That can be very useful, for example to pick AF points, but keep in mind that touch screens usually don't work when wearing gloves.

Display characteristics at a glance:

Size82.00mm (diagonal)
(3.2 in.)
Resolution2.36 megapixel
Touch screen

When recording videos with the D850, the highest supported resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixel, in other words 4K Video.

The camera features a connector for an external microphone, a neccessity for good video sound. A built-in mike will record everything in front and to the sides of the camera which is mostly not desired. Internal microphones also tend to record camera sounds like focus beeps.

Videos with the Nikon D850 at a glance:

Max. resolution3840 x 2160 pixel
...with frame rates24 frames/second
25 frames/second
30 frames/second
External microphone

The D850 has Wifi connectivity already built-in. Use Wifi to transfer images to a smartphone or computer and to remote control the camera.

Another option to transfer images to the smartphone is Bluetooth (Note: Bluetooth connections will not always transmit images or videos with full resolution.)

In situations where wireless won't work reliably, a wired connection can be used.

Connect the Nikon to a monitor or TV set over HDMI.

USB 3.0 is already supported by the Nikon. USB 3.0 greatly speeds up transferring images and videos to the computer.

The Nikon's connectivity at a glance:

Remote (wired)
Remote (infrared)
HDMI (standard)
HDMI (mini)
HDMI (micro)
USB 2.0
USB 3.0
USB Micro
USB Mini

What memory cards can be used with the Nikon D850?

The camera will accept all common SD HC and SD XC cards.

XQD Cards can be used, too.

With an average image size of 16 megabytes (JPEG, fine) a 32 GByte memory card would hold up to 2000 images.

Supported memory cards at a glance:

Memory cardsSD

Let's have a look at some other features of the Nikon D850:

The D850 doesn't have a built-in GPS receiver. If you want to add coordinates to your photos, you'll have to do so in 3rd party software like Adobe Lightroom. However, with Wifi built-in, location data can also be added via a connected smartphone.

The D850 doesn't have a built-in stabilizer. That would have been a plus when using legacy zooms or tele lenses without stabilizer.

If you are into HDRs, the camera won't create those automatically. You will have to manually create image sequences and later assemble those sequnces in third-party software.

The D850 is environmentally sealed against dust and moisture; a very useful feature when you take the camera places.

The Nikon's features in a handy table:

Image stabilizer
Level indicator
Environmentally sealed

The Nikon D850 works with a EN-EL15a LiIon battery. The battery lifetime is a generous 1840 shots. Usually enough for a full day or more.

The battery can not be charged while in camera. Instead you have to take it out of the camera and put it into the supplied dedicated charger.

The D850's battery at a glance:

TypeEN-EL15a LiIon
In-camera charging
Battery life1840 photos

The Nikon D850's dimensions are 146 x 124 x 79mm³. (5.7" x 4.9" x 3.1"). That's the body only, without lens. The camera's weight is a rather considerable 1015 grams (32.7 oz.). Add to this the weight of the lens.

Front and top view of the D850 with dimensions:

Nikon D850 Dimensions (Width / Height)
Nikon D850 Dimensions (Width / Depth)

To put the size of the camera in context, here it is next to a typical ID card (c. 86mm x 55mm, about the size of a credit card).

The D850 is clearly bigger:

Nikon D850 size comparison
DownloadSpecs, manual & software

Click red button for current price and ratings of the D850:

Price and Ratings

Visiting from the UK? Click here.

Source of specifications and product images: Manufacturer. This page was generated by an experimental computer program. Errors and omissions excepted.

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Info graphics and camera rating © 2017-19 All rights reserved.

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