Nikon D850 test: our opinion


In the battle for professional full-frame SLRs, Nikon and his D810 had been somewhat heckled by rivals, including the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and Sony Alpha 7R II. But the famous "Compagnie d'Optique Japonaise" which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, does not intend to let it go, and therefore takes out heavy artillery with a D850 with (very) high flying characteristics. "align =" baseline "hspace =" 10 "vspace =" 5 " /> </p>
<p> In the program, new sensor backlit (BSI CMOS 23.9×35.9) 45.7Mpx, just that, new autofocus to achieve 9 frames per second burst (with the necessary accessories) ), Expeed 5 processor, new exposure measuring cell 180000 pixels … In short, the heavy, sold at a price of 3800 euros naked and 4599 euros with AF-S optics 24-120 mm f / 4. </p>
<h2> Contents </h2>
<h2 id= Design and Ergonomics

When we were talking about heavy artillery, we were not saying that figuratively. D850 is big (146 mm wide for 124 high and 78.5 deep) and heavy (1,005kg), but so are its competitors, with the exception of the Sony A7R II. However, this gives a real impression of solidity. Besides, know that the D850, with a magnesium frame, is tropicalized. No problem so to shoot in the rain or in the middle of a sandstorm … " align = "baseline" hspace = "10" vspace = "5" /> </p>
<p> The camera is also very handy thanks to its large handle.As for its other latest generation SLR, Nikon Inverted the Mode and ISO buttons which is really handy: you can manage the exposure settings with one hand and trigger on the heels of it Another good news, the device now has a large 3.2 inch LCD screen vertically adjustable, finally tactile (multipoint), providing a 2.4Mpx HD definition and consistent colors Top Of course, we also have a very good optical viewfinder 100% Note that the brand has removed the built-in flash, which will not please not everyone but does not really bother actually as the device is performing in low light (my We will come back to this later.) In addition, the device manages wireless flashes. </p>
<h2 id= Menus and Connectivity

The menus have also been updated (and they are tactile!). With many settings, they are very complete but nevertheless a little clutter and sometimes counter intuitive. As usual at Nikon. The application for smartphones Snap Bridge is of course always at the rendezvous to transfer your photos via bluetooth. You can also connect the device to Wi-Fi, a welcome but limited novelty: impossible to send images directly to a PC for example. Regarding Snap Bridge, the application "does the job" the transfer is quite fast if we reduce the size of the images. Things get complicated when you keep the maximum size. Incidentally, note that there is still no integrated GPS. 770.jpg "align =" baseline "hspace =" 10 "vspace =" 5 "/> </p>
<p> Regarding autonomy, the brand announces 1800 views but do not expect to reach them if you consult a little too much your photos or use too often the live view mode.You can also opt for an optional power grip to extend this figure to 5140 views.In general, the autonomy remains satisfactory.The connection of the D850 is quite complete, you will You'll find an SD and XQD card slot, an HDMI 4: 2: 2 8-bit HDMI output, a micro USB port, a mini jack and headphone jack as well as a remote control and flash. a micro USB port type B. Not yet type C at Nikon, damage </p>
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<h2 id= Image Quality

Given the characteristics of the camera, we could expect very high quality pictures, and unsurprisingly, that's really the case. The D850 delivers great shots from every point of view, offering one of the best image quality in the market. 2017/12 / nikon-d850-photo2.jpg "align =" baseline "hspace =" 10 "vspace =" 5 "/> </p>
<p style= f / 1.6 – 1/60 – 640 ISO – 35mm

The sharpness of the pictures is simply excellent, and thanks to the 45.7 Mpx of the sensor (for images of 45.4 Mpx max), you have a margin of considerable cropping As on the previous model, you can choose between different formats: FX (full format), DX (APS-C), crop 1,2x, 5: 4 or even 1: 1 Instagram way. DX, the images retain a definition of 19.5Mpx, which is very satisfying.Cerient on the cake, you can now combine two different formats when shooting in RAW + JPG.By cons, you will notice that the format 16: 9 n is unfortunately not available. "align =" baseline "hspace =" 10 "vspace =" 5 "/> </p>
<p> Another weak point is that the D850's sensor is not stabilized. Be careful of too low shutter speeds without a tripod and without a stabilized lens. This is undoubtedly his main shortcoming in image quality, especially that his rival from Sony offers a very good stabilization him. During our test, the A7R II allowed us to shoot freehand at a speed of 1/8 with the objective ZA 35 mm f / 1.4. In a similar configuration, it was difficult with the D850 to avoid camera shake below 1/15. </p>
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That said, we can easily compensate for this by raising the ISO sensitivity, because on this point, the D850 is really excellent. It can go up without worry at 6400 ISO while maintaining a very satisfactory level of noise. And then even at 12800, the noise level remains really correct. It is appreciated that the manufacturer has shown reasonable sensitivity range. It rises from 64 to 25600 ISO, values ​​that remain usable. Note that it is still possible to extend it from 32 to 102400 ISO but the images will be really degraded. In short, you will understand, when it comes to shooting in low light, the D850 is a real monster. 2017/12 / nikon-d850-isotest.jpg "align =" baseline "hspace =" 10 "vspace =" 5 "/> </p>
<p> Finally, the dynamic range, expandable via HDR of course, is very satisfactory The same is true for the bright, but breathtakingly beautiful colors, but what impressed us the most is the efficiency of the automatic white balance, which is based on the new display cell at 180000 pixels, because its precision is surgical Chapeau </p>
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<p style= f / 1.4 – 1/80 – 200 ISO – 35mm

And in video?

In video, the big novelty of the D850 is its faculty of f ilmer in 4K, at 30 frames per second and without cropping moreover. The D810 was sticking to Full HD while the Nikon SLR for shooting in 4K, like the D5, D500 or D7500, imposed a crop of 2.2x: not great for very large angles. But this limitation is no longer, and the D850 now puts all of its large sensor to contribution for quality images, good news. i / edit / 2017/12 / nikon-d850-photo4.jpg "align =" baseline "hspace =" 10 "vspace =" 5 "/> </p>
<p style= f / 1.4 – 1 / 60 – 800 ISO – 35mm

On the other hand, the built-in mic is rather average, as it is often the case.It lacks a bit of bass and even induces a little hissing enough annoying (that a noise gate should nevertheless clear easily.) Apart from the 4K, you can also film in Full HD (with electronic stabilization) 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p or 24p, or even 120p but with a crop at DX format (APS-C) Finally, last little novelty, it is possible to achieve timelapse with an 8K definition.

Reactivity and autofocus

Here again a domain e in which the Nikon D850 radiates. Indeed, it is very responsive, it turns on and off in a split second. The autofocus, with its 153 collimators (99 cross), is also booming effectively, the viewfinder at least because in live view, its speed drops significantly (it is still suitable … if you do not shoot the moment). In manual mode, the focus is finally facilitated by features of focus peaking and focus steaking, welcome novelties that were sorely missed by Nikon. /edit/2017/12/nikon-d850-face-2-770.jpg "align =" baseline "hspace =" 10 "vspace =" 5 "/> </p>
<p> The D850 is also making good progress in burst in comparison with the D810 and its 5 RAWs per second In the CH engine mode, we have timed the latest Nikon camera at 6.7 frames per second in RAW and 7.2 fps in JPG. 19 RAW at full speed (on SDXC card class 10) before the cadence drops, and 46 in JPG With an XQD card, this figure rises to 28 RAW and 207 JPG Note that with the optional grip and battery EN -EL 18b of the D5, the rate also rises to about 9 fps, but it is an additional investment quite expensive.These performances are therefore satisfactory, although we are not yet at the level of a D5, which can reach 14 fps. Finally, know that the D850 is far from the king of silence at the trigger. </p>
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<p style= f / 1.4 – 1/60 – 1000 ISO – 35mm


It is a great pleasure to work with the Nikon D850, which offers significant improvements over its predecessor, with gorgeous images, enhanced video performance, excellent responsiveness , an up-to-date design (adjustable touch screen, tropicalized case, complete connection with the exception of USB-C) and new functions welcome (long live the peaking!), the device hurts the competition of a Shutter movement: Clearly one of the best full-frame SLRs on the market.

To pay less, you can also opt for the Sony A7R II, at turn of 2800 euros at the time of publication of this test. Do not forget that the Sony A7R III, which displays features very similar to the D850, is available since November at a lower price of 3500 euros naked. We have not tested it yet, so it was not taken into account in this test. But anyway, if you have the budget to offer the D850, go for it! It's a real gem.


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