Nikon Officially Announces the D850

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ShunCheung, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    After numerous pre-announcements, teasers, rumors ..., Nikon finally officially announces the D850. Pretty much as I have expected all along, the D850 is roughly "an FX version of the D500," but I had anticipated the announcement around September 2016, prior Photokina 2016. Therefore, in my mind it is about a year late, but at least the specs look impressive so that hopefully it is worth the wait.

    Here are the basic specifications:
    • 45.7MP BSI (Back-Side Illuminated) CMOS sensor, without low-pass filter
    • 7 fps with the regular EN-EL15a batters, 9 fps with the D4/D5's EN-EL18 family battery (original EN-EL18, EN-EL18a, or EN-EL18b) inside the optional MB-D18 vertical grip.
    • ISO range 64-25600 with extended range from 32 to 102400.
    • Multi-CAM 20000 AF module, with 153 AF points, 99 of them cross type, same as the D5 and D500.
    • Tilting 3.2-inch LCD toughscreen
    • EN-EL15a battery
    • Dual XQD and SD card slots, the SD slot is UHS-II compatible, same as the D500
    • 4K UHD capable at 24/30 fps. Can capture 4K video with the entire width of the FX sensor. The D5 and D500 can capture 4K video with a center crop only, no pixel interpolation
    • The MB-D18 power pack/vertical grip is a new design. It can hold another EN-EL15(a) battery, the D5's EN-EL18 (any type in that family) or six (6) AA batteries. It is a bit different from the power pack for the D700, D800, and D810 because those power packs use eight (8) AA batteries, which provide sufficient voltage to run the D700 (and D300) at a higher frame rate. With the D850/MB-D18 combination, you have to use a variation of the EN-EL18 battery to achieve the higher 9 fps.

    Personally, I don't particularly care about having 47.5MP vs. 36MP on the D800 and D810. IMO the actual difference will be small. I am even quite happy with 24MP on the D750, but having the Multi-CAM 20000 is a major plus.

    Similar to the D5 and D500, the ISO button is on the top right side of the camera body, behind the shutter release button. After using those bodies for over a year, I like the new location for the ISO button very much.

    The suggested retail price in the US is $3299.95, which is the same as the introduction prices for the D800E and D810. (The D800 was at $2999.95 in 2012.) The MB-D18 power pack has a $399.95 suggested price.

    New product images, copyright Nikon Inc.

    Landrum Kelly likes this.
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

  3. Thanks Shun - like you, I'm more interested in the faster AF module rather than more megapixels. Also, unless I missed it, I didn't see any mention of the size and weight. I'm guessing that it's close the size of the D500, although possibly a little bit heavier. Have you come across any of that info?

  4. Slightly thinner, 35g heavier than the D810 (915g vs 880g).

    Biggest surprise for me is the price - I had guessed that at a minimum the price would have been $3800 and at the maximum $4500. Turns out that to get the full performance, the cost is close to $3700 (D850/MB-D18).

    Why they couldn't have announced all this a month ago instead of that development announcement remains a mystery.
    Landrum Kelly likes this.
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Size is 5.8 x 4.9 x 3.1 inches (146 x 124 x 78,5mm)

    Weight 2 lb 3 oz (915 grams)

    Those are very close to the specs for the D800.

    I would imagine that in 6 months to a year, Nikon will be giving away "free" MB-D18 for those who buy the D850, and by then third-party clone battery packs will be available. The problem is that to get 9 fps, you need the EN-EL18 battery. It is not a big deal if you already have a D4 or D5; otherwise, the Nikon charger is kind of expensive. Not sure how well clone chargers work.
  6. I was hoping it would be the size and weight of the D750 but it is what it is. I wonder how battery life is using silent shutter and live view?

    Waiting on my email from NPS to pre-order it.
  7. 45 mp allows me to shoot in crop mode at more mp than on my d500 when I need reach yet have the ability to shoot full frame. The detail with 45 mp will be great for birds where I like a lot of detail. I have liked using a 135 in crop, effective 200 mm and it is much lighter over the shoulder all day then a 70-200. I would be interested in the dynamic range because the d500 blows me away on how much I remain within the histogram. Still haven't had time to calibrate my meter to see the exact difference in clipping points between the d500 and 700. Shun, I agree on the position of the iso button. The usable higher iso of the d500 has me selecting desired aperture, a high shutter speed like 1/500 or higher then, without moving the camera from my eye, pressing the iso button behind the shutter release and dialing up iso til I get the exposure I want. I think nothing of 1600 or 2000 iso. The resulting higher shutter speeds gives me consistently tack sharp images without a tripod. The 9 fps will keep up with my Einsteins. I don't see the sync speed listed though. I expect it will be 1/250. This is the camera I have been waiting for to replace my d700.
  8. Shun thanks for the info. Like you I do not care too much about the high pixel count but I was waiting a long time for the better AF module. My D800 is just not good enough in that respect.
    But let us see how the sensor performs in low light, perhaps the smallish pixels are not so bad after all.
    The question is of course how to get the high resolution out of the camera that is apparently capable outside of a studio and without a heavy tripod. Would also be interesting which of the current Nikon and third party lenses can supply adequate resolution. My Zeiss Planar 100 mm macro may be able to but the list may be short..
  9. The additional resolution compared to 36MP is probably pretty insignificant in real world use, but all in all it looks a very healthy upgrade over the D810. The price is as expected, but not what my wallet wanted to hear. I guess the D700 has to keep going a bit more to see what this camera costs in a year or so....

    Prices on the other side of the pond: €3799 / £3499,99.
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  10. Not true: DX crop mode on D850: 45.7/2.25 = 20.3MP but Nikon USA website lists it as 19.4MP (5,408 x 3,600) (and FX as 45.4MP, not 45.7); D500: 20.9 MP ( 5,568 x 3,712). In any case, the DX crop on the D850 will have slightly less MP than the D500 offers but the difference is rather insignificant. A D850 is a lot cheaper than the combination of D810 and D500 ($3300 vs $4700 (currently there's discounts on both the D500 and D810); even adding the MB-D18 to the D850 still results in a $1,000 difference (part of which will be eaten up by the purchase price of a EN-EL18a/b and the corresponding charger: $149 for the battery and $370 for the charger)
    That's what the Nikon USA website shows it to be, 1/250s.
    25% more pixels, so 12.5% increase in linear resolution should be visible but I agree the real world it might not matter much. Not really seeing a difference between D7200 and D500 resolution (about 15% more pixel, so 7.5% higher linear resolution).

    The D850 is definitely a nice evolution of the D810 but its features aren't sufficient for me to consider upgrading at this point. The improved AF and the joystick would certainly be nice to have but do not make a real difference on what I use the D810 for to warrant the upgrade expense. Neither does the tiltable LCD screen.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  11. $3300 was what I predict. I like the focus stacking feature and negative copying feature although they are only firmware but I like it.
  12. Thanks Shun. Looks excellent. Finally a well-balanced all-purpose successor to the D700 that's fast enough for sports and with state of the art AF, but with resolution to burn. Rather eye-watering price in the UK (£800 more than the D810 at launch), though of course we have the weak pound after the EU referendum to thank for much of that. The cynic in me wonders if the new grip design that needs an expensive battery and charger rather than just AAs to boost the framerate was an engineering or a marketing decision, but the base 7fps is still very impressive for the number of pixels this thing has to process. The tilt screen will be handy and full width 4K is very welcome.

    Edit: I wonder if an 3rd party 8AA grip can be made to give 9fps? Of course Nikon might lock out the highest framerate unless an authorised battery is connected.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  13. Very nice, and rather tempting.

    I wonder if the reduced sized RAW files a true RAW files of some compromise? It would be nice to process the smaller files where the situation warrants.
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Of course it is some kind of compression, or compromise if you would rather describe it with that term. A true RAW file has to be full strength without any lossy compression where you lose some (very minor) details without the possibility of recovery.

    However, with so many pixels and bit depth, you can always compress in some areas with little detail such that you can drop the overall files size by 50% or maybe more, and it make little actual difference. It is like 45.7MP sounds like a lot, but:
    1. You subjects may not have so much details to take full advantage of those many pixels.
    2. Your lens may not be able to resolve it, perhaps not in the wide or small apertures you prefer to use.
    3. Your camera support, vibration, etc. may not be able to take full advantage of those pixels.
    On the other hand, compare to 36 on the D800/D800E in 2012, computing power has improved, memory and disk space have gotten even cheaper. Therefore, 45.7MP in 2017 is probably easier to process and store than 36MP in 2012, but if you are still using an older computer, you may need to upgrade.

    Back in 2012, I was really excited about the D800E and pre-ordered from my local store Keeble and Shuchat, and I had to wait for 2 months because demand was very high. Fast forward 5 years, I think the D800E is still a very good camera. The digital cameras evolution has reached a plateau, and improvements are more gradual. I never bothered to buy a D810. In the mean time Keeble and Shuchat has gone out of business (in 2016, after some 51 years). I'll probably "go cheap" this time and wait for Nikon to drop the D850 price to below $3000 with a free MB-D18 grip.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  15. Resolution is an acquired taste, but it's hard to go back to ramen noodles once you've had steak. A 24 MP sensor with an AA filter is roughly equivalent to 16 MP without. However at low resolution (24 MP) aliasing is much more noticeable than at 50 MP. If your objective is shooting action sports, high resolution works against you in terms of speed and buffer capacity. Choices, choices.

    I think Nikon has a winner in the D850, and not just in terms of resolution. It seems Nikon is listening to consumers (and looking over their shoulder).
  16. The camera looks like a winner.

    With that said, I'm not wild about them once again rearranging controls. The mode button has become fairly standardized on the high end SLRs, although the D800/810 messed it up with putting the record button where it should be.

    I don't see this camera in my immediate future, but when they come down the line used in a few years I'll likely have one. Ultimately, I suppose having the ISO button in that location makes more sense since it's a more frequently accessed setting.

    The second Fn button is welcome also. I'm not happy on my 800 with the fact that I have to choose either press or press and turn(my D2X allows me to assign separate functions to each of those actions) so I hope that's fixed on the 850 also. Even if not, having a second button will take care of it.
  17. I am still looking for a cheap D3.
  18. Dieter, thanks, will have to take a look at the Nikon website, wasn't up to it at 5:30 am needing to get to sleep. I'm not a math guy so could you explain your math? When I determine crop conversion of a FF lens on nikon 1.5 is the multiplier. Would that mean cropping in post would yield 45/1.5= 30 mp to work with? The few mp difference is immaterial to me but I don't understand the math. In post above you indicate that a 25% increase might not matter much, I shot for 8 years at 12 mp so a jump to 45 should be significant. I have been printing larger so expect it will be evident there. Shooting the last month at 21 was noticeable. What is important for me is it will function about the same as my d500 with respect of mp, give me the reach I like on my long lenses in crop, it makes my 400mm a 600mm 2.8 without changing bodies allows me to drop back to 400, gives me back my lenses as ff especially my wide angle and my 8 mm fish is now a circle again, and has a 64, even lower native iso which will help decrease the amount of vari nd I have to crank in shooting in full sun with my lights (d700 was 200 so nearly 2 stops) and I will be able to severely crop to reduce the number of lenses I need to carry. The movement of the iso button combined with more usable iso up to say 2000 on the d500 has changed the way I have shot 8 years with the d700, Now I can pick my desired aperture, usually f/4 or less in my work, pick a shutter speed in the 500-1000 range and get tack sharp images then dial in the iso as my final adjustment for exposure up to 1600 or 200 never taking my eye from the viewfinder. With the d700 I tended to stay with iso 800 or less, usually 200 or 400 if possible and would use 1600 as my ceiling so set it as low as possible then aperture and then took the shutter speed I was dealt that gave me a proper exposure. As Shun pointed out to me in a post a while back, there have been huge advances over the last 8 years. I have to make time to profile the d500 on my light meter to see where the change in clipping points are. A feature I just learned on both 500 and 850's touch lcd, is you can scroll through images quickly on the edge. No need to click through when chimping a series of shots. Handy with high burst speeds. Just upgraded computers and learned lightroom. Does the high mp have less of an effect on LR than photoshop? I still jump to PS for about 20-30% of my editing
    especially when doing higher end retouching or using nik where I like the opacity slider in PS, as I tend to edit a bit hot in nik then fine tune with opacity. Then return to LR.
  19. The "crop factor" is linear, for one dimension - the angle of view is reduced by a factor of 1.5 and it appears as if the focal length has been increased (it hasn't). The number of pixels is an area measurement - there's a reduction by 1.5 in one dimension and 1.5 in the second dimension: 1.5 x 1.5 = 2.25. So do determine the number of pixels in a DX crop from FX, the divisor is 2.25 (or 2.56 for Canon; it's 4 for micro-4/3, and 7.3 for 1" sensors).
    Yes, but only if you crop in one dimension and leave the other untouched. FX is 36mmx24mm and DX is 24mmx16mm. So if you crop 36mmx24mm to 24mmx24mm or 36mmx16mm, you would be correct - but that doesn't result in the DX format of 24mmx16mm. Or in other words: FX area is 864sq mm, DX is 384sq mm, 2.25x less (the "one-dimension crops are 576 sq mm).

    Probably the same as in the D810 - no. sRAW is not a RAW file at all, it's demosaiced and processed and more like a processed TIFF-format file. On the D810 there really is no reason to use it at all as it doesn't even result in a significantly smaller file than the original-size RAW.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  20. Nikon always "moves the cheese" - but this time I don't mind as it and it gets confusing if one uses cameras of different generations side by side. I wasn't wild about seeing the mode-button move to the left side on the D500 (and now the D850) but the video-record button can be programmed to take over that function. Over the years, I have adjusted the way I shoot to the various shortcomings presented by Nikon's way of doing (or not doing) things, and nowadays, I shoot in M mode with AutoISO ON most of the time (and turn Auto ISO off if I need full control; goodbye A and S (P was never on my radar screen anyway)). Since I shoot RAW, WB is always in Auto, and I hardly ever feel the need to move away from matrix metering - so the entire button array on the left may as well not be there at all for me. I would welcome the option to reprogram those to something akin to the U1 and U2 settings on the prosumer DSLRs; this way I could gain easy access to the memory banks of the higher-end models, the use of which I have avoided so far because of their hiding in the menu.

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