A photographers review of the Nikon D850.
Also comparing it to the Nikon D810.
This is a real world review and my experiences with the Nikon D850.
So should you believe the hype is the D850 really that much better than the D810?
Well according to all the reviews there is a clear difference, for me initially I couldn't see that much of a difference which was a bit surprising and to be honest with you more than a bit disappointing.
Sure my expensive camera could now do the same things as my phone as it had a touch screen and pinch zoom, wifi and bluetooth installed but at what cost?
Is it about gimmicks or end results? Yes these features like the tilting screen are handy but is it just something else to go wrong?
Now after having this camera for about 5 days I had a rather large jewellery shoot to do and as I nestled in and got comfy in my chair with a nice bit of music playing I suddenly noticed I had actually installed the D810 camera on the micro positioning plate, the lighting was set up and I was ready to go.
Now you may well ask what the hell has this to do with a camera review. In my mind everything, I didn't pause or think about it for a second.
Both camera's were on my desk beforehand and honestly at the time I couldn't really see a huge difference in them. So I picked up my normal camera subconciously and set it up.
So why wouldn't I use the D810?
Well that again is an interesting one, it's a truly gorgeous camera and the day I let it go will be a sad one for me. We have been through a lot of work together and it has never let me down. It's incredibly robust, feels comfortable to hold for hours on end and always works. To really replace this camera the D850 would have to be something special so lets see if it is.
Back to the shoot.
So me being me I swapped out the camera's after shooting a few products, I popped on the D850 continuing to photograph the products in the order I had them set out.
It was then I stopped...
The detail level difference was more than noticeable it was staggering. In fact so much so that I re-shot the Items I had done with the D810.
If your pixel peeping on landscapes yes the D850 is better but what's in front of your sensor has to be really right for you to notice a huge difference. If your focus is slightly off or if you have minute camera movement in your shots then save your money and buy the D810.
So in a controlled environment with detail as the ultimate prize the D850 shone like no other camera has for me before.
It could just be down to megapixels but there is something special about the camera body it just seems to carress and encourage every little bit of detail like the D810 had to be really pushed to do so before.
I then tried something I had never done before and shot some products in jpeg, the results were incredibly good and it was staggering to think they were straight out of the camera.
Again long story and me rambling on but a few months ago I changed from the Firecrest filters to the Firecrest Ultra filters and I have to say there was a nice difference in sharpness but with them now paired with the D850 they brought detail out in images that I seriously love now.
So is there a difference?
Well yes there is and its more than worth it.
In saying that I still use my D810 for a lot of work and its a really good camera but for me the D850 really is a beast of a DSLR camera.
Those first few days I was a bit taken aback as I expected there to be a noticable difference but it really only showed through when you really got in close and used exactly the right equipment in the right conditions and then it shattered the D810.
For me I can only ask whats next?
How can they ever improve on this unit or is it even possible?
So the D850 is a better camera it's sharper has higher resolution, a tilting screen which for low angle shots is very handy. The wifi and bluetooth connectivity is very useful at times but these are all side issues as a camera is for capturing images and for me that's the only area where it should be measured.
It's worth should always be primarily the quality of the images it can produce. Considering the increased resolution hence smaller pixel size the fact that the dynamic range is fractionally better than the D810 is staggering.
The high ISO performance is also a large step forward.
The max Frames per second of 9fps with the battery grip opens this camera up to a number of genre's also.
In my mind this camera is truly now a universal camera that can be used for anything from wildlife photography to Astro photography. It does everything so incredibly well.
So yes it's worth it but it all truly depends on the level your at and the equipment your using with it.
The battery life again is amazing and like the D810 so far it has been bullet proof.
Something that I was originally disappointed with turned out to be a great buy.
Don't expect miracles from it but it will deliver what you capture with it at ease.
The camera is never the most important element in a photograph its the person that's behind it that truly matters.
In saying that its also important that the camera can deliver what you envisage in your mind and sometimes you need an exceptional bit of equipment to create what you saw.
Never get hung up on equipment but also never let your equipment hold you back is what I say.
Photography has progressed so far now that the exceptional photographs from 10 years ago are just about normal now.
The elements and techniques used are being pushed all the time to create perfection in a single moment.
So in a time where you need perfection in every single shot you also need equipment you can rely on and have faith in. That's where this camera comes in.
Speaking of equipment, the batteries for the D810 also work in the D850. If they are original batteries that is.
I had a Hahenel battery which I charged and was ready to shoot with one day but the D850 wouldn't switch on, it was incompatible with the camera but worked in the D810.
Lesson learned buy originals :-)
I hope this review was of some help to you and good luck with your photography journey.
See you out there,